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Over Ear IEM

TFZ Series 1

Rating:
3.58333/5,
Tags:

Recent Reviews

  1. noobandroid
    Bass up on iem
    Written by noobandroid
    Published Dec 11, 2016
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Big bass, clear highs
    Cons - too much mids and vocals seems a bit off
    TFZ Series 1 was lent to me by a local dealer, and the unit i got is a full black.
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    Appearances

    For me, the TFZ with a double flange seems to fit oddly to my ears, the driver housing is a bit big and protrudes out of my ears quite a lot. Although so, luckily it is light and head swings will not distance it or fly it out of my ears. Wires are fixed and not exchangeable. The wires are thin and prone to tangle just by a simple couple random toss around in a bag. It gets all coiled up and could take some time to untangle.
     

    Sound

    The trebles are quite ok still,  It has a tiny appearance in the back, weak but still there. Cymbals are tiny and feels a little artificial.
     
    The mids are relatively flat sounding and dull. It doesnt have the ability to give the guitar the power and impact that it should have. The guitar feels dull and without energy, making listening to Metallica very VERY boring sounding.
     
    The bass hits hard and deep, yes, but then although with a good deep bass but lacking in other departments, what does that remind you ? okay, it doesnt go to that extent but it does have a deep "n" sound eq feeling to it.
     

    Conclusion

    Maybe some will find this interesting, but for me, even though appearance wise it looks sort of cool with a big headphone jack and all, the sound wise doesnt fit my taste and I'm not sure if other series from them made significant improvements but I hope they do
  2. pinoyman
    TFZ series 1. All about the Bass
    Written by pinoyman
    Published Oct 20, 2016
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Quality build and materials
    Cons - Too bassy for me
    MBC/ PINOYMAN's review:
    The TFZ series 1 Iem.

    Id like to thank Christopher Gatchalian for lending me his pair unit for the purpose of this review.

    Shell: clear in smoke black.

    Cable: quality is thick and strong. It can survive as a daily beater from rolls and throws.

    Strain relief is small, but well made and implemented. It gets the job done keeping the cable safe from cut and breaks.

    Y splitter: no volume control, size adjuster.

    SQ:

    Tonal balance is warm but clear.

    Bass hits hard and deep, mibass is on the fun side. It can sometimes sound boomy and strong at times. Something you may like or not. Most prominent in its signature. Its not well controlled. More sub bass than midbass.

    Treble lacks the energy and extension. Fatigue-free, yes. Somewhat veiled or blanketed. Instruments doesnt come out alive but thankfully the vocals is sweet, something to love about.

    Mids is warm and vocals sound sweet. Sometimes being drowned by too much bass (again). Sometimes this good vocals is affected by the bass slams which kills the full experience.

    Texture and timbre is just so so. Pianos and stringed instruments dont sound too defined, a little on the dull side.

    Soundstage, instrument separation and layering is good. More depth than width. Bass have more weight, affects by diminishing details, attack and definition. Making this bassy signature. Bass makes the presentation sounds big.

    Somewhat transparent but blanketed by too much bass. Can be fatiguing in long listening sessions. Recommended for bass lovers.

    Personally, i find the signature as bass heavy. I could have fell in love in the sound, if only the bass is controlled and a if its a little distant. Too bad, the bass smeared some details and it fools you of its strong weight to make you fell it sound big. Bass is weighty but less in texture and definition compared to what i heard in CFA ANDROMEDA and what i have - the FITEAR TG334.

    Definitely this is a colored pair, warm and fun, but lacks the sparkle and crisp of treble to counter the bass. Unlike the JVC FX850, bassy but bring an open back, makes it like a headphone sounding iem. Adding hole in the iem may improve airiness and may lessen the bass weight and boomy-ness.

    But thats just my gripe. We have our own personal tastes and preference.

    Recommeded for bass lovers. (Again)
    If TFZ iem will be converted to words it will be ALL ABOUT THE BASS.

    pls enjoy the vid of Meghan Trainor :)

    https://youtu.be/7PCkvCPvDXk

    Source:
    Iphone 6
    Christian Bautista Live album.

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      hqssui likes this.
  3. Hisoundfi
    Big bass, natural and smooth all at the same time. The TFS Series 1 in-ear monitor
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Sep 23, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Big bass and fatigue free sound, Solid and secure fit, Easy to drive, Very natural midrange
    Cons - Will be too bassy for some, Lacking refinement and detail, Cable jack doesn't work with some phone cases
    20160921_182120.jpg
    At the time this review was written, the TFZ series 1 was listed for sale on Penon Audio’s website. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/TFZ-SERIES-1?search=tfz
     
    Introduction
    Regardless of what gear I’m listening to, I’m always curious when a new earphone hits the market. With every new offering comes an opportunity to see if the next “giant killer” has come to market.
     
    When Penon Audio contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing the new lineup from TFZ, there was no way I could turn down the chance. Budget earphones are where I cut my teeth and I’m still a fan of the price to performance ratios some of these products have. Based on the marketing information, the TFZ models seemed to be the next big things to come out in the budget-fi price range.
     
