Tangzu Audio Shimin Li

Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
TANGZU SHIMIN LI – PLEASANTNESS
Pros: Engaging Mid Range
Technicalities – Staging, Layering
Detail Retrieval
Build and Design
Packaging and Price
Cons: Bass Response
INTRODUCTION:
Tangzu, previously known as the TForce, is a brand based out of China. It's well known among the audiophiles out there even though they are a newly launched brand due to their high quality audio products. The Yuan Li is a perfect example for their impressive quality which does really sound great. The Shimin Li is their new product in the budget lineup even though the product doesn't look cheaper! A single dynamic driver, full aviation grade aluminium build, great stock cable with wide selection of ear tips! All just for 35USD! Let’s check out in this review how good this is.

SPECIFICATIONS:
>Driver spec: 10mm.
>Distortion: <0.5%.
>Sensitivity: 109dB.
>Impedance: 18Ω.
>Channel difference: 1dB.
>Frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz
>Single dynamic driver configuration.
>High-performance dual-cavity dynamic driver unit.
>Neodymium N52 magnetic architecture.
>Aviation-grade aluminum ear cavities.

DESIGN AND FIT:
The construction is the best aspect of this IEM where for this 35USD price range no earphones provide this premium feel on the hands. The whole construction is made out of aviation grade aluminium which feels extra premium on the hands and does provide that nice heft on the hands. A nice design language is presented on the faceplate with a single vent. The 2 pin connector area is nicely flushed within the body. The ergonomics of the IEM is pretty nice thus the isolation and the fit is great.
The included stock cable is pretty good in terms of quality even though they feel sticky on the hands due to that rubber coating. The termination and the splitter area are metal while the connector area is plastic. Overall for the price the stock cable is above average. They also provide a variety of ear tips to choose from which does provide an excellent seal in the ears.

SOUND:
The sound profile of the Shimin Li is more on the balanced side with more emphasis over the mid section. In simple, the mid section takes the centre stage while keeping the bass and treble in the backstage. The tonality is exceptional here with fatigue free upper mid emphasis too which leads to impressive detail retrieval and liveliness. Let’s check out the sound section in detail.

BASS:
Even though this contains a single dynamic driver the bass delivered by this is mediocre. Expected a lot from this set but the bass is just disappointing in this.
SUB BASS: The sub bass extension is very poor where the rumble is not that evident even in some bass prone tracks. The reach is quite shallow hence the satisfying vibrations are null in the Shimin Li.

MID BASS: The mid bass is average where this lacks the impact and weight. The bass is warm enough but lacks the body and attack. Every bass note appears lacklustre and impacts less. The bass notes sound to be very loose and the tight bass presence is not noticed here.
Apart from those negatives, the bass does have good control and speed thus the bleed into the mid section is very negligible and done a good job in that aspect. Due to this even the track separation appeared to be pretty nice with a good sense of space in between the instruments.

MID RANGE:
The mid range is the sweet aspect here as well as the star show. The tonality especially is very natural and transparent. It's very pleasing and realistic thus it gives a nice engaging experience overall. The whole mid range presentation is done in a forward manner thus each instrument in the background and the vocals are placed well and forward giving a lively experience.

LOWER MIDS: The lower mid section has a nice bodied sound with adequate fullness. The fullness is neither too crowded nor completely left out. The male vocals especially have that thicker nature along with that richness. The piano notes and the kick drums have a good attack and nothing feels on the thin side.

UPPER MIDS: The upper mid section is nicely elevated without causing any fatigue in the longer listening sessions. The female vocals are nicely stretched out without any constriction in the extension. The river female vocal leads to that lively feel overall throughout the track. The percussion instruments and the acoustic strings had that natural strike thus making everything to appear realistic and natural.

The detail retrieval and the track separation is very impressive in the mid section and thanks to that wider stage presence. Every single instrument in the background is not made to be lost and brought out front in very good fashion.

TREBLE:
The treble here is tuned to deliver a smoother sound overall without compromising on the details. The extension in the top end is above average and does retrieve some good amount of details.

BRIGHTNESS: They do have an adequate amount of brightness in the top end thus delivering some nice sparkly sound. The brightness does help in delivering an open sound overall thus no sort of closed feeling is sensed out.

SHIMMER AND BRILLIANCE: They are above average even though they are not the best out of this. Considering the other competitors in this price range these aspects are nicely done here. They are comparable to that of the Year Mirror.

CYMBAL CRASHES: The cymbal strikes are pretty nice with precise attack and decay. They do provide a good amount of splash thus the lively feel of the instruments are preserved. The timbre of the instruments in the Shimin Li appears to be neutral and no sense of metallic taste is observed.
The trumpets and the other percussion instruments do have that natural tone and the precise attack thus overall the treble is tuned as good as the mid section.

TECHNICALITIES:

STAGING: The staging is wide enough and the height seems to be correlating with that. The depth sensation is pretty average due to that shallow bass response. The wider stage led to impressive track separation and nice presence of air in the mid and treble section.

IMAGING AND LAYERING: Both these aspects are done excellently in this Shimin Li. The transient response felt pretty smooth with precise placement of the instruments. One can easily spot out the instrument even in a complex track without any confusion since the separation and staging are stellar in this.

Varying depth of notes are nicely presented out hence the layering felt pretty impressive in this. The channel sweep felt smoother and non stutter.

VERDICT:
Shimin Li, the latest budget offering from the house of Tangzu (Previously TForce) is a well executed Mid centric in ear monitor. The brand is well known for their Yuan Li model which got good response from the consumers and as a brand they are one of the few who actually listens to customers and tunes the sound based on that. The Shimin Li being their first budget IEM they have done some impressive work in it.
Coming to the build and design these are just marvelous. For 35USD the build and packaging they provide is stellar. Full aviation grade aluminium build which feels much premium on the hands and one would never believe this is a budget one without seeing the price tag of it. The stock cable is pretty nice with a wide selection of tips.

Coming to the sound, this is a mid centric tuning with more emphasis over the vocals and instruments. The bass is the weakest aspect here and if you are here with more interest towards bass then this is a no go. The mid section is tuned well with equal emphasis over the lower and upper mid section. Forwardly presented thus the experience while listening is more engaging and lively. The treble section feels more open and airy making the instruments sound more natural. The presence of air is not restricted and the extension in the top end is not limited too. The technical aspects like the staging and the layering are extremely done well for the price.
Overall the Shimin Li is not just an IEM at this price, but rather an equipment that delivers a PLEASANT experience to one’s ears. The mid range beauty can be experienced by one after listening to this.

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XerusKun

Head-Fier
Tangzu Li Shimin “Harmony and Melody in Veil and Partialness”
Pros: Smooth and analog sound
Forward and lush vocals
Good bass shelf
Excellent accessories
Good looking shell for the price
Cons: Sounds bland and lifeless
Treble almost non-existent.
Peak and dips at the treble region
Needs major tip rolling
Cave-like sound presentation
Not friendly to EQ (sounds even more low-res)
Shouty female vocals at higher volumes and stock eartips
Not for people who are fond of japanese music.
Li Shimin.png

Summary
A bit shouty warmish midcentric IEM that may sound boring, lifeless and uninspiring to some, however neutral heads may like this type of signature. It has good bass texture and speed, just enough bass quantity, not lacking nor overbearing. Midrange is presented with articulation and forwardness, but female vocals may induce some shout with stock eartips (Kbear07) and at higher volumes. Male vocals have enough weight and are lush in tone but it tilts towards a warm coloration and are not accurate sounding like the Tanya. Higher pitched male vocals also has some shout and harshness in some tracks. Treble is unsatisfactory and has a major dip at the mid-treble to upper treble region making the Li Shimin lack any sparkle and zing. All instruments feel blunted and just lacking the harmonics that should appear on the soundscape. Technicalities are average and I didn’t notice any improvements when comparing to my KZ/CCA IEMs, to be honest, its tech is below the recent KZ/CCA IEMs which is disappointing for the price they are asking for this IEM.

Li Shimin SS.png
Preliminary
  • I’ve used the Li Shimin for over 3 days with different sources and tips, played different tracks ranging from pop to bossa nova.
  • Take my review with a large scoop of salt and always cross reference.
  • I liked to thank Sir Eiji for including me in the Tangzu Li Shimin Tour.
  • This review will somehow be biased towards my taste in music and my target sound signature.
  • As always, since our ears have different shapes and resonances, your mileage may always vary.
I mostly listen to this artists/group of artists, arranged from frequently to least played:
ShibayanRecords, Mitsukiyo, Nagi Yanagi, Yorushika, Kenshi Yonezu, Yoasobi, Ito Kashitaro, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Sawano Hiroyuki, ChouCho, Weaver, Turnover, The Script and Hoyo-Mix.

I also love to listen to symphonic tracks or tracks with relaxing/magical/nostalgic vibe to it.
If you want to listen to my daily playlist just go to this link: XerusKun Music Recommendations
My target sound signature is Aster Hypocrisy as shown in the graph below. I don’t like IEMs that does not exhibit downward sloping upper treble (e.g CRA) as it makes the overall soundscape artificial sounding and also forces harmonics even if I don’t want it. V-shaped or U-shaped will also work as long as there are sufficient technicalities. Congestion, bass bloat, glassiness and muddiness are a big no for me.

Equipment
  • CX-31993
  • Avani (ALC-5686)
  • Abigail (CX-31993) “Main Source”
  • LG V20
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
Thy Frequency Spectrum
This IEM sounds bland and any music enjoyment I have with my recent IEMs are just downgraded when switching to Li Shimin. It sounds too soft and there’s no dynamics, bite or zing at all. The microdetails I’m enjoying with EDA Balanced, ultimately gone, the soundstage that I’m so mesmerized with ESX, gone. I don’t understand the hype for this IEM, I mean the packaging is cool, the IEM looks is banger, the sound?
Bass: 7/10
Li Shimin can handle big bass drops and has enough rumble to keep up with EDM tracks. But bass texturing is in the average side and even my Heart Mirror does a better job at it. Bass quantity is adequate and speed is in the slower side. Neutral heads will really appreciate this bass shelf but may find it lacking the bass snap. Midbass isn’t bleeding in the midrange, however the bass lacks the slam and punch, I can’t really follow the bass riffs with this set, it sounds too smooth in the bass.

Midrange 5/10
When I hope that this set will present the midrange better than the bass, my expectation goes haywire. This set presents my Nagi Yanagi tracks with unrefinedness and shout, I don’t really know what’s happening, she sounds lush when she’s singing in the lower octave, but as she increases her pitch, her voice has this unrefinedness and is somehow shouty, I might even describe it as shrill. I don’t really like how this set is replaying my favorite Nagi Yanagi tracks. For male vocals they are okay and sounds somehow accurate, they are lush sounding, can’t really find any faults in it really. But if I have to really nitpick, higher pitched male vocals have the same problem as the female ones. Instrument fundamentals are well articulated and noteweight is a bit on the thicker side, however some instruments like violins and piano may sound incomplete and one-noted in some tracks.

Treble 2/10
What…is even happening with the treble..where is the upper treble? Where are my sparkles? Where are the reverbs on the soundscape? It sounds like there’s a big hole in the treble area, instruments harmonics are almost inaudible, it just sounds so blunted. I mean the treble is safe, there’s no 8kHz peak and the presentation is almost harshless, but where’s the treble at? Listening to Li Shimin feels like something is taken from my music, it also feels like I’m in a cave of sound instead of being in an open space… This is so disappointing; I’m expecting better than this due to the hype.

Technicalities
Soundstage.png
  • Driver presentation of notes are almost the same as Heart Mirror, it has moderate attack and decay. Some may even call this an organic presentation of sound.
  • Complex tracks are handled pretty well, but treble may start to sound harsh and unrefined, recommended to lower the volume.
  • Soundstage has an average wideness but below average height and depth. It feels like I am in a cave of sound instead of an open room.
  • Imaging and staging are skewed in some songs, and bass may present itself forward along with the instruments, vocals are the nearest within your headspace and may sound to intimate, moreover some higher pitched instruments like piano or cymbals may be perceived as too far away from the listener.
  • Separation is below average, and CCA Lyra beats it by a mile.
  • Microdetails are meh, reverb and echoes are almost nonexistent, dynamics are soft and too smooth at times, overall timbre is accurate but pulled back by the treble response and may sound like the instruments are covered with cloth.
Music Analysis
No :)….IEMs in the lower rank of my list doesn’t need this section. This is exclusive to the sets I have enjoyed.

Frequency Response Analysis

Li Shimin Graph.png

Comparison
This comparative analysis is highly biased on my library, so please don’t take this as a unified guide on what should you buy or not. :)
Li Shimin vs CRA+
CRA+ has more weight and warmth to the midrange, has a more palatable treble response, sounds less smooth than Li Shimin, sounds more detailed, bass is more textured and has significant slam and punch to it, midrange is safer and isn’t shouty like the Li Shimin. Li Shimin only advantage is it sounds more organic and less metallic, otherwise for my library, CRA+ wins

Li Shimin vs CCA Lyra

Think of it like this, take the Li Shimin sound signature and add a proper treble response and reduce the shoutiness of it. Tadah CCA Lyra. Lyra is a perfected Li Shimin for my ears, like the issues I have with the Li Shimin are just fixed by Lyra while also retaining that neutral/analog approach to the music. Lyra wins

Li Shimin vs EDA Balanced

EDA Balanced has better microdetails, has better soundstage presentation, has better bass texture, faster bass response, better treble extension, lovable and full of clarity female vocals rendition, has proper treble response. Li Shimin doesn’t have all of that, maybe it sounds more organic and timbre is more on the analog side? Don’t really care, Li Shimin is not letting me enjoy my music so EDA Balanced wins

Li Shimin vs Heart Mirror

Heart Mirror has better treble response, faster bass, non-shouty female vocals, wider soundstage, a correct staging of instruments and studio-like soundstage. Li Shimin has better male vocals rendition, has more warmth to the overall sound unlike Heart Mirror, has more bass quantity. For my library, Heart Mirror wins.

