Review - T Force Yuan Li

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The T Force Yuan Li were kindly sent to me free of charge by HiFiGo in exchange for this review. The only request they have made is that I also publish my review on Reddit in addition to the usual places I publish my reviews.

They have not requested anything else and my opinions will be, as always, as sincere and unbiased as possible, however, it is always good to consider that these IEMs have been given to me as a gift.

The Yuan Li can be found on HiFiGo here (non-affiliate link): https://hifigo.com/products/tforce-yuanli-10mm-dlc-single-dynamic-driver-in-ear-monitors

It can also be purchased via Amazon (again, non-affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BZ42655/in+ear+monitor/ 

Intro…

T Force is a new brand in the IEM world, with the Yuan Li being their first producto, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I received them. The IEMs use a single dynamic driver with a DLC diaphragm, are spec’d with a sensitivity of 103.5dB at 32 Ohms and retail for just over 100€. That is basically all of the information I had about the Yuan Li before I opened the box.


Presentation…

The presentation is actually quite surprising. I mean, 100€ is not a super economic set of IEMs but it is a long way from being expensive in comparison to so many other models.

The box that it arrives in is on the larger side for IEMs, covered by a sleeve that is decorated in a very traditional Chinese way, with classical drawings of a dragon and Chinese letters, more reminiscent of something I would expect in a Chinese restaurant than IEM packaging. The sleeve also states that these are “Trilogy Part 1”, so I am expecting another 2 models from the brand but I have no idea what they will be.

From inside the sleeve slides out a black flip top box, with the T Force logo in Gold, inside of which we find plenty of content. First are the warranty card and a thank you card from the brand, which sit on top of another traditionally decorated sheet of transparent paper, under which the interesting contents are located.

At the top sit the IEMs, in cutouts surrounded by foam and with the IEMs actually being covered with peel off plastic, to make sure they arrive free of fingerprints. Under this tray we find a rather large selection of tips, all laid out in more cutouts and labeled with “Balanced Eartips” above the clear silicone tips, “Bass enhanced Eartips” above the darker silicone tips with a smaller and more rigid core, and “Foams” above the, well, foam tips. We get 3 sets of each of the silicone sets, with an additional “Bass enhanced” set installed, and one set of foam tips.

The bottom half of the box holds a large imitation leather carrying case with a flip up top and magnetic closure. The included cable is found inside the carrying pouch.


Build and aesthetics…

Starting with the IEMs, they are aluminium, small and very light weight. They have a nice mirrored finish to them, with the T Force logo in the center, however, they do collect fingerprints very easily. I guess this is why they came covered in plastic film (a nice touch by the way). I find them to be very comfortable and are small enough to insert quite deep into the ear, allowing me to use smaller tips and even lay on my side without too much discomfort.

The included cable is a simple twisted two core cable, which is not the most exciting cable in the world but is more than adequate for the IEMs. It doesn’t tangle and has nice mirrored hardware to match the IEMs, which of course also matches as far as fingerprints.

The carrying case is very classical, as far as aesthetics, in my opinion. The (faux) leather has a kind of snakeskin effect to it that reminds me of some of the cases my grandfather had for his photography equipment. It seems to be well built and is certainly a nice touch to include it rather than the typical small zippered cases found with many IEMs, not to mention those that don’t include a case at all.

As far as tips, I am not really keen on the clear silicone tips, I find them too soft and thin for my liking, however, the included “Bass enhanced” tips I find rather comfortable. In fact, I have mainly used these IEMs (except for some testing) with the tips that came preinstalled. Although they are smaller than my usual tip size, as the IEMs fit quite deep in my ears, they give me a good seal and are very comfortable.

I really don’t have any complaints about build, comfort or aesthetics, although these last two are obviously very personal.


Sound…

As I said, I had no idea what to expect when putting these in my ears for the first time. Let me say that I was very pleasantly surprised. My first listen was only for a few minutes (as usual) using the Apple Dongle but I found them to be very pleasant and was looking forward to giving them more time.

After the usual burn-in time, I came back to them and found that they were just as pleasant, in fact, the sound signature (with the stock tips) matches my preferences pretty closely. The following opinions are using the stock tips, the ones that actually came installed on the IEMs.

