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In this tech review, Vespers evaluates the new Tannoy Reveal 402 ultra-compact nearfields.  These are entry level, reference monitors designed for home studio applications.

Technical Specifications

Here are some quick and dirty tech specs.  They have a 4″ woofer, 3/4″ tweeter, and a 50W bi-amp delivering 25W to the woofer and 25W to the tweeter.  They have a large frequency response from 56 Hz to 48 kHz and a max SPL of 101 dB.  For inputs, you have a balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4″, as well as the 1/8″ stereo AUX link which we’ll talk about more in a bit.  Most retailers are selling them for around $150 USD, give or take.

Highlighted Features

Let’s start with a few shout outs to some of the sweetest features.  First up, they have poke resistant tweeters.  In the real world, you can’t always keep poky fingers away from your monitors, and these help to make sure your tweeters aren’t damaged by accident.  The way the tweeters, waveguides, and crossovers have been designed, they have a nice big mixing sweet spot.

I like the fact that their ports are on the front.  This helps in small rooms to address boundary coupling when in close proximity to a wall or other surface.  What can happen with rear ported speakers is the bass will reflect off the wall, back into the room, and cause phase cancellation or resonant spikes with your primary signal.  With the front ports, this effect is reduced and made easier to deal with through acoustic treatment in the room.

They have rubber isolation pads on the bottom to help seat the speaker firmly, and acoustically decouple it from the surface they’re placed on. For even better results, place them on stands behind your mix desk or use bigger isolation pads like Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers.

One of my favourite things about these speakers is the AUX link. Using an 1/8th inch stereo connection, you can plug in a laptop, tablet, phone or other music player directly to the speaker without the use of an audio interface.  This is a huge convenience.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been sitting in the studio and wanted to connect a buddy’s computer or phone to listen to a tune, but didn’t because it was too much hassle digging out the cables and plugging everything in.  This makes it super convenient, so props to Tannoy for thinking ahead and making these wonderfully functional.

You’ve got a treble control which will boost or attenuate the highs by 1.5 dB.  The crossover is 2.8 kHz, so this affects frequencies above that point.  If your room is really bright or really dull, you can tame or accentuate the highs using this control.

The Low Down

All things considered, these monitors have impressive sound for their size.  They can get really loud, and their frequency response was surprisingly good for such a small format speaker.  For most genres of music they’ll have all the jam you need.  If you mix music that has a lot of sub in it, like myself, then you can always plug them into a sub for bass extension.  I found the stereo imaging, mids and highs were all very clean.  The monitors sounded flat without hyping the sound at all.  They gave a true, accurate picture of the sound.  Plus you can’t beat the price tag and size.  These monitors are a fantastic choice for a anyone building a project or home studio and needs a compact monitor for tight spaces and small rooms, without sacrificing big monitor sound.  That wraps up this Tannoy Reveal 402 review.  Stay tuned for next time as I review the bigger brothers, the Tannoy Reveal 802s.

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