The SMSL T2 2X6J9 Tube Amplifier Review

The SMSL Tube Amplifier Review

No doubt you have heard of the richness and depth of tone that can be found in your music when using valve amplifiers. Audiophiles and music aficionados can be found raving about the quality of the sound produced by tubes online.

Have you wondered what the fuss is about? Is it really that much better as “they” say? There is a good reason why audiophiles, and music lovers, all over the world, enjoy they quality of the sound produced by tubes.

The SMSL T2 2X6J9 Tube Amplifier Connections

The SMSL Tube Amplifier is a great way to find out why proponents of “tube sound” rave about the quality of the sounds; the warmth of the tones and the depth of feeling, that can be achieved with your music.

About The Product

SMSL was started in 2009 and specializes in the manufacture of audio electronics, especially the area of amplifiers and DACs. Currently SMSL exports to more than 30 countries around the world, largely as a result of their dedication to quality, technology and being customer centric.

SMSL produces its audio technology thanks to the efforts of its dedicated research and development team. The SMSL Tube Amplifier is made from scratch resistant aluminum and has two J-Grade tubes.

The SMSL Tube Amplifier has a blue LED indicator light that will flash when first turned on. This LED light will turn solid blue once the SMSL Tube Amplifier has warmed up and is ready.

The input and the output for the SMSL Tube Amplifier are via 3.5mm jack sockets. A single chip microprocessor is used to control the feedback noise when first turned on or off.

The SMSL Tube Amplifier has a maximum size dimension of 3. 5 inches and weighs a lightweight 1.26 pounds.

A quick summary of the key features that make the SMSL Tube Amplifier stand out from the competition:

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    Made from scratch resistant aluminum
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    High drive current
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    Two J-Grade tubes
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    Blue LED indicator showing when the tubes have warmed up
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    Input is via 3.5mm stereo jack
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    Output is via 3.5mm stereo jack
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    Single chip microprocessor and relay to control the on/off feedback noise
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    Small size (2.9 x 3.5 x 1.0 inches)
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    Lightweight 1.26 pounds

What We Like

It is great to know that this headphone amplifier is capable of producing the warm, rich tones that we would expect from a tube amplifier. While there are some tube amplifiers out there, where the sole purpose of the tubes is for decoration, this is not one of those amplifiers.

One of the things that we would expect (understandably) from a true quality tube amplifier is that the tubes are used to genuinely produce the warm, rich tones we would expect. The SMSL Tube Amplifier does not disappoint.

The SMSL T2 2X6J9 Tube Amplifier Sound

When it comes to size and weight, there is a lot to be said for this small, lightweight tube amplifier. At just over one pound in weight, and with a maximum size dimension of three and a half inches, this truly is a portable and convenient amp.

A microprocessor is used to reduce the “crack” sound, that can be heard when turning the amplifier on or off. We like this feature, as anyone who is familiar with this sound will know how jarring it can sometimes be.

This is a good amplifier for beginners, as it is preassembled and requires no set-up. It is understandable why this is Amazon’s Choice in the “Headphone Tube Amp” category. This is definitely great value for money. When it comes to experiencing the “tube” sound that you may have heard people rave about, this is definitely a great way to experience it.

We like the fact that the SMSL Tube Amplifier uses blue LEDs to indicate when the amplifier has warmed up and is ready to begin using. This is indicated when the flashing LEDs become a solid blue color. While experienced amplifier aficionados may think this feature excessive, it certainly is a great feature in our opinion for the beginner.

What We Don't Like

While there is no denying that the SMSL Tube Amplifier is a great headphone amplifier there are a couple of things that users have found frustrating.

Firstly, this only uses a 3.5mm jack for both input and output. This will be fine if that is all you ever use, but it definitely puts some restrictions on its use from the very start. While this may be a deal breaker for some users, it is important to remember that most of the standard headphone-based electronics only use a 3.5mm jack.

Since the 3.5mm headphone jack is so common, you are unlikely to need other input or output jack types. You certainly would have no need for a 6.35mm jack, as this amplifier is unlikely to have the power for anything that would use one.

Secondly, the SMSL Tube Amplifier is an entry level headphone tube amplifier. As such it does not have a lot of power, so you will not be competing with any stadium concerts for output.

Hopefully at such a great price, you will not be expecting an amp capable of that much output, in which case you will not be disappointed. As long as you are wanting and expecting the tube sound, at an extraordinarily low price, you will not be disappointed.

Buying Advice

The SMSL Tube Amplifier has to be a great entry level, headphone tube amplifier. As one would expect it can be bought from reputable, online stores, such as Amazon, which is known for its very good returns policy. This could be especially useful if the amplifier gets mishandled in transit.

The SMSL T2 2X6J9 Tube Amplifier


Final Thoughts

The SMSL Tube Amplifier is a truly remarkable headphone amplifier. It is easy to see why it has received the Amazon’s Choice award in the “headphone tube amp” category.

If you want to experience the rich sounds of “tube sound” at a remarkable price, then you really need to buy the SMSL Tube Amplifier today.

Our Rating

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