    I will be reviewing all three earphones in the lineup separately. There will be repeats in what is posted due to the fact that the earphones are basically re-tuned versions of the same thing. Let’s take a look and listen to the Series 1.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review a free sample of the TFZ Series 1 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with TFZ. I would like to take this time to personally thank Penon Audio for the opportunity to experience and review them.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me. I want to hear any earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I can share my impressions with  enthusiasts and help them find the audio product they’re looking for. My Head-Fi profile has a list of audio products ranked from favorite to least favorite. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and having a variety of different gear to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are solidly built, with ergonomics and sound that is pleasing to my ears. It’s my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based on gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
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    The Series 1 comes in a black box with silver print. The front features the product name and TFZ logo as well as the website address in small print.
     
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    The back of the box is blank aside from a small sticker with the barcode and small photo of the earphones displayed.
     
    Specifications and Accessories
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    Specification
    Model Number: TFZ SERIES 1
    Driver: 12.5mm Titanium Crystal Dual Loop Dynamic Dual Chamber (N50)
    Impedance: 12ohm
    Sensitivity: 103dB/mW
    Frequency Response: 18Hz-22 kHz
    Style: In-Ear
    Plug Type: Line
    Connectors: 3.5mm
    Mic: No
    Lowest Power: 8MW
    Interface: 3.5mm Giled
    Cable length: 1.2M

    Accessories
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    1X Pair TFZ SERIES 1
    3X pairs of Silicone ear tips
    1X pair of double-flange silicone eatips
    1X pair of Foam ear tips
    1X pair of Ear hook
    1X Carry bag
    1X Clip

     
    Housings
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    TFZ was smart with their design. The entire lineup has a custom-ish over the ear fit.
     
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    The Series 1 is a plastic shell that comes in several different colors and designs. I received the red/blue variant. Unfortunately, the colors are mixed as compared to the industry standard. Red should be on the right and blue should be on the left. It is the opposite with this earphone. Although not a deal breaker, I’ll occasionally catch myself getting this mixed up when putting them on. Some small gold stickers come included in the package. These can be applied to the outside of the shells, making it even easier to disseminate the difference between channels and improve the appearance. I personally am not a fan of stickers and opted to not use them. Your mileage may vary.
     
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    I really like the shape and ergonomics of the housings. They have a nice universal shape that will fit just about everybody’s ears. Nozzle are average in terms of width and length. Tip rolling with these earphones is an easy and fun experience.
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
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    For a budget earphone I really like what TFZ has done with this cable. It’s a black rubber jacketed cable with some spring and virtually no memory. The Y-split is a firm rubber piece that is very adequate. A metal chin/neck slider sits flush with the Y-split when not in use.
     
    The earphones have a straight 3.5 mm gold plated plug with a metal black and gold jacketing. There is a serial number printed on the jack. One thing about the jack I’m not fond of is how the jacketing sits close to the jack and is a considerably wider, making it incompatible with many smartphone and DAPs with aftermarket cases. I was unable to use them with my LG V10 unless I removed my phone case. Strain reliefs are subtle and adequate. If handled with a reasonable amount of care, I don’t see the TFZ cable breaking any time soon.
     
    NOTE: TFZ also has introduced the S series of these earphones which offers a different silver plated cable. I haven’t heard it so I’m not sure of the sonic differences.
     
    http://penonaudio.com/TFZ-SERIES-1S%20?search=tfz
     
    Functionality
    My pair did not come with a microphone or remote. They are specifically designed for music enjoyment.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
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    The over ear fit of the TFZ series of earphones worked well for my ears. We are seeing more and more universal shells with this custom inspired shape. The way they are designed, they fill a large portion of the concha of my ear. The angled strain relief loops around my ear and are snugged into place with the chin/neck slider. Thanks to the over ear fit, microphonics are virtually eliminated. Isolation is average for a universal model.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V10 for smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or iBasso DX80 DAP/Bushmaster D14 DAC/Amp for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    At 12 Ohms, the Series 1 is a very easy to drive earphone. They can be driven with any DAP or cell phone. Their warm tilt and smooth response is better setup to work well with a more neutral sounding source. A warmer source will further emphasize their lower frequency response and make them sound slightly wooly from what I could gather.
     
    The tuning of the Series one is very forgiving with poorly recorded music and low bitrate files. There will be improvements with higher bit rate music, but it won’t be significant. The Series one has a fit and sound that makes it a great commuting earphone. The elevated bass and solid fit works great when commuting.
     
    Sound Signature
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    At first listen I wasn’t very impressed with them. They seemed to have a wooly and boomy response, and seemed overly smooth. After giving them some time and experimenting with tips and sources they began to grow on me. There’s no denying the fact that they will be considered bassy by some, and others may say that they lack high frequency presence and extension. Anyone who says this won’t necessarily be wrong in their assumption. Aside from these traits,  there is some very natural and engaging things about their sound, primarily vocals.
     
    NOTE: The entire TFZ series rocks with modern genres of music, and is one of the better budget earphones I’ve hear for this genre. I got a kick out of turning these things up with Hip Hop and Dubstep music. I was able to get the bass bumping without the treble going overboard. As I always say, don’t turn the volume up too loud for too long. I want you to be able to relate to my reviews. You won’t be able to do so if you can’t hear.
     
    Bass
    There is some very nice bass extension and depth to the Series 1 sound. Although midbass seems to be slightly more forward, I was able to thoroughly enjoy basslines from any genre of music I listened to.
     
