Hi all, and welcome back to The Neighborhood. We’re giving Tin HiFi another shot today with the all-new Tin HiFi T3 Plus. I previously reviewed the original T3 from Tin HiFi and thought that it was a pretty unique IEM; especially for gaming. But, this T3 looks nothing like the original, with a redesigned shell and an entirely different driver configuration. Let’s get InToit!
Build wise, Tin HiFi seems to be moving away from its traditional metal, bullet-shaped shell to a more traditional ear-shaped design. The shell here is comprised of resin and employs of a dual cavity strategy. It pretty lightweight, and has an ergonomic fit in the ear that I find comfortable for hours of use.
The connection at the shell is a flush 2-pin, and the cable that is provided with this set terminates in a 3.5 mm jack. This is the same cable that came with the Tin HiFi T5. And, like my evaluation of it in that review, my re-evaluation of it here will not be favorable. It tends to kink up within use, is relatively thin, and feels mostly cheap overall. Coming from Tin HiFi, this was a disappointment, as they have been known to include some pretty decent cables with their IEMs in the past. But the one included here, isn’t one of them, so I’d suggest picking up an alternative cable like the balanced Tripowin Zonie cable that I did much of my testing with.
Inside the shell of the T3 Plus is a “LCP,” or Liquid Crystal Polymer, dynamic driver. This is another difference from the original T3, which housed a single BA and additional dynamic. LCP implementation has been pretty popular as of late, as a number of other IEMs in-and-around the T3 Plus’ price-range have also employed single, LCP drivers such as the Moondrop Aria, Tanchjim Hana, and others. So, in comparison to those other LCP’s out there, can the T3 Plus keep up with its own implementation the liquid crystal polymer driver?
The short answer here is “yes,” but with a caveat. That caveat is that the Tin T3 Plus is rather tip dependent, meaning that its sound does change rather dramatically depending on the tips that one selects. This includes the two sets of tips that Tin HiFi has chosen to include in the box. The set that comes affixed to the IEM itself is made of simple, black silicone, and I’ll be straight forward in saying that, with this tip this, the T3 Plus did not produce my favorite sonics. You see, with this tip selected, the bottom-end was a tad too “smushy” and the top-end a bit too rolled off. With that said, some may be willing to put up with these outcomes, especially those that prefer more of a laid-back presentation. While this wasn’t my preferred auditory outcome, some might prefer the auditory equivalent of riding in a Cadillac or other similar car which might be described as a “sofa on wheels.”
Luckily, Tin HiFi also included a second set of tips with the T3 Plus- ones composed a more transparent, grey silicone. With these tips the T3 Plus took on a much more agreeable and less auditorily truncated presentation to my ears. In fact, with these tips, the T3 Plus may actually be my top recommendation around the $75 dollar price-point. At least keeping up if not surpassing other recent recommendations such as the Moondrop Aria or Blon A8. And while each of those IEMs also have their strengths in comparison to the T3 Plus, strengths which we’ll get into later when we talk about comparisons, I think the T3 Plus, at least pulls a notch ahead of these others when it comes recording accuracy, clarity, and resolution. While not as well defined as some of the best IEMs in the hundred-dollar-and-above price category, it certainly is one of the best I’ve heard for under a hundred bucks.
Having said that, detailing was much more transparent in the mid-range and higher frequencies in this IEM than it was from sonics coming from the low-end. In fact, I would say that the bottom-end of this IEM is really its “Achilles’ Heel.” And while its low-end precision is at least on par with others standouts in this price-range, such as the Moondrop Aria and Blon A8, it does feel somewhat limited and incongruous in its performance in comparison with the rest of its own sonics. So, while the grey, silicone tips did improve the lower-end performance of this IEM to a certain extent, it is still not perfect in this department, and ultimately more diffuse, fuzzy, and one-note-ish in its presentation that what I would like, even if this is not necessarily uncharacteristic of other IEMs in the price-range. With that said, there is some mild sub-bass roll off, even if its extension is relatively good otherwise.
