Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [REVIEW] TFTA 1XB IEMs (TFTA's flagship IEM)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[REVIEW] TFTA 1XB IEMs (TFTA's flagship IEM)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Intro

This is a review of the TFT Acoustics - TFTA 1XB. These are TFTA’s flagship IEMs, costing ~AUD$150. This puts them at somewhat upper mid-level IEMs. The 1XB and the 1VS are TFTA’s two high end models where the 1XB is tuned to produce more sub-bass.

 

Out of the box, they sounded pretty open, probably due to the small vent but the bass dominated the spectrum. I allowed them to burn-in for about 50 hours before I started properly reviewing them.

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging is VERY simple, just a small cardboard box with an insert holding the IEMs which had the medium size silicon tips on them plus a little bag with the small and large tips. I understand TFTA are changing the packaging shortly. This is a good thing because at this price point and in fact, at even $100, some manufacturers (e.g. DUNU) pack the box full of accessories, tips, pouches etc. I would have expected, at the bare minimum, a carry case. I mean, most people who spend $150 on IEMs will want to take care of them, which usually involves carrying them in a case.

 

Just like with the TFTA earbuds, I would like to see is branding on the actual product, not just the packaging. I am surprised that none of the TFTA products have any product markings on the earphone, on the Y-splitter or the jack strain relief. It makes them seem like unfinished prototypes. I hope the actual product will get branded when the packaging changes.

 

One other thing is the L and R markings are difficult to read as they are very small but none the less, they are there.

 

Comfort & Isolation

I am normally averse to the wide nozzle IEMs as they don’t suit my ears very well. These IEMs are wide nozzle but are surprisingly very comfortable. They sit nicely and are quite secure and even though they are metal and feel slightly heavy in the hand, they don’t feel like they are going to fall out of the ears.

 

Tips about Tips:

I tried a variety of tips on these, here is what I found. The stock tips are made of soft silicon, which makes them quite comfortable however, I don’t feel they provide the best SQ or the most secure fit.

 

The wide nozzle meant that I couldn’t try my thin nozzle foam tips however, I was able to try: Klipsch eargels, JAYS clear silicon tips, UE silicon tops, Meelec, Sony and Sennheiser silicon tips. The Klipsch eargels are the most comfortable silicon tips I have ever used however, due to the bigger body of the TFTA, they were not secure and felt like they would pop out any second, even though they didn’t. The sound quality was good, as expected. The Klipsch eargels tend not to change the SQ very much and I regard them as fairly “neutral” tips.

 

The Sennheiser tips fit well and were similar to the stock tips, nothing special there. The Meelec and Sony tips (not hybrids) were also pretty similar. The UE tips fit well and were also good for the SQ, being quite neutral. They were also very comfortable.

 

The pick of the bunch for me are the JAYS clear silicon tips. They provided a very comfortable fit which also felt very secure in the ears. They were great for the SQ as the highs came out more and sounded sharper/crisper than any other tip.

 

Build & Cable

The build quality seems excellent. They are made out of metal and seem very rugged and durable. No way for me to tell without using them over time and see how they stand up. Initial impression is of a strong build quality. The cables are kind of rubbery but not too much. They seem durable which is a good sign. The cables are kind of tangle prone and are not very easy to untangle once they have tangled.

 

Sound

  • Out-of-the-Box: Straight out of the box, the IEMs sounded very bassy…so much so that the mids and highs were veiled. I put them on the burn in process for 50hrs.

 

  • Treble: To start with, the highs didn’t present much sparkle but as time went on, the sparkle came out more and more. I really enjoy the smooth yet crisp treble on the 1XB. The high end tends to carry a lot of energy with each note and I really enjoy this aspect. It’s also quite airy as they have a small vent in the back.

 

  • Midrange: Mids are very well presented. Vocals sound great, although not as forward as something like Shure or TF10’s, they are very clear and definitely sound great. As burn-in continues, the mids open up and vocals, guitars, drums and upper-mids like piano also improve. Very smooth and very well presented.

 

  • Bass: At first, the bass is a little bit too much and does bleed into the mid range. As burn-in continues, it settles down but not to the point I would like it to be. It extends pretty low in the sub-bass so it definitely meets the “1XB” requirements however the mid-bass is still quite powerful and it would be better overall of this was tuned down in the manufacturing process however, some simple EQ at my end solved this. I really like the texture of the lower bass and the sub-bass. The texture is not as good as the Atrio’s but better than most in this regard.

 

  • Soundstage and separation: The 1XB have a small vent in the back which allows for a more airy sound. It’s actually very nice, I really enjoy this. Sound stage is improved and quite wide. Instrument separation is very, very good. The high end separation is very enjoyable and I particularly enjoyed flamenco music due to this characteristic. Separation in the lower end is also very good, e.g. bass drum and bass guitar.

 

Overall

The TFTA 1XB, at ~$150, are a decent purchase. There is a lot of competition at this price range and I think TFTA would have a real winner if the mid-bass was tuned down (even though a simple EQ will solve this) and they added more accessories in the retail pack. The 1XB will give great mids and highs along with great lower bass and sub-bass. Separation is very good and sound stage is quite wide, leading to an enjoyable listening experience.

 

 

I apologise for spelling, grammar mistakes as I was a bit short on time but wanted to get this review up for members to read.


