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For those versed in Roman mythology, the name Mercury may bring to mind the God of communication, so on the face of it, a good name for a pair of speakers.

Unfortunately, more relevant to these Tannoys is the planet named after him, in so much as it’s far from the best hi-fi on Earth.

That’s perhaps a tad harsh but given our admiration for the company`s usual output - such as the Award-winning Eclipse 3 speakers - the Mercury 7.2s are disappointing, mainly because we’d expect so much more.

Tannoy Mercury 7.2 – Drivers

The Mercury 7.2 boasts brand-new drive units, namely a 6-inch mid/bass driver with a “smooth profile” cone and a 1.1-inch soft dome tweeter.

The mid/bass cone is made from Tannoy’s proprietary multi-fibre-coated paper, the lightness and stiffness of which helps to deliver fast bass notes, while the smoothly sculpted profile aids dispersion and mid-range accuracy. 

It’s housed in a new, long-throw rubber surround, which gives the cone ample room to move without over-damping it. The motor assembly behind is larger than previous models in order to handle the increased power. 

Meanwhile, the polyester tweeter is laminated with a micro layer of nitro urethane, which damps the dome and pushes break-up frequencies beyond the audible range. Behind it lurks a revised neodymium magnet system. 


Tannoy Mercury 7.2 – Performance

Speakers always look good on paper, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – thankfully, the Mercury 7.2s are delicious. 

They deliver a highly musical performance with terrific dynamics, detail and timing. Their presentation is refined and easy on the ear, but with enough bite to keep excitement high when the music demands it. They’re not aggressive by any stretch, but you certainly won’t be bored.

The balance is well judged – not too rich, not too bright. It’s simply a clean, neutral sound that lets the music do the talking. Such neutrality might not impress those who like warmth and richness, but it allows the speakers to paint a clear sonic picture with excellent dynamics.

They’re not hugely fussy about the calibre of your amp either – they were as happy being driven by a mini-Bluetooth amplifier I had kicking around as they were by my powerful Onkyo AVR.

The 6-inch woofers offer fabulous bass reproduction, extending deep into the low frequencies while remaining quick and agile. This lays the foundation for a big, weighty sound with plenty of puff – you can really hear the benefit of those large cabinets.

The Tannoys are equally confident in the mid-range. Vocals are clearly projected and laced with detail. Play “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and his plaintive voice sounds like velvet, while the strings and saxophone solos soar with clarity and confidence.


Build and compatibility

They’re an attractive unit; a diminutive, 9.4-litre wooden box finished in walnut (our review pair and personal preference too), light oak or black oak, each flaunting a 28mm soft dome tweeter and 15cm midrange driver to the front and passive reflex port to the rear.

The Mercury 7.2s are unassuming but smart at the same time: a magic combination for budget bookshelf speakers.

The build quality doesn’t entirely match, however.

At this price the Mercury 7.2s could feasibly be a component in your first hi-fi setup, but £230 isn’t by any stretch a trivial amount, and the first impressions are that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting a steal.

The reflex ports, for example, already feel loose as we’re picking the speakers up out of the box.

There are speakers such as the Monitor Audio Bronze2 or Q Acoustics 3020 that feel higher-end than this.

But that doesn’t necessarily amount to poor sound, which is, after all, what matters most.

And when we plug these Tannoys in to feed them Explosions In The Sky’s, we are somewhat comforted by the relatively detailed, easy to listen to performance with which we’re presented.

There isn’t oceans of space, though that’s neither a surprise nor a major criticism given the Mercury 7.2s’ stature, but the detail is enough that we can pick out the instruments as textures build and don’t feel we’re lacking any parts.

It’s easy on our ears, as well; we don’t pick out any coarseness that would make listening strenuous, even when arrangements reach their crescendo.

The balance in general is a bit off, though. There’s a fair bit of bass, though it isn’t extremely taut, and the treble is equally prominent, but it creates a crevice in which the mid-range tends to hide somewhat.

It’s more noticeable when switching to an album with vocals, such as Fleet Foxes’; where we ought be experiencing luscious harmonies, the feeling is that they’re lost, shadowed by upper and lower frequencies.

Most disappointing, though, is the Mercury 7.2s’ sense of timing and dynamics. It isn’t confusing, nor does it make rhythms difficult to track, but it’s flat.

There’s little real momentum or expression, which leaves the performance feeling quite cold; there are no swells, no impetus on beats or picking patterns.

If you’re after a pair of speakers to power a party, these probably aren’t them.


We’ve been reasonably satisfied listening to the Tannoy Mercury 7.2s, and while there are aspects of their performance we admire, we’re not moved to finger through our music library as we would be if we were really enthused by what we were hearing.

If you want something small for some easy listening, there might be a place for these Tannoys on your shelf.

Otherwise, there are plenty more talented options on the market - and plenty that’ll save you a bit of cash to boot.

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