Tansio Mirai TSMR-5

General Information

5 drivers including new original Knowles and Sonion Balanced Armature Driver using Knowles 22955 low frequency, Sonion 33AJ007I/9 medium frequency, and Knowles 29689x2 high frequency balanced armature driver.

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7 tuning modes can be matched to handle a variety of musical styles. Low frequency, medium frequency, high frequency control can be switched by switch.

Tuning mode instruction
0 means push down, 1/2/3 means push up
Mode 1:
100: Bass enhancement mode
120: Mixed tuning
Mode 2:
020:All balanced mode
103: Mixed tuning
Mode 3:
003: high frequency enhancement mode
023: Mixed tuning
123: Mixed tuning (lowest impedance)

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Specification
  • Driver: single side 5 Balanced Armature Driver
  • Features: Single side 5 drivers 3-way crossover 2 ways tubes
  • Impedance: 15-27Ω@1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 113dBL/mW
  • Frequency range: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Passive noise reduction: 26dB

Accessories
  • Earphone case
  • 5 pairs of Silicone eartips
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Latest reviews

tgx78

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: very good resolution and detail retrieval
really good BA Bass response
timbral accuracy is very good for all BA set
versatility with 3 tuning switches
clear imaging and presentation
comfortable fitting shell with good passive isolation
Cons: peaky with source matching
bass decay is still not as natural as DD
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Introduction:

Tansio Mirai is a Chinese company that has been in the in-ear monitor business for few years now. They have made themselves known in the audiophile world with their flagship model Zodiac receiving praise from several respected and experienced listeners.
The model I am reviewing today is their 5 balanced armature model launched at the end of 2019, called the TSMR-5. Composed of 5 Balanced Armatures (BA), they have 3 switches allowing, according to your moods, a boost of bass and/or midrange and/or treble. The ergonomics are excellent, even for small ears. The basic design is very nice and the cable provides great quality.

According to their website, English abbreviation "TSMR" of their brand name is taken from the name of the “Tang Song” era, which was the prosperous ancient China economy and culture."MIRAI" represents the future of ancient China spirit, as well as the present future.

For the following audition, the TSMR-5 were in the switch position 123, because I found it's the one that worked best for my music library.



Disclaimer: I would like to thank Penon Audio for providing me with this review unit. I am in no way affiliated with the company nor am I compensated in any way for writing this honest review.



My musical preferences and sonic objectives:

I am mainly into classical and Jazz music, but occasionally I listen to some 90's rocks and R&Bs.

I prefer earphones with a realistic timbre, even frequency response, separation / detail and good dynamics for orchestral music. This is a hard group to get right and there are times I’ve given up stage for timbre or detail. My earphone benchmark is the Sony IER-Z1R as this has been my goto for the past few months and I have considered it as a great all rounder IEM.


Specification:

Driver: 5 Balanced Armature Driver per side utilizing Knowles 22955 for low frequency, Sonion 33AJ007I/9 for MIDS and Knowles 29689x2 high frequency balanced armature driver.
3-way crossover 2 ways tubes
Impedance: 15-27Ω@1kHz
Sensitivity: 113dBs/mW
Frequency range: 20Hz-20KHz
Passive noise reduction: -26dBs

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Presentation:

The TSMR-5 comes in a simple medium sized and dense foam layered package, providing the buyer with a quick and no gimmick unboxing experience. Outer black box is securely slide out with a tight tolerance. Inside the box, you’ll find yourself the complete package:
  • TSMR-5 IEMs
  • 8-core braid 3.5mm-2pin (0.78mm) silver plated copper cable
  • 10 sets of tips (S/M/L, wide/medium/narrow bore, 1 set of dual flanges)
  • Semi hard carrying case (black)
  • Cleaning tool / Switch tool
  • Documentation
All of this is packed very firmly, padded densely without any room for movement. Very nice.


Build & Design:

The TSMR-5 comes with a medium sized acrylic shell design, molded into the 'universal custom' type shell that has been all the rage lately. This particular shell itself is saturated with wasabi yellow with smooth texture. The faceplate is clean transparent resin and free of any impurities (bubble, metal dusts etc). On top of that, there's a polished silver TSMR symbol on left, and a singular Chinese character on right side of the unit. I could see this design being a bit divisive to people, being a bit boring and overly simplistic - but to each his own. I personally find it very appealing with a full display of innards.
The outer surface of the nozzles are not polished like the rest of the housings and they have a very subtle texture to them. It has this sort of sandblasted feel to touch and this enables the nozzle to grab any kind of wide bore eartips with its friction.


