We were very impressed with the TFX 5.1 speakers we tested. They were compact, good looking and sounded great. The only thing we did raise as a slight negative was the easily scratched finish, and the slightly lightweight feel, but the price made these very slight areas easy to live with. In terms of price, the Tannoy HTS 101 are more expensive so we expect they will not only sound better, but the overall feel of quality would justify the price increase. Here’s what we found…
Heavyweight design in a small package
The exterior is also impressive with the quality of the materials used, from the high gloss black finish, to the fabric grille covers, right down to the polished metal binding posts on the rear, being very good indeed.
As we’ve seen before, simple black boxes can look great if the design is right, and the Tannoys are no exception – for such simple styling, speakers have never looked so good.
The front grilles are removable and reveal a 75mm paper come mid-range speaker and a 9mm titanium WideBand™ dome, with neodymium magnet system behind. The centre speaker has the same set up in a slightly larger 250mm wide by 106mm high enclosure, compared to the 106mm wide by 160mm high of the satellite speakers.
Optional stands are available to purchase if required, but the set does come with some simple and effective metal multi-angle wall mounting brackets. One half of the bracket screws on to the rear of the speaker, and the other part to the wall. It’s then a simple case of using the long bolt to screw through the middle of both parts to give a solid fixing.
Using banana plugs as shown in the image will be difficult, and only really possible if the angle is great enough. It’s best to avoid them full stop if you’re wall mounting.
The sub-woofer continues the design of the speakers and retains the high gloss finish and looks imposing as a result. The 100w sub is of the downward firing type and has a 200mm paper cone, and comes complete with pre-attached spiked feet. The overall size of the cabinet (including the feet) is 420mm high by 275mm wide and a depth of 370mm.
This HTS 101 set includes the 4 front and rear speakers, a centre speaker and the sub-woofer. There is also the HTS 5.0 which does not include the sub-woofer, and the HTS 3.0 which loses the rear speakers. If you want tallboy front speakers, the HTS 201 is the set you need.
Reminder to self: These are small speakers…
As we watched the opening scenes of Inception on Blu-ray, we were treated to a subtle and natural sound that we weren’t quite expecting. The speech was especially good but the whole range was well controlled and effortless. As we moved onto the more dynamic and louder scenes outside the Paris café, the bass almost blew us away – and if anything was a little too forward and loud for our tastes. A slight tweak on the control panel at the rear of the sub soon sorted that out, and we were treated to a well handled and full ranged
When we moved onto to one of our favourites, the Lobby Scene from the Matrix, the speakers started to show their limitations. The bass was tight and well controlled, but was not quite as loud or as fast as the previous film, but still admirable for a set of this size. The trebles from the spent rounds hitting the floor had an exquisitely crisp finish, but the crumbling walls did not give quite as satisfying thump as we were hoping.
We are being very picky here though, and it is to their credit that we sometimes forgot just how small these speakers were. The volume, dynamism and level of detail the speakers presented really was exceptional, and considering the size of the boxes, cannot be overstated.
What to consider
Bearing in mind the physical size limitations of the speaker size, there is very little you can say against the Tannoys. The price territory they sit in do put them up against some respectable competition, but that aside, you’ll still be making a good decision if you decide to go for them.
Why you should buy the Tannoy HTS-101 speakers
Overall, as you’ve probably already gathered, we were very impressed with the Tannoy HTS 101 speakers.
They’ve got pretty much everything you need – good design, compact size, great quality, and an audio performance that makes you forget their size and price.
We don’t give out many, but these are fully deserving of the full 5 stars.
Images of the Tannoy HTS-101 Speakers
Thanks to Tannoy for lending us the review set. You can find the full specs for the HTS-101 speakers over at Tannoys website. Images are copyright Tannoy and Home Cinema Buyer.