Emotiva T1+ Tower Speaker Evaluation for Music. Greatest underneath $1k? |

Emotiva T1+ Tower Speaker Evaluation for Music. Greatest underneath $1k?

By Steve Huff

Just a few weeks again a set of reasonably priced tower audio system have been delivered to my house from Emotiva. This can be a model of audio merchandise that promote direct and subsequently remove the intermediary (supplier) to allow them to promote these audio merchandise to us, the patron, for much less.

Understand that Emotiva is just not a type of manufacturers within the audio house that cost tens of 1000’s for a speaker or amp, slightly this firm is run by a bunch of music lovers who design audio gear at a value level that just about any of us can afford. I’m speaking whole techniques for as little as $1k, and that features DAC, Phono Stage and Cables. I do discuss excessive finish gear on these pages typically however I additionally find it irresistible once I can discuss a product that prices a lot much less, but nonetheless delivers musical enjoyment.

This implies many extra can get pleasure from high quality music as the value may be very proper and that may be a superb factor. I’m all for that as  this interest might be loved by these with massive cash or these with little cash. That enjoyment is just not restricted by what number of {dollars} we now have in our financial institution accounts to spend on audio.

With Emotiva we are able to get very good high quality music copy at costs we usually don’t see inside this interest. These audio system additionally double up as super sounding house theater audio system as Emotiva makes certain they will do double responsibility with both music or films.

Sure certainly, these Emotiva  T1+ audio system are a set of black towers that are available in at an reasonably priced $899. These are usually not unique excessive finish audiophile audio system with fancy woodwork or fancy professional drivers nor do they weigh in at 100lbs every (they’re 41lbs every). They’re additionally not the manufacturers “greatest” tower which might come within the type of their T3+ which are available in for extra money. 

These is not going to wow you with holographic magic or layer upon layer of musical data like an audiophile speaker can however I at all times say “is that basically music when this occurs or is it extra a deal with for the senses that wows us initially”? The T1+ are extra about simply letting the music stream with a pleasant considerably balanced prime to backside sound and making you progress your physique to the beat.

Nope, these T1+ are usually not something “particular” within the manufacturers lineup however they do supply a fairly strong bang for the buck and I’m glad to say that these underneath $1k audio system actually opened my eyes and ears to what’s doable in a speaker at this value level.


The T1+ audio system are supposed to be a unbelievable worth form of speaker that ship extra sound than their price ticket would can help you imagine. Audio system that one can realistically purchase with out going into debt that occurs to make fairly dang good music besides. Music that’s constructed from the T1+ is just not meant to be analyzed and studied however slightly they’re made to really hearken to and simply to benefit from the music.

The small B2+ with the Emotiva Built-in Amp sounds slightly superb for what it prices ($1100)

The truth is I nonetheless have a set of Emotiva B2+ bookshelf audio system attached in a system with their underneath $600 built-in amp and it will get used for music each day by my 26 yr previous son who lives in our visitor home right now. He has been actually having fun with this primary small system. He comes by my place and sees what I spent on my system and simply chuckles a bit. He requested why I didn’t simply have the B2+ system in my room as I may have saved a fortune vs shopping for the gear I at present have sitting there! My reply was “properly, I’m not sane” and my system sounds even higher. He mentioned “does it sound $60k higher”? I mentioned..properly, no method however that’s not how this HiFi audio interest works : )

No, the little B2+ system is nowhere close to as refined and magical as my reference system, however after we hear a very good decrease price system…properly, we might begin to query why we spend a lot cash on this interest. Is all of that “magic” a necessity to get pleasure from a groove or a rhythm? Effectively, no. It’s simply the icing on prime, that magic, that occurs to price 1000’s of {dollars} further.

That little B2+ system is available in at underneath $1100 for an amp, a dac, a phono stage, audio system and cables and but it sounds extra like a $3k system with regards to high quality of sound. That’s fairly cool. 

To the T1+

As for the topic of todays evaluation, the three method 88db environment friendly 4 ohm  T1+ towers use the same excessive frequency driver (unsure whether it is precisely the identical because the smaller B2+). The bigger T1+ makes use of a 25×32 mm Airmotiv folded ribbon tweeter. As well as we now have a midrange driver and two bass drivers within the bigger tower audio system. This principally brings an even bigger sound, deeper bass and an total extra energetic sound vs the 2 method B2+.