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The cable is also rather flexible, non microphonics, and comfortable to wear thanks to the quality material as well as soft ear guide 2-pin connectors.

There are three very small switches on the side of the housing that allows the listener to adjust the sound signature. They are mapped respectively to the low / mid / high frequencies, each toggling with an audible click that can’t be mistaken. These switches are nearly impossible to flip with your fingers (they’re a bit recessed and too tiny), so there is a little tool that you can use to toggle (included in a box). I personally hope every manufacturers start using larger switches like the ones found in the DUNU SA6 where you can use your finger nails to quickly toggle between the settings.


TUNING SWITCHES & SETUP

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0 means switch in down position, 1/2/3 means switches are pushed up (as shown in the picture above)
100: Low Frequency Elevated and Darker sound
120: Low and Mid-Range Frequency Elevated. Fuller Sound.
020: Default. Balanced mode. Personally found bit analytical.
103: Low and Highs are Elevated to give more V-shaped sound.
003: High frequency enhancement mode
023: Mids and Highs are boosted, analytical sound
123: Everything boosted to give you a fuller sound (lowest impedance)


SOUND ANALYSIS

Bass


No doubt sporting one of the better bass performances I’ve heard from a balanced-armature setup, the TSMR-5 has solid impact that doesn’t periodically have me wishing for a dynamic driver earphone. It remains controlled and tight. Sub-bass is extended well, and reaches as deep as I’d hope from an all BA earphones. Mid-bass is elevated several dBs, but it’s isolated well and doesn’t muddle with any other frequencies, nor does it come off as boomy or overpowering. In fact, bass might be a tad bit much in quantity for purists or those looking for a reference-tuned earphones. For those looking for a modestly boosted bass quantity with solid texturing and snappy decay, I’d keep the TSMR-5 in mind.


Midrange

Though midbass is elevated, there’s absolutely no issue with it interfering with the midrange. In fact, I find TSMR-5's midrange tonality and timber are some of the most accurate in this price bracket. Upper midrange takes precedent over the lower midrange, emphasizing a crisp yet near-perfect natural tonality. However, it straddles the borderline of between being naturally distinct or too clear - but never crossing into the field of artificial. Resolution is just through the roof here, vocal texturing is incredibly present and detail is fantastic. A few listeners may find that the upper mids emphasis is too elevated for them, reminiscent of what I felt with the Tanchjim Hana, but for me it stays below my threshold. Lower midrange has a decent amount of body and doesn’t sound thin, with a just slightly dipped center midrange that gives vocals sufficient room to breathe and devoid any honkiness.


Trebles

TSMR-5 has what I’d consider a well-rounded and very resolving treble, with no audible peaks or dis-jointness that is typical in this region. Trebles are to my ears very sweet and pleasant sounding, because they are both defined and soft. No negative surprises to expect for the sensitive ones, despite the bump between 7 and 8kHz. This one brings a nice opening that allows to grasp with ease the details contained in the tracks, and the small dip at 6kHz doesn't make itself felt when listening. Lower treble into the middle treble has a slight bit of emphasis, complimenting the overall sound with a good amount of energy. There’s also a good sense of air and extension from the upper treble region. Decay is on the quicker side as well, so cymbals and hi-hats can seem to disappear atypically fast - if anything, it does what it should by playing what’s in the recording with minimal coloring.

SOUND STAGE

The sound stage of the TSMR-5 is quite wide and tall, but the depth can be marginally missing when compared to other IEMs in this price range. I find the stage to be oval shaped and big enough though. There is plenty of air and space between instruments. Layering and separation is of top quality too.

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Selected Comparison:
Tansio Mirai TSMR-5 ($419) and Penon Audio Volt ($799)


Tonally the Volt is a little bit more laid back than the TSMR-5 and not as bright with a slightly warmish tone. Volt is full bodied and slightly on the thicker side compared to more analytical and leaner sounding TSMR-5.

The TSMR-5 features an all-BA setup, which seems to be going out of style for IEMs in favor of hybrid setup combination - dynamic driver and balanced armatures, and in some cases, electret, piezo or megnetostatic drivers mixed in. BAs are well known for the detail, resolution, and speed. Some people don’t like how they respond to sub-bass, bass and feel they are missing natural decay, slam, impact, and rumble. The TSMR-5 is tuned to actually bring out a lot of these qualities and I’m happy to report that there is good subbass performance on these, with impact and slam when needed. However when we pit it against well implemented tribrid IEM with hard hitting DD like the Volt, we start seeing some BA limitation in terms of physicality. Mids are more natural and analog sounding with the Volt, but I would say TSMR-5 might reveal more details here. In terms of trebles, the Volt actually does drop off in the upper treble region a bit early, but seems to extend further. I tend to call the Volt a safer tuning. Personally I prefer the balanced all-around and weighty sound of the Volt bit more, but also finding TSMR-5's brighter and speedy presentation rather complimentary.


