<b>Description</b><br /> <ul> <li>SERIES 2 equipped with self-divided 12mm dual magnetic circuit graphene dynamic driver, N52 high-strength magnets, titanium-plated driver and graphene diaphragm, two independent acoustic cavities, bringing high...

TFZ SERIES 2

Rating:
3.83333/5,
  • Description
    • SERIES 2 equipped with self-divided 12mm dual magnetic circuit graphene dynamic driver, N52 high-strength magnets, titanium-plated driver and graphene diaphragm, two independent acoustic cavities, bringing high density thick atmosphere and unimaginable acoustic performance.
    • Not only provide ultra-high resolution and grand sound field, in the design process and manufacturing quality, are leaps to enhance.
    • Suitable for multi-style sound quality tracks, especially vocal interpretation and musical instruments.
    • Ultra-high resolution, details are divided into cents.
    • Wide sound field, full of immersion
    • Full energy, thick density, high degree of real reduction
    • 16ohm 110dB sensitivity, the phone can be easily driven, get the perfect sound, with professional players, feel better and better.
    • Frequency response curve to HI-RES acoustic standards.
    • 0.78MM two-pin detachable wire (oxygen-free copper-plated silver wire 4 shares 100 core and 200D bulletproof wire).
    Specification
    • Driver;12mm dual magnetic circuit graphene driver
    • Impedance: 16ohm
    • Sensitivity: 105db/mw
    • Frequency response: 5hz-40khz
    • Lowest power: 8MW
    • Connector: 2pin 0.78mm
    • Plug: 3.5mm
    • Cable :1.2m detachable cable
    Package
    • TFZ series 2
    • 7 pairs of eartips
    • Pouch

Recent Reviews

  1. B9Scrambler
    TFZ Series 2: And another!
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Feb 5, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Clarity and detail - Price for performance - Ergonomics
    Cons - Weak glue holding shells together - Treble will undoubtedly be too aggressive for some
    Greetings!

    Last year TFZ went all-out releasing model after model, from the Exclusive lineup to new Series models that filled in the gaps between the 1, 3, and 5. Today we're checking out the Series 2.

    At 45 USD, the Series 2 is a fairly inexpensive earphone. Like most of TFZ's current lineup, they use decently large 12 mm dual magnet, graphene diaphragm dynamic drivers with strong, N52 magnets. Their low impedance and high sensitivity make them perfect for pairing with basic mobile devices, and their removable 2-pin cables give them that extra added bit of durability and confidence to use them as a daily driver.

    I've really enjoyed what TFZ has put out within the last year, and the Series 2 is no exception. Let's check out why.

    DSC02604.JPG

    Disclaimer:

    The Series 2 was provided free of charge for the purposes of a fair and impartial review. The thoughts here are my own and are not representative of TFZ, Penon Audio, or any other entity. There is no financial incentive for writing this review. The Series 2 currently retails for 45.00 USD over on Penon Audio; https://penonaudio.com/tfz-series-2.html

    Source:

    For at home use the Series 2 was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, HiFi E.T. MA8, F.Audio S1, or Shanling M1, all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort. Through the S1 there was some noticeable hissing, not unexpected given that player is intended to be used with higher impedance, lower sensitivity devices.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, MacaW GT600s, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Specifications:
    • Sensitivity: 105dB / mW
    • Impedance: 16 ohm
    • Frequency response: 5-40kHz
    DSC02589.JPG DSC02590.JPG DSC02592.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The Series 2's packaging is a nice take on the Exclusive Series' packaging with the same, elongated shape. The exterior cardboard is a reflective chrome silver with contact information for getting in touch with TFZ, The Fragrent Zither, printed on the back. The transparent, plastic lid shows off the ear pieces and some of the same, odd translations found on other TFZ packaging; “Make every song ambilight” and “Beautiful like the stars”. Ambilight is a technology Philips uses for some of the flat-screen T.Vs.

