I was looking for affordable but good sounding monitors for my home recording studio. I wasn't looking for a particular brand; the only condition was the speakers were front-ported.
After reading reviews and watching scores of youtube videos, my pool was reduced to Tannoys, KRKs, Samsons and Thomann's Swissonic.
Fortunately, I could test all (except for Samson) in person in the Thomann's store in Treppendorf using CDs I knew well, for example, a rather demanding prog-metal song Day 3: Pain from the Ayreon's Human Equation album.
Now, I know that sound perception often depends on personal taste, but there's an objective twist to that - how many details you hear and how is the recording spread across the audible spectrum.
Long story short, I've never in my life heard the said song in such clarity, detail and spatial spread as on the Tannoy Reveal 502s (this side of pro-grade monitors in studios).
At first, you might find low end a bit lacking, especially next to the KRKs, but that's down to 2 reasons.
a) the KRKs appeared to be 'tuned' downwards, in other words, a dance music piece would sound OK. Still, they lacked spectral clarity. Eventually, I ran the song thru all displayed speakers in this size/price category. Compared to Tannoys, the all sounded 'muddy' in their own way.
b) most commercial speakers and headphones enhance basses so you inevitably arrive with your own bass bias.
Having said that... the bass line, or lines, rather, (bass guitar and synth) were clearly identifiable and separable and in the mix over Tannoy 502s, they did their job in the mix without issues. You can always select the high-cut option. Which I did... and ended up reverting to the neutral option which I thought provided the best balance.
Also to keep in mind... I knew that my room has more natural bass than the optimized room at Thomann's. Back home, the sound retains all the crispiness and the room helps on the low end for casual listening.
I'm not gonna double up on connectivity features description but there's one feature I find amazing.
The 3.5 mm input and the Monitor Link feature. Here's how it works:
Connect an external audio source (another computer, iPod/iPhone.... anything with a common audio out headphones port) to one speaker. And then Use the Monitor Link to connect it to another speaker. Bang - you hear your iPod in stereo ;)
For me this means that I can hook up my guitar synth directly to the monitors and directly monitor the sound through the monitors along the mix - in other words, there's 0 latency as it doesn't run via DAW software. What's not to like! :)
What also helps that connecting mini jack cable is included. With EACH speaker, so if you buy a par, which you'll most certainly do, you're all set.
BTW, each speaker comes with both the EU and the UK plug.
Magnetic shielding, or lack thereof:
My two external hard drives sit 15 and 30 centimeters below one of the monitors separated by 5 and 7 centimeters (respectively) of quality IKEA plank :) No problems there. So far, after 4 months, I haven't experience any interference issues.
They feel heavy and solid; they do project sturdy quality while being the best looking monitors in this price range.