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Conclusion

The TSMR-5 strongest suit is that it is incredibly resolving yet natural sounding set. It pairs with a balanced sound signature that has enough bass presence to satisfy many genres, and a upper mid-range and treble that is elevated over neutral, but not over-bearing nor harsh, while still retaining a good sense of air and a wide and tall soundstage. The build quality, comfort and sound are all top-notch for its price.
Last edited:
Audio Fun
Audio Fun
Great review! :)
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Ace Bee
Ace Bee
What about the soundstage and separation of TSMR-5 compared to Volt?

davidmolliere

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Soundstage is outstanding in its price bracket
High level of clarity (even with switch 3 on position 0)
Punchy and well controlled bass
High level of detail retrieval, resolution is very good
Versatile IEM thanks to tuning switch system
Very good value for money
Very good stock cable
Custom fit option is available and starts at a very reasonable 60$
Cons: With setting 3 ON, treble can be a bit edgy on some tracks (especially apparent on 003 but also to some extent on 023 and 123)
Listening notes
I spent approximately 30hours with the TSMR-5, listening on iBasso DX160 using the stock cable.


Special Thanks
Thanks to Tansio Mirai for providing a review unit of TSMR-5. As usual, this review is my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favorable review.


Manufacturer website : https://tansio-mirai.com/
Price : 419$​


Fit, Build & Isolation


The TSMR-5 feature a solid acrylic shell and the build quality is flawless, the build breathes quality as clearly shown the inside of the shells the craftsmanship is very good up to the switches system with tight tolerances. The TSMR-5 looks sturdy and well suited to daily use.

The fit is perfect with lightweight shells that you quickly forget once you wear them. The included tips are high quality and I didn’t need to do any tip rolling, a good thing because the stem of the TSMR-5 is among the bigger I have seen (over 5mm) and this means not everyone of your tip collection will fit.

Isolation is very good despite the fact the fit is not too deep either which make the TSMR-5 quite comfortable especially for those who don’t like deeper fits.

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The cable is a nice 8 core silver-plated copper cable with 2 pins connectors, nicely. I like the standard 0.78 2 pin connectors, as they open things up for cable rolling but honestly I tried upgrade cables (for example Null Audio Tiburon 8 wires) with the TMSR-5 but I ended preferring the stock which is a testimony to the stock cable quality.


Introduction

I must confess I hadn’t heard much about Tansio Mirai before this review but I am very happy that my fellow headfiers mentioned it as a brand to get a look into. Just like Fearless Audio, Tansio Mirai is one of the chinese brand to keep tabs on as they are getting quite a bit of traction among audiophiles that want to get high sound quality at affordable prices. Their performance and tuning knowledge is now such that audiophiles like me who have dabbed into the TOTL bracket for a while are curious for a listen.

So here I am with their mid priced 5 BA offering, the TSMR-5. I was not sure what to expect, as I had quick auditions of some of its competitors and let’s just say not everything is as good as the Fearless S8 Pro (I had a few minutes with at a meetup) for example. One thing I often find myself finding gripes with is those IEMs who are artifical sounding with over emphasis on bass or treble. This has more to do with tuning than anything else and to me remains the heart of the craft of creating good audio gear.

Let me drop the suspense, I was not disappointed with the TSMR-5 and once I found my sweet spot in terms of choosing one of the 7 signatures I actually enjoyed my time with the TSMR-5 for it’s a very engaging IEM.

But let’s get down to the important question : how does the TSMR-5 sound?



Sound

The TSMR-5 features a very good soundstage and very precise imaging, with deep and well textured bass, full and articulate mids and clear highs. This is a clear sounding and fun IEM, with very sound technical foundations. As mentioned earlier, this is a versatile IEM as well thanks to no less than 7 signature variations :

Tuning switches
The TSMR-5 features 3 switches (lows, mids, highs) with each 2 positions which translates to 7 tuning modes where 0 means pushed down, 1/2/3 means pushed up.

