Yea I was not as big of a fan of the BLON as many others are, but its still a good value at $30. I think the T4’s bass level is more of my thing. Just a small bump with no midbass bloat.
The peak in that 5K area doesnt bother me. What typically gets me is an elevated 8K peak or an upper treble peak which this doesn’t have. I find the KXXS to be more bright and harsh than the T4. I’ve only had limited listening to it though.
thank you anthony - this looks promising!
very intersted in your T4 review - I´m a Tin Hifi fan
had the KXXS on my wishlist for so long, because of the nice simple design and the reviews I read- though not a 2 PIN fan at all and already have a few balanced mmcx cables
than came the P1 and I jumped on that, cancelled the order and thought about getting a fun iem like the OH10 - this stuff is really like accepted juwelery for men - isn´t it?!
it´s not that I would need another IEM, just curious
Yeah, I wasn’t blon away by it ;). Even after EQing down the bass it didn’t strike me as particularly clear, and as many have mentioned, the short nozzles made for an awkward fit. With proper EQ I far prefer the ZS10 Pro, though out of the box the Blon does sound more natural.
The P2 is the newest flagship from Tin Hifi and is a big jump up in price from their previous offerings at $370 USD. The P2 houses a new planar driver and continues down this path following their mega-popular P1 planar IEM from a little over a year ago. This updated model also features a new shell design, packaging and sound profile. So let’s take a look!
The P2 was sent to me for review by Linsoul, and this product is on pre-order sale now on Linsoul’s website at an introductory price of $339.99.
The P2 comes in an all-new packaging that reminds me a lot of Sony’s in-ear monitor boxes that come with their premium IER lineup. The Tin packaging doubles as a storage box, with a pull-out shelf containing the accessories on the bottom, and a flip-top opening that contains the real-leather blue button case and the P2 planar iems.
The case itself has a unique style that may appeal to some and may not to others, like me. The blue leather seems to be genuine leather, as it has the feel, looks, and smell of it.
On the bottom drawer are a series of tips in both the marshmallowy foam that Tin is famous for, and a set of silicone tips. The cable is brown medium-thickness braided cable that looks nice but perhaps a tad thick for my liking. The connector terminates in 2.5mm balanced, and it comes with ridiculously large 3.5mm and 4.4mm adapters to work with other players. Not a fan of this large adapter setup. If you have 2.5mm balanced, then you are golden, but if you don’t, look at getting a new cable with this.
The cable itself is terminated with c-pin connectors, which is new for Tin Hifi. They’ve gone away from mmcx, and are now using this style of 2-pin connectors that is commonly used by qdc, Unique Melody, and more recently KZ, TRN, and a few others.
The new shell design is the same as the Tin T2 Plus that was recently released as well, with a stainless steel housing and the new connector style. This type of shell design is lightweight and can be comfortable as long as you can get it to fit. I had a load of trouble trying to get proper seal, while also having it fit securely in without slipping out. I never felt super comfortable having these on, as I felt like they could slip out at any moment. But many people will enjoy this comfortable and lightweight design, just not me.
Before I get too far down into sound impressions, I do want to mention that the Tin P2 does require a bit more power than the majority of my IEMs – about 2-3X more volume in Windows and my audio players to be exact. While it may work with some phones, your miles may vary.
I spent the majority of my time with the P2 using the Topping A90 desktop amp hooked up with a Schiit Bifrost 2, the iFi Zen DAC/Amp, or the Lotoo PAW 6000 digital audio player. In each case, I used 4.4mm balanced cables.
The Tin P2 straight out of the box had a bloomy bass that I felt was much more than neutral, but not too muddy and blunted, and a severe lack of upper mid-range that cause it to sound rather hazey and veiled. The treble is well extended, however has a very large upper treble peak that is audible and can be fatiguing and cause ringing over time.
Yea, these aren’t the most positive words for it based on the initial listen, but there’s some hope here. First off, I think they sounded better than the P1, which was overly forward, lacked any technical ability – meaning it had very poor soundstage, width, depth, lacked any sort of decay, felt overly sharp, and had decent resolution, but not outstanding. It felt a bit overpriced, even at it’s under $200 asking price to me, as I would have much rather have any number of under $200 IEMs over it. The P1 also had a nasty bit of sibilance and shrieking upper treble, which unfortunately hasn’t fully gone away with the P2.
Now, back to the hope.
Yes, the P2 doesn’t have an ultra-small boxed-in soundstage. There’s actual room to breathe, and you don’t get a wall of sound where every instrument, vocal, and noise is blaring into your skull at once from the same distance and all the time that I found with the P1 originally. The P2 has still an intimate soundstage, but nowhere near closed quarters as the P1. It’s more along the lines as “average” in terms of the rest of the IEM population.
The P2’s out of the box tonality is strange to me. It adds the much needed bass bump over the original P1, but I actually think it may be a little too much, as I do find it can be occasionally muddy, but I feel like this is more due to the lack of upper mid-range on the set I received. I do want to mention that my measurements differ from a couple others who have posted theres – mainly mine has much more recessed 1000 Hz and onward.