    Midbass does have a tendency to perceptually rear its head a little too much at times, impacting lower midrange resolution. Trust me, I’ve heard other earphones that are much worse than the Series 1, and although forwards and slightly intrusive, I don’t consider it to be dealbreaker. It’s not fat, it’s “thick.” :)
     
    To my ears the perceived midbass forwardness could be remedied in one of two ways. You could EQ down the 100-300 Hz range, or raise the 4-8 kHz range. Doing either creates similar results. The idea is to create a good proportion between lower and higher frequencies.

     
    Mid-range
    Aside from a little mid-bass boom, mid-range is very natural to my ears. A warm tilt carries throughout middle frequencies and is pretty spot on from what I hear. Male vocals were solid without being overly weighted for the most part. Female vocals were a little sucked back but still very adequate. There could be a touch more detail, but texture is excellent. Overall, mid-range manages to be smooth and natural.
     
    Treble
    Series 1 has one of the more fatigue free trebles I’ve heard without being rolled off. For my ears there could be a little more presence in the 6-8 kHz range. On a positive note, this an earphone I would definitely recommend to people who are very sensitive to sibilant and harsh high frequencies. Extension is decent, but not one of their strongest attributes. I consider it to be adequate.
     
    Cymbal crashes, and pronunciations of the letters S and T tend to be slightly behind the upper mid-range.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The Series 1 has some impressive soundstage depth. A mid-bass lift makes its depth less noticeable than it actually is. Add a somewhat relaxed upper frequency presence, and the overall impression I get is that the Series 1 is average, maybe slightly above average in terms of soundstage. The response is very natural, but lacks the detail and refinement that allows me to say that imaging is elite.
     
    Comparison to the TFZ 3 and 5
    I will usually compare to similarly priced and comparable models from other brands but I feel that it would be better to figure out how these stack up to the other two in the lineup.
     
    My pair of Series 3 and Series 5 sound very similar, and their frequency response measures pretty much identically. The Series 3 is maybe just a touch warmer and bassier. All of the earphones have what I would assume are very similar, if not identical drivers.
     
    NOTE: Since receiving the Series 1, 3 and 5, TFZ has made tweaks. They now offer a Series T1S which is described to have a SPC cable and sound characteristics more like the Series 5. The Series 3 and 5 also received a face lift, getting a braided cables which claims to improve their sound.
     
    All three earphones are bassy, having a L-shaped tuning, somewhat natural and slightly warm tilted midrange and smooth treble response. There was a small measureable difference between the Series 1, and the 3 and 5. The Series 3 and 5 has a few dB increase at mid/upper-mid and treble frequencies.  
     
    The Series 3 sits in between the Series 1 and Series 5, and their tuning leans more towards the Series 5. Series 1 is the warmest, smoothest and least defined. The Series 3 has the tuning of the Series 5, but doesn’t seem to have the same refinement, detail and separation. The Series five is the same tuning as the series three, but with an overall more refined and high end sound. The difference isn’t significant and required extensive A-B testing to figure this out.

    Build quality is nearly identical. The Series 1 has a transparent shell, while the other two models have black shells with aluminum face plates. Accessories is identical on all three models.

     
    Conclusion
    At the end of reviewing the Series 1, I’m left wondering why TFZ would make a Series 3, then a more expensive Series 5 which to my ears sounds almost very similar. I was expecting a bigger variance between each model. I would have preferred a bigger variance in sound, or maybe they could have sold one earphone with different tuning filters (sold at a higher price). I assume the tweaks they made as I described in the comparison section were done to address this concern.
     
    On a positive note, I really like the “house sound” of the TFZ series. They are natural and smooth with a bass lift and impressive soundstage depth. While I find the series 3 and 5 to be slightly more refined, I was able to improve the sound of the Series 1 with an EQ adjustment (as noted above in the review). Truth be told, a little less mid-bass and a little more detail and refinement would make these the new “giant killer.”
     
    The Series 1 will make a great earphone for commuting, and you’ll catch yourself turning these things up when your top forty hits are playing through your portable device. The fit is great, and the sound signature will make them something that works great in noisy environments. I can also see these making some great earphones for the gym.
     
    When rating a product, I have to take all criteria into account. The Series 1 gets four stars for build and design, four and a half stars for fit and isolation, and four stars for sound quality. All in all, I give the Series 1 four stars. They are worthy of their asking price, and will impress many with their impressive bass and fatigue free tuning.
     
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    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      Mariusik, chavez, audio123 and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hisoundfi
      Good question. If this signature is your cup of tea and you don't plan on listening to rock and band genres, these are great. For my preference, I would stretch my budget to get the series 5, which I will be reviewing soon.
      Hisoundfi, Sep 26, 2016
    3. Decommo
      @Hisoundfi Thank you for prompt response. I do not mind strong bass but clarity is more important.. I guess that Series 5 might suit me the most based on your review.  :)
      Decommo, Sep 26, 2016
    4. ProfFalkin
      Good review.   Seems like they spent most of their asking price on the box instead of the earphones.
      ProfFalkin, Sep 27, 2016
  4. bhazard
    First time's a charm
    Written by bhazard
    Published Aug 1, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Big bass. Clear vocals, Smooth signature, Great Packaging and Accessories
    Cons - Detail, cable, midbass is a bit much at times with certain tips
    Introduction
     
    Penon Audio was one of the first Asian audio stores I visited years ago. I’ve been consistently impressed with their products and service ever since. When a seller sends you a Christmas card to thank you for being a customer, you know they care.
     
    Penon Audio provided me the TFZ Series 1 at a discount for review. I have heard that TFZ consists of members who brought about the TTPOD iems years ago, which were very good at the time. Many thanks to them for the opportunity and purchase.
     
    TFZ also has the Series 3 and Series 5 models available.
     
    About me
     
    I’m a price/performance value shopper in everything I purchase. I spend an extensive amount of time researching purchases and always look for a good value.
     
    I have also spent many years as an A/V and music enthusiast. I have owned some high end audio equipment, from amps, speakers, subs, to just about anything audio related you can think of. I eventually moved on into building my own DIY custom speakers, as I felt the value and performance of most commercial speakers were lacking. I found out through this process that you could create high end setups from equipment costing thousands less than most branded commercial setups.
     
    Since I cannot play music at 100+ decibels all day and night in an apartment complex, I started looking for similar values in the Headphone/Earphone/IEM world. In a Beats dominated setting, I was very disappointed.
     
    I then found out about some excellent headphones/IEMs at great prices being made by Asian companies that are not known of here in the US. It renewed my interest in headphones and became the basis of the Asian audio thread.
     
    My love of quality audio continues to this day, and I enjoy sharing my opinion of the gear I listen to. I have been guided toward purchasing some life altering, fantastic gear from great reviewers, and I feel if I can guide someone in the same way in which they truly appreciate what they have found, I’ve done what I wanted to accomplish.
     
    REVIEW
     
     
    Specifications
     
    1. Model Number: TFZ SERIES 1
    2. Driver: 12.5mm Titanium Crystal Dual Loop Dynamic Dual Chamber (N50)
    3. Impedance: 12ohm
    4. Sensitivity: 103dB/mW
    5. Frequency Response: 18Hz-22 kHz
    6. Style: In-Ear
    7. Plug Type: Line
    8. Connectors: 3.5mm
    9. Mic: No
    10. Lowest Power: 8MW
    11. Interface: 3.5mm Giled
    12. Cable length: 1.2M
     
     
    Accessories
     
    1. TFZ SERIES 1
    2. 3 pairs of Silicone ear tips
    3. 1 pair of double-flange silicone ear tips
    4. 1 pair of Foam ear tips
    5. 1 pair of Ear hook
    6. Carry bag
    7. Clip
     
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    When I unboxed the TFZ Series 1 for the first time, I came away impressed. The packaging is something you would find on much more expensive iems, from the abundance of accessories to the unique quotes written within and also on the IEMs.
     
    The included selection of ear tips is well chosen which include double flange and foam eartips. These are a staple of my tip swapping collection, and it is nice to see them included.
     
    The velvet like carry bag branding the TFZ logo is a nice touch, and a convenient carry case. I prefer velvet cases on less expensive iems for their ability to fit in pockets.
     
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    Housing/Fit/Isolation
     
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    TFZ offers a multitude of colors and designs for the housing which you get to choose from. Carbon Fiber, faux woodgrain, transparent, and solid color choices are amongst the variety available. For the review, I received a standard glossy black housing.
     
    The housing itself is a strong plastic with an over ear fit. It is shaped very much like most custom iems, which allowed a comfortable ear fit. Isolation was pretty standard, allowing some loud sounds through, but not too much noise.
     
    The cable was a standard plastic which I’m not too fond of, but it wasn’t necessarily bad. The 3.5mm plug has a nice, thick quality to it.
     
    Sound Review
    Testing Gear (in order of quality)
     
    LH Labs Pulse X Infinity 2.0
    LH Labs Geek Out V2+ Infinity
    ZTE Axon 7 (AKM 4490)
    Asrock Fatality amped onboard DAC/amp
     
    Music used for testing
    Devin Townsend Project, Temple of the Dog, Guns & Roses, Pearl Jam, Bassnectar, Of Montreal, Agnostic Front, Nick Jonas, Gwen Stefani, Alice in Chains, Iron Maiden, Drake, Buckethead, etc.
     
    Amplifier Needed?
     
    No
     
    Sound Signature
     
    TFZ1.jpg
     
     
    Big bass, but surprisingly competent all around. Slight mid recession with some bass bloat. Smooth. Rolled off treble.
     
    ARTA and the Vibro Veritas FR show the elevated bass levels, a peak at 2k, a diving dip to 7k, a peak at 9k, and the subsequent rolloff towards the end.
     
    Slight EQ at the peak and dip areas can “fix” the sound a bit if desired.
     
    The foam tips were used for the review and measurement, as they were the most coherent and lowered the mid bass for me.
     
    Bass
     
    Dat Bass! The highlight of the TFZ Series 1 is the deep bass available within every track. These are hip hop/EDM/Rock/Pop geared earphones with their pleasing bass tones. The bass is clear, not sloppy, but doesn’t quite reach true basshead levels (It can come close though). The newest Drake album is already bass enhanced, and the TFZ1 provides “Beats like” bass levels without drowning out vocals. Bass drums come through with force on rock tracks, a feeling which can be lost on mid-centric iems.
     
