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  1. subwoof3r
    The "Sound of Revolution" is back !
    Written by subwoof3r
    Published Oct 3, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent TOTL sounding (bass especially)
    Excellent overall craftsmanship and cable
    Extremely lightweight
    Cons - Classic MX500 shells (again..)
    No MMCX connectors
    A lot of competition especially at this price tag
    • English is not my native language but I will (as always) trying my best.
    • I am not affiliated to anything/anyone, so my review reflects exactly what I really think of the product itself.
    • Note that my pair has been properly burned for about 200 hours before this review (yes! in burn-in: I trust)
    box.jpg

    TM9 is the actual flagship from Blox (made by Woo) - a small earbuds company living in Thailand.

    Blox is well known for selling small but excellent earbuds batches around the world. To me, buying Blox earbuds is always something magic, as you will be one of those “lucky boy” which will maybe get a pair. Blox previous flasgship was TM7 (which I definitely regretted to sell long time ago), and the previous was TM5 which I didn’t had the chance to listen (anyway I was the time I wasn’t audiophile enough to perceive a real difference).

    After listening to TM7, BE3 (rev1) and now TM9, all I can say is this last is definitely the best release of all Blox earbuds till date and a true TOTL earbud.



    OFFICIAL TECHNICAL SPECS
    • Driver : Dynamic 15.4 mm
    • Frequency Response : 20Hz - 22KHz
    • Impedance : 32 Ω
    • Sensitivity : 108dB/mW @ 1KHz
    • Cable : OCC Copper 1.2 m. (3.5mm. plug)
    sacoche.jpg



    BUILD QUALITY

    Build quality is just excellent to my eyes. Everything coming from shells to the jack is perfect and extremely well made.

    overall.jpg

    Cable is made of pure OCC copper with 4N wires, which is best for comfort and weight (unlike the heaviest 8 core), and weight. Cable is extremely flexible, not microphonic at all, easily foldable and a pleasure to manipulate. The only cons I could say is that it is maybe a bit fragile to me (hope for you that you don’t have a cat otherwise cable will get down very quickly I guess) as it is extremely thin.

    cable.jpg

    The Y-splitter is almost inexistent. It is just a very thin and transparent tube that has been “burned” a bit to match the visible separation. Personally, I prefer this configuration as it plays a high role in comfort category. Cable is overall extremely light, it’s just like you are only feeling the shells into your ears and nothing else. Impressive.

    Y-splitter.jpg

    To finish, the Oyaide clone 3.5mm jack (other configurations are available such as balanced) is what you wait from a real TOTL earbuds nowadays. Made of metal it looks very sturdy, this is the only heaviest part.

    plug.jpg

    Overall very well hand made from Blox. Absolutely nothing to complain.



    COMFORT AND FIT

    Shells used are the ones you can find from any classic EMX500 like. Probably the most used one for earbuds till date. It is known to bring best sounding experience, but in other side, not the best for comfort. Personally due to my small ears, I’m obliged to readjust them every 2 minutes (approx.), without moving at all from my desk.



    SOUND QUALITY

    Sources used for the review : Fostex HP-A8C (at home) and FiiO E10K (at work). All tracks used for my review are FLAC files or MP3 at minimum 320kbps. I didn’t found TM9 to be much sensitive to my both sources.

    mx500shells.jpg


    TM9 really needs a lot of burning before sounding its best. It comes with no surprise that Woo himself recommends to burn them at least for 100 hours. Personally, I recommend 200 hours. I can clearly state a major difference right out of the box and after 200 hours. The dynamic drivers of TM9 deserve this.

    Also, I found best sounding experience to be reached with VE clan extreme thin foams. It should be normally the same as using the stock ones provided in the original TM9 package (1 pair of black thin foams).

