Audio

No noise isolation but audio sounds natural

The Tach T1 offers both wireless and wired play, and there is an internal battery as well as a slot for an AAA battery.
The Tach T1 offers both wireless and wired play, and there is an internal battery as well as a slot for an AAA battery.PHOTO: PENDULUMIC

Two years ago, a then-unknown Singapore company, Pendulumic, contacted me to review its first headphone, the Stance 1.

The circumaural, or over-ear, device was designed to cover a wide range of users. It worked as a wireless Bluetooth headset powered by an internal rechargeable battery. The Stance 1 also took regular batteries.

There was a cable for wired listening, and the cans sounded amazing for a debut effort. The company focused on online sales via Amazon, which did well enough for a follow-up in the form of the smaller, supra-aural, or on-ear, Tach T1.

Like its predecessor, the T1 offers both wireless and wired play, and there is an internal battery as well as a slot for an AAA battery, for when you forget to charge the headset. The combination of both batteries can power the device for up to 25 hours.

The use of a lightweight AAA battery means there was no issue of unbalanced weight distribution when wearing the headphones. With or without the AAA battery installed, I could not tell if one side was heavier than the other.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $379

    DRIVER DIAMETER: 40 mm

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz -20kHz with aptX enhancement

    WEIGHT: 245g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The controls are on the left cup, and there is a dial knob to control audio levels, as well as a sliding switch to turn the headset and Bluetooth mode on. When a call comes in, the T1 will pause audio playback and relay the call. A noise elimination microphone handled all calls I made superbly.

A new feature is the sharing function. Instead of a wire between two T1 headsets in sharing mode, with only one connected to an audio source, there is a sharing button that links two T1 headsets together.

First, pair one headset to an audio source, and flip the sharing switch. Flip the same switch on the second headset and, within seconds, both headsets will be linked.

The catch here is that the source is transmitting audio to the first T1, and the first headset is relaying audio to the second headset. This means there is a slight audio delay on the second headset, which you can hear if you listen to both headsets, by placing one on each ear.

This is why the company is unable to daisy chain a string of T1s together for this sharing mode.

The delay is very slight though, and not obvious when you are watching music videos. With movies and TV shows, the delay is also barely noticeable, so you will not be seeing an actor opening his mouth a split second before you hear him.

To be able to fit all the electronics into a smaller package, the sound profile of the T1 differs from the Stance 1. There is no noise isolation and the bass is not as strong, but it maintains the natural sounding audio that the brand looks to be aiming for.

• Verdict: The Tach T1 is one of many headsets in the market, but it offers some features that other brands do not have.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'No noise isolation but audio sounds natural'. Print Edition | Subscribe