T+A’s New Solitaire T Headphones Offer Great Passive And Wireless Performance With ANC
T+A Elektroakustik might not be one of many best-known names in mainstream shopper electronics, however on the earth of high-end audio, particularly in Germany, the Herford-based firm is a byword for among the best-sounding audio gear in the marketplace.
In addition to producing amplifiers, streamers and loudspeakers, T+A does a brisk commerce in high-end wired headphones for audiophiles who demand one of the best sound with out compromise. The corporate has garnered loads of reward for its Solitaire P headphones, however now it’s chosen to step into the world of wi-fi headphones and ANC (lively noise canceling), in order that audiophiles can take pleasure in high-end audio high quality with out wires.
The Solitaire T headphones are positioned on the prime finish of the wi-fi market and they’re more likely to enchantment to customers who need one of the best sound obtainable from Bluetooth. The Solitaire T headphones use among the newest and most superior expertise to make sure their sound is pretty much as good as potential over Bluetooth whereas providing glorious wired efficiency with ANC filtering for the sort of noise you would possibly discover on plane, trains or vehicles.
In Bluetooth mode, the Solitaire T headphones supply three settings: On, Off and HQ. The built-in rechargeable battery can play for as much as 70 hours on a single cost in common mode or round 35 hours in HQ mode. The Solitaire T headphones differ from different wi-fi headphones as a result of they’ve been intentionally designed as a top-end pair of wired headphones utilizing a 2.5mm balanced cable.
Solely when T+A was glad that it had made one of the best passive headphones it may, did it add the Bluetooth and ANC capabilities to match the sound in passive mode. In different phrases, the Solitaire T are about pretty much as good a pair of headphones as you will get with Bluetooth and ANC.
To realize the efficiency that T+A needed, the corporate turned to Qualcomm for its QCC 5127 Bluetooth chipset. This enabled the Solitaire T to deal with standard Bluetooth audio codecs like Qualcomm’s aptX HQ and the AAC utilized in Apple’s iOS gadgets. As well as, T+A included a high-end ESS DAC for decoding the digital indicators in HQ mode. For the ANC operate, T+A turned to Sony for its hybrid noise-canceling CXD chipset. Sony is likely one of the finest within the enterprise concerning ANC expertise, together with Bose.
To offer the Solitaire T the very best sound, T+A created customized 42mm dynamic transducers with a extremely linear response. The transducers have lower than 0.05% distortion, which means the listener’s mind should do much less work to course of the music. Distinction that with many wi-fi headphones with a lot increased distortion ranges. In case you’ve ever listened to headphones which have made you drained when listening to music, you might be certain they may have excessive distortion ranges that pressure the mind of their makes an attempt to be flashy and spectacular.
So, that’s the tech background to those new headphones; now I wish to flip to the bodily traits of the Solitaire T. These are extremely comfy headphones to put on. They really feel comparatively mild and the anti-allergenic, artificial leather-based ear cushions really feel very tender. Additionally they type an efficient passive acoustic seal and really feel comfy on lengthy flights with out making the ears really feel sweaty or uncomfortable. The headscarf can also be amply upholstered to cut back stress on the wearer’s head.
The sunshine really feel of the Solitaire T is essentially right down to the yoke created from a strong billet of aluminum which is then pearl-blasted and anodized. The ear cups are connected to the yoke utilizing arduous steel couplings machined to very shut tolerances, enabling the ear cups to rotate by 90° and fold inwards for storage.
T+A has created a pair of headphones that sound as pure as potential. To do that, the corporate took nice care to eradicate all potential interference on the growth stage. Fastidiously positioned dampers on the transducers’ edge stop them from affecting the frequency response. A cellulose diaphragm is connected to the damping, making the transducers mild and stiff, providing agility and dynamic sound. The bass frequencies have been optimized with a brand new sort of bass matching, making certain a wonderful transient response. The result’s a finely tuned acoustic that requires no energy provide or sign processor to sound excellent when utilized in passive wired mode.
The Solitaire T can be switched into lively mode through Bluetooth or with a digital wired connection to a smartphone or laptop with a USB-C cable. The DAC contained in the Solitaire T is linked to the Bluetooth chip and converts the digital sign into an analog one. An Esstech ES9218 Sabre DAC converts digital streams into high-quality sound when utilized in HQ mode, preserving the nuance and character of the music, simply as it could in analog mode.
I can finest describe the Solitaire T as a high-end pair of audiophile headphones with ANC and Bluetooth options added with the precise transient of not affecting the sound high quality. The upshot is a pair of headphones that sound pretty much as good in wi-fi and wired modes. The colour of the sound isn’t impacted. The speed will range barely relying on which Bluetooth audio codec is used, however I used to be impressed listening to the headphones through Bluetooth utilizing each aptX HQ and AAC codecs.
