Wilson Audio TuneTot HiFi Speakers Review
A Perfect Desktop HiFi System
As an independent HiFi and AV reviewer who has built Pursuit Perfect System from nothing certain events along the way standout and none more so than Wilson Audio asking me to review their speakers. This was a special moment one that would push me in ways I did not expect as I was asked to review their TuneTot speakers on my office desk. More recently Wilson Audio have developed custom speaker stands for the TuneTot turning them into a more traditional bookshelf speaker system but these were not available at the time of the review.
I was humbled and thrilled by this opportunity and it opened my eyes to an area of the HiFi Industry I have never considered before, high end sound on a desktop. I am naturally fully aware of the many professional speaker systems in existence designed to work at a mixing desk, however I feel these are in a different category to a speaker system intended for an office desk or similar.
Smaller and Bigger than I expected
When the TuneTot speakers arrived I was shocked by the box they came in, I was expecting for it to a be a 2 man lift but the speakers packaging is extremely clever to maximise protection and minimise space. The packaging quality with its sculptured foam, general loveliness and quality of everything instantly put me in a good place. You very much respect these speakers before you have even seen them.
Removing the speakers from the packaging their size and definitely their weight immediately hit as did their solidity and innert dead weight – very impressive. The Tunetot ship with with a plastic covering that is stuck to them with an adhesive and has to be peeled off. I have never seen this before and while its a great way to keep the speakers paint finish in mint condition doing the removing is a very unnerving task.
Once the tape is removed a glorious quality paint finish greets you on a speaker of impeccable build quality, the TuneTot really are impressive physical things to admire.
The Wilson Audio TuneTot are a two way designed speaker system featuring an infamous a 5.75 inch mid bass driver and a 1 inch tweeter. The tweeter is a famous Wilson designed sealed doped silk fabric affair and the main driver is also doped but made from paper. The speakers are rear vented with an 86db efficiency and a minimum of 25 watts power handling.
Each speaker weighs more than 13kg, seriously heavy for a bookshelf / desktop sized speaker system with a slight angle to the front baffle and chamfered front top corners.
The frequency response is 65hz – 23khz + / – 3db in practice in my room the bass measured to around 50hz before rolling off and the speakers had a nice smooth extended treble as specified.
The TuneTot Eco System
To accompany the speakers I was also sent two products from TuneTot Eco System the IsoBases and the TuneTot Rings. The rings are easier to explain, these are a decorative ring that is magnetically installed on the front of the speaker to cover the speaker driver screw holes. These are extremely well made and finished as you would expect and they definitely improve the aesthetic of the TuneTot. The TuneTot Rings retail for $649 for a pair.
The TuneTot ISOBase are a very interesting product that is designed to aesthetically compliment the speakers but more importantly isolate them from the desk or surface they are placed on. The build quality, physical size and weight of the ISOBases is very similar to the speakers which is no surprise as the materials used are the same. The ISOBase really set off the look of the TuneTot speakers and more also make them much easier to correctly position. The Isobase cost $2100 for a pair.
Setup is a task you take seriously
In the manual for the TuneTot speakers is a very clear and detailed setup and placement instructions part of the W.A.S.P Wilson Audio Setup Procedure
Normally the premium service that comes with a Wilson Audio speaker system is the trained dealer whom you made the purchase through will deliver and setup the speakers following the complex W.A.S.P. The TuneTot are the only exception to this rule and they are shipped to customers for them to setup themselves. Its fantastic that Wilson Audio have created the visually detailed instructions to help their customers optimally setup their TuneTot with the correct toe in, reveal (angle) and placement.
Great to review other products
After setting the TuneTots in their optimal position and beginning their review I quickly realised that they are a very high end speaker system demanding of seriously high quality HiFi components to get them to sing at anything like their full potential. This was ideal for me as I intended to use them to review three different sets of HiFi electronics at three different price levels but each system had to fit the criteria of being suited in their form factor for a desktop.
The first HiFi system I reviewed with the TuneTot speakers was the Cyrus One Cast an all in one voice controlled streaming amplifier priced at £1299. The One Cast did an excellent job of powering the TuneTot speaker and showed you dont need a crazy high end system for them to sound great.
Second to face the TuneTot was the Leema Acoustics Elements pre-amplifier with the Elements stereo power amplifier a pairing costing around £3000 coupled with a Chord Electronics Qutest Dac £1200. This very capable HiFi setup was a clear improvement over the all in one Cyrus solution and showed me more of what the TuneTot can deliver in terms of musical authority, scale and power.
The last and most expensive system I reviewed with the TuneTot speakers was the Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 DAC / Pre and TToby stereo power amplifier with a total cost of just under £7000. This system was the best sounding system with the Wilson TuneTot and showed me attributes of their performance that were extremely impressive in terms of resolution, sound stage clarity, openness and tonality.
A true High End Sound on a desk
In the end I put together the best system I could to try and achieve the best sound quality I could from what is a very high end speaker system that is at the end of the day is still sat on a desk in a small office. Despite that with a lot of effort put into the room and the system the results were pretty damn impressive - watch the video below and get some idea.
A Mighty Fine Conclusion
From the moment you remove the Wilson Audio TuneTot speakers from their box to long after you are listening to them they exude the highest levels of quality, design quality, build quality, sound quality and they need to when priced at just shy of £11000 plus the Eco system extras pushing the price up to around £14000.
That is a very serious amount of money for a desktop speaker system but its also the most affordable way into Wilson Audio speaker ownership which is worth bearing in mind. Who are the TuneTot for I think for a desktop only setup they make perfect sense to existing Wilson Audio speaker owners who want the same kind of sound and look while they work or maybe they will use them in a non critical listening room of the home where a smaller but equal quality of speaker is preferable .
Now with the addition of the Speaker Stands to the TuneTot Eco system its very much the most affordable way into Wilson Audio speaker ownership and the audiophile just needs to add a subwoofer if they feel the need.
Spending time with the TuneTot speakers has been special and a privilege and its one review I will certainly remember for years to come. It was also fantastic to taste the wonderful experience Wilson Audio speaker owners go through when buying a such premium product and the incredible pride of ownership that will inevitably accompany it.
The Wilson Audio TuneTot speaker set an extremely high bar for any speakers used on a desktop to follow and they are very much worthy of a mantle of an Ultimate Desktop HiFi system.
A Special Performer Award is Pursuit Perfect Systems highest accolade and is in recognition of exceptional product performance regardless of price