1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice


  1. IryxBRO
    TFZ Tequila 1 — beautiful bassy IEMs
    Written by IryxBRO
    Published Apr 6, 2019
    Pros - good bass texturing, huge bass amount, great treble clarity and extension
    Cons - bass might shadow other frequencies
    Even during the high season saturated with many activities and lots of work in my main business (motorcycles), can’t miss the chance to play with TFZ Tequila 1 and share the opinion about this unexpectedly good model of IEMs. Rarely there is a chance to find IEMs that would greatly differ soundwise and appeal towards bassheads in the best sense of this word. It is common for overheads that entry level models would hide all shortcomings of limited capabilities behind huge amount of lows, but TFZ Tequila 1, despite high accent on bass, is definitely not the case. This model belongs to newest luxury series of TFZ IEMs (TFZLux) and gives odds to many more expensive models.


    TFZ Tequila 1 technical specifications:
    • Driver type: dual-magnetic two-way graphene driver
    • Magnet: NdFeB N50
    • Diaphragm diameter: 8.9mm
    • Voice coil material: copper clad aluminum wire
    • Frequency response range: 5Hz ~ 40KHz
    • Harmonic distortion: 0.7%
    • Impedance: 20Ω
    • Sensitivity: 105dB
    • Cable connectors: 2pin, 0.78mm
    • Wire: cores 4x18x0.05 5N, OFC, high flexibility transparent PVC
    • Color options: green, red, blue, red+blue
    Other features:
    • Ultra-large sound field, large dynamic transients
    • Aluminum CNC processed shell

    Packaging, design and build quality:

    TFZ Tequila 1 box has its own unique design and doesn’t share any similarities with King or SG series. It has matt black slipcover that hides white box with transparent protective top underneath.


    Not much of information, except for the shiny silver brand and product name plus the sticker with color option.


    Tequila IEMs rest in special openings of the top foamy podium while all of the accessories are located beneath.

    Box contents:
    • Tequila IEMs
    • audio cable
    • storage case
    • 7 pairs of silicone eartips
    • 1 pair of memory foam eartips
    • 3.5mm jack protective cover

    Storage case looks very familiar — another type supplied by third party vendors and commonly used by many manufacturers. Very good build quality and secure locking mechanism.

    If anyone is also into another great hobby of radio controlled models as I am — you have probably noticed the similarities in the design on Tequila 1 shells and current lineup of brushless motors for racing quads:


    I understand that this is only a peculiar coincidence but couple of my friends have already asked me what type of motors are those :) ?


    Shells are made of CNC aluminum and have golden insterts in the middle with brand name and serial number imprints.


    All joints are very neat, no spacing between the elements. Openings at the back are protected by nylon lathing and I guess that those serve a purpose of making bass more open (like in open back overheads).


    Output nozzles end up with 3 openings and special sockets for securing eartips at place.


    Transparent plastic 2pin cable connectors are externally placed, have very tight cable fit and no free play whatsoever.


    Stock cable looks pretty nice: OFC, aluminum audio jack housing, flexible earguides, transparent plastic connector housings and good banding protection. Seems that this cable is somewhere inbetween stock King II series and TFZ TC-3 upgrade cable in terms of build quality.


    Tequila IEMs looks to be heavy and feels heavy (in fact :) ) Shape is quite strange and don’t add much to the overall comfortability either. Despite that, thanks to good stock cable earguides, this model is not a disaster and feel more or less ok especially in not trying to run or excercise. Yes, you need to get used to Tequila fit and to find the best position but it would become fine, eventually. But remember that there are many other models out there with much better fit.


    Sound quality:

    Tested with HiBy R6Pro DAP


    Lows and midbass:

    Main characteristic of Tequila 1 sound can be exressed in one word — bassy. Bass has quite heavy presence with good amount of texturing and details. It fills the scene width and sometimes even tends to mask the less evident midrange. Bassheads would probably love these, but too much of bass to my own liking. The good thing is that it is detailed and not too obscure… Yes, it is overemphasized but also discloses some new details which have been shadowed by other models with less bass-heavy tuning. It also feels quite open and rich instead of being too dark and conjested. But the entire feel of lows is as if the scene got rearranged and backstage instruments like bass guitars have been brought to front.