Li Shimin vs Tanya Max

Li Shimin only advantage in this comparison is it has a better bass shelf, other than that Tanya Max takes the Shimin Li analog warmth formula and refined it even further, they have both upper treble hole, but Tanya Max has a correct mid-treble response, Li Shimin has both dips at the mid-treble and upper treble making it sound more blunted than Tanya. Tanya Max wins

Mods
1. Stock Wide Bore Tips (07 clone)

Introduce shout, better to change this immediately.

2. Radius Deep Mounts
Yeap recommended, but treble may be perceived as unrefined at times.

3. Stock Narrow Bore Tips (08 clone)
Cuts the soundstage even more, makes the sound more bassy while also having that dark treble. No stop this.


Equalization
No, it sounds bad even with EQ, I just tried my target with this set and it sounds low-res and unrefined.

Tested Synergies
Monotonic Disappointment
(Li Shimin, Kbear07, Abigail/Avani/CX-31993)

Sounds okay with Abigail, sounds even more darker with Avani, sounds more shouty with CX-31993. Do I really need to explain this synergy? I mean you the one reading this might have better source than me…. but yeah it sounds bad with all of my source. All the statements I wrote in this review is with the Abigail dongle.

Recommend Tracks/Genres:
Jazz, Classical, Indie, Old Rock

“Not that good” Tracks:
Almost all tracks in my music library.

Overall Rating
C- (Above CCA CA10)
NOT Recommended
(Sorry, but this set is just destroying my enjoyment with my music library, maybe other people will appreciate this kind of approach to music, but I really don’t..)

My Ranking Listo!
Asterhythmist

Final Words
Thank you for reading this *rant* I mean review.
Last edited:

ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Tangzu Audio Shimin Li's Review
Pros: Very safe tuning
Warm and thick sound
Premium design
Cons: Early treble roll off
Upper mids might be too hots for some
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Intro
Tangzu Audio is a fairly new player in the ChiFi scene. Previously they were TForce Audio and due to some complications,they are now called Tangzu Audio.Their debut IEM YuanLi,received a lot of praises from fellow audiophiles and I myself had also reviewed the YuanLi and liked it a lot. Fast forward to today,we have their 2nd IEM Shimin Li which is part of a trilogy series. It is also a single dynamic driver like YuanLi,but with a different material of course.

I’m gonna be skipping the packaging and build as i’m pretty sure you’ve plenty of those from other reviews.So let’s just dive into the sound impression that i have for Shimin Li.

Source (Shimin Li in stock configuration)
Foobar2k -> Questyle M15 -> Shimin Li
Foobar2k -> TRI TK2 -> Shimin Li
Hidizs AP80 Pro-X -> Shimin Li

Sound
Shimin Li sounds neutral with a slight boost on the lower end,but the lack of treble extension skewed them towards a warmer side of the spectrum,however,this tuning itself is very safe and non offensive,anyone who are sensitive to treble will like this set i suppose.

Bass
  • Bass on Shimin Li is rather linear,the transition from sub to mid bass is smooth,this is not a bass focused set
  • Sub bass rumble is there but not to the point where i would say it is a basshead IEM,right amount of quantity for the fun
  • The mid bass does have some good thumps to it,and both the sub and mid bass has good texture
  • In terms of speed,it is a little lacking and might occasionally bleed into the mids on busier track

Mids
  • Shimin Li’s mids is quite good.I would say it’s organic sounding but not as lush as I'd hoped for,considering it’s asking price,i believe the compromise is fair
  • There is a slight boost on the upper mids where some might find it too hot,particularly in the female vocal track,but on low volume,it is generally alright unless you are listening at very high volume or very sensitive to it
  • Vocal doesn't sound recessed and both male and female vocal has got good texture to it

Treble
  • At Shimin Li’s treble region,this is what i personally find that it is the weak link among the bass and mids
  • It is rolled off very early and very evident that it is lacking air and sparkle especially when you have just listened to some other IEM that’s airy and got good sparkle,Shimin Li will sound dark to you
  • In terms of detail retrieval,they are average at best,don’t expect to hear every nuances,they are not bad,it’s just they are good for the asking price
  • Of course i would prefer if the treble can further extend a little,then it will be a balanced sounding set

Soundstage/Imaging
Soundstage is rather in your head,listening to Love of my Life Live from Queens,the whole song feels very centred and I didn't get the sense of openness that I should feel from a live concert recording.I would put it as intimate sounding,it is acceptable for the price but nothing spectacular.

Imaging is alright as the instruments can be pinpointed but it does suffer a little in complex tracks such as Slipknot’s Duality.

Driveability
  • Shimin Li is very easy to drive,and can get decently loud even from smartphone’s 3.5mm jack
  • However it does a bit better with better source of course,to kind of opens up a little on the top end and tightens the bass a little

Comparison(TinHifi T1S)
  • Both of this IEM is dark but when it comes to technicalities,Shimin Li definitely pulls itself ahead of T1S
  • Bass is more linear and controlled on Shimin Li,while T1S sounds bassier and uncontrolled
  • In terms of treble,both has rolled off treble and it’s perceivable as dark sounding
  • Soundstage and imaging,they are more or less similar

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Final Thoughts
I totally understand why many are disappointed with the performance of Shimin Li,my take on this is that the price they are asking for is 35$ and i believe it is fair given what it had to offer,a trimmed down Yuan Li.You can’t expect to have all the bells and whistles of higher priced product at 35$.

In terms of sonic performance,Shimin Li is something where I want to put on and just listen to music without attempting to be analytical to the songs.It is good for the asking price,period.

*I received Shimin Li from Tangzu Audio F.O.C in exchange for this review,i am in no way influenced nor receive any monetary compensation for writing this review

If you are interested in buying a pair,head over to their AliEx’s store below: (Non Affiliated)
Tangzu Audio ShiMinLi

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SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
Not what I expected but priced well for what I got...
Pros: Price, tuning (except for a few little things), build quality
Cons: Aesthetics (at least for me), a little too present around 2kHz, lacking detail and soundstage
DSC_1736.JPG


The Tangzu Shimin Li have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for the publication of this review. HifiGo have not made any specific requests or comments, therefore, as usual, I will attempt to be as unbiased as possible in my review but you should always consider the fact that these IEMs have not cost me anything.

As always, I will leave a non-afiliate link to the Shimin Li via HifiGo on my blog, as I feel it is the least I can do when somebody is kind enough to send a product in for review.

Edit: Hifigo have reached out to me and requested that I include the actual purchase link in this review. You can purchase the Shimin Li via HifiGo here: https://hifigo.com/products/tangzu-shimin-li

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Intro…

In the later part of last year, I reviewed a set of IEMs called Yuan Li, by a company called T-Force. I really enjoyed those IEMs and still do, being one of my favourite sets around 100€ and actually getting more ear time than many other sets that I have reviewed. In fact, they still live in my case of 6 pairs of IEMs that are available to quick grab and I also use them for comparisons a fair bit.

Why am I mentioning the Yuan Li? Well, the Yuan Li was called “Trilogy Part I”, something that was shown quite clearly on the box. Fast forward som 9 months and here we are with the “Trilogy Part II”, although it is a little confusing I must say, as the brand has now changed from T-Force to Tangzu, the price has dropped from just over 100€ to just over 30€ and the whole package is quite a bit different.

When something is from the same series, specifically called a trilogy, then it is only normal that comparisons be drawn between them. However, in this case, while I still want to compare them, and will be doing so, it is difficult to do a direct comparison when they are in such vastly different brackets.

Anyhow, let’s take a look at the Shimin Li on its own merits as see what they offer in this ultra-budget IEM category.

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Presentation…

It is no surprise that the presentation of the Shimin Li has been cut down when the overall package has had such a price cut but that doesn’t mean that it is bad, it is still good for its new price bracket.

Inside a box that is quite reminiscent of the Yuan Li, with traditional chinese artwork decorating the exterior, we find the IEMs, a cable, and quite a large selection of tips (7 pairs in total).

Ok, there is no carrying case and a lot of the additional paperwork has been reduced, but honestly, I have absolutely no issue with the contents. As I always say with IEMs in this price bracket, I would rather them spend the money on the IEMs themselves than a bunch of accessories that I may or may not (probably not) use.

DSC_1702.JPG


Build and accessories…

The aesthetics of the Shimin Li have also changed a lot in comparison to part 1 of the trilogy. My understanding is that they are available in both gold and silver, with me having received the gold version.

Personally I am not a fan of gold coloured anything to be honest, it is just something that I don’t like, which is unlucky for the Shimin Li as there are probably people out there that love it. The finish is a mirrored gold which does attract a lot of fingerprints and I can imagine being quite delicate if you don’t place the IEMs correctly when transporting them.

The shape of the IEMs is actually quite unique and I must say that I don’t dislike the shape, I find it very comfortable and the overall look with the honeycomb style part is a nice original touch. I think that if they were in another colour, I would probably be saying how great they look, whereas gold (to me) makes them look cheaper rather than more expensive.

As far as build quality, they are all metal and seem to be well assembled. As with anything, only time will tell if this is the case or not but at first glance, I don’t see any build issues. The only thing that I see as being a possible issue is the mirrored finish that I already mentioned.

The included cable is also a little unique, I don’t remember having had a cable quite like it. It is sort of a matte rubbery plastic finish, which is nicely woven and has decent hardware at the TRS end, although the IEM end does have plastic connectors that don’t really scream quality. The connections are 2 pin, which I like, and although at first look and touch of the cable, I wouldn’t say I loved it, it is actually not a bad cable. It doesn’t tangle too much, it is not too thick or thin (in my opinion of course) and all in all it does its job without causing any issues.

DSC_1681.JPG


Sound…

Let me preface this by saying that I tried the included tips but in the end opted for Spring tips as I found they balanced the sound better and gave me a better seal and fit. As tips are very personal, you may find that a set of the included stock tips work better for you but my following opinions are based on using the Spring tips (powered by the iFi Gryphon as usual).

Although this is not exactly an updated version of anything, like a fair few of the the IEMs I have reviewed lately, it is the second in a series so I think that a comparison graph is in order between the Yuan Li and the Shimin Li. That and the fact that it is quite interesting to see how similarly these measure:

graph(8).png


(all my measurements can be found and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)

As you can see, the tuning is very similar between the two and although they are slightly different, they are very reminiscent of each other. However, since I took this measurement, I was discussing it with a couple of other reviewers and it seems that my measurement of the Yuan Li does not match the retail version of those IEMs. In fact, the measurement matches what was originally a pre-release version of the Yuan Li, which was later modified when released for retail.

Now, the Yuan Li I received was not a pre-release model, it was sent to me by a store that had them in stock months after the official release. Therefore, I have no idea why I may have received a version with that tuning but that is what I have (and I like it) and wanted to include this in this review. I will actually go back and add a note to the original Yuan Li also with this info.

The main thing that this affects is that when I am comparing the new Shimin Li to the Yuan Li, I am actually comparing it to the Yuan Li that I have, which is not necessarily the Yuan Li you will find on sale.

But anyways, back to the review…

Starting off with the subbass, there is enough to make me happy. These are not IEMs that are really focused in the subbass area, they don’t rumble and produce a huge amount of subbass, but they don’t sound rolled off or anaemic either. My usual “Chameleon” test comes across with a nice amount of subbass and while it is maybe not a “wow” experience like it is on many other sets, I don’t have any complaints.

Moving into the midbass zone, there is a little more emphasis here than in the subbass category but again, it doesn’t come across as being overdone. There is enough midbass to enjoy a little extra warmth in the low end but at the same time, it doesn’t place too much of the focus on these lower notes. With tracks like “No Sanctuary Here”, the low notes are present enough to be impressive whereas with things like “Give Me One Reason”, there is not too much as to make the electric guitar seem bloated in the low ranges.

In fact, the whole low end of the Shimin Li is very very similar to the low end of the Yuan Li, which I believe to be the same on both tunings of the Yuan Li, something that I really don’t have much to complain about.

Moving into the mids, there is a slight recess in the middle of these frequencies but the presence around 2kHz does its job of bringing back the presence of vocals and other instruments in the higher mids.

I do feel that the additional presence in this 2kHz area is a little overdone, making it come across a little harsher in these frequencies than I would prefer but it is not too bad and it does do a good job of counterattacking that extra presence in the mid bass. I find that female voices especially show this extra presence, even more so when they are already a little harsh themselves, such as Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child” or Alicia Keys in “No One (Acoustic)”. The higher mids of female vocals are really what I would claim to be the weaker point of the Shimin Li tuning.

In addition to this 2kKz presence, there is another peak slightly higher up in the spectrum but it is actually not as high, or as present, as on the Yuan Li that I have. This means that the Shimin Li avoids the dreaded 5kHz peak that I fear so much, but at the same time, it does add even more to the sensation of the 2kHz being just a little too hot.

Moving into the treble areas, it does seem to roll off quite early, which leaves the sensation of a lack of air and breathing space, but at the same time, this does avoid sibilance quite well. I would like it to extend a bit more in these upper ranges, having a little more openness, but to be fair, the vast majority of budget single dynamic driver IEMs suffer from the same thing in these regions. The ones that don’t are more of an exception than a regular occurance.

One thing that I do find to be quite a step down in comparison to their previous model is the soundstage. I actually found the Yuan Li to be a little above average in this regard, whereas the Shimin Li is a lot less spread out. It is not terrible but things are a lot closer on this new model, with image placement that is acceptable but by no means spectacular.

