Pros: Punchy and Fast Bass, Relatively clean sounding presentation, Impressive build quality and improved cable, Good detail retrieval
Cons: Potentially Fatiguing, Upper mids and treble can be too forward, Unnatural lower mids lacking in body
Driver Setup: 10mm NanoPure Nickel-Zinc alloy Dynamic driver
Price: $50 USD
Disclaimer: I purchased the Tin T2 Plus from Aliexpress at full price and this review is written of my own accord.
This is a review of the TinHiFi T2 plus, the successor of the T2 which made waves across the Earphone/IEM industry for redefining budget HiFi and what you can get with $50. With such a huge success, can TinHiFi even come close to replicating what they achieved with the original T2? Let’s dive in.
Packaging and Accessories (Score: 7/10)
TinHiFi wanted to make it clear they were going to pick up where they left off with the T2 and T2 Pro, using an identical outer cardboard box and similar packaging styles. I like the uniformity and return to familiar ground. Opening it reveals a nice blue and gold themed packaging; you can clearly see thought and effort has gone into this.
Included accessories are a 2-pin cable with a 4-wire braid. It feels really soft and flexible but seems sufficiently sturdy and well-made. There is also a pair of foam tips and an additional 5 pairs of silicone tips, all packaged in Ziplock bags. They seem to have gone a little over the top with the silicone tips, although they decided to do without a carry case/pouch.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 8/10)
I love the matte aluminium finish on the T2 plus and they feel really solid and well-rounded, like two smooth pebbles in your hand. Their shape looks nothing like their predecessors and is instead reminiscent of the BLON BL-03. However, these fit much better than the BLONs and I have no problems with them. I also love how the cable aesthetics synergise well with the earpieces.
One small issue I had with the fit was that I wasn’t a fan of the stock silicone tips. Your mileage may vary but be prepared to use your go-to tips for a good seal.
Sound (Score: 7.5/10)
Frequency Response Graph of the Tin T2 Plus
- Shanling M3s
- Fiio μBTR
- Fiio Q1 MkII
Albums and Tracks tested with
- Andy Gibb – The Very Best Of
- Spinners – Essentials
- George Ezra – Staying At Tamara’s
- Grease Soundtrack
- Tokyo Kosei – Sinfonia Nobilissima
- Beauty and the Beast The Broadway Musical – Official Broadway Recording
Bass (Score: 8.5/10)
The bass is arguably the best-done feature of the T2 plus. It extends very well and punches energetically. This is a significant improvement from the original T2 which struggled with early roll off in the bass. People who complained about the T2 lacking in this department would be more satisfied with the oomph provided on the plus. Tracks with catchy bass lines like The Spinners’ “Cupid/I’ve Loved You For A Long Time” and George Ezra’s “Shotgun” shine. Bass is speedy and has a very quick decay. Not the most natural but some may like this cleaner sounding signature compared to warmer bass like that of the Moondrop Starfield. Listening to “Something There” from the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack, the bass line was very bouncy and light, something you don’t seem to see so often in newer releases.
Mids (Score: 7/10)
Mids are kind of a mixed bag. The lower mids and parts of the upper bass sounded very sterile and lacking in body. It doesn’t pick up from where the lower bass left off and seems disjointed. This affects certain instruments like clarinets. stripping them of their mellow and thick timbre in instrumental tracks such as some by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. The tonality of instruments like euphoniums and trombones also suffers noticeably.
Things become more energetic in the upper mids, where female vocals take the foreground. They have edge and a certain rawness which is fun to listen to but also quickly fatiguing. It’s a double-edged sword here too as instruments like violins and trumpets can sound harsh and thin and put a strain on the ear. The tonality of trumpets in Tokyo Kosei’s “English Folk Song Suite” wasn’t satisfying. I find myself constantly having to take a break from the T2 plus after every few tracks to rest my ears.
Treble (Score: 7.5/10)
The energy in the upper mids is carried over into the treble. It is airy and has a good amount of clarity and sparkle. My only complaint is that once again, it gets really tiring and painful on the ears after a while. Cymbal crashes, though satisfyingly clear, can get a little too splashy at times as well. I really enjoyed Sha Na Na’s “Born to Hand Jive” for all its crash cymbal hits and crisp Hi-hat rhythms, but this enjoyment would fade into pain after about 5 tracks or so.
To sum it up, the TinHiFi isn’t going to blow minds but I doubt it was tuned or designed to achieve that. It presents a refreshing tuning with a relatively budget price tag that treble lovers would certainly appreciate. It also has a very pleasing low end that many would be satisfied with. On top of all that, it boasts solid detail retrieval and separation.
Tin T2 plus vs Tin T2 (Review here)
The name Tin T2 plus seems to suggest that it is objectively better than the original T2. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to make such a claim. At no one time did I feel the Tin T2 plus come close to making the T2s obsolete. Instead, it only served to prove how timeless the T2s are.
What I must give credit to the Pluses for is the great improvement in packaging and presentation, stock cable and fit. On these three fronts, the Tin T2 plus nails it.
Moving on to sound, I would think of this as the “Tin T2 Maybe“. It does create a niche for itself, with its detail-oriented V-shaped (slight) sound signature. It moves away from a “neutral-target” to a more aggressive and engaging sound. with a fast and speedy low end that extends well and contrasted with detail-oriented yet energetic upper mids and highs.
Overall, I’m not so much a fan of the highly fatiguing sound signature on the T2 plus, though I did enjoy a number of tracks on them. However, if the described signature matches your preferred sound signature then the T2 plus may very well be your cup of tea.
The T2 plus has a lot going for it but it isn’t an upgrade on all fronts from the original T2. Instead, TinHiFi has created a new competent offering, riding on the success of T2. The T2 plus does tick many boxes but it is difficult to recommend something that I struggle to listen to extensively.
However, putting aside my reservations about the tuning of these, there is no denying that these are solid performers at this price point and if you ever find yourself craving some energetic highs done decently well, you know where to look.
Overall Grade: C+
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