So I got this pair of TIN T2 Plus as a review unit from my friends at KEEPHIFI (www.keephifi.com) entrusting me to an unbiased analysis and openhearted subjective evaluation, which is what I’m reporting here below.
|Nicely calibrated warm tonality.||Slow bass.|
|Good high section.||Too polite.|
|Comfortable||Tips may require rolling.|
Full Device Card
Hiby R5 (Single Ended and Balance Ended port) – Fiio X3-mkIII – Tempotec V1 + Fiio BTR5 / Anaudiophile ESS DAC dongle / Apogee Groove – Radius Deep Mount tips – NiceHCK 16core High Purity Copper balanced cable – Lossless 16/44.1 – 24/96 – 24/192 FLAC tracks.
|Tonality||Warm tonality in an accurately balanced signature. The care in the horizontal calibration / compensation of the various parts of the spectrum is probably the single best part of the product. The presentation comes across very coherent, and a pleasure to listen to.|
|Sub-Bass||Modestly rolled off but still nicely present per se. It’s much better than what mid-bass lowend’s allows me to hear most of the times.|
|Mid Bass||Slow transients make low mid-bass “fat” and quite invasive on many tracks. Personally I wouldn’t like this even if it were less evident. Even offsetting my preference, the effect is not nice in general.|
|Mids||Overall a bit behind, they are actually quite nicely rendered with particular regards to the high-mids, both per se, and due to mid-bass relative veiling (see above).|
|Male Vocals||Males clearly benefit from the general warm tonality, although not presenting particularly elaborated texture. They resound better than what they actually deliver, but I wouldn’t call the bad either.|
|Female Vocals||Better than Male, Female voices do clearly benefit from the adjacent treble section quality. They are neither behind nor forward, on the lean side although not thin, quite defined and pleasant for my taste. No shrilling nor squeaking is present.|
|Highs||Together with general balancing, this is in my score the best part of the presentation. Opposite to bass, highs transients are on the fast side, air is quite present and we have good extension and an overall very pleasant rendition, with quite some vividness, yet always free from peaks and offensiveness.|
|Soundstage||Above average but not more than that. More horizontal than deep anyhow. For the price bracket something more could have been done here.|
|Imaging||Quite precise, unlike soundstage this is above average on this price bracket|
|Details||Sub-average due to low mid-bass invasiveness (see above)|
|Instrument separation||Identical notes as for “Details” apply: T2+ tries to show me some serious competence on rounding out each instrument, but the low mid-bass part of the tuning hides some of that.|
|Driveability||Relatively easy, I can drive them at more than competent volume and open-ness even with a battery-less DAC dongle.|
|Build||Aluminum alloy housing, with a nice satin finish.|
|Fit||The general tear-drop shape is quite rightly sized and totally smooth-edged, making concha-level fitting easy probably for most people (me included). On the other hand nozzles are not long at all so depending on the general ear shape and/or on personal insertion depth preferences stock tips may be absolutely inadequate. Such was indeed my case, and after quite some rolling I ended up having to adopt Radius DeepMount eartips. Another important thing to notice is the presence of two vents, one of which is at the very base of the nozzle, which may end up occluded (totally or partially) resulting in a much darker sound depending on eartip choice and/or insertion depth.|
|Comfort||Once the right tips are selected, comfort is actually great.|
|Isolation||Once fitted and properly tipped, T2+’s shape provide above average passive isolation|
|Cable||Supplied with a single-ended 3.5mm 4-core SPC cable with a very nice-touch kevlar sheath. Not tragical like other TIN stock cables (T4, anyone??) it does not shine any bright light either. Worth an upgrade for sure.|
|Housing||Aluminum alloy CNC machined housing|
|Driver(s)||10mm NanoPure nickel-zinc alloy plated dynamic driver|
|Cable||1.25m (22/0.06AS Silver-plated Enameled+200D Kevlar)*4, Transparent Super Soft PVC 3.5mm single-ended terminated cable|
|Accessories and package||2 identical sets of 3 pairs (S/M/L) silicon tips, 1 pair of foam tips, 1 velcro strip for the cable. No carry case nor pouch.|
|MSRP at this post time||$147,50 ($59,00 on AE)|
Opinions and considerations
Overall evaluation (1)
T2+ is not one IEM I fell in love at first
sight hear with but this is more due to my personal tastes than to any severe product fault honestly.
The two aspects that keep me from having chills are the slow mid-bass, and the “too much inoffensive” general presentation.
T2+ is very mild, accurately balanced, warm and relaxing. Some may heartily love them for this, actually.
Can we do something with that bass ?
Applying an EQ mitigation (even via a simple Graphical EQ) on 63Hz and 125Hz the situation gets significantly better. Bass suddenly gets less egocentric, with instant positive impact on mid-bass instrument presentation, much improved detail retrieval and much sharper instrument separation.
However (!) a correction heavier than -1dB will screw T2+’s well done horizontal balancing making trebles too evident. At -1dB low mid-bass is still too much present for my tastes, but even with that modest change the overall result is indeed much more pleasant to me.
The above sound analysis quite accurately relates my experience while pairing T2+ with Hiby R5 (both single ended and balanced ended), Fiio X3-mkIII, Fiio BTR5 (both single ended and differential ended) and Anaudiophile’s ESS DAC dongle – these latter 2 devices USB-docked onto my Tempotec V1 transport.
There are of course some differences from one source to another, but nothing life-changing:
- ESS-based BTR5 and Anaudiophile DACs give a bit more forwardness to vocals on T2+, compared to Cirrus-based R5
- BurrBrown-based X3-mkIII adds its warmth to T2+’s making it furtherly colored in that direction. In my books this is not a desirable variation, but that’s ofc my specific preference. YMMV, as always.
- Balanced-ended amping on BTR5 and R5 grants a perceivably better dynamic to sound and tames bleeding bass a bit, contributing to gift some moderate but much required vividness to T2+’s presentation, which (as noted above) I find in general a tad too “polite
The situation changes dramatically when pairing to a higher-tier DAC/AMP like Apogee Groove.
Groove’s superior cleanness, clarity and definition makes as if a robust sheet of tracing paper is lifted off from the entire T2+ presentation.
When driven by Groove, T2+’s low mid-bass transients stay on the slow side, but gain an almost perfect control. As a consequence the EQ correction becomes totally un-necessary, bass autonomously losing virtually all of its bleed tendency. Mids come across a full step forward into the stage, which acquires an evident better clarity. Clarity in its turn converts into macroscopically better instrument separation and even more pleasant imaging.
Overall evaluation (2)
In the hands of higher quality equipment like the Groove, T2+ suddenly start shining of a diamond-like light, and rise to an absolutely outstanding level. They become detailed, controlled, authoritative and very engaging.
In such situation – although only in such situation – they get a solid place in the roster of my best ones below 100$