Starting off with the subbass, there is enough for me not to notice any roll off but at the same time it is not overly boosted, nor in the sub bass nor in the remaining bass. Tracks that have low bass notes are well presented, clean and articulate. If you are looking for a really rumbling low end, I don’t think these are your thing, but if you are someone who, like me, appreciates presence without too much boost and more than anything, cleanliness and articulation, the Yuan Li delivers.

The remaining bass frequencies, mid and higher bass, are also very clean and detailed, again, without putting too much emphasis on them. It is easy to appreciate bass lines, presenting them in a way that allows me to enjoy them but without them taking a front line in the mix. I enjoyed many songs with bass guitar content, however, it may not be the most adequate choice for electronic bass content. Not that it does a bad job of it, hip hop and EDM are very listenable on these IEMs, it is just not something that will draw in those looking for big bass drops. For example, “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac may come across as a little lean in the bass department, as can “Sun is Shining” by Robin Schultz & Bob Marley, which are both tracks where the bass is focused in the high subbass to mid bass regions. However, moving to tracks that are more instrument orientated, the cleanliness of the bass guitar /both electric and upright) is very pleasurable to say the least. Even more pop orientated tracks, such as “Don’t Start Now”, work very well in the low ranges.

While on the subject of bass, I did find that a swap to the Final Audio tips brought the level up slightly without having any negative effect on the performance and cleanliness. Personally I don’t have an issue with the stock tips but I can see the Final Audio tips being more to the liking of the majority (even though it is still not a very prominent bass set, at least not as far as rumble is concerned). My personal choice would depend on the kind of music I am listening to, probably keeping the stock tips for my acoustic and general instrument based music, where I would opt for the Final Audio tips in the case of listening to hip-hop. Please remember that, as I have stated many times before, I am a neutral bass fan, not a huge lover of boosted bass (except when in certain moods).

Moving back to the stock tips, the transition into the mids is very clean, without anything seeming bloated or muddy at all. The lower end of the mids is kept just as clean and articulate as the bass regions. There is a lower presence in the lower mids, which helps keep the transition clean, but it does not come across as recessed and the mids are very smooth in general as they climb towards the peak that is in the higher mids, around the usual 3kHz mark.

The mids are in fact very good in my opinion, they do a good job of giving voices (and instruments) the necessary presence without overdoing it. The peak at 3kHz is plenty to make sure vocals are up front but they do a very good job of avoiding harshness. From Dua Lipa to Daniela Andrade, vocals are kept very clean and detailed. I would say that the mids are definitely one of the highlights of the Yuan Li, doing a great job without stealing the spotlight.

As we move into the high regions, sibilance is avoided without becoming overly dull. “Code Cool”, which is my usual test track of choice, is not offensive and can be listened to without being irritating but you can still tell that Patricia Barber is on the verge of sibilance throughout the track.

The extension of the treble is not spectacular, but when is it ever in a review of a single DD by me? However, the roll off is gradual enough to not make it seem like it is missing a lot in the high treble. There is enough air to make music feel open and clear and even though I wouldn’t say that more extension wouldn’t be great, I don’t really have any complaints about the treble, which is quite an achievement in my book.

The soundstage is actually also above average in my opinion. I find that almost all IEMs are average, with very few being above that average. In the case of the Yuan Li, ok, they are not a set of open back planar magnetic headphones, but I still find them to have a decent spaciousness to them. They also do a good job of working with this space, placing images in a very clear and defined manner, using this to their advantage to make the soundstage seem bigger than it probably is.


Conclusion…

I am very surprised by the Yuan Li. I do believe that it is one of the best single dynamic drivers I have heard at this price point and actually much prefer it to the Moondrop Aria or Starfield (which come in at just under or over the Yuan Li in price, respectively). I feel that this is a very coherent set of IEMs that is very fairly priced at 100€. Could it be better? Well of course it could. It also won’t be the correct choice for everyone, especially those looking for more in the bass department, but for me to put it above the Aria (or the Starfield) is quite a bit of praise in my opinion, as the Aria is my daily driver when out and about.

As I said, it is not perfect, there are things that can be improved, but I am not sure I have heard those at this price range, and certainly not without gaining in one factor while losing in another. Things that are easy to improve, such as the tips and cable, are things that I can quite easily live with, I have a drawer full of both.

I am very grateful that HiFiGo sent me this, as I wouldn’t have heard it, or probably even taken a second glance at it, if they hadn’t. As it stands, I think I have found a set of IEMs that is a set to beat for 100€ or less.

SenyorC