    Removing the lid and pulling out the insert the ear pieces are contained within reveals the cable tucked away inside, neatly wrapped with a Velcro cable tie. In the chromed cardboard box below you find the product manual, a 12 month warranty card, and all the accessories. In all you get;
    • Series 2 earphones
    • 0.78mm two-pin detachable cable (OFC, silver-coated)
    • Faux-leather carrying bag
    • Shirt clip
    • Single-flange, narrow bore silicone tips (s/m/l)
    • Single-flange, wide bore silicone tips (s/m(x2)/l)
    The omission of a set of foams tips is a bit of an oversight, just as it was with the Exclusive 1. The Series 2 is a brighter leaning earphone and foam tips would help those who are sensitive to treble. Other than that, the packaging is attractive, the accessories plentiful, and it's all of pretty good quality.

    Build, Comfort, and Isolation;

    The Series 2's housings are quite large but are also very light and ergonomic. That lightness comes at a cost, however. The plastic feels less dense than that used on the rest of TFZ's lineup, save for the Exclusive 1. They don't feel cheap or delicate, but they do feel like they're missing something. It also doesn't help that I was very easily able to pull off the rear faceplate, simply prying it off with my fingernail. The glue holding it on is pretty weak. Good for modders I suppose since they're pretty straightforward to disassemble. Since the entirety of the shell is transparent, you can see all the inner workings which includes a metal mesh under the rear faceplate. It doesn't do anything, but it looks neat.

    The cable is not the same as that found on every other TFZ I own. It has a very loose braid and is just a touch thicker. It is very flexible, decently resistant to tangling, and uses the same uber-chunky jack and y-split, neither of which I am particularly fond of. The built-in ear guides do a great job of keeping the cable behind the ear, and cable noise is minimal. Overall a pretty nice cable. Better than many you'll find at this price range, and in some ways nicer than that used on TFZ's pricier models.

    Once in place, the Series 2 is extremely comfy. I found this housing nice on the King, but ditching all the extra weight that model carries, just as they did with the My Love II, works wonders. It doesn't quite disappear since it's quite large, but it doesn't tug or pull at your ears. The great fit is helped along by the preformed ear guides and the fact the ear pieces pretty much completely fill your outer ear, so once they're in place there is little room to move around and lose a seal.

    Isolation is sub-par. The well-ventilated, all-plastic housings let in a lot of outside noise and leak a fair bit too, pending you're listening at unhealthy volumes of course. I consider them about average to slightly below for a ventilated, dynamic-based earphone; I can hear myself type, hold conversations with others around me, hear cars on the road outside my office, etc. These would probably not be the best choice for commuting if using the stock tips. Picking up some foam tips would definitely help with isolation and are worth looking into since they're a cheap way to change/improve some aspects of any earphone.

    DSC02595.JPG DSC02597.JPG DSC02600.JPG

    Sound:

    Tips: The preinstalled wide bore tips provide a sound lightly tilted towards the treble that I can see many finding bright. The narrow bore tips help soften the treble response slightly and thicken mid-bass response.

    **Since the Series 2 sounds so similar to the My Love II, I have re purposed that review's sound section with mild changes to reflect the Series 2's presentation. The Series 2 is slightly brighter, has a touch less sub-bass, and isn't quite a smooth overall. These difference are minor, but together give the My Love II a noticeable edge.**

    Like other TFZ's I've heard, the my Series 2's sound is on the brighter side with well-extended, vibrant treble. It's presentation is more silky and less tiring than what I've come to expect from the brand, while still offering up loads of detail, though not quite a smooth as the My Love II. The electronic shrieks and shrill scratching during the opening and throughout the rest of The Chemical Brothers epic “Escape Velocity” are rife with texture and edginess, but are not painful to ensure. The cymbal work on the live recording of King Crimson's “Cat Food” off their The Great Deceiver compilation sounds natural and engaging with just the right amount of shimmer and decay.

    My positive impressions carry on down to the mid-range where I have yet to be disappointed by a TFZ. The Series 2's midrange is just a nice with music as it is with vocal-only pieces like podcasts. Upper mids and female vocals are a touch thin as evident when running through Jessie J's “Bang Bang” or Lenzman's “Open Page (Feat. Riya). Things thicken up heading into the lower mids where Paul William's voice on Daft Punk's “Touch” has an adequate amount of weight heft to it. The same can be said for the stringed instruments and horns throughout the rest of the track. Pianos still seem to lack the bite I prefer, however.

    The Series 2 won't ever be considered bass light, though I doubt they'd be considered bass-head material either. They have a hefty low end boost with a good focus on sub-bass that really lets them rumble, but they don't push air quite as well as BGVP's DM5 for example. This is evident on Ephixa's “Dubstep Killed Rock n' Roll” whose deep sub-bass lines are clearly felt throughout the length of the track. Bass guitars also sound hefty and well-textured as found on “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. Mid-bass has some nice kick and to it as well. If you like you bass boosted but not overwhelming and with some visceral feedback, these should satisfy nicely.

    Like other TFZs the Series 2 has a solid sound stage with an open, airy feel to it. It's not quite a deep as the My Love II, though it addresses the sound stage qualms I had with the similarly priced, and sounding, Exclusive 1. Imaging is crisp and fairly, smoothly shuttling effects from channel to channel. Songs are well layered with great separation letting you hear each aspect clearly. This is helped along by a solid level of detail retrieval throughout the entire range, though it falls short of what you can get out of the Exclusive 5 and King models.

    DSC02601.JPG DSC02602.JPG DSC02606.JPG

    Select Comparisons:

    TFZ Exclusive 1 (42.90 USD): The Series 2 feels like a direct side grade to the Excl. 1, but with a larger shell and some light improvements. The differences in ergonomics are significant. I personally find the smaller, even lighter shells of the 1 more comfortable, though the Series 2 is more stable given they fill the entirety of my outer ear. They share the same bright and bassy signature but the Series 2 feels larger and more open with greater width and depth to their sound. Other than that, listening to the two back-to-back the differences are minimal at most.

    Auglamour RT-1 (55.00 USD): The RT-1 is a very unique looking earphone as a result of it's stained-glass influenced exterior shell. Overall fit and shape is similar to that of the Series 2, and as a result I find them equally comfortable. The RT-1 isolates significantly better as a result of a deeper insertion and ventless design but unlike the Series 2, it suffers from debilitating driver flex. The RT-1 feels like a more expensive product with more dense plastics and aluminum being used on the backplate. The Series 2's cable is significantly better. It is more flexible, uses preformed guides instead of memory wire, and is properly relieved. Cable noise is less too.

    Both use graphene coated diaphragms on their dynamic drivers, though the RT-1's is smaller at 10mm and is accompanied by a balanced armature to round out the signature. The RT-1's bass presence is about as prominent as the Series 2's however it's mid-range and treble and notable dialed back. As a result the RT-1 comes across much darker and bassier, with it's mid-bass hump being much more noticeable. The Series 2's more energetic lively treble and slightly thinner presentation support it's larger, more airy sound stage. Detail and clarity is similarly good, though less noticeable on the RT-1 until you up the volume to counter the low end. I personally think they perform on a similar level, though I lean towards the Series 2's presentation which comes across more balanced at lower volumes. You won't be struggling to pick up micro-details whereas on the RT-1, without sufficient volume the low end is a bit overpowering.

    Final Thoughts:

    Like the Exclusive 1, the Series 2 gives you a good idea of what you're going to get from the more expensive TFZ models. They look nice, are very comfortable as a result of their curvaceous, form-fitting shells, and they definitely excite with a vibrant signature that doesn't make many trade offs in terms of treble, mid-range, and bass balance. It's presentation isn't quite as refined and it's materials not as premium as others in the class, but for the 45 USD asking price you can't complain too much.

    If you're looking for a solid all-rounder and don't want to spend a ton, nor go with a lesser known Chinese brand, the Series 2 is well worth a look.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)

    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)

    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)

    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)

    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)

    Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)

    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)

    Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)

    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)

    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)

    The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)

    Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)

    Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)

    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)

    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)

    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)

    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)

    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)

    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)

    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
  2. HiFiChris
    Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Nov 20, 2017
    2.5/5,
    Pros - •available in many different, attractive colours and designs
    •good technical performance
    •nice implementation of the sub-bass elevation
    •replaceable cables (2-pin)
    Cons - •plastic shells appear rather thin
    •treble appears rather edgy
    •midrange timbre too much on the thin side to be realistic
    Preamble:

    Originally posted on my mixed content German and English audio review site, the "Kopfhörer-Lounge", here comes my re-post of my review of the TFZ Series 2 in-ear, an affordable single dynamic driver model that is available in many different, attractive colours.