Finally, details. As with soundstage, I feel that the Shimin Li is not quite up to the performance of part 1, or at least the part 1 that I have here. I would not say that these IEMs are a set that will impress those looking for appreciation of the minute details of recordings. With the reduced soundstage and a reduction in the reproduction of the smaller details, songs like “Strange Fruit” can become a little one dimensional, taking away from the experience of these kinds of recordings. Even with more separated recordings, such as “La Luna”, you just don’t get the sensation of the instruments surrounding you like you do on other sets.

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Conclusion…

There is a common saying that second parts are never good, and while I don’t agree totally, I do agree that in this case, the second part is not as good as the first. It is possible that I personally expected more due to how much I enjoy the first part of the trilogy, meaning that I was already starting with an expectation bias that wouldn’t have been the case if it was an IEM that I had never heard of.

However, while this second chapter may not be as good as the first, or at least not the first chapter that I enjoy, they have done something that I feel makes this a lot better, which is drop the price. If they had kept the price around the same as the original, then I would certainly say skip this but as they have reduced the price by almost 75%, they deserve to be recognized for they have done, and that is put out an extreme budget set of IEMs with some things that it does very well.

I know I said that the aesthetics are not my thing, but that is just as personal as the fit (which is very comfortable for me by the way), so that is something that people don’t really need a reviewer to comment on, although I do it anyway :wink:

That leaves the sound and to be fair, I do enjoy this tuning. Yes it is a little hot around 2kHz but I much prefer that than a 5kHz peak and in general, the tuning is very similar to the Yuan Li I have in my possession, a set of IEMs that I really like.

There is a lack of detail and soundstage in comparison to the Yuan Li, but again, it is not really a fair comparison when looking at the price brackets. If we compare it to other sets around the same price, yes there are some that are subjectively better, but there are also a lot that are subjectively worse.

I’m looking forward to finding out what they will surprise us with in the third part of the trilogy.

(As usual, this review can also be found in Spanish both on www.achoreviews.com and on www.youtube.com/achoreviews)
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gadgetgod

500+ Head-Fier
Tangzu Audio Shimin Li: Smooth and Inoffensive
Pros: Smooth mid-forward sound signature.
Organic timbre and tonality.
Great for Vocal-centric and Acoustic music.
Rich and smooth sound.
Metallic ear shells.
Easy to power.
Value for money.
Cons: Bass and treble need more extensions.
T-Force Audio recently rebranded itself as Tangzu Audio. The brand debuted in the international market with “Yuan Li”, the first from the dynasty series of IEMs. Named after the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Yuan Li was received well by audio lovers from all around the globe mainly for its rich midrange and organic smooth timbre. Quite recently, Tangzu Audio released the second iteration of the Dynasty series, the Tangzu Audio Shimin Li. Shimin Li comes equipped with a single dynamic driver configuration same as its predecessor Yuan Li model. Yuan Li was launched at around 100$ price tag, the Shimin Li is a budget-friendly offering available for just 35$ worldwide. Through a friend, I got a chance to audition the Shimin Li as a part of a review tour organized in my country. Let’s begin with its review today!!
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A Short Disclaimer Before I Begin:-

I auditioned the Tangzu Shimin Li for about 5-6 days at my home with my own sources all thanks to a review tour organized by the brand itself in my country. All impressions in this blog are completely my own based on my experience with the set without any interference from the brand or anyone else. If you want to check technical specs or any more details about the Shimin Li, you can refer to the Hifigo product link below(non-affiliated).

https://hifigo.com/products/tangzu-shimin-li

Let’s Unbox the Tangzu Shimin Li:-

Tangzu Audio has its roots in the Chinese dynasty, the name, and the theme just reflects that nicely. The latest Shimin Li has white rectangular cardboard packaging. The outer package has a smokey dragon printed on the front along with the Shimin Li and Tangzu identity logos. Back side has got the basic technical specs. Inside the contents are placed firmly into a layer pattern. The first layer here has the earpieces in their foam layers. Below the remaining contents are placed at the bottom layer in thin cardboard boxes. One box has the stock cable and the other has the included silicone ear tips. Tangzu has included multiple sets of silicone ear tips with the package here. There are no memory foam ear tips and there is no carry case either. I am guessing this is done to reduce the costs.
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Contents:-

>Shimin Li IEMs.

>2-pin stock cable with 3.5mm termination.

>Four pairs of white silicone ear tips(different sizes).

>Three pairs of Green silicone ear tips(different sizes).

How Does It Look? Design & Build Quality:-

Fully metallic ear shells. Well, you will get full metallic ear cavities at this price point and that’s a great thing IMO. I personally prefer metallic cavities. As they feel sturdy and robust, so the Shimin Li falls right into my liking category. The pair that I got was in silver cable but I checked it’s also available in Golden color. The shells have honeycomb design engraved on the sides of the face covers. Shimin Li looks nicely carved and smoothly finished. The center portion of the shells is a fingerprint magnet with its smooth glossy finish. Being completely metallic, they carry a little weight with them, not uncomfortable level heavy though.
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I would say Shimin Li has got a pretty decent build. Most IEMs in this price category come with Resin cavities and metallic face covers, but you get complete metallic cavities with the Shimin Li. Impressed in terms of the design and build quality of the pair here. The included cable looks decent. It has a full black covering for outer damage protection. During my usage, I didn’t notice any kind of microphonic issues with the cable.

How Much Power It Requires? Driving The Shimin Li:-

Not much, Shimin Li won’t give a lot of load to any of your sources. I enjoyed this set with my smartphones Redmi Note 10 Pro, NuPrime Hi-M DAC/AMP, HiBy R5 Gen 2 Music Player, and Shanling M7 Music Player. Never had to push high volumes or gain levels for any of the above-mentioned sources. I personally recommend it with a portable DAC/AMP or a decent enough digital audio player for the best experience.
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How Does Shimin Li Command It’s Sound? Sound Impressions:-

Shimin Li shares its character with Yuan Li. Yuan Li I personally liked for its smooth, inoffensive sound signature, same I can say for the Shimin Li, but of course, they both don’t sound the same. Shimin Li has a slightly mid-focused sound presentation where vocals take the front stage with a rich, textured presentation. The lower-end(Bass), and the High-end(Treble) take a step back compared to the midrange on the Shimin Li. The lower end shows good speed and smoothly punchy presentation. Don’t expect a bass-heavy or deep-hitting bass response with the Shimin Li. The pair will deliver you with a smooth, balanced lower end where both sub-bass rumble and mid-bass slams maintain a balance between them. None of the two feels emphasized or overpowering the other. I would say a little bit more punch to the lower end would have made the presentation more enjoyable for me.

Midrange is where the magic lies on the Shimin Li, it’s rich, it’s smooth, it’s lively. Vocals carry an organic timbre. Both the male and female vocals are presented in a smooth and beautiful manner. I don’t find them getting harsh even at louder volumes, although they are placed forward that tends to bring them into your face at extra loud volumes. Good thing to note here is that even at loud volumes, Shimin Li doesn’t looses its character, the output maintains its clarity for vocals. I would say the pair is a delight to listen to for vocal and acoustic music lovers. Tonally midrange on the Shimin Li is identical to the Yuan Li, it has that organic character that makes it pleasurable.
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Treble regions is smooth and inoffensive. I find it to get rolled off in the upper treble region. High-hats, cymbals, electric guitars, Violins, Flutes, etc show decent clarity and resolution, they don’t sound peaky or harsh even at louder volumes. I personally would have preferred a little bit more energy, a little bit more extension to the treble region. Although for the price it offers amazing performance throughout its frequency response range. The best part is the organic timbre and rich tone of the Shimin Li, which just makes it a worthy buy at its price point.

Soundstage is decently wide and has average depth. Don’t expect a super huge soundstage, but expect an immersive soundstage with the Shimin Li. Personally, immersion is more important. Imaging and positioning is decent enough for the price.
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Some Closings Words From My Side:-

Shimin Li offers excellent value for money with its rich sound output. It surely has some flaws of its own, but it excels at what it does. Don’t expect a too analytical or too detailed sound from Shimin Li, expect a musical sound that you can enjoy for countless hours without getting tired or fatigued at all. I would say its midrange, and timbre are what attract me the most the Shimin Li. Well, that’s about the Shimin Li from my side. If you guys like the write-up I just wrote, please leave me a like!!

Thank You!!
Navneet773
Navneet773
Wow absolutely phenomenal inputs man ,
Will definitely help a lot of us make a good purchase decision.

hevelaoak

New Head-Fier
Bottlenecked Organic
Pros: safe tuning
sibilance-less
organic timbre
good technicalities
build quality
ergonomics
accessories
Cons: lacking treble extension
occasional shouty upper midrange
dynamics
finish (scratch-prone)
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Tonality: 5.6/9
Technicalities: 5.6/9
Preference: 5/9

(star rating is for the price-to-performance)



Intro
TForce Yuan Li is one of my favorite single dynamic driver IEMs in the plethora of budget Chifi mediocrity out there. It is one of the most balanced-sounding earphones with a matured tuning from originally an OEM/ODM company, TForce (now Tangzu).

Shimin Li is the second part of the “Trilogy” that carries the same vibe & bold aesthetic on the packaging rather than the typical weeb-pleaser with waifus that most companies adopted conscientiously. I have nothing against waifus as I simply prefer something more minimal or simpler in a package. Anyhow, the IEM unit itself is a bit “extravagant” for my taste that comes in shiny gold. There's also a tolerable silver color option which I think is similar to Yuan Li. A little contrasted to the packaging theme the tone of the gold color seems, still I believe there will be people who will appreciate it.

It sports a 10mm dynamic driver that’s said “tuned to deliver a neutral and balanced sound output” and is priced to play in a highly competitive bracket with a $35 tag a pair. The main question is, can it compete? Also, will Shimin Li fit the bill in the Trilogy?


*This unit is sent by Hifigo (Lvy Yan) in return for an honest review. I listen to everything stock, without any modifications, or additional accessories. My source is varied depending on the occasion. Apple Music, Tidal, local files, LG G7, Windows PC, and dongles for a week duration with no EQ.


Signature
On subjective listening, the sound signature of Shimin Li can be described as neutral with a bass boost that’s skewed towards a slightly warmer tonality for the lack of treble response. It’s also could be described as Harman but definitely not V-shaped. The tuning is arguably one of the most safe-sounding among other sets I’ve tried in the under $35 price segment.


FR & Tonality
Let me be frank, I’ll be nitpicking here. The first thing I notice with this set is the overall slightly “thonky” sound which I believe is the main issue of its tonality, or perhaps the tuning. The upper midrange has peaks without the appropriate treble loudness around 5kHz to 7kHz to compensate for a more natural & smoother listen. The lack of air response (or overtones) also makes the instrument like a cymbal or metal percussion sound a bit bland and less definition at times, but I bet it might be sufficient enough for some people. There’s no sibilance whatsoever coming out from this set.

Vocal reproduction is forward & satisfying. It’s quite natural or I could say, safe. Vocal lovers should consider this set. But there's a balance issue with the loudness of the frequency response that makes up for the occasional “shoutiness” in the upper midrange. This is believed to be related to the tuning more than the driver’s frequency response itself. For example, the nozzle length or the volume of the shell directly affects the resonance.

The bass is probably the best feature of this set. Good mid-bass punch and warmth without muddying the midrange. Ample sub-bass rumble though not that shattering low. I think I’m pleased with the bass.

In the real world, the tonality of Shimin Li is decently-good but the tuning could be better even for a budget set. Nothing spectacular or really bad to write home about. It’s tonally listenable or perhaps enjoyable to a certain extent at a moderate loudness level.


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Technicalities +
Shimin Li has a bass texture that I’d consider quite good. The whole resolution is pretty good for the price with the exception of its detail retrieval. The imaging is a little fuzzy, especially on busy passages but it’s still fairly decent with a rather not thin nor thick note density. Instrument localization is not the worst though I think that’s pretty common with budget single dynamic driver IEMs, yet that’s the fact. Imaging is not its forte. Sound staging is average as it’s lacking in depth mostly, however the width is slightly wider than Tripowin Olina’s.

It has a quite organic timbre, by not being too bright or dark which is something that I could really enjoy at this age. In terms of dynamic, it’s a bit compressed, especially on the treble. Firmly to say, dynamically it’s average for a dynamic driver. It’s a pity because I believe this is a good driver as it has potential based on the transient response alone. Perhaps some overhauling or retuning could save it and thus turn it into an excellent IEM.


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Comparison & Valuation
Compared to the (in)famous Blon BL03, Shimin Li easily wins in many departments perhaps except for the timbre. BL03 has an arguably more pleasant or more “correct” timbre although tonally it’s not as ideal or “natural” as Shimin Li. In terms of resolution & imaging, the award goes to Shimin Li. I could say, it’s an upgrade for Blon BL03 though indirectly.

How about Tripowin MELE? I prefer Shimin Li against MELE any time. No doubt that Shimin Li is way better in terms of tonality & technical performance. I know it’s a matter of preference as it's a different tuning yet somewhat a different class too. Shimin Li also feels like a budget Yuan Li whereas Yuan Li has slightly more control & balance. Overall, they both are like the same thing with minor differences.

I honestly think that Tangzu is doing themselves either a kind of stationary or dilly-dally by going this route with releasing a budget IEM that’s probably not just indifferent or ordinary, but rather almost-good and also passable at the same time. Yuan Li was a good debut in my opinion. So, I was expecting something different with a more refined tuning that's tonally pleasant from a company that I really look forward to but it is what $35 is. Nevertheless, I still think it’s a service for the masses, specifically the community to have more choices for their little money.

Good thing about listening to Shimin Li after a few days (because my first impression was not this good) is it reminded me of the good old times when my younger self was blasting some good music to his mind with cheap but decently functional earphones. To me, Shimin Li is just another decently functional earphone that some might find adequate to satisfactory for their library. For $35, I think it’s worth the price and it fits fine in the Trilogy. Maybe add a matte-black finish too?



