Tansio Mirai TSMR-5


Headphoneus Supremus
5 Name Brand Balanced Armature Drivers
Pros: Vocal replay specialist, while fine at replaying other genres too
Clean pure response and soundstage
Great quick imaging
Balanced, even and correct tuning
Medium-small in size, at only 5 grams each
Instantaneous transients
Smooth yet slightly bright top-end
Well rounded, plays all genres and file qualities
Gets plenty loud just from a phone
Great note-weight and size
Pace from a purist's perspective
TSMR does a balanced consumer friendly tune
Cons: Maybe not the final few dB of bass emphasized
Dub style music missing a slight bit of bass authority


Mission statement:
"You can tell "mainstream sound" was the tuning focus of the Tansio Mirai 5. Not trying to please a small group with extra treble, instead they released a consumer friendly product to appeal to the masses. Using 5 name brand balanced armatures, they concentrated on correct and natural replay as an avenue towards success. Such advanced intrinsic BA qualities make you realize why BAs are still in vogue."

While this is my third Tansio Mirai IEM, I’m always surprised at the attention to small details and craftsmanship. Really when you think about it, all this stuff is handmade art, just the way the 5 looks and feels in your hand. In fact Tansio Mirai/TSMR is run by a young entrepreneur who got his start studying art and sculpture in college before crossing over to IEM production. The TSMR name is actually a play on words originating from the English language translation of “Tang Song era”. The Tang Dynasty and The Song Dynasty was an era of immense social change, scientific, agricultural and artistic progress. The Chinese invented gunpowder during that time as well as the printing press and the magnetic compass. The first paper money was invented in Song Dynasty in China during the 11th century. The name TMSR is in remembrance of such eras, ultimately bringing such values and dynamics into the future.

TSMR or TANSIO MIRAI was registered as an IEM maker in China by the Beijing Tang Song Bouyan Technology Company in 2016.

TANSIO MIRAI ZODIAC - 12 BA Flagship $1349.00
TANSIO MIRAI TSMR 6 - 6 BA $529.00
TANSIO MIRAI TSMR 5 - 5 BA $419.00
TANSIO MIRAI TSMR 2 - 2 BA $169.00
TANSIO MIRAI TSMR 10 - 10 BA Flagship $1029.00
TANSIO MIRAI Spark - 4 EST 7 BA Flagship $1499.00
TANSIO MIRAI Land - 2 EST + 3 BA + 1 Dynamic Driver $599.00
TANSIO MIRAI Akiba - 7BA + 4 EST Hybrid $1550.00
TANSIO MIRAI Sands - 1DD + 3 BA Hybrid $319.00

And while my prior experience with TSMR creations were one of a highly individualistic nature……..both the TSMR Sands and TSMR Land were hybrids and garnering a brighter response, finally now with the TSMR 5 we are rejoining the flock so to speak. That’s right, an everyman’s take on a signature. To reach a greater understanding here of what we have it may be best to refer to a side-by-side.

“The TSMR-5 is noticeably louder than the DUNU SA6 at the same volume level, besides that it’s clearer and items are positioned slightly farther out into the stage. This brings about a style of clarity which enables the TSMR-5 to come-off less congested and owning more vivid contrasts. Thus the TSMR upper midrange is more forward and offering what appears to be higher resolution.” More on why this is to follow!

In summary, the 5 puts out the quintessential fast BA response. And while full-bodied, the 5 gets points for simply being more reasonably tuned, while not at all boring, it’s about covering all bases and being simply correct in playback. Aficionados of purely BA playback will feel right at home with the 5’s response. Being at first amused by the soundstage and imaging, later coming to realize the TSMR-5 walks a pretty careful line in output, not trying to be something it’s not, while at the same time delivering the goods.

While arriving in the same box as the TSMR others, we are treated to an IEM case, a nice included cable, and a selection of 9 ear-tips. A small tool is included for switching the tuning switches and a brush, that on one end does the brushing and becomes a back-up dip switching tool on the other. Finally a complete instruction guide including (on back) the date of build, thus is a quality control stamp, in red.



Many reviews of the 5 suggest that it’s all sold resin in construction, but guess what, it’s not. Truly I’m not sure how the other reviewers arrived at such ideas? The 5 is (non-vented) fully chambered, with a back-half acting as a resonate device going ahead to add body and girth, plus decay into the response. Such details are maybe more apparent due to my particular build which is 100% clear. If your curious a number of faceplates are up for choosing, including a complete CIEM build for just $60 more! Such is the quaintness presented by this personalized builder, that 8 different faceplates are built at the present time ready for shipment. They also add a custom level of A or B being an additional $35 or $55 respectively. The nozzles are of a slightly larger diameter, and are sanded flat to hold ear-tips on remarkably well. Though it’s probably the medium-small form factor that creates such a spectacular fit in the end?



The TSMR-5

The sound comes down to simply name brand drivers. Yep, all of em. You see this is a big deal, way bigger than I imagined last year. After countless IEM reviews I have come to the ability of hearing Knowles or Sonion devices, and subsequently hearing when an imposter has been switched instead into action. Economics is at hand when a builder tries to use off-brand BAs to fulfill the bandwidth requirements. While these imposter brands are touted as custom BAs, they are in reality a lesser brand which come short of replicating natural timbre, at times being harmonically stingy or exorbitantly strident in demeanor. Newly developed BA applications show this business of BA sound reproduction is still advancing and improving every year. Yep, 2016’s BA inventions are far behind what is imagined now as a way to reproduce music.

  • Driver configuration : 5 Balanced Armature Driver
    • 1) Knowles 22955 low frequency
    • 2) Sonion 33AJ007I/9 medium frequency
    • 2) Knowles 29689 ×2 high frequency balanced armature driver
  • 3-way crossover 2 ways tubes
  • Impedance: 15-27Ω@1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 113dBL/mW
  • Frequency range: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Passive noise reduction: 26dB


Each driver has been specifically chosen for its tone. When you acclimate to the TSMR-5’s sound in totality, you start to gain an understanding to the realization of completeness provided. Such completeness can be taken one step further into personal acclamation with the flick of a switch.

Yep, that’s right, while the signature can’t be drastically changed, yet in a way it can. Meaning if you have followed my reviews over the years, I’m not one for either dip-switches or EQ. In fact I never use either, except in this case the all-3 (123) up was a special revelation in sound. Such a sound was such a departure from the way the TSMR-5 came, in that provided out-of-the-box was a more reserved sound. Setting position 020 was TSMR’s out-of-the-box balanced statement in sound, and as far as having a generally more relaxed, yet full sound......you will find such a sound upon first hearing with the standard setting. Yet I wanted more, more contrast, more vividness so I went with 123 all boosted, the lowest impedance setting.

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

A first in my IEM experiences:
I in many ways find myself at a first here. Meaning pretty much all the time I view the switches as a form of EQ, getting the IEM farther from what I perceive as naturalness. Yet in this situation it’s almost like the switches (when set on other setting other than 123) were holding the TSMR-5 back, back from being all it could be? Obviously this depends on the whole system. Meaning it depends on the cable, the DAP and your personal take on just what the TSMR sounds like. Everyone has different hearing as well as different physical shape of ear canals. Everyone is looking for a slightly different sound to call their own, yet once arrived at, they seemingly blend into it as a place to call home. With the Sands and TSMR Land I found the switches to be not needed, trying different DAPs and cables change-outs as a path to success. Yet, never being a listener to take prior experience as fact, there was room for experimentation and new results to be found with the 5! All this truly offers is freedom, the freedom to explore and the freedom to choose, whether or not your setting will be the same as mine remains to be seen.

The remainder of this review will be done with 123 settings in place.


Fast yet authoritative. While the TSMR doesn’t kick like a DD, the end results are more reserved yet still detailed. Such details are often only arrived at with the clarity only a BA bass provider can accomplish. Basically every person has a preference. There are those who admire only single full-range DDs, those that migrate towards Planar or Hybrids, and those in want of all BA playback. This could be looked at as an over simplification of concepts, yet I find it to be true of myself, and read about others finding these generalizations to be true. Not only does the methodology define the sound character, it (the sound) plays with both the benefits and drawbacks of such methodologies. Meaning, there is no perfect style of playback, every style has its good and bad points. As listeners we start to appreciate what characters are found in every style of playback. Yet I still arrange such ideas into an order.

A) Hybrid (DD+BA) (DD+BA+EST)
B) Balanced Armature
C) Dynamic (full-range) Driver
C) Planar

Such is my list of preferences, in general. And while each idea of playback offers both good and bad concepts of musical realization, in the end it may depend on mood, music used or even ancillary equipment decided upon? Yep, it’s complicated, yet simple too, as you simply have choices and don’t always try to make clear-cut sound decisions. Though each of us bring expectation bias to the conscious listening experience. How many times does our “pet configuration” get extra + attitude in first listening? How much of listening is affected by attitude? How often are we more forgiving in a driver set-up, only because we know those “other” attributes will follow through? And the same could be said of the TSMR-5, being the transit response is incredible, as is the imaging. Why? That is what BAs do best. Somehow even to take away the (Hybrid) DD makes the transients even cleaner and faster. No DD to get in the way of the speed arrived at here. Also the politeness of the bass allows for an imaging of the midrange, you know as well as I that this is a question of balance. Such balance gives way to not only critical transient response, but the pure nature of BAs anyway includes fast decays. Big soundstage due to nice midrange and a tailored bass. Yet it must be discussed that due to the perfection (wanted) in playback, we walk a thin line. This line is always there with many (close-to-perfect) set-ups. Meaning that the treble can be dialed-in just right, but go over that line and stuff can be perceived as too much, especially with our 123 setting. What I’m saying is you may not know if an adjustment in tone is even needed till a half hour goes by. Maybe you need a narrower opening on your tips? Maybe you need a darker cable or DAP. Often in my tests I discover a trait of a cable which promotes an area of brightness with other IEMs, like the K10 Encore. Yep, such a tune has the possibility of heat in the 6.5 kHz and 8.5 kHz peaks. Yet going and switching (same cable and DAP) to the TSMR-5 right away, we can hear that it’s way smoother. Yep, the way they did the treble is not as experimental or as drastic. Where the Encore requires a darker cable, again our freedom rears its head once more, in that we have more freedom with the TSMR-5! Yep, a few choices of cables, and a few choices of DAPs, these are simply the gifts that come with a more even tune.

K-10 Noble Encore Graph:
Encore graph .jpeg

Note TSMR-5 Graph:
Now while the area of concern could be the 7.5 kHz peak or the 4.5 kHz peak? The 123 switch setting seems to do more with the low-end. And that’s just how it sounds after you set-it-up. The low-end is more dramatic. Yet if you take the time to research (other TSMR-5 graphs) resulting from the other settings, you will see the just the single number 3-up switch setting, boosted the treble immensely. Lol. Every switch setting really does do something here.


DUNU SA6 Graph:
Does the upper 3/4 of the TSMR-5 graph look smoother than the DUNU SA6 graph, smoother but containing more energy? Though the TSMR lower midrange and upper bass does not seem to be as prominent as shown it the graph? The 2 kHz to 8 kHz is really where is all goes down. And it’s shown the way the TSMR-5 does brightness as bringing a form of clarity over the SA6. Neither is right or wrong, But I chose these two to compare as both are all BA units and priced comparatively.

The TSMR-5 v DUNU SA6:
Many are going to find a home, and have found a home in the DUNU SA6. The SA6 has a list price of $550.00 compared to the TSMR-5 list of $419.00.......which shows them comparable none-the-less. Much of the DUNU SA6 success has been only because of its tune, a kind of smooth yet detailed experience which while forgiving, shows just enough detail to succeed. Where our TSMR-5 is just that much more focused into both midrange and treble ability. While I look at both as being complementary in a way, if I had to choose one, I’m not so sure I could? Where believe it or not I find myself using opposite sounding styles of cables with each of them. Meaning in listening I let the bass simply fall where it may, with both IEMs switches to the ON position.The DUNU only has a bass switch. Then where I’m trying to advance the SA6 treble and midrange and accentuate it with cables, I’m doing almost the opposite with the TSMR-5. Yep, I gravitate towards more subdued and silky cable experiences with the TSMR-5, and want to hop the brightness actually up a notch with the DUNU SA6. Again though this is simply one persons interpretation of playback, and could be slightly different for others? And that is also where the SA6 is successful in being many things to many people, where it probably could be guessed even the 4.5 kHz and peak starting at 6.5 kHz going till 9 kHz could in fact be too much for some, let alone those few not wanting any extra emphasis placed into those regions due to cable or DAP? Due to much of my acquired experience, I suggest those few to embrace a few single full-range DD which have an extra roll-off in those areas.....as surly even with that replay enough brightness could be found. Now we are looking at DD deficits as attributes for a select few. But what if you want more, more midrange and more treble? Remember the Noble Encore is an example of that in an extreme, where the TSMR-5 is way more evenly put-together. Put together in such a way as to present balance, a cohesive structure of moderate detail (through brightness) bordering on bright, but never totally totally reaching that (brightness) place. Leave it for the Land and TSMR Sands to go there for the (big-treble) TSMR enthusiast.......as here we are truly walking that special line. Not too much nor too little.

Not as heavy as shown graphically. A cleaner response which goes to show why all BA sets are still in use. And for many still the only way to go for more bass detail. Why? Contrary to what some believe (to me) BA bass is offering better transients, an extra level of attack clarity which in combined with an extra level of decay speed. While some may feel the decays are not long enough, just the fact that they are getting-out-of-the-way in-order to embrace a new bass note is room enough to celebrate. Such a bass tone offers added dexterity to do simply what DDs can’t. There is almost an inside texture to the notes which goes above and beyond what DDs are capable of. Whether or not that’s what you want is purely subjective in nature. What’s missing is some of the reverb skills of DDs, the ways notes linger on and decay……yet again if you’re into pace, BA bass is unmatched.

Finding the bass:
These (as mentioned above) offer a sculpted and refined bass, though maybe missing that little last oomph of bass tail, found even with your everyday consumer purchase. Yet with the right Song file/DAP/Cable and Ear-tip we are gloriously home. A place I can stay and listen for hours on end. Why? Nothing about the Knowles 22955 bass driver is fatiguing or overdone. Don’t worry, I have my share of bass laden drunk party smashers……you know the ones that are all bass. Here the TSMR-5 is about balance, the balance to study the whole spectrum. Now some reviewers would call the TSMR-5 bass output substantial, and it is adequate, just not over-barring. The 5 is definitely not bass shy, if that’s what you’re worried about. With EDM the 5 still moves the whole show forward, here just like described above we are met with pristine (bass) attacks and quick fall-offs. Yet in a full-fledged example of success it wasn’t the bass that needed any emphasis, no…….it was the hi-hats in the treble that was slightly too much with the TMSR-5/WM1Z…….causing me to revert back to the more mid-centric WM1A. Once again finding close-to-perfection in playback, the WM1A and TSMR-5 offer a spectacular style of balance. Still remember here, we are dealing with a profound level of balance which enables choices and not roadblocks to our journey. In such a journey, all roads may lead to Rome?

All paths or activities lead to the center of things.

It could be said that the midrange is the center of things. Really most of this has been gone over in the above sections concerning the SA6? Still what about that midrange soundstage? Does that take the cake or what? Just the fact that BAs are really natural midrange providers (if they do anything correctly) most would say the midrange is what they do exorbitantly well! That is if timbre and note weight are there, and that’s what the 5’s excell at. Still you’re going to want to optimize that response with the most note weight offered by your upstream equipment. As once that is chanced upon, you’re in a style of midrange paradise…….at least for this style money it is? More technical than you would guess, the mids have a coherent way about them due to name brand BA noise producers. The dual Sonion 33AJ007I/9 midrange drivers are delivering the good here, and proving that while they cost more than many IEM BAs, they are showing you where your money is spent. No metallic sheens or steely personalities here, just focus and projections into the stage. What soundstage?