    Introduction:

    Truth to be told, TFZ, “The Fragrant Zither” (http://www.tfzither.com/), is a company I already stumbled across but don’t know much about. What I know is that they are an Asian company located in Shenzhen, China, and that were founded not too long ago – there just isn’t too much info about TFZ available on the internet even though many of their in-ears have already been covered in various reviews. What I heard is that TFZ consists of some members who were involved in the TTPod in-ear brand, but I am not sure if this is just a myth or actually true.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway – TFZ offers a rather broad range of dynamic driver in-ears, ranging from more entry-level-geared models in the low two-digit dollar range, to more ambitious products in the three-digit price range.

    What really grabbed my attention about the Series 2 (and basically most of TFZ’s models although before this day, my interest in them was only halfway there) was a) their rather unique (although, at least in my case, not that easily immediately recognisable as TFZ without seeing the logos) shell design despite using mass production universal fit shells and b) the amount of colours that are available and easily exceed what almost all universal fit in-ear makers offer. So when I saw the Series 2 being available in “006 Transparent Green” with a mesh pattern on the faceplate, my interest was immediately there and I was very interested in reviewing that particular in-ear that retails for $45 on Penon Audio. What I didn’t realise immediately is that the in-ears have got detachable cables and are using 0.78 mm 2-pin connectors, which is extremely nice to see in this price range.


    What the TFZ Series 2 sounds like, if it can do more than just being beautiful, and how it compares to the TTPod T1 (non-E) and final E3000 is to be found out in this very review.


    Before I go on, I would like to thank TFZ and Penon Audio for making this review happen and for arranging a sample of the Series 2 to be sent to me at no cost. Nonetheless, as usual, my words will remain true, unbiased, honest, and I was not given any guidelines or requirements for the review, no matter how it would turn out.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: $45 (https://penonaudio.com/TFZ-SERIES-2)
    Type: In-Ear
    Drivers per Side: 1
    Type of Driver: dynamic; dual voice coil 12 mm graphene driver
    Impedance: 16 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW
    Cable: 1.2 m, detachable (2-Pin)
    Available Colours: 9


    Delivery Content:

    In-Ears, cable, shirt clip, carrying pouch, three pairs of narrow bore silicone tips, four pairs of wide bore silicone tips.

    [​IMG]


    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    Rather unique is that the Series 2 in-ears are offered in different designs and colours – which alone isn’t all that unique since many manufacturers offer two or three different colours, however TFZ’s Series 2 in-ears are available in no less than 9 different colours. Since their shells are not handmade but injection-moulded, this also means that they are immediately available unlike customisable universal fit in-ears that are manufactured identically as custom-moulded models. This of course also means that the TFZ models are not further customisable unlike those handmade customisable universal fit in-ears from companies such as NocturnaL Audio or Eternal Melody, two companies whose products are however also in a totally different performance as well as price class, nonetheless 9 different colours to choose from is quite a lot for an in-ear with mass-manufactured universal fit shells.

    What really grabbed my interest was “006 Transparent Green”, the colour that I have right here, and it looks great together with the outer vent’s golden rim and the silver metal mesh.

    While the colour and design of the shells are really nice, build quality is only about average because the shells are made of rather thin plastic.

    [​IMG]

    Extremely nice given the price category the Series 2 is in is that its cables are replaceable and that it is using the common 2-pin standard. And the included cable really is nice – it consists of four twisted conductors wherefore it is very flexible and soft. It’s not unlike my TTPod T1 (non-E)’s cable, however with twisted conductors. What it however lacks is a chin-slider.


    Comfort, Isolation:

    The shells are ergonomically shaped and should therefore provide a good fit for most people, myself included.

    The in-ears are supposed to be worn with the cable around the ears which improves fit, ergonomics and provides better security.
    The cable has got ear guides that however consist of simple and flexible silicone tubes that are ergonomically shaped, adjust to one’s ears and lack memory wire.

    Noise isolation is a bit better than average.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were the iBasso DX200 (AMP2 module) and Cowon Plenue 2.

    I only used the included tips for listening.

