Vanatoo Transparent Zero Plus

Gary Gesellchenblog

The new Transparent Zero Plus is the third generation of Vanatoo’s powered speaker systems (along with the also new Transparent One Encore Plus). They are refinements of what were already award-winning designs. Refinements based on our daily interaction with you, our users.

The T0+ keeps the unconventional shape and look of its predecessor, which is one of its coolest, funkiest features. The changes are all in the electronics, making them more than skin deep!

One of the most requested changes we received since the launch of the original T0 was with regard to how Bluetooth operates. The T0 broadcast that it was available for pairing whenever the Bluetooth connection was not in active use. This made pairing and connecting super easy. In fact, it made it so easy that a neighbor might connect and start playing music over your system! The new T0+ only broadcasts that it is available for pairing when the user presses the button on the unit or remote, and then only broadcasts for 2 minutes. This gives you time to pair and connect, while minimizing the chance that someone else might do so. We also had requests for the ability to turn Bluetooth off from people who work in secure buildings where no radios are allowed. You can now turn the Bluetooth radio off completely as an optional Configuration.

The update to Bluetooth 5 also includes new codecs for improved sound. AAC is the preferred codec for Apple devices, and the T0+ now features the AAC Bluetooth codec. This avoids transcribing the ACC audio over to the more basic SBC codec as was done when using the T0, improving the sound quality. The new aptX-HD codec improves the sound quality for those using Android. While still slightly “lossy,” the new Bluetooth sounds really good and is truly “near-CD quality.”

The Toslink optical connection has been updated to better support Vanatoo’s exclusive Digital Silence Detection™. Detecting whether music is present on an optical connection is tricky, and the original T0 would not go to sleep if the optical was receiving any signal. Many PC’s and streamers never turn off the optical light when the music stops, meaning the speakers would never enter sleep mode. The T0+ Toslink optical input solves this, allowing the speakers to go to sleep even if the source device is not well behaved.

Hi-Res music is now supported over the USB connection. With most music services offering lossless and Hi-Res streaming content, the T0’s 16 bit USB input could become the limiting factor. The new USB connection in the T0+ supports 24 bit playback at up to 96kHz. Your Hi-Res files can now be played in their full glory! In addition to supporting Hi-Res playback, the new USB connection solves a problem that a relatively small percentage of users had with the T0 coming out of sleep mode. We were able to redefine the connection such that the speakers always know when the computer wakes up, and wake themselves up at the same time.

We made minor adjustments to the equalization of the Transparent Zero Plus frequency response. The unit maintains the same overall neutral balance of the original, while being just a little more relaxed through the critical midrange. A subtle improvement to what was already very good.

The operation of the Vanatoo remote control has been upgraded. The number of increments for volume adjustment has been doubled from 33 to 66. This makes is much easier to dial-in the right volume for late night movies. The T0+ now offers the Sub Out volume adjustment from the remote that was first introduced in the T1E. No more running back and forth between your favorite listening seat and your sub during setup. Get it close and then make the final adjustments from your seat. The T0+ also offers a left/right balance control to fully complete the Preamp feature set. If your décor forces you to sit off center, you can use the balance control to bring the image back to center.

Other changes to the T0+ electronics have to do with heat generation and the global chip shortage produced by the pandemic. The T0+ uses new lower-resistance “drivers” (ie: transistors) and incorporates power supply changes to drop the heat generated in the amplifier by 15-20%. The chip shortage caused by the pandemic made it impossible to reliably source all of the parts needed to build the original T0. Those troublesome parts have been replaced with newer alternatives that promise long term stable availability. This helps our business by knowing we can get what we need, when we need it, and ensures that we will have a steady supply of spare parts to keep your systems making smiles for years to come.

The new Transparent Zero Plus embodies the term “refinement,” which defines as “an improved, higher, or extreme form of something.” The Transparent Zero was a great system. We are excited to offer you the new, improved, and refined Transparent Zero Plus system!