This really makes that hazy sound stand out. Everything sounds ultra-veiled and lacking energy and just not that enjoyable, especially if you care for female vocals. The recession in this area, added with the elevated bass is what I perceive to the muddy-nature of the overall sound, which is much more apparent in bass heavy tracks with female vocals.
One area that didn’t seem to go away from the P1 is the upper treble spike. It’s very lifted, and perhaps even more noticeable on this P2 than on the original due to the relative difference between the treble and the mid-range. While this doesn’t affect every song, ones that have heavier emphasis in the sibilance range and the upper harmonics, may become both fatiguing and can cause ringing. In some cases, it makes more of these higher pitched tones sound metallic.
For example, listening to James Taylor’s “Country Road” – the high-hats have way, way too much metallic tinge to them that it sounds quite unnatural. Alison Krauss’ vocals sounds just too far stretched in “Restless” and Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry and the electronic synths of their songs are too distracting.
In my case, I do notice both of these, and unfortunately it’s not something I really appreciate. But there’s still hope…
Modding the P2
The Tin P2, again, is worth exploring more since I do feel planar drivers have some special unique characteristics that can make them stand-out, though I do sometimes question whether at such a small form-factor, if those unique attributes translate from a full-sized speaker (e.g. Magnepans) or full-sized headphones (Audeze, Hifiman, etc.).
That said, I brought a tool box – mainly a set of tweezers and some tape/putty and tried various external modifications to see if I can reduce some of the issues I experienced above.
The first was blocking the small vent hole. This actually did nothing. Why? Well my next idea was to see if that textured faceplate did anything. It seemed weird, so I just covered it up completely, and lo and behold – it removed the bass response! The faceplate is actually a large vent! This made the bass response almost nearly flat, which isn’t a bad thing actually, especially given the recessed midrange and treble. In the speaker world, this type of frequency response would have been nearly perfect!
But, we’re in the IEM world, and ideally, I’d prefer to have some upper mid-range compensation for my pinna and inner ear. Next, I decided to remove the filter on the nozzle and try to do something there. To my surprised, out came a piece of foam with the filter.
This filter is a black, fairly dense tube-shaped sponge that is the reason why the upper-mids were so flat and hazy. Taking it out and providing a full unobstructed soundwave path brought back some of those upper-mids and actually significantly improved the sound quality and tonality for me .
I ran a quick measurement of the filter and foam-less P2 and the results are captured in the graph below in Blue, with Pink being the original stock configuration, and gray is the Harman In-Ear 2019 Target Preference Curve for reference.
The foamless configuration increased the presence region by 3-5 dB which is a sizeable gain that makes all the difference in my listening.
Unfortunately the treble response also increased as well, which wasn’t quite as noticeable for me at my listening volume but is something to be aware of for those that are highly sensitive to that.
With this new configuration, my music starts to sound much more balanced and enjoyable. Vocal presence is restored with a little more energy. I do think it’s a tad tame for some, but I do enjoy this tuning for something more open and less intimate. The one flaw, still, is the upper treble rise. This is still a problem for me, though less so than before.
Tin P2 vs P1 Measurements
At $379 retail price, I am not so sure the P2 can fully compete with the competition. If it were half the price or closer to the P1 pricing, I think this one is pretty good though. I still find that there’s some deal breakers, nevertheless and mod or no mod.
The treble is just over-done and too bright. It makes a lot of the music I listen to a lot too abrasive and metallic.
The fit is not for my ears. It’s a small shell design, but its shape, doesn’t lend itself to gripping to anything for my ears and I find it likes to slip out, leak, or just feel overall insecure while wearing, no matter which of the hundreds of tips I own.
Possible minor variance - which has been shown in frequency response, and an odd hazy sound signature that I received.
Besides that, I am not a big fan of the cable adapter implementation here. They’re just too long, and too heavy for practical use, so if you do want to get these, I recommend going with your own cables.
And that’s that. I am coming over this a bit harsh, but I do find that there’s some major flaws here, and even while it still can be enjoyable, and tuned decently, and has some technical capabilities, it still has some nagging issues that bother me enough to not fully recommend it, especially at the higher price tag.
I’ve had the opportunity to review and test out several Tin Hifi products prior to their release and this new set is no different. The Tin T1 Plus is a ultra-budget IEM that retails for $29.99 USD and is available now at Linsoul.com.
I’d like to thank Linsoul and Tin Hifi for allowing me to test out several pre-releases of this unit and then getting an opportunity to review the final tuning.
Unfortunately, due to several other reviews and a super-crazy-busy work schedule lately, I was not able to review this prior to its official launch, but I am now able to provide more of a review than any of the initial impressions I posted on the various forums or on Discord servers.