The design and performance of the Solitaire T headphones are extra BMW than Daimler, however the controls are all logically laid out. On the left-hand ear cup, there’s an influence swap with a four-segment inexperienced LED exhibiting the state of the headphone battery. On the right-hand ear cup, a sliding swap switches between Off (passive mode). On (wired digital mode) and Bluetooth mode. There’s additionally a button for biking by the ANC modes (Off, On, Clear) and a button for triggering a voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant.
The remainder of the capabilities, reminiscent of play, pause, quantity and skipping tracks, might be triggered by swiping on the floor of the suitable earcup with a finger. There’s additionally a small oval space that may shortly swap into Transparency mode with the ANC characteristic is on, enabling the wearer to listen to conversations or pay attention out for journey bulletins when wanted.
As anticipated, the Sony ANC operate constructed into the T+A Solitaire T is excellent. It really works exceptionally effectively and successfully cuts out most noise from plane engines or street sounds. The plump ear cushions additionally lower out loads of undesirable noise passively. This generally is a bit off-putting when making a telephone name, because the passive noise discount is so good that I couldn’t simply hear myself talking through the name. My voice was being picked up completely by the Solitaire T’s 4 noise-canceling microphones and I may take heed to the caller’s voice clearly, however as there was no sidetone operate feeding a few of my voice again into the headphones, my voice sounded muffled and distant to me. I’d like to see T+A add a sidetone operate in a future firmware replace.
And talking of updates, as a result of the Solitaire T headphones use the Qualcomm QCC 5127 chipset, they might be up to date to help Qualcomm’s superior SnapDragon Sound platform. I haven’t been in a position to affirm that from T+A, however I wouldn’t be shocked if it occurred in some unspecified time in the future after the T+A companion smartphone app is launched.
The sound of the Solitaire T is superbly impartial and splendidly detailed. The EQ hasn’t been engineered to offer a man-made or overexcited sound. These are headphones finest reserved for jazz, classical and people music fairly than hip-hop or drill. They’re low-distortion headphones that allow the music to shine by. I cherished them for his or her honesty and transparency. I auditioned them by listening to the superb Spiers & Boden’s Fallow Floor album. That is superbly recorded music that the Solitaire T headphones lapped up.
Switching between analog and wi-fi didn’t alter the sound in any discernable method for me, aside from a slight mismatch in quantity ranges. The bass was pitched splendidly between being felt and being heard. In the meantime, the midrange sounded beautifully clear and impartial whereas not coloring the music in any method. Lastly, the treble was articulated with none discernable distortion. It’s typically a splashy treble from a pair of headphones that tires my ears; however not with the Solitaire T. These headphones play for the lengthy haul when it comes to battery and their low distortion ranges, making it potential to put on and take heed to them for hours at a time with out fatigue.
Verdict: T+A’s Solitaire T headphones are one thing of a triumph. Their no-nonsense styling is extra BMW than Daimler, however the consolation ranges are glorious. The sound high quality is impeccable, whether or not analog, digital or wi-fi modes. The ANC operate works faultlessly, because of that Sony CXD expertise, whereas the Bluetooth is ably dealt with with Qualcomm’s high-end chipset. Including a separate Esstech ES9218 Sabre DAC leads to glorious high-resolution sound when utilized in HQ mode. For anybody who can’t resolve whether or not to purchase an important pair of wired headphones or a wi-fi model, the Solitaire T means they now not have to decide on. This pair of headphones presents one of the best of each worlds. They operate as an outstanding pair of passive headphones whereas providing glorious wired or wi-fi digital efficiency, with the choice of switching on ANC to eradicate undesirable sounds. Extremely Beneficial.
Pricing & Availability: T+A Solitaire T headphones can be found globally at $1,600 / £1,200 / €1,300.
Extra information: www.ta-hifi.de and www.theaudiobusiness.co.uk for UK prospects.
- Type: Circumaural and closed again.
- Drivers: Chosen, low-tolerance dynamic drivers.
- Diameter: 42mm.
- Frequency response: 4Hz – 22KHz.
- THD: <0.05 % (1 kHz / 94 dB).
- Microphones: 2 speech microphones and a pair of ANC microphones on both sides.
- Noise Cancelling: Sony CXD hybrid.
- Bluetooth chipset: Qualcomm QCC 5127.
- Bluetooth model: 5.1, class 2.
- Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP.
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD.
- Battery sort: Lithium Ion.
- Battery capability: 1,200mAh.
- Charging energy: 5V 1A (5W) max.
- Charging port: USB-C.
- Charging time: 2 hours.
- Taking part in time: 70 hours (35 hours in HQ mode).