REL T5x > review by Tone Audio
Listening to the speed, detail, and delicacy of the bass line in Sly and The Family Stone’s “It’s a Family Affair” proved the impetus for where this review is heading.
Final comparison: between small, medium, and large
All three models share a similar overall character, but bigger main speakers and more room volume will demand a bigger woofer. In the 11 x 10 back bedroom system, with the KEF LS50s, paired with the Luxman 550 integrated that was recently reviewed, the T/5x was more than enough to achieve a perfect balance. 20 watts of high current, class A power made for an incredibly musical system.
In our 13 x 18 room, the T/7x was able to fill the room better, especially at higher levels. Depending on the system, speaker, and volume level, deciding whether the 7 or the 9 is the better model will depend on your wallet. If you have a relatively budget system, the 9s might be overkill, but the better your system and discerning your ear, stretching for the top ones is the way to roll. Especially if we are talking pairs. The T/9x turns in a very respectable performance with our Dynaudio Confidence 20 speakers mated to the Boulder 866 integrated, our new reference in that room.
What the new REL /x subwoofers bring to your system, in addition to more bass output, is a higher level of definition in the lower frequencies, as well as more presence in the entire frequency spectrum. Don’t believe me? Listen to them for an hour and have a friend shut them off while remaining at your listening position. Better yet, have your friend do it while you’re listening to music with barely any low-frequency content. It will grab you instantly. The best way to really experience what any REL subwoofer can do is to shut it off. The 30 seconds you hear your system with it disabled will convince you. That’s truly all it takes.
We are happy to award the REL/x series one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2021. These are fantastic subwoofers. You owe it to yourself to experience them if you are in the market.
– Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio