|Very neutral presentation||Some treble excess|
|Clarity all over the spectrum||Some (tamable) sibilance|
|Well done mids||Limited soundstage and imaging|
Full Device Card
Tempotec V1 + Fiio BTR5/USB / Fiio X3 MK-III / Hiby R5 – both Balanced Ended and Single Ended ports – 5N OFC and copper alloy single-ended cable (stock cable with TIN P1) / Nicehck 16 core High Purity Copper balance ended cable – Symbio Peel / T4 Stock white / JVC SpiralDot tips – Lossless 16/44.1 – 24/96 – 24/192 FLAC tracks.
|Tonality||Fundamentally neutral, with some small concession to a modest midbass elevation and moderate treble bump; the latter being prevalent to the former, the end result is an overall “slightly bright-neutral” tonality, with a reciprocal calibration offering quite engaging dynamics.|
|Sub-Bass||Flat compared to mid-bass, which means not elevated (but not rolled off either). Fast in its category, decently textured.|
|Mid Bass||Very modestly elevated compared to a purely flat-neutral signature, just enough to offer a brushstroke of warmth, and some light bass tones to the presentation, always staying very far from bleeding in or even compromising mids clarity.|
|Mids||Fast and clear are the words here. Mids are very well rendered overall, with special regards to the high part.|
|Male Vocals||Bodied and natural. Warmed up (but not veiled) by the modest midbass elevation.|
|Female Vocals||Crystal clear and as good as Males in quality, in some case female voices present sibilance to me. It goes away in two ways: either adopting appropriate tips (in my case JVC SpiralDot or Symbio Peel) and leaving T4s relatively shallow inserted, or fitting other tips allowing for a deeper insertion (in my case JVC Spiraldot or T4’s stock white tips work equivalently well for me). YMMV, as always.|
|Highs||Averagely extended alhough very airy, clair, almost bright without being offensive. The obvious peak (positionable between 5 and 6KHz, depending on insertion) contributes to the overall crispness of this section, but comes accross as excessive some times and this is probably the sole real “con” in the entire presentation|
|Soundstage||Above average, but no more than that. Width is just about out of my head.|
|Imaging||Indeed, I’d call this more a well done stereo effect than a good 3D positioning. Imaging is therefore “average” in my books.|
|Details||T4 offers more “clarity” than “details” per se. That said, perceived detail retrieval is not bad at all especially in this category. It honestly takes a more specialised IEM to do significantly better.|
|Instrument separation||Overall clarity and neutrality is accompanied by very, very good layering and separation all over the entire spectrum|
|Driveability||Good. A phone is way enough.|
|Build||Full metal, very solid housings, complemented with a quite stylish turbine-shaped engravure on the back side (it’s not a vent!). I never had any issues but quite a few users reported problems to the female MMCX connectors.|
|Fit||The housings are not huge and cylindrical and as such they tend to be quite easy to fit, barred very small or uncommondly shaped conchas. They fit perfectly to me anyway. The nozzle not short, allowing for relatively deep insertion.|
|Comfort||Extremely comfortable once properly fitting.|
|Isolation||Especially when a realatively deep insertion is opted for, isolation is very good.|
|Cable||While not a bad one electrically speaking (5N Silver-Plated Copper) my T4 stock cable miserably failed after a week (both male MMCX connectors gone). I must say the vendor promptly sent me a replacement, although not an impressive one either in terms of quality. Considering T4’s easy driveability, I’ve recently adopted P1’s very good (5N OFC and copper alloy) but single-ended stock cable on it, and I’m quite happy of the pairing.|
|Housing||Full metal, mirror finish|
|Driver(s)||10mm high-quality carbon nanotube (CNT) dynamic driver|
|Cable||5N Silver-Plated Copper, 3.5 single ended termination|
|Frequency Range||10 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Package & accessories||3 pairs of white/transparent longer silicon tips, 3 pairs of black somewhat shorter silicon tips, 1 pair of foam tips, velcro cable strap, leatherette coffer, 1 shirt clip|
|MSRP at this post time||$ 109,00 (usually on sale for less, down to $ 79,00 at times)|
Other opinions & considerations
TIN T4 is one of those IEMs that can generate, idd generated mixed emotions, at least to me.
The very first time I auditioned them I almost hated them as I was assaulted by their 6KHz peak which made them come accross unacceptably bright even while playing a treble-friendly genre such as bebop. I almost trashed them after a week. Then, with a process in the end quite similar to how final E4000 sucked me in, while listening to some genres with other IEMs I noticed where such latter drivers were lacking vs my memory of the “other” T4 parts, and I called them back into service. Once, and then again. And again.