    On the other hand, midbass is decent in terms of speed, power and drive. Puchy sound with more than enough volume and air.


    Mids and vocals:

    There is an evident recession of mid portion and voices in comparison to lows and treble. Voices sound a bit distant but at the same time have pretty good thickness due to enourmous amount of lows. Female voices are more exposed, emotional and accented, although not overly crisp and shouting. «HD» description of Tequila 1 gets evident here — resolution is pretty high for one dynamic driver model which is affecting mostly female vocals, strings and horns. The entire picture is kept in good balance between warmth and virtual higher detalization caused by the influence of treble. Although, it might have been even better if mids were more exposed in overall. Sometimes, in bass-heavy tracks lows might overlap and shadow out some instruments in mids.



    Very satisfying and even surprising experience. It would be hard to guess whih driver technology does this model belong to in a blind test. Treble is very bright, crisp, fast and clean which is very close to armature models. Only in some benchmarks for treble you’d get the understanding that it is not really catching up but for the most of the tracks it performs surprisingly good. Not so delicate and extended as in respected armature IEMs but quite competing. This range is also overexposed and accented to the extent ofo balancing the overemhasized lows.


    Good soundstage width derived from volumetric bass and airy treble. But not that good depth due to mixing between lows and mids while the bass is also trying to constantly overlap with other ranges. In some less bassy tracks lows are perfectly layered but when it gets to more bass presence in a track — it shifts forward and narrows the scene depth.


    Sound in overall:

    TFZ Tequila 1 sound can be described as V-shaped, warm and bassy, with good bass texturing, very good mids and treble resolution, recessed mids and emhasized, clean and crisp treble.

    Compared to Whizzer Kylin:


    Very close models in terms of approach towards tuning and overall sound. Similarly overexposed lows, accented and crisp teble and recessed mids. Althoug, Kylin have less bassy feels in overall but the bass it produces suffer more from being too slow and feels more disconnected from the rest of the ranges. It is also less textured and more moody. At the same time, Kylin’s treble is more extended and even more transparent and airy. Fit-wise, both IEMs are not great while Tequila feels a little bit better… I can live with that, at least.

    Compared to iKKO OH1:


    iKKO OH1 feel more balanced (surprise, isn’t it? :) ) in overall — less emphasis on lows and treble and better layering between the instruments and ranges. Tequila feels much warmer and less shouting on female vocals. Resolution of bith models is close to each other with OH1 behaving slightly better detalization due to hybrid driver combination.

    Compared to DB Monroe:


    DB Monroe are warm and bassy dynamic IEMs with better fit and more balanced sound. Bass depth and presence is not that huge as well as the treble is not that accented. On the other hand — DB suffer from less resolution in overall, less bass texturing and a bit moody sound due to lack of treble. Those IEMs are much closer to other balanced dynamic models in comparison to highly deviating nature of Tequila 1.



    TFZ Tequila 1 should be considered as one of the most interesting IEMs by the bassheads and other fans of warmth in sound without sacrificing bright and crisp reproduction of treble. If V-shaped tuning is of a personal preference — Tequila 1 is a good representative, also delivering high resolution in mids and good texturing on lows. In fact, haven’t heard any rivals with such interesting combination of sound characteristics and only a few shortcomings. At one hand you get bassy and warm sound and on the other — evidently high amount of micro details with armature-like feel on treble. Such interesting experience and fun sound override the imperfection while forcing to return to Tequila 1 over and over again…

    Buy TFZ Tequila 1 in PenonAudio store.
      ShakyJake likes this.
  2. cqtek
    Master of Bass
    Written by cqtek
    Published Mar 23, 2019
    Pros - Nearly must-buy for bass lovers, they are some of the best V IEMs in their price range.
    - Design, construction and presentation: they are almost a jewel.
    Cons - The slightly short nozzles and their cylindrical, fat design could cause some lace problems.
    - Weight of cable connectors.
    - Those who prefer less bass, better abstain.