    Midrange
     
    The 2k peak gears towards guitars and male vocals which enhanced some Iron Maiden tracks by highlighting Bruce Dickinson’s trademark howl and their otherworldly guitar compositions. This peak allows the bass to be so big without muffled recession. Most music will benefit from this, but further down the mid frequency range will suffer in detail via some instruments, female vocals, ambience, etc.
     
    Treble
     
    Another peak at 9k brings forward the highs, but rolloff starts to occur from this point. Detail and resolution suffer a bit, but it also allows a non-fatiguing, smooth listen.
     
    Soundstage, Imaging, Resolution
     
    There is a surprising soundstage present with a good amount of depth. It isn’t wide, but it is still above average in the price category. The TFZ does well with imaging and placement, but doesn’t set itself apart in this area compared to similar iems. Same with its resolution, which is good but not great. The higher end TFZ models may fare better in this area.
     
    Comparisons
     
    TFZ Series 1 vs. Shozy Zero -  These two are very close in presentation. I feel the TFZ is more comfortable to wear and easier to seal, but the Zero edges the 1 in detail a bit. Both have elevated bass with a nice smooth signature, but the 2k peak of the 1 in the mids lets vocals through more. With some EQ, the Zero’s mids are easily brought up from recession however, making it slightly better for me.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    I’m impressed with TFZ. The packaging, style, custom options, and sound make a well put together audio experience. Something like this would be a gift purchase for me to others, showing them just how good these lesser known brands can be. Hopefully I can hear the 3 and 5 Series in the near future, as TFZ is now on my radar.
     
    The TFZ Series 1 can be found for purchase here:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/TFZ-SERIES-1
      B9Scrambler and audio123 like this.
    1. audio123
      great review mate.  agree with all your points!
      audio123, Aug 2, 2016
    2. Akmola Lola
      spot on review mate.. i do wish the cable is improved.. 
      Akmola Lola, Nov 21, 2016
  5. twister6
    Custom-like experience on a budget.
    Written by twister6
    Published Jun 4, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - excellent value, lots of accessories, many color/design combinations to choose from, good sound once you get mid-bass under control.
    Cons - cheap looking cable, mid-bass a bit overwhelming (but easily adjusted with EQ).

    I would like to Thank TFZ for providing Series 1 review sample in exchange for my honest opinion.
     
    Manufacturer website: http://www.tfzither.com/about.html , available for sale from Penon audio.
     
    * click on images to expand.

     
    For those who thought I completely abandoned budget IEMs, I’m back with another review from a newcomer TFZ and their debut Series 1 model.  By the time I received this sample and was ready to write the review, TFZ also released Series 3 and Series 5 models, all available from Penon.  As a matter of fact, the spec sheet for Series 1 already includes the info about Series 3 and Series 5, which makes me believe that packaging will be shared among 3 models.  So what caught my attention about TFZ, beside its budget price?
     
    I was intrigued by their slogan of “Dual Loop Dynamic Dual Chamber” design and CIEM-like shape with various faceplates and shell colors available in 11 different preconfigured combinations.  I have noticed that lately more budget earphone manufacturers are pushing the envelope by lowering the price while raising the bar of packaging presentation and unique shell design.  TFZ Series 1 (S1) is a prime example of that, and I would like to share about what I found after spending time with these new earphones.
     
    Unboxing.
     
    Gotta be honest, I didn’t expect to see a quality premium packaging on a low budget, but there it was – a sturdy carton box with a bold print of the model and the company emblem which at first I thought was just a Chinese character.  Upon closer examination you realize it’s a cool combination of three T-F-Z letters.  With a cover off, you will find high quality printed brochure and insert with a spec, an envelope with some accessories, and a plastic tray with S1 and other accessories.  The whole presentation of this plastic tray, partitioned in different sections, was impressive, and it really didn’t feel like I was unboxing a budget pair of earphones.
     
    From the initial glance, S1 faceplates really stand out with a nice smooth finish.  TFZ added an element of “customization” where you can choose from a selection of different faceplate colors, which also have different shell finish and cable color.  You can’t really customize it like a regular CIEM, but you do have close to a dozen of pre-configured color combination choices.  And as a bonus, you also get a set of cool stickers to apply to the faceplate of earpieces so you can customize it further.
     
    tfz_series1-01_zpscahz26lp.jpg   tfz_series1-02_zps8rrtx6fp.jpg
    tfz_series1-03_zpsfaealf3p.jpg   tfz_series1-04_zpslrnoq951.jpg
    tfz_series1-05_zpseyxjahgj.jpg
     
    Accessories.
     
    Furthermore, you also get a nice selection of accessories organized across pockets of the plastic tray.  The color of the accessories will correspond and match the color of the S1 cable where half of the models (with brighter colors) have a white cable and corresponding white color accessories, while the models with darker color will have black cable and black color accessories.  It’s definitely a nice customization touch.
     
    Included were a set of single flange silicone eartips (S/M/L sizes), a pair of double flange eartips (M), a pair of foam eartips (M, no brand name), a shirt clip, a pair of soft silicone earguides, and a velcro strip to organize the cable.  Since I choose a design with a teal color faceplate and a clear shell, the cable and all the accessories were matching white.  Also, included were a velvet draw string storage pouch, and a set of “tattoo” stickers which you apply to a faceplate to personalize the look which also helps in distinguishing L/R sides of the shell.
     
