Neuhaus Laboratories' T-1 is a beautiful and bizarre little tube amp with a modern set of features, including TOSLINK, USB and Bluetooth audio. It is unweildy, requires some assembly (linen gloves included), and demands space all to itself wherever you place it. Once done, however, the tubes' orange glow lurks warmly behind a stark enclosure, giving its appearance that distinctive love-it or hate-it quality.
I've never had a tube amp before, so you can stop reading now if you're looking for an expert opinion on the audio. But as a lover of pretty technology unwilling to put up with poor quality for the sake of looks, I found it warm, clear and satisfying even hooked up to cheapo M-Audio speakers; with a decent pair of Silverlines, it was fantastic.
Bluetooth, tested with an iPhone 4, connected without a hitch and sounded OK. When connected to a computer via USB, it bypasses the machine's chipset in favor of its own DAC; this can make for an audible difference, especially on cheap laptops with poorly-shielded headphone ports, such as an older Asus EeePC I tried. I didn't try the optical link.
If you want to fool around with bass, treble or equalization, you'll have to do it before it gets to the T-1, because it doesn't have any of that. There's just a volume control and an input selector.
One place where this unique-looking device really excelled was alongside a desktop computer. Given its small dimensions, it replaced my computer speakers with something far superior, without filling the desktop or snarling up the floor beneath it with extra cables and power bricks.
The T1 has a 15-day return guarantee. If you like the look of it but want something beefier, Leander Kahney at Cult of Mac reviewed the T2 a while back and liked it too.
T-1 Amplifier [Neuhaus Laboratories]
Removing the bars to take off the protective sheeting required a firm hand.
Small and perfectly formed, but its mirror finish picks up dust fast.
Caveat: the LED lights are very bright and the wireless one blinks constantly when Bluetooth is in use.
Old-fashioned metal knobs. The T-1 is well-made and feels like it'll last the distance.
Vacuum tubes: a dog whistle for audiophiles, but also pretty on the shelf.
The T-1 offers plenty of connectivity options, including TOSLINK, USB and two RCA pairs
Anyone got a duster?
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
Mouse is a middling Japanese laptop brand (Engadget stayed on top of it for a while) with an excellent ad agency.
From the Herbert H. Warrick, Jr. Museum of Communications, who note: “I’ve seen this style of dial illustrated in early human-factors study reports. I didn’t know they actually made them!
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]
When Apple revealed the new MacBook in 2016, one of the biggest issues raised with the notebook’s new design (aside from ire over the slew of new adapters you’d inevitably have to buy) was the removal of one of its most beloved proprietary features, the magnetic charging cable. Thankfully, third-party peripheral makers have taken up […]