Nov 28, 2012
Being a sort of audiophile I appreciate the sound of a classic tube amplifier and I recently just started re-downloading my favorite albums as lossless FLAC files to preserve that original sound quality. Looking around the market today, it is really a sad time for those who really care about the quality of their music as cheap parts are appearing from overseas and there is a resulting flood of bargain Bluetooth speakers and docks on the market. These sound terrible, and combined with the super-compressed audio files that the average user has in their music collection music really has taken a technological step backward at a time when there has been nothing but technological advances. Well, audiophiles and smartphone owners rejoice because I have discovered our savior and it does not come from the likes of Sony or any large corporation. Meet the BlueTube Bluetooth Tube Amplifier, and built out of solid cherry and walnut hardwood it promises to look as great as it sounds.
My first reaction to seeing this was mostly amazement. The BlueTube looks very classic and yet has subtle touches of modernity that make it one of the most attractive amplifiers I have ever seen. It keeps it simple with two dials and a power button on the front and 4 glass tubes poking out the top protected by a metal bar. The wood encasing is timeless and when paired with the optional speaker combo the BlueTube amp would make an incredible addition to anyone’s home or office. But this product does not just subsist on looks alone; this little machine has some very convenient features that makes me wonder why more products haven’t included them. Along with the standard 2 channel RCA input in the back there is a 1/8″ headphone jack in the front and, as the name implies, Bluetooth connectivity. This means there can be three separate sources connected to this little device, making it much more than an amplifier for just a smartphone. One of my favorite small touches is an extra USB charging port on the back to ensure the music never stops.
The biggest con unfortunately is that the system is very expensive with the estimated MSRP of the amplifier at around $900 and $1200 for the speakers. This is incredibly steep but nobody ever said that quality was cheap and if I had the money I would strongly consider purchasing these for my home office. Seeing as the BlueTube amplifier will probably outlast me, maybe I’ll grab one a few years from now, because this really is the future of audio on the smartphone.