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TFZ Queen

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Moonstar
    Looks Noble as a Queen
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Nov 8, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Beautiful design,
    Great build quality, solid metal housing,
    Detachable cable and rich accessories package,
    Great bass and full bodied sound,
    Warm, smooth and relaxing sound presentation
    Cons - Missing some presence in the treble and upper midrange region,
    Slightly warm for my preference,
    Average separation
    Looks Noble as a Queen


    About TFZ (The Fragrant Zither):

    The company TFZ (The Fragrant Zither) is Chinese Company located in Shenzhen - China, which is specialized in the production of portable audio equipments like Earphones & In-Ear Monitors. The company is well known with some popular models like the TFZ Series, King, Exclusive and Tequila. The TFZ Queen, which I will review, is a new series with a pretty unique design language.


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    TFZ Official Website: http://www.tfzither.com/

    About me: www.moonstarreviews.net

    Disclaimer:

    The TFZ Queen was provided to me by the company TFZ via Penon Audio for review purposes. I am not affiliated with TFZ or Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.


    Price:

    The MSRP price for the TFZ Queen is around 129,00 USD and can be purchased under the following link.


    Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/tfz-queen.html



    Package and Accessories:

    The TFZ Queen comes in a rectangular white box, which is made of a pretty solid cardboard material that contains the following items;

    • 1 pair x TFZ Queen In-Ear Monitor
    • 1 pcs x Detachable cable with 0,78mm 2 pin connection
    • 1 pair x Foam ear tips
    • 3 pair x Silicone ear tips with wide-bore
    • 4 pair x Silicone ear tips with small-bore (1 pair came preinstalled)
    • 1 pcs x White Carry Pouch
    • 1 pcs x Shirt Clip

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    Design, Components and Build Quality:

    The TFZ Queen is an In-Ear Monitor that has a pretty nice and unique design. The housing/ shell is made of two (2) CNC machined Aluminum Alloy parts that looks and feels solid in my hands.


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    The TFZ Queen IEM is available in four (4) different color options that are grey, red, blue and red&blue combinations like my review sample.

    The Queen is an In-Ear Monitor that is producing the sound with a dynamic speaker. The speaker is made of Nano-graphene diaphragm and dual magnetic circuit with a N52 type high strength magnet.

    On the front side that is named as the faceplate of the monitor is a small Queen logo and a little screw. This faceplate has a wave like pattern, which has a nice and unique appearance to my eyes.


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    On the second part of the housing is a vent on the front size.


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    TFZ has printed their webpage www.tfzither.com in white color, on the back surface of the second part housing part.

    On the inner side of this part that has contact to your outer ear is a second vent and the silver colored sound nozzle, which is mounted to this part.


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    On the Top of this monitor part is the type 0.78mm female 2pin connection.


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    The cable that comes with the TFZ Queen has a nice twisted profile and is made of an 4 core, 5N purity OFC (Oxygen Free Cooper) wire material, which has a soft rubber like black coating. This coating is very efficient to avoid any possible microphonic effect.

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    The 2pin male connectors have a transparent hard plastic housing, where you can find the left and right markings that are very hard to read and which is male only complain about this otherwise beautifully made cable.


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    The cable has built-in ear guides near the connector for a better behind the ear comfort experience.

    This cable has a Y splitter, which is made of a soft black colored plastic material that sports on both sides the new TFZ logos.

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    The 3.5mm unbalanced (3 pole) headphone jack has a straight profiled metal housing that sports also the TFZ logo.

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    Fit and Isolation:

    The TFZ Queen has a nice and pretty comfortable shape, which makes long listening periods possible, without to hurt your ears. The isolation is average and is less successful than In-Ear Monitors with a Semi Custom like housing.





