A tiny amp with a pleasing sound
- Warm sound, tiny footprint, great looks
- Distortion at higher volumes, warm sound may deter purists, annoying banana plug connectors
If you want a tiny amplifier, have some efficient speakers and don't mind a different interpretation of your music, give the T20 a try.
Price$ 330.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)
Kingrex's basic Class T amp is enigmatic. It's tiny, but it has enough power to easily drive efficient speakers to uncomfortable volume levels. It's a solid-state amplifier, but it has the warm sound of a vintage valve amplifier. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach to audio amplification: it's a great little niche product.
Class T amplifiers are a relatively new addition to the high-end stereo amplifier market; they were previously reserved for low-power audio needs in car stereos and televisions. Their advantage lies in their incredibly high power conversion efficiency — far in advance of traditionally power-hungry Class A amplifiers. This has many benefits, including reductions in size, weight and cost due to more compact circuitry and smaller heatsinks.
Enter the T20. It's a mere 18 centimetres long, 13 centimetres deep and less than four centimetres tall. A far cry from the gargantuan Harman Kardon AVR 645 and other units that are most commonly seen in the racks of home entertainment enthusiasts, the T20 has a purer purpose. It doesn't attempt to do anything other than turn a simple stereo audio signal into musical ecstasy.
At its core, the T20 is a pretty simple device. Two analog RCA inputs feed in sound from a source, it's amplified, and finally it's fed out to speakers through the two sets of outputs. These outputs use banana plugs, which might cause consternation for those who prefer bare wire.
It's able to output 23 Watts per channel at 4 Ohms, or 13 Watts at the more common impedance of 8 Ohms. This isn't a large amount of power, making the amp unsuitable for high-power or inefficient speakers. In addition, these values are calculated at a harmonic distortion level of 10%. This is a notably high number, but it's important to remember this isn't an amplifier that aims for transparency or audio fidelity. Realistically, the T20 is rated at 12 Watts per channel at 4 Ohms and 7 Watts per channel at 8 Ohms, with a harmonic distortion level of 0.1%.
Numbers aside, it all comes down to how the amplifier performs in the real world. And in smallish spaces, it performs admirably. Powering a set of JohnBlue JB3 full-range speakers, which are fairly efficient, the T20 was able to fill a small room with sound acceptably.
The T20 has a very warm, smooth sound, similar in some ways to a valve amplifier (which these days very much reside in the audiophile realm). It's not the most balanced amplifier to choose if you're trying to analyse nuances within music. What it does do well, is lend audio a pervasive full-bodied character. Switching to another amplifier, music sounds crisper and sharper but doesn't have the warm quality that is the hallmark of the T20.
Consider the T20 if you've got some efficient speakers and don't need party-blasting volume. It's unobtrusive yet stylish enough to be a centrepiece in your lounge room, and its warm, rich sound will please anyone who isn't worried about perfect sound quality.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia Lumia 830 review: Punching above its weight
- 2 BlackBerry Passport review: A smartphone going nowhere
- 3 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A flagship at 4.6-inches
- 4 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 5 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Wi-Fi Passpoint standard now knits together SF, San Jose, London
- Big Data Digest: Rise of the think-bots
- FCC pushes TV spectrum auction to 2016 after legal challenge
- Apple mum as Mac owners tussle with Yosemite over Wi-Fi problems
- Apple Pay tops Tim Cook's to-do list in China
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital PR SpecialistNSW
- FTBusiness development manager - retargettingNSW
- CCConsumer Product Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW
- FTBusiness ManagerNSW
- FTDigital Account ExecutiveNSW
- FTPartner Marketing Communications Manager - Leading Global Tech BrandNSW
- FTMarketing Communications Operations Manager - Global Tech Market leaderNSW