The All New Tin HiFi T2 Plus: the best Tin HiFi yet?
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Welcome back to the Neighborhood! Its Your Friendly Neighborhood Reviewer here with my impressions of the Tin HiFi T2 Plus!
I was lucky enough to snag one of these guys up early, and let me tell you guys, I’m glad I did, because these guys are impressive at only $50-60 bucks.
So, Let’s get inToit!
The Tin HiFi T2 Plus is a another Tin HiFi “T” IEM, and it does seem like there are a ton of them at this point. But, this also is the least “Tin HiFi” in the T-series, in my humble opinion, and it may also be, what many will consider, the best…
So, before we even get into build or anything like that, let’s address the "elephant in the room." These are basically a Blon BL-03 clone- both in looks, and, as it turns out, somewhat in sound.
If you were asking me to describe what these sounds like in a nutshell, I’d say that these sound almost identical to a BL-03; but better executed in almost all respects. Unlike the BL-03, the treble is well extended, and unlike the BL-03, the bass is rather well maintained, and does not bleed into the mid-range as profusely. I’d also say there is a tinge more sub-bass representation in the T2 Plus as well. So, if you already own a BL-03, you know basically what you will be getting, and if you are considering between the ‘03 and this one, I most definitely recommend the Tin HiFi T2 Plus between the two.
With that out of the way let’s talk about the build, and then get into more specifics. The T2 Plus is comprised of what appears to be anodized metal shell, which contains a single dynamic driver. The shape of the shell looks a little bit like a golf club- more specifically a driver.
Just like the BL-03, the stem of the unit is somewhat short, and the fit is rather shallow- it may even be shallower than the ‘03. The BL-03 had fit issues for some because of this, and I suspect that the T2 Plus will run into some similar issues, as these get into more people's ears.
Nevertheless, just like the BL-03, these fit my ears pretty well; however, the back of the flat-face of the unit does rest up against the conchae of my ear. The fit is similar to the Simgot EN700 Pro in that way, almost like a hybrid between the Simgot and the ’03. They come with a variety of clear silicon tips in duplicate, and one pair of the white foams that started to show up in packages with the Tin T3.
One negative about the fit is that I do have to wear the IEM with the MMCX connector angled more forward than I would like, so that there is about a finger’s space between the top of my ear and the loop of the cable for it to feel comfortable. However; switching to a balanced Tripowin cable did help with this somewhat.
Additionally, the angle of the nozzle is quite steep, and because of this, there is a “perfect angle” that these need to sit in and hold to fit comfortably and maintain a proper seal. Nevertheless, after trying a bunch of tip options, I returned to the stocks for both sound and comfort even if they were prone to slip somewhat overtime with movement, and either become somewhat uncomfortable or lose their seal.
So, now’s probably a good time to talk about the cable. As I already alluded to, it initiates in MMCX connectors, appears to be composed of a silver-plated copper, and terminates in a 3.5mm TRS connection. I do think Tin HiFi missed an opportunity here to offer a 2.5 mm balanced cable with an unbalanced adapter. This is particularly a shame because this is perhaps the best Tin HiFi cable in existence right now in my opinion. Even if it is a bit floppy under the weight of the 3.5mm connector. Yes, better than the T3 and the T4 cable! The cable actually reminds me of the feel of the Moondrop Starfield cable, but thicker and braided better. It does not have the exact same braid as the T3 cable, but it does have one that is of equal quality. Having said that the angle that the earhook created seated the IEM somewhat unaturally in my ear, and I ultimately enjoyed the fit of a Tripwin balanced cable more. In summary, I’d say that the cable is great, it's like the Starfield cable and the T3 cable had a baby, but you just might want to take out a hairdryer to adjust the the angle of the aggressive hook if necessary.