Yes the 6K peak is there but it can be tamed with some very easy EQing if really wanted, revealing a solidly clear performer with such a neutral signature as to almost sound arid, if it weren’t for that modest but decisive midbass dry coloration and treble airyness granting a world more of engagement, but taking all care to not even coming close to imposing a definite personality.
T4’s balance between neutrality and endogenous dynamics is frankly difficult to replicate, and even some of its single features are not easy to upgrade. Take its sub-bass for example: it’s kept scarce on the altar of neutrality, hoewever even taking that in absolute terms, finding another IEM with a significant higher sub-bass presence strictly paired with uncompromised high speed and tightness on one end, and not accompanied by meaty let alone bloated midbass is a hell of a bad search. Shuoer Tape is such a truffle. And a tasty one at that – although miles from a widely applicable tool like T4 is, rightly due to its specialties.
Take clarity, or better yet claire neutrality, as another example. Where do I find something really better on that? Until now, for me it took TIN P1. Which on the other hand is the epitome of the de-energetic, supremely-relaxing cuddler. Besides being “expensive” to amp.
Summarising, T4 is a really difficult to beat compromise in its applicative segment – in a budget price bracket or thereabout. A few (not many) other IEMs can do better at single sections, but if I only had space in the bag for just “one” IEM to cover the entire jazz spectrum, I would still need to choose T4.
|TIN T4||final E1000||TIN P1||Hifiman RE400||Shuoer Tape|
|Driver(s)||Single Dynamic Driver||Single Dynamic Driver||Single planar magnetic||Single Dynamic Driver||Single DD + Electret tweeter|
|Tonality||Slightly bright neutral, engaging dynamics||Bright neutral, personal timbre||Slightly warm neutral||Warm-neutral. Flat (mid-centric) signature.||Warmish V-shape|
|Bass||Modestly elevated midbass and subbass. Both are fast, clean.||Flat midbass and rolled off subbass. Dry, fast and punchy.||Flat mid and rolled off sub. Planar superfast transients.||Fully extended, flat, fast sub- and mid-bass. Definitely lean but punchy when called for.||Very elevated, fast, clean sub. Less elevated, clean, fast, lean mid.|
|Mids||Clear, natural sounding and flat.||Somewhat forward, textured, almost purely neutral sounding. Both vocals are nice and musical.||Planar fast transients, extremely clean and detailed. Male vocals better than females.||Natural, clear, quite detailed warmish mids. Very nice vocals.||Recessed but well detailed. Female better than male vocals. EQ correction is well received.|
|Highs||Clair, quite extended, well articulated. Excessive at times. Unfrequent light sibilance removed by tips or deeper insertion.||Prominent, quite articulated, not much extended. Some rare sibilance.||Airy, clair, extended, sparkly, super crisp and fast. Above average, widerSibilance if present can be removed with the right tips.||Moderately extended, some sparkly accent and very nice details. Totally effortless.||Elevated, almost bright, high texture, quality and details. Sibilance tameable by tips selection. Zing on top octave reduced by cable selection, removed by EQing.|
|Soundstage||Above average||Very sizeable, wider than deep||Above average size, clarity increases the sensation of space||Just a bit out of the head, not very deep||Big, around the head|
|Imaging||Above average, consistent||Precise and consistent||Intimate but never congested. Consistent.||Quite precise, but the group is kept too close together giving a congested impression||Very well distributed, and consistent|
|Details||Above average||Just average, not a monster.||Not too many per se, compensated by crystal clarity||Above average in the trebles, and (to a lesser extent) in the sub-bass||Top notch both for quantity and quality, both in trebles and sub-bass|
|Separation||Average||Average, no congestion||Perfect layering give the impression of good instrument separation||Good, but often jeopardised by “close-imaging”||Very good layering and separation|
|Driveability||A phone is OK||A good phone is barely enough||Serious amping required||Any phone is OK||A phone is hardly enough. Amping required if EQing is applied.|
|Fit & Comfort||Fit might be an issue for some. Comfort is OK when fit is easy.||Extremely easy fit, subjective comfort||Almost perfect||Extremely easy fit and top comfort||Fit is a win or lose. Comfort is OK when fit is easy.|
|Other notes||Reference neutrality with a hint of brightness, great dynamics and above average technicalities||Almost-reference flatness and ease of use at a supercheap price||Super refined, silky, lovely sound coming at a relatively cheap purchase yet high amping cost||Superbly natural sounding, truly flat-neutral, extremely relaxing||Spectacular and hyperdetailed bass and treble rendering|
|Economics||$ 109,00 ($ 79,00 deals)||$ 24,00||$ 169,00||$ 79,00 ($ 50,00 deals)||$ 128,00|