    Technical Specs:

    • Driver : Dual magnetic circuit driver with graphite diaphragm & high strength magnet
    • Freq. Range : 5HZ ~ 40000HZ
    • Impedance : 30Ω
    • Sensitivity : 110dB±3dB
    • Connectors : 2-pin 0.78mm
    • Plug : 3.5mm gold-plated
    • Wire Material : PVC+5N oxygen-free copper
    • Cable length : 1.2M


    Drivability:

    The TFZ Queen is a relative efficient In-Ear Monitor with an impedance of 30 Ohms, which makes it pretty suitable for the use with devices like phones, tablets, etc. that have less power than modern DAP’s or small portable amplifiers.







    Albums & tracks used for this review:

    • Morbid Angel – Drum Check (Spotify)
    • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
    • Metallica – Sad But True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Sertab Erener – Aşk (Spotify)
    • Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
    • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
    • The Glitch Mob – Mind of A Beast (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
    • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
    • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
    • Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Charly Antolini’s – Duwadjuwandadu (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)


    Sources:

    • IEM’s : TFZ Queen, TFZ Tequila1, iBasso IT01
    • DAP/DAC/AMP’s : Cayin N5II, Fiio M7, Astell&Kern AK70, Chord Mojo, xDuoo XD10 Poke,


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    The Sound:

    PS: The TFZ Queen review is written after a burn-in of around 80 hours. I have used the stock silicone ear tips with the wide sound bore and the stock cable that is included to the box.

    The TFZ Queen has a petty warm tonality with noticeable emphasis in the lower frequency region; the result is a lush and full bodied overall presentation.


    Bass:

    The TFZ Queen sounds pretty rich in the lower frequency region and has a noticeable emphasis in both sub- and midbass areas.

    The sub-bass rumble will satisfy many bass lovers with great rumble and full bodied presentation. The sub-bass is going pretty low and has an extension, which is on a moderate level, followed with average control and speed.

    The mid-bass quantity and character give the sound a full-bodied and warm presentation, at the cost of the loss of clarity and definition. The overall bass detail is on a moderate level. The bass performance and character of the Queen is very suitable for those how are listening to genres like Trance, EDM and Pop music, where an extra boost in the lower frequency area is a welcome.

    Instruments like guitars, drums or for example contrabass are sounding warmer and thicker than in natural.

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    Midrange:

    The TFZ Queen has a smooth and relaxed midrange tuning with moderate transparency and pretty warm tonality. There are no negative situations like harshness or sibilance. Male vocals have a thick and deep presentation, while female vocals sounding lush, but lacking some transparency and sparkle. The midrange sounds pretty musical while it is missing a bit of clearness and airiness, which reminds me to the presentation of the Lear LUF Kaleido.

    Some Instruments with ticker notes like drums or guitars sounding more realistic than those with thinner notes like pianos, flutes or violins. The overall detail level of instruments and vocals is on a moderate level and should be good enough with genres like Pop, EDM and Trance.

    The upper midrange sounds very controlled and sibilance free and is ideal for those who are sensitive to upper midrange harshness. The upper midrange of the TFZ Queen is not very bright and upfront and is missing some crispiness and micro detail.



    Treble:

    The treble range of the TFZ Queen has moderate speed, sounds controlled and fatigue free, which makes it ideal for those who are sensitive to bright sources. The treble extension is on an average level with instruments like cymbals or violins, etc. The treble character is slightly thick due the warmth, which comes from the lower midrange are.

    The upper treble range of the TFZ Queen is fairly controlled but is missing sparkle and clearness, which makes is less suitable with genres like metal music where you need additional vividness for instruments like cymbals, or with classical music where you can find flutes or violins. The overall detail level of the treble/upper treble range is average.



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    Soundstage:

    The soundstage performance of the TFZ Queen is average, with slightly less depth than wideness, which should be pretty ok for genres like pop, rock or electronic music, but sound a bit too closed in with genres like classical, jazz or acoustic music. The amount of rendered air between instruments is pretty good, but the separation of instruments is at an average level.



    Comparisons:

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    TFZ Queen versus TFZ Tequila1:

    The TFZ Queen and TFZ Tequila have some similarities, but also many differences in their presentation.

