Review - Hidizs S8 Pro Robin

Review - Tin Hifi C0 Elf

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TLDR version on YouTube: TDLR - Tin Hifi C0 ELF

The Tin Hifi C0 Elf have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for the publication of this review. Linsoul have not made any requests or comments and, as always, I will do my best to be as unbiased as humanly possible.

You can find the C0 via Linsoul here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/tinhifi-c0-1

As always, this is a non-affiliate link, meaning I receive nothing in exchange for clicks or purchases.


Intro…

Tin Hifi have been around for quite some time in the IEM world, making some very good, and some not so good, sets. A lot of their models have been based on variations of the original T2 shape and the C0 that I have here today are another similar design but with some changes that I will mention.

They have also released quite a few ultra budget oriented IEMs, with the C0 also being well inside that sub 50€ bracket that I consider ultra budget. At the time of publishing this review, the standard model is available on Linsoul for just over 10€, although there is also a model with a microphone and even one with a USB-C connector and built in DAC for not much more.

The IEMs feature a 10mm driver in an open back shell, which is nothing really new for this style of IEMs from Tin, although these feature an open back shell which is a little different to the usual configuration we find from the company.


Presentation…

When a set of IEMs retails for around 10€, something has to be reduced to keep costs down and I always prefer that it is the packaging and presentation.

A simple white box with the make and model on the top, along with some specs on the side is the extent of the external packaging, but it is more than sufficient. 

Inside we get the IEMs in a piece of sponge, along with the cable, two rubber earhooks and 6 sets of silicone tips. Again, more than sufficient for the price we are looking at for these IEMs.


Build and aesthetics…

At a simple glance, the C0 are very reminiscent of the T2 (and other similar models), however, once we look a little closer, things are quite different. The shells are still completely made of aluminium, yet the size is a little larger and rather than the extra shape on the side for the cable connection, here the cables connect directly to the cylindrical shape of the shell.  

This time, Tin have opted for a two pin connection for the cables, which is a good thing as I have had quite a few issues with their MMCX connectors in the past. The IEMs are also open back, with a larger version of the same metal filter in the nozzle on the back of the shells. 

As far as comfort, I am not quite sure why but there is a bulkiness to these IEMs that makes them sit strangely in my ear, always feeling like they are not quite seated or sealed properly (to which the tuning doesn’t help either, but I will get to that in a moment). I tried all of the included tips and quite a few others and at no point did I get comfortable with these IEMs. Of course, everyone's ear anatomy is different but in my personal case, they just don’t seem to fit right.

The included cable is simple vinyl covered cable, with metal two pin connectors and plastic for the rest of the hardware, which doesn’t look too bad but it is a bit microphonic. It’s not terrible but it is noticeable.


Sound…

When I first started listening to the C0, I found that there was quite a lack of bass which, added to the sensation of the IEMs not seating correctly, made me think that I was not getting a seal. I started to work my way through all of the tips without anything seeming to make it better. I then moved on to other tips and while some of the extra narrow bore tips did improve bass slightly, the sensation of them not being sealed correctly. (edit: see note at end of review)

I spent a few hours messing around with them and in the end I gave up and looked at the frequency response:

Looking at the graph, I then realized that I wasn’t going crazy, there really is a lack of bass and an emphasis on the higher ranges. However, not to the point that I am hearing in reality. Remember that the graph above is in comparison to my personal preference target and I am someone who favours bass on the leaner side. If we were to compare this to the the preference target of somebody who is more bass happy than me, such as HBB, this would be the result:

Usually I would spend at least 5 days listening to a set of IEMs before I sit down and start doing more detailed listening, with my usual test list. In this case, I am sorry to say that I didn’t make it that far. I did spend a few more hours with them and just couldn’t enjoy them. Even while working (which is how I do my usual 5 days of working), the music kept drawing my attention to it as it was… annoying?

Now, I don’t know if this is an issue with the set I have or if this is the intended tuning of these IEMs, as I haven’t checked any other reviews or measurements, but the set I have is not an enjoyable set of IEMs for me personally.

I did do some tests with a few of my usual test tracks but I honestly didn’t see the need to continue nor do I see the need to get too deep into how these interact with specific tracks. In general, they are lacking subbass, short on midbass, then over emphasized in the upper mids, moving into a peaky treble.

Yes, there is more of a sensation of openness to them, both due the fact that they are open back and that they emphasize the upper ranges, but making the sound wider doesn’t make this particular tuning sound any better to me.


Conclusion…

I am going to cut this review short as I don’t want to spend too long explaining faults when I have other things I would prefer to listen to and review. 

Yes, the C0 Elf are a very cheap set of IEMs with a good build quality. Unfortunately that is the end of the positive side for me. The cable is microphonic, the IEMs are uncomfortable and the tuning is something that I do not enjoy. I would say that they are a cheap set of IEMs that sound cheap but that would be unfair, as there are cheap IEMs that sound pretty good, including some from Tin’s own brand.

Edit: After putting together the above review, I discussed the C0 Elf with another reviewer. We compared measurements and the units do measure the same (close enough to account for differences in rigs and measuring techniques), so we are looking at the same tuning.

He mentioned that he also had a lot of fit issues but with certain tips he managed to get them to actually have more bass presence and less focus on the upper ranges.

I tried another few tips but I’m afraid that I just cannot get them improve in my ears. So, I am saying this to point out that my review of these IEMs could be totally due to me not managing to get a decent seal (which is what it feels like). This would actually make sense as the measurement of these IEMs is very close to the Titan S, which are a set of IEMs that I use regularly and really enjoy.

This is not going to change my opinion or review of the C0 as I have shared what is my experience with them but I do want to point it out as your experience, depending on your ear anatomy, may be totally different with these IEMs.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

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