Purchase Tangzu Shimin Li here: HiFiGo


tools:
Tidal / Apple Music via LG G7 with/without Ovidius B1 / Hidizs S9 Pro
Tidal / Foobar2000 (FLAC) via Topping EX5 with/without Aune X7s

key songs:
Será Una Noche – Taquito Militar
Eddie Daniels – Baião Malandro
Patricia Petibon - Mozart: Der Zauberflöte – Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen

Sinne Eeg – We've Just Begun
Lady Blackbird - Ruler of my Heart
Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone - A Lovely Night

Muddy Waters – Big Leg Woman
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

Scott Walker – Corps De Blah
Swans – Lunacy
Zu - Carbon

My Disco – A Christ Pendant Comfort Her Neck
Arab On Radar - God is Dad
Shellac - Crow

Mastodon – The Wolf Is Loose
Fear Before the March of Flames – High as a Horse
Botch - Japam

ANOHNI - Drone Bomb Me
Slowdive - Star Roving
The Shins - Simple Song

Radiohead - Idioteque
TheFatRat - Warbringer (feat. Lindsey Stirling)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross & Karen O - Immigrant Song

Justin Bieber - Holy (fear. Chance the Rapper)
Doja Cat - Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
Kylie Minogue - Real Groove
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Zerstorer_GOhren
Zerstorer_GOhren
Nice and honest review.
hevelaoak

senfi

New Head-Fier
Taizong of Tang
Pros: Clean, intimate midrange
Balanced bass
Natural sounding vocals
Generous ear tips
Robust and sturdy build
Cons: Upper mids may sound a bit harsh
Heavy than some IEMs

Shimin Li : Taizong of Tang

These past few weeks, I have seen a lot of Shimin Li hype, which led me to be very interested in joining the hype, listening to these units personally, and of course, as a reviewer, voicing out my thoughts on the unit. Despite some backlashes I heard, the majority have perceived the Shimin Li positively. But how does this fare with me personally? Let's find out.

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DISCLAIMER: I got this unit at a discounted rate; thank you to Sir Kent Adrianne Alfonso and TangZu for giving me this opportunity to afford the ShiminLi. However, I'll ensure that this review will be honest and unbiased as possible to make sure consumers will expect something out of their pocket.

Shimin Li once had a pre-order sale for around $30; during the writing of this review, the ShiminLi is now at a $35 retail price.

INTRO:
Shimin Li is the second release of TangZu's trilogy, its predecessor, Yuan Li, made its debut way back in 2021 under the name T-Force YuanLi. I haven't experienced Yuan Li myself, but I am thrilled to try out the successor of Yuan Li. The second Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Shimin Li.

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PACKAGING:
The packaging is a small box with neat art and the item's label. The Chinese market sure is stepping up on leveling up the aesthetics of their packages. The package includes the following :

-3 pairs of aet08 (bass)
-3 pairs of aet07 (reference tuning)
-Black braided cable with a 2-pin male connector

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Very straightforward with a generous amount of ear tips. I wish they would throw in a case or, at the very least, a ziplock or pouch.

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BUILD :
Shimin Li has a metal shell with a honeycomb design which feels sturdy but heavier than usual IEMs. I also chose the color silver since it is more low profile than gold. However, if you want to be symbolic, I would take the gold since, according to history Shimin Li's era is considered a GOLDEN age in ancient Chinese history and was treated as required studying material for future crown princes. The female 2-pin is not protruding, which is a plus for me. When I saw the cables from the images, I underestimated them for looking stiff and cheap. Then upon receiving the unit itself, I found the cables to be okay. Not bad; it's thick and well-braided. It may be stiffer than some cables, but it's not that kind of stuff that feels annoying.

SOUND :

Tested Tracks:

Wilderness - Explosion In The Sky
Helplessly Hoping - Crosby, Stills & Nash
Paper Trails - Darkside
You've Got To Have Freedom - Pharoah Sanders
Pepas - Farruko
Pepas (Benny Benassi Remix)
Pepas (David Guetta Remix)
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins
Heroes - David Bowie
Chandelier - Sia
The Days - Avicii
Drinks - Cyn
asphixia - Co Shu Nie
Hotel California - The Eagles

Bass : The low frequencies of this IEM are not overwhelming but do not disappoint. Bass is present when you need it; you still have that thump and slam. It doesn't have enough sub-bass quantity to experience that earthy rumble, but the mid-bass still packs
a punch. If you want to test the amount of bass in these pairs I suggest listening to [Paper Trails - Darkside] and any remix of [Pepas - Farruko]

I'll be giving the bass a 4 out of 5
; I can assure you that most users would love the lower end of this set unless you wanted excessive bass.

Mids : Mids are pretty decent, with a slightly forward presentation in the upper midrange. I experienced occasional shout on some tracks, leading me to adjust volumes when needed. Nevertheless, some tracks still offer
intimate and organic vocals. Male vocals sound neutral and pleasant. Female vocals are compelling and intimate.

Mids deserves a 4 out of 5. Overall, it's pretty decent, but sometimes the upper-midrange peak is something I find uncomfortable

Treble : Highs are inoffensive and have decent details; some micro-details are present and can be heard. I believe the majority would prefer this safe tuning on the higher frequency to enjoy these pair without
worrying about piercing, cold, or treble. So far, treble is soothing, relaxed, and enjoyable.

Treble deserves a 4 out of 5. It may not opt for the most complex timbre and crispy percussions, but the safe tuning of the treble and decent detail retrieval is enough to compensate for the upper mid's peaks and make this a more forgiving set.

Soundstage and Imaging 3.5/5 :
The soundstage is average, not the best and most comprehensive stage but it is pretty decent for its price. Still has enough width to create a room-like space. Imaging is good; I can discern the position of the instruments and vocals well.


Conclusion :
TangZu did a fantastic job on this tuning, and I must say this is definitely worth the hype. It is not your typical V-shaped IEM that most Chi-Fi market offers. Most V-shaped IEMs often get obsolete or forgotten due
to being too redundant in the market. Shimin Li wanted to avoid that undoing, and I believe they're successful. This is a unique set that I could highly recommend even in 2 years, considering that the Chi-fi market is rapidly growing and production is growing in great numbers. The overall sound of the ShiminLi does not emphasize any frequency, so I conclude that these pair would be neutral, they may not be suitable for everyone's tastes, but if you want something different, I could suggest these pair.

The pre-order offer has already ended, but I can still say, at a retail price of $35, this is a fierce competitor in the Chi-Fi market in the sub-$50 category.

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koyawmohabal

New Head-Fier
SHIMIN LI - POLARIZED
Pros: -forward and organic sounding vocals
-non fatiguing treble but enough details
-a good mix of macro and micro dynamics
-bass is clean
-very premium build
-generous accesories and durable cable
Cons: -shouty vocals if you are senstive to 2k peak
-instuments may lack bite and harmonics
-bass lacking texture at times
-early treble roll off
‼️
DISCLAIMER:
I bought them at a discounted price in exchange for a biased review. No! hahaha just kidding. I have to commend Sir Kent Adrianne Alfonso for accommodating my purchase and the TangZu Audio team for being very professional
Anyhow, same as usual. I will lay out my listening experiences with this set as accurate as possible. Please do not forget that my take might be different from yours. And so why am I even writing a review? Haha. Well I consider this as my diary and I just enjoy writing. Please cross reference other reviews online because this set is going to be very, very polarizing.


⚜️
ABOUT THE COMPANY
-I actually had 2 cancelled purchases with this one, but the team was just very responsive in guiding me what to do even at midnight! They really went further with this release and added that extra passion by working in the wee hours. This company know what they are doing. To prove a point, when they released Yuan Li, I was surprised that their first model is carried by e-earphones. I mean, not all manufacturers get the chance to be distributed by e-earphones. Just shows their dedication of their goals. They dream big.
I also asked them on their Telegram server if their tuning on Shiminli is deliberate, and they responded that they are fans of ER2Se. So there is that.


⚜️
PACKAGE and ACCESRIES
Tangzu is very generous with this package. This includes:
-3 pairs (S, M , L) aet08 clones
-3 pairs (S, M, L ) aet07 clones
-the cables are thick and they look very durable. But I find them stiff


⚜️
COMFORT and BUILD:
- They look amazing. It is my first gold IEM and the design is intricate. They feel premium to hold and they are also quite heavy.
-They also have fins to secure the fit but the nozzles are a bit long, which renders the fins useless on my ears. And so, the round edge actually strains my anthelix in about an hour of use. Not really painful, but enough to be noticed. That is just me okay? You might get very good fit with them.


⚜️
SETUP
-Shanling M3X using UAPP, Hiby ang stock player
-Different tips used including Radius Deep Mount, Moondrop spring tips, and Nuarl Foams. The stock tips just didn’t work for me. I had to figure out the right distance to reduce shout.
-stock cable and **** 8 core balanced.
-Volume measured and listend at 75-78 dbs.

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⚜️
MY LIBRARY:
I grew up listening to 90’s music. Alternative, punk-rock, screamo, rap, Philippine OPM, Anime songs, JPOP, KPOP, metal, reggae and a lot more.
The artists I regularly listen to are:
⭐
Rock-Alternative-Metal
Incubus, 311, BMTH, Matchbox 20, The Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore, Polyphia, The Calling,, Babymetal, Metallica, Slipknot, Bon Jovi, Coheed and Cambria, Deftones, Red Hot, Green day,
⭐
OPM(Original Pinoy Music):
E-heads, Slapshock, Parokya, Urbanddub, Up Dharma Down, Bamboo, IV of spade, Kamikazee, Rivermaya
⭐
POP:
IU, Yoasobi, Yorushika, Milet, Reona, Maroon 5, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor, Dua Lipa, Oliva Rodrigo, Billie Eilish
⭐
OTHERS:
Carpenters, Micheal Learns to Rock, Celine Dion, Bob Marley, Sitti, Daft Punk, Pink Floyed, Earth wind and fire, Amber rubarth, Sia, Yosi Horikawa
I listen to more, but I can’t just list them all here.haha. Just giving you an idea on what I listen.


⚜️
SOUND PROFILE
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Warm midcentric with emphasis on vocals. It follows a diffused style gain akin to the etymotic target. Not close, but I can hear the resemblance. At first, the closest graph I could think of was that of the OG Hana, but as I listened more, Shimin Li, OG Hana and ER2XR are kindof in the same ballpark in terms of sound presentation. Not quality okay? Sound presentation

Bass has enough presence and they are there to complete the whole mix. Not really contributing a lot, but probably supporting warmth on vocals as to not making them artificial sounding. They are a bit north of neutral, and for me it is good because it adds a bit of musicality. Still not bass head levels though so keep that in mind for those of you who loves bass.

Mids are well presented in a very uncolored way. There are no boosted harmonics to smear the tones of instruments and vocals. But sometimes I feel like a little boost in presence might make them a little more engaging. But I guess the tuning on these are deliberate in not following harman gain. They are aiming for diffused style so this is usually what you get in this kind of sound.

Vocals sound forward and can be shouty in higher volumes. Fundamentals are well reproduced and is not suffering from any bleeding from the bass.

Treble is in the smoother side. Some people call this bright, but for me, it is the gain that makes people perceive them as bright, not the treble per se. Some people can also perceive this as dark especially if the ears are accustomed to harman steady gain until 6k. Shimili has a dip at presence and is not compensated with air, so I understand why people call this dark sounding. But hey, its not like the cymbals are missing haha. You hear them of course, but just not as forward as how IEMS are tuned recently. They provide a fatigue free experience in the treble, except for the occasional shout at the mids.

⚜️
TECHNICALITIES:
Very good tones on instruments. The stage isn’t that airy but I perceive them to have a good depth in space, albeit not that wide. Separation and Layering are decent, maybe above average at most. Resolution can be perceived as lacking at times because of how Shimili represents treble. The lack of treble air gets in the way of perceiving details and it make Shimi Li sound less resolving. Nothing to talk much about technicalities really. They are not doing something bad, but not doing great either.


❤️
PROS
✅
snappy bass on “burglar” by Yorushika. The details were not buried and the transients were commendable as well.

✅
I thought “wish you were here” by Incubus sounded good with them. It was very neutral in that playback. There were no frequencies overlapping each other. Everything was just uncolored in this track.

✅
the bass reminded me of zex pro wherein it doesn’t really get in the way.

✅
Non-fatiguing treble. Very smooth. I don’t want to use the word “dark” to represent its treble response. Probably the word “uncolored” is the closest to how I perceive them.

✅
I thought the vocal reproduction is better than the kc2. They sound cleaner, accurate and more natural on the Shimin Li.

✅
In the track “I Miss you”, brandon sounded uncolored. The bass was just enough to support his lower registers and the treble was not overdoing the air.

✅
they are really good on vocals. If you like forward sounding vocals uninterrupted by instruments, Shimin Li might work for you. It was very nostalgic listening to “I need to be in love”.

✅
a good mix of macro and micro dynamics. IU's tracks sounded amazing with them. I enjoyed Blueming so much..


💢
CONS
❌
the worst by Polyphia struggled a little bit at separation of low notes around 1:19. This track benefits a lot from sets with wide soundstage, but it sounds too compressed for me. On a side note, I do like the tones of the instruments here.

❌
Ride and crash cymbals sound very far in the track “Circles” by Incubus haha. I felt like they are being played in another room and the hihats are in this room.

❌
sometimes vocals can be too forward. When listening to Celine Dion’s "My heart will go on", her voice did go on in the entire track haha. I mean, instruments didn’t have much presence. You can hear them, but the balance wasn’t that appropriate for my preference.