    The bass sub-bass area of the Queen and Tequila1 sounds pretty similar with nice rumble and good depth for this price range. The sub-bass of the Queen have lightly better extension than those of the Tequila1 while the overall quantity is nearly the same.

    The Queen has more mid-bass quantity and fullness, but sounds not as fast and controlled like the Tequila1, which performs better in this area. Faster bass response means also better detail rendering, where the Tequila1 is slightly better.

    The midrange of the TFZ Tequila1 sounds brighter and more transparent than those of the TFZ Queen, which has a thicker and warmer tonality in this region. Male vocals sounding in general more lush with Queen because of the thicker and deeper presentation, while female vocals are more successful with the Tequila1 due to the additional sparkle and transparency that comes from the upper midrange area.

    When it comes to the instrument presentation, I would prefer the Queen with synthetic instruments or guitars and drums, while the Tequila1 is suitable with instruments that need additional brightness and upper midrange presence like piano, flutes or violins.

    The treble range of the Tequila1 has more presence, sounds also more spacious and airy compared to the Queen, which has a smoother and softer presentation. The Tequila1 has slightly better treble extension and sound also more lifelike but with a little bit of harshness, especially with bad recorded tracks.

    The soundstage performance of the Queen and the Tequila1 is pretty close. The Tequila1 has a slightly wider soundstage, while the difference for the depth is less noticeable, maybe a hint better with the Tequila1.


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    TFZ Queen versus iBasso IT01:

    The TFZ Queen sounds slightly fuller and has also some additional bass emphasis compared to the iBasso IT01. The sub-bass of the Queen have more quantity, sense of rumble and depth, while the IT01 has slightly better control over this frequency region.

    The mid-bass of the TFZ Queen is sounding fuller, thicker and has a lush character, while the mid-bass presentation of the iBasso IT01 is tighter and faster, than those of the Queen.

    The Midrange of the Queen sounds thicker, warmer and more gentle than those of the IT01, which has a slightly more energetic and brighter presentation that shows also additional cleaners.

    The mid-bass boost of the Queen makes male vocals fuller and is adding additional depth, while the more prominent upper midrange of the IT01 is adding female vocals a touch more sparkle and cleaners. The same situation continues for instruments, where the Queen is more suitable with instruments with thicker and the IT01 the better choice for instruments that need more brightness and saturation.

    The treble range of the iBasso IT01 is brighter, sharper and slightly more detailed than those of the TFZ Queen. The Queen sounds slightly more controlled and is also smoother in its presentation, which makes it to the better choice for those who are treble sensitive. The treble extension of the iBasso IT01 is also better than those of the TFZ Queen.

    When it comes to the soundstage performance, the iBasso IT01 has slightly more depth and a wider soundstage. The IT01 has also a little bit better instrument separation and is more precise regarding to the placement.



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    Conclusion:

    The TFZ Queen is one of my favorite IEM’s when it comes to design, comfort and build quality. The sound has also a nicely done romantic tuning with its warm, thick and smooth presentation, which makes it to a good option for those, who don’t listen very complex genres like classical, progressive metal music and also don’t like oversaturated brightness.



    Pros and Cons:

    • + Beautiful design
    • + Great build quality, solid metal housing
    • + Detachable cable and rich accessories package
    • + Great bass and full bodied sound
    • + Warm, smooth and relaxing sound presentation


    • - Missing some presence in the treble and upper midrange region
    • - Slightly warm for my preference
    • - Average separation
    About me: www.moonstarreviews.net
      trellus and karanehir35 like this.
  2. Cinder
    TFZ Queen Review: Built for Royalty
    Written by Cinder
    Published Sep 25, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Fantastic construction, unique-looking cable, visually appealing, good accessory package, comfortable foam eartips, memory wire earguides, warm sound, great bass performance, good detail retrieval
    Cons - No hard carrying case, somewhat recessed upper-midrange
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    TFZ Queen Review: Built for Royalty
    The Fragrant Zither, or TFZ for short, is somewhat of a titan on the Chi-Fi scene. They have a very sizeable lineup with a great variety of sound signatures. My last interaction with TFZ was with their Series 4 IEM. I really enjoyed its V-shaped sound signature, competitive performance, natural timbre, and attractive build. IBut is the Queen as competitive as the Series 4 is at its price point? Or does it fall behind its peers and siblings?