The midrange soundstage is why we’re here. In fact that single feature may be the solitary reason for a purchase. If you happen to chance on any review of the 5, the soundstage is the first thing everyone talks about. In fact, due to the tuning, somehow the soundstage is even optimized more than normal. So imagine that the BA drivers that contain slightly better separation and dislocation of elements than a DD, then they maximize the effects by creating a more mid-centered environment. And that’s what we have. Cleaner than even your best Hybrid.......the clarity is found in just how the imaging is positioned into the stage. BAs may have faster transient response than any other methods of sound procurement? Transient response is directly responsible for imaging. That’s right, they go hand-in-hand. Typically (if the tune is even, balanced and correct) you will witness better imaging along with better transients. These spacial clues go to promote detail and clarity, far better than the SA6 and far better than the price asked…….it’s just not as relaxed as the SA6. But the soundstage is bigger than the SA6 and cleaned-up showing a style of imaging depth that the SA6 just can’t quite get to.

Yep, 100% correct! Need you read any more?
1) Correct timbre
2) Correct tone
3) Natural

Due to the style of playback, I could almost recommend these as vocal specialist IEMs. In fact I will.........these are very much tuned to where if you were looking for vocal only IEMs, you could do no wrong with the 5s. Why? Due to the frequency range and tonality of the drivers, these highlight vocals, and I’m not even really a vocal only style of listener, but I do know what’s required if that is looked for in an IEM.


Beginning with the presence region at 4.5 kHz the treble then peaks again into the 7.5 kHz, before trailing off. Tidy is how I view the clarity, along with an exact (anti-sibilance) drop at 6 kHz. In many ways there is a style of uniformity here, a chance at (while bright) still with-in the limits of acceptability…….for me anyway. Now within that framework, elements (especially with brighter sources) can start to be problematic. Meaning (as noted earlier) with the hi-hats in EDM, simply the realization that often hi-hats are boosted in an attempt for EDM producers to balance out the deep kicks……that a more mid-centric source may be needed. And the thing is…..the real message here, is that yes, the TSMR-5 has a way about it, to playback every and anything you throw at it. You just may need to arrive at using a different source than normal when attempting EDM. And remember the bass is let to fall where it may. Typically not everyone uses a full BA set for EDM, but if you’re like me you do. There is a special clarity where the attack and decay leave room for this fantastic pace to occur. There is a spacial soundstage where instruments are shown against a black background and contain vivid examples of tonality. Not every BA IEM is made for EDM, but this one is. Why? While slightly bright, there is nothing out-of-place that would have you searching for something else. There is no wrong replay here, all the instruments and synthesizer sounds are correct in timbre and sheen. Also what’s interesting is normally electronic instruments don’t have real-life counterparts, so as far as timbre, there is nothing to compare them with. So if you ask if this sounds real, it would anyways, regardless of timbre. Yet due to the style of accuracy performed by the 5, both any metallic sheen or off-timbre are not noticeable. This single feature rests paramount when choosing an all BA IEM, but even more important with some music. I simply guess the Knowles BA drivers combined with Sonion drivers are responsible for this?

Summary of music playback:
Typically I will challenge an IEM in playback after I have found they playback the basics well. I will then playback older songs which offer a less than optimal harmonic complexity and try to gain entertainment. Then I will switch to blazing guitar. The (hot) recorded guitar passages are often difficult for some all BA sets as the BA response gets too caught-up in over emphasizing the distortion, let alone the BA response to BA timbre and tone! Then I will try a few Dub passages to try and get a grip as to the bass performance. Believe it or not the TSMR-5 passed with flying colors. Heated guitars were somehow smooth and not overly emphasized? Tone and timbre inside of tone was dead-on. There was zero metallic sheen to the guitars. Weak older songs were still given complexity of playback, showing nice soundstage and showing a fine luster….not at all boring. Probably the farthest from what is normally acceptable was the Dub style of music playback? As expected the TSMR-5 was truly fun and still exciting, yet as guessed the Dub bass was not as over-baring or as full-throttle as heard from the best of sets. Remember here I’m looking for deficiencies in ability. Such tests are at the outer extremes of ability for any style of playback. While such tests are critical, I don’t normally find individuals specifically wanting Dub music playback to gravitate towards an all BA set? Yet at the same time (as graphed) the 5 does do bass well, and would be sufficient if you have Dub music as a portion of your desired playback. Remember the Dub set (at this price point) wouldn’t do vocals nearly as well anyway. As far as all the rest of music recordings found, the TSMR-5 was way above average (especially) for the price bracket. Showing depth and grace, harmonic abilities and a superior pace. Such inherent technicalities as well as tone values were performed fully correct.


