Subwoofers may not be the hottest topic in the world of hi-fi and home cinema – but by no means do they have to be plain, uninspired boxes…
Reinforcing that point with aplomb is British manufacturer REL, and their latest range of T series subwoofers. With five T series models, there is enough variation on offer to suit rooms of all sizes. Before we get into the specifics, it’s well worth pointing out what all of these models have in common: stunning design!
Available in either gloss black or gloss white, from top to bottom the T series are impeccably finished. The cabinets are reassuringly solid, and the attention to detail shown on the back panel is superb, with gold-plated RCA connections and chunky, metal controls. Even the heat sink looks impressive! The amplifiers used across the series are tried and tested – REL claim to have used them in almost 100,000 of their subwoofers!
The T-Zero is the first (and smallest) in the series, followed by the T5 and the T7. There’s also upgraded versions in the T5I and T7I, and we’ll look at the differences between the standard and ‘I’ version later.
Starting with the T-Zero, one of the smallest but most effective subwoofers that we’ve ever seen or heard. Designed so that two could potentially be used in a stereo configuration, the T-Zero is still more than happy to party by itself. It’s 6.5″ drive unit packs a huge punch, and like the T5 and T7, the Zero has a sealed cabinet design. This design gives a heavy hitting sound without the sometimes flabby bass extension that can be found in ported designs. With the hi-fi enthusiast in mind as much as the home cinema fan, REL have provided two sets of outputs for separate amplifiers. Even better, separate controls are also provided for each input, meaning no faffing around changing settings when switching from one mode to another. This excellent feature is available on all T series models.
The T5 steps the cabinet size up a notch, along with the size of the driver. Coming in at 8″ and driven by a 150w amplifier, the T5 offers a sizeable jump over the Zero’s 100w. As the speaker is downward firing, placement is an easy task, and with the sealed cabinet, bass is consistent and punchy in any position.
Last of the non-‘I’ subs, the T7 is the biggest sub here, and also sees a number of changes over its smaller brothers. As the only front-firing design here, the T7 has an extra trick up its sleeve – a passive radiator. This 8″ speaker works in tandem with the 10″ active driver on the front, giving a wider frequency response and helping fill larger rooms with ease. With a 200w amplifier running the show, this is the one to go for if you’ve got a big space to fill.
Or, it would be if the T series I range didn’t exist. As noted earlier, the ‘I’ iterations of these models have had a bit of extra TLC from the engineers at REL, or to be more specific, their drive units and cabinets have. Running the same amplifiers as the standard T5 and T7, the 5I and 7I have an improved, lighter woofer unit improving the overall timing and response of the sub. The 5I has a larger cabinet with the thicker walls, offering better acoustic damping. Likewise, the 7I goes bigger in cabinet size, giving greater internal volume and helping to give even more sound for your pound.
Whichever you decide to go for, you can rest assured that with a REL T-series sub, you’ll have one of the absolute best in the business.
Pop in-store to listen to any of these fantastic subwoofers for yourself (please not it’s only available in some branches, so call to check stock and arrange a demonstration before making a journey) or for more information on any of our products call our friendly Telesales team on 0333 900 0093.
Author – Chris, Liverpool store