First off, the T1 Plus’s main attribute is that it features a beryllium-coated dynamic driver, which seems to be the hype these days in the headphones and IEM world. Some companies have been using beryllium as its a lightweight and highly stiff metal that provides a nice rigid and stiff body for highly-controlled sonic vibrations. While some companies like Focal, Dunu and Final Audio have used full beryllium metal drivers, others have found a more affordable route using a thin coating on a plastic diaphragm material instead. This does not result in the same material properties, but it does improve the stiffness of the typical plastic driver materials used.
Anyway, the T1 Plus comes in a choice of 4 translucent plastic shells: black, green, pink and white. The set I received in each of my 2 beta units and the final production unit is a black shell with sprinkles of glitter in it to give it a starry night look (not the painting, but just a night-time starry look).
The shell is pretty small and super lightweight making these very comfortable to wear and they feel like I am not wearing anything at all to be frank. This is definitely one of the more comfortable IEMs I’ve worn.
The cable it came with is a black braided cable that is simple but effective. I had no issues with usability: they don’t tangle much, and their lightweight and easily maneuverable. The cable uses 2-pin connectors which is different than previous Tin products.
The T1 Plus units I’ve received in the past were in two different spectrums. One had a flat-ish bass response with roll-off, similar to the T2, and the other had a bass boost but more relaxed treble. This final version kind of took bits and pieces of both the two test units and made it a bassy IEM with a upper-midrange emphasis, while relaxing the treble a tad, giving this a very intimate and forward sound that’s not quite a V-shape sound signature, since treble is a bit on the dark side.
I’d say overall, this IEM is warm and heavy, but not to the point where I’d call it a basshead IEM either. It is definitely accentuated but I also don’t think its super punchy and there’s not a great deal of subbass extension either – it actually rolls off around 100Hz. Bass region is more about quantity than quality, of course, and especially at the price offered, I wouldn’t expect it to compete well with my top of the line gears.
That said, its still a warm and pleasant sound, and tuned to really emphasize music with lower end vocals and warmer body. This isn’t the IEM you want if you want to hear a large soundstage or an airy atmosphere. I don’t find it the best for a lot of the music I listen to, but I do think it sounds acceptable for rock music and pop genres.
The upper-midrange does get a bit of an emphasis, which does give this IEM a forward sound and makes voices stand up front with clarity. It’s not to the point of any sibilance or any harshness – again-- the T1 is more of a laidback sound.
In many cases, I do find the T1 to sound a bit compressed both in soundstage, imaging, and resolution. But, I can’t fault it too much for the price point. It’s quite comparable and pleasant enough to enjoy, however I do feel this one is a bit behind its siblings for not much more – Tin T2, T2 Plus, T3 and T4 are all higher quality IEMs at a small bump up in price.
The T1, however, is my favorite for comfort and fit, and that’s got some importance to the whole equation. I’d love for this type of IEM shell design to be their new standard, as opposed to the weird pseudo bullet designs, or shallow-fit stuff, as I could never fit any of the Tin products with any confidence for a long period of time or with a lot of movement. This is the one next step forward.
While the T5 pushes the TinHiFi lineup forward in term of build quality, it fails to do the same with regards to sound quality.
The short version is that there is too much ear gain and a piercing peak in the presence region. I also found the T5’s bass to be monotonous and lacking in internal resolution. Strengths include the treble presentation, soundstage, and instrument separation.
You can read my full review on my blog:
(just in case you haven’t seen it the other 80+ times I’ve written it, the following is also available in Spanish on my blog and on YouTube, links at the end of the review)
The Tin T3 Plus have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for this review. The only thing that they have requested is that I leave links to the T3+ on their site and via Amazon, which I will do as usual. Other than that, they haven’t requested anything in particular and my review will attempt to be as honest and unbiased as possible, but as I always say, it is good to take into consideration that these IEMs have not cost me anything.
As normal, I will not post purchase links outside my web and channel, even though none of the links are affiliate. So to see the direct links to the T3+ on HifiGo, please visit the version posted on my blog.
Before I get on with the review, I want to mention that I have actually received 2 sets of T3 Plus, one from HifiGo, which is the set I am reviewing, and a second set direct from Tin Hifi, who have donated the set to be given away on Acho Reviews. Check the blog or YouTube channel in the next few days to find out how to win these.
The Tin Hifi T3 Plus, which I will just call T3+ from now on, are the latest release from a company that has a well established name in the IEM world, especially in the economical ranges.
My first introduction to Tin Hifi was the T2, which I believe was the same for many people. It was a fairly neutral set that was very good for its price, I still see it recommended. Since then I have reviewed a couple of their IEMs, although they have released many more than I have reviewed, and the T2 Plus, which I reviewed last year, was my main recommendation for a sub 50€ set for quite a while. In fact, I think it is still a great set of IEMs for the price.
I didn’t get to try the original T3, released back in 2019 I believe, but I remember it receiving its fair share of praise, so when I was offered the T3+ for review, I was of course happy to take a listen.