In terms of sound specifics, the treble is somewhat forward, splashy, and on the brighter side of neutral with decent air to it. There have been some reports of sibilance in some units, but I have yet to hear any in mine. The treble does have a “Tin HiFi flare” to it, and is on the drier side of things and somewhat thin. While the treble presentation is thicker than a T3, and not as dry that IEM, it is thinner than a T4’s presentation with less sharpness, sheen, and liquidity to it. While there is some treble intensity with the stock tips at times, which lends itself towards the perception of brittleness with extended listening, I never found the treble region to be harsh or strident; howeve. Of particular note, there is some mild treble grain, that I’m mostly willing to overlook due to the fact that this is a single dynamic driver, and the rest of the IEM’s presentation is generally, very pleasing.
Upper mids are forward, but some of the mid-range; moving down towards the lower mid-range takes a backseat at times. For example, female vocals, guitars, and other stringed instruments were generally forward in the mix, while some male vocals and horns, like trumpets, were recessed at times. One way to think of this is that the mid-range has a mild, or shallow, V-shaped presentation to it; and it is auditorily observable when shuffling from track to track. A gentler elevation from 1K, like that found in the T4 frequency response, would have been appreciated, but I do enjoy the mid-range presentation on most songs. The upper midrange of the T4 is a bit heightened in comparison to the T2 Plus as well, giving it the sense of being more elevated.
Detail and resolution are above average specially for a single dynamic in this price range, but it isn’t earth shattering either. There are more details in the treble domain than in the mid-range or the bass regions. Transients also tend to resolve a bit too quickly as well, and are a weak point for this set. Peripheral details are good. However; while imaging is mostly decent across the board, and rather "HiFi" in its presentation, on certain busier tracks, it does sound somewhat blob-like; and further, those blobs aren’t exactly well defined.
Separation is somewhat inconsistent, and occurs best in the treble area, whereas the mid-range and the bass regions had worse differentiation. Instrument distinction and separation was better when using a balanced Tripowin cable. The staging has decent width to it, and is similar to the holographic stage of the BL-03, but stage height and dept are more limited than in something like a T4; with stage’s depth being more restricted than its height in the T2 Plus- but somewhat restricted it was, nevertheless.
Timbre is pointedly bright, moderately lean, somewhat dry, and, at times, brittle in nature, with tones presenting themselves with a slight auditorium-like resonance to them. Sonics can project a mild, plate-reverb-like-quality when the upper regions are emphasized. There is significantly more of an airy presentation beginning in the upper mids, and continuing into the treble, than there is in other regions. In some ways the timbre from the mid-range down is significantly warmer than the upper mid-range to the treble, and there is less reverb as the sounds transition downward. For a single dynamic unit, its odd to say it, but it is somewhat multi-timbred in this regard.
The bass presentation can vary greatly, and is rather nuanced. At times it barely kicks-in, while at others it thumps and almost rumbles- but never in an overly intense or fatiguing way. I would like more sub-bass presence, but there is less sub-bass roll-off, and a more even bass presentation here than in something like a Blon BL-03. The sub-bass that is present, does a good job of subtly enveloping the bass tones without bleeding offensively into the mids. There is good soothing bass texture here, but it is not the most layered, tight, or resolute low-end. Instead the bass does possess a diffuse quality to it, somewhat. In comparison to T4, the T2 plus’ bass is looser and has less sub-bass presence and impact, but it is also more evenly distributed and does possess the upper mid-bass presence that is notably missing in music from the 90’s on the T4.
At $50-60 dollars this IEM is a significant audiophile value, especially for those that enjoy a somewhat balanced presentation, holographic soundstage, and extended treble. This IS the Blon BL-03 upgrade, both in looks, and in sound. Plus, it’s also almost a complete package, considering what's in the box; but like I said Tin HiFi missed an opportunity to include a balanced cable this time, and the fit may be suspect for some. Nevertheless, this is one of, if not the best value propositions under $50 dollars right now, and while this may not replace my balanced T4 (with Final Audio Type E tips) as my EDC (everyday carry [due to fit and staging spatial differences]), I can see the masses preferring the sound of the newer T2 Plus.
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