Ortofon is one of the biggest turntable cartridge manufacturers in the world. The Danish company has been in the market for over 100 years, innovating and producing new models ever since!
While Ortofon makes a wide variety of cartridges, two of the most popular options out there are 2M Bronze and the 2M Blue, so which one of them is the better option to go for?
If you’re confused between the two options and don’t know which one is more suitable for you, you’ve come to the right place!
This guide will put the Ortofon 2M Bronze vs Blue in a brief comparison, so you can pick the one that suits you better!
Ortofon 2M Bronze vs Blue Overview
The 2M Blue option is ideal for audiophiles on a relatively limited budget or someone who wants a nice step-up in sound quality while changing the stylus only.
The 2M provides a superior sound quality in almost all aspects, but it needs to be coupled with an equally good sound system.
Ortofon 2M Bronze
Ortofon 2M Blue
What is Ortofon 2M Bronze
- Cartridge type: Moving magnet
- Stylus type: Nude Fine Line
- Output voltage: 5 mv
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Compliance: 22 µm/mN (dynamic, lateral)
- Cartridge weight (without screws): 7.2 grams
The 2M Bronze is one of the most popular cartridges made by Ortofon. This one is considered an upgrade choice, so it’s a mid-range option that has some clear distinction from other entry-level cartridges.
Within the Ortofon lineup, the 2M Bronze cartridge is the step up from the 2M Blue but is exceeded by the 2M Black.
The cartridge strikes an excellent balance between design and functionality, as it’s specifically engineered to provide a high level of audio fidelity with enhanced resolution and accuracy.
One of the most impressive features of the 2M Bronze is that it features a unique stylus construction.
This one features a Fine Line Nude diamond stylus, which is a high quality stylus with a thin profile and remarkable sensitivity, allowing it to easily read low and high frequency information on records.
As a result, while using this special cartridge, you’ll be able to listen to new elements in music that entry-level cartridges may fail to pick up.
The 2M Bronze also has a large footprint, which allows for even weight distribution while on records. This doesn’t only reduce record wear over time, but also keeps distortion to a minimum level while playing.
The 2M Bronze comes with a screwdriver as well as Screw M2.5 x 5 and M2.5 x 7 for convenient replacement of the cartridge, but it’ll require some focus and precision to get the job done. Additionally, the package comes with a stylus brush and a pressure gauge.
What is Ortofon 2M Blue?
- Cartridge type: Moving magnet
- Stylus type: Nude Elliptical
- Output voltage: 5.5 mv
- Frequency response: 20-25,000 Hz
- Compliance: 20 µm/mN (dynamic, lateral)
- Cartridge weight (without screws): 7.2 grams
The 2M Blue is one of the highest rated options in the Ortofon 2M lineup for a lot of reasons. While this one is considered a step up from the 2M Red, the Blue is still beneath the Bronze in terms of price and several features.
With that being said, the Ortofon 2M Blue is an excellent option for audiophiles who want to enjoy a warm, highly detailed sound without spending a lot of money in the process.
The Ortofon 2M Blue features a Nude Elliptical diamond stylus along with split pole pins and a tip radius of around r/R 8/18 µm.
The sound of the Ortofon 2M Blue is characterized by being a lot more dynamic with higher resolution than lower tier cartridges.
Related Comparison: Grado Black 3 vs. Ortofon 2M Red
It also has an enhanced engine with an increased voltage output of around 5.5 mV, which improves the sonic accuracy and sound reproduction of this model.
You can buy the entire 2M Blue cartridge or the stylus separately for easy replacement after playing thousands of records.
The cartridge package also comes with a Screw M2.5 x 5 and M2.5 x 7 as well as a stylus brush and screwdriver.
What Are the Differences Between Ortofon 2M Bronze and Blue?
The first aspect of the difference between the Ortofon Bronze and the 2M Blue is the price. In fact, the Blue comes at half of the asking price of its Bronze counterpart. As a result, it’s easy to expect some serious differences between the two. Let’s check them out!
When you hold the Ortofon 2M Bronze and Blue next to each other, you’ll immediately notice several distinctions between the two. Of course, we’re not only talking about the differences in the color of the two cartridges, but also in the size.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the size of the Bronze cartridge is slightly larger than the blue. This actually explains why the two of them are not interchangeable with each other.
When it comes to cartridge compatibility, the Ortofon 2M Blue is interchangeable with the Ortofon 2M Red, but not the Bronze.
This means that if you already have the Ortofon 2M Red and you’re planning to upgrade, you don’t have to buy the entire 2M Blue cartridge. Instead, you can replace the stylus only and keep the old cartridge, as it’s basically the same.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to upgrade from Red or Blue to Bronze, you’ll have to buy the entire cartridge anyway.
Since the Blue and the Bronze use different styluses, there are also some subtle differences in terms of sound quality when playing the same record.
With that said, you can still technically swap the Nude Elliptical stylus of the Blue with a Nude Fine Line of the Bronze.