The T3+ arrives in a simple white box, the same as previous models I have seen from them, and inside this we find a grey box with a lift of lid and a felt covered interior. The IEMs sit in a cutout with a small white box underneath containing the accessories. Underneath the lid, which is also felt covered, there are a couple of ribbons that hold the user manual and warranty card.
Inside the smaller accessory box we get a cable, various spare silicone tips and a small cloth carrying bag with the Tin Hifi Logo.
The presentation is nothing out of the ordinary but as I always say, with economical IEMs I prefer to see that a large percentage of the budget has not been destined to packaging and accessories.
Build and aesthetics…
Starting with the IEMs, Tin Hifi has moved away from the usual aesthetics that I automatically associate with the brand, opting for a more generic shaped resin shell, with a very nice grey marble effect on the faceplate and the Tin logo in gold.
These aesthetics do take away some of the instant recognition that the majority of Tin models have, blending in more with many other brands, however, this is a shape that is very comfortable and lightweight, so I am happy with their decision. I also must say that I do like the finish on these, not a boring single colour but also not a bright “look at me” finish.
The shells are dark enough to not allow me to see the insides of them but from the outside they look to be well made. I guess only time will tell but I can’t foresee any specific issues with the build.
The cable is also a simple black cable with a “rope style” weave, or rather wrap, which is very reminiscent of the cable included with the Kinera IEMs that I reviewed earlier this year. However, it has a nice feeling to it and also has connectors and hardware that look to be of good quality and do add an elegant touch to the cable.
One thing that certainly deserves praise, at least from me, is that they have opted for 2 pin connectors instead of MMCX! Yes, I know that the T1 Plus also had 2 pin connectors (which were similar to the ones used by KZ, rather than the flush ones on the T3+) but I am still happy that they are used. In the past I have had issues with MMCX connectors and the Tin T2 were the ones that I had most issues with, so it is nice not to have to worry about that happening on the T3+.
To be honest, I really have no complaints about build or aesthetics with the T3+ and the comfort is very good, although that is obviously something that I can only vouch for with my own ears.
My experience with Tin Hifi, along with the many reviews that I have read of their products, lead me to expect a tuning that is more towards the bright side of things, which is not something I hate by the way, but that is not the case with the T3+.
I am not saying this in a negative way, not at all, I just found that upon listening to the T3+ for the first time it presented a smoother and less “bright” signature than my ears were expecting.
It seems that this time Tin have opted for a tuning that is more along the lines of the contenders that it is up against in a similar price bracket (the T3+ comes in around 60€, which is just above the 50€ bracket that I consider “ultra economical” but is still a very reasonable price). The overall signature is more towards that found on things like the Legacy 2 or the Aria. This could be considered more of a “safe” choice from Tin but seeing the praise that things like the Aria get, it is obviously a tuning that works well for many people.
While it is a similar tuning, it is obviously not exactly the same, it does deviate a little, especially in the higher mids and lower treble, but I’ll go through my usual sections to get there.
In the subbass, there is a nice extension but it is not really something I would consider subbass focused. Listening to tracks with plenty of subbass content, such as “Chameleon” (as always) and “Royals”, there is rumble going on, letting you appreciate those lower notes but without it really becoming the center of attention. I can’t say that it lacks subbass for my personal preferences, I could even survive with a little less, but I like the fact that it is not overdone to the point where it takes control of the whole lower end.
Moving into the mid bass, listening to tracks like “Sun is Shining” by Bob Marley & Robin Schultz, “No Sanctuary Here” by Marian Herzog feat Chris Jones, or even things like “All Eyez on Me” by 2Pac or “Still D.R.E”, I find that the bass has plenty of presence for these to be enjoyable. Again, I wouldn’t say that it is overly bassy but I don’t think many people would complain that it has a lack of bass at all (unless they are real bass heads!).
I also find that the bass is also very well controlled and defined. I spent most of Friday at my desk listening to Dance music and I was quite surprised at how well the bass came across, making it very enjoyable. I also don’t have any real complaints about the timbre of the bass, making most instruments sound very natural in their lower ranges, with no lack of warmth. Once more, it is slightly north of neutral but not enough for me to find it offensive or bloated.
Moving into the lower mids, there is no real bleed and I don’t find the bass invading these regions and making them seem bloated. Ok, I have heard better transitions but it is not really something that is worth complaining about as I feel that it is more than adequate for the price bracket it sits in.
The mids themselves do have a bit of a dip in their center, as is to be expected with the tuning that Tin Hifi are aiming for with this set of IEMs. However, the higher mids do have enough presence to bring back vocals and put them back up front. There are a few voices that I have found to seem a little recessed in the mids, mainly those that are located in the lower mids, and also a couple that suffer with the presence in the higher mids, making them take on a little harshness at times. This is not a regular occurance and it is mainly voices that are already known to be harsh, such as Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child”, but they do sort of clash with that extra upper mid presence and can come across a little shouty at times.
