Chris Chia’s Pendulumic brand is back with their second model and it seems they have taken the approach of streamlining and mobilising the success from their S1+ to have an even more portable and versatile model. It comes at an extra cost but the Tach T1 is complete with that Pendulumic pedigree that actually got me excited about a bluetooth headphone but now they are back for more, does the favourable impression continue? For you readers state-side the T1 will set you back $249… for us unlucky Brits the going rate will be $319, ouch! That being said I have found them for sale on UK dealers such as Audiologica for £195 which is about $255 so maybe we are ok.
S for Super(Aural)
While design is similar and these retain that almost retro, brown Pendulumic look with the Tach these are now a super aural (on ear design) while my previous Pendulumic experience was of a full size circumarual. On paper I am a little confused to the more expensive price here, traditionally circumaurals will take the higher place and more expensive price point in a companies portfolio but maybe shrinking the tech down cost more, or as Chris told me, they made this to sound better and be a higher end model. Regardless they both utilise 40mm dynamic drivers although that means nothing in regard to how they perform or even of their quality in comparison.
For portable use it does seem like this new design is a lot more suited, it doesn’t have as bulky a headband, is not as big in storage and can even fold up and swivel at the yoke. This is a clearly designed portable can. That is not to say some things don’t bug me. Take the cables hanging out of the headband and going into the cups, I don’t wanna see them hanging out, especially on a wireless headphone. Then there is the clamping force which is very light. Now obviously it makes these really comfortable but also has made me worry about how secure they are on my head. I can’t wear them in the gym for peace of mind, a shame seeing as it is one of the most common tasks for a BT can. Even when doing simpler tasks they have fallen off my head and it makes me quite on edge just sitting with them on. This is something that needs to be fixed.
I do however love the ergonomics of the button layout, from the volume knob on the back of the right ear cup that I always find satisfying to use and the on/off button easily accessible. The protein leather on both the cups and headband also feels good, both to the touch and when worn. Sadly the rest of the build is plastic that doesn’t impress me as much. It keeps them light at just 245 grams but at nearly £200 it takes away just a bit from the premium feel. You also get a nice carry case which isn’t made for them to fold into so it’s a bit bigger than it could be.
Can More be Added?
Being a completely wireless headphone orientated company I was blown away first time around by the fine details and features of their product. The problem that left them was where could they go, they nailed every feature I had ever considered from a BT model and more. There was only 2 real changes/additions going forward into this model. The first is a switch from Bluetooth 4.0 to 4.1, just keeping with the latest trends. It also introduces low latency playback that reduces lag from previous versions. Here is some more info on the new low latency codec.
- aptX® Low Latency effectively enables consumers to watch video while listening to wireless audio in a synchronised fashion.
- aptX Low Latency for Bluetooth® offers a total end-to-end latency of approximately 40 milliseconds (ms) – far less than the standard Bluetooth latency of more than 150 ms (+/-50ms), and meeting the 40 ms recommended latency for audio/video applications.
- As a result, the product is ideally suited to wireless audio delivery for video and gaming applications.
The second is a new sharing feature. Like the daisy chaining you could do with a mess of cables on the Beats by Dre Pro model, you can now share music from one T1 to the next, without a cable involved. While I do like it, I feel it is quite limited in use, how many of your friends are going to have a T1, I certainly have not been able to try the feature out. It seems much more like a cool concept than something that will be widely used, but I have been wrong before.
The last minuscule change is in the battery consumption. The smaller size has meant we lose 5 hours from the S1+, leaving us at a still whopping total of 25 hours play time. The most likely reason for this is that these only take one AAA back up battery instead of two. Back up battery you ask? Well while these have their own internal battery that is USB charged like your phone, in the unlikely scenario that you run that out, you can insert a AAA battery and use that as the power source, a great plan B in case you cannot access a charge point over longer travels or periods of time.
Now of the rest of the amazing feature set I think that giving you a little quote from my Stance 1 review will give you the best overview and save me writing out the same thing all over again.
“Now if you’re buying a bluetooth headphone then you must be planning on using it in that way, but worth noting is that this comes with 4 usability modes and this certainly something adds a lot of options on how to use this, although, not brand new as the UE9000 had these same modes. To understand the modes you have to realise how a BT headphone works. As BT is a digital signal, the headphone itself must be equipped with a DAC and headphone amplifier to decode the 0 and 1s it receives through the air and so that the driver knows to play music. This come into play because as well as wireless mode, which I am sure you can guess what that entails, you have two types of wired modes. The first is reference and that is for you folks who probably already have a snazzy portable rig and are down with the idea of using your portable amp with these headphones for maximum sound quality, perhaps you even want to use them wireless on the go and plug them into the big rig when home. It also does not involve using any battery. Then you have amplified mode. If you were to plug into a weaker phone or something not designed for maximum audio playback, then you can use the S1+’s internal amp section to beef up the sound. Of course this does involve getting the batteries involved. Lastly you have phone mode that utilises the volume knob/button to control a phone call through the headphone and its built in mic. The included cable also has a remote/mic. I found the wired amp mode and wireless mode to sound almost discernible.
Range seems fine, not that you will ever be too far away from your source in most uses, I did leave my phone on charge at my desk and go up to my room maybe 10m away and only got a couple of glitches at the furthest point of my travels. That was with a lot of barriers as well.”
Please give the full review a read here!
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