    Frequency response measurements can be found here: frequency-response.blogspot.com

    What slightly surprised me about the sample I received, in a very positive way, was its extremely good channel matching with a deviation of less than 0.3 dB (not +/-, but in total!) per side from 20 to 20 kHz, which is something that only very rarely occurs. Maybe a sign for really good acoustic quality control and consistency at TFZ?


    Tonality:

    The narrow bore tips will basically have a slightly splashier upper treble response. Measurements of the difference between the two included types of silicone tips can be found here: http://frequency-response.blogspot.com/2017/11/tfz-series-2-frequency-response.html

    The following observations were done using the included wide bore tips.


    Well, the Series 2 follows a tuning that is quite commonly found among many Asian dynamic driver and hybrid in-ears, since it follows a W-shape with an elevated sub-bass, bright and highlighted upper mids, and an emphasised upper treble. In case of the TFZ, while the implementation of the bass emphasis on its own is done tremendously well, the company might have gone just a little overboard with the upper midrange and treble.

    Starting with the good thing, regarded on its own, the bass, that is implemented really well: it doesn’t start climbing before 550 Hz, and then climbs down with a quite slow and gradual increase, peaking at 30 Hz with an emphasis of around 10 or 14 dB compared to an in-ear that is diffuse-field neutral in the bass, such as the Etymotic ER-4S/SR, depending on whether the inner vent is fully open or blocked, which will ultimately depend on one’s individual ear anatomy.

    So yes, what you get is a pretty perfect sub-bass elevation that gets along without any bloom, added warmth or even the tiniest bit of bloat.

    While a slowly, gradually increasing bass emphasis that peaks in the sub-bass, as found in the TFZ Series 2, is generally desirable, a more traditional and warm midbass hump with a warm fundamental range and lower midrange would have been the more harmonious and pleasant implementation for this in-ear since its midrange unfortunately lacks some countervailing warmth.

    Moving on to the midrange, what we find is a quite thin and rather artificial presentation with a boosted upper midrange that makes male vocals lack body and appear on the thinner side, while female vocals tend to be slightly shrill at times and thin as well. Remember my comment about the bass right above? Yeah, the Series 2 unfortunately lacks some warmth to make up for the upper midrange elevation.

    An upper midrange elevation, if done tastefully, can emphasise clarity, air and female vocals, but here it is a bit too much and even surpasses the Shozy x AAW Hibiki’s midrange brightness to some degree, leading to a quite artificial and thin midrange presentation.

    In-ears such as the UPQ Q-music QE80 (Fidue A83 OEM), iBasso IT03 or Echobox Finder X1, just to name three examples, show how a bright midrange and treble tuning can be done rather well, but no, in case of the TFZ it is just a bit too much in the upper mids, skewing the timbre and vocal balance to a degree that comes across as quite unnatural and thin.

    From 1 to 10 kHz, level climbs almost continuously, with definitely too much energy between 3 and 5 kHz to create a realistic midrange, only a slight dip around 6 kHz that is definitely too mild to generate headroom for the elevation(s), and a bright 9 to 10 kHz upper treble with a super treble extension past 10 kHz that is bright as well. Nope, what’s missing here is definitely a dip in the middle highs to create headroom for the brightness.

    While the gradually increasing upper midrange to upper treble emphasis is even wherefore one won’t find any sudden edgy peaks, the treble comes across as a bit too hard and also somewhat edgy. Cymbals (and other instruments such as pianos and violins) by the way don’t sound like cymbals either but appear more like some (badly done) electronically generated stuff.


    This sort of tuning can definitely work with some slower to moderately fast acoustic recordings without any vocals and, depending on tuning preferences, K- and J-Pop, however fast tracks come across as a bit hard and edgy (although not to the degree of being unpleasant) and anything with vocals sounds unnaturally thin and artificial wherefore the Series 2 loses quite some points in the midrange timbre rating and doesn’t sound very coherent.

    Sure, if the Equalizer is not your enemy, then this sort of tuning can be “naturalised” quite easily, but why deal with it in the first place (that would probably also require being stuck with only one device that has got a precise enough EQ) when there are several other in-ears with a more natural and realistic tuning?