Moving into the higher regions, sibilance is something that is kept in check quite well, with only a hint appearing on songs that are usually on the verge anyway. As with the upper mids, it is not something that appears regularly, only on vocals that are already in that zone, but it can show a hint now and again.
As far as details, I find this is probably the weakest point of the T3+. It is not bad, there are details, but it is not as detailed (in my opinion) as something like the T2+. I think a lot of this is due to the tuning that they have opted for with this set, it is certainly not as “in your face” as the T2+. The details are there, within reason, but they don’t jump out at you.
Soundstage and image placement are ok, sort of the average I am used to finding in this price range of IEMs. I guess they could be slightly above average in this regard but the smoothness of the tuning again masks the imaging slightly and makes it not sound quite as impressive as it might have been with a slightly different tuning.
Tin Hifi have moved towards a tuning on these IEMs that I think will fit well for 90% of those interested in IEMs in this price range. They work well with every source I have tried, they look and feel decent, and the overall sound is quite pleasant.
I feel that they may have lost some of the “Tin” sound along the way, or at least the sound that I personally associate with Tin Hifi, but again, I think that is something that will probably appeal to a larger amount of people.
The negative side to this is that they are suddenly in a bracket with a lot of competition, there are many brands that offer similar sound signatures and performance at prices that are around this mark. I think that the T3+ is a competitive set though and those looking for this kind of tuning should definitely check them out as there really isn’t anything bad about them for the price.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I have another (unopened) set of the T3+ which I will be giving away in the very near future, so, for those who are interested but are not Spanish speaking* , in other words, don’t follow the Acho Reviews YouTube channel, you can follow in English on Twitter (@SenyorC_) and I will let you know when the giveaway is available on the Blog, or, just stay tuned to the Blog over the next few days.
*Shipping restrictions apply for those residing outside Spain
The TinHiFi T3 Plus is an in-ear monitor (IEM) using a single liquid crystal polymer diaphragm dynamic driver. While quite different from the IEMs which built TinHifi’s reputation, the T3 Plus is a well-tuned IEM with competitive technical performance for the price point.
My full review, with additional images, measurements, and a comparison with the Moondrop Aria, is available on my blog:
The Tin Hifi T4 Plus have been sent to me by Linsoul for me to test and evaluate by means of this review. No specific comments or requests have been made and I will, as always, do my best to be as unbiased as possible. However, please remember that I did not have to purchase these IEMs.
The non-affiliate link to the T4+ via Linsoul can be found in the version of this review published on my blog (link at the end of this post).
Todays review is the last of the Tin Hifi marathon, which has featured the C2, the C3 and the T4 Plus one after the other. All of these were sent to me by Linsoul at the same time and I decided I would do them in ascending numerical order, just because
Saying that, while I have done these reviews in succession and I did compare the C2 and C3 when reviewing the C3, the T4 Plus is from a completely different series of IEMs so there is no reason to actually compare the three.
The T4 Plus uses a sigle dynamic driver and is currently priced at just under 120€ on Linsoul, which places it well out of the extreme budget options I have been looking at lately, although it is still not exactly an expensive set of IEMs (in comparison to many other models out there).
The box of the T4 Plus features cartoon artwork of the IEMs in outer space, with the text “Space Station” written across the bottom. I have absolutely no idea where this space reference comes from but at I guess it is a break from both the plain white boxes we usually receive from Tin (except for the recent robot). I can’t say that the box is something that attracts me but the packaging is the least of my worries when testing IEMs.
Removing the outer packaging reveals a box that is much more reminiscent of Tin Hifi (similar in finish to the T3 buds) inside of which we find the IEMs sitting in felt covered cutouts.
Beneath the top layer we find the accessories which are a bit of a change from the usual T series contents. We get a cable, a nice storage/carrying case, 3 sizes of 3 different types of tips and a clear plastic case in which one of the type of tips is stored.
While two of the types of tips are similar to those found in many models, the third type is something different. With previous editions of the T2 and T3 series (I don’t know about the OGT4 as I didn’t try those), Tin usually included at least one set of foam tips. In the case of the T4 Plus, we don’t get the foam tips but we get 3 sizes of hybrid foam/silicone tips. These are tips that have a soft memory foam style interior with a silicone cover over them. It is not the first time I have come across these tips but I can’t remember another set including them.
Build and aethetics…
The IEMs are clearly of the T series, maintaining the classic round shape with the connector being located on a barrel style protrusion on one side. They are still all metal, however, they have changed the colour scheme. Instead of the typical silver finish found on previous models, this time Tin Hifi have opted for a finish in various tones of copper. The shells are of a darker copper colour, with a lighter copper ring surrounding the faceplate. The faceplate is of a dark brown colour with some lighter speckles in the finish. The faceplate is not something that excites me but the overall colour scheme of the IEMs is something I like.
The cable also follows the same colour scheme with a two tone brown weave and metal hardware that matches the IEMs. They have kept with their recent conversion to two pin connectors (something I prefer) and also use their typical coloured ring (red right / clear left) to identify the correct side easily.