    I found TFZ to have a complete set of accessories with everything being quite useful, no fillers to make it look impressive.
     
    tfz_series1-06_zpskw7bkh9u.jpg   tfz_series1-07_zps1iskylru.jpg
    tfz_series1-08_zps4pu9zmzn.jpg
     
    Design.
     
    Let me start the design walkthrough by talking about the cable first.  Here I found a mix of good and bad.  I really like their 3.5mm headphone jack with a cool two tone metal housing matching the cable theme - it has white plastic spacers between TRS rings and a silver color ring around the gold color connector housing.  The models with a black cable will have black spacer rings and a black instead of a silver color ring on the connector housing.  Also, there was a nice short strain relief, and I cool golden metal cable cinch.  This was a good part.  The bad part – they used an unimpressive rubber cable jacket and rubber y-splitter without any strain relief.  The rubber finish of the cable feels very cheap, reminding me of TTPOD T1S cable (and stickers from T2 set), and I wish there would have been some kind of a strain relief on the splitter side.
     
    Going up to earpieces, you do see a nice strain relief boot with a proper L/R marking and ID bump on the Left side, always a plus for me when I’m reaching for headphones late in the evening while in bed and the lights are out.  There is no other marking on the faceplate or inside of the shell, but you can use the included stickers to customize the look which also helps to distinguish left and right earpiece sides.
     
    The shell itself has a nice ergonomic design that reminds me of CIEM “universal” shape.  It’s all plastic but still feels solid.  You can clearly see that earpiece is made of two parts glued together since there is a shallow notch around the faceplate piece.  In the review model I received, the shell was transparent which allowed me to see the dynamic driver inside, and also there is a vent right across it in the shell.  Nozzle is short, but thanks to a decent lip at the tip – it securely holds the longer stem eartips.  You will also find a metal mesh inside of the nozzle, protecting the driver from earwax accumulation.
     
    Even so I was pleased with an overall ergonomics and the wire-up cable fit (the only way to wear these), the clear transparent shell revealed a sloppy workmanship with some glue spatters inside.  It's definitely not a show stopper and the darker or the solid color shell will not even reveal this, but I still want to point it out since it's visible in review pictures.  But overall, just like with accessories and unboxing, I was pleased with a design considering $39 price tag.
     
    tfz_series1-13_zpsr97o1alc.jpg   tfz_series1-14_zps8bpj0baf.jpg
    tfz_series1-15_zpsoy2i64j1.jpg   tfz_series1-16_zpsymlqdrlf.jpg
    tfz_series1-17_zpst30f4cna.jpg   tfz_series1-18_zpszsu7fqwu.jpg
     
    Cable.
     
    tfz_series1-09_zpss8slss3z.jpg   tfz_series1-10_zpsiy6wmb3q.jpg
    tfz_series1-11_zps7bora6ma.jpg   tfz_series1-12_zps1otcwx0s.jpg
     
    The fit.
     
    tfz_series1-20_zpsvwihh3w4.jpg
     
    Sound analysis.
     
    TFZ refers to their S1 model as “make every song Ambilight, beautiful like the stars”.  Well, it’s not exactly “Ambilight” out of the box and even after 100hrs of burn in, not until you cut 3-4 dBs around 60Hz to reduce the mid-bass hump.  The good news, S1 responds well to EQ and the adjustment I applied made a real difference to turn them into a nicely balanced IEMs.  But to analyze the original sound, I disabled the EQ "fix".
     
    S1 has a distinct L-shape signature with a very noticeable mid-bass hump.  Even though this hump gets in the way of the rest of the spectrum, you can still hear a lot of clarity and details coming from mids and treble. This mid-bass boost almost feels like a tuning mistake, and once I fixed it by applying the EQ - S1 turned into a balanced smooth detailed gem.  Don’t expect a high level of resolution or transparency, or super detailed sound.  You have to be realistic this is still a budget single dynamic driver earphone.  But it shaped up to be rather smooth and detailed.
     
    Despite having a strong mid-bass boost, the sub-bass has a nice textured rumble, and the mid-bass has an average speed and a very good control without spilling into lower mids.  Lower mids have an average thickness which contributes to a full natural body of the sound, and upper mids have a good level of clarity and a good level of detail retrieval.  I actually found both female and male vocals to sound organic and natural.  Treble has a good definition and clarity, not too crunchy or bright, with a very modest airiness and just an ok extension.
     
    Soundstage has an average width with above the average depth/height.  I also found an average layering and separation, though nothing is congested and instruments/vocals are easy to distinguish.  Imaging is limited by an average width of soundstage, but it still has a convincing placement of sounds.
     
    tfz_series1-19_zps8fhs4oy6.jpg
     
    Comparison.
     
    S1 vs ATH-IM50 – both have a very similar soundstage expansion, maybe with IM50 width being a touch wider.  Very similar sub-bass extension and rumble as well, while S1 mid-bass is higher in quantity, and overall S1 bass is a little tighter and has more control.  There is definitely a better balance between sub-bass and mid-bass in IM50, while S1 mid-bass is dominating (until you use EQ).  S1 lower mids are a little leaner while upper mids are a little smoother in comparison to IM50 having a little more body in lower mids and slightly more revealing upper mids.  Treble is very similar, though IM50 has a touch more airiness.
     
