Scuba Devils

Headphoneus Supremus
Softears Turii Ti (Titanium) - The G.O.A.T. Dynamic Driver
Pros: > Top-tier resolution, setting a new bar in dynamic drivers
> Polite, clear, and refined tuning
> Vast soundstage, with pinpoint imaging across a holographic field
> Spectacular balance of technicality and musicality
> Premium stock cable from Liquid Links (modular with 3.5mm / 2.5mm /4.4mm)
Cons: > Isolation due to open style
> Occassional 'spicy' treble' (a problem potentially for some genres, and low quality recordings)
> Limited edition, apparently only 88 made
> Price
Softears Turii Ti ($2,449 Single Dynamic Driver)

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Introduction and Disclaimers

The Turii Ti ($2,449) is the latest flagship dynamic driver from Softears. It was introduced in early 2022, and has been on and off my radar since then - I've been holding off due to the high price tag (especially for a single driver), and very few impressions or reviews out there in the wild. The original Turii has been available for maybe two years now (I think?), and while highly regarded (but often hard to find), the question on whether the new Ti was 'worth' the significantly higher price tag remained open, certainly for me anyway. Softears launched the much lower priced ($930) 'Twilight' in September, and this provided me with an opportunity to get a sense for their tuning with a lower cost of acquisition... when Twilight landed, it didn't take me long to fall in love, and feel much more comfortable taking the plunge with their flagship - knowing what they had achieved in a sub $1,000 set, I absolutely had to hear the Turii Ti. Worth noting also, the other much more mysterious single DD with a hefty price tag ($3,000) is the Dita Perpetua, even less info out there on this set and one I'm determine to hear someday - I note this as both Turii Ti and Perpetua have had quite a bit of discussion in various groups over the last while, a level of intrigue as to how they might compare.

I am not a professional reviewer or anything remotely like it. I love music, and I love the methods by which we can listen to music - over the last two years, that has become an obsession with IEMs and related gear. I've bought and sold many, and held on to a select few - these have been anything from a $20 set like the Moondrop Chu, all the way up to kilobuck sets such as Aroma Jewel or the infamous 'Traillii' from Oriolus. As part of this exploration, I like to share my thoughts on the various sets in my journey with the Head-Fi community and beyond. The massive caveat, is of course that 'your mileage may vary' - this is a highly subjective hobby and we all hear things differently.


I'm drawn to the coherency of a single transducer, and love to explore the various types of tuning different sets produce, be it an entry-level from about $20, or top-tier set. The single DD journey began almost two years ago when I took the plunge on the very first run of the DUNU ZEN, which sent me on a voyage of discovery to establish what I deem to be the best dynamic drivers on the market. This road has led me to many DDs that I've really loved, and also learned a lot from along the way in terms of my own listening preferences, and what works best with my library - some have been genre specialists, others all-rounders. While I've found my favourite single DD for now, I will certainly keep exploring what's on offer, regarless of price points.

I purchased the Turii Ti from @MusicTeck at a discounted rate in exchange for my honest impressions. As always, these are in no way influenced or have any input from either the reseller or brand, and my own investment in the product is a far greater percentage than the discount! As always, I'd like to thank Andrew for the fantastic service, he really is a credit to this wonderful audiophile world we occupy. Turii Ti is available from MusicTeck HERE

Finally, for those who care to consider burn-in, I've had Turii Ti for a month, and left it play for the first week around the clock with many hours listening time since - I'd estimate >200 hours now on the clock.

About Softears (from the Softears Website)


Softears (Softear Acoustics)
A Chinese brand focused on technology, R&D, and innovation
Is a young but experienced company
The founder started working in audio in 2014, the studio was founded in 2017 in Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley, and in 2019 set up an independent lab for R&D and our own factory in Chengdu, a Humanistic City.
Softears wants to bring you a soft and comfortable, balanced and durable listening experience.
We are committed to research and development of loudspeakers and tuning equipment, with excellent manufacturing process and excellent quality control, pride in excellence is our brand way.