Get out of the way Hybrids, move along single full-range DDs. There is a new sheriff in town doing just what is required, especially for the price asked. While maybe not complete with over-the-top bass frequencies in Dub music, the rest of playback becomes staggeringly complete. Yep, full-on involvement to get you to the zone you put IEMs in your ears for.

Heavenly soundstage brought to you by what Knowles and Sonion balanced armatures have the ability to do. Doing that unparalleled BA mojo combined with an even, correct and complete frequency response. Such a tune (while slightly bright) brings about an increase in clarity and focus. Designed and built by an IEM master with a sold track record, the TSMR/ TANSIO MIRAI-5 refuses to fail. While not the latest inclusion into the TSMR collection, the 5 goes about its business in the most refined and complete way, challenging others in the mid-fi price bracket for superiority. You have your choice of a CIEM for $60 more, or any one of a handful of colorful designs, each with that special attention to detail TANSIO MIRAI is known for. Multiple switches, combined with 7 different potential sound-signatures means success is a given.

5 BA drivers:
Each driver’s tone specifically allocated into the stage, thus creating imaging and itemized pace often only reserved for more expensive examples of the IEM art. Such dislocation of imaging (while separated) is the very reason we still buy full BA IEM examples, doing a unique sound that is accessible, yet thrilling. The TSMR-5 while on the medium-small size, has so much win due to its physicality. The perfect weight at 5 grams a piece, and sitting inside your ear, we are gifted with superior long-wearing comfort. Your choice of use, while being driven just by a phone, or the full-on audiophile DAP experience, the TSMR goes along for the ride, either out-of-the-house or while sleeping……..it’s always available at your finger-tips.

Transient response:
With a transient response which keeps the tone tidy, each and every detail is both placed into the stage and dawn-back in optimal time. Such imaging offers profound excitement of replay at any IEM cost.

Any genre:
Take along your choice of music, and if you’re on a trip away from home, every music style is portrayed with both timbral accuracy and realism. Superior vocals, great instrumentals and emotionally moving guitars. Classical orchestrations performed inside a correct avenue, and electronic EDM experiments which throb to the rhythm. You name it, the TSMR-5 is designed to deliver…..as in so many ways this could enjoy being my single solitary IEM.

Any source:
While befitting from an audiophile DAP, there is nothing wrong with the TMSR-5 driven singularly by a phone. This in fact is one of the best features of all BA IEMs. While at the same time uniquely responsive to cable change-outs and DAP changes, the 5 scales-up to a new level to meet your audiophile needs.

Any switch:
Whether it be bright or smooth, the TSMR-5 was the first IEM in my personal history where I enjoyed all switches-up? The 123 setting brought about the most contrast and most vivid tone to my ears. The only guess as to why was the rest of the switches maybe filtered the tone, with the full-on sound found with all the switches on?

BAs in action
There you have it, a modern marvel which still shows how BA drivers when implemented correctly produce admirable results, even better than Hybrids or Single Full-range DDs, if that’s the sound you’re after. Don’t forget BA technology is still advancing, enabling both better sound per dollar spent as well as increased realism. While the 5 still sounds slightly like BAs……that’s because it is all BAs…….yet they have dialed in the tone to not include any metallic sheen or BA timbre. Normally this is accomplished by having those tones buried, where a DD is joined to somehow cover-up such artifacts. Here though the we meet-up with BA tone front and center……..as this is unabashedly a BA IEM, through and through. If you’re wondering just how far BA technology has come, if you’re curious as to what changes have taken place in the IEM market regarding the implementation of BA technology? I can think of no better place to start. I mean really I don’t get to listen to very many full-BA IEMs much anymore? Yet I’m sure happy I had this chance to hear just how far they have come, and how much closer to perfection they have moved. Not only is the TSMR-5 a bang for the buck purchase, its abilities are surprising at any cost…….the complete and refined way it goes about its day, seemingly not leaving anything out, while at the same time not providing any unusual FR response. Just playing the music the way it was intended (possibly) by the artist, and if not exactly as intended..........a great rendition of the fact anyway!

