All-In-One Music System
In the Autumn of 2008 T+A introduced the first Caruso to the market, and within a very short time it acquired cult status due to its unique design philosophy and high-quality construction. Its direct successor – the Caruso Blu – continued this heritage in a modernised form, but the new Caruso undoubtedly represents the greatest step forward in the development history of this equipment: in terms of external appearance and technology it has been re-designed from the ground up, whilst remaining faithful to its roots.
Like its predecessors, the Caruso is a compact all-in-one music system offering superb sound quality. Eleven years after its introduction it retains a number of characteristic elements of its predecessors, and adheres to T+A’s design principle of timeless reduction. The Caruso caters for all modern music sources: it integrates streaming from a network or the Internet, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, as well as the classic CD, DAB+ and VHF radio receivers. It even includes a bidirectional Bluetooth module and inputs for analogue and digital sources such as TV sets.
It reproduces all these sources in outstanding quality via its seven integral loudspeaker systems. Three power amplifiers with 100 watts continuous power for the subwoofer system and 50 watts each for the mid / highrange units are coupled directly to the loudspeaker chassis. Thanks to the Caruso’s digital signal processor the whole is controlled by an ultra-precise active cross-over unit (active loudspeaker concept). Several different sound characteristics are available, ensuring that the system always delivers excellent sound quality regardless of its positioning. For a device that small the sound experience is incredible, and the key feature behind this is the consistent use of aluminium subassemblies, we call it T+A Aluminum Framework.
The Caruso is the first T+A device of any kind to use the NavigatorOS with the 7” HD touchscreen providing intuitive control of all the system’s functions, as well as displaying cover art in impressive style.
If wished, the plinth of the Caruso can be illuminated, since we have integrated an LED strip light in the machine’s bottom plate. For ambient lighting you can choose between different color modes and white, blue, green and red light, and the intensity of the lighting is user-variable.
All-In-One Music System
300 Watts peak
7 high performance drive units
We decided to develop the new T+A NavigatorOS in order to encompass the huge range of the Caruso’s functions: a seven-inch touchscreen includes all the control elements required, while the software as a whole was designed with intuitive operation as top priority. For the first time the NavigatorOS enables large-format cover art to be displayed on the device itself. Alternatively the Caruso can be operated using the FM Caruso remote control handset as well as the T+A MusicNavigator App. The slot for the modern CD mechanism is located above the touch-panel. Sound from that source is exceptional, and thanks to the generous buffer – more than twenty seconds – it operates completely distortion-free even at very high volume. All relevant information is displayed on the playscreen.
A new streaming client, developed specifically for the Caruso, provides access to a vast range of services and sources such as Gracenote Musik ID, Airable Music Services, Spotify Connect and even Amazon Alexa.
The superior sound of the Caruso can be traced back to two features: the first is the active design philosophy of the sound system and the quality of the integral loudspeakers, while the second is the adoption of the latest generation of very powerful digital signal processors. Not only does the DSP linearise and optimise the frequency response of the integral drive units, at the same time separating the frequency ranges with a steep cut-off, but it also ensures that the dispersion characteristics of all systems maintain correct phase. The net result is that the Caruso generates a phenomenally well-balanced, natural and clear sound image in the whole listening area. It is also possible to fine-tune the sound contours to suit the unit’s position in the room. If necessary, bass, mid-range and treble can be adjusted, as well a very effective loudness function is available
The baseplate of the Caruso carries a high-performance bass driver featuring an extremely large magnet with a deep drawn pole plate and a rigid, well-damped aluminium cone and surround, permitting extremely large excursions. These features enable it to generate deep bass response at very high levels without suffering distortion. However, even this sophisticated driver would not be capable of delivering such tremendous bass from the Caruso’s small case without the support of two bass-tuned passive radiators. These are located in the left and right side panels, behind the loudspeaker grilles.
The mid / treble range of the left and right channels is handled by two sets of newly developed mid-range / treble units and dome tweeters, which are inset into the aluminium front panel of the inner case, inclined slightly to left and right. They are very linear in response, and reproduce the entire vocal and treble range from 200 Hz to more than 30 kHz with an ultra-wide dispersion angle. Each of the speaker sets is driven directly by its own power amplifier stage, i.e. they are direct-coupled, without the passive components of conventional crossover units. This active design philosophy maintains a very high damping factor, and helps to optimise the system’s peak handling and radiation characteristics; this is crucial to the Caruso’s outstanding spatial sound image. The output stages with their direct-coupled drivers are controlled by the integral DSP, which is responsible for every aspect of signal processing from linearisation to crossover frequencies, and is entirely loss-free in operation.
