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Review - Tin T2 Plus (sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 






Let me start off by saying I was a big fan of the Tin T2 when they were released, I enjoyed the neutral sound signature they presented and although they lacked a bit of bass sometimes for a more relaxed listen, in general I found them to be very good.

However, the build quality not so much. My first set of T2’s lasted only a couple of months before one of the drivers gave up. I contacted the seller (on AE) who was not very helpful and offered a $2 discount on a new pair. As I wasn’t keen on the T2 Pro (too bright for my liking), I ended up ordering another set of T2’s. The new set (which I never received even the $2 discount for) only lasted a few weeks before the MMCX connector failed. Taking one from the previous set and one from the new set, I made a mismatched pair and the other MMCX connector after a couple more weeks (and I didn’t even use them much).

This was obviously enough to put me off the Tin Hifi brand, and I skipped the T3, T4 and the P1, which I would have probably been interested in if I hadn’t had the issues with the T2’s.

But… when the T2 Plus was released, I was again interested and decided to give Tin Hifi one last chance, even though they haven’t decided to stop using MMCX connectors yet. However, this time I decided to purchase from a reputable seller, Linsoul, who has a good track record of taking interest in their clients.

Presentation…

Tin Hifi have always done a relatively decent job of presenting their products. I mean, they are not presented in a way to compete with higher end products but at least they don’t appear in the usual plasticky presentation that many others as this price range do. Then again, I really don’t care how an IEM is presented in this price range as long as the product is decent.

Inside the typical blue Tin Hifi box, which is actually a bit of a step down in quality from the original T2's box, you get the IEMs, a semi-decent cable (although I am not a huge fan of it) the usual silicone replacement tips and a set of grey foam tips which I actually like (I also liked the blue ones that came with the T2’s back when I purchased them).

So, you don’t get much more than with other similar priced items, and much less than something like the Urbanfun, but they are also cheaper and I don’t have any complaints with the contents included.


Build and comfort…

The shape of the Tin T2 Plus is very different to the original T2’s (and T2 Pro’s), having opted for a shape that resembles so many other products at the moment, such as the BL03, Urbanfun YBF etc. The shape and insertion length fits my ears very well and I find them comfortable for long periods. As always, this is a personal thing and comfort will be different for each and every person.

The IEMs are made of metal, with a simple metallic finish. They are not something that I would drool over in regards to looks but they are simple and sleek, without standing out from so many others, so I don’t really have any complaints here either.

The included cable, as I mentioned above, seems to be decent enough but I am not personally a fan of the rubberized feeling it has. It does seem well built, and is not something that tangles too much, but I have had much better cables in my possession.

With regards to tips, I tried both the silicone and foam tips included, along with others, and although I didn’t dislike the silicone options, I prefer the foam options and my listening sessions have mainly been with the grey foam tips included.


Sound…

After looking at some graphs of the T2 Plus, when I had already ordered it, I was expecting a very bassy IEM which would maybe overpower the mids, however I have been surprised to find that the bass is not as overpowering as it looked on paper.

Starting with sub bass, the T2 Plus actually does have a decent amount. It is not the most powerful sub bass I have heard in IEMs and does not feel overpowering but at the same time is enough for tracks like “No Mercy” by Gustavo Santaolalla or “Bury A Friend” by Billie Eilish, that depend on sub bass, to sound as they should. For them to to sound like they do on higher end systems (such as speakers systems with subwoofers or headphones with more sub bass capabilities) they are missing some of the “rumbling” that makes things shake but at least there is enough to allow you to appreciate those frequencies of the tracks.

In the center and higher range of the bass frequencies, they do have a lot of presence but I don’t find it to be overpowering, at least with 90% of the music I listen to. The definition of these bass frequencies is good, without them feeling congested or seeming to struggle with tracks that are busy in the bass frequencies. They do a good job of keeping instruments separated and not allowing it to turn to mud, which happens on a lot of the budget offerings that have boosted bass frequencies.

The transition to the mids is more like the bass just rolling over on a small downhill curve, all the way through the lower mids. However, although the bass does flow into the mids, it doesn’t overpower them or make them them loose definition. In fact, it works well to give life and body to many of the instruments that are in these frequencies.