The frequency response of the T1+ is 37 Hz – 28 kHz (+3/-3 dB) and so they do produce bass that does and might vibrate my listening seat (if that’s essential to you). 

With the T1+ coming in at 88DB effectivity with a 4 ohm load these are usually not a straightforward breezy drive like a Klipsch Heritage speaker however they don’t seem to be a tough drive. I’ve discovered these audio system are pushed effortlessly by the $600 TA1 Emotiva amp and even my 30WPC excessive finish Luxman 595 ASE built-in that places out 30WPC in Class A.

These don’t appear to be a problem to drive and so they sound good regardless of if I take advantage of the Emotiva amp or the excessive greenback Luxman.

Are the T1+ HIGH END or LOW END? 

Whereas I do certainly get pleasure from a number of the excessive finish unique designs within the speaker world I’m not a fan of the costs I see nowadays for some excessive finish audio manufacturers. The truth is I simply noticed a set of tower audio system on-line that might set one again $750,000 or 3/4 of 1,000,000 {dollars}. That’s nuts to me as I used to be tremendous pressured when shopping for my $20k Fleetwood Deville’s pondering I misplaced my thoughts! To me, spending $20k on audio system was not a straightforward selection as I do know that spending extra doesn’t at all times imply “higher”.

Some seek for the holy grail, for probably the most refined magical sound they will obtain and we are able to do that however it’s going to price massive cash. Generally it will possibly even backfire and you might get a speaker that sounds lean, missing actual soul and emotion. Eek! It’s difficult constructing a better finish system but it surely’s a lot simpler constructing one which isn’t so advanced, like what Emotiva gives with the T1+.


When the T1+ arrived I used to be by no means anticipating them to be something “wow” as they’re $899 black containers that look just like audio system I had again once I was in my 20’s. These do function a folded ribbon tweeter and this tweeter does ship a bit extra pizzaz than most $900 audio system do with their conventional comfortable dome tweeters. I usually see ribbon tweeters utilized in extra expensive designs so that is an instantaneous win for the T1+.

Ribbon tweeters normally deliver forth extra element and might at instances (although not all designs) sound overly brilliant. I’ve had a pair units on this room like that and it was simply an excessive amount of for these ears. I couldn’t stand it for lengthy however the ribbon tweeter within the T1+ is just like the one within the B2+ I not too long ago reviewed (and loved). Not all of those ribbon tweeters experience on the point of harshness, however some do. The one right here within the Emotiva is just not probably the most refined ribbon tweeter I’ve heard but it surely does ship good treble vitality with out being harsh and this makes the entire distinction right here because it permits for a pleasant musical stream slightly than the hardness we generally hear with ribbon tweeters.

Once I unboxed the T1+ audio system I initially set them up in my reference system which had a $12k Luxman built-in amp powering them (above) together with a $20k DCS Lina DAC and CLOCK (which has Shunyata Omega Clock cables hooking them collectively). Whoa! “That’s not regular” I mentioned to myself however I needed to hear them on this method first.

This gear far outclasses the T1+ audio system as nobody on earth will purchase these to energy with an amp or DAC like this. I wished to listen to them on this system although, to see how good they CAN sound. I’ve discovered over time that decrease price audio system can sound mighty effective when fed with very good high quality amplification and even cables (YES they make a distinction in revealing techniques). It exhibits me what these audio system can do when fed with high quality present and a refined digital entrance finish.

I bear in mind a time once I attached some el cheapo $79 audio system to a $10k amp with all Nordost Valhalla cables and I used to be blown away by how a lot better the audio system sounded when in comparison with an AVR I had readily available on the time that used primary copper cables. Regardless that nobody does (or ought to do) that, it may be enjoyable to see and listen to what these audio system do in this type of state of affairs.


When the T1+ have been positioned on this system the bass is what drew my consideration to them first. It was deeper than my $20k Deville’s and had extra impression but it surely wasn’t practically as tight or managed. It was a bit one word sounding however that is in comparison with $20k audio system so I anticipated this after all. The bass was full and current within the decrease registers and I wasn’t used to that!