❌
although the bass has good presence and supports the vocals at times. I find them to be lacking in texture at times. It’s like a security guard standing at the entrance of a restaurant, it is there, but does not really represent something.

❌
that 2k shout oh man. I spent hours in finding the right eartips. And did different kinds of burn. Brain burn-in, white noise, pink noise, placebo burn in, you name it! Haha. But yeah seriously, it really hindered my listening experience. I just can’t listen to them on the first day.

❌
guitars and other instruments may lack the desired harmonics. The dip favors forward sounding vocals, so at times, you really need that extra focus on instruments.

❌
treble may lack sparkle for some. Even for ESX, I already find them to be a bit lacking in air. Shimin Li will have lesser on that.

❌
I always had to adjust my volume like no other haha. I look like a horny Asian on the train when I reach out for that volume in my pocket, fiddling something lol hahaha..


COMPARISONS relative to PRICE and PERFORMANCE

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my video comparison here:


😈
EDA bal
-eda bal sounds airier and more energetic than the Shimin Li, but the treble on EDA bal can sometimes sound artificial in terms of tonal accuracy. Vocals are more forward on Shiminli but EDA bal is smoother in presentation because Shimin Li can get shouty at times with “iku iku” and “yamete”. Bass is more textured and engaging with EDA bal and neutral sounding with Shimin Li.

This comparison is hard. They play my library differently. But if you want to know how DF on etymotic sounds like, shimin Li might be the closest contender without the deep insertion. And if you don’t want to take risks and want a safer set, then EDA bal. One thing to note tho, the inclusions of Shiminli at 35usd is very good. EDA bal can be bought separately for 11-20 usd, with just the typical KZ packaging.


😈
HEART MIRROR
-Hmmmm. Shiminli has more bass presence but I find the bass on HM to be better in quality and cleaner. Vocals on HM sounds thinner compared to Shiminli. Shiminli offers a more warm and organic vocals, while HM offers a cleaner and energetic presentation. Instrument harmonics are more pronounced in HM and are more tamed on ShiminLi. Treble is definitely night and day on both. HM has boosted air while Shimin Li is the complete opposite. I also feel like the technicalities on HM are better than Shimin Li. So which should you choose? Well if you are more into technical listening sessions and you don’t mint the treble boost, I would probably vote for HM. If you want organic sound, vocal-centric and non-fatiguing treble, then Shimin Li


😈
CHU
-Chu and HM are in the same ballpark so see above comparison.
But how do they compare with Shimin Li?
They both approach neutrality but with a slightly different take. Shiminli for a warmer neutral while chu in the brighter side.
Fundamentals are better heard on Shimin Li, while they sound clean and lean on the Chu. Which one should you get? Figure your preference first.


😈
BQEYZ KC2
-Yes, my old time favorite. Both of them kind of share the same presentation on being midcentric. Also, both have dips at presence but KC2 compensates air in the treble so it maintains sparkle and details. Shimin Li on the other hand is smoother and offers a more uncolored sound. Both reproduce vocals nicely, but KC2 might be more engaging because of the added treble details. The vocals on Shimin Li are more natural sounding though and KC2 is less shouty. This is a hard fight.. HMMM..
Okay, if you want a better deal in terms of packaging, like tips and better cable, then go for shimin Li. If you are sensitive to shout and want a bit of presence in treble but still midcentric , then KC2.


❤️
TIP ROLLING
This is worth including in my review. I am very sensitive to that 2k shout. I have tried a lot of eartips in this set. Almost the same energy I went through with my RS1 haha. But it is all worth it. I needed to find the right distance and maximize how the nozzles are firing in my ears. A mix of seal, comfort and distance just to find that perfect pairing. However, this will be a personal part of my review, you can skip this because it might not even apply to your ears.
There are many eartips that pairs well with Shimin Li. The few ones that worked for me are Moondrop spring tips, Radius Deep Mount and Nuarl Magic foams. But the one that wowed me the most would probably be JVC spiral dots ++.

‼️
JVC spiral dots ++ on SHIMINLI
‼️

✅
easily beats the ones I made for comparison. Miles better.

✅
bass is right off the bat on my target shelf. Clean, complete, the right amount of everything.

✅
dark treble? Nope. this is very natural sounding just how they are supposed to be.

✅
vocals are more defined and the space around benefits with added air.

✅
soundstage attained the right proportion. Depth, width and height. Very 3d so to speak on the track Death Note by Polyphia.

✅
Very clear vocals and note definition on "Is this love" by uncle Marley. Really, I felt like he is singing in front of me

✅
again, very good soundstage with very good instruments presence and air. I was listening to "Making love out of nothing at all" and damn it sounds so realistic! Very natural

✅
Very good bass definition and texture on Higher by Creed.

✅
perceived resolution improved. “1 step forward” by Olivia just sounds so real. The birds, the chair. Phew!

❌
the shout is still there occasionally, but lesser in intensity

❌
the discomfort on my anthelix still present

❌
this eartip costs almost same as chu haha..


🧐
FINAL THOUGHTS
I personally like them because they offer a different playback of my library. I like variety in my listening experience. I mean, If I have to buy new IEMS, I welcome a differently tuned one than buying a set that shares the same curve as others. That is just my take, you might have different approaches to your purchases.
At the same time, I don’t really see them to be giant killers of some sort, but the inclusions included are so well worth. Some might counter this by saying sound is more important, but hey, there are beginners in this hobby who values the overall purchase. This might not be important for the ones who have owned a lot of sets because they have more cables and eartips to roll. But for the beginners, this is an absolute package.
As for the sound, I find that shimin Li detracts from the usual harman gain, so the target audience is kinda niche, or if you have them, they can just slowly grow on you.

Honestly, I did not like my first impression on the Shimin Li. At the same time, I knew that this has more to offer, and I was not disappointed to find my perfect pairing with them. The 2-3khz peak has been known to be really polarizing in any IEM release. There is a mod by Akros, just replace the nozzle filter with 500 mesh and the gain will sound harmanish, but still graphs pretty mildy DF.

What surprised me though is that the Tangzu team seems to know the effects on that mesh, and yet still decided to choose this tuning instead. I call that "company direction", and I was taken aback when I recognized it.
The real emperor reveals himself to those who are willing to listen.


“I’m a fan of polarization. If you make something that is palatable to everybody, it’s like making vanilla ice cream, and I think we have enough of that” -Chris Stapleton

WHERE TO BUY:
¥ 4,845 | TANGZU Shimin Li Hifi Earphone Single Dynamic Driver N52 Magnet In Ear Monitors with 0.78 2pin Socket Cable IEM Headphones
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mMO2cQq
https://shopee.ph/product/46885516/21707029710...
https://amzn.asia/d/7PU0FxO
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nxnje

500+ Head-Fier
Shimin Li - A (quite) pleasant surprise
Pros: - Non fatiguing, pretty good L-shaped tuning with slightly dark upper registers and good bass textures
- Adequate technical performance
- Great build quality and design
- A lot of (good) accessories for the price
Cons: - Upper midrange occasionally shows some shoutiness that may annoy some, and treble extension is not great and might not appeal some users as they’re not that open and airy
- Can get crowded when fed with complex tracks
- Pretty heavy shells

Introduction​

Many would ask: what is TangZu?
Do you remember the T-Force Yuan Li? If you do, then you already know TangZu: yes, they are the same company, but they had to change the name for some reasons.
The Shimin Li come out as Yuan Li’s little sisters then, but will they be able to meet the expectations of the customers, since it’s the first budget product from the company?

Disclaimer: the sample was provided by HiFiGO for free in order to write an honest review. I do not represent them in any way and this is not promotional content.
At the time of the review, the TangZu Shimin Li were sold for around $35 on
HiFiGO’s webstore.

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Technical Specifications​

  • Configuration → 1DD
  • Sensitivity → 109dB
  • Impedance → 18 Ohm
  • Frequency Response → 20 Hz – 40000 Hz
  • Cable → 1,25m copper cable with 0,75mm PINs, my sample has a built-in microphone
  • Connector type → L-type gold plated 3,5mm jack connector

Packaging​

The packaging looks very good and it really seems like TangZu cares a lot about how their products are presented. The box contains:

  • The TangZu Shimin Li
  • The cable
  • A set of KBEAR 07 tips
  • A set of KBEAR 08 tips
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Design and Build Quality​

The Shimin Li look very refined and showy in a golden colored shell that is characterized by medium weight. The faceplate shape is smooth with no sharp edges and only presents a small portion of the surface with a hive texture that has a vent in the middle.
In the inner side, there is a single small vent that has the role of preventing pressure issues.
The build quality is great overall and suggests these are gonna have a long life.

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Cable​

The included cable is great considering the price. A similar cable was really unexpected considering the build quality of the earpieces, the packaging and the sets of tips, and the first question that comes up is: “Where are they saving money? Maybe they’re putting a very cheap cable…”. Well, no. The cable is instead among the best stock cables in the sub-$100 price bracket, and it also sports a chin slider that works very well thanks to the rubberized coating of the cable (which leads to more friction when moving the chin slider ring along the cable).
There is no microphone on the cable, and it seems like there isn’t any “mic” version.

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Comfort and isolation​

Comfort is one of the strengths of the Shimin Li: the slightly protruding “wing” has the right size to make the fit more secure without leading to discomfort. They fit very well in the ears and, even though they are not the most lightweight set on the market, once inside the ear canal it’s very unlikely you’ll see them pop off (assuming that you have found the right eartips).
They don’t have the best isolation you could ask for, but it’s definitely enough for daily use, and you may only want to push the volume a little higher in very crowded streets or situations.

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Sound​

How do these sound?
This is the real reason you’re reading this review (I guess).
[Personal preference: I listen to almost every genre, even though my main preference goes to EDM subgenres. I always like a bit more energy on the bass and on the highs, leading to a personal preference for Y-shaped sound signatures, but if I have to choose, I’d prefer having many different IEMs with various signatures, in order to choose a particular one of them when I want to listen to a specific genre. I love switching between my IEMs so it’s even better if they’re very different from each other.]

TEST GEAR
  • DAC: Topping E30
  • AMP: Topping L30
  • Mobile phones: Poco F2 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Dongle: Apple Type-C dongle
  • Portable DAPs: Benjie S8/AGPTEK M30B
  • Other sources: Presonus AudioBox iONE
Do they need an amp?
They do not need an amp since their sensitivity and impedance were chosen to make them easy to drive by almost every source. If connected to a good amp which does not hiss when using very sensitive products, some minor improvement in the lower range can be noticed, but there are products that scale in a much more evident way.

Sound signature
The TangZu Shimin Li are a warm-neutral set with a slight bass boost.

Lows: sub-bass has decent extension and quantity and even though there isn’t any real visceral rumble, the “oomph” is there when needed. Bass is mature, it has good textures and this is also due to its pretty low speed that in a certain sense makes it more enjoyable. There’s slightly more quantity than a completely neutral bass, but this very little boost gives the low end more body, helps the midrange by giving it more warmth and does not bleed violently like some other popular Chi-Fi sets do.
This is a well done low-end that will appeal to most users except those who want a crazy amount of bass.

Mids: Paradoxically, at first, the Shimin Li appeared to sound slightly too forward in the upper midrange, but after some mental burn-in all is in its place. Always give your head some time to “adjust” and get used to the signatures every time you listen to something new and this case is a proof of this.
The midrange is pretty lean and overall pleasant to listen to. Instruments are portrayed with decent resolution and they’re not excessively forward. Some very crowded tracks will be a bit difficult for the Shimin Li since they are not technically great (also due to their bass, which is not really “speedy”), but on average they can at least keep up with most of the tracks you’ll feed them with. Male vocals can be sometimes too polite and laidback, slightly behind the bass, and female vocals may sound shouty at times even though their level of intimacy is rather pleasant in most tracks.

Highs: highs are pretty smooth overall and will probably suit the majority of the users.
People who are usually sensitive to treble will not find these fatiguing, and the upper-treble roll-off, while slightly limiting the dynamics, helps in this sense.
The Shimin Li don’t feel like the most open and airy set, but there is a good amount of details (which are not artificially extracted from the tracks by excessively pumping up the treble). Treble could definitely use a bit more energy, moreover in the upper registers, since it would have given more dynamism to the overall presentation and a better sense of energy to vocals.
This tuning choice isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you consider how many users will be able to enjoy this set without suffering from sharp or excessively bright highs, but it’s also easy to understand the reasons why these will not suit many others.
Soundstage is well rounded and there isn’t a specific direction that dominates; to be fair, everything is at its place. Imaging is generally decent but if you feed the Shimin Li with very complex tracks, you’ll probably hear some congestion and/or confused placements in the stage.

Some comparisons:
TangZu Shimin Li vs Moondrop Chu
First of all, the Shimin Li is a neutral-warm set with a slight bass boost whereas the Chu are a neutral-bright set, so this should already be a deciding factor.
Sub-bass is more emphasized on the Chu, but it really does not seem like from the first listen: this is probably due to the slower and slightly more pronounced bass of the Shimin Li, that also happens to be slower, which makes the lows thicker and fuller overall.
The midrange is more forward sounding and sterile on the Chu, more polite and laidback on the Shimin Li. Chu brings instruments in front of the listener, whereas the Shimin Li have more depth and places them in a deeper stage. Vocals sound more pleasant and intimate on the Shimin Li, while Chu portrays them in a colder and more analytical way (even though they are airier and their tonality is slightly better); male vocals are less deep on the Chu, and female vocals have more energy but they are also more fatiguing than on the Shimin Li and sibilance occurs more often.
Treble is more open and airier on the Chu, but it’s also sharper, more aggressive and less refined; Shimin Li, on the other hand, catch more detail while keeping the treble at a reasonable quantity, with smoother and more polite highs and a stronger roll-off in the upper treble region.
Soundstage is deeper on the Shimin Li with similar height and slightly less width than on the Chu. Imaging is better on the Shimin Li, which have better layering and separation.
Shimin Li win when it comes to build quality, packaging, cable and comfort, even though the Chu are slightly more lightweight and a tad smaller.
They both come out of the comparison as all-rounders, but the Shimin Li offer a refined, warmer and more mature sound with more pleasing vocals and less shoutiness.