    S1 vs VSonic VSD3S – both have a very similar soundstage expansion in all 3 directions.  Very similar sub-bass extensions and rumble as well, while S1 mid-bass has a little more mid-bass impact.  VSD3S lower mids have more body and a little bit thicker in comparison to S1, while upper mids are very similar.  Treble is also similar, though VSD3S has a little better definition.
     
    S1 vs TTPOD T1E – T1E has a little wider soundstage while depth/height is the same.  T1E has deeper sub-bass extension and a touch less sub-bass quantity.  T1E sub and mid bass are better balanced in comparison to S1 having a more dominating mid-bass hump.  S1 and T1E lower mids are similar, while upper mids in S1 are smoother and sound more natural and more organic in comparison to T1E which has brighter/harsher upper mids.  T1E treble is also brighter, while S1 is smoother in comparison.
     
    Conclusion.
     
    I know that many people look into budget Chinese releases to find another giant killer, but I think with TFZ S1 (though Series 3 and 5 could be different) in terms of sound tuning it's priced right about where it should be.  What I'm noticing now, the budget/DIY market of Chinese giant killers moved to $100-$300 price range with multi-BA hybrids that challenge $1k premium brand IEMs/CIEMs.  But with S1 - the packaging, the ergonomics of the shell, and the selection of different faceplate/shell colors is where it shows its superiority and punches way above its price.  With an exception of a cheap looking rubbery cable, it's very impressive how you can select among 11 different faceplate/shell/cable combinations and personalize it further with cool tattoo stickers.  Regarding the sound tuning, as I mentioned already, 3-4dB reduction around 60Hz makes sound balanced and very clear and smooth, the way how I would expect it out of the box, though it's obviously a subjective opinion.  But at the same time, those who would like more punch in their low end will enjoy an instant bass gratification without a need for EQ.  For others, S1 responds very well to EQ adjustment, and will also draw attention from your peers asking if you got a new CIEM :wink:
    1. View previous replies...
    2. twister6
      @Ahmad313 : sorry, don't have S3 or S5, too many other reviews in a queue :frowning2: 
      twister6, Jun 7, 2016
    3. Podster
      Great review T Wister, based on what I'm hearing out of mine you are spot on:)
      Podster, Jun 8, 2016
    4. TwinACStacks
      Great review as always twister!!!
      TwinACStacks, Jul 10, 2016
  6. TwinACStacks
    TFZ Series One Bass Head Heaven
    Written by TwinACStacks
    Published May 29, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - HUGE BASS, Pleasant non-fatiguing sound signature, somewhat dark with decent detail
    Cons - somewhat bloated bass on some material, Mids could use more detail and be moved forward a bit as well as the treble.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2016-New-Original-TFZ-SERIES-1-Dual-Chamber-In-Ear-Earphone-Hi-fi-headphones-Custom-In/32653196494.html?spm=2114.01020208.3.76.HQlrel&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_0,searchweb201602_3_10037_10033_507_10032_10020_10017_10021_10022_10009_10008_9999_10018_10019_101,searchweb201603_6&btsid=fba77afc-a6df-4288-865a-d3020f1b2d48
     
     
     
    Preamble:
    I was taken by surprise when these showed up at my Door un-announced. Apparently I was standing there holding a Delta test pair of the TFZ Series One for review. I vaguely  remember a mention of this in passing conversation, now that I come to think of it.
     
     
     
    Disclaimer: I am a hobbyist only. I am NOT affiliated with any sellers or manufacturers for items that may be used in my review, nor at this time am I provided with any samples for endorsement or reviews. I purchase all of my own gear. I do However, post links to the particular individual seller from whom I have made my purchase of the item under review. These reviews reflect my personal opinions of the performance and general information about the item, and should not be used as a basis for any purchase. As I am sensitive to higher frequencies, your impressions may also vary from my own. I will try to offer comparisons as long as I have something similar both in price and construction to compare. If however at any time I am provided a sample for review, I will disclose this fact immediately on an additional disclaimer.
    Please also note an absence of graphs unless they are included in the Seller's links. Although they are a great tool for determining what kind of EQ or other characteristics a particular IEM or Headphone should have,  alas all too often my own experience upon listening with my ears, tells me something different. Sometimes radically so. I may be correct I might not be, sound quality is VERY subjective at best. Therefore I will leave the scientific data, analysis and comparisons to more qualified and experienced reviewers.
     
    ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER:  I was provided a Pre-production “Delta” Pair in Exchange for my Input and Review by Easy Earhones
     
     
     
     
    Here is what came in the Box:
    TFZ2012.jpg
     
     
     
    Earhooks, Shirtclip, 1 pair of Dual Flange Tips, One red Core Hybrid tips and 3 sizes Generic Black Rubber tips.
    TFZ2013.jpg
     
     
     
     
    I almost forgot the Carrying Pouch that Bears the TFZ LOGO which is absent from the Earphone Faceplate:
    TFZ2006.jpg
     
     
     
     
    TFZ2008.jpg
     
     
     
    Nicely Done "Y" with slider and Plug:
    TFZ2009.jpg
     
     
     
    Look: No Brand Name
    TFZ2010.jpg
     
     
     
     
    This is how I knew what it was:
    LFZ006.jpg
     
     
     
    The Only Markings on the body:
    LFZ002.jpg
     
     
     
    Specifications:  They are available using the link to the seller(s) posted at the top of the page
     
