Tangent Clarity 8 Floor standing speakers

Still relatively unknown in the UK, partly thanks to their lack of fixed distribution (other than the odd Richer Sounds or Currys store), Tangent nonetheless have an impressively wide range of loudspeakers. Part of the Danish Eltax corporation, Tangent have been manufacturing loudspeakers since 1996 and the Clarity range are the latest addition to their portfolio. Consisting of a pair of standmounters, the floorstanders under review here, a centre channel and a subwoofer, the most striking thing about the Clarity range is their selection of finishes, namely gloss black or gloss red, the latter being ideal for those Ferrari fans out there.

The Clarity 8 floorstanders are a two way design, using two 6in (165mm) bass/midrange drivers and a 1in (25mm) soft dome tweeter. At the bottom of the rear panel are located four input terminals to allow for bi-wiring and a large bass port. They are the only loudspeakers in the test that do not allow for the addition of sand or similar ballast for cabinet loading, but the cabinet itself is well built and sturdy.

Measuring 900x198x280mm (HxWxD), the Clarity 8s are much the same size as the other test contenders and will similarly not dominate any room in which they are placed. Unless, of course, you go for the red finish and deliberately intend them to do so!

The Tangents have a visually similar measured response to the Mordaunt Shorts and, in some ways, exhibit a similar character to them. They have a correspondingly bright and dynamic nature but unfortunately it appears that their soft dome tweeter is not as well controlled as the aluminium dome of the 906is. Consequently, it does not take much provocation for the treble to become rather hard and spitty with brighter material and violins also had a tendency to sound rather screechy. Other than this, they have good high frequency insight and offer commendable realism to cymbals and hi hats.

Once again, a good soundstage emanates from the Clarity 8s and they can cheerfully fill a room with sound on modest power, thanks to their high 89dB sensitivity. Vocal definition was very good and instruments were presented with a pleasing level of insight - leading edges on guitar strings, for example, were tight and well controlled.

The broad output from the port does indeed add real grunt to the Tangents' performance, and they have a weighty and solid low end. The bass goes deep and has superb pace and timing, but it could also be a little too much at times, as a rather resonant thud would occasionally came out of nowhere. I feel the large port is to blame for this.

Ultimately, the Tangents are lively and dynamic loudspeakers that will rock with the best, but they have an innate hardness that can become a little too relentless at times. Partnering them with a valve amplifier will help to tame this but, as a result, careful auditioning and system matching is even more important than usual.

Tangent Clarity 8 Floor standing speakers photo