This is my HiFi review of this Tangent Elio Stereo, it is an all in one ‘lifestyle’ box that just works, straight out of the wrapper. I’m going with ‘lifestyle’ but it could be described as a contemporary music station or just a big multi-functional radio. I’ve got my sample in the Kitchen as we speak, we’re in Coronavirus lockdown so it is providing the background to our day. It is larger and we have it on a sideboard so we have, in the nicest possible way, forgotten about it; possibly the best compliment we could pay it.
The Tangent Elio Stereo is up against the Ruark series or a Naim Mu-so for example but in our case, it has replaced our Roberts radio as choice Kitchen goto. The key to this review is its price advantage versus a Mu-so (£1299 or £749 for a Qb) or a Ruark R5 (£999, R4 £699), for example. This Tangent Elio Stereo retails near £399 and a Mono, single speaker, version is also available.
Tangent Elio Stereo Design Features
Remarkably, the Tangent Elio Stereo does just about everything from FM/DAB and Internet Radio to CD player, Bluetooth, NAS access, Spotify built-in as well as the usual array of AUX-in and other USB inputs. It is quite a feat, with a nice coloured icon display scrolling through the options and offering an analogue style clock on the display in standby mode, alternating with local weather from the internet.
The Elio I have is very nice indeed, heavyish and bulky giving you a feel of substance. The boxing is reassuringly double lined, with the large Danish flag emerging from the first unwrap. The Tangent Elio Stereo is quite bulky so it is not quite kitchen worktop or bedside table size but our sideboard is a fine location, under a TV we have (indeed I could optical line in from the TV but I haven’t). I’d say the footprint is similar to that of a Times newspaper. The dimensions are 430 x 140 x 250mm (WxHxD)
The Tangent Elio Stereo has a black matt veneer finish to it, I guess it is MDF basically but it has a good vibe, retro maybe, but it is nice. The remote is good and has a solid feel to it.
The output power is rated at 20W per channel, and is delivered by class D amplification. It drives a pair of 76mm full-range front-firing drivers, there are two rear-venting bass reflex ports.
Set-up is very easy indeed, the wireless network connection was excellent and rapid, we’ve had very good stability so far. Internet Radio has been excellent and the CD player is, of course, a novelty these days but the usual array of CDs piling up, not in their boxes, it testament to the use of it.
Internet & FM Radio
Has been excellent. There is a favourites list so family members can swap between BBC Radio and other stations like Virgin (Verve Radio as I call it!) quite well with the remote. The FM is good, I don’t really listen to it but I had it working and it was fine.
Bluetooth has been really stable with my Pixel 2 xl. Using the Tidal App and PowerAmp I’ve been very pleased with the interactivity.
I actually didn’t realise there was a CD player in the Tangent Elio Stereo at first and from a HiFi perspective, the output is very acceptable and the volume goes quite loud without affecting the quality. The sound is volumous and large and presents a very decent listen and foscal point. I’d like it be a bit more dynamism from this but I am used to a Naum Uniti 2 in the kitchen area if I’m honest so maybe I’m judging from a different perspective.
Naim Server & Spotify
I’ve got a server on my network and the Tangent Elio Stereo can see it. The music is very accessible with the remote control and I have no complaints at all. I’m working on a Melco N100 so maybe if that arrives I’ll plug that in too. The Spotify Connect works in its usual way and is fine.
There is an array of timers, sleep options and alarms that I have not really fiddled with but it all adds up to a bunch of features second to few others.
Why are you buying this?
I think it is important to think about where this box fits in your lifestyle. For me/us it has become a kitchen focal point on the sideboard in place of our Roberts Radio with a heck of a lot more functionality. We can certainly tee up dinner side music from the server or Spotify as wanted and this is fun. I’m listening to new music with the Bluetooth and Tidal from my phone so we are all getting the full service from the Elio.
At this price, the feature led nature of this Tangent Elio Stereo makes it a must consider if you’re looking at Naim Mu-sos and the like on a more reasonable budget. There is a heck of functionality here and as a focal point it has proved to be an excellent companion. I would certainly recommend a listen if you’re in this purchase space.
Ease of set-up
The top is flat so you can put stuff on it
A little more dynamism