     
     
    Construction: 
     
     
    Typical Plastic molded to fit ear kidney bean shaped in Plain Black, no markings on Face. Nicely done rubber standoffs which are angled to provide easy fit for over ear wear. The cables are thin-ish but sturdy Teflon-coated wire. They travel down to an oversized “Y” splitter with Metal accent Slider. I’m assuming this design is intentional to provide some extra weight when wearing these over-ear without the provided earhooks, which should work as the cable is quite supple. The cable then travels down to a 3.5 Gold plated Plug with an oversized Body of matching Metal/ Black finish with the Y splitter. Rather nicely done and without any markings this particular pair looks to be quite “Stealthy”.  I have no Idea what size the single Dynamic driver is, only that it is BIG and apparently has some type of Dual Chamber configuration internally. Yes and FINALLY someone made a nozzle length that will provide deep enough insertion for a Really good tight Seal. Kudos to the designer.
     
     
     
    Source Details:  For this particular review I used my Rockboxed  XDuoo X3 (very much improved sound quality) both amped and un-amped through a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc portable amp and a Schiit Audio Vali headphone amp. Line out from source to both amps. My Files are all at Least 320kbps to 96khz high resolution files. I used this source in all comparisons. Note that there were no appreciable differences noted in sound quality using the 2 different amp sources.
     
     
     
    Source Material:
    The following is a list of songs that I used in this review. Some I use all the time, some less frequently. They all contain some type of frequency, Detail, or EQ that make them suitable for reference.
     
    Christina Novelli -- Concrete Angel (Long Version)
    Johnny Lang --- Red Light
    Robert Plant --- Far Post
    Molly Bancroft – Silence (Short version)
    Ai Takekawa – Beyond the Moon (Long Version)
    Vivaldi – Four Seasons (Spring and Summer)
    John Bryson --- Let the Pipes play (full pipe organ album 1st Cut)
    Keb Mo’ --- Everything I need
    T REX --- Electric Warrior ( the ENTIRE freakin’ Album!!!)
     
     
     
     
    General Sound Quality:
     The TFZ Series One is a Strange animal. Probably the first over-ear of this type that I feel is geared towards Bassheads and Bass-Heavy Genre’ music such as Rock, EDM, and Trance. Absolutely “L” shaped EQ it lacks some definition in The Mids, it’s better on male Vocals than Female and electric guitar work is quite good. There is Treble but it takes a backseat to the Bass and Lower mids. Surprisingly the Soundstage is quite large and as these are quite efficient IEMs they are quite Loud at a given volume setting in comparison to similar IEMs. You simply aren’t going to get the Placement and layering with these as some other more articulate 'phones can provide, BUT:  All in All I can ROCK out with these, they are quite fun. This Pretty much Explains why I would use something as Bass-Heavy as Electric Warrior By T Rex, doesn’t it? If you got Bass you might as well exploit it.
     
     
    Bass:
    Bass is several Kilometers north of neutral and has a slight amount of Bloat evident on some material but is still punchy, and forward with some bleed over into the lower Mids.
     
     
    Mids:
    The midrange is fairly thick favoring male vocals and guitar work over higher mids. It does take a backseat to the Bass but not SO FAR that it is obscured.
     
     
    Treble:
    The Highs aren’t harsh, they are rolled off. The treble may lack for some, but it's not recessed out totally it’s like the midrange it takes a backseat to the Bass. Due to this it gives the impression of lacking detail and darkness. But on the plus side it’s non-fatiguing from the treble if you don’t die from Low Frequency exposure.
     
     
     
    Comparisons:
    Well what I’m going to compare it to is the 2016 Easy UEs Custom. This should be simple enough. The TFZ is everything the UEs Custom is not. It’s bass Heavy and while the UEs custom has great Bass and extension, it pales to the Low end on these. The UEs Mids are simply stunning particularly on Female Vocals whereas the TFZ Mids are thicker and more recessed. The UEs because of it’s crossover network has a very unique and sneaky Treble which is quite forward when it’s in the material. The TFZ’s highs are rolled off before they could even begin to get spikey, peaky or sibilant. The soundstages although similar in width, the detail and layering, depth, and instrument placement EASILY goes to the more articulate UEs.
     
     
     
    HOWEVER, despite the TFZ's shortcomings, I like both of these earphones. Again Kind of Polar opposites. I like the more refined Nature of the UES but I Love the Thumping A** Bass of the TFZ just as much. It makes me smile and remember my Rock and Roll days.
     
     
     
    Conclusion:
    Hey they aren’t “Audiophile”. So What? If you are a Rock and roller, Metalhead, EDM or Trancer I think you need to try these Bad Boys….
     
    They just might make you Croon beneath the Be-Bop Moon.
     
     
     
    Thank You so much Easy for letting me Participate in this Delta Test.
      crabdog, Tonx and Zuetsu like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. twister6
      Reduce by about 3dB @ 60Hz to balance out FR, this one definitely has some potential, and the final production packaging looks very pro :wink:
      twister6, May 29, 2016
    3. jhustinel
      Could you please make a comparison review with the TTPOD T1E. :)
      jhustinel, Jun 9, 2016
    4. Zuetsu
      I'm looking for a basshead IEM. Do these have more bass than TK12/13? 
      Zuetsu, Jul 20, 2016

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