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Glow Audio Amp One review

Easy on the eye and if you're taken by the styling and fancy something a little different, we see no reason not to buy Tested at £250.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you want something different, and you don’t mind a sweet, soft sound, the Glow One might do the job

Pros

  • +

    Smart, small and eye-catching design

  • +

    sweet, open sound with plenty of detail

  • +

    decent timing

Cons

  • -

    Lacks punch

  • -

    softness to bass

  • -

    build quality isn’t perfect

  • -

    limited connectivity

Having received a tip-off about a cute-looking amp, we tracked it down to a company working out of El Paso, Texas. This valve amplifier is available only online from Glow Audio's website – and will set you back around £300, including postage. Available in six colourful, striking finishes, the Amp One is easy on the eye, and runs pretty hot, too.

Glow doesn't do frills: alongside the speaker terminals, USB connection and headphone input, there's just one line level input – perhaps this is why there's no remote control, either. On the subject of connecting, Glow Audio recommends speakers with a sensitivity rating of at least 90dB, which may not be particularly easy.

This is clearly rather limited, but it does at least produce an open, reasonably detailed, (almost sickly) sweet sound. Listening to Amy Winehouse's Tears Dry On Their Own, her vocal has plenty of the required emotion, full of breaks and affectations along the way, though there's a hint of edginess when she really lets fly.

Decent timing but lacks punch
Timing is decent, though the bottom end lacks punch, meaning pacier tracks sound a touch sluggish and it can't really attack when required. Radiohead's Reckoner from the In Rainbows album is a tricky track to keep a hold of, but the Amp One does its best, only losing a touch of subtlety along the way.

This is a fine effort from Glow Audio. We can find faults when compared to the best amplifiers around at this price – not least to the specification – but if you're taken by the styling and fancy something a little different, we see no reason to dissuade you from heading out to El Paso… or perhaps just getting one sent over.

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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