Tannoy used to be a great and reliable company, a lot of their speakers from the 80s and 90s are still well sought after today. Unfortunately, ever since being bought out by Behringer some-odd years ago, the company hasn’t had so much presence in the audio world.
Our verdict on the Tannoy Gold 5
While the Tannoys can sound great, they don’t have a lot to offer above other monitors in their price range. Major quality control issues and a lacking bottom end put this monitor far behind its competition.
- Great tonal balance.
- Low quality control.
- Lacking low end.
Power and frequency response
The frequency response of the Tannoy Gold 5 runs from 70 Hz-20 kHz ±3dB, which is a fairly high lower limit – even for a 5-inch monitor. Normally, for a monitor this size you would expect something closer to 45-50 Hz, yet sadly, this isn’t the case.
That being said, these monitors do sound very good. They have a much more balanced sound than the Yamaha HS5s or KRK Rokits, but again, you’ll lose a lot of bottom end. They can get loud as well, having a max peak at 107 dB SPL. Overall, this monitor performs well beyond its price range – minus a lacking low end.
Alright, let’s be honest – these things look pretty dorky. Something about the brown and gold coloring, plus the oddly designed input and trim knobs on the front make the monitors seem cheap. They have a decent weight to them, being around 12 pounds per monitor, and otherwise they seem adequately well built at a glance.
However, reviews seem to point out a lot of quality control issues regarding the Gold 5s – a pattern with Tannoy that seems to have become more prevalent since they were bought out by Behringer. Now, anybody who is familiar with Behringer’s reputation might have some alarm bells going off – and with ample reason. Despite having some truly great products to offer, quality isn’t what we would consider to be Behringer’s forte.
Anyway, try to understand that investing in these monitors may come at a risk. From abysmal after sales service, peeling finish out-of-the-box, the auto-on/off feature not working, and the list goes on. If you’re more interested in buying something for quality and reliability, it might be time to look elsewhere.
I/O and controls
On the front panel, beneath the woofer, are two knobs for your input gain and HF trim. On the rear panel, audio can be fed through both balanced XLR and TRS inputs which are located to the left of the On/Off switch, IEC socket and a switch to engage auto-standby. Above your inputs you’ll find a switch to adjust your bass output (-4 dB, -2 dB, 0 dB).
There’s also an Aux-in section for playback, offering you two 3.5 mm inputs for Aux and a monitor link, respectively. Lastly, there’s a switch to assign the monitor L/R when using this Aux-in feature.
Compared to other studio monitors
Here are some options that might be worth your consideration before settling on the Tannoy Gold 5s. We’ll try to be as straightforward as possible. Also, check out our picks of the best budget studio monitors ($300-$400 a pair) and the best studio monitors under $500 (a pair).
Tannoy Gold 5 vs. Yamaha HS5
The Yamaha has a wider frequency response but a lot more presence in the highs and upper mids. Many people swear by these monitors, and we recommend you go to a local seller and try them for yourself to make up your mind. For us, the Yamaha HS5s are the better option here.
Check out our full Yamaha HS5 review
Tannoy Gold 5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 G4
We have an opposite problem here with the KRKs, which are far more bass-heavy than the Yamaha HS5s or Tannoys, but also inflict a whole lot of coloration onto their reproduction. For hip-hop and EDM producers who are interested in more bass-heavy material, these are the obvious choice.
Check out our full KRK Rokit 5 G4 review
Tannoy Gold 5 vs. JBL 305P Mk2
The JBLs sound incredibly warm and are some of the most neutral monitors you’ll find in this price range. Again, we can’t recommend the Tannoy Gold 5s. The 305Ps are the superior monitor in our opinion.
Check out our full JBL 305P Mk2 review