Fosi Audio reached out to Hifi Chicken to see if we would be interested in checking out one of their products, and I said absolutely. I love to check out products from every corner of the market, be it entry-level or end-game stuff. They sent over their TB10D amplifier, a 2-channel class D power amp. Claiming 300 WPC into as low as 2 Ohms seems like a tall order for a sub-100 dollar amp, $82.99 MSRP to be exact. Though class D can make gobs of power in a small package and has been extremely popular for car audio for decades. Class D has been around in Hifi for just as long but in the early days, the sound just couldn’t compare to A or A/B class amps. Class D has come a long way and while I personally still prefer a Class A/B, I am not against Class D. So let’s take a look at how the TB10D performs.
Getting the TB10D ready to play is pretty straightforward, you have a power in, a left and right RCA in, and a Left and Right Speaker out. The speaker terminals will take banana plugs, spades, and bare wire and are a good size making it easy to use. The Power is supplied by a brick-style AC/DC supply with ample cord length. On the front of the amp is a set of tone control knobs and a volume knob. Normally I don’t want any controls on a power amp and want all my tone control handled by the Pre-Amp. That said I can see this amp being used with a phone hooked directly in or perhaps a CD player and using the TB10D as a desktop-sized integrated amplifier. I am currently using it as more of a dedicated power amp so I can easily switch sources through my Marantz and not via switching interconnects around.
I connected the Fosi TB10D to my Polk Monitor 5s to test out. After getting everything connected I played with the tone controls and I really had to turn the treble knob all the way up. the bass knob I left around the middle and it sounded pretty good like that. I did also see how it sounded with the bass turned all the way up and it was aliitle much with the polks. Normally the Polk tweeters don’t need any extra oomph. After getting everything how I wanted, it was time to listen to some music.
The TB10D sounds pretty good, honestly better than its price would suggest. The power is clean, and with the tone control you can get some warmth in the mids to hide some of that Class D brightness if you already have brighter speakers. The vocals are pleasant and the bass is pretty tight. The top end does well to add some sparkle to the sound. Depending on what speakers you pair this amp with you may not miss having a subwoofer too much. With plenty of power, the Monitor 5s were certainly reaching deep.
I listened to “In Love With You” a new song by one of my favorite artists Headphone Activist. He always has incredibly well-put-together beats with tons of layers. The bass hits hard on this track and the TB10D kept up with it great. The detail through the mids lets you hear each layer and the top end has a crips snap to it. I really enjoy his Headphone Activists’ use of ambient sound to create a sense of being in the space the music is happening in. You can really get immersed in his songs. Having an amp that allows that to come through is paramount to enjoying it to the fullest. The Fosi does pretty well.
I wanted to see how the imaging would be so I played one of my favorite songs, “Leave It Alone” by Caroline Glaser. The production is incredible in creating a sense of space. If you close your eyes it sounds like you are in an absolutely massive venue even if you are in your bedroom. The use of panning and echoes creates one of the best 3d sounds I have ever heard. With my Sonus Fabers and McIntosh Amp, this Song is so incredibly powerful and transports you away. I hooked up the Fosi to the Sonus Fabers for this song as well as the Polks to see how well it could do and while the depth was a bit lacking I wasn’t disappointed. With the Polks the room felt smaller than with the Sonus Fabers. I think the Mids are where this song really shines and the Fosi is less refined in the mids than my McIntosh or my Nakamichi. Granted for the price difference I would hardly be upset about this.
|Power supply voltage range:
|20Hz – 20kHz (±1 dB)
|300W + 300W
|166 x 105 x 40 mm
- plenty of power
- can be used as a single input integrated amp
- very affordable
- great sound for the price
- only one input
- would be nice to have a mid-range adjustment, not just bass and treble
- Marantz SR7009 Pre Amp
- Mcintosh MC250 Power Amp
- SVS SB1000 Pro
- Nakamichi PA-5 Stasis Power Amp
- Sonus Faber Sonetto V Speakers
- Polk Monitor 5 Speakers
- Audioquest Power and Interconnects
- Prosper Cables Custom Speaker Cables
- Audio-Technica LP-7
- Ortofon Quintet Blue
- Rotel CD-11 Tribute CD Player
I have been hesitant to recommend some of the cheaper amplifiers for one reason, that is longevity. I have purchased a couple of cheap tube amps from Douk Audio and both have not stood up to the test of time, both having issues after about a year or so of use. Granted both worked great out of the box but eventually stopped working. Whereas I have a McIntosh amp from the late sixties that just went in for its first-ever repair last summer. I don’t want to compare a 1200-1500 dollar amp to a 80-dollar amp but there is something to be said about the quality you get with spending more. That said being a Class D amp I expect the Fosi to hold up much better than a cheap tube amp as the topology is more robust in general and it is much easier to make a quality Class D amp inexpensive than a Class A tube amp. Fosi gave me this amp to keep, so I will be able to see how it does long term as I plan to put it in my Garage Stereo so it will see nearly daily use. Over all for now I am happy with it, I would have been happy had I paid 80 dollars for it as well. I think it offers a good value for someone looking to set up a small desk system or perhaps even a discrete stereo where you don’t need a bunch of inputs. You can put the TB10D just about anywhere with its size and being Class D it will not get hot so having a ton of airflow is not needed. If you have limited space and/or budget I think it could make for a great solution. Though if you want a more complete stereo solution they do offer models with more inputs and options for a bit more money. I didn’t have super high expectations for this little amp but can say I am pleasantly surprised and have to say Class D has come a long way to a place where an amp like the TB10D can sound as good as it does.
For information on where to purchase click the link below
$15 off code: TB10DP15YTB
Fosi Audio provided Hifi Chicken with a TB10D for review, though we told them we normally send products back after review they provided the TB10D permanently. Fosi nor affiliates paid in part or full in exchange for a review.