TangZu Shimin Li vs Blon BL-03
The two are very different: the Shimin Li are neutral-warm with slight bass boost, the BL-03 are V/U-shaped.
The Blon BL-03 have more sub-bass (and more rumble) and a slower and more emphasized bass, whereas the Shimin Li have a less emphasized low end with better texturing ability and a slightly faster bass.
The midrange is more forward on the Shimin Li, with better resolution and layering, whereas BL-03’s midrange is more recessed. Vocals are warmer on the BL-03, but the bass is more intrusive and so male vocals sound slightly more recessed than on the Shimin Li. Female vocals, instead, sound with similar energy but Shimin Li portrays them more forward in the mix even though less naturally than BL-03.
The treble is generally more detailed on the Shimin Li, but the BL-03 manage to sound less closed-in, more airier and open in most cases.
Soundstage and imaging are slightly better on the Shimin Li, and generally the resolution and separation is also better on the latter than on the BL-03.
The Shimin Li appear to be better in terms of build quality and they are also heavier. Isolation is not really good on both, I’d say they are very similar under this aspect, and comfort, although very subjective, favors the easier-to-wear Shimin Li.
Packaging and cable are an easy win for the Shimin Li.
All comes down to personal preferences here, and even though you should definitely consider the packaging, the cable and the more refined shell design, what matters is what you expect from a pair of IEMs. If you’re in the market for a warm, natural, bassy and very relaxed set, the BL-03 are the ones to go for (assuming that you can deal with poor technicalities), whereas if you are looking for a sort of L-shaped set with slightly better technicalities and a more niche timbre, then the Shimin Li may be an interesting product to try.

Final Thoughts​

TangZu did a good job with the Shimin Li: the tuning is quite unique, the build quality is awesome and the overall set of accessories you get is definitely pushing the value-for-money at higher values. They are not for everyone, and this has to be said, but at least this is not another V-shaped product that will be forgotten along with many other sets on the market that practically sound identical.
Zerstorer_GOhren
Zerstorer_GOhren
Nice and transparent review, thank you.

Azui

New Head-Fier
Shimin-Li: A pleasurable experience in the dawn of horizons
Pros: Pros:
- Good all rounder, Works well with almost any track..
-Very comfortable fit to the ears despite the bulky weight it gives when worn.
- "Neutral" Sounding.
- "Wide" / Open sounding for its price point.
- Clean, tight and textured bass for most genres.
- Organic presentation of technicalities on higher frequencies.
- Probably the best technicalities i've heard for the price point. Simply just amazing.
- Thick, nice quality cables. You don't see much of these types of cables with its competitors on the price point.
- Metal, Chonky Shells.
- Fits most ears without discomfort, good sound isolation.
- Came with (7) pairs of eartips, (AET07 Tips, BGVP tips) which are a general choice due to their sound signature output when used.
Cons: Cons:
- Due to it being neutral in nature, listeners may find the shimin-li dry and/or bland for their taste.
- No case, wish it came with a carrying case, but overall a great presentation.
- Shells are prone to scratches, due to the friction of the metallic shells.
- Fingerprint magnet. Due to the metallic mirror-ish design.
Disclaimer:
Our friend at TangZu Audio gave us the opportunity to review such a very nice looking pair for a very nice price. Not in any way this will affect my review for this item, as i only want to share what i hear and nothing else.
Source used:
Hidizs AP80
Mi Pad 5
Xiaomi Mi 11T
Odyssey HD by venture electronics
Price point: $30 / 1500 PHP (PRE-ORDER)

Specifications:
10mm 1DD (Dynamic Driver)
Distortion rate: <0.5%
Sensitivity: 109dB
Impedance: 18 Ohms
FR Range: 20hz-20Khz
Cable type: 5N OFC 0.05*120 Wire
Cable Length: 1.2m + 5%
Cable Interface: 0.78mm, 2-pin
Giving my full impression after a week of use. See my review below:
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Lows:
The lows on shimin-li is tight, well-textured and authoritative. Due to tangzu's choice of tips, this made it enjoyable at least for bassheads.. The Shimin-Li's bass frequency is dominating on the sub-bass, giving slam and kicks that an average user finds. The bass decay is slightly faster than what i expected, but still provides a presentation that is clear and enjoyable to the ears,.

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Mids:
Now, this is the champion of this set. Mids are luscious, and a little more refined in clarity, as if this was a clone of Seeaudio Yume, a well-known IEM from SeeAudio that is known to have one of the most refined clarity for vocal listening. Supply of warmth for both gender tracks is enough, Making the lower portion of mids enjoyable with supple warmth resulting in a full-bodied experience. The sound of male vocals is more organic, or alive, as you may interpret it. Shimin-li might exhibit some little peaks here and there but is in no way gonna offend your ears to stop listening. No sibilance, even at higher volumes. Just plainly fun stuff with these.

Highs:
Now this, as i didnt expect, is also pretty good. Detail retrieval well above average, as microdetails can be heard quite well, even for non-audiophile listeners. Microdetails are pretty much present and hearable.

Notes to ponder:
- Soundstage is great, pretty wide, didn't expect that. it is not hazy at all, it gives a very clear positioning of the music you play.
- Imaging is pretty good, as i can hear positioning and hitting of cymbals pretty well. It does not match other iems being "in an orchestra" style of imaging, but its still pretty decent for 30 bucks.
- Separation is decent, i can hear on the track by elton john (Skyline pigeon) played on apple music that it is very capable of contending with its competitors. The vocals, instrumentals separates between your ears, is actually good and sweet. Harmonious, if i may add.

Final touch:
Shimin-Li is an excellent all rounder pair, absolultely an easy blind buy for $30. Good recommendations for casual listeners who want to get in the iem game. Due to its sound-signature, may/may not be a casual listener's taste because of how dry a neutral sound is. This scales well with source, especially shining when paired on a neutral source (AP80, Megatron, E.G). I personally bought a unit for myself right after this review has been made because of how much i enjoyed this pair so much.

More photos below:
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Final Photo is a comparison of colors between Silver/Gold Shimin-Li.
Thank you for reading! I will also attach the video on comment section soon.
RemedyMusic
RemedyMusic
Good read 😁

RemedyMusic

New Head-Fier
Tangzu Shimin Li - the playful twin
Pros: Energetic variant of Yuan Li
Very easy to drive
Beautifully designed shells
Sturdy stock cable
Very decent tip inclusions
Organic and musical just like its brother Yuan Li
Comfortable fit and wear
Very decent speed DD's
Cons: No carrying case (as expected at this price range)
Near borderline shoutiness. Treble sensitive might want to consider before taking the leap
Technicalities somewhat left me cliff hanged (subjective)
INTRODUCTION:

Tangzu, formerly known as Tforce, had made quite a mark on the audio community, with their release of Yuan li. An epic start for their "emperor series/trilogy". With Shimin li, they aim for entry level. Does Shimin li live up to its brother Yuan li? Pls do read on..

EDZ09791.jpg

DISCLAIMER:

My opinions here are completely my own. I am NOT in any way influenced by any form of incentive. This is purely my honest, subjective impressions and experience with the gear on hand. I cannot stress more that you should take this as a grain of salt for we have different perception to sound and what we hear. I always try my best to stick with the stock accessories that come with the gear by default. You are free to try other methods such as tip rolling or cable rolling. Below are worth noting before concluding on what I say here:

1. DAP (digital audio player, be it phone, laptop, mobile, or stationary setup)
2. DAC or dongle or any external amp
3. Ear Tips
4. Cables
5. Source of audio file be it offline FLACS or streaming services like Deezer, Apple music, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and the likes..
6. Your playlist. It matters and is worth to be considered when reading from a reviewer's perspective. It is apparent that you get to know your favorite reviewer and what they are listening to leisurely and critically.

My reviews are more on how music sounds in my ears. The technical stuff like frequency graphs and the physics behind the tech and drivers used, I leave to other reviewers.


SPECIFICATIONS:

Configuration: 10mm dynamic driver
Impedance: 18 ohms
Sensitivity: 109+/- 1db
Freq response: 20hz - 20khz

EDZ09783.jpg

PACKAGING:

Packaging and inclusions are good here. Can't complain about the asking price. But if I have to nitpick, I wish it came with a simple carrying pouch/case. Inclusions below.

1. A set of Shimin li iem
2. 5n OFC cable
3. 4 sets of balanced ear tips
4. 3 set of bass ear tips


Now let us dive into how Shimin Li sounds..

LOWS:

Ok.. the biggest difference compared to Yuan Li, is the lows. The lows here are slightly more elevated than Yuan li's. Now I am not a basshead myself. Yet lows here are quick, punchy, tight and clean. I can see myself picking this any day, when I am in the mood for that extra punch in the lows. If you have been following me, I tend to trainy ears to remain in the neutral side of things. As I mix tracks and I have to keep my ears railed to be neutraly correct as much as possible. Kicks and bass guitars never felt out of sync and always compliment each other. Floor toms are punchy and meaty. Sub bass has a good reach and does not linger long to muddy your listening experience. Shimin li's lows gives me that satisfaction when I am listening to my rock tracks like Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine that my neutral sets can't give.

Conclusively, the lows here are still a bit too much if I will use it for the purpose of referencing. Shimin Li is not for that. The lows are very engaging and lively giving me that added flavor to enjoy my playlist. I had no hint of muddiness or bloat and almost none bleeds to other frequencies. The elevation on the lows makes Shimin li a good set for enjoying movies and games.
EDZ09797.jpg

MIDS:

The mids are very prominent on this set. Showing no signs of recessed nature. Instruments that need to be forward are well placed. Vocals, just like its brother Yuan Li, have commendable presentations. Although Shimin Li performs vocals well on both genders, this set favors female vocals by a small margin. Mids have good weight and body compared to Yuan li. I have one caveat though. The upper mids have a shouty nature. My tracks from Incubus, Linkin Park and some j-pop tracks have borderline shoutiness. And this is something treble sensitives should strongly consider. I notice that I often encounter this shoutiness in the rock genre. Especially on distortion or overdrive guitars. Well rock heads might be able to endure this as I assume, rock heads have more tolerance on shouty tracks.

Conclusively, I loved the body and forwardness of the mids here. My only con is the upper mids. It does get a bit too hot on my ears. Surprisingly, I can still last a good 2 hours listening even though this set can be fatiguing on longer listening sessions.

TREBLES:

Here at the top, this set did not give me sibilance. Cymbal strikes have good impact and grit without making me grin. Though I must say, it is not the best set in terms of treble. Personally, treble sounded lacking in terms of openness. Yet, details and reach here are very decent and not compromised. Nonetheless, my brass sections on tracks from Earth, wind and Fire are very very desirable. It is just my personal preference that I wanted more openness on top.

Conclusively, the trebles are a lot like yuan li. Just a tad bit "more". Texture and details are still intact and sibilance free.
EDZ09795.jpg

FIT & ISOLATION

Fit and wear is very comfortable. Shimin Li has a decent weight. Heavier than Yuan li. But it never felt like it would fall from my ears. It effectively hugs and stays in place on the ears. Isolation is also very decent. Shutting outside noise effectively leaves you and your music in you own small world.

TECHNICALITIES:

Now this is where it gets a bit.. tricky. To be honest, at this price, I cannot find any fault. So I am going to be nitpicky here.
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Staging is not spectacular. The fact that we are in the IEM domain, staging is not the widest to start with. But I did notice, Shimin li exhibits a good sense of depth which I rarely hear ony other sets. A lot of elements are somewhat presented at the back of my head. Depth is prominent compared to height and width. For me, this is a different kind of treat, and honestly I find it amusing. Comparing the stage to my other IEM, I can safely say Shimin li has an intimate sound stage. Separation is not bad either but I have other sets that perform better on this. As a musician, this is a must for me. Separation is very constructive to me when it comes to the nature of my work. Elements did not have that distinct individual space of their own. Imaging is average. Panning of instruments are existent but must I say, not as pinpoint as my other sets that are in the 100$ price range. Speed of the driver is very very capable. Shimin Li was able to keep up with my busy and quick tracks from the likes of Dirty Loops. Stress by Pain of Salvation has really quick drum rolls and this set did not disappoint.

Conclusively, the technicalities of this set is average and to be honest, for a 35$ set, it is very acceptable.

COMPARISONS:

I don't do comparisons that much. As I tend to embrace each gear with their own character. But for the sake of argument, I will be comparing this set to its older brother, the Yuan li.
EDZ09801.jpg

1. Yuan li has a more mature approach.
2. Lows are more elevated on Shimin li.
3. Shimin li offers richer and fuller sound.
4. Yuan li has an edge on technicalities.
5. Upper mids are more controlled on Yuan li. Shimin li tends to be shouty here.
6. Trebles are almost the same on both sets.
7. Shimin li has a better vocal presentation. By a small margin.
8. Shimin li have better cable inclusion.


SOURCES AND GEARS:

LG V30 hifi dac (high impedance mode)
Hiby Music player
UAPP app (USB Audio Player Pro)
Tidal Masters subscription
offline FLACS
Hidizs AP80 pro
Deezer Hifi subscription

Here are some tracks I usually listen to when reviewing:

That’s the way of the World by EWF
Africa by TOTO
The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Kral
Balmorhea album All is wild, All is Silent
Sila by Sud
Smooth Escape by D’Sound
Never too Much by Luther Vandross
P.Y.T by Michael Jackson
Ain’t no Sunshine by Eva Cassidy
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC
Another one bites the Dust by Queen
Good times bad times by Edie Brickell
Alice in Wonderland by Bill Evans
Ain’t it Fun by Paramore
Redefine by Incubus
Far Away by Nickelback
Lovesong by Adele
Lingus by Snarky Puppy
Harvest for the World by Vanessa Williams
Love Bites by Def Leppard
No Such Thing by John Mayer
As by Stevie Wonder
Whip Appeal by Babyface
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan
Futures by Prep
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Every Summertime by NIKI
SADE tracks
AC/DC tracks
Queen tracks


And many more… I always listen to High resolution format, being the least quality 16bit/44khz FLACS be it offline or online.