    TFZ, the brand also known as The Fragrant Zither, was founded in 2015. Since then they have released a good handful of IEMs, with prices ranging from $40 to $360. In all its models you can see its commitment to take care of the design, offering a particular elegance, sometimes unusual, but always eye-catching, which surely does not leave anyone indifferent.

    The model I present below is possibly one of the most daring designs I have seen in this price range. But it is true to the philosophy of the brand, elegance, innovative design and a certain sense of exquisiteness and luxury. Not in vain, Tequila belongs to its new luxury series, called TFZLUX.

    TFZ Tequila 1 04.jpg


    • Drivers: Dual-magnetic two-way graphene driver
    • Magnet material: NdFeB N50
    • Diaphragm material: Grafeno
    • Diaphragm diameter: 8.9mm
    • Voice coil material: copper clad aluminum wire
    • Frequency response range: 5HZ ~ 40000HZ
    • Sensitivity: 105dB
    • Impedance: 20 Ω
    • Magnetic flux: 9000KGS
    • Harmonic distortion: 0.5%
    • Wire: core count 4 * 18 * 0.05 5N oxygen-free copper
    • Jack Connector: Straight, gold-plated
    • Type of capsule connection: 2 pins 0.78mm

    TFZ Tequila 1 05.jpg


    The box has dimensions of 168x114x60mm. It comes completely wrapped in transparent plastic as a seal. The cover is completely black, the letters of the brand and the model are silver. On the back there is a sticker that indicates the color of the selected IEMs.

    Once the cover is removed, the box is completely white. A rigid, transparent plastic cover protects the IEMs, which are also encased in a hard foam support covered in all-white cardboard, with nothing more than the model name on the bottom. Once the plastic lid and cardboard holder are removed, you see a foam mould containing a white Pelikan-type box, a brochure and, underneath it, the cable. Inside the box there are two cardboard blisters with 3 pairs of white silicone tips each, in SxMxL sizes. One set of tips has a narrow inner diameter and the other has a wide inner diameter. The capsules come with two medium intermediate channel tips. Also comes a pair of white memory foam tips.

    TFZ Tequila 1 06.jpg

    The packaging is very neat, distills elegance. The "unboxing" sensation is very pleasant. All the details are very well chosen and the materials are of high quality.

    In this price range it is one of the most select packages I have been able to open, according to what the TFZLUX brand implies.

    TFZ Tequila 1 07.jpg

    Construction and design

    The design of the capsules is unique and totally genuine, based on two thick cylinders, one red and one blue, with a golden ring around it. Its back is open and its lid varies according to the model. In this case, my model has three trapezoidal openings that give a glimpse of a grille. In the center of the conical lid, there is a golden ring, further accentuating the exclusivity of the design. On the other side of the cylinder, the nozzles are inclined. They are of the same material and colour as the capsules, forming a single piece. At the top there are three holes through which you can see a black grid and dense, from there the sound flows. The nozzles have an approximate diameter of 5.5mm and are not very long.

    Attached to the sides of the cylinders are two pieces of translucent plastic, inside of which are the connections of two pins. The connectors fit tangentially to the capsules.

    In my humble opinion it is one of the most beautiful and daring IEMs I own.

    TFZ Tequila 1 08.jpg

    The cable doesn't lag behind when it comes to boldness. The plug is a very heavy and fat cylinder, it could be perfectly steel. The splitting piece is a cone cut from the same material. And the adjustment piece is a ring of the final diameter of the splitting cone, also of steel, presumably. All these solid parts make the assembly heavier than usual. The cable is made of 4 copper cores, covered with transparent plastic. It is not so thick compared to metal parts, although it has a remarkable malleability, is not at all rigid and has hardly any memory effect. The two-pin connectors are covered with transparent plastic. The cable that comes out of them is protected by a rigid plastic that gives them shape to fit over the ear.

    Among other details, such as the white letters inscribed on the inside of each capsule, as well as the engraving on the gold rings, only accentuate the luxurious finish and construction of the attractive Tequila 1.

    A final particularity to bear in mind is that when opened, the sound comes out and can be heard by people close and/or in quiet environments.

