REL T3 review

It's the baby of the range, but you wouldn't think it

TechRadar Verdict

Follow the set-up guidelines with care and you'll be surprised by the capabilities of this little sub


  • +

    Impressive value

    Better sound than we expected


  • -

    Ultimately a little underpowered

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The T3 may be the baby of the entry level REL range of subwoofers but it has all the key features of its range mates, with the exception of a little less internal volume, and a tad less horsepower.

Vinyl buffs will be pleased to hear that the footprint of the T3 is compatible to a 12 inch LP record, with some minor overhand due to the hemispherical drive unit cover at the front covering the main (active) driver, and the heatsink at the back. Its overall height is slightly taller to provide some breathing room for
the downwards firing 203mm driver - the same working diameter as the main driver.

Facing facts

Like the other models in the series, the T3's downwards facing driver is the main drive unit, while the forwards facing driver is a passive unit, driven by internal air pressure only. It's similar in principle to a reflex port, but without the disadvantage of wind noise.

Another feature carried across the range is what appears to be a steel hoop to lift the subwoofer clear of the floor, made from polished hardwood which helps give the baby REL a rather classy appearance.

The main common factor between the models is their ability to connect the subwoofer in parallel with the main speakers and to the 0.1 channel/LFE output. This allows the subwoofer to be correctly and simultaneously set up for both music and home cinema applications with a modicum of tinkering with the settings.

The idea is to use the satellite speakers' full range and to plug the gap just below where they fall off in output using the T3's output, which holds up to 30Hz - about the same as many fairly substantial floor-standing main speakers.

Although the T3 doesn't quite have the power or low frequency reach of the T2, it nevertheless has surprising depth, tonal richness and variety, and will perform way beyond usual expectations for a box this compact.

But using two carefully positioned subwoofers rather than one will have the effect of generating a more even soundfield around the listening room, and better performance where a single subwoofer might end up sounding strained.

Salvador Dali

This at least is how it was with a number of main speakers including Dali Helicon 300, which though not large, is a substantial two-way stand mount that the T3 looks too small to help at first sight, and some larger floor standing speakers from Wharfedale and Mission.

In each case the T3 added to the sense of warmth, scale and tonal variety, and best of all it was able to do so without adding bloat, without loss of definition, if you prefer.

This is a sophisticated little subwoofer that, despite appearances, is large enough to do a man-sized job without taking over the party. was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.