I really don’t have any complaints about the build or aesthetics of the IEMs but for some reason, I don’t find the fit and comfort as good as I have done on all the previous T series IEMs I have tried. Looking at them, I can’t spot the difference but for some reason, I have struggled to get them to fit easily, especially in my left ear.
I went through all of the included tips and the ones that work the best for me are the large silicone with red center. But even with these, I have to play around a little to get the correct seal. I thought that maybe my anatomy had changed over the Christmas period but I grabbed the T2 DLC and they fit fine, so I really don’t know why I am having issues with them. As always, comfort and fit is something that is 100% personal, so everyone will have a different experience, I just thought I would mention it.
All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Spotify, etc.)
I said that I wasn’t going to compare these against the C series but due to the similarities in tuning, I will include the C3 on the graph for our usual look and comparison:
As you can see in the graph, the tuning of these IEMs is very similar to the C3 (or the C3 is similar to these, whichever way you prefer to look at it) except for a few small tweaks. Obviously, seeing that I was fairly positive about the C3, I am not going to hate the tuning on these but those little changes do make quite a difference.
Starting out at the bottom, as always, the subbass has plenty of presence to create that low end rumble in the tracks that call for it. The subbass is quite clean and coherent although it can suffer slightly when pushed too much. This isn’t a problem for me as 99% of the music I usually listen to doesn’t push the subbass enough to make cause problems for the T4 Plus but if you are listening to dubstep at over 100dB, then it is possible you may notice it
The midbass is too present for my liking. The emphasis is not too bad but I do find it tiring when listening to tracks with a lot of focus in the 100Hz to 200Hz range, creating a bit of fatigue over longer sessions. As I have commented many times, I am not someone who likes too much emphasis on the low end, especially when it is mainly focused on the midbass, but if a set of IEMs manages to keep it clean and defined, then I can enjoy it. With the T4 Plus, the cleanliness and definition is not bad, making it ok for a lot of my music choices, yet when there are things that focus in those regions, then it can become tiring for me.
The center of the mids has that slight dip that all of the recent Tin models seem to have. This really isn’t something that is overly noticeable, unless you really look for it. In most music it does not affect the overall sound, only when something specifically resides in that area (mainly some kind of effect in certain electronic productions) is it noticeable, and even then it is not really an issue.
The upper mids and lower treble is actually my preferred out of all the recent Tin models I have tried. There is enough presence to give vocals clarity and definition but without them becoming overly shouty or harsh. Even Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child” keeps her natural harshness but doesn’t become overy irritating (which is not something I can say on all IEMs).
The treble extension is also fairly decent for a single dynamic driver, and while it is not 100 smooth, it is still enjoyable. A little bit more sensation of air and openness would have been appreciated but it is still not bad in this regard.
I find the detail retrieval to be fairly good also, with a nice presence of detail and space between layers. These are not competing on the detail level of something like the IE600 but are still above average in my opinion. I actually find that the details in the in the upper mids are more noticeable on the T4 Plus than many other sets I have tried lately.
Soundstage and image placement is more than acceptable, although it is not really a huge soundstage. I did find that the instruments in “La Luna” were less spread out but the rear left guitar did seem to be pushed furher back, giving more space of depth behind me.
The isolation of the T4 Plus is good, well above average in almost all of the frequency ranges. Yes, it still lets low engine rumbles through but anything above the bass range is blocked quite well.
I don’t have many complaints about the Tin Hifi T4 Plus. The only really irritating thing (to me) is the excessive midbass. Ok, I did have some strange issues with fit but once I got the right combination of tips and placement, they were comfortable enough.
In general they are a good set of IEMs but… and there is always a but… I think that the price may be their biggest flaw. I mean, they are still not exactly an expensive set of IEMs and I know that the race to the bottom in pricing that we have experienced lately distorts the real value of things, but we have some very good options at a fraction of the price.
Even without considering anything outside of Tin Hifi’s own line up, we have the C3 at less than 50€ which may not be quite as good as the T4 Plus but it is close. We also have the T2 DLC wich comes in at just 10€ more than the C3 and, in my opinion, sounds great. So, for the jump up to 120€ that the T4 Plus costs, we get a slight improvement in sound (depending on your tastes), a slight increase in performance (although I would need to do a side by side of the T2 DLC to say just how much) and we get more goodies in the box.
I have no complaints about the T4 Plus as IEMs but if they are worth the extra cash is only something you can decide.
The TinHiFi T4 Plus is an in-ear monitor (IEM) featuring one 10mm carbon nanotube dynamic driver per housing. The T4 Plus retails for $119.99. I am not receiving any compensation, financial or otherwise, for writing this review.
I have used the TinHiFi T4 Plus with the following sources:
I tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to:
The TinHiFi T4 Plus comes in a square black cardboard box with a black slipcover. The slipcover displays an image of a satellite that resembles TinHiFi’s iconic tube-shaped IEM design. I’m grateful for the refreshing change from the now-commonly featured anime waifu illustrations on IEM packaging. The rear face of the slipcover features several scannable Quick-Response (QR) codes that link to TinHiFi’s social media profiles.