Edited by navmau - 12/15/11 at 10:13pm
post #2 of 16

interesting review! what kind of IEMs are these? dynamic or BA? because i have never heard of this company before, and im guessing, are they from Australia?

post #3 of 16

I believe they are dynamic

 

So, do you know if this extend deeper than Hippo VB?

post #4 of 16

Thank you for the first non-hyperbole riddled review of these phones on this site. The way other people have been pumping these up you would be forgiven for thinking that they are the greatest invention of all time, forever. 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaqueh View Post

interesting review! what kind of IEMs are these? dynamic or BA? because i have never heard of this company before, and im guessing, are they from Australia?


They are dynamic driver IEMs. TFTA is a UK company. They hold the patent for Thin Film Technology, not other manufacturer uses this technology.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phntmsmshr View Post

Thank you for the first non-hyperbole riddled review of these phones on this site. The way other people have been pumping these up you would be forgiven for thinking that they are the greatest invention of all time, forever. 

No worries. They are really good IEMs and they are keepers for me but I don't think hyping up products is good for anyone.

 

post #6 of 16

Nice review @ Navmau , Glad to hear you are enjoying them and do not forget to give them the full 200hrs before giving your final thoughts on them , they continue to improve across the board to around that time. 

There sound signature will not be for everyone and as i said they are not the best choice for a general purpose earphone but for certain music genres and movies they are hard to beat.

 

Have you tried watching movies with these yet ,it is a pretty awesome experience .?

 

How do you find the isolation ,its ok but not one of there strongest points as they do let in wind noise?.

post #7 of 16

 

What are the other two models called more exactly?

 

You said 1XB, 1VS, 1XB...

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post

Nice review @ Navmau , Glad to hear you are enjoying them and do not forget to give them the full 200hrs before giving your final thoughts on them , they continue to improve across the board to around that time. 

There sound signature will not be for everyone and as i said they are not the best choice for a general purpose earphone but for certain music genres and movies they are hard to beat.

 

Have you tried watching movies with these yet ,it is a pretty awesome experience .?

 

How do you find the isolation ,its ok but not one of there strongest points as they do let in wind noise?.

Thanks mate. Ive got over 100hrs on them and I haven't noted any change over the last ~25hrs.

Actually, I did watch a couple of movies and it has been great. The wide sound stage really acts to make surround speakers redundant.

Isolation isn't bad unless there is a lot of wind etc.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

What are the other two models called more exactly?

 

You said 1XB, 1VS, 1XB...


The two models are 1VS and 1XB. The 1XB is the flagship and is tuned for more sub-bass.

They also have a couple of other IEMs, one mid-range and one entry level.

 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by navmau View Post

 

 


The two models are 1VS and 1XB. The 1XB is the flagship and is tuned for more sub-bass.

They also have a couple of other IEMs, one mid-range and one entry level.

 



The 1XB or TFTA-2100-2V3B as it is presently called is tuned for extended sub bass and extended treble response .

post #10 of 16

Any idea how these compare with the Atrios M5s? since both of these are similar prices in the UK i am undecided between the two. Although i am keen on good isolation so maybe the Atrios are the ones to go for?

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude809 View Post

Any idea how these compare with the Atrios M5s? since both of these are similar prices in the UK i am undecided between the two. Although i am keen on good isolation so maybe the Atrios are the ones to go for?


I am enjoying both the TFTA and the Atrio. Just depends on your preference. The TFTA mid-bass means you need to EQ it down to enjoy the lower bass and sub bass without so much mid-bass. The high end on the TFTA is crisp but also a little smoother than the Atrio. Also, the Atrio sub bass is more textured than the TFTA sub-bass...I think it will take a lot of expertise to better the Atrio sub-bass!

 


Edited by navmau - 12/16/11 at 7:12pm
post #12 of 16

Ive got about 50hours of burn in on these but something for me is missing in the vocals, other than that they isolate quite well and the bass is fantastic. 

WIll the vocals open up a bit more?

 

EDIT: I changed to the bi-flange tips that came with my DUNU Tridents, the vocals are now really lush and sparkle has improved... Plus the bass still shakes my head :D


Edited by ak711 - 12/22/11 at 9:04am
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by navmau View Post

 

  • Midrange: Mids are very well presented. Vocals sound great, although not as forward as something like Shure or TF10’s, they are very clear and definitely sound great. As burn-in continues, the mids open up and vocals, guitars, drums and upper-mids like piano also improve. Very smooth and very well presented.

 


Wow. I found the midrange of the TF10 recessed enough as it is. Did it come forward with more burn in?

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak711 View Post

Ive got about 50hours of burn in on these but something for me is missing in the vocals, other than that they isolate quite well and the bass is fantastic. 

WIll the vocals open up a bit more?

 

EDIT: I changed to the bi-flange tips that came with my DUNU Tridents, the vocals are now really lush and sparkle has improved... Plus the bass still shakes my head :D


Great to hear the DUNU tips helped. I found the 1XB to be very tip dependant. The mid range/vocals came out with the JAYS tips and the high end sparkle is great too with these tips. The overall presentation is vastly improved with the use of different tips.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post


Wow. I found the midrange of the TF10 recessed enough as it is. Did it come forward with more burn in?


The TF10 vocals were great, from memory, even though other mid-range instruments were recessed. Please see above reply regarding mid-range...the 1XB are very tip dependant.

 

post #15 of 16
I've had the 1xb for a week and doubt anyone wll be complaining about bass after purchasing them. Haven't found a thread comparing them to the hippo vb though, would be interesting.
Edited by Rosloyoy5 - 5/13/12 at 8:42pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › [REVIEW] TFTA 1XB IEMs (TFTA's flagship IEM)