Product Summary:The T+A Solitaire T Headphones are perhaps the world's most versatile high-performance headphones. Featuring wired and Bluetooth connectivity and an internal DAC and amplification that can also be bypassed for external components.... Click To Read More
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Solitaire T Headphones By T+A HiFi
The T+A Solitaire T Headphones are perhaps the world’s most versatile high-performance headphones. Featuring wired and Bluetooth connectivity and an internal DAC and amplification that can also be bypassed for external components.
The Solitaire T was developed with a single goal in mind… blur the distinctions between working and travel headphones for audiophiles by making T+A sonic performance available everywhere you go.
Their transducer system is a completely new development, capable of reproducing the most subtle nuances in audiophile quality with active and passive modes alike. The components are machined from solid aluminum, and are much more than a design statement: they are so robust and durable that they ensure the headphones will remain their owner’s companion for years. The Solitaire T’s inputs are designed primarily for versatility. The Solitaire T places no restrictions on its user, featuring signal transfer via totally symmetrical passive or active analog inputs as well as output via USB C or the very highest-quality wireless Bluetooth. This design maximizes the potential of every imaginable music source.
Noise cancelation portability
To ensure that the Solitaire T is truly versatile in use, T+A has taken great pains in the suppression of background noise, which is available in both active and passive modes. A cellulose diaphragm is integrated into high-tech damping material. The headphones’ passive sound insulation alone effectively blocks out a great deal of unwanted mid-range and treble noise, while an extremely accurately calibrated active suppression system also effectively eliminates bass noise which cannot be damped by passive means. T+A insisted on the same uncompromising standards for wireless connection as for wired input: Bluetooth to Standard 5.1 class 2 with Codecs such as aptX HD and AAC deliver the convenience of fully wireless systems with a sound quality approaching the level of a wired connection to high-quality components.
Design & Materials
Like all T+A equipment, the Solitaire T adheres to the tradition of the T+A design philosophy, which has evolved and matured over a period of forty years… its strength is its consistent simplicity. All the aluminum components are machined from solid material and are pearl-blasted before being anodized. The ear caps are attached by means of precision-made, close-tolerance hard metal couplings, which allow both of them to rotate through 90° and fold inwards. In their case or worn round the neck, the Solitaire T ‘phones become an incredibly compact travel companion. Ear and head pads are made of the very finest anti-allergenic synthetic leather, ensuring that the Solitaire T remains comfortable at all times – especially during very long trips.
Headphones are among the most personal products, and for this reason, T+A made these headphones immediately simple and intuitive to use, emphasized by multi-sensory feedback. No matter whether you use a button or switch or the inter-active touchpad: all the important inputs are confirmed by feedback messages, spoken by T+A’s distinctive voice. With the Solitaire T, you see, feel, and hear what you are doing.
The Solitaire T is the most versatile product T+A has ever developed, it’s a closed audiophile headphone as well as a lightweight, portable unit. And that’s why it boasts two wired inputs, either digital and analog – for the purist – or combines the best of both worlds: the Solitaire T can be operated fully digitally via its USB C socket without any form of data compression. In purely passive mode the Solitaire T transfers signals fully symmetrically to the transducer via Pentaconn, 3.5mm or 6.3mm connectors directly. T+A’s concept, Active Analog, allows for access to volume control and active background noise suppression in analog mode.
Transducer & Sound
T+A’s guiding conviction is that music should be reproduced in as pure a form as possible. The diaphragm is extremely light and stiff, giving the advantage of agility and dynamics, without breaking up prematurely. The optimized low bass system in the Solitaire T produces a completely new kind of bass matching, ensuring perfect transient response, and preventing disruptions in the frequency response. The headphones require no power supply or signal processor in order to sound superb. In active as well as passive mode, every signal, every breath, and every nuance is not just audible, but perceptible.
In active mode, the sound quality of the transducer is fundamentally determined by the electronics integrated into the design. T+A employs one of the world’s highest-quality Bluetooth chips (the Qualcomm QCC 5127), which forms a digital bridge to the outside world. Its wide range of audiophile codecs combined with low energy consumption ensures the listener can rely on the availability of high-quality music.
The DAC section is connected to the Bluetooth chip, and is outfitted with the Esstech ES9218 Sabre DAC which converts even decodes high-resolution formats, for the highest audiophile quality. Thanks to its high performance not one bit of the signal is lost: each nuance and every inch of the sound stage is reproduced in all its emotional power.
“The T+A Solitaire has the best balance of any wireless ANC Bluetooth headphone at the time of writing this article. This is perhaps the first time I could truly forget that I was listening with a Bluetooth headphone. Why am I not giving this a Major HiFi Gold? The price and the sound stage. Why not a silver? The price. While this may be the most impressive wireless headphone I’ve reviewed, I have to admit that its hard to be okay with it going for twice as much as the Focal Bathys (which happens to beat out the Solitaire T in terms of sound stage). A price drop of a few hundred dollars would make the T+A Solitaire the best wireless headphone of the year. Honestly, I still think it is, and hope the future holds more wireless balances like the Solitaire T’s at more affordable prices.”
“There’s no question that the Solitaire T is a talented headphone. The fantastic separation and transparency makes for a great soundstage and a very realistic listening experience overall. Furthermore, the light and buoyant character of the sound profile is a welcome change from other headphones in this echelon. And using the balanced connection, the Solitaire T seems worth the price tag. My only criticism lies with the volume when using the wireless feature. I fear it may not be loud enough for some listeners. But if you plan to also make use of the wire, this problem is solved.”
HiFi and Music Source
“As passive headphones, with the added balanced signal path, these are headphones deserving of a proper headphone amplifier solution if you have it anyway. The portable flexibility offered by these headphones is just another value point in my view. The USB-C digital solution in the right company is the icing on the cake in respect of clean digital signal paths and all around, these headphones are well worth a listen if this is near your budget and they are worth the stretch.”
“This pair of headphones offers the best of both worlds. They function as a superb pair of passive headphones while offering excellent wired or wireless digital performance, with the option of switching on ANC to eliminate unwanted sounds. Highly Recommended.”
- Ear coupling: around-ear, closed
- Driver: selected, low tolerance dynamic drivers
- Frequency response: 4 – 22,000 Hz
- THD: <0.05 % (1 kHz / 94 dB)
- Microphones: 2 communication microphones on the right,2 ANC microphones on each side
- Noise Cancelling: hybrid
- Chipset: Qualcomm QCC 5127
- Bluetooth Version: 5.1, class 2
- Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD
- Battery Technology: Lithium Ion
- Battery Capacity: 1200 mAh
- Charging Power: 5 V 1 A (5 W) max
- Charging Socket: USB-C
- Charging Time: 2 h
- Battery Lifetime: 70 h, 35 in HQ mode