Impressions below(took me forever to write and was written with objectivity & fun in mind; hope you like it!)
Sorry if some of them aren't too high quality off my smartphone, and because I have shaky hands from low blood sugars sometimes... Don't worry I ate something.
The odd one out is some of my new rock climbing shoes, the Futura from La Sportiva, for any rock climbing fans/enthusiasts out there like myself. Any questions on these I'll answer as well! Anyways, I digress.
I got another pair of Tenore, and these have sound almost identical to my other ones. Maybe a hair less bass, but that could be due to burn-in. Dunno. Basically, I really REALLY love the Tenore's sound. Nuff' said.
On to new things!
The GemTune WS1.2 Bluebird $46
This little amp is pretty dang powerful! Great clean sound, with bass AND mids a bit more forward for a little warmth and nice details added to boot. It also comes with a handy & capable, but cheap-feeling 2x 9v battery & wall charger. The included cable is leaps ahead in quality vs. the one a few pictures below. I've quite enjoyed it from the get go minus EMI, which I now know what it is If anyone can help me to understand it more/get rid of it that would be helpful. Anyways, my first portable amp... well of two hehe
Size comparison to my average sized hands for anyone curious.
Oh, cool. Another toy! The Topping NX1 $43
This amp is very clean as well. It's also tiny!! And I can hear the very slight v-shape that people mentioned I think. Great details as well! Big pro: battery life. At first I didn't think the NX1 was very loud or powerful compared to the BlueBird though my phone goes loud, but then I saw the switch for the high gain haha. It still isn't quite as powerful as the BlueBird though, and they both go plenty loud for my liking. At this point I prefer the BlueBird!
Big EMI problem with my phone on both of these amps I don't have any desktop amps right now, so I am using them for that until I get the noise interference sorted out or get a different portable player that doesn't instigate EMI. Don't know if that is possible, someone enlighten me please
The little added accessories with the NX1 were nice(velco and rubber bands)
It looks like you need your own charger for the NX1 though they have supplied the cable.
A little photo comparo of accessories(by their respective amps) and size. The GemTune is about twice the depth, but otherwise pretty close to the same in width & length.
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for(and me too!!!) The TTPOD T1-E
First off, I would like to thank @Hisoundfi for talking these up! Some thanks also go to @audiohurric4ne and @mochill for their impressions before I ordered these! And @sfwalcer after the fact!
Just look at it
The nice, professional-looking accessory package of the T1-E!
Standard iem bag and a nice shirt clip, but the TTPOD branding on them is a nice touch.
I personally use this one that I researched/found to hold 3-4 iems; also recommended by Joker in a post I saw once. I mean 6 bucks for a hard case to hold 3-4 iems or 1 source & 2-3 iems or 2 sources & 1-2 iems is a no brainer in my opinion(Brown and Red are $6, other colors more) I highly recommend taking a look at it if you want to safely carry around multiple iems in your backpack or maybe cargo pants, since it won't fit in your standard jean or shorts pocket I don't think. End of tangent...
Tips! and Comfort!
The colored ones don't seal as well since they are stiffer for me, but a plus is they look cool lol. This is how it came out of box; I switched to the larger bore medium pictured here afterwards and found them great! These iems are so ergonomic and comfortable to me. Way better than Yamaha EPH-100 and JVC HA-FXD80 in terms of comfort. Really just as comfortable as the Philips SHE3590 and Tenore if not a little better. I know, I know that doesn't seems possible; it's mainly just the deep insertion vs. moderate to shallow insertion of these makes them more comfortable. Super lightweight. Sturdily built. Ergonomic. The whole package for me!
For those of you who like sturdy, lightweight, clever, and ergonomic y-splitters & chin sliders... Rejoice! (if you want, you don't have to though)
I am somewhat meticulous I guess you could say, and just wanted to note on the quality/functionality of it. Just great all-around attention to detail from TTPOD. Bravo on this iem!!! ...if you ever read this *tips hat*
A couple glorious shots from my phone of them. They look pretty sick to be honest. Well, imo at least
Just look at it take#2
What do I think about them? Sound? Huh? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. HOLY CRAP! THESE THINGS ARE FREAKING AMAZING! PERIOD! Especially for the price. I'm so happy I bought them, new toy syndrome aside as well. @Hisoundfi was right on the money! Crisp. Not too bright, not too warm, and fairly smooth sounding. And I am sensitive to treble. To reiterate, they are not too bright or fatiguing! Yay, a happy medium!!! Great for me and my musical tastes which mainly include electronic/edm stuff like dubstep, chillstep, and progressive house, as well as alternative, rock, and pop with mainly female vocals. And N64 video game OSTs, anyone?
These match the Tenore in terms of musical enjoyment & similar technicality and even surpass them at times. They are just different. The two complement each well imo; it appears they are also both great for long listening sessions. The timbre in the mids and bass is excellent. The bass is tighter sounding yet somehow more impactful than other earphones like the Tenore and JVC HA-FXD80 oddly enough. I just don't understand; the sub-bass is satisfying, the mid-bass satisfying, lower mids satisfying, upper mids satisfying, lower treble satis... well you get the picture.
For those that have the T1-E or are getting it. When you do get it or if you have it, listen to these songs:
They really showcase the bass these have!!! And overall sound, just phenomenal!
I don't find the mids recessed really, though these are just slightly v-shaped without an amp. They just aren't quite as forward and lush as something like the Tenore. And they sure aren't as pushed back as the HA-FXD80, where I notice it more. They are just really nice.
The upper mids/lower treble are of course somewhat brighter & crisper than the Tenore to my ears, but way less than FXD-80 which is good for me! Maybe on the level of or just very slightly below my Yamaha HPH-200. Detailed, but not gobs of it.
The soundstage is great to my ears, although I'm not too experienced at listening for it & describing it. Not mind blowing, but still fairly large in width & depth with a good, well-rounded sonic image. I'd say that's a safe assessment. I also think the Tenore have a pretty good soundstage for reference. These just sound more dynamic. The open-back HPH-200 beat both of them here of course But not by as much as one would think...
So in conclusion, I fully recommend the GemTune WS1.2 BlueBird and the awesome TTPOD T1-E. I would also recommend the Topping NX1 as it seems great as well, I just haven't used it as much yet. I mean 100+hrs! that alone is probably enough to warrant an amp recommendation, right? As always, the Tenores are sweet and get some love too! Let's hope I don't have any problems with this pair as well.
Well those are my toys and impressions guys. Let me know if the way I write was fun & engaging or maybe just a little too weird/out there for you haha. I'm curious.
Hope you enjoyed the read(and hidden videos!) Great time to be in the sub-$100 world of iems and audio!
Thanks for reading and stay classy HeadFi