The midrange of the T1+ was barely recessed and pushed again into the soundstage just a few ranges. This meant voices have been barely pushed again slightly than being positioned ahead and into the room. The treble was very prevalent out of the field and I used to be a bit nervous at first. These fears subsided after two weeks of working the audio system in because the treble did tame out properly. The end result was a treble that was extremely revealing (however not jagged or tough).

By the third week they have been sounding extra refined and easy and opened up fairly a bit from once they have been new. The bass was spectacular to say the least and there was loads of kick and punch coming from the audio system decrease finish. The sound had dynamics, drive and will belt out some rock and roll and even some Jazz vocals if the temper hit me.


One factor I like about Emotiva is that they design audio system to sound unbelievable with any form of music you throw at them. Rock, Jazz, EDM, Fusion, Vocals, New Age, no matter. They don’t excel with one form of music as they let me get pleasure from all the pieces from AC/DC to Phoebe Bridgers, from Enya to Louis Armstrong. That is good as with some audiophile audio system we have a tendency to seek out ourselves discovering music that sounds good with the audio system (as normally not all music does).

I would like audio system that may sound good with no matter I need to hearken to, and the Emotiva’s can do that. I as soon as owned a set of audio system that price $10k again within the late 90’s and these solely sounded good with classical or jazz. I couldn’t play rock or any music the place the bass wanted to be prevalent. I couldn’t imagine it on the time and my buddy thought my $300 audio system I nonetheless had sounded higher with rock! Ouch.

“By no means once more” I mentioned! I by no means did purchase audio system like that once more. With the Emotiva you possibly can play any style and get again pleasing musical outcomes.

The Spouse Listens

I introduced in my spouse Debby to take a pay attention and I didn’t inform her how a lot these T1+ price and even who made them. I simply requested her what she considered them in comparison with what she normally hears (which is the Deville’s). She mentioned they have been “smaller sounding” and “flatter” (vs the $20k Deville’s) but in addition mentioned they’d an even bigger bass sound. She then requested how a lot they have been and once I advised her she mentioned “they sound superb for $900, so why did we spend a lot on ours”? I mentioned “as a result of they’re fuller and larger sounding, and ship the magic”, lol. She rolled her eyes.

She understands my passions right here and he or she herself has been moving into the music, the system and the totally different gear that rotates out and in of right here on a month-to-month foundation. She loves the Deville’s however she additionally understands we may have settled for much less and had more money within the financial institution and I cannot argue with that.

I then introduced within the B2+ bookshelf audio system from Emotiva and so they had the same sound to the T1+ however have been smaller sounding and extra punchy within the mids vs the bigger tower. They weren’t as open sounding because the towers because the T1+ have been extra clear.

The T1+ sound does focus extra to the musical aspect of the spectrum however there may be some treble vitality up prime that may reveal unhealthy recordings fairly simply. Skinny sterile recordings will nonetheless sound skinny and sterile and unlistenable (as they do on my extra expensive audio system). If listening to very properly recorded music they fill out and flesh out extra and sound fairly pretty and with some tracks they even began to sound very full and heat sounding.

The T1+ can fill a room with music as they will additionally deal with massive energy, as much as 350 WPC out of your amplifier. The extra energy you feed them the higher on this case. The 200 WPC Class A/B Michi X3 built-in actually powered the T1+ to their greatest but because the X3 tamed the treble down a bit bit, fleshed out the mids greater than The Luxman did and offered a smoother sound with a gentler stream of the music.

The truth is shifting on to the MICHI actually wowed me as this $5600 built-in amp appeared to tick the entire proper containers when powering the T1+, making them sound rather more costly than they’re however once more, who will purchase $899 audio system for a $5k+ built-in amp? Not many, however to those that do, the MICHI sounds unbelievable with Emotiva.


After a few weeks of listening with the massive cash entrance finish I put in the Emotiva TA1 built-in amp (above) which is available in at $599 and has a inbuilt DAC and Phono preamp (for MM carts). I reviewed this piece some time again HERE.

So now I eliminated over $30k of digital processing and amplification and changed it with $599 price of substances to energy the audio system.

