Here’s one of those products that does precisely what you’d hope, at just the price you’d hope to pay, but also offers some neat extras. Which is especially impressive from a company which offers as yet only two current headphone models from its base in Singapore, from where it proclaims its goals of “liberating high-quality audio from the constraints of cables and hardware”.
The interesting innovations include a small rotating and pressable knob (see below) on the right ear of these aptX-equipped Bluetooth headphones — at first we thought this odd, even vulnerable, but we soon became accustomed to and enamoured with the ease of spinning up the volume with this knob, far better than usual blindly hunting for buttons. You can press it to take calls (there are full call abilities here, including some level of noise-elimination) or for playback control with play/pause and next/last track.
Another innovation is to include both an internal chargeable battery and, in the left earshell, room for an AAA battery. Given the T1 can also operate with a cable in powered or passive mode, this double-power system means you’re highly unlikely ever to find yourself musicless from juicelessness.
And another — sharing. If you and a friend both have T1s, you can activate sharing mode and double press a button atop each to have the same tunes flow through both. We couldn’t test this, having only one pair, but what a significant advance on sharing a white earbud each!
We also found the Tach T1’s Bluetooth unusually friendly in connecting automatically with our iPhone as soon as the power slider is engaged — no re-pairing via iPhone menus required. Android users with aptX on their phone will be able to gain an additional quality bonus with that superior codec; there’s no mention of AAC so we presume Apple users get the basic SBC codec.
Friendly, then, and a friendly sound, too. They’re certainly not sparkling up top; the treble is fairly soft, but never to the point of muffling the overall balance, while they’re particularly strong on the lower punch and thump, so that they drive their sound very well through the underlying rumble of a daily commute. The big drums in The Jam’s
Going Underground were large indeed; the bass of Rag’n’Bone Man’s Human proved positively skull-resonating.
We found that the Bluetooth connection only just got loud enough with some material on a commute, but switching to the cable gave rather more level, as well as inline control; otherwise there seemed little sonic difference between Bluetooth and active wired, though both retained a small edge in the mids over passive wired. Passive wired will use more of your device’s juice; active wired shifts the work to the internal or AAA battery. Battery life (with both) is quoted up to an impressive 25 hours.
Just a little softness to the sound, then, but a great pair of compact Bluetoothers with some cunning ideas onboard.