Ortofon is the world’s largest manufacturer of magnetic cartridges for phonograph turntables like Ortofon 2m Red vs Blue vs Bronze. The danish company manufactures electronic audio equipment. In 2007 Ortofon introduced the moving magnet series 2M. Its design resembles the diamond. The 2M series was made in collaboration with Danish designer Moeller Jensen. The name 2M was chosen as it represents the abbreviation for moving magnet, MM.
The 2M is engineered to the highest standards. It goes with Ortofon’s commitment to finding the most accurate and precise reproduction possible without coloration. Ortofon 2m red is a good product. 2M blue and bronze are somewhat different and similar at the same time. They are all products of the highest quality. This review will help you differentiate between 2m red vs 2m blue vs 2m bronze.
Difference between Ortofon 2M red vs blue vs bronze
These 3 products might look similar but in reality, they are different. They specialize in different aspects. Ortofon 2m red is not like ortofon 2m blue or ortofon 2m blue is not exactly like ortofon 2m bronze. We will learn more about their difference from the table-
The 2M blue and 2M bronze both have a cartridge weight of 7.2 gm. Despite the similarities between the blue and the bronze model, it should be noticed that the 2M red and 2M blue are interchangeable. They are interchangeable because they share the same cartridge. Ortofon 2m bronze is interchangeable with the Ortofon stylus 2m black. However, the 2M blue is not interchangeable with the 2M bronze.
Ortofon 2M Red
2M Red is a great device in this category. This will provide good sound quality. You will notice bass in the mid and high range. rock, country, oldies, disco, jazz the red-handled them well with confidence. A pleasing ambiance with trembling and intimate quality. We have tested this device and any general public will have a hard time finding any fault in this.
Ortofon Red features
-It has an improved engine that provides an increased output of 5.5 mv and optimized sound production at a high level of sonic accuracy.
-Equipped with a tipped elliptical diamond and split pole pins with a copper wire.
-The cartridge body is manufactured from complex, environment-friendly material which ensures high rigidity while eliminating unwanted resonance.
-The design will help for ease of mounting the cartridge and the weight and size to fit the most common turntable.
-The best thing about the 2M series is its excellent compatibility when used in an assortment of playback systems and a wide variety of phono preamps.
-2m Red is an all-purpose that delivers an open, dynamic sound with a touch of warmth.
Pros of ortofon 2M Red
- Excellent value
- Defined highs
- High-quality bass
- Clear sound
- Precise tracker
- Can be upgraded with a new stylus
Cons of ortofon 2M Red
- Sounds a bit hollow when playing classical music or piano
- Some inner groove distortion
Ortofon 2M blue
The 2M blue gives you an overall complete experience. A full range and highly resolving presentation that sounds neither stiff nor unforgiving. You get the whole audiophile treatment. In fact, the 2m blues balance both tonally and in terms of overall resolution, maybe its the greatest feat. It’s an easy cartridge to listen to, even for novice listeners.
Ortofon blue features-
-It has an improved engine, which provides an increased output of 5.5v and an optimized sound reproduction.
-Nude Elliptical diamond and split pole pins with a copper wire
-The cartridge body is manufactured from hopeless, an environment-friendly material that ensures high rigidity while eliminating resonance.
-The 2M blue adds more dynamics and resolution.
-Reduced noise floor
Pros of ortofon 2M blue
- Defined highs
- Tight bass
- Clear and concise
- Steady tracker
- Better than red
Cons of ortofon 2M blue
- More expensive
- General listeners won’t find the difference easily
Read: Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 or 5: Which is Better?
Ortofon 2M bronze
2M bronze is a premium product in the world of cartridges. It’s fast but not ostentatiously so. It turns information into music, not leaning into one sonic direction or other. Ortofon bronze adds more resolution and clarity than the previous two models. It provides smooth and rich sounds which are undeniable.
Ortofon bronze features-
-It has a nude fine line diamond, which is particularly suited for any demanding application.
-The cartridge body is developed from hoplex, which is an environmentally friendly material and it ensures high rigidity.