    Resolution:

    Detail retrieval on the other hand is where the TFZ doesn’t suck – I probably kind of wish that it would so that I could subjectively fully hate it, but this not the case while its tuning is objectively too thin and artificial in the midrange anyway.

    Starting once again with the bass, the Series 2 surprises the listener with a nicely nimble, quick, tight and well-controlled bass response with sub-bass notes that are textured well. Yup, the lows are definitely a strong point of this in-ear and among the better that is available at this price.

    Solely those who are expecting a soft and/or layered and visceral bottom-end presentation might be disappointed.

    Speech intelligibility and midrange resolution are good for the price and don’t leave anything left to be desired.

    Not the same can be said about the treble unfortunately, since while it is adequately detailed and separated for the price, it just lacks the softness and ultimate resolution to really pull of this emphasis. It is just a bit too hard and also a bit edgy to fit to the lean upper-end implementation.

    Soundstage:

    The spatial presentation doesn’t really stand out, nor is it bad in any way.

    The soundstage appears to be quite circular, with quite good openness for a semi-open dynamic driver in-ear while it doesn’t really leave the base of my head by much.

    Layering, separation and placement of instruments are appropriate for the price – while they aren’t any bad and surpass some models, most higher-priced in-ears perform better in this regard, as it could be expected anyway.

    [​IMG]

    ---------

    In Comparison with other In-Ears:

    I used the Series 2 with the largest included wide bore silicone tips for the following comparisons.

    TTPod T1 (Non-E):

    The T1 rolls somewhat off towards the sub-bass, however it has what the TFZ lacks in the lows: countervailing warmth and fullness in the root (fundamental range).
    When it comes to midrange, despite also being slightly boosted in the upper mids/lower treble, the TTPod features the much more mature, even and natural implementation, which also goes for the treble in general that is implemented considerably more tastefully and naturally, despite being slightly too bright around 10 kHz. Either way, the T1 reproduces instruments a good bit more realistically and is definitely more coherent when it comes to tuning.

    The TFZ has got the slightly cleaner treble separation whereas the T1 has got the slightly higher midrange resolution, but otherwise they are pretty similar in terms of details and bass quality.

    In terms of soundstage, the T1 has got a little more width while depth is about comparable. Separation is slightly cleaner on the Series 2.

    final E3000:

    Depending on if the inner vents are free, as designed, or blocked, there might either be a sub-bass roll-off present on the final, or a strong sub-bass emphasis. Either way, the E3000 has got the thicker, warmer and (much) more body-focused fundamental range and lower midrange, and is considerably darker in the midrange and treble in comparison to the bright Series 2.
    Instruments are reproduced noticeably more naturally on the final despite having a good bit more body than neutral.

    When it comes to detail retrieval, both in-ears are more or less comparable.
    The E3000 is slightly ahead when it comes to midrange details, while the TFZ has got the tighter, faster and better controlled bass.

    Soundstage is about comparable with the TFZ having a bit more spatial depth and the final slightly more width.


    Conclusion:

    The technical performance is certainly there and quite good, the removable cable is definitely a plus, the design is beautiful and the bass, when regarded on its own, is implemented very tastefully with a nice sub-bass emphasis, however the treble and midrange are a bit too much on the artificial and thin side, leading to a lack of vocal naturalness and coherency that isn’t fully there. In addition, the shells’ plastic appears a bit thin.

    I can definitely see the Series 2 not working well in most cases, whereas its signature might fit sometimes, however that is rather the exception than the norm if one is out for realism and balance.


    If that sub-bass emphasis was coupled with a more tastefully, harmoniously and naturally integrated midrange and treble, we would have a really nice tonal tuning along with good technical performance. Too bad that this is not the sound and tonality that TFZ went for.
  3. audio123
    TFZ Series 2 - Dynamic Duo
    Written by audio123
    Published Oct 11, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Midrange, Extension, Packaging
    Cons - Better with a slight sparkle
    Introduction

    TFZ started out in 2015 with a debut line up that consists of TFZ Series 1,3 and 5. Since then, they have come up with new products in Exclusive 1,3,5, King and Series 4. Recently, they have come up with their latest product in the TFZ Series 2. In this review, I will be reviewing the TFZ Series 2. I would like to thank Penon Audio and TFZ for this review unit. You can purchase the Series 2 from https://penonaudio.com/TFZ-all-models/TFZ-SERIES-2 . The TFZ Series 2 that I will be reviewing is black in colour.
    [​IMG]

