Pros: Fit, Better cable, Replaceable cable, Balanced, Slightly Fun
Cons: Frail looking pins, price fluctuations
9.2.12 (or 2/9/12 for US)
I received a very small USPS package with my supposedly "new in open box" TF10's. The box, actually, was still sealed, and was from the Amazon Black Friday sale. For a brand new TF10, it's a pretty good price considering it's much after Black Friday. Anyways, some pictures of the box and what was inside...And what it looks like now. And no, dual flange does not mean massive ear aches.
Sound-wise: Out of the box, they felt slightly V-shaped in FR. Vocals weren't as emphasized as I liked, and there was a bit of bass emphasis. On my HP TouchPad, the sound felt slightly hollow and very distant, although still enjoyable. The treble was clean and unoffensive to my ears, although YMMV depending on how sensitive you are to treble. Even the sparkly songs (Endless Story) didn't cause any fatigue, despite the obvious treble emphasis. Despite all of that, I felt it could use an extra mid driver to spice up the midrange to my liking but it really isn't as recessed as some say. Dual flanges did stop the slight bass bleed, so that helped a bit. Definitely great for the price though. On a higher power source like a laptop, with the noise attenuator (aka impedance switch/increase), it's quite a balanced sounding earphone. Vocals feel airy, natural and anything but recessed. Much more forward and natural sounding for female and male vocals. Overall, it can be a hit or miss IEM. For me, I think it's a home run.
Comfort and appearance?
I looked and felt like Frankenstein so I decided to go ahead and jump into the flip mod and not a single regret was had. Dual flange and flip mod made for a very comfy fit, although they still stick out a bit. I'm probably not sleeping with this puppy on. Maybe a Westone UM1 or something of the like, but definitely not this. Too much risk of breaking the cable and then forcing me to go reshell. Now this may put more strain on the memory wire, but I used it as more of a clip, like those clip on headphones so the IEMs stay put no matter how fast I'm moving.
I'll give you guys a picture of what I mean with them still sticking out a bit though.
Yeah, I'm not sleepin' with that thing sticking out of my ears.
Soundstage and precision: Not quite as airy as dynamics but still plenty of space. It isn't extraordinarily precise either(compared to UM3), though it does beat out my other headphones by quite a bit. It is definitely more than enough to pick out where a missile is, barreling towards you at two and a half times the speed of sound.
Isolation/Sound blocking: Dual flange is more than enough for being outside and about. Enough to walk undisturbed but still hear the idiot's red SUV barreling at me going 50mph.
Build: The earphone itself is pretty tough and I like how it appears with the flip mod. It's fairly flush to the ear, but even when noticed, appears quite professional and unobtrusive. The electric blue can grab a bit of attention though in the wrong places. With the detachable cable, the pins breaking are my only concern. It seems maybe Westone pins might fare better since they are thicker. It's either that or I'll ask for recessed connections when they are reshelled.
Overall, it's quite a competent build and sounds quite nice. UnEQ'd, and depending on your source, they may sound a bit recessed or overly emphasized in the midrange depending on source. Feed them enough power, and they'll show you great potential. I may just try to get an E6 for this. Out of the box though, I can say this: I love'em already.
Scratch that, you need at least a small amp. My smartphone and laptop can't drive them to 100% potential.
Endless Story-Yukari Tamura
mezzo forte-Minori Chihara
Launch, White Devil, Gotta Stay Fly, Naval Warfare, Beyond the Canal, Horizon, Release - Ace Combat Assault Horizon Original Soundtrack
A Light Illuminating the Depths, Rush Out!, Aoi Kiseki, Termination-Falcom Sound Team JDK
Alchemy, Little Braver, Shine Days, Run With Wolves, 23:50 - Girls Dead Monster
And many more. I couldn't stop listening .