Tannoy Reveal 402 Studio Monitor Review
It has been a few years since Tannoy updated the design of their popular near-field Reveal series studio monitors which have since received consistent praise among home studios owners for their combination of quality and cost.
The series offers models of either of 4”, 5”, and 8” drivers to suit all sizes of home or project studios. Here we’ll be looking at the Tannoy Reveal 402; going over their features, specifications and overall sound as to sufficiently translate their value our readers.
Tannoy Reveal 402
- Frequency range: 56Hz – 43,000kHz
- Max SPL: 101 dB
- Equipped with: 4″ Woofer and 0.75″ soft dome tweeter
- Power: 50 Watt Bi-amping (25 W + 25 W)
- Front bass reflex port
- Adjustable EQ: 1.5 dB HF Cut / Neutral / +1.5 dB HF Boost
- 3.5 mm TRS Stereo AUX input for smartphone or tablet
- 1 Balanced XLR, 20 kOhm
- 1 Unbalanced ¼” Jack, 10 kOhm
- AUX Link Mini Jack, 10 kOhm
- AUX Link Output Mini Jack
- Crossover Frequency: 2.8 kHz
What’s great about these is that they are compact and minimal while offering a surprising amount of punch. If you’re working in a small home studio with far-from-perfect acoustic treatment, everything about their design is built for musicians like you in mind.
The front of the monitor features a 0.75” soft dome tweeter that Tannoy claims is “poke-proof,” though we had no intention of testing this feature. Should they live up to their word, this is great for reducing the risk of damage while moving the monitors around (or if the musician in front of them is highly animated.)
The Tannoy Reveal 402 offer a particularly wide soundscape due to the fact that there’s a shaped plastic moulding that includes an elliptical dished waveguide to control the directivity of the tweeter. This widens the listeners sweet spot and gives a more accurate reproduction for listeners at different points in the room.
Below the tweeter is a high-efficiency, multi-fibre paper cone 4” driver with a slightly concave centre dust cap. Their bi-amplified configuration means that each of these speakers is given a designated 25W amplifier powering appropriate frequencies. This is great for small rooms as it eliminates the need for a separate power amp.
The frequency response of the Tannoy Reveal 402 is quoted as 56Hz to 48kHz, with a maximum SPL of 101dB. This is quite normal for studio monitors of this size and is sufficient for home studio applications.
It is worth noting that bass-heavy genres like hip hop, R&B, and EDM will require some fine tuning in the sub frequencies that exist below 56Hz. This isn’t to say that you won’t be able to do an excellent mix of these genres using these monitors, but you may want to consider adding a subwoofer for some added bass extension. If your room is rather small, then there is nothing you can do about this and you’re better off getting comfortable working in the context of your room with what you’ve got.
Under the driver is a slot-style bass port. This port is tuned in such a way as to work with the resonating air from within the cabinet to boost more bass output than the driver alone is capable of producing. Being on the front of the cabinet as opposed to the rear means that bass is not fired against the back wall, causing reflections, phase cancellation or resonant spikes in signal at different points throughout the room.
The rear panel houses balanced and unbalanced inputs (XLR and 1/4″), treble EQ which will boost or attenuate the highs by 1.5 dB, volume control, as well as the aux and link-out sockets, which are intended for consumer playback devices such as MP3 players and the like, and allow you to send one half of the stereo signal to the other monitor. The Power switch is on the rear panel as well, along with a bright blue power-on LED and a standard IEC power jack with slide-out fuse tray and spare fuse.
On the bottom of the cabinet are rubber isolation pads to help seat the speaker firmly, and acoustically decouple it from the surface they’re placed on.
So how do they sound? This is where the Tannoy Reveal 402 really deliver. One of my favourite aspects about them is their superior stereo perspective. This allows you to move about the studio without walking into a series of surprising with whats going on in your mix. This has them sounding natural and revealing of nuances in a detailed mix.
The sound for their size is totally impressive. They can get really loud and maintain a consistent frequency response all the way up. The bass is tight and accurate, mids clear and workable, and highs crisp and un-hyped. I tested these in a decently treated room but nothing too extensive. The treble EQ switch makes this easier to work with as I am often prone to adding more highs than what’s actually necessary.
It is simply good practice to be checking your mix on a variety of playback devices, and as with any studio monitor of this size, you’ll want to be sure to check on an alternative device that has the low end that the Tannoy Reveal 402 do not.
These may be one of my favourite choices for home studio monitoring. The value-for-money is truly there and for the criteria of a home recording music, they tick off all the boxes. It would be nice to see a low cutoff switch in the EQ settings on the rear panel. The front bass ports help with bass build up but there are surely customers who could benefit from this feature.
If you’re looking for a good alternative with similar features and of the same price range, check out the PreSonus Eris E5.
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