    Specifications
    • Driver: 12mm dual magnetic circuit graphene driver
    • Impedance: 16ohm
    • Sensitivity: 105db/mw
    • Frequency response: 5hz-40khz
    • Lowest power: 8MW
    Unboxing & Accessories

    The Series 2 comes in a rectangular silver box with a transparent film protector that sports the words “12 Months Quality Guarantee” and “The Fragrant Zither. Focus On Hifi Audio-Visual Products”. You can see the iems through the transparent film. The iems are separated from the detachable cable. At the back of the box, you get information of TFZ company in different languages and a sticker showing the colour of the iem which is black with the code “009”. After removing the transparent film protector, there are 2 boxes. The white box contains the iem and the detachable cable while in the silver box, you get 2 sets of silicon tips (S, M, L), 1 soft carrying pouch, 1 shirt clip, 1 instruction manual and 1 warranty card. I feel that the accessories are sufficient and the package contents are organized neatly.

    upload_2017-10-11_20-56-14.png
    upload_2017-10-11_20-34-17.png
    upload_2017-10-11_20-34-29.png
    upload_2017-10-11_20-34-43.png

    IEM Build & Design

    The Series 2 has a glossy black faceplate with the model name ““TFZ Hi-Fi Series MONITOR SERIES 2” printed on it. The shell has the same colour as the faceplate and it is made up of plastic which contributes to its light weight. There is vent near the edge of the iem and it is golden in colour while on the inside of the iem, there is a vent too. At the back of the iem, there are words printed on it. On the left, it is printed “L http://www.tfzither.com” while on the right, it is printed “R http://www.tfzither.com”. It utilises 2-pin 0.78mm extruded socket for the detachable cables. The iem is not heavy at all and coupled with the design of it, I am able to get a comfortable fit. The nozzle is slightly angled and it prevents earwax from going in with a metal mesh. Overall, I find the Series 2 to be constructed well and it is comfortable to use.

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    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is 4 core braided. On each of the 2 pin connectors, there is a L & R marking on the outside of the left and right respectively with strain relief too. There is a memory wire area and the cable is enclosed in a transparent heat-shrink tube which is very flexible. Moving on to the y-splitter, it is circular and matte black with the TFZ logo on it. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm gold plated with strain relief. On the housing of the jack, there are 2 small rectangular metal plates with one sporting the words “TFZither.com” and another one sporting just “TFZ”. There is a smooth surface to the jack housing. Overall, the cable is flexible with minimal microphonics.

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    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The sub-bass of the Series 2 has quite a good extension to it although it is not very deep. There is a quick rumble that helps to improve the overall dynamics and the speed is impactful. I find the sub-bass to have a good tightness to it. Moving on to the mid-bass, it has a decent slam and I personally find it easy to listen too. The quantity here is just nice and appropriate if one wishes to listen for a long session. The bass has a clean presentation but lacks the visceral impact. Bass texture is rendered rather smoothly and the smoothness aids in the overall bass presentation. The bass transits to the lower mids well but with more quantity, it can be better. The bass is clean and smooth with a good extension. It certainly helps to prevent fatigue.

    Mids

    The Series 2 has a splendid midrange that is capable of doing both male and female vocals justice. I feel that the lower mids has a good amount of body to it and male vocals are bring presented cleanly without sounding too dense. The upper mids has a good amount of forwardness to it and this contributes to the intimacy of female vocals. The midrange is empahsised nicely and there is no compromise on both male and female vocals. I find there is a very good control in the midrange and the midrange is being presented in a mature way. The lower mids is not too thick and upper mids is not shouty. The musicality is not sacrificed for technicality. Overall, the midrange is nicely done and is able to tackle both male and female vocals.

    Highs

    The treble is extended nicely and I feel the extension is just nice. It is very controlled and tight. The energy from it is existent but there is a lack of sparkle for extra bite. There is no sibilance and harshness which results in an easy listen. The amount of air present is sufficient and it aids the overall sound. There is clarity and details are being expressed with ease and confidence. However, there is a lack of crisp at the top end. The treble extension is nice and coupled with the amount of air, it is very engaging to listen to. The definition is good and it needs a slight sparkle for a more immersive listen.