    You can find the Queen for sale here, on Penon Audio, for $129.

    About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

    • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass.
    • I have a mild treble sensitivity.
    Source: The Queen was powered like so:

    HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones

    or

    Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

    or

    HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

    or

    PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    Tech Specs
    • Driver: graphite dynamic
    • Product material: CNC Aluminum Alloy & ABS & PC
    • Frequency response range: 5HZ ~ 40000HZ
    • Impedance: 30Ω
    • Sensitivity: 110dB±3dB
    • Connectors: 2-pin 0.78mm
    • Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated
    • Wire: PVC+5N oxygen-free copper
    • Cable length: 1.2M
    Sound Signature
    Sonic Overview:
    The Queen’s presentation is pretty laid back. Its single dynamic-driver configuration synergizes well with its warm sound signature. Its treble extends upwards from the lower midrange, steadily sloping up towards the upper midrange. The Queen’s lower midrange has a nice mild warmth that is a major component of its overall relaxed presentation.

    Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy, Little One, Show Me How To Live (Live at the Quart Festival)

    The Queen’s treble is emphasized past its midrange, opening up the sound signature in the typical TFZ fashion. As such you can pretty easily make out high-hats and cymbals in the background of most songs. After letting my ears adjust to the Queen I found that it was capable of generating some pretty airy presentations.

    Given my innate treble sensitivity, I often times find that an IEM can be a little too sharp or too hot in the treble. The Queen narrowly avoids crossing the line into “uncomfortable”, never betraying my ears even throughout the most sibilant of songs. The Queen even behaved during Satisfy, a song that has proved challenging to portray for many other IEMs.

    Midrange: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams, Too Close, Little Black Submarines

    The majority of the TFZ lineup has a more upper-midrange focused sound signature. This makes many of TFZ’s IEMs very “clean” and technically-minded. The Queen deviates from that trend, instead focusing more on its lower midrange. This brings an inviting warmth into the mix that is well worth the small trade in clarity.

    The Queen’s midrange is also free from graininess. This, combined with the warmth in the lower midrange, allows it to excel in portraying male vocals. The spike in the midrange near 2KHz enables the Queen’s vocals, both male and female, to remain clear and intelligible.

    Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

    Ah, and now for the bass. My working theory is that the Queen was completely designed around making sure it could generate lots of high-quality bass. It has two air vents per side, indicating that the dynamic driver is tuned more towards favoring the low end from even a construction standpoint. I’m certainly a fan of these decisions, as an air-starved driver tends to perform very poorly in the lower register; such a flaw would have certainly crippled the Queen.

    The Queen’s bass ability to extend deep into the sub-bass of its lower register makes it great at tackling bass-dependent songs. Be it heavy-metal, rock, dubstep, or other electronic genres, the Queen has the impact and rumble to make many songs really pop. From the filthy drops of Gold to the sonorous bass line of In For The Kill, the Queen's low-end never failed to impress.

    Packaging / Unboxing
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    The Queen’s packaging feels, and looks, premium. I’m a really big fan of the color-palette that TFZ went with. It’s not one you often see so well-executed by Chi-Fi brands.

    Build
    Construction Quality
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    The Queen’s build is, like all of TFZ’s products, really solid. The shells are built out of a sturdy metal. A single Philips Head screw holds the face-plate onto the rest of the shell. Speaking of the face-plate, the Queen’s is a bit special. It has a beautiful coating that catches and refracts the sunlight beautifully. I’ve not yet seen another metal IEM that has quite the same visual effect.

