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.
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Final verdict on the Tannoy Gold 5
While the Tannoy Gold 5 studio monitors can sound great, they don’t have a lot to offer above other monitor speakers in their price range. Major quality control issues and a lacking bottom end put this monitor far behind its competition.
What I like
- Great tonal balance.
What I don’t like
- Low quality control.
- Lacking low end.
Power and frequency response
The frequency response of the Tannoy Gold 5 runs from 70 Hz to 20 kHz (±3 dB), 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 HS5 or KRK Rokit 5, 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.
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 1/8-inch 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.
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 13 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 I 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.
Compared to other studio monitors
While the Gold 5 might seem like a decent choice for those of you looking for a cheap pair of studio monitors, here are some options that might be worth your consideration before settling on the Tannoys. I’ll try to be as straightforward as possible.
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 I recommend you go to a local seller and try them for yourself to make up your mind. For me, the Yamahas are the better option here.
Tannoy Gold 5 vs KRK Rokit 5 G4
I have an opposite problem here with the KRKs, which are far more bass-heavy than the Yamahas 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.
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, I can’t recommend the Tannoy Gold 5. The JBLs are the superior monitors, in my opinion.