Tin HiFi T1 Plus: mediocre, but in a good way?
Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Neighborhood. It’s Your Friendly Neighborhood Reviewer with InToit Reviews. Today we’re looking a budget option with the Tin HiFi T1 Plus. This IEM comes in at $25 dollars, but does it perform better than its price? Let’s get InToit!
So, let’s talk about the T1 Plus. The build here has its ups and its downs. The shell is made expressly out of plastic, and it fits most comfortably in my ear. Size-wise, the shell is barely bigger than the S.S.R., and it weighs almost nothing. The angle of the nozzle is fine, and the shell itself is not very thick from faceplate to nozzle. So for the most part this is a tiny, light-weight earphone. I was sent the green variety by Dave from DBS Tech Talks, and if I was picking amongst the available colorways. I think I would pick the green as well, but it is also available in white, pink, and black. In each case, the faceplate is opaque, and the shell body is see-through. The connection at the earphone is a c-pin/QDC style connector, and the cable provided with the earphone terminates in a straight 3.5mm TRS connection. The cable itself is very nice for the price. It appears to be a twisted, 4-core, silver-plated cooper cable, which plays well and has a clear, small bead for a chin slider, which functioned appropriately. Other manufactures of cheaper IEMs could learn something from Tin HiFi here, as this is probably the nicest cable to come with an IEM in this price range.
The drive-unit is a single, beryllium-coated diaphragm, which is also somewhat of a rarity in the price range, but more things are coming out with beryllium involved these days too. Other earphones near this price, which incorporate beryllium, include the Moondrop S.S.R. and S.S.P., and the Jade Audio EA1. But each of these sets is also at least $5-15 dollars more expensive in comparison to the T1 Plus.
And, while I really liked the S.S.R. and the EA1, I’m sorry to say that the Tin HiFi T1 Plus doesn’t really measure up in terms of performance- granted it is a few bucks cheaper than those earphones. With the T1 Plus, you get a “fun” sound signature, and these aren’t really that resolving; especially in comparison to sets like the EA1 and S.S.R. But, if your price has to be $25 and below, then these aren’t terrible either. I would recommend the T1 Plus over something like the Blon BL-01 that I just reviewed. I mean these at least have treble, and produce a more accurate picture across the entire frequency response range. Having said that, these are fairly V-shaped, with most of their energy coming from 2-5K; but I wouldn’t say that I found the T1 Plus to be aggressive here either. Instead, I found the listen of the T1 Plus to be mostly “average,” and “safe” within its tuning.
The overall presentation here did vary with tip selection; however, and there were notable differences between the two tips that came in the box. The T1 Plus comes with two sets of clear, silicone ear tips- a wide-bored and a narrow-bored set. In general, I preferred the later, but the wide-bored set did produce a wider soundscape, and was more even in its presentation. Ultimately, I felt that that the wide-bored tips lacked dynamics and some bass. The narrow-bored set of tips produced a more average soundscape, but offered more detail, definition, and dynamics to the music.
But overall, regarding the T1 Plus’ presentation, I would say that it is mostly average-neither demonstrating greatness, nor exhibiting significant flaws. For example, macrodynamics, transients, decay, imaging, and separation are most assuredly average, and peripheral detailing is only slightly above average. Timbre is warm, fuzzy, and vocals are well centered and somewhat distinctive, but not really forward in any true sense. What sticks out to me the most; however, is that its resolution isn’t fabulous, and it there is significant roll off at both ends.
In summary, I don’t hate this set, and I actually somewhat like it. Its presentation is mediocre, but in the best possible way for a set such as this. I simply think it does well for what it is, but its not something that is going to usurp standouts in the price-range either.
So, I’m not going to recommend that everyone run out and buy a T1 Plus, but, due to its insubstantial weight, this could be a knock-around set, a set that one works out with, or a nice gift for someone that isn’t too picky or someone who is new to the hobby. Honestly the cable is almost worth the price of this set alone, but if I were to get this earphone, it would be to give it to a kid, or take it on a boating trip- where I wouldn’t necessarily feel remorse if it got wet or not. And, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that this set is water-proof either, as there are two vent holes on the back-side of the shell itself, facing one’s ears. I’m just suggesting that if they were to be damaged it wouldn’t be much of a loss. And, with that, I’m out… for now.
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