EDZ09796.jpg

VERDICT:

I have the Yuan li. 2 Yuan li's actually. The OG and the limited edition Dark Soul. At first, I couldn't get the concept of making the second installment of this trilogy, with almost the same sound. But I think the selling point here is firstly, the price difference and secondly, Tangzu wanted to offer an IEM on par with Yuan li but a lot cheaper.

As my title suggests, Shimin li is the playful younger brother of Yuan li. Offering more of everything in the sound department. Richer, more body and weight and energetic. Just like a sibling, both share many traits. Yuan li having a mature approach, Shimin li the energetic nature.

Now as I embark on this audio journey, I started from being a bass head, then mid centric, then lately leaning towards neutrality. Shimin li is far from being neutral, which is my personal preference for special reasons. But I have to admit, there are times that I want a break from the sterile world of neutrality. That sound has a divine purpose for me. And that is for mixing and deciphering harmonies. Music enjoyment, this is where Shimin li comes to play. Be it while travelling or just enjoying your favorite tracks alone on your couch.

So who is Shimin li for? Bass heads might embrace the lows here. Punchy, tight and good extension. But not brain wrecking level kind of lows. Treble sensitive?… hmmm… upper mids do get hot here. I will suggest to hunt for tips to tame that upper mids. Neutral heads, nah… pass on this one. This is no neutral set. Apart from the concerns above, this set I can vouch for to be very versatile. An all round player.

Did not get the chance to have Yuan li? As I believe you cannot get one nowadays. Or nearly impossible. Here you go. The Shimin li is a very very good alternative to Yuan li if you've missed it. And with it, comes a very practical and affordable price tag. Under 50$, this set is something worth considering. Well at least for me.

Conclusively, if you don't mind technicalities that much, and you love Yuan li, this set is worth checking out. Just watch out for the upper mids I mentioned above. For its asking price, I think there is nothing to complain about. It is just a matter of preference.

Please do keep in mind, at the end of the day, your mileage may vary. What works for me, has a possibility that it won't work for you. Do take this as a grain of salt.

machinegod

New Head-Fier
Pros: good build quality
decent performance
Cons: competition is strong in this price range
slight shoutiness in its presentation
Build and Fit
These budget earphones from china seem to have great build quality for what it is and Shimin Li is no exception. All metal beautiful build with the alligator scale design. Cable is a bit rubbery though, although not an issue as it doesnt tangle that easily. Regarding fit I do not think anyone will face any issues.

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Amp Needs
At 18 ohm, 109dB/mW no external amplifier is needed for the Shimin Li.

Sound Quality
The predecessor of Shimin Li, namely the Yuan Li still remains to this day some of the most matured and solid tuned earphones to come out of China, if not the best. I absolutely adored it. It is the earphone I would take with me if I were stranded in an island. It blended musicality and technicality just the right way and the right amount, making everything sound good. Although substantially cheaper, the Shimin Li still has big boots to fill. Shimin Li in comparison although sounding good, struggles a bit to stand out of the competition. Taking the sound on face value, there is nothing wrong with it except maybe a slight shoutiness in its presentation but it is hard to flaw it in any other department. Maybe that's a good thing though. Vocals are slighly pushed back and it results in a slight hollow presentation, both male and female. Female vocals do come off slightly shouty unfortunately. The low end is natural and is never lacking. The top end is never harsh or fatiguing. Compared to the Yuan Li, the Yuan Li is undoubtedly the better earphone but due to tuning differences the Shimin Li is indeed more detailed and faster sounding. It is also more "cleaner" sounding. All in all for 35 USD it is hard to ask for more.

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Conclusion
Shimin Li sounds good for the money. The competition is filled with earphones that are just "good enough" and Shimin Li is so. If you have the budget then Yuan Li is still the way to go in my opinion.

PROblemdetected

Previously known as sakt1moko
SHIMIN LI. One Mid-Step
Pros: .
✅Bass texture & body
✅ Design & fit superb
✅ Relaxed but detailed highs
Cons: .
⭕ Lacks of dynamics
⭕ Isn't the more resolutive
⭕ Excessively Mid-focused
Tested at 35€. U can get it from Official Tangzu Store
This & Others reviews you're about to read, are made without any compliments, no regrets and for personal use. I usually reviewed products that I've paid for by myself. These are personal opinions. I hope you like and understand what it is. A non-pro audiophile trying to write a different approach that we usually read in professional publications.

Enjoy music, that's why we are all here. Feel free to comment.

This is my LAST.FM profile

This is my Tidal Test Playlist

INTRO & SPECS.​

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Tangzu (old T-Force) gives us the second iem of the trilogy, probably the cheapest one of the three, trying to follow the unique tuning of the lovely Yuan-li.

The box and presentation for the price is nice, the only thing you don't find versus the previous release is the marvelous black case from the yuan. The cable is nicely braided, with 2 pin connection, the material is a suede-plastic that feels nice, but I'm worried about the durability of this kind of material…
These are the specs:

🔈 Driver. 1 Dynamic Driver
🔌Cable. 1.2m | 2pin connector | 3.5mm jack
💊Capsule. Metal
✨Sen & Imp. 109dB/mW | 18 ohm

FIT & TUNING.⭐⭐⭐⭐
photo_2022-06-20_10-13-20.jpg


Tangzu keeps with the similar metal presentation that first iem's yuan li, just superb quality mold, luxury capsule, with the 2 pin connector integrated perfectly.

Another nice detail is the vent on the front between the bee-panel, giving some exit to the air from the driver. I pick the gold version, just to see how gold color is. It may feel a little bit cheap, mate could be a better choice for my test.

Anyways, the fit is superb, like the yuan li, a bit heavier but comfy as hell. For 30 bucks, u get an expensive-feel iem on hand.

About tuning, the first day I saw the FR, I was scared about the absence of bass. I thought that they totally changed the tuning, moving to the brightest side… thankfully I was wrong…

LOWs. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

photo_2022-06-20_10-12-31.jpg


The bass tuning is a little over neutral, the presence is really nice, not adding more than necessary but supporting musicality over neutrality.
From a basslover perspective maybe it's not enough, but u can find all over the place, without bleeding just giving emphasis to the mix. The texture richness, without over-emphasized (hello CRA) is difficult to find on this budget.

MIDs. ⭐⭐⭐

photo_2022-06-20_10-13-08.jpg


First time I wore them, the mids were really shouty. Clearly Tangzu are trying to make a Asian-market-tuning, focusing on mids. Mids aren't my thing, but at the beginning this pair feels uncomfortable, voices sounded exaggerated.

After some burning (brain or driver one, choose whatever you want) mid frequencies seems to be relaxed, transforming this iem in a nice vocal-focus, with an intimate presentation supported with the extended bass tuning.

Timbre for the budget is nice, but the clarity and resolution falls apart in heavy tracks.

HIGHs. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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The Yuan-li is a brighter iem, so Tangzu is trying to make some difference with the upper part on this Shimli.

I'm not a treble-head, but I like microdetails, and iems that give me all the info one track has; this pair does, for sure.
They are controlled, far from being shouty, near to being on the relaxed side. They are not the best for micro-detail, but are not going to miss anything with them.

TECH & STAGE. ⭐⭐

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Well, let's begin remembering how much this iem cost, and the impressive tuning it got… Tangzu tries to extract the best out of the driver, but sometimes… it's not enough.
The SHIMINLI lacks on dynamics, and when it loses the agility to move some tracks, the resolution is lost in the process. Tends to lose more resolution with complicated tracks. About Stage, is on the intimate side, and layering is average

These are the worst points that can be said about this beauty, but tangzu achieved to get the 140% from the drivers.

OUTRO & VALORATION​

Before giving the conclusion, I would like to compare to:
Vs YUAN LI.
photo_2022-06-20_10-13-10.jpg

-YuanLi got laid-back bass, less detailed.
-ShiminLi feels more relaxed, maybe overemphasized mid-focus.
-YuanLi got spaciousness and dynamism, ShiminLi a little better layering.
-Both feel amazing on the hand/ear, but the package of the YuanLi is better.
Vs BLON03.
photo_2022-06-20_10-13-12.jpg

-BLON got the muddy bass, ShiminLi is the most analytical one.
-Mids on the ShiminLi are the main thing, Blon are warmer and covered by the bass bleed.
-Some similarities on the highs, being relaxed on both, but ShiminLi gives more info.
-BLON is the pub-feeling, liveness; the shimli is a relaxed set centered on vocals.
Vs MELE.
photo_2022-06-20_10-13-23.jpg

-Bass of the mele is far from analytical, just want to be fun, but bleed more than the shimin
-Both are mid-centered, the ShiminLi is softer, meanwhile the MELE is aggressive and less resolutive
-Highs are relaxed on both.
-Scene is intimate on both, for layering the ShiminLi is the winner.
That's all, Tangzu knows perfectly what we want to do with this second entry in the trilogy, and in the practice they achieved that. The only question I'm still asking myself is what they could make with a superior driver quality on resolution and dynamics.

Anyways, if you are looking for a mid-vocal iem, & MELE feels aggressive… the ShiminLi would be my recommendation. And got to remember, this is probably the best neutral bass u can find on the sub50 budget on the market right now.

Tangzu Audio, U really got my attention for the next release! 🤙

I usually try to EQ to find the best performance of any equipment, no matter if it is a TV, PC or headphone. Audio shouldn´t be an exception.
  • MATRIX i-mini 3 pro
  • FiiO K9 pro akm version
  • iFi XDSD Gryphon
  • Fiio BTR5
  • Fiio BTR3K
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Darkkiso

New Head-Fier
SHIMIN-LI: FEELING GOOD.
Pros: Great bodied-sounding IEM without losing details for both macro and micro.
Great clean bass presentation and can fill the bass gap in some tracks.
for the price, it's very open and not shy.
Well-built stock cable and very durable with a feel of a custom-made.
Great fit and isolation.
natural mids response.
For the price, it has great technicalities
Great design of the shell
Great ear tips package.
well-built faceplate and body.
Can be an all-rounder IEM
with great aesthetics
according to reviews its the brother of yuan-li
great cable and accessories
great packaging
Cons: if your ears have a low tolerance for treble it can hurt you since this is a bright sounding iem,
at higher volumes, it can have peak
Fingerprint, smudge magnet
lacks a bit of detail and air
no case(nitpick)
cable winder(nitpick)
Before I start here are my disclaimers.
The unit I have is my own unit. I bought the pair at a discount from Tangzu Audio.
I didn't gain any monetary reward in this review. My reviews are all mine and based on my experiences.
We have different hearing capacities so expect a different outcome from me.
I am a budget reviewer and I review based on the sources I have as of now.
This is the full review and the one I posted is only the initial impressions and not the final one.

Background about me and personal taste in music.
I am a student and currently a hobbyist in the world of audio. When it comes to my sound library. I am more in anime songs and jpop artists (but not all jpop artists).

Anime related to the pair
The Shimin-li reminds me of Unbreakable Machine Doll. Since this pair benefits in great power output if you already watched the anime. you will get my explanation but to those people that didn't watch the anime. The main character is Raishin Akabane
who is a puppet master while Yaya is his doll. In audio explanation with great pairing, the pair might improve or sound good.

Personal Sound Preference
My personal sound Preference is more of a mid-centric guy. or neutral balanced with an emphasis in the mids. my other sound preference is U-shaped which means an emphasis on the low end and high end.


Build and Design
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The shimin-li composes of metal materials. Speaking of metal materials The shimin-li is made out of metal making it heavy and durable. The shimin-li has fins at first I was scared since it might hurt my ears but it didn't hurt mine. The design of shimin-li reminds red blood cells since they look like a DNA structure for me.

1655399031860.png

Shimin-Li is made out of metal and it has a connector of 2-pin. Since the IEM is built of metal. and it is prone to smudges and fingerprints. The vent is noticeable in the iem making it look like a damaged iem.

Packaging and Accessories.
1655399097503.png

I am surprised since the unboxing feel so special for me it's like I am getting my own personalized loot box. Speaking of loot box this has a wide variety of ear tips. it has 6-pair ear tips including the stock ear tips. the included cable is very nice it is very durable and feels very premium.

Cable
1655399173384.png

The stock cable of Shimin-Li. feels premium and durable. this is my first experience with this kind of cable and one of the best cables that I had tested. For its price, the cable is a great match to the shimin-li.

Sound and Sound signature

This pair has a wide variety kind of sound signatures since this pair sounds based on the source. For me, this pair is neutral-bright and U-shaped. I tested the pair with OPPO A95 and the output was U-shaped while in my other sources it's neutral-bright.

Lows
The bass of shimin-li reminds me of kc2 they both sound tight and punchy. but shimin-li has more body and attack but it's not a V-shape kind of bass. For smartphone users, if you you are a U-shaped kind of listener it can please you. since the bass of shimin-li has an emphasis on mid-bass in some sources. but for me, the emphasis on mid-bass happens in my OPPO A95 but even though it has an emphasis on mid-bass. it does not give the bloat and the warmth in the mid-bass is very satisfying. In my other sources, the bass has that great oomph and mid-bass warmth. making male vocals sounds textured and detailed. This has a great sub-bass presence making the drums have power and quality.

