Vanatoo's Much Anticipated Transparent One Encore Plus

"It's the gateway drug to the High End," Vanatoo's Rick Kernan quipped of the larger of Vanatoo's two diminutive active loudspeakers. He was speaking of the successor to the Vanatoo Transparent One Encore that I reviewed in 2019, the Transparent One Encore Plus (T1E+) active loudspeaker ($650/pair, up from $599/pair four years ago).

The T1E+ offer a better tweeter, better Bluetooth support for Apple and Android, a DAC that continues to process files up to 24/96 but converts them to 24/48, and a removable power cable. The new power cable inlet, installed at my urging, unfortunately only accepts two-pronged C8 connectors, thereby eliminating the use of just about all audiophile-grade after market power cables. But when you have limited space on a small panel, you must go with what can fit. If you can find a power cable better than standard that fits, go with it, because it will enhance the sound of these amazing-for-the-price babies.

Vanatoo's Gary Gesellchen (above) also recommends adding a small, low-cost subwoofer to increase the T1E+'s low-end response. You can choose between 80Hz and 110Hz crossover points. FYI, the speaker's crossover between and tweeter is at 2kHz.

In an intentionally off-center/at an angle set-up, intended to avoid the worst reflections in the room, Eric Clapton and B.B. King's "Three O'clock Blues" sounded quite compelling but a little bright. Then again, a touch of brightness was par for the course in hotel rooms that only offered wireless internet streaming. Vanatoo's babies, along with offerings from AudioEngine, continue to offer astounding value for the price.