While the mids are slowly dropping off during their lower range, once the frequencies start to climb towards the higher end of the mids, there is a bump that helps keep the presence of instruments and vocals, avoiding them sounding recessed in regards to the bass. There are some songs where the voices are recessed in the recordings with large amounts of bass, such as a few hip hop tracks I tried, and the T2 Plus does not fix these by any means but it holds itself together pretty well.

I liked most tracks that were mainly vocals, both male and female, as they gave a nice warmth to the voices without losing their presence due to that bump in frequencies around the 2 and 3kHz mark. If I had to complain about any instruments in the mid range it would be fretless basses that rely heavily on those mid frequencies that are most absent. For example, the bass guitar in “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” by Paul Simon is overshadowed and is not as present as I like it to be (that could also be because I am a huge fan of Bakithi Kumalo and think his bass playing is excellent on the Graceland album, so I love to hear it nicely presented, but I digress...).

Up in the treble area, they are again very present. In general, I don’t find the treble to be overly bright but there can be a slight bit of sibilance on some of the brighter tracks. The usual “Only Time” by Enya and “Hope is a Dangerous Thing” by Lana Del Rey are still a little bright at times but the overall warmth created by the lower end works well to not make them overly annoying. In a perfect world, I would prefer a little less around 6 to 7kHz with a tiny bit more around the 10 to 12kHz but in general I am not complaining too much.

With regards to speed and detail, they are good at not loosing control and allowing more complicated tracks to still be presented in a way that allows you to appreciate what is going on. They are not the most detailed of IEMs, mainly because of the warmth that is the general feel to the low end, so I would not say these are for focusing on the nuances, but are able to allow you to enjoy the music without feeling that you are missing information, unless you are directly comparing them to another more detailed IEM directly.

Soundstage and placement of the images is once again in the normal range of IEMs in these price ranges, although better than many others. They are not very wide (as usual) but are decent at allowing you to locate, place and follow specific sounds in binaural recordings.


Conclusions…

The Tin T2 Plus are an IEM that comes in at just over 40€, placing them firmly inside the sub 50€ bracket that I like to mention on my blog and to be honest, from what I have heard from them over the past couple of weeks, I would place them in the lead of this sub 50€ bracket.

They are an IEM that has plenty of bass on tap but don’t seem to be overpowering on the majority of genres I listen too. However, when trying out some EDM, if it is a track with large presence of bass, the bass frequencies make themselves the center of attention and transform the IEM into a very prominent V shaped signature. For example, the song “Sun Is Shining” by Bob Marley and Robin Schulz surprised me with far more bass than I expected and I actually swapped over to other IEMs and my speaker set up to get a feel for the song, the T2 Plus had more bass presence than the others I tried. Once going back to my normal genres, the bass did not seem overdone.

They are, in my opinion, an IEM that has taken a very similar sound signature to the Blon BL03 and fixed the things I didn’t like about the BL03, without giving up the things I did like about the Blon, such as the timbre and warmth. Maybe I would still give a slight edge to the BL03 strictly on timbre but it would be very close and involve lots of back to back listening, however, the rest of the presentation of the T2 Plus makes them much more preferable, in my personal opinion of course.

Another sub 50€ IEM that I have used a lot over the past year or so has been the KZ ZS10 Pro. My main use for the ZS10 Pro has been for monitoring while playing bass and also video consumption and it does a good job at both. However, in a pure music listening situation, the ZS10 has a slight metallic ring to it and also benefits from equalization to sound it’s best. While I may still favour the ZS10 Pro in terms of detail retrieval, I feel that the T2 Plus has a better overall presentation in general and does not need EQ to be enjoyable. I can certainly understand if someone decides they prefer the presentation of the hybrid KZ over the single dynamic driver of the Tin, but personally I prefer the latter for music enjoyment.

I would say that these IEMs are a very capable set of earphones in their price bracket, even competing with others at higher price brackets. I wouldn’t say that they are the best sound signature I have heard, I still prefer the Moondrop Starfield (at more than twice the price) over the T2 plus, but there are times when I would gladly reach for these IEMs. If I find myself in a bass head mood (which I sometimes do) I have no doubt that these would deliver.


SenyorC