Mids
This is also the skill of kc2 but this is where shimin-li might lose. Both kc2 and shimin-li deliver great mids. Shimin-li has forwarded vocals same with kc2 but for me. kc2 has more advantages since kc2 has more depth in vocals. the clarity in vocals they both deliver a great presentation of vocals. Since the shimin-li has forwarded vocals. sometimes the instruments are less emphasized. while in kc2 both instrument and vocals are well presented in the track.

Highs
The shimin-li has bright highs while the kc2 is safe for ears that can't handle the higher frequencies. I read a review that the highs of the shimin-li are dark. but for me the highs of shimin-li are natural but it lacks details and air and this is where kc2 fights back. kc2 has more details and air. both deliver great natural extension making the vocals and instruments sound realistic. but kc2 has more advantages since the kc2 has a more realistic extension. while the shimin-li has a realistic extension. In short kc2 for air and details shimin-li for a feel of a studio feel.

Soundstage, Imaging, and separation
The shimin-li has a great soundstage it has a feel of a live concert but kc2 is wider with high depth. the imaging in shimin-li is great it can handle a very busy track. and still, make the instruments shine even if it's congested. kc2 wins in imaging since even on the very busy track it still locates the instruments precisely. as a former violinist kc2 is better. personally when it comes to soundstage and imaging kc2 will be my pick. both shimin-li deliver great separation but kc2 wins. shimin-li is not that bad at separation but kc2 has more edge.

Comparison
Moondrop Aria Vs Shimin Li
Both are neutral tuning. they have both bass performances but shimin-li. has better bass punch compared to moondrop aria. When it comes to mids. Shimin-li is much more forwarded and fuller compared to moondrop aria. Moondrop aria has dry mids for my liking and is a bit recessed. When it comes to highs. Shimin-li is much better than an aria. Shimin-li has air and sparkle while moondrop aria has no air and only a bit of sparkle. In general, Shimin-li is better but I am not saying that the Moondrop Aria is a bad set. But for me, Shimin-li beats Moondrop Aria

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Final Remarks
The shimin-li reminds me of Eiko and kongming. since it has expressive vocals which are like Eiko she is expressive when she sings. while Kongming is more strategic and futuristic. which makes the Shimin-li an expressive and futuristic type of IEM because of how I feel about the pair. and how I like it. since I am an anime lover I can say that this pair is well suited to the music type of anime. The shimin-li has Villian Vibes. For me, this rivals the kc2 and it's a good fight between the kc2 and shimin-li. for more technical aspects kc2 but for casual shimin-li. This is indeed a good pair for its price and can compete in this price range.

Closing
I would like to thank TangZu Audio for letting me experience the tour in shimin-li. and thanks for the discount I appreciated it very much. more power to your company.


Non-affiliated link:https://shopee.ph/TangZu-Audio-Shim...92&xptdk=1eb2b324-0941-4753-9ca9-97ad8dc88992



Test Tracks
Clockwork Planet-Fripside

Daylight-Morfonica.

Infermata-Spotlight kids.

Dance with Bullets- Go Sakabe.

Cherry Bomb-Silent siren

Moonlight walk-Poppin party

Omokage-Aimer, Lilas Ikuta, and milet

Time is love-Josh turner

Excite-Daichi Miura

Bagsakan-Parokya ni Edgar

The reason why-LIVE!! Ayasa Theater episode 7

God knows-Shoko Nakagawa

A DECLARATION OF xxx- Raise A Suilen

ciki ciki bam bam-QUEENDOM.
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P
PKTK
Thanks for this review. I will give them 7.8/10, reason being: good accessories and very good workmanship for the price. For 30 dollars these are ok. Nothing more, nothing less. I have to say I quite like Shimin Li and it darkish and misterious neutral tuning.

suicideup

New Head-Fier
Tangzu Audio Shimin Li Review!
Pros: - Nearly has the same sound quality to its older IEM sibling, the Yuan Li but cheaper.
- “Neutral” borderline bright sound signature.
- Very “open” sounding for its price.
- Smooth, bodied sounding pair while not sacrificing any details.
- Non-lacking, clean bass in most genres.
- “Natural” presentation of upper frequencies.
- Excellent technicalities for its price.
- Two sets of decent eartips.
- Thick, sturdy, and non-flimsy cable. This reminded me of the UE cables before.
- Metal, hefty driver shells.
- Very good fit and isolation.
Cons: - Due to its “borderline-bright” upper mids, using it with higher gain or higher than your usual volume may cause some slight peaks on poorly recorded or very sibilant tracks.
- This IEM is not for basshead nor for treble-heads either (subjective)
- Shell is prone to scratches and is a fingerprint magnet, as most metal shelled IEMs are.
- A pouch or a cable winder would be a treat for everyone (my nitpick).
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Tangzu Audio Shimin Li Review!

Good day! After 4 days of casual and critical listening, here’s my written review for the Tangzu Audio Shimin Li.The newest emperor in my book under 200 USD!

Disclaimer:
  • I bought this unit with my own money from Tangzu Audio. Rest assured that this review will try its best to deviate from any bias/es.
  • Despite purchasing this Shimin Li, this is a review unit. I won’t be able to show the full accessories but rest assured that the two sets of eartips and the stock cable are included in the retail units. Also, the vent that you are seeing in the IEMs themselves in the picture will not be visible in the retail unit according to Tangzu Audio themselves.
  • The following remarks and observations shall be made and owned only by me.
  • No monetary compensation is/was involved before, during, and after the period of creation of this review.
  • Your mileage may (and always, will) vary.

Burn-in time: 5-10 hours per day, 4 days.

Source/s used:

  • Hidizs AP80
  • BaseUs USB DAC
  • VE MEGATRON USB DAC
  • Zishan U1 USB DAC (AKM Variant)
  • Cyberdrive Feather DAC
  • Non-HiFi smartphone (realme 5i, Samsung Galaxy On7)
  • Local Files via Foobar and Roon, YouTube Music, Deezer, and Qobuz with UAPP.
Earbud configuration: Stock white medium eartips, BQEYZ Autumn stock cable, any form of EQ or MSEB off, 40-60% volume, both high and low gain, with and without extra amplification.
=============================================================================================================​
Sound signature:
  • “Neutral-borderline-bright” sound signature on neutral-uncolored sources, but will sound slightly u-shaped on most sources, as what the Yuan Li sounded. It also has that “scaling” ability the more you pair it with extra power/juice from a source.

Lows:
  • The lows on the Shimin Li are slightly elevated, accompanied with a slightly dominant subbass response. Its decay leans to a slightly quicker bass response than its older brother, the Yuan Li. However, its presentation of the lows are much more fuller and extended compared to the Yuan Li. I would not recommend this as a basshead’s IEM, but it is articulate enough to cater most tracks you listen to with it. As a result, the lows here are the first thing that is very noticeable when you compare Yuan Li and Shimin Li side by side. It sounds fuller and more complete than the other.

Mids:
  • The mids here in the Shimin Li retains the Yuan Li’s DNA and improves it further by making it clearer, forward, and cleaner when compared. In most sources, mostly observed on uncolored sources, the mids sounds relatively neutral in position. But on some sources such as smartphones or warm sources that emphasize the lows by a bit, the lows may elevate more than the mids. Despite the occurrence of that instance, the mids in general never got drowned out to my liking. The lower mids are clean with a tinge of warmth to keep the lower mids sounding full with texture and detail. Male vocals and instruments with lower notes sound naturally thick and “alive” here, if that makes sense. Upper mids are slightly elevated and have an above-average clarity, detail and air. On poorly mastered tracks, with higher than usual volumes, the Shimin Li may produce some slight peaks, but nowhere near to being harsh. Overall, The mids on the Shimin Li balanced itself to be “emotional” while being detailed at the same time. Despite me pushing it to my higher than usual volumes, it still managed to sound smooth and greatly avoided any harshness or sibilance, just like the Yuan Li.
Highs:
  • The treble on the Shimin Li is a bit more extended than the Yuan Li, but it still falls under the “natural extension” for me. It is well extended and very airy for its asking price. Despite being extended, there is no presence of any harshness and peaks observed. Detail retrieval is above average for its price as I managed to hear the microdetails easily.
Soundstage, Imaging, and separation:
  • This is where the Shimin Li managed to go toe to toe with the Yuan Li and improved most aspects. The soundstage is wide with an above average levels of expansion for its asking price. It is wider than deep and produces good depth. Separation is also a bit better here on the Shimin Li when compared as the instances of congestion are greatly lessened here when compared to the Yuan Li. Imaging is also much more clearer and precise when compared as the positioning of the instruments and vocals exhibit some variable distances between them per track.
=============================================================================================================​
Comparisons!:

  • Vs the Audiosense AQ0 (100USD)
    • The Audiosense AQ0 is a more "fun sounding" IEM than the Shimin Li when compared. It definitely has bigger, elevated, deeper, and punchy bass when compared to the Shimin Li. The mids excels on the Shimin Li as they are more forward when compared to the AQ0 and is also thicker in body while keeping its better transparency when compared. The highs are also much more extended and airy on the Shimin Li while the AQ0 sounds a bit "safer" in comparison. As for the technicalities, they are nearly the same except for the soundstage as the Shimin Li's soundstage is noticeably wider and has more height.

  • Vs the NF Audio NM2 (100 USD)
    • The NF Audio NM2 trades blows with the Shimin Li as they both leans to a somewhat "balanced" sound quality and signature. However when compared side to side, the NF Audio NM2 is less thicker and smoother and presentation when compared to the Shimin Li. The sound on the NM2 is also much more "energetic" when compared to the Shimin Li. The lows are quicker in response on the NM2, the vocals are also more forward in NM2, while the treble is much more airy on the Shimin Li. As for the technicalities, the soundstage is also bigger on the Shimin Li while the NM2 leans to a more "realist" approach. Separation and imaging are about the same. On the build quality though, is where the Shimin Li excels again because it is made of metal shells while the NM2 is made of a generic plastic mold. However this is purely subjective to your liking.

  • Vs the BQEYZ Autumn (200 USD)
    • This is where the price range kind of speaks for itself, particularly on the technicalities. The Autumn has a better resolution and layering when compared to the Shimin Li. Not to mention that its tuning versatility, also is a huge difference as it can be tuned to your liking without even touching any EQ. However, the Shimin Li isn't that far when compared to the Autumn in terms of sound quality, it's just that the Autumn is two or three steps ahead compared to the Autumn, given its respective price differences.

  • Vs The HZSound Heart Mirror (45 USD)
    • The HZSound Heart Mirror is noticeably thinner and brighter in sound when compared to the Shimin Li. Its bass is lacking in quantity, but both exhibits clean bass. The mids are also more uncolored in the Heart Mirror but has less smoothness when compared to the Shimin Li. The highs are definitely brighter on the Heart Mirror and can be too much for some depending on the pairing and tracks. As for the technicalities, the Shimin Li excels for the most part, particularly in the separation as this suffered less congestion on very busy tracks when compared to the Heart Mirror.
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Pros:
  • Nearly has the same sound quality to its older IEM sibling, the Yuan Li but cheaper.
  • “Neutral” borderline bright sound signature.
  • Very “open” sounding for its price.
  • Smooth, bodied sounding pair while not sacrificing any details.
  • Non-lacking, clean bass in most genres.
  • “Natural” presentation of upper frequencies.
  • Excellent technicalities for its price.
  • Two sets of decent eartips.
  • Thick, sturdy, and non-flimsy cable. This reminded me of the UE cables before.
  • Metal, hefty driver shells.
  • Very good fit and isolation.

Cons:
  • Due to its “borderline-bright” upper mids, using it with higher gain or higher than your usual volume may cause some slight peaks on poorly recorded or very sibilant tracks.
  • This IEM is not for basshead nor for treble-heads either (subjective)
  • Shell is prone to scratches and is a fingerprint magnet, as most metal shelled IEMs are.
  • A pouch or a cable winder would be a treat for everyone (my nitpick).
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Verdict

"Tangzu Audio do understand their assignment well. The Shimin Li is another masterpiece of the company that deserves all the recognition for sounding one of the best, if not the best under 100USD based on what I experienced personally throughout the hobby. Its price for the sound it delivers doesn’t sit well with me because this is how the Yuan Li sounded before, but improved its lacking aspects. I had to check if I am hearing this incorrectly by comparing it to some higher priced IEMs, particularly the NF Audio NM2, Audiosense AQ0, and the BQEYZ Autumn and it is frighteningly near to them in terms of sound quality. However, a 200 USD IEM still speaks for itself in some aspects, particularly in the technicalities (layering, separation, resolution, etc.), but that doesn’t mean that the Shimin Li is far from them. They’re just a step or two above it. I am not saying that the Shimin Li is the “perfect” IEM nor a “killer” (because I hate that killer concept, stop the killings), but it sure is a very remarkable all-rounder, bang-for-the-buck IEM that can compete with the markets’ numerous, almost daily offerings."

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Pairing recommendation/s:
  • Source: The Shimin Li, like its brother, the Yuan Li, needs some added power to sound to its full potential as this has the scaling ability like its brother. Pairing it with added power greatly improves dynamics and tightens the bass response by a bit.
  • Eartips: The stock eartips are good enough and makes the Shimin Li, to its full potential, but any eartips of your choice will do as well.

Thank you for reading!

Non-affiliated link: https://shopee.ph/TangZu-Audio-Shim...92&xptdk=1eb2b324-0941-4753-9ca9-97ad8dc88992

Additional Photos!:

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Last edited:
Toastybob
Toastybob
How is the noise isolation?
suicideup
suicideup
The sound isolation is average to my ears and does block most outside noises effectively. However, the seal decreases when let's say, you use it while laying your head down due to its hefty metal shell :sweat_smile:
Darkkiso
Darkkiso
Nice review
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