The IEMs are securely held in place under the box lid, via a white foam mounting sheet. The T4 Plus comes with nine pairs of eartips — three each of generic silicone eartips with black and red cores (in sizes S, M, and L), as well as three pairs of Symbio-like hybrid silicone-foam eartips (also in sizes S, M, and L). The hybrid eartips come packaged in a sturdy, transparent plastic container, whereas the generic eartips come in a clear plastic bag. The T4 Plus comes with a card with quick response (QR) codes that link to TinHiFi’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as a user manual written in both Chinese and English. The T4 also includes a semi-rigid pleather carry case with a magnetic closure.
BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:
The TinHiFi T4 Plus largely resembles the iconic TinHiFi T2. The IEM is composed of a three-part polished copper assembly, featuring a circular faceplate with a faux-wood grain finish. At the base of the nozzle and the middle housing section, where the two housing sections meet, there are small ventilation holes. The nozzles are equipped with perforated metal covers and robust lips that ensure a secure fit for eartips. The 2-pin ports are fitted flush into a circular base that matches the diameter of the pin connector base on the cable side. This base is marked with a dab of blue paint to indicate polarity. The base of the right-hand side IEM connector and the base of the 2-pin connector of the corresponding cable are red plastic. The corresponding left-hand side bases are composed of clear resin. The housings otherwise lack directional indicators. In fact, the housings lack any branding or text whatsoever.
The only TinHiFi branding on the T4 Plus is found on the metal chin-adjustment choker on the cable, which bears TinHiFi’s logo. I appreciate this subtle approach to branding. I’m always impressed with the aesthetics and quality of the stock cables TinHiFi includes with IEMs at this price point, and this cable is no exception. It uses a quad-braid below the Y-split and double-helix patterns above the Y-split. The metal 3.5mm jack hardware, Y-split hardware, chin-adjustment choker, and 2-pin housings are all similar in appearance to the coppery alloy used for the IEM shells. The jack and Y-Split hardware feature an intriguing fluted pattern engraved onto them. There is strain relief above the 3.5mm jack, but not above or below the Y-split. The cable has pre-formed heat-shrink earguides. The 2-pin housings have “L” and “R” indicators printed in white. The cable is moderately microphonic even with the use of the chin-adjustment choker.
COMFORT, FIT, AND ISOLATION:
The TinHiFi T4 Plus is intended to be worn cable-up. The earpieces have a moderate-to-deep insertion depth. The T4 Plus is neither comfortable nor securely fitting. The housings are on the larger side, which, combined with the deepish insertion depth, makes the user acutely aware that they are using IEMs. Isolation is average. The housings also frequently need to be pushed back into the ear canal. I did not experience driver flex with the T4 Plus.
My measurements of the TinHiFi T4 Plus can be found on my expanding squig.link database:
The TinHiFi T4 Plus has a V-shaped sound signature that places more emphasis on bass than treble.
The T4 Plus has excellent bass technicalities, managing to strike a good balance between staying nimble in articulation yet still having impact. Bass is adequately resolving for the price and highly textured. There is ample sub-bass rumble. However, I do feel there is too much mid-bass, particularly between 100–200 Hz, which clouds the lower midrange. Midrange clarity is not great. Fast analog percussion, down-tuned and distorted electric guitars, and harsh male vocals can blur together. Combined with the T4 Plus’s limited soundstage, this creates a sense of vertical compression.
The T4 Plus centers its pinna gain region at roughly 2.5 kHz. I find that this causes the vocals and midrange instruments to blend together more than I would prefer. Male vocals do have plenty of warmth, grit, and body. Male vocal intelligibility is moderate. Female vocals enjoy notably better intelligibility and separation from the rest of the frequency response compared to male vocals. However, female vocals do sound a little husky. Midrange timbre is natural-sounding overall.
The T4 Plus has a subdued and unremarkable treble region. There is less in the way of sparkle or air than the T4 Plus’s measured frequency response would suggest. Overall detail retrieval is not quite up to the standard I would expect for this price. As mentioned above, instrument separation and soundstage are quite limited as well.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The TinHiFi T4 Plus can be powered by the Apple dongle, though I needed to set the volume on my Pixel 7 to 21/25 to reach my usual listening level when Spotify Normalization was set to “Normal.” Depending on your typical listening volume, music player of choice, and feelings on volume normalization when using a streaming service, you may have more leeway when using the Apple dongle than I do. I did not notice hiss with any of my devices.
The TinHiFi T4 Plus is not a bad IEM, but it is overpriced given what it brings to the table. If you are dead-set on a warm, bassy IEM under $150 and are more interested in strong bass technicalities than other performance aspects, it may be worth considering. Otherwise, I would look elsewhere.