Moving onto the mid-range. The mid-range performance is clear, consistent, and neither too far forward, nor too far recessed- riding the midline well in terms of its ability to deliver a detailed image without any hints of harshness or aggressivity. Vocals follow this pattern as well, and I never felt that either female vocals were too intense or male held back.
With the grey-tips, the treble presentation is also decently extended and well-defined. The T3 Plus isn’t going to win any awards for its air quantity, but there is a “sneaky” bit of air here that comes across on the tracks where it is needed. The sound here appears accurate to the recording, neither detracting from original sonics, nor over-embellishing them.
But where the T3, really excels is in its staging. While staging in T3 Plus is not the absolute largest, it is still a staging monster for its price. The stage itself has a mild w-shape to its presentation that is not only somewhat unique, but also natural sounding in its delivery. Sonics in the true middle are presented as slightly further back in comparison to those on the very side; with those sounds in between (the true middle and peripheral) being perceived as slightly further back in comparison to those focal points. Put in other words, the stage is relatively even with some slight forwardness in the middle and even more forwardness coming from amongst the stage’s periphery. Width of the presentation floats somewhere above one’s shoulder, with depth and height of the image are similarly distant out in front of, or on top of the listener’s head at times. Images are also well spaced within this soundscape, and the T3 Plus offers its listener good image distinctiveness and instrument differentiation amongst its overall sonic presentation. So, separation is good enough to delivery an accurate sonic picture to the T3 Plus’s listener within its accurate soundscape.
Individual note weight appears neither too lush, nor too thin, and unlike most other Tin HiFi products, which have tended to error in timbre on the bright side of things, I never found the T3 Plus to be either too bright or excessively warm in its presentation, even across a variety of amplification. In other words, the timbre of the T3 Plus is relatively neutral, or at most slightly warm in its tonality.
Compared to some others that I recommend in the price range, the T3 Plus is a somewhat more polished in its sound and delivery in comparison to something like the Blon A8 or even the Moondrop Aria- both of which come across as a bit more raw in their presentation overall. For example, both the bass and the treble of the T3 Plus are a bit more controlled than they are in either the A8 or the Aria. There is also less treble glare, a more sophisticated staging, and better individual note separation with T3 Plus as well, even if it may come at the cost of some mild extension deficits in both directions with the Tin HiFi IEM. Still, some may actually prefer the rawer, more extensive presentations of either A8 or the Aria in comparison with the T3 Plus, which could come across as being “too polished” to some. Furthermore, others might prefer either the heftier, more sub-bass focused bottom end in the A8 or the additional treble extension of the Aria. Yet, with all that said, as the market sits at this time, I would still put the T3 Plus’s performance right up with these other two as some of the best in $75 dollar price range right now.
And I think that pretty much sums it up. The TinHiFi T3 Plus are some of my favorite IEMs to come from TinHiFi yet! Even though the bass is somewhat their Achilles Heel, it’s in line with the price range, and if it had a better bass, it’d probably be a more expensive IEM. In any case, the T3 Plus is definitely better than other things Tin HiFi has put out recently, such as the Tin HiFi T5 or T2 Evo. So, with this IEM, Tin HiFi may be steering the ship back on track, at least that is my hope, as I have enjoyed a number of their previous offerings in the past.
Thanks to Linsoul for sending in the T3 Plus to the channel for nothing more than an honest review. A link for how to purchase the T3 Plus from them will be listed in the description below. Also, make sure to hit subscribe here, and leave a like on the video before you go. And, if you can, consider leaving a comment as well. This will appease the fickle Gods behind the YouTube Algorithm. You can also join The Neighborhood at its other access locations including Instagram, Twitter, www.intoitreviews.com, the Discord server, or become a member of the Patreon by clicking on the various links in the description. And, as always, I appreciate you all! And with that, I’m out… for now…