REL Acoustics T-7 review

New REL sub offers powerful bass in a compact package Tested at £650

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine effort, well worth auditioning if you want a compact sub with decent authority


  • +

    Composed, agile and informative sound

  • +

    fine build and finish


  • -

    It’s just a touch soft with the leading edge of notes

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

REL's new T-7 subwoofer is an appealing product. It's compact, decently made and not afraid to go loud.

Push the volume levels northward and it stays firmly in charge and impressively composed for one so small.

Unlike most of its rival designs, REL has chosen to go the passive radiator route with this design instead of the more commonly seen reflex port.

In theory both approaches to bass tuning should yield similar results, yet the passive radiator route allows greater scope for fine-tuning the performance. REL has made it work well in this product.

Nicely compact – yet good and bassy, too
The T-7 is essentially a 30cm cube, but the combination of 20cm downward-firing driver, a 200 watt class AB amplifier and forward-facing passive unit means the sub can deliver generous doses of low frequencies when required.

REL is particularly proud of how its products perform through their speaker level inputs, and we can understand why - the T-7 sounds bolder and more informative when wired this way. Yet, even when connected through the line-level option, the subwoofer's poise and insight stays much in evidence.

The T-7 sounds right at home, whether adding a dose of heft to the large-scale action scenes of Inception or just dialling in a firmer foundation to the likes of Kate Bush's subtle, but rather lovely, Snowflake.

Remains agile and informative
No matter the source material, the T-7 remains agile and informative, and able to deliver really low notes without fudging the bass frequencies above.

By the highest standards, the definition of the leading edge of notes is a touch soft, which robs the sound of a little punch and precision. And it's this shortcoming that stops the T-7 from storming this class.

That said, if you're looking for a smart and capable subwoofer that's also on the compact side, this REL is well worth a look.

See all our subwoofer Best Buys

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What Hi-Fi?

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, Reading 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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