MusicMaker TK11

FUYU

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: High Resolution, with detail across the board; solid build and looks; overall value
Cons: Slightly harsh treble
Note: The MusicMaker TK11 were purchased on Aliexpress for 71$ at the time.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/2015-Newest-HCK-A1-Dynamically-And-BA-Double-Unit-Headphone-HIFI-Fever-In-Ear-Earphone-DIY/1825606_32576911059.html#!
 
 
Preamble:

 
First of all, welcome to another review here on Head-Fi.org.
My name is Noel aka. FUYU, I'm 18 years old and a avid lover for everything technical.
While everything subjective, I like to explain in more rational enclosure with graphs and technical prowess.
I care about facts and only facts, meaning no fancy 300$ cables and value by price-to perfomance.
 
Today's review is about one of many chinese IEMs, which have recently flourished over at Aliexpress and Taobao.
They feature very capable specifications at a highly competitive price, however unknown to most.
Since the advent of the Balanced Armature, many manufacturer have entered the competition. And thanks to
relative easy tuning and open access to established designs and modifications, it comes to no suprise that we are seeing
such competition from outside the more known brands.
 
Enter MusicMaker
Official MusicMaker/HCK thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/796505/hck-a2-appreciation-impressions-thread-dual-ba-and-dd-hybrid/
 
Specifications:
 
 
Type:                                   Dynamic + Balanced Armature
 
Driver Diameter:               10mm Dynamic
 
Frequency Response:    15-30000Hz                
 
Sensitivity:                         120 dB/mW  
 
Impedance:                      32 Ohms 
          
Weight:                              8 g
 
Cable:                               1.2 m, straight jack
 
Connector:                       3.5 mm gold-plated stereo mini plug
 
Accessories:                    16x silicone eartips (S/M/L), 8x Foam eartips (S/M/L) and protective carrying case (YMMV)
 
Wearing style:                  Down the ear; 
 
IMG_20160203_111623.jpg  

IMG_20160203_111649.jpg  

Build and Accessories:
 
Starting off, after unpacking the little carring pouch (and picking up all the little plastic packs from the ground), one can see a somewhat simple looking earphone.
Two colours are available (Red or Black) and as such don't expect any crazy looking design. It's minimalistic and it works.
The TK11 build is remarkablely sturdy, thanks to it's lightweight aluminium construction and OFC plated cable.
Speaking of the cable: It's almost perfect. While it's not detachable, it doesn't tangle, has a proper build Y-Split and boasts
a solid looking 1/8"-Jack (3.5mm). Some may complain about the cheap plastic chin slider, I don't.
Accessories are no slouch either. Provided are a gazillion pair of tips (and don't forget to order extra tips, just in case; 5 Bucks gets you covered with enough for anything)
featuring Foam tips (S/M/L) in 4 colours and Silicon in both wide and narrow configuration in pink, black and translucent (S/M/L). An extra pair of earguides are also included.
 
 
Isolation + Fit:
 
Isolation is actually not bad. As a matter of fact, it's above average. The shells are minimalistic and pop right into your ear, albeit a bit fiddely. Again YMMV.
Due to the low obtrusiveness, one can insert the TK11 fairly deep, which results in a isolation of around -10 to -18dB in most frequency areas.
Sports or any activities are a non-issue and due to it's low profile design, windnoise is minimal. Sharp edges or joints are non-existent, hence comfort
is not hindered and wearing fatigue is almost non-relevant. (Overall weight is 8g per piece)
 
 
Pairing:
 
High sensitivity, medium impedence. It's easy to drive. No Chord Hugo required. As always, improving your audio-chain will also always improve your listening experience.
My Samsung Galaxy S3 has no issue in terms of volume, neither has my Schiit Modi2/Magni2 Stack. I'd recommend using a neutral/dry/analytical source, though beware of sibilance.
 
 
Sound:
 
The classic V-Shape. Comsumer, widespread tuning. Enjoyed by most. Hated by many. And in this case, very well executed.
While the V-Shape is definitly there, it is more laid out. Bass is boosted by ~8-9dB mostly in sub-bass and the treble has one 8dB spike at ruffly 4kHz and one more at around 8kHz
Overall SQ and performance is really tip-dependent. My favorite combo are either foam eartips or the KZ "Whirlwind" eartips (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/KZ-3-Pairs-L-M-S-In-Ear-Tips-Earbuds-Headphones-Eartips/32333783387.html#!)
Speaking of overall SQ, one can describe the TK11 as highly resolving, but fun sounding earphone, easily outclassing many IEMs within the 5-250$ range.
 
 
Bass:
 
If you come from a more neutral IEM, prepare to get blown away. The DD does use it's air-moving capabilities very well.
However it's not all about quantity, but rather quality. It is tight, extends all the way to 15hz and never feels unsatisfactory.
Although it excells in both quality and quantity, it's not quite basshead-level, which gives the TK11 are more balanced feeling.
 
 
Mids:
 
Mids are slightly ressesed, but not in a bad way. The overall quality and resolution is quite remarkable.
 
 
Treble:
 
After looking at the design-page over at the MusicMaker page, i was worried. First of all, I have slight issue with sibilance. Secondly the IEM uses a "naked" BA, with no
acustic tubing and external filters. Thirdly I had no idea what BA was being utilised. (In this case, Knowles)
As such, I expected sibilance. And to spoil all the fun, there was sibilance. Luckily, it wasn't as bad. Actually it was minimal and only noticeable in some tracks.
Beyond that, treble perfomance is outstanding. Details are present au massé. But even though treble is highly detailed,  it remains natural and doesn't sound "metalic" or unrealistic in that regard.
 
 
Soundstage:
 
Soundstage width and depth are above average. Overall staging is more oval and extends more into the lateral space. Instrument seperation is quite capable. And thanks to the elevated treble,
instruments have good seperation and placing in the music.
 
 
Comparision: MusicMaker TK11 vs. Fidue A83 (Triple Hybrid)
 
These two IEMs sound like twin brothers. Without A/Bing them, I'd almost believe that they are identical:
 
Bass: Almost identical. The Fidue has slightly more autority, due to more mid-bass. Beyond that? Pretty much the same.
Mids: The Fidue sounds slightly more resolving. The TK11 has similar detail-retrieval. Close call, I'd say Fidue.
Treble: This is were the TK11 falls a bit flat. The Fidue is slightly more pleasent. (Even though the Fidue has some harshness issue of it's own)
Soundstage: Both are really good. The Fidue's stage is a bit larger in both width and depth.
 
Comparision: MusicMaker TK11 vs. LZ A1 (Discontinued; Dual Hybrid)
 
Another V-Shaped IEM from China. But at only half the price.
 
Bass: The MK11 is overall more refined, less mid-bass, tighter execution. Slightly more detail.
Mids: Pretty similar, once again. The dip on the LZ A2 is around 1-2kHz, however. No clear winner
Treble: I believe they use the same BA in both models. Yet the TK11 is less spiky and sibilant
Soundstage: Bigger on the TK11 in both width and depth. The LZ is more "in your head"
 
 
Conclusion:
 
71$...yes. A great price. Minimalist design. Great sound. Solid build. However not without it's quirks.
A solid contentor, even compared to the other chinese Hybrids, like the LZ-A2, the OnePlus Icon and similar IEMs.
It may be just a Dual Hybrid, but it's certainly the best I've ever heard.
Skullophile
Skullophile
Very nice review, I'll have to grab a pair to complete the set of A1, A2 and my soon to arrive S3.
Cat Man
Cat Man
Great, I'm using HCK A2
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