The TinHiFi C series includes several recently released budget in-ear monitors (IEMs). The TinHiFi C2 and C3 both feature 10mm liquid crystal polymer diaphragm dynamic drivers, and the C5 features a 10mm square planar magnetic driver. The C2 is $29, the C3 is $49, and the C5 is $79. The C2, C3, and C5 were sent to me by TinHiFi. I am not being compensated for writing these impressions, and my thoughts are my own.
I have used the TinHiFi C2, C3, and C5 with the following sources:
The C2 is the brightest sounding of the three and is my personal favorite. The C2 is Harman-inspired in its tuning and nearly mirrors the Moondrop Aria from the sub-bass through the lower midrange. Like the Aria, the C2 features a plateau-style pinna gain region which is broadly elevated from 2 kHz to 6 kHz. The C2 has a slightly steeper rise into this plateau than the Aria and places more emphasis on the presence region. The C2 avoids the Aria’s sharp upper treble drop after 10 kHz, which helps its upper register to sound more natural.
Bass articulation is in line with my expectations for the price point and is competitive with similarly priced options released over the last year like the 7Hz Zero. There is plenty of punch and impact to percussion hits, but bass texture is a bit lacking.
The midrange is tuned for clarity and does a great job of intelligibly rendering both male and female vocals. On the other hand, there is too much presence for distorted electric guitars, which take on a buzzsaw-like quality. Male vocals are also on the thin side, and there is a bit of sibilance to female vocals. On the other hand, I do not hear any glaring timbre-related anomalies, like plasticky analog percussion or overly metallic cymbal crashes.
I think the C2 does a great job of delivering a brighter-than-average treble response, especially for the price. There is more lower treble than I would ordinarily prefer, but the C2 generally avoids sounding harsh. The C2 also has the best upper treble extension of the three TinHiFi IEMs and has excellent detail retrieval for a $30 IEM. In addition, the C2 has a remarkably three-dimensional soundstage for a budget single dynamic driver design, with noticeably more depth to its soundstage than the Zero. Instrument separation is adequate but not exceptional.
Compared to the C2, the C3 has more sub-bass emphasis, less presence in the upper midrange, and a more relaxed treble response with worse upper treble extension.
The additional sub-bass aids the audibility of bass guitars in heavy rock music but accentuates kick drum hits to the point of being distracting. The C3 fares better than the C2 in terms of bass texture while retaining the C2’s excellent bass articulation and impact.
The C3’s midrange is less clear than the C2’s but is better suited for music involving distorted electric guitars. There is a deliberate dip in the presence region beginning after about 4.5 kHz which keeps the distortion from sounding exaggerated. Male vocals have more body but can be shouty sounding. Female vocals are vibrant without sibilance. Like the C2, the C3 has a natural-sounding timbre.
The C3 has a much more relaxed treble response than the C2. I find it boring in comparison, and I perceive much less detail. The C3 also has worse instrument separation and a more two-dimensional soundstage than the C2.
Overall, while the C3 comes with a much nicer cable than the C2, I do not feel that it justifies its higher price tag relative to its sibling.
The C5, which is the most expensive of the three, is unquestionably the worst sounding. It is one of the worst IEMs I have heard in a long time. This is mostly because the C5 has even poorer treble extension than the C3, to the point where there is very little frequency response above the lower treble region. Detail retrieval is nonexistent and the soundstage is a one-dimensional lateral smear. Instrument separation is below average for the price point.
The C5’s bass response is quick in terms of articulation, which might be the only positive thing I can say about this IEM. On the other hand, bass delivery is limp with no punch, impact, or dynamics.
Despite the absence of mid-bass bleed, the midrange is muddy and indistinct. Despite the appearance of a distinct pinna gain region in my measurements, male vocals are half-submerged beneath the vaguely attempted reproduction of midrange instrumentation. The same female vocals that sounded vibrant on the C3 sound nasal and stuffy here. In contrast to the C2 and C3, the C5 has a dry, plasticky timbre.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
I did not find any of the three IEMs particularly difficult to drive.
The TinHiFi C2 is a great budget IEM that ably competes with similarly priced alternatives on technicalities and offers a well-executed take on a less common tuning. The C3 fails to pair its higher asking price with improved technical performance but may be more suited to certain genres than the C2 due to its more restrained presence region. The C5 is a bad IEM at any price and should be avoided.
Out of interest have you heard/compared the Crinacle Red? The C2 is my first ‘audiophile’ IEM and I love it. My only critique is occasionally some sibilence seems to activate e.g. on Lewis Capaldi’s latest album. I’m picking its that peak just under 8k which also shows on Super Review’s measurements. It must be very narrow though as I don’t notice it that often so I’m still enjoying them.
Would you say the Red is a sufficiently different experience to be worth trying out, or fairly similar sonically? I ask as it’s widely recommended but seems pretty similar on your Squiglink, aside from slightly less in the lower mids to the C2 and a more significant difference in the lower treble.
Appreciate your expertise/subjective thoughts.