TFTA-1101-V1 (2V)

Average User Rating:
  1. Danneq
    "Earbuds with good bass"
    Pros - Strong bass
    Cons - Slightly narrow soundstage
    Here are the high end earbuds from the British company RMXdirect Limited (there is a cheaper model called TFTA 1200-V1). TFTA is short for Thin Film Technology Accoustics.
    The earbuds are advertised in the following way: "Thin Film Technology is a passive dynamic-balancing system, combining acoustic know-how and material knowledge achieved by placing a thin film inside the housing. This creates and combines a deeper, wider sound quality with sub bass capability and enhances frequency range with higher fidelity."
    So how does it perform in reality?
    Well, I have to say that bass response is quite strong for an earbud. I always EQ my MP3 players when using earbuds, and with the TFTA 1101, I had to lower or turn off any bass EQ.
    When first listening to the earbuds out of the box, I could hardly stand it for more than 10 seconds. Bass was too loud, overpowering the mids and highs, and the soundstage felt really caved in and claustrophobic.
    I have been on the fence when it comes to headphone burn in. Of the over 15 headphones that I have bought new, only 2 have seemingly changed with "burn in". Both of them (AKG K420 and Sennheiser HD25 1:II) uses steel cables, well really steel/copper cables, and since steel is not very conductive compared to copper, I figured that there was something with the steel in the cable that led to both headphones having very harsh highs in the beginning. Something that started to tone down after about 20 hours of use.
    With the TFTA 1101, there was bass all over the place, combined with a narrow soundstage. Not my cup of tea, so I decided to try burning in. I do not care about using pink or any other color noise, so I have had them plugged in to my computer and cycled though playlists. I am closing in on 20 hours and the mids have come forward a lot compared to when the eabuds were fresh out of the box.
    Compared to other earbuds, such as Yuin PK2, ATH CM700TI and AKG K319, the TFTA 1101 sound somewhat boxed in. By now they are at least starting to sound fairly balanced. I'm using donut foams to bring out the highs a bit more. The TFTA 1101 are pretty detailed, but the soundstage is not very wide, so I do not feel that instrument separation is as good as on my ATH CM700TI. However, there's a pretty good depth to the soundstage.
    If TFTA could have added some more width and toning down the bass just a notch, these earbuds might have replaced ATH CM700TI as my favorite earbuds (TFTA are using the same design on the housing as the ATH CM700 earbuds). Now the TFTA 1101 are "just" pretty darn good. If you think that earbuds lack bass, and do not mind sacrificing some soundstage width, you should try these out.
    Remember that they do not sound very good out of the box, but will start sounding better after 10 hours and then keep improving.
    EDIT. I have revised the ratings a bit. Compard to my other earbuds which have a wider soundstage, the TFTA feels too limited and it doesn't get as much listening time as before. It gets better after you have used them for a while, but it's still too boxy sounding compared to other earbuds...