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    The Queen’s nozzles are of average length. They are well-machined and have a nicely-sized lip. At the tip of the nozzle, TFZ installed a metal debris filter that is fitted securely.

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    TFZ opted to go with the 0.78mm 2-pin standard for removable cables. I like TFZ's adaptation of the standard as it is very well executed. A variety of my after-market cables fit securely within the socket in spite of it protruding slightly from the shell.

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    The Queen’s cable is well-engineered. It is built out of four twisted strands, and in a somewhat unique fashion, the strands, rather than all being shrink-wrapped together as one, have their own individual coatings. This makes for an interesting visual and tactile aspect of that really captured my attention.
    The Queen’s cable is terminated in a 3.5mm TRS jack that is housed in a 2-piece polished metal housing. The housing has plenty of stress relief to ensure that the already-strong cable is even further removed from the possibility of premature death.

    At the other end of the Queen’s cable, you can find the 2-pin jacks. They are housed in a tough clear plastic that firmly holds the pins in place. Out from the 2-pin housing protrudes a set of very comfortable ear-guides that are not only functional but visually consistent with the rest of the muted color-scheme the cable has. The cable's microphonics are kept to a very bearable minimum during normal listening.

    Comfort
    The Queen has a shell that is on the larger side. While it fits comfortably in my average-sized ears, listeners with smaller ears may have trouble finding a good fit.

    Accessories
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    Inside the box you’ll find:

    • 6x pairs of extra silicone eartips
    • 1x pair of foam eartips
    • 1x soft carrying pouch
    The Queen is adequately equipped with accessories. While I find it ironic that a queen of all IEMs wouldn’t be completely flush with accessories, I find that in an absolute sense I never found myself missing anything. So poor attempts at humor aside, the Queen’s accessories are quite good, at least in terms of what you actually get. The carrying pouch is identical in construction to the one that ships with some other TFZ IEMs such as the Series 4. The silicone eartips are comfortable and well-sized, and the foam eartips seal well and are very comfortable.

    Comparisons
    1: HiFi Boy OS V3 ($160)

    The OS V3 is very much a V-shaped IEM, much more so than the Queen. Where the OS V3 has a colder and more “analytical” midrange, the Queen has a smoother and more inviting warmth. The OS V3 has a more clean and cohesive upper treble but ultimately fails to stave off sibilance as well as the Queen does. Furthermore, while the OS V3 has a wider mid-bass, the Queen’s lower register feels more impactful. I also prefer the Queen’s rumble to the OS V3's rumble. So If you want a more traditionally-tuned IEM, the OS V3 will likely suit your preferences. If you want a warmer IEM with a more competent bass presence you may prefer the Queen.

    2: TFZ Series 4 ($100)

    The Series 4 is an IEM that is very indicative of TFZ’s house sound. It is mildly V-shaped with great clarity (via a bias towards the upper midrange). You could say that the Series 4 and Queen compliment each other very well sound-wise; one goes cooler while the other goes warmer; one has a flashier color scheme while the other has more subtle color options available. So as with the OS V3, I’d have to say that the Series 4 is more suited towards listeners who want a more traditionally-tuned V-shaped sound signature while the Queen better suites those who want more grunt and warmth from their IEMs.

    Summary
    The Queen is another fine edition to TFZ’s already shining lineup. It deviates from the standard TFZ sound-signature formula while not betraying the TFZ house sound. Its warm and inviting sound signature combined with a stellar construction and accessory package make it a compelling value within its price bracket. So if you’re in the market for a bassy dynamic driver IEM and don’t want to compromise on visual appeal, definitely give the TFZ Queen a look!

    As always, happy listening!
      Fawzay likes this.
    1. Hachiman
      How is this model different from the other TFZ Queen LTD version?
      Hachiman, Jan 22, 2020 at 12:21 PM