-2M bronze features a special upgraded engine with split pole pins and silver-plated copper wire.
-Its larger footprint ensures low distortions and reduced record wear
– More clear and crisp sound quality
Read: Kanto Yu4 or Yu6: Which one is a good budget Bookshelf Speaker
Pros of ortofon 2M bronze
- It is tonally neutral
- Very clean and loud sound
- Amazing detailing
Cons of ortofon 2M bronze
- More restraint than expected
Ortofon 2M red vs blue vs bronze: Things to consider
There are obviously a few things which make the difference between these products. We can guess from the price range that they are directed towards different people. It is our job to point out the key points and help you make your decision.
Ortofon red vs blue
The cartridge of both the models is the same but the difference lies in the stylus. The 2M red is a standard tipped diamond elliptical stylus while the 2M blue features a nude elliptical stylus. Standard designs are fastened to a metal shank. A nude stylus is a diamond connected to the cantilever. This means the lower mass provides a more agile design that can track the grooves more accurately.
The performance of 2M red is good because of the impressive frequency of the moving magnet cartridges. On the other hand, it was exciting to see them enhance that performance even more with the change of a stylus. The 2M blue that’s why stands out even more. It was a great upgrade that very few can notice on the first go but if you listen to them carefully you will get the difference.
Ortofon blue vs bronze
If you know something about record players then you will consider the Ortofon blue and bronze. These two are well known for their performance. At first, you will notice some similarities between the blue and bronze models. Despite the similarities, it should be noticed that the Ortofon red and Ortofon blue share the same cartridges and they are interchangeable. The 2M bronze, however, is not interchangeable with 2m blue. Ortofon bronze is interchangeable with Ortofon black.
You can either buy the 2M bronze or 2M blue as an entire cartridge or just the stylus. The cartridge gets connected to a tonearms headshell. The stylus is the needle you can keep the stylus and use it with your old cartridge. If you have the 2M blue cartridge and want to upgrade to a 2M bronze model then it’s better to buy the whole new cartridge. Bronze And blue doesn’t share the same cartridge but you can buy a 2m bronze stylus and use it on a 2m blue cartridge.
Ortofon red vs bronze
The engine and stylus of all the 2M models are not similar. You can replace the red stylus with blue or silver. Bronze and red stylus isn’t interchangeable. The 2m Red is an all-purpose cartridge that delivers open, warm, dynamic sound. Bronze on the other hand offers the perfect balance. It is in between the Ortofon black and blue. It represents the sweet spot of the 2M lineup. 2M bronze delivers more details and clarity but the 2M red is an absolute steal in its category.
There is a big difference in the price range between red and bronze as well. The Ortofon bronze is mainly for premium users. On the other hand, the Ortofon red is for beginners. People who wanna try quality magnetic cartridges can have a go. The soft, warm sound of red will impress you instantly but the bronze takes it to another level with rich sound and attention to details.
Sound quality ( Ortofon red vs blue)
This is the part many of you were waiting for. The all-important sound quality review. So, to start, let me first talk about the Ortofon 2M red. Considering it costs roughly about 99$ this is an absolute bargain. This cartridge may come pre-mounted with many turntables. That means it’s a basic and entry-level cartridge but doesn’t underestimate its quality and performance.
Despite it being so cheap, some would argue that it’s the most fun to listen to. The warm sound will melt your heart. If you play a live recording the vocal and instruments will sound very lush, engaging, and enveloping. On the high end or treble, the sounds felt more ‘eased’. It wasn’t trying to increase the sharpness or give a fake high pitch.
As much as I loved the Ortofon red, I have to say the Ortofon blue sounded better. I am not rushing to conclusions but the blue cartridge created a different atmosphere in the room. It was like the music got more freedom and area to express. This allowed for more instrument separation. This means I was able to separate each instrument’s note in the music far better than Ortofon red.
As I said before, the Ortofon red is a nice lively cartridge but the 2M blue provides a more realistic experience. The attention to detail is significant in the blue. The grooves and lines are better scanned on the 2M blue. As a result, you can dig into or bring out more details and sharpness which sounded more muddled and less clarified on the red. The vocals of the singer along with the instruments sounded more clear and better on the blue. There is little doubt about its improvement from the previous model.
