Updated: Jan 19
Pros: Budget Beryllium Bass Cannon, Small and light IEMs good fit for smaller ears
Cons: Cheap Build and cable, Poor resolution, Bass-oriented sound not to my taste
Driver Setup: Single Beryllium Coated Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
Disclaimer: This review set is a demo set graciously lent to me by a friend from his personal collection. This review is written of my own accord and all thoughts here are my own. Should you feel interested to purchase a set, it can be found online.
TinHiFi has been on a spree recently, with the recent releases of the T2 plus and P2 Planar earphones. Today we have the T1 plus with us, the first plastic shell budget dynamic driver earphones from them. This pair of IEMs stands out with its very different design scheme compared to TinHiFi’s signature silver full-metal IEMs. They feature a beryllium-coated diaphragm dynamic driver and without further ado, we shall take a look at how they fare.
Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 6/10)
It comes in a neat little box, and given its size, I was expecting much more than what was given. You get the bare necessities, a rather cheap-feeling 2 pin Cable and silicone tips.
Build Quality isn’t very confidence-inspiring. To be frank, it is the cheapest looking and feeling IEM I have had in a while. Even the QKZ VK4 at less than half the price had a more impressive build, but coming in at 20+USD, it’s very much still acceptable.
Fit (Score: 7/10)
Fit is alright, though not the best for me. The nozzle felt a little too short, and the shell is tiny, even for my slightly smaller than average ears.
Sound (Score: 6.4/10)
I would describe the sound signature as a rather common V-shaped sound with a emphasis on the bass region.
- Hiby R5
- Lotoo Paw S1
Albums and Tracks tested with
- Akira Takeda and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Band – Arnhem
- Jersey Boys Broadway Recording
- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Greatest Hits
- AJR – Neotheatre
- NEEDTOBREATHE – Out of Body
- Scary Pockets – Sca Ryp Ock Ets
- Michael Bublé – Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)
Bass (Score: 7.5/10)
Overall, there is a big emphasis on the bass, which is the intended focus of the T1 plus given the Beryllium coated dynamic driver design. There is a significant mid-bass bump that seems a little bloated and a little overpowering. It drowns out the sub-bass and lower mids a little. The lack of definition and detail retrieval severely impairs the performance of the T1 pluses. The attack on drums and bass beats were very blunted on tracks by Joan Jett and from the Jersey Boys Musical. However, being the stars of the show, and at its budget price tag, the bass still is by far the best performing area and does give sufficient rumble in the bass that bass heads would love. I couldn’t help but notice the dominant bassline in Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA“.
Mids (Score: 6/10)
The lower mids are slightly recessed and thrown back, as expected of the V-shaped tuning. Vocal tonality is warped. Male vocals sound a little hollowed out and lack the texture and body. This is quite apparent on the male vocals in NEEDTOBREATHE and Scary Pockets “Love on Top“.
Things pick up a bit in the upper mids, where female vocals and trumpets come in as the only other things sharing the stage with the bass.
Treble (Score: 6.5/10)
Treble rolls off quickly, and even the lower treble takes a backseat. This gives you a non-fatiguing sound, but also one that is kinda boring. The best thing the treble did right was its inoffensiveness. What I didn’t like was the lack of details and poor technicalities. It sounded quite messy and grainy, once again consistent with the “cheap-sounding” signature.
Imaging seemed messy at times, instruments sound weird. One of my biggest gripes with the T1 Plus is how snare drums sound. They sound unnatural, lacking depth and just had a weird tonality.
VS Jade Audio EA1
The Jade Audio EA1 is also a Beryllium coated driver and costs about $5-10 more than the TinHiFi T1 Plus. Differences are immediately visible, with the better build quality and aesthetics on the cable, and the inclusion of a well-made soft case. Coming in at $34, the EA1 is slightly more pricey than the T1 Plus but has a better fit and in terms of sound and tonality, is a much more complete package than the T1 Plus.
Tonally the Tin T1 plus sounds tonally incomplete. At this price point, being tonally pleasing should be the priority. I think the BLON BL-03 did decently well, even if their technicalities may not have been there. The build quality is nothing to scream about as well, and I would just say go straight for the Moondrop SSP, also a Beryllium coated IEM. For about 10 USD more, you’re getting better accessories, cable, build quality, and most importantly a more coherent sound. The Tin T1 Plus may have been passable a year ago, but right now, there are just too many IEMs better that there doesn’t seem to be any place for it. For a company like TinHiFi which has been rather consistent, I honestly expected more.
Overall Grade: D
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