Specifications
  • Impedance: 25 ohms@1KHz (±15%)
  • Sensitivity: 118dB/VRMS@1KHz
  • Effective frequency response: 20-20KHz
  • Frequency response: 8-42KHz THD: <1@1KHZ
Unboxing & Accessories

I was already familiar with the style of packaging from Twilight and the Turii Ti is pretty much the exact same - bar being a silver finish. It's a straightforward and simple packaging with a touch of finesse to the unboxing and presentation.

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The 'Twist Your Ears' slogan that appears also on the Twilight -

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The earphones are nestled in what is described as an alcantara tray, that being the soft leather often used for car seats. The case is the same styling typically used by Softears, but in a grey finish with a silver 'TI' embossed on the lid. I think the cases are really nice and very practical in use.

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Bundled Accessories:
  • Faux-leather case
  • S/M/L liquid silicone tips
  • S/M/L foam tips
  • S/M/L alternate foam tips (not quite sure on the material, but seems like a softer foam composition)
  • Cleaning brush
  • Fabric cloth
  • Titanium(?) product card with serial number
  • 2 x sets of spare foam filters
  • Liquid Links modular cable with 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm
  • Instruction manual

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Liquid Links Cable

  • Material: 22awg 5N OCC silver
  • Structure: litz type2
  • Structure: multiple wire diameter stranding
  • Outer skin: DuPont extra soft pvc outer skin
  • Plug: OE gold-plated plug
  • Splitter and plug sleeve material: titanium alloy

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The stock Liquid Links cable is a thing of beauty, a level of which I've never seen bundled with an IEM to this point. I was familiar with Liquid Links initially from their 'Venom' cable which came with the Elysian X, and I more recently purchased the 'Martini' which is quite similar to the Turii Ti bundled cable, but quite a bit heavier and less supple - plus it doesn't have the modular system. This 'stock' cable is the best I've seen from Liquid Links, and suspect it would be quite a hit if sold separately.

The stock cable has a beautiful soft finish, and is wonderfully supple. The modular system is simple to use, and very secure - basically unscrew the connector, and unplug the termination to change. It arrives with the 4.4mm jack connected as standard, I guess the default now for many, but fantastic to have all three options available.

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Design and Fit

The shells are an unusual shape and I know this can be cause for concern. They pretty much rely on a secure fit from the tips, along with the cable over the ear to hold in place - the good news is that titanium is incredibly light, so no real risk of them falling out due to the weight - the focus is more finding the right tip either from the selection included, or indeed the numerous 3rd party choices in the market. I had difficulty with Twilight, and ultimately chose the recently launched SpinFit W1 tips which have been fantastic both from a fit and sound perspective, and thankfully this has been the case also with Turii Ti. As a side note on the W1 - I've not been a fan of SpinFit up to now, I've tried many of their tips but never connected. Another that has worked well for me are the AET07 in large, a very good seal, comfortable and sound excellent. In my experience, with the right tips the Turii Ti are incredibly comfortable and I can wear for hours without any discomfort.

The open style of the shells means that isolation is poor, these certainly will not be a good choice for those seeking a set to use out and about, looking to block external noise. It seems these vents are necessary to provide such an airy, vast soundstage.

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Listening Impressions

The key theme with Turii Ti is a light/airy presentation, an easy to engage with tonality rather than bold, energetic and bombastic. I would describe as somewhat W-shaped, with maybe a very slight lift to the higher frequencies. This blend delivers a well-balanced presentation to a number of my preferred genres, but of course may not be suited to everyone. While it has a very engaging and emotive slant, it has jaw-dropping technical capability for a single driver with a soundstage that often defies belief. Timbre is up there with the best I've heard in any set, both for instruments and vocals. It works very well with numerous genres and I would say reasonable to describe as an all-rounder, but certainly does some genres better than others due to the tuning profile - more on this shortly.