(blue vs bronze)
If you are a vinyl enthusiast then you might know about the Ortofon blue or bronze. Well, these are the 2 I would recommend to you if I ever saw you on the streets. I have said before that the 2M blue has a cooler sound and is more accurate. When comparing it with red, I noticed that it is less lively and warm but more precise and accurate. On top of that, I found that blue has a wider soundstage than red.
The level just went higher when comparing the blue with the bronze. 2M bronze takes everything that was good about 2M blue and multiplies it. The 2m blue can do everything that the 2m bronze does but Ortofon 2m bronze cartridge makes everything sound better. The one good thing which was noticeable is the bass performance. The bass-heavy songs might sound lame without a subwoofer. If you have the right speakers then you can feel the bass in every song pop up. It was more than satisfying listening to the records of hip-hop artists.
One more thing which stands out is the treble and high notes really sound good in the 2m blue and 2m bronze. On other cartridges, the sound might be a little veiled but not on the 2m bronze. The engine of the 2m bronze really makes the high sounds more appealing. The voices of many singers were more clear while listening on bronze. It really gave all the records a leveled-up performance. The music was more realistic and lively.
Weight ( 2M red vs 2M blue vs 2M bronze)
All the 3 cartridges weigh the same. 7.2 gm is fairly light when you compare it to its competitors. Although the 2M red Pnp model weighs more. All the other PnP cartridges also weigh 20 gm. It is integrated with headshells. The performance is significantly better because of the low weight of these cartridges. It’s astonishing how they put the engine, needle, and other wiring components so perfectly on such a small device.
Price (2M red vs 2M blue vs 2M bronze)
Price is a very significant factor when it’s time to buy a new vinyl device. Up To now we only discussed its quality and virtues as a cartridge. Now it’s time to look into financial matters. So, as I said before the 2M red is the entry-level cartridge here. It costs about 99$ or lower. The 2M blue can cost between 200-250$.
On the other hand, the more premium 2M bronze can go for 400$. There is a significant difference between the models. There is a 2M black too. We didn’t review it here but the price range starts from 750$. So you can guess it’s for ultra-professional or luxury users. You can get these products at a discount from Amazon. These links will help you search for your desired product.
In a nutshell ( Red vs Blue vs Bronze)
Ortofon red is a fantastic budget cartridge that is going to give you a good sound of under 100$. Personally, I think it is an all-rounder. You can easily upgrade it to Ortofon 2M blue if you want to. I think the Ortofon 2M red offers enough for the average vinyl listeners. It does a superb job of keeping the cost low too. It will get my vote for beginners who are new to this vinyl world.
The 2M blue costs 150$ more than the 2M red. So the big question is if it’s worth the upgrade. Well, I would say it definitely is. You will notice some changes to music over time. If you switch from red then 90% of the time you will feel the difference. I think it’s a perfect cartridge for this price range. You won’t have any complaints for years to come that’s for sure.
We know by now that the 2M bronze isn’t cheap. It delivers immaculate performance for its high price. Anyone who knows about vinyl records will applaud the sound. It can scan the tiny grooves which deliver accurate and sharp sound. When it comes to music the voice clarity along with individual instruments will surprise you. Overall you will be very happy with this buy.
Ortofon 2m Red vs Blue vs Bronze: Alternate products to consider
If you got a new turntable then you can improve it even more with additional cartridges. Apart from the Ortofon 2M lineup, there are many good cartridges that might be a good fit for you. We will suggest some good cartridges based on budget and premium category. I hope the products below and their review will help you.
The budget category alternatives are given below
This cartridge is a good fit and perfect for many turntables. Thus making it very versatile. The sound is clean and precise. It also has clarity where needed. If you consider the money it is a very good deal. It will complement any mid-range table and for 100$ this is a good performing cartridge
Pros of Goldring E3
- A refined performer
- Expressive dynamics
- Goes well with other kits
- Unfussy nature
Cons of Goldring E3
- Nothing special
One thing to describe this cartridge is how balanced it is. You listen to multiple genres with this cartridge and it will do its best to keep up. You won’t see it underperform in any kind of music. Its specialty is control and composure but it can certainly punch above its weight when the record demands it to.
