I’ve got some nice pairs of headphones at my desk, but if I’m being honest with myself, I use them a fraction of the time that I use my cheap earbuds with my phone. When I’m on a plane, commuting on the subway, or out walking my dog, I’ve always got at least one bud in. For the pair of headphones I use the most, they are also the headphones that sound the worst and that I spend the most time untangling. I’m in desperate need of a pair of portable headphones that sound as good as the ones at my desk and don’t magically tie themselves into knots in my bag. Pendulumic’s Tach T1 wireless headphones may just be the answer to my prayers.
Have Case Will Travel
The construction on the T1 is top-notch. It’s a combination of plastic and metal, and the unit feels sturdy enough that’d I’d feel comfortable throwing it in my bag without worrying about breaking it. It’s light, too, at just 9 oz. I love the detachable cable that allows me to choose between wired and wireless listening, but it’s a little too short to use sitting at my desk. This is easily remedied by using a third party cable, though. The T1 also comes with a high-quality carrying case that looks very stylish. Every part of the T1’s design is to make it as ultra-portable as possible, and Pendulumic gets major points from me for achieving that goal.
The other big selling point of the T1 is that it’s wireless. The T1 uses Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless listening, and boasts 25 hours of wireless listening off a full charge. I love the backup battery that runs off of standard AAA batteries. It’s such a smart design choice, as there’s nothing worse than having your headphones die and having nowhere to plug in. It’s probably the biggest reason I’ve been hesitant to commit to going wireless, and it does a lot to ease my fears and make me take the plunge. Unfortunately, since the micro USB charger plugs into the same plug as the headphone cable, there’s no way to charge the headphones and listen over wired simultaneously, but that’s a small gripe.
The T1 also has a thing called “Sharing Mode,” which is pretty cool…in theory. If your friend has another T1, you can both listen to the same audio source from your separate T1 headphones. It’s the futuristic version of handing your buddy an earbud. I like it, but in practice, what’s the likelihood of your friend having another T1? Besides, most scenarios I can imagine where you would want two people to listen to the same audio source would be better served with actual speakers. I guess if you’re both watching a movie on a plane together? Still, it’s a nice feature, even though it feels extremely niche.
Tiny Ears Rejoice
A good pair of headphones need to feel comfortable for use over an extended period of time, and that’s where the T1 fell a little short for me. The earcups are very small, and the headband is a little grating. Comfort-wise, while I didn’t want to throw the headphones off my head after using them for a couple of hours, I was always aware they were on as they cupped my ears pretty tight. I also wish the whole thing sat a little more snugly on my head. If I moved my head around or bent over the T1 would start to slide around.
High On Bass, Low On Safety
When it comes to sound quality, the T1’s are a mixed bag. The T1 packs a really defined bass, which is a plus, but the mids felt a little muddled and blurry to me. This led to some podcasts sounding distant and washed out. If bass is your thing and you listen to a lot of metal or hip hop, you might not notice or care, but I’d personally love for a more neutral sound in a future model. The T1 also comes with its own internal amplifier that it’ll automatically use if your audio source is an older phone or something that lacks the power to drive the T1. While that doesn’t sound very sexy, it helps make the T1 compatible with just about any audio source. The noise cancellation on the T1 is superb, but it might just be too good – when I went out to walk my dog, for example, I couldn’t hear anything. For my tastes, I’d like headphones I’m walking around with to not totally isolate me from dangers like traffic. But for the office or a coffee shop, it’s fantastic.
Overall, should you buy the T1? If you’ve got a smaller head, travel a lot, and aren’t the pickiest when it comes to audio quality, then you should absolutely check these out.