I've spent a lot of time listening via the LPGT, and to a lesser extent on my Shanling M9. The M9 takes the edge off some genres where the treble energy is a little excessive, and adds a bit of kick to the low end - as such, I'm reaching more for the M9 when listening to faster-paced electronic music such as techno, trance or D&B. The LPGT suits more of my library, especially ambient, modern classical, psy-chill, IDM, and more acoustic focused music - LPGT is a somewhat neutral-tuned DAP, and complements Turii Ti very well in that it doesn't add or subtract anything, you hear them as they've been tuned pretty much exactly.

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Genres and Track Tests

I've decided to do something different or experimental for this review - a table of tracks/genres that I feel are excellent, very good, and not so good (haven't actually found any!), along with the chosen test tracks for each. I've hyperlinked the test tracks to Bandcamp where possible, and YouTube otherwise. This is clearly not definitive in terms of the genres, and simply represents what I've tested - some of the genres will have had more extensive time than others over the last few weeks, and with that in mind, I've included a 'confidence level' rating out of 10 - this is my view on the overall suitability of Turii Ti towards the applicable genre, based on key considerations in terms of the composition of the music etc - the higher confidence levels are due to the fact I've listened a lot more to the specific genre.

I really didn't find anything I can class as 'bad', or indeed below 'good' - but Turii Ti definitely excels with some genres more than others, and I don't think anyone wants to spend north of $2K for a set that will only sound good with their library, so I hope this helps in any decision making.

NB - please read the above and be clear on my 'Genre Confidence Level' - this is not a ranking of the genre on the set, but my confidence level vis-a-vis the amount of time I've spent listening to the given genre on the set since it arrived, and/or the amount in general that I listen to the genre overall... the higher the level, the more comfortable I am with the suitability of the genre with the IEMs. For example, I don't listen to much punk typically but happen to love the album in the table below - I can't say with confidence how suited the set will be to the wider genre, and those of you who might love punk, will have a much better ear... Typically my choice of test track I think should be a good respresentation of the broader genre however. Anyway, it's by no means a scientific method, just something I'd like to see if adds any value to the review, and I'll tweak over time.

GenreTrackRankingGenre Confidence Level
Chilled JazzMatthew Halsall - Harmony with NatureExcellent9/10
Modern ClassicalAdrian Lane - Guess too SlowExcellent10/10
Male acousticNick Drake - Northern SkyExcellent7/10
Female acoustic / indieJulia Jacklin - Don't Know How to Keep Loving YouExcellent8/10
Indie / shoegazeDIIV - HorseheadGood6/10
PunkIdles - I'm ScumGood3/10
House / synthGroove Armada - Paper RomanceGood8/10
Psy-chillBluetech - LaikaExcellent10/10
DowntempoBonobo - Black SandsExcellent8/10
IDMArovane - AmbelioExcellent10/10
AmbientAcronym - ParanoiaExcellent10/10
Breakbeat / technoDHS - SeeingGood8/10
Electronic / WorldDead Can Dance - The Host of the SeraphimExcellent (tear jerking!)10/10
TechnoRobert Hood - Drive (The Age of Automation)Excellent10/10
Drum & BassCalibre - Blink of An EyeVery Good8/10
Jazz / ElectronicaPortico Quartet - With, Beside, AgainstExcellent8/10

Lows -

I believe this is a good example of quality over quantity - while they aren't 'bass light', they may not satisfy 'bass heads' either. The quantity I feel is absolutely appropriate for the balance of tuning, anything more would have had a negative impact on the overall picture. The bass leans more towards mid versus sub and provides excellent slam/definition - the sub does extend nicely when called for, but the emphasis edges more towards mid. Any instruments sitting in the lower end of the spectrum sound wonderfully lifelike and clear. I listed the wonderful 'Harmony With Nature' in my test track table above - the double bass has a beautiful engaging authenticity, with a visceral sense of connection and the right balance in the track.