    Note that all drivers (at least for TM9) are only engineered and made by Blox, so we are talking of custom dynamic drivers.
    • Presentation : TM9 has an overall smooth, slight fun but extremely natural and transparent presentation. It’s definitely more on the laid-back side. There is no sort of coloration (at least to my ears) which helps discovering the truth of your best tracks. Other than that, it sounds a bit “polite” (but not shy at all), but it seems to be what Blox is looking for.
    • Soundstage : while not being not as extremely large, holographic as NiceHCK EBX, TM9 soundstage is definitely more on the intimate and imaging sides. It’s like singers are directly singing in front of you. Sensational. Soundstage is more deep than large, but overall very opened enough and dimensional to be enjoyed.
    • Instrument separation : Instrument separation and layering is close to the perfection and what you can wait of a real TOTL earbuds. You can discern every details of any instrument without any problem. Listening some guitar and hearing every “pluc” is a pure regal.
    • Bass : bass can go very deep, has a lot of impact and extends well to subbass. Rumble could be better but there is definitely enough subbass to enjoy even it could do better. A mid-bass bump can be clearly audible, which can maybe be annoying sometimes (while not as heavy as a Willsound MK2 rev2) depending on your music genres. Nothing really important as bass and subbass are achieved as a TOTL level anyway. To me, it’s almost like I’m listening to my Fostex TH900 full headphones but in an earbud form factor.
    • Mids : there is certainly better earbuds for vocals, but these are sweet as they sound very natural. There is just the right amount to my ears of mid frequency. Mids are not forwarded, I don’t feel any kind of bump. Very linear and articulated. Vocals are pleasant and for long period listening this is just the perfect tuning.
    • Highs/treble: could be a bit more extended to my ears. There is no harshness nor sibilance. Highs are well tuned to have keep enough details while not being extremely analytical and sounding harsh. To me TM9 sounds more analog while keeping some details intact, which is extremely rare. It does a pretty nice job here, and is much enjoyable. I believe that highs are the most sensitive part to source from all frequencies, as I can feel a very slight roll-of depending on source.
    TOP MUSIC GENRES

    I did not found any lacking in all genres I listened with TM9 (from jazz to trance, rock, rnb, etc). The signature sound they produce makes it pretty versatile for mostly all genres.



    COMPARED TO NiceHCK EBX

    Personally, I found TM9 to be sounding overall much more natural, transparent and coherent. In addition, mid-bass bass presence and quality is much in favor of TM9 (depending on fit) while subbass quantity is in favor of EBX. Soundstage on TM9 is more intimate but thinner while being depth and large but not extreme like EBX. Layering is also in favor of TM9 (this is of course purely subjective) at the contrary of imaging. While details are much better on EBX (I completely rediscovered all my best tracks with these), I found mids and highs a bit less present on TM9, but when I listen a lot TM9 and swap immediately to EBX, I found mids sounding a bit veiled and unnatural. On TM9 you have the right amount of everything for long listening with additionally more bass presence. They are both complementary but also completely different sounding. I really enjoy them both for now. All depends of what you are looking for.



    COMPARED TO NiceHCK EB2

    This is the new EBX young brother from NiceHCK. You can immediately and easily discern the TOTL sounding that the TM9 is providing compared to EB2, especially in soundstage, much deeper on the TM9 while a bit more larger on EB2. Everything sounds fuller (especially subbass and bass) on TM9 with fine details and a better imaging. Subbass is almost inexistant on EB2. EB2 is just excellent sounding for budget earbuds but can’t really rival with TM9.



    CONCLUSIONS

    TM9.jpg

    At this price level, there is a tons of concurrence (especially at 280$). For sure, TM9 is a real TOTL sounding for earbuds category. Incredibly effortless allrounder, natural and transparent, bringing you the best earbuds experience that you can have in 2018, but I truly advice to get a try before buying (of course if possible, especially at this price tag). Anyway Blox with this TM9 achieved another new brilliant masterpiece. With TM9 you will be sure to have one of the best laid-back sound signature from any earbuds available till date.

    Can’t wait to see new Blox releases in the future!

    As always, for those interested, the official website is: http://bloxearphone.com



    MY SUBJECTIVE RESULTS
    • Overall sound quality and appreciation : 9/10
    • Soundstage/imaging : 9/10
    • Details : 8.5/10
    • Bass : 9.5/10
    • Mids : 8.5/10
    • Highs : 8.5/10
    • Quality/price value ratio : 8.5/10
      raysclim1568, Fabi, csglinux and 3 others like this.
    1. raysclim1568
      Just received mine two weeks ago , very simple and basic packaging ( actually not their sale point at all ) , the leather pouch is nice though. agreed with sound impression that you have posted. hope it is getting better after extensive listening ( burn in ) . plus point is it is a pick up and go ear bud that not fuzzy on DAP pairing . good product . will be a excellent value if selling price is lower by $50 ...cheers
      raysclim1568, Oct 11, 2018
      subwoof3r likes this.