It may not be the first iPod amplifier powered by valves - or tubes as they call them in the States - but the Glow One, handbuilt in China for El Paso, Texas company Glow Audio, is certainly one of the cutest we've seen.

Available at a launch price of $480, or just under £250, the Glow One delivers 5W per channel, and as well as the USB socket on the rear has both a set of conventional line-ins on RCA phonos and a side-mounted headphone socket.

More after the break

The amp is a single-ended Class A pentode design, using EL84 power tubes, and with minimal negative feedback.

All the internal wiring is 'point to point' – no printed circuitboard tracks here –, the transformers are hand-wound for optimum sound quality, the volume control comes from respected Japanese manufacturer ALPS, and the valves are self-biasing, meaning they never need adjusting.

Digital to analogue conversion is 16-bit delta/sigma, and the operating voltage of the amp can be switched for US or European power supplies.

The casework is finished in enamel over steel, and is available in a choice of colours, each version being supplied with a matching cage, held in place with magnets. All colours come with a brushed metal faceplate apart from the black on black option, and the Glow One is supplied complete with a USB cable.

The company can ship the amplifier worldwide, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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