You can check out the product from Amazon for the best price.
This affordable but capable cartridge will breathe fresh life into your records. Easy to fit and align, this budget-friendly cartridge will immediately brighten up a dull system. The crystal clear separation of vocals and instruments will surprise you. The inner grooves and high frequency is handled pretty well by the MP-110. The plucking of individual acoustic, electric, or bass strings is now noticeable along with other small details. This is a bang-for-bucks product any way you look at it.
Pros of Nagaoka MP-110
- Light, breezy sound
- Good attention to details
- Outstanding value
Cons of Nagaoka MP-110
- Could use more dynamics
- Low performer on the treble
The square block-shaped cartridge makes it easier to mount with any turntables. The Nagaoka makes music more refreshing, soothing, and smooth. If you are on a budget and want to explore good records then this will be your safest bet.
Now for a premium alternative, you can check below-
2500 uses a nude, square shank, natural diamond stylus. This can read the tiniest of detail in the grooves. The incredible accurate sound of the cartridge will banish any distortion from high frequency. After the first 70-100 hours the performance will elevate even more. You just have to make sure everything is set up properly. This premium device will blow your mind.
Pros of Goldring 2500
- Fully throated audio
- Fits well
- Great tonal balance and detail
Cons of Goldring 2500
- Nothing significant
Despite its unusual size and shape, it is easy to set up. It sounds assured and silky smooth with a nice tonal balance. It is an all-rounder. I couldn’t find any fault with this cartridge, they made this for the elite turntables. You will rate this higher than most of the cartridges that are for sure.
Roksan Corus 2
Roksan has been making this line of cartridges for 30 years. The unit is a bit heavy and it is fiddly to fit. Though The sound makes up for it. The tunes are crisp and detailed. The soundstage is wide and expansive. It treads a fine line too with plenty of authority. It is worth the wait,
Pros of Roksan corus 2
- Measured presentation
- Attention to detail
- Accurate sound
Cons of Roksan corus 2
- Could be more special
- Hard to set up
Even though it was a bit hard to set but the sound quality overall was good. The price I think is a bit high. Well, you can expect good, premium sounds which you can flex in front of your friends.
Final verdict: 2M red vs 2M blue vs 2M bronze
To be honest, between Ortofon 2M red and 2M bronze either would be a good purchase. Both are budget-friendly, easy to set cartridges. Anyone would like their sound at this price point. You can’t have many complaints. Although I would recommend the Ortofon 2M blue. The reason is its much larger sound stage, better clarity, clear bass, and overall improvements. You won’t have regret it if you choose this device.
If you compare the 2M blue and 2M bronze then there will be a slight difference between them. You are going to get better voice clarity, a wider soundstage, and can differentiate between instruments. While the 2M bronze edges ahead in this battle but the 2M blue isn’t bad either. If you are short on cash then you should blindly go for the 2M blue. It will give you an overall pleasing experience of vinyl records. However, 2M bronze is the one you should get if you are ready to splash the cash. One thing’s for sure that you won’t regret your investment. 2M bronze is one of the best cartridges you can get at this price.
No matter what you choose you will not be disappointed with the 2M lineup from Ortofon. Vinyl records are for the true audiophiles. This is also a hobby for a lot of people and a few companies cater to their needs. This is a business which will grow more in future and should be looked after. Trust me when I say this, listen to a record on a decent turntable and good cartridge you will remember the experience for your life.
Does the Bronze 2M come with headshells?
Ans- No, they don’t come with headshells
Is stylus included?
Ans- yes, stylus and cartridge is included in the same box
Does it come with an alignment kit?
Ans- It comes with a small screwdriver that is used to attach headshells.
Will it work with Audio Technica turntables?
Ans- yes it will. Most of the turntables on the market will support this