These are nice, Tangent Spectrum T5 BT active speakers. Here I’m using them with the hi resolution Bluesound Node (the original one) using an optical input with Tidal. They have been in my kitchen for a few weeks now and have, to be honest, slotted into our everyday life without being noticed. They are very easy to use, to say the least.
Tangent Spectrum T5 BT Appearance and Set-up
The speakers I have are a ‘Polar’ white matt feel in appearance with steel, or metal anyway, grills protecting the speakers, this is excellent if you have wayward small fingers around. The speakers are set off on a walnut plinth which draws comment from the odd observant visitor. So they look good and are contemporary in look. They do come in midnight black as well.
Set-up is simple, pull them out of the box, plug in the left hand speaker to a power socket and connect the right hand speaker using the robust wire provided to drive them without plugging them into the mains too. I have been using, mainly, a Bluesound Node with optical input into the Tangent Spectrum T5 BTs and it works excellently. I have Tidal Music Streaming so the output is true. You can also Bluetooth into these speakers which is also very easy. On the remote, hit ‘Pair’ and find the speakers on your phone. The Bluetooth is AptX so it supports higher quality files. I believe the digital signal processor will deliver CD quality output but not high resolution , I am currently awaiting clarification on this.
Overall, I am very happy with these speakers for everyday use; using the Bluesound Node I listen to 6 Music frequently and other Tidal offerings using the Bluesound App, which does now need an update surely? Although the remote is perfectly functional it is quite small and un-refined and it can get lost in the usual way. Playing with the bass and treble gets the sound closer to where you would want it and this is useful given you will need to adjust the sound to your room or setting anyway.
Digital inputs – Tidal
Using Tidal Music Streaming and my ‘mark 1’ Bluesound Node I have found the speakers to perform very well indeed in everyday use. I have no complaints at all. Higher frequency output, vocals, etc are very good and I have no worries there. There is plenty of detail to listen for too. I must say, though, that they do lack low frequency punch which is something I appreciate at certain times. There is a sub woofer output option and this might give me the feel I prefer. The Tangent Spectrum T5 BT replaced in the kitchen my Bluesound Duo combination that I reviewed a while back for another website. I may prefer to switch back to the Duos, the sub woofer gives me the sound I prefer in everyday use. They are of course, hi resolution. The cost of this, however, will be the loss of Bluetooth compatibility and in the real world, this would be £600 more, so the T5s are extremely attractive in that respect. Here is my previous Blue sound Duo Review.
Digital – Bluetooth
One off the key features of the Tangent Spectrum T5 BTs is the AptX compatible Bluetooth support which makes everyday listening to stuff so much easier. Just being able to flick on the BBC iPlayer radio App, find the Test Match & switch on the speakers is just a great thing in the kitchen/wandering about type environment. For this alone, these speakers are totally commendable and very easy to use. Sound wise, the output is perfectly acceptable from, for example my Nexus 5 smartphone with Poweramp playing high resolution music through Bluetooth.
Analogue inputs – Aux 1 & Aux 2
I have been plugging in an old iPod using RCA Phono leads and again the Christmas playlist is perfectly serviceable. I guess you could plug anything in the Aux inputs, the second of which is a 3.5mm jack. Input selection is made from the IR remote control.
This is not really performance, but one other totally excellent feature from these well thought out speakers is a USB charging point at the back of the main powered speaker. The speaker needs to be on to charge but if you are Bluetoothing into them you can be charging up whilst you are playing into them so this is a really nice feature of note. The USB does nothing else, that I can gather, from computers, taking digital files, or iPod input etc.
Tangent Spectrum T5 BT Conclusion
I have to say, at this price, this is a very flexible and acceptable package from Tangent. They are well worth a look and I would look at them from a computer, laptop or other such source as well.
Ease of everyday use
USB charger for my phone
More bass, there is a sub option though
Price £299, distribution is listed on the website. As is the spec, weights, etc.