    Soundstage

    The Series 2 has a good amount of width and depth for the soundstage. The width is sufficient to prevent congestion of tracks and the positioning of vocals and instruments benefits as such. The depth is not too close in and there is space. The stage is really immersive.

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    Comparisons

    TFZ Series 2 vs TFZ Exclusive 1

    The Series 2 has similar sub-bass quantity as the Exclusive 1 but with more extension. The extension is deeper and it operates in a more authoritative approach with an extra punch. This helps to improves the dynamics. In addition, the Series 2 decays quickly and bass is being controlled more tightly. Rumble on the Series 2 has the edge in pace and Exclusive 1 is sluggish in this aspect. Series 2 is more musical and details retrieval is better. Mid-bass on the Exclusive 1 has more slam and I feel the body makes the overall sound too dense. On the Series 2, there is mid-bass slam too and it does not overpower the other frequencies. The lower mids on the Exclusive 1 has more body and it is much thicker than the Series 2. The quantity compromises on the pace. Series 2 has a right amount and it synchronizes well. Series 2 is less congested than the Exclusive 1 and it is cleaner in its presentation. The midrange on Series 2 is on a higher technical standard yet retaining the musicality. The upper mids on the Series 2 is slightly more forward and the control is good to ensure that female vocals have a good level of intimacy which is just nice. The vocals is very engaging. Moving on to the treble, Series 2 has more extension and it is significantly apparent. The details presented are in abundance. Both iems show no signs of sibilance and harshness. The air on the Series 2 has more quantity and the airiness provides more space. Treble articulation on the Series 2 is more precise. There is just more clarity and definition on the Series 2. In terms of soundstage, Series 2 has the advantage in width and depth. I find the layering and separation to be better as there is more space. Resolution on the Series 2 is better and it outperforms Exclusive 1.

    TFZ Series 2 vs Fidue A65

    The Series 2 has similar sub-bass quantity as the A65. It is more extended than the A65 and the presentation is more clean and tight. I find the decay on the Series 2 to be slightly faster. Rumble on the Series 2 is quicker. The bass definition is more crisp with a smoother bass texture. The mid-bass on the A65 has slightly more slam and the dynamics is slightly better. The lower mids on the Series 2 has more body and the male vocals is being presented in a thicker way. This helps to improve the male vocals presentation. The upper mids on the Series 2 is as forward as A65 but I feel it is more organic due to the body. The A65 has the edge in crisp. In the treble section, the A65 is more aggressive and the Series 2 is more controlled. The definition on both is very similar. There is more air and sparkle on the A65. The A65 is considered shouty. Articulation on both is quite precise. In terms of soundstage, the Series 2 has the better width and depth. Layering and separation is slightly better on the Series 2. Resolution on the Series 2 is significantly on a higher level. Overall, I find the Series 2 to be more mature sounding in its vocal presentation but A65 has a slight edge in the energy.

    TFZ Series 2 vs Mee Audio M6 Pro

    The Series 2 has better sub-bass quantity and extension than the M6 Pro. I find that the mastery of the bass is more controlled and refined. The decay of Series 2 is quicker than the M6 Pro with more pacey rumble. The definition is superior to the M6 Pro. The bass texture on both is rendered quite smoothly. The mid-bass slam on both are very similar. The M6 Pro has a slightly thicker lower mids and it sounds dense with the note having more weight. The upper mids on the Series 2 is more forward and helps to contribute to the overall intimacy. Moving on to the treble, Series 2 has a better extension with more air. The Series 2 controls the treble more tightly and the technical performance is better. For soundstage, Series 2 excels in both depth and width which helps to improve vocals and instruments positioning. The resolution of Series 2 is better.

    Conclusion

    The Series 2 is TFZ latest iem and it delivers with a spectacular midrange that is capable of tackling both male and female vocals. In addition, it has a good control on its treble and it does not come across as shouty. The accessories are quite complete with a nice braided cable. The TFZ Series 2 is certainly an enjoyable iem and I look forward to more products from TFZ.

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