(All listening has been done with included small black tips, IKKO ITM03, Apple lightning DAC, Fiio K3/ K5, Tidal, Apple Music lossless)
Everything sounds natural; cymbals crashes are realistic and you the hear the texture and nuances in all the instruments. Vocals are natural and not recessed(no BA timbre in sight), which I’m a big fan of, listening to genres such as rock, metal and alternative. It sounds really cohesive, almost like single dynamic drivers(every frequency is reproduced clearly) and has the better mids than Hifiman Sundaras. These can also play pop and electronic, no problem, just about every genre does fine. Midbass may be lacking for those genres though. Bass is fairly clean, with a slight subass boost. Does have below average punch and slam though(BA like), maybe due to crossover which makes the DD handle more subass rather than midbass. Changing to thicker core, small bore tips may help. EQing does not seem to fix this(this is no planar). However, EQing in more subass does make these quite interesting to listen to(River- Solo, Rich Brian- Kids, 40-50hz rumble.).
Treble is perfect for me. A bit darker, which prevents any sibilance(I’m treble sensitive) while being able to recreating the whole sound spectrum, adding to the cohesiveness of the sound. This means that these will not sparkle(maybe EQ can help)
Technicals are also really good, having excellent instrument separation and transients, complemented by its good imaging. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” sounded brilliant on these; the intro footsteps are accurately portrayed and each instrument is distinct with its own placement in the sound field. Music never seems to get bloated, even on busier tracks. Soundstage, however I’d rather below average(worse than Starfields), but some may prefer this more intimate presentation, which I do in some cases. IMO, having large soundstage usually makes every sound recessed and makes vocals sound distant, at least on cheaper sets.
Power requirements are perfectly suited for portable use. It is very efficient and does not require much power to get loud, even when used with Apple’s lightning dongle(typical of BA drivers). This may play to its detriment though, when used with beefier desktop amps less ideal SNRs. When connected to my Fiio K5’s these manifested noticeable hiss. But once again, using an amp of this caliber is not required.
The build is excellent, gorgeous finish on the faceplate with no visible defects. Resin shell transitions perfectly to metal nozzle, with no glue in sight, which brings me on to fit. While researching online, I found that the nozzle was on the larger side and worried that it wouldn’t fit well with my small ear canals. Nozzle, later measured with caliper was 5.40mm and 6.30mm at the lip. I was pleasantly surprised when I got these, as these fit like a glove in my ears(with the included small black ear tips). These ear tips are smaller than those you would get with your average IEMs and allowed me to get deep insertion, which does a great job at isolating noise. It sits pretty flush with my ears and fills most of my concha. The flange on the rear on the IEM also helps to lock in a very secure fit. Removing them are a bit more difficult due to the reasons stated above. The shells are rather big, fitting medium sized ears just right, steer clear if you have small ears. I do feel some pain during extended use(3hours+) but that will probably go away after wearing them some more. Also helps that the shells are very lightweight.
Package accessories are good. The included ear tips are well made and the pleather case feels great too, with plenty of space for the IEM and a dongle DAC. The case seems to be the same as the ones you get with Tin IEMs, maybe Tin Hifi is their OEM for the IEM too? The previous Tea also seems to have an OEM’s faceplate design. Not too sure about this though.
Now for the bad part; the cable. The silver-coated cable looks and feels great from the outside, with a decent suppleness and a good curvature, hugging my ears nicely. It stays put, using Super* Review’s roadie wrap method. However, trouble arises when you try to disconnect it from the IEM body. The 2 male pins are noticeable larger than the average 2 pin connector, leading to an extremely tight fit. I bend the pins, trying to remove it(was able to straighten afterwards). I would highly recommend not tampering with the cable and keeping it as is.
Fantastically tuned, neutral with slight subass emphasis and non offensive treble. Cohesive throughout the FR and can play just about every genre.
Beautiful build and finish.
Good fit for medium+ sized ears.
Very noise isolating if the above is achieved.
Nice selection of ear tips, nice carrying case, containing foam tips.
Can be somewhat EQ’ed
Cable needs to be removed carefully due to tight fit.
Soundstage is not the best for this price category but acceptable for an IEM.
Limited tip selection du...