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Headphones item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - beefy bass, gorgeous highs, transparency, soundstage
Cons - mids are silky smooth but a tad recessed
these ridiculously shaped but equally ridiculously slick sound signature earphones or monitors or whatever you'd like to call them kick some major a**. They are detailed as all heck, and are revealing of the slightest breath, brings a delightful transparency to your music, delivers banging bass and sparkly and detailed highs. The mids are slightly recessed, but some fidgeting with your eq can easily bring them in line with the rest of the FR, giving these the wide soundstage and fun sound that have kept these IEM's at the top of the want and purchase list of most every head-fier or musician, despite being one of the most uncomfortable and foreboding Frankenstein bolts out there this side of the Nautilus shelled Monoprice 8320. Jerry Harvey's swansong IEM. a five star sound and a two star fit, these are the gorgeous girl you take to the ball, who turns out to be great in bed, but an equal pain in your...head.
Pros - Clear mids, bass reproduction, good separation, neutral, build quality, Changeable cable, reshell worthy
Cons - Treble extension, Stock cable,more dependent than ER-4S on amp type.
Introduction and initial impressions:
Bought them over a month or 2 back for the lols and now they are my regular for my daily commute. I have used them with a fairly wide variety of audio devices, Iphone 3g(Objective 2,FiiO E6 and E11), Sony Z series(briefly), Ipod touch 4g, Sony BDP-S380(w O2), Creative X-Fi HD(O2). Initially, I thought the TF10s were terrible, sound felt unnatural straight from the Idevices and it was too noisy with the E11. Hence, this review will discuss the TF10s mainly with the O2, Fiio E6 and Sony Z series.
The TF10s from Amazon comes in a super nice packaging and a fair bit of accessories. Flight attenuator for reducing audio system noise, wax cleaner, a nice gold 1/4" jack and extension cord. To boot, it also comes with a pair of comply tips.
Fit is hard to find but if you get it, it is ridiculously comfortable and reassuring fit. The stock silicone medium tips are my main tips now.
I have to mention this, the cable sucks with memory behavior, so just get a Fiio UE cable replacement if you want something cheap. For others there is also Null audio cables which are very nice too. At this point I'm still waiting for my cable(on preorder)
Separation: Very good instrumental separation which is on the ER-4S level. Only issue is the it seems very dependent on amp. The E6 and O2 are some of the cheapest options which provide this for me.
Isolation: If I'm not wrong the it is rated 26 SNR for isolation and I used the TF10s as ear protection in noisy situations and work. It works very well at blocking out noise, while looking cool during repairs
Soundstage: I see no point in this but for a IEM, the TF10s have a wide soundstage.
Bass: Good bass reproduction with a lot less bloat than my previous M50s while being having a good quantity compare with the lack of bass of the ER-4S.
Mids: Good smooth and coherent mids, great for female vocals. I found the mids very slightly recessed
but its a non issue for the smooth smooth vocals.
Treble: Having heard so much hype on Head-fi and my friend who uses it with his Ipod. I was unimpressed with the mid- high treble on the TF10 with the E6 and E11(with attenuator). Its just barely there. Some songs as a result, seem to lack the high end for me. Its like the polar opposite with the ER-4S. Only with the O2 I managed to achieve a sufficiently good high end from the TF10s. The E6 does well if not stellar performance in treble.
Tonal balance; Overall neutral but with slight recess in the mids(which is really really small) and virtually no treble unless you have a good amp to pair with it. A Pico Slim would be a good too.
Verdict: Would I recommend this to someone new to audio? Maybe not without a fairly decent amp at least. Its highly recommended if you seek a more neutral sound(based on my Edifier R2000T, ER-4S and DT880) but still keep that bass. It's totally value for the price compared to ER-4S and is a keeper. I'm suprised that it did as well as it did on HF(price?) as I found it pretty source picky with lack of treble on a improperly matched amp(and straight out of the every popular Idevices).