The REL Acoustics T1 ($998), imported to the United States from England by Sumiko, is a strong performer in the small subwoofer category. Comparable in size to the Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Signature, which is 13 inches square, the REL (15.75 x 14 x 16.5 inches) sits neatly on top of a framework that give it room to breathe, as well as a break from the look of almost all any other subwoofer, which is nothing more than a black box sitting in the corner of your living room. This woofer has a uniquely refreshing look to it.
Much like the far more expensive Revel line of subwoofers, the REL T1 comes with a 300-watt internal class AB amplifier, as opposed to using a less weighty class-D digital amplifier, which allows for more impressive power specifications on the literature and company website. Those in the know can hear and easily appreciate the difference with the class AB amp. While priced at the entry level of the REL line, the T1 has a 10-inch driver and comes in black, white and cherry wood finishes.
Read about the high points and the low points of the T1 subwoofer on Page 2.
• This subwoofer has the soul of an audiophile
product and sound to match. Music lovers will be drawn to it and, at its
price, they may just buy one.
• The look of REL Acoustics T1 subwoofer breaks
from the norm and should be commended for it. Most subwoofers look
outright lame, while the REL T1 is more of a visual statement.
There is no room correction in this subwoofer, so set-up is going to be
much more difficult. One could argue that woofers costing nearly double
are a better investment because the average dealer and or consumer
likely can't get the type of room-specific performance without the tools
to set the woofers parameters.
• REL suggests the woofer is best installed using a line level input for 5.1 or 7.1 sources with a dedicated LFE
channel, but for music, the company recommends that you send the woofer
speaker level inputs, which requires more cables and a slightly more
This small, affordable
10-inch subwoofer will appeal to the audiophile more than the home
theater enthusiast. It has some of the features you will find in much
more expensive subwoofers, such as an internal class AB amp at a
sub-$1,000 price. In the right system, the REL T1 is a very good option
for bass reinforcement.