The weight of the Caruso is an indication of the unit’s internal ruggedness. The case is enormously rigid thanks to its newly developed T+A Aluminium Framework: a complex profiled extrusion acts as the load-bearing support for the entire internal architecture. The result is that the Caruso’s net internal volume is relatively large, which in turn contributes to its astonishing reproduction of very deep bass. Even at extremely high levels the case remains composed and resonance-free.
CD-RW*, Audio CD
MPEG 1 Layer 3 (MP3)
Windows Media Audio (WMA, DRM not supported) / 2 Hz - 20 kHz/100 dB / CD-Text.
WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n
Bi-directional sink + source
1 x USB 2.0 Mastermode,
SP/DIF:1 x coax (192 kSps)
1 x TOS-Link (96 kSps)
2 x LAN (1 x uplink, 1 x out)
headphone 32 Ohm@30mW (3,5 mm jack)
2 x 170 mm long-throw passiv radiator
2 x 100/40 mm high-performance midrange
2 x 20 mm cloth dometweeter
Mains / Accessories / Dimensions
10.6 x 11.4 x 11.4 inch
antenna WLAN, telescopic antenna radio
Le Caruso délivre sans aucun doute le son le plus pur et le plus crédible possible dans un com-biné de ce volume. T+A en dit peu sur le trai-tement appliqué au signal avant amplifi-cation, mais la scène sonore laisse pantois alors que la proximité des médiums dans cette façade de 29 cm rendrait la chose en théorie impossible. De même pour la transparence et le sentiment de plénitude générale qui se dé-gage à l’écoute de ce combiné d’une classe à part. Une belle réussite de plus à mettre au crédit de T+A.
Caruso a serious challenger
Verdict: The T+A Caruso is a stunning piece of kit that provides almost anything a HiFi buff could want in a single box… and then some. It can be a bit Teutonic in its interface but everything you need is included plus the app is very stable. The sound quality is impeccable and can rattle the teacups when cranked up. There’s enough amplification for large spaces without the sound getting lost. It’s even loud enough for parties, should we ever be allowed those again. The T+A Caruso is already a success in Germany where the brand is better known. However, T+A has a good dealer network in the UK so there’s no excuse for not going out and giving the Caruso a listen. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
AV Forums 11/2020
Caruso All-In-One Speaker System
What has surprised me, pretty much from the moment I turned it on though is how close it gets at times whilst being as convenient, user friendly and generally clever as smaller and more ‘normal’ wireless speakers. If you can’t face the system matching hassle, you don’t want the extra boxes, complexity and general faff that comes with breaking things up by role, the T+A starts to make more and more sense. I don’t know how big the market is for a device like this but I suspect it is more significant than you or I as ‘traditionalists’ might expect. This is a unique product but one that works well enough across its many functions and features to earn our enthusiastic Recommendation.
Image Hifi 5/2020
Würden Sie Caruso in ihr Schlafzimmer lassen?
Was auch – im Rahmen des Konzeptes, klar- überzeugen kann, ist die Bühnendarbietung, naturgemäß eine Schwachstelle von kleinen All-in-one-Konzepten. Doch – der raffinierten Treiberplatzierung sei Dank – auch hier kann der Caruso punkten. Würde ich mich also noch mal neu einrichten, könnte ich mir durchaus einen Caruso bei uns im Schlafzimmer vorstellen. Aber nur den von T+A! Und nur zum Musikhören.
Widerstand ist zwecklos
Der Caruso von T+A hat beim Testen enorm viel Spaß bereitet. Die Vielseitigkeit, der kraftvolle und straighte Klang, die Verarbeitung, das riesige Touchpanel, die Einstellmöglichkeiten – die Wunderkiste aus Herford hat einiges auf dem Kasten.
GPL / LGPL
For a period of three years after last distribution of this product or its firmware, T+A offer the right to any third party to obtain a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code on physical storage medium (DVD-ROM or USB stick) for a charge of 20€. To obtain such copy of the source code, please write to the following address including information about product model and firmware version:
T+A elektroakustik, Planckstr. 9 – 11, 32052 Herford, Germany.