Mids -

Lush and captivating, but clear and detailed with ample space in the vast stage for multiple instruments to play in harmony with each other, and never any sense of congestion. Both male and female vocals sit slightly forward, and render with spectacular realism. Piano, strings, sax, synths to name a few instruments are portrayed with a luxuriant, clear, and detailed presentation. While there is a richness and vibrancy to the mids, they still slant sufficiently technical to drive out every bit of micro detail, creating a really visceral listening experience.

Highs -

The upper energy for the most part supports the vast stage and excellent micro detail retrieval, but with some genres and poorly recorded music, can become a touch harsh. On the flip side, and especially with the previously mentioned genres that I've found to be perfect with Turii Ti, the treble is often the secret sauce to ensure a wonderfully accurate representation of the music - percussion for example sounds more realistic versus sets twice the price; the sense of air, separation and interaction with mid bass kick drums is really satisfying. The higher registers of strings sing with heavenly accuracy.

Technical -

From a timbre perspective, it's hard to imagine getting any better - there is absolutely no instrument or vocal that I've tested that doesn't sound as I expect it should - I can't praise highly enough in this regard. Imaging is off the charts: the sense of clarity and separation, oftens leads to basically pinpointing sounds to what feels like a specific centimetre somewhere on my neck, or the top left of my skull. Yet it does this without sounding clinical - the cohesive nature of a single dynamic driver still very much evident. The presentation of sound often reminds me of buds or open full-size headphones, that sense of sound coming from all around you, in a truly holographic / 3D soundstage. There is a great sense of air in the presentation, which gives a real effortless listen.

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Comparisons

Sennheiser IE900

The now possibly legendary IE900 is a very different beast to Turii Ti - a much more V-shaped set, with fantastic deep sub, and wonderful crisp treble. Overall, I would say a set that is better suited to genres like techno, trance, D&B to name a few - the somewhat recessed mids are a clear disadvantage for mid-focused genres, and Turii Ti steps forward massively here. While both are techically proficient, Turii Ti still has the lead. I can see a case for owning both, certainly complementary but if one or the other, it really is no contest in my opinion - Softears get the gold prize.

Sennheiser IE600

The much cheaper, and often preferred set to the IE900 due to what I would describe as 'safer' tuning in a well-balanced W-shaped signature. IE600 is an excellent all-rounder and while it has a broadly similar sound profile, it is leagues behind Turii Ti in terms of timbre and technically capability.

Softears Twilight

A lot of similarities here, but clearly several steps below Turii Ti. You can certainly hear the DNA in the tuning of both, and Twilight is the safer/more relaxed tuning, with an overall smoother tonality. Technicalities scale up significantly with Turii Ti. I find them very complementary, and often reach for Twilight when I just want to relax without being too 'wowed' by the technical ability of Turii.

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Conclusion

Effortlessly elegant, and wonderfully balanced, with just a touch of zing... lush, emotive, clear, and with buckets of detail in a vast field of sound - Turii Ti has seduced me like no other IEM has in my journey so far. Those looking for an IEM that offers incredibly clarity with excellent technical capability, while still not coming across as analytical or clinical, should certainly consider this wonderful set - a truly unique balance achieved, and a set that has shook up my entire collection. I've tried many IEMs over the last couple of years, and none have resonated with me as much as Turii Ti - absolutely the bar raiser in my journey so far, and deserving of the title of 'Greatest of all Time' - G.O.A.T.

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levindamiel
levindamiel
Oooh you have the 04! I have the 03 :) Your review is spot on! The naturalness of the Turii Ti is amazing!
DanielListening
DanielListening
I am finally hearing the Turri Ti for myself.

You nailed it on this review. Excellent work.

This reminds me of a lot of the magic of the Orioles Isabellae but with the technicalities of a much more resolving IEM.
D
dlelikov
Hi! And what about the comparison with JVC Fw10000? I saw in your signature a large number of other 1DD from JVC. It would be very interesting to hear your opinion about these JVC jewels.
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