Check out our review of the Orb Audio Mini-T V2 amplifier.
Chip-maker Tripath may have filed for bankruptcy in 2007, but the explosive growth of Class D amplifiers in speaker docks and portable Bluetooth speakers proves it was on the right track with the technology behind its “Class T” integrated circuit - just not operating on the right schedule. Music lovers on a budget looking for great sound quality have a wide selection of Class T and Class D products in 2013, including the revised Mini-T amplifier from Orb Audio, which was relaunched this week for only $69. The Mini-T has appeared and disappeared more than once, so this may be the time to finally pull the trigger.
Class D+ amplification has taken a quantum leap with products such as the Devialet D-Premier and Intuition 01 from Wadia Digital, but those products aimed at high-end audio consumers also come with a case of severe sticker shock.
Orb Audio, however, has focused on the entry-level customer, offering amplification and loudspeaker systems for under $300. With the new Mini-T amplifier, they are clearly aiming for the smart phone and desktop-audio crowd who want better sound quality, but lack the space for larger components and don’t want to break the bank doing it.
The Mini-T is still based on the original Class T amplifier technology, but now offers lower harmonic distortion and utilizes “gold pin” Tripath amplifier chips. The signal path has also been redesigned and a subwoofer output is now included. The footprint of the new Mini-T has also been reduced, making it ideal for a desk or nightstand. Plug your iPhone into the mini headphone jack and/or run a set of interconnects from your Blu-ray player or DAC, and you are ready to go.
At only fifteen watts per channel, the Mini-T is not going to drive large inefficient monitors or floorstanding loudspeakers to ear-bleeding levels, but combined with a pair of Orb’s speakers or a modest pair of bookshelf speakers, one could assemble a rather impressive little system for under $300.
The $69.00 Mini-T is available now.