Extra levels of cable nonsense:

Everyone knows cables don't make a sound. I mean they are just wires really. For that matter DAPs don't make any sounds either. It takes the combination of 3 things to get results........that's right, it takes a DAP an IEM and a cable to hear sound. At times cable changes can make small differences, and other times those differences could be heard as more. I'm not interested in furthering the cable argument or even convincing you of anything. Yet I regularly hear cable changes...........so feel it's my duty to expound on what occurs here. I simply added this section on as an extra for those interested in cable changes with the TSMR-5. In fact 90% of the time the included cable was fine, and better that fine, as you could experience all the TSMR sound goals perfectly with the included cable. It's that final 10% of change that is of interest here, and the possibility of a 10% improvement. You see in the grand scale of things 10% is actually a lot, even more when you start to focus on such aspects. When you concentrate on the 10% it becomes a world unto itself, a paradigm of perfection. Well.......not perfection really, as nothing is perfect. But to try and get my point across, I will explain my experiences to follow, I will simply include photographs and underneath try to explain the results. Take such exploratory tangents as simply furthering the interest in obtaining a better sound, or believe it or not......discovering a worse sound! Yep, the TSMR-5 is so resolving, especially at its price point, to discover most of the cable attributes even if "not good". Where this falls into experience is when a cable was too bright, or had too much energy in response to further the brightness when combined with the wrong DAP, to kind of over emphasize what the TSMR-5 does naturally. Because we all know from experience that this IEM business is all about balance, that we often walk a thin line of "close to perfection" any deviation from that line meets with issues. Such issues may reduce the ability to listen long term, due to brightness and the fatigue accompanied from that brightness, or the opposite..........a lack of interest due to a lack of interaction from an arrived at dullness. It's only when all the stars line-up do we fully become involved, to gain the benefits we were searching for in the first place. Such quests are actually very simple really, not really complicated at all. Some cables make to TSMR-5 too bright, and others slightly dull. The included wire is chosen for the middle of the road response and (not to be snobby) works out just fine. It's just this is a hobby of affirmative actions, of experimentation, of discovery. And.......for the price asked, the TSMR-5 is wildly responsive to cable change-outs.......so let's give it a try.


The ISN Solar 3 in 1 cable system:
The ISN Solar was a profound improvement. Gussying-up playback with almost what appeared to be a louder response. I know that's a silly term to describe the changes, yet I have no better way to describe for you what happened? While later with other cable change-outs I came to realize that the Solar was truly smoothing out the top-end, that its personality was actually lush and forgiving while at the same time adding girth and authority to the playback. I could go on and on, but this is not the place for a cable review.

$399.00 https://penonaudio.com/isn-audio-solar.html


The Penon Mix 3 in 1 cable system:
While more focused and intense, the Penon Mix was an uplift in detail found with the TSMR-5. In fact it was truly uncanny how the TSMR-5 responded to these cable changes, just as dynamic as any IEM (at any $$$ price) I have ever tried to roll cables with. Such "fire" is going to be fully dependent on source to understand if it's a wanted trait or not. Meaning the WM1A and Penon Mix was absolutely divine in stature, bringing about those wanted adds into the stage and filling out the process of stage interaction. The added brightness of tone ended in a complement to the TSMR-5 over the included cable, but not without concern. Yep, the WM1Z was maybe on the border of too bright as an additive, crossing that invisible line into reduced listening times, while amusing none-the-less......this is maybe (personally) subjective in final outcome...........becoming that double-edged sword in results? Yep, it was all down to having Sony WM1A be a more midrange emphasized, even-steven source, with out the added treble boost of the Sony WM1Z.

$149.00 https://penonaudio.com/penon-mix.html

I want to thank Penon Audio for the love and for the TSMR-5 review sample.

These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 4.4mm and 3.5mm
Samsung smartphone 3.5mm

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Member of the Trade: tgxear
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


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.


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



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.


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.



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)



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.
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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?


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.


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.


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?


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!


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.

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.


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.


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.


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