Introducing the New Tube Mini Portable USB Headphone Amplifier and DAC.
Available in four colors Silver, Blue, Red, and Black.
Housed in a sleek aluminum enclosure weighing only 49 grams or 1.7 ounces, measuring 107mm Long x 35mm Wide x 7mm Deep, the tube mini brings portable tube amplification to a new level.
Using what Woo Audio is calling “Mighty-Drive” technology where each of the two miniature tubes housed behind acrylic windows is designed to amplify one channel each, driving a fast MOSFET amplifier in a balanced topology for class A/B amplification.
According to WOO Audio, this design is the perfect blend of the two different technologies producing the benefits for sound quality from both solid-state amplification and tube amplification. The tubes are illuminated by miniature glowing orange LED lights when powered on.
Like the WA7, WA8, and the Phantom DAC from Woo Audio, the Tube Mini uses the same Sabre Chip for the internal DAC. The Tube Mini uses a durable USB A connection with the included USB to USB C adapter, or you can purchase a lightning adapter for use with Apple products that don’t use USB C.
On one side of the Tube Mini, you will find a play and pause button and the Single-ended or Balanced Selector switch, as the tube mini offers both a 3.5mm headphone output or an authentic 4.4mm Pentacon balanced headphone output on the top of the Tube Mini’s chassis.
On the other side of the Tube Mini, you will find the volume plus and minus buttons for controlling the volume directly from the Tube Mini. However, I will tell you why I recommend not using any of the buttons on the device when listening to music.
Unlike typical dongle DAC headphone amplifiers, the Tube Mini uses actual tubes which deliver the Tube Mini’s warm HiFi sound. To reduce the effects of mechanical vibration, the tubes are mounted on a spring-loaded suspension system similar to a seismic damper system found in earthquake protection measures but on a smaller scale.
However, the Tube Mini’s two tubes are still sensitive to physical handling, vibrations from tapping and making cable connections which will introduce a ringing sound to the audio signal when listening to music. If you are familiar with tubes, this won’t come as a shock to you.
The Tube Mini is best used with a Tablet, Laptop, or desktop computer. A cell phone is not ideal because LTE/5G cellular data emit high levels of EMI, which can be transferred to the tube mini.
You can scoot around this issue by offline downloading your favorite music to your phone and turning off your cellular data, wifi, and Bluetooth, for optimal sound quality.
So just like vinyl playback takes a bit more work cleaning the record and stylus to get the best sound quality, the Tube Mini, based around older tube technology, also needs a bit more analog approach to how you listen to get the best results.
If you invest the time into doing so, you will find the excellent sound of such a small and portable personal audio system a pleasure to use at your desk, hotel room when traveling, your bedside, or anywhere else that you are stationary and enjoy listening to music.
The tube mini is designed for 8-600 ohm headphones but works best with less efficient headphones due to the Mighty Power of The Tube Mini. More sensitive headphones or In-Ears will be susceptible to tube noise; therefore, the Tube Mini is not recommended for In-Ears.