The great factor is that these T1+  audio system nonetheless sounded slightly unbelievable with the Emotiva amp and my guess is that Emotiva voices their audio system with their very own amps, which might make good sense. Once more, nobody will purchase these and pair them with excessive finish audiophile gear as they don’t seem to be constructed for that. Almost definitely those that purchase the T1+ will use them with their present receiver, AVR or higher but, with one of many two Emotiva built-in amps on supply (which is what I’d advocate).

With the system now coming in at a price of $1600 whole (with cables) the sound was nearly the identical with rather less refinement/smoothness vs the massive cash amp. They nonetheless have been rocking out however had a bit extra sparkle and edge with simply as a lot drive to them. Sure, the extra expensive gear did make them sound greater, smoother and extra open however the extra reasonably priced Emotiva amp actually was the proper mate to those audio system and would serve them properly in most rooms.

As a $1500 system these sound DAMN GOOD and extra detailed than related priced audio system I’ve heard from Polk Audio, which is a pure competitor to the Emotiva model.

Once more, these audio system are usually not for these trying to spend 5 figures for an audio system. They aren’t for individuals who need perfection and the last word in refinement. They aren’t for these searching for magical imaging and an enormous three dimensional soundstage they might stroll in to. It’s not for individuals who need to obsess over each element or sound.

The Emotiva T1+ are for individuals who simply need a killer stereo system that may sound nice as a celebration system, background music and even for an evening of winding down and de-stressing in a candy spot. These audio system ship a soundstage and efficiency that’s extra like a $1500 speaker however this is because of the truth that after we purchase from Emotiva there aren’t any center males that must get a bit of the payday. With Emotiva we purchase direct and this permits them to offer us extra for much less.

These T1+ play music and whereas they might not be “the most effective” you possibly can go up the Emotive line to get much more sound, an even bigger sound, extra impression and drive. The T1+ could also be all you want although in the event you simply need a easy and simple to function system that delivers simply the music and you’ve got a smaller to medium sized room.

If you need greater than what the T1+ brings you possibly can bounce to the T3+ at $1899 and have the most effective Emotiva can ship as of 2022.


If in case you have been utilizing only a bluetooth speaker to your music and also you need to step up right into a “system”, the Emotiva T1+ (or B2+) and TA1 amp might have you ever questioning the way it may get any higher. Whereas it will possibly get fairly a bit higher, to get there’ll price you very dearly. Right here is the kickeruntil you really hear higher you’ll by no means know what you might be lacking from these $10k and up techniques. For instance, I’ve a good friend who lives 2500 miles from me and he makes use of simply his cellphone speaker for his audio. If he had this Emotiva system he would assume the heavens parted and the audio gods blessed him with tremendous audio listening to. He would say “That is the most effective I’ve ever heard” as a result of he hasn’t heard higher : ) 

I at all times inform folks to keep away from auditioning costly gear if you’re not 100% critical about buying as you might simply actually find it irresistible. In case you do hear this fancier piece in your system and you really liked it then it might be arduous to return to what you had prior. That is what number of audio gross sales are made and what number of wallets are drained inside this interest. I bear in mind greater than as soon as being content material with my system solely to listen to the subsequent neatest thing and having to commerce up. If I by no means tried that new piece I’d have been pleased with what I had and subsequently I’d have had more money within the financial institution.

With gear from manufacturers like Emotiva you simply set it as much as get pleasure from it and never stress in regards to the subsequent neatest thing. You get pleasure from what you’ve got as it’s succesful and sounds unbelievable.

Give it some thought…

You’ll be able to create a $1600 system with an built-in amp that homes a DAC and phono stage, together with the audio system that sounds unbelievable for regular every day listening.

Emotiva is my fave “worth” model in audio as we get unbelievable sound, nice appears and a system that simply performs music and performs it very properly. This method had me rocking my head, swaying my physique backwards and forwards and it allowed me to listen to what $899 will get us in a speaker as we close to 2023.

Hifi is just not all about massive cash techniques as we are able to get into a pleasant begin up system that could be a bridge to extra or one that you simply settle with for all times for underneath $1600, and even decrease than that with a B2+ primarily based system. A system similar to this can blow away most (if not all) bluetooth audio system so many people use for music nowadays.

In case you are able to step as much as an actual “system” and don’t need to spend your life financial savings doing so, do take a look at Emotiva as they could be simply what you’ve got been on the lookout for.



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