100: Bass boost, darkest
120: Bass and mids boost, fuller sounding
020: Balanced mode
103: Bass and highs boost, U shaped
003: Highs boost
023: Mids and high boost, most detailed.
123: All boost, full sounding and detailed (manual indicate this is the lowest impedance)​

I personally prefer the 123 and 120 setting, which are the fuller sounding to my ears while the default 020 sounds more balanced but I find it less engaging. 123 sounds a little more refined than 120 with more treble presence that grant more air and better perceived resolution. On the flipside depending on music genre and recordings 123 can be a bit too much in the treble section, at least for my taste.

The rest of the review will be based on the switches set to 123 and 120 but I’ll mention the baseline 020 as well when relevant.

Let’s dig a bit deeper!

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Bass
The TSMR-5 bass is very good. It extends fairly well and sub bass have good presence when called for providing the TSMR-5 with power and a good rythmic baseline. Mid bass avoids the easy route, with no excessive presence and excellent control which in my book is a sign of maturity in tuning.

I cycled through my usual test tracks and the TSMR-5 mature bass tuning certainly makes the TSMR-5 a good all rounder. It sure is fun on sub bass heavy tracks like Sohn’s Rennen but it’s equally as enjoyable on Latin Jazz where the double bass is portrayed fairly faithfully with accurate tone. Last but not least there is no bass bleed into the mids, another sign of a well mastered bass tuning.
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The TSMR-5 bass presence is more neutral on the 0 bass setting. Setting 020 provides less bass presence as expected but I still wouldn’t call it bass light. The bass is satisfying, and provides good rythm on 020, just less visceral fun with less sub bass and a leaner mid bass. I feel 123 and 120 do provide better bass textures as well. The bass switch does have more impact than just adding bass presence, it contribute to an overall fuller bodied presentation.

Logically, 123 is the setting that has the bigger soundstage (along with 103) because both of the bass foundation which provides greater soundstage height and the treble boost helps the width and separation.

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Mids
The TSMR-5 mids are quite accurate and there is no coloration here, it’s a clear well articulate midrange that is fairly balanced in terms of body. The TSMR-5 will be fuller bodied if the bass switch is on 1, but it still not a thick signature.

Timbre and tone at spot on to my ears and instruments are faithfully portrayed. The lower mids are on the leaner side while the upper mids has the necessary bite to add some excitement but I wouldn’t call it a bright midrange either the upper mids are gently boosted either on setting 0 or 2.

Interestingly the switch setting has more impact on how recessed or forward the mids are rather than be warmer or brighter as I would have expected. Tone remains the same on both 0 and 2 and the noticeable difference will be distance to the singer and lead instruments. This is interesting as it opens up the ability to open the soundstage on settings 0 with a deeper soundstage. This explains why setting 103 will have the biggest soundstage of all the settings. I for one prefer more vocal presence of 123 but it’s nice to have options and the switch system shows its strength here.

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Treble
When listening to the TSMR-5 it’s very apparent Tansio Mirai engineers aimed at providing clarity to the signature no matter which setting is chosen and treble is a key to this.

Note that I am insisting on clarity as opposed to brightness, the 4 to 6kHz range has been carefully tweaked to provide maximum clarity while avoiding harshness. This is still a difficult exercise and in so doing on switch 3 on there is a bit of an edge on some specific tracks or rich treble music genres can be a tad too close to the limit for some. I think it was smart though because if you’re a bit sensitive like I am you can set switch 3 to off and safely go from there. On the flipside if you like your treble more defined and get maximum resolution and excitement you can set switch 3 to on.

Treble has great importance in the TSMR-5 tuning, on either treble setting it does provide very good air, separation and excitement as well as contribute to the TSMR-5 resolution.

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Verdict
Listening for the first time to a brand’s IEM is often a key moment, as first impressions do matter and I must say I was very positively impressed by Tansio Mirai TSMR-5. From now on, it’s a brand that will be high on my list of chinese manufacturers along with QDC, Fearless and and I will keep an eye on their products. I most definitely am now very interested in their latest flagship the 12 BA Zodiac and how it compares to my flagship collection… stay tuned!

In the meantime, the TSMR-5 is a very solid mid tier offering that puts Tansio Mirai on the map for me, both in terms of craftsmanship and tuning knowledge. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced clear and highly engaging IEM with a great soundstage and very good craftsmanship then you can’t go wrong with the TSMR-5!

This review was originally published on https://iem.reviews/2019/12/24/tansio-mirai-tsmr-5/

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iBo0m
iBo0m
Nice review! :) Isn't the cable a bit heavy?

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