Although this might save you the costs of buying the entire Bronze cartridge, you’ll still miss out on a lot of the features of the bronze because you’ll be using an inferior engine.
There are some differences when it comes to the specifications of each option. For example, the 2M Bronze has an output voltage of 5 mV while the 2M Blue is 5.5 mV.
Not only that, but the frequency range of the Bronze is also slightly wider, ranging from 20 to 29,000 Hz, which is larger than the 20 to 25,000 Hz of the Blue version. This has a significant impact on sound quality, but more on that in the following section.
The stylus of the Bronze also has a tracking force of 1.5g or 15 mN, which is slightly lighter than the 1.8g or 18 mN of the Blue.
The Ortofon 2M Blue is a great option with a neutral tone, allowing you to listen to elements that the elliptical stylus of the Red couldn’t pick.
On the other hand, the Bronze is simply on another level when it comes to sound depth and resolution.
You’ll immediately notice that music sounds much more lively with the Bronze than when you used the Blue.
Not only does the Music have a punchier bass, but also clearer trebles. The two advantages together allow you to hear each instrument clearly.
These differences are more pronounced when listening to music where live bands are incorporating various instruments at the same time, elevating the entire experience in terms of engagement with the music.
With that being said, the high sensitivity of the 2M Bronze also makes it a lot less forgiving when it comes to worn and overused records. While using the Bronze, you’ll be able to figure out the condition of the record while listening, so you have to keep that in mind.
Related: Sumiko Pearl Vs. Ortofon 2M Red
What Are the Similarities Between Ortofon 2M Bronze and Blue?
Despite all the differences between the two turntable cartridges, they still share a lot of similarities.
In fact, since they’re made by the same manufacturer, they share a surprising number of specifications that are nearly identical.
For example, both of them have the same channel separation at 1 and 15 kHz, which are 25 and 15 dB respectively.
They also share the same frequency range and response in addition to Internal impedance, and maximum load resistance, so they send equally loud signals to your sound system.
Another similarity between the two is that they both come in different varieties, including:
- Standard: This one is the most common option out there, which is specifically used with a top mount headshell where you install the cartridge to the headshell using the screws that come in the package.
- Verso: This one is similar to the previous one, but is specifically designed for bottom mount headshells.
- PnP: This one is usually larger than the previous two and is used with integrated headshells.
In terms of weight, all the previous variations of the Bronze and the Blue have the same weight, which is around 0.25 ounces.
The only expectation here is the 2M PnP MKII versions of both colors. These weigh significantly heavier at around 0.7 ounces.
What Makes Ortofon 2M Bronze a Better Choice?
As you can see, it’s quite clear that Ortofon Bronze is a superior option if you’re all about sound quality regardless of the price.
If you opt for the 2M Bronze, you’ll enjoy a stronger bass with a relatively louder treble. You’ll also be able to hear newer elements in music that you wouldn’t be able to hear while using the Blue cartridge.
The slimmer stylus profile also makes the Bronze a better option if you’re all about better tracking and reduced distortion.
Additionally, the upgraded engine in this option features silver plate copper wires and split pole pins for better performance as well as durability.
Installing the 2M Bronze might be a pain because you don’t simply swap the stylus. Yet, Ortofon provides all the necessary tools to make the process as smooth as possible.
What Makes Ortofon 2M Blue a Better Choice?
The main reason why you might want to opt for the 2M Blue over the 2M Bronze is, of course, the price.
The difference in price between the two isn’t small, and while the Bronze takes the sound quality a step further on almost every aspect, it’s not too far off when you give the Blue version a go!
In fact, 2M still has a decent sound quality which makes it a great bang for the buck in comparison.
Not only that, but it’s also much simpler to install and an overall easier upgrade from the 2M Red than the Bronze, as you only need to swap out the styluses.
In addition to being a hassle free process that doesn’t need special tools, it’s also more cost efficient, as you only need to buy the Blue stylus and not the entire cartridge as the case with the Bronze.
Who Should Go for Ortofon 2M Bronze (And Why)?
As you can see, the Ortofon Bronze is ideal for anyone who cares about sound quality over any other aspect.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra to enjoy a more refined quality in terms of sound resolution and distortion reduction, you should definitely opt for the Bronze.
With that said, the sensitivity of the Bronze makes it less forgiving when it comes to worn vinyl records and modest sound systems.
For that reason, before you go for the Bronze, make sure that you have a good sound system and speakers along with quality vinyl records that are well maintained to make the most out of your investment.
Who Should Go for Ortofon 2M Blue (And Why)?
The Ortofon Blue is a much better option for audiophiles on a medium budget. For example, someone who really cares about the sound quality of the music they play but at the same time has a mid-tier sound system and vinyl records player.
Additionally, the Ortofon 2M Blue is a great choice for anyone who isn’t particularly satisfied with the sound quality of the 2M Red but doesn’t want to go through the hassle of replacing the entire cartridge.