    TFZ Tequila 1 09.jpg

    Adjustment and ergonomics

    After the waste of imagination in its design and construction, it remains to see if its fit and ergonomics are at its height. At first the capsules are quite voluminous and their shape is not one of the most ergonomic on the market. I want to think that my ears are a normal size and I'm lucky that I'm doing well with almost all the IEMs I have. Tequila 1 is no exception: they fit quite well, they fix well, they don't rotate easily, and the sound doesn't change even if they move slightly. The only problem is that the nozzles are somewhat short, so I had to look for the longest tips I have in my collection. In this way I have achieved that the adjustment, although superficial, is firmer and lasting, getting a better seal and therefore, better sound and insulation.

    But I can't help but think that Tequila 1 can generate some fit problem in smaller ears, due to its size.

    TFZ Tequila 1 10.jpg



    The profile of Tequila 1 is not entirely clear or completely defined. In my opinion it's about some IEMs in warm V, where the mids are not backward and the highs are not very prominent. There is emphasis on the central area of the lows and a soft peak in the low highs. And although the most remarkable thing about Tequila 1 is the low zone for its quality, the rest of the frequencies are not penalized at all.

    TFZ Tequila 1.png


    The quality of the lower zone is preceded by the reputation of the brand. In this sense it does not disappoint: all serious lovers should buy a TFZ to enjoy them. This is my sincere recommendation. Based on this assertion, the only negative point that I would put here, would be a certain lack of greater emphasis on the sub bass, to enjoy a greater point of depth. But it's still a high demand because the range is excellent and highly enjoyable for bass lovers like me.

    The area is built on a great punching power, a missile fast impact, recovery and return to hit in the mid bass. The depth is perceived not so accentuated, but easily insulated mentally.

    The body of the bass is extremely compact, with a color and texture very particular, as a seal of the brand. The bass is detailed, laminable and stratified, it extends well both widthwise and deeply.

    Dignified to be enjoyed.

    TFZ Tequila 1 11.jpg


    The lows extend in presence to the lower mids, interfering very slightly in that area, due to its great punch. Nothing serious at all, as they bring extra warmth and packing. The male voices sound thick, with some darkness/distancing, but wide and warm, with a soft texture and medium detail. The female voices have a fairly similar presentation, offering a very homogeneous mid-range exposure. The upper mids have a rebound of emphasis, which brings beneficial clarity and a little more proximity to female voices and guitars.

    As can be expected from a warm V-profile, the mids are not extremely detailed or analytical, but are more cohesive, fairly full-bodied and homogeneous, to the detriment of very high separation. The degree of resolution is good, according to the characteristics already commented. However, the musicality is greater and the dynamics are also higher, contributing to a moderately forceful global perception of the mids.

    TFZ Tequila 1 12.jpg


    The low highs begin to rise, but below the greater emphasis of the low zone. They then descend to rebound slightly above 10kHz. The highs follow the tonic already described: homogeneity, thickness, smoothness and consistency. The high zone is not piercing, nor penetrating, nor sharp, it is not the look of Tequila 1. Contrary to their name, they do not scratch. But they do extend and are perceived openly, without creating hisibilances and bringing a much needed clarity and cleanliness to a sound characterized by bass of great magnitude.

    TFZ Tequila 1 13.jpg

    Scene, soundstage

    The sound is pleasantly open and spacious, I suppose the rear openings play in this direction and help to decongest it greatly. The scene is rather round, almost hemispherical, with a more than acceptable positioning. The separation is good, due to its distinguishable clarity. The detail is on a par with its resolution. But they are not analytical EMIs, but warm and musical, but without being excessively relaxed.

    TFZ Tequila 1 14.jpg


    Toneking TK12s

    Leader of the massive sound par excellence, the TK12s are triple drivers with a somewhat atypical configuration, which provides a low area with a lot of weight. And this zone is quite similar in the graph of both IEMs, but in the TK12s the power is comparatively higher, it is difficult to overcome its more frontal and massive sound. That greater power sometimes translates into somewhat longer, slower bass, but also deeper bass.

    Tequila 1 is more balanced, with more advanced, lively and descriptive voices and mids. In addition, the low trebles have greater presence and brightness, generating more clarity in front of the darkness and the warmer, duller and not so defined sound of the TK12s. There is only a fictitious feeling of more air in Toneking due to the emphasis around 9kHz. Fictitious because the sound is clearly more vivid, revealing, descriptive, detailed and musical in Tequila 1.

    TFZ Tequila 1 vs Toneking TK12s.png

    The separation is greater in Tequila 1, with better resolution and sensation of space, in front of a more distant and diffuse sound, except in its lower zone. The scene in both is different, the TK12s have a wide scene generated by a sound that flows more liquid and expands. The sound of Tequila is more direct, close, with great dynamism. This fact somewhat reduces the scene in depth, but is still far from being narrow.

    TFZ Tequila 1 15.jpg

    Dunu DN-1000

    Again another classic triple driver against the Tequila. The Dunu have more emphasis on the sub bass and a more linear low zone. The problem with this linearity is that it continues to the middle zone, offering a duller and almost muddy sound, with a feeling of congestion and lack of clarity. Lack of emphasis on the upper-mid and lower-high contribute to this feeling. Meanwhile, Tequila offers as much or more punch in the bass, with all its virtues, as well as much more light in the mids and highs. Their sound is clearly more dynamic and lively, cheerful, with better detail, resolution and clarity.

    TFZ Tequila 1 vs Dunu DN-1000.png

    Anew U1

    The Anew U1 is one of the DD I've liked the most lately. They present a different tonality to Tequila. Although they have a very good low area, it doesn't extend as far towards the mids, and descends a little earlier. In this way the lower zone is not perceived as large and wide. But it has a certain advantage of interfering less in the mids. The voices in the Anew sound thinner, while in the Tequila they are somewhat closer and warmer. In general the U1 have a finer and more detailed presentation, the Tequila are rounder and tighter. There is more air and separation in the Anew, due to their virtue of threshing frequencies. The change in tonality is easily expressed: Anew are cooler and more analytical, while Tequila is warmer and more exciting.

    The profile is presented more in V in the Anew, due to some greater distance in the voices. In Tequila this V is lower, with a greater balance in the voices and mid zone, closer and present.

    There is no clear winner here, the choice of one or the other IEM will depend on personal tastes.

    TFZ Tequila 1 vs Anew U1.png


    The Bass Lovers are in luck: this is a round product, like its sound, compact and without fissures, forceful in its signature and luxurious in its forms and design. Built like a jewel, packaged and presented as such, Tequila 1 shows how much they can offer, not only in its low area, where they are masters, but also in the rest of frequencies and other sound parameters.

    Pour me another glass, TFZ.

    TFZ Tequila 1 16.jpg

    Sources used during the analysis

    • Burson Audio Playmate (OpAmps V6 Vivid Dual + V6 Classic Dual).
    • xDuoo X3II.

    Purchase link


    TFZ Tequila 1 17.jpg

    You can read the full review in Spanish here:

      hqssui likes this.
  3. Palash
    Musical Hang over
    Written by Palash
    Published Mar 23, 2019
    Pros - Great build quality,
    Unique design,
    Fun tuning,
    Very comfortable,
    Clarity and details,
    Cons - Small carry case,
    Mids could have been better (But almost perfect after burn-in),
    Dirt can spoil it.
    TFZ (The Fragrant Zither), a well known Chinese brand from Shenzhen established in 2015 and manufacturing dazzling audio video equipments for couple of years. Their IEM line up is unique and vibrant and priced even from 30$ to 350$. TFZ King Series, Queen Series, Secret Garden Series, Exclusive Series, these are some well known product line up from TFZ. TFZ also introduced their X1 true wireless IEMS along with BC-02 Bluetooth cable few months ago. This is my first TFZ product and I would like to thank Penon Audio for sending me this review unit. For this review I have not received any kind of compensation from TFZ or Penon Audio. At least 50 hours of Burn-in is given before any serious listening.


    Driver - Dual-magnetic two-way Graphene driver,
    Magnet material - NdFeB N50,
    Diaphragm material: Graphene,
    Diaphragm diameter - 8.9MM,
    Voice coil material - copper clad aluminum wire,
    Frequency response range - 5HZ ~ 40000HZ,
    Harmonic distortion - 0.5%,
    Impedance - 20 ohm,
    Sensitivity - 105dB,
    Magnetic flux -9000KGS,
    Wire - core count 4 * 18 * 0.05 5N oxygen-free copper,
    Outer sheathe: high flexibility transparent PVC,
    Box Size - 11 cm*6 cm *17 cm (W*D*H).

    Buying Link
    - https://penonaudio.com/tfz-tequila-1.html

    Packaging is exactly what you can expect from a premium product. Overall a black and white theme can be noticed. Black Matt finished outer sleeve & entire TFZLUX branding has been done on it using silver ink. Inside the sleeve the IEMS are placed top of a paper mounted foam sheet and protected by a thick clear plastic. Beneath that, everything (Carry case, Cable, User manual) is securely placed inside a foam padded white box. Tips are placed inside the carry case and properly organized. Cable nicely organized using a white piece of Velcro and surprisingly the 3.5 mm plug is also protected by a cover. So packaging has been done with utmost care and feels way premium than its price. Great job TFZ.



    What's in the Box?
    TFZ TEQUILA 1 (Blue, Fan/Radioactive design),
    OFC cable,
    3 pairs of Wide bore super soft silicone eartips,
    3 pairs of medium bore super soft silicone eartips,
    1 pair of white very soft foam eartips,
    White water proof Carry case,
    Paper works.



    Design / Build

    IEM –
    It’s built like a tank and yes I am serious about this comment. Perfectly machined aluminum and smooth Matt finish, with a 3 part design but fixed such a way that it feels a single unit and robust. My unit is bright blue one and the middle copper goldish band on both the shells perfectly matches with cable’s color and design. Tequila 1 is an open back IEM and the faceplate (Leaf/Fan) grilled design adding a unique look to it. A fine mesh is applied inside to save the drivers from dust and dirt but no doubt dirt and moisture going to enter inside if not handled properly. Strangely no such sound leakage is there that we expect from an open back IEM. The nozzle is short but angled properly accordingly in ear alignment. Fat tip lip is there but again no filter mesh has been applied. Those 3 holes on the nozzle look like 3 sound tubes coming from multiple B.A drivers but Tequila 1 doesn’t have any B.A driver inside. A fine mesh is inside the nozzle to keep dust away still handle Tequila 1 with care.


    Cable –
    The cable is just gorgeous. Medium soft and very well built. This 8 core shiny OFC cable is designed by TFZ keeping style, durability, and sound in mind. No it’s not an aftermarket re branded cable; stainless steel 3.5 mm gold plated plug, stainless steel Y spliter, stainless steel chin slider and extra long 2 pin connectors with TFZ branding proves that this cable specially designed by TFZ for TFZ . The Y spliter may feel heavy but the weight is helpful to keep the wire untangled even without a shirt clip. The ear hooks are soft and very comfortable to wear. Be careful while inserting the cable. Cable L, R, logo should match IEM R, L logo, otherwise polarity mismatch would produce distorted sound. Sound wise these cable is doing its job fine so haven’t tried any third party cable while listening.


    Case –
    The Pelican like white waterproof case is extraordinary. Even foam padding is applied inside. The case is a bit small and you have to careful when putting your IEM with cable inside the case.


    Tips –
    Tips are properly organized using paper tip holder. So far this single flange silicone tips are best tips I have ever tired. Very soft and very well made, comfortable and perfectly sits inside the ear canal and giving good noise isolation. Provided foam tips are also very good. For this review I have used mainly those wide bore silicone tips. Changing tips also changing sound a bit and I have discussed those changes in sound analysis part later in this review.


    TFZ Tequila is very comfortable to wear, the rounded shells perfectly fits inside your ear. The nozzle is short and tips don’t go too deep in your canal still it manages to fit and give proper sound isolation.

    Tequila1 is easy to drive and very efficient, almost performed same and good with each and every source. Tequila 1 maintained a remarkable balance between impedance and sensitivity, very easy to drive and on other hand friendly with noisy sources too. I have used my
    DAP – Fiio M3K, Cayin N3, Fiio M7,
    DAC AMP combo with PC – Fiio Q1 Mk2+ Topping NX3s stack, Fiio Q1 mk2 stand alone, Audioquest Dragonfly Black, Fiio Q5, Schiit Modi 3+ Fiio A5.
    Try to avoid warm sources if possible. Surprisingly My boring Fiio Q1 mk2 created best synergy with Tequila1.

    Tracks / Albums Listened –
    Adele – 21
    Amber Rubarth - Wildflowers in the Graveyard
    Eagles - The Very Best Of The Eagles
    Eric Clapton - Riding With The King (Tidal MQA)
    Eric Clapton – Slowhand
    Billy Joel - The Stranger (Legacy Edition)
    Etta James - At Last!
    Pink Floyd - The Best Of Pink Floyd- A Foot In The Door (2011 Remastered Version)
    Michael Jackson – Scream & Thriller
    Sia - This Is Acting (Deluxe Version)
    Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
    Legends- Elton John
    Michael McDonald - Wide Open
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
    Sting - The Best of 25 Years

    Graphene drivers, Beryllium drivers, Carbon Nanotube drivers or something else …. Personally this specifications doesn’t matters to me. The ultimate value of a product is its real-time performance in contrast with price. Comfort is another criteria and Tequila1 is comfortable enough for long listening sessions, so now the last and most important part is left to evaluate. Out of the box Tequila1 is a ‘U’ shaped tuned IEM but after 50 hours of burn-in it improved a lot. Graphene drivers may really need proper burn-in to mature or whatever the reason is burn-in must for Tequilla 1.


    Bass – Entire lower frequency part is emphasized in Tequila 1 but sub-bass section where Tequila really shines than mid bass. Sub-bass rumble is just mesmerizing. Both quality and quantity wise lower frequency response is awesome. Weight and depth is just perfect; speed is fast & accurate, the texture is also easily noticeable. With medium bore tips sub-bass become a bit blunt so if you want well textured bass stick with wide bore tips. With Foam tips sub bass emphasis is totally suppressed but speed is now super fast. For example songs like ‘The Long Run’ by Eagles, ‘Another Brick in the Wall ’ by Pink Floyd, ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson and ‘Instant Crush’ by Daft Punk ,Tequila 1 sounded almost perfect without compromising a single hit of drum sticks. So full marks for Bass.

    Mids –
    Out of the box Mids are slightly recessed but after almost 20 hours of burn-in things started changing and after 50 hours of usages Tequila 1 completely recovered that relaxed Midrange. Now lower Midrange is totally transparent and natural. Upper Midrange improved a lot and even a bit forward then lower Midrange. Female vocals are much crisper than male vocals now. Same thing happened with my Ibasso It01, after burn in Midrange is now even sweeter and quite natural. Good news is no bass bleed noticed in Tequila 1. Songs like ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ by Adele and ‘Are You Ready For love? – Maxi ’ by Elton John sounding just perfect, personally not expected that much from a bass heavy IEM, but Tequila 1 performed very well. BTW with foam tips Mids are more prominent than before.

    Treble – Both lower and higher frequency boost is present in Tequila1. Higher frequency part is well extended and no random spike noticed. Trebles are airy and sparkling. Even a touch of harshness is not there. With capable sources Tequila 1 can bring those rich controlled trebles. In the opening of the song ‘You Make Loving Fun ‘by Fleetwood Mac I can easily count those 3 strokes on Cymbal. If you want to experience those sparkles I strongly suggest ‘Key to the Highway’ by B.B. King and Eric Clapton, and with my Topping NX3s those sparkles are mind blowing.

    Soundstage & Imaging – Soundstage of Tequila 1 is wide and has good depth but lacks height a bit. Good amount of space is there. With warm sources sometime it feels overdone. Imaging is also very good, instruments can be clearly identified. In busy and complex tracks the space between voice and instruments can be noticed easily. For example the song ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ by MJ, the imaginary stage is just phenomenal.



    Ibasso IT01 Vs Tequila 1 – Tequila 1 has more sub bass than IT01; Midrange is also more forwarded than It01, better built quality than It01 too. IT01 is light weight and fits better in ear. Sonically Tequila 1 has better resolution and better soundstage than IT01. Imaging is better in IT01 though.

    Tequilla1 Vs Whizzer Kylin A-HE03 –
    Tequila 1 offers better sound and design than Kylin. Bass is boomy in Kylin but Tequila 1 managed to output bass in more controlled way. Midrange is also way better than kylin. Vocals are more forwarded in Tequila1. Treble is extended in Kylin but lacks the sparkle where Tequila’s treble part is sparkling. Tequila 1 is much more fatigue free than Kylin even soundstage is better in Tequila 1.

    Tequila1 Vs Fiio Fh5 –
    Built and design wise both FH5 and Tequila 1 is unique and beautiful. Fh5 offers better ergonomics design than Tequila 1. Sound wise they are totally different. Fh5 is darker in tonality, good but slow sub bass. Tequila 1‘s sub-bass performance is tight, fast and accurate. Midrange is sweet spot in Fh5 but Tequila 1 managed to perform acceptable too. In treble part Fh 5 is relaxed but in Tequila 1 it’s more energetic.

    TFZ Tequila1 is a complete package,Good design, great built, fun sounding, and with complete supplied accessories, you don’t have to think twice for aftermarket tips, cables and carry case for Tequila1. Tequila1 is not for any specific genre of music, it’s designed to be a part of your playlist. Whatever you play Tequila1 would left you with a musical hangover.
      IcedFrosty, hqssui and FastAndClean like this.
  4. B9Scrambler
    TFZ Tequila 1: Pour me another, Tender of the Bar!
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published May 5, 2018
    Pros - Quality materials with good fit and finish - Meaty mid-range and deep bass
    Cons - Fit affected by heavy cable - Mild mid-bass bleed

    Today we're checking out the Tequila 1, a product from The Fragrent Zither's (TFZ) new luxury lineup of earphones, TFZLUX.


    TFZ has been on a roll with new releases since the brand came to be in 2015 and now has an extensive lineup of more than 10 unique models. At 139.00 USD, the Tequila 1 is one of their more premium offerings. Making positive first impressions is the new packaging. The matte black outer sheath with contrasting silver lettering has an upscale look to it. Sliding off the sheath reveals a clear viewing window with the Tequila 1's unique earpieces and the model name on full display. This upward move in quality continues with the accessories. Instead of a simple baggie the Tequila 1 comes with a white Pelican-style carrying case branded with the new TFZLUX 'TL' logo. Inside the foam-padded case are six pairs of single-flange silicone tips (wide and small bore, s/m/l sizes), organized within cardboard holders, along with a single set of medium sized foam tips.


    There is also TFZ's new cable which ditches the silver plated cables of the Exclusive series for a more straightforward quad-core copper cable, though it is still terminated in the 0.78mm 2-pin connectors we've come to expect from the brand. Also returning are the pre-formed ear guides that work exceptionally well at keeping the cable behind the ear, and with reducing noise transmission through the cable when it rubs against your clothing. One major improvement is to the female connectors on the earpieces which wrap around the male connectors. This change gives the pins some protection from bending and addresses one of my main criticisms with the connectors on the My Love II, Exclusive 1, 3, and 5, and the Series 4, none of which provided any protection for the pins once plugged in.


    Another change that I see as both a positive and a negative is to the materials used on the y-split and straight jack. Prior cables used dense rubber. With the Tequila 1 they've swapped them over to steel which certainly looks and feels more price appropriate. This also means they are significantly heavier to the point where it is a detriment in my eyes. The now present chin cinch, a welcome addition, is also steel and quite heavy. This results in it slipping down the cable during anything more vigorous than walking, reducing it's usefulness. It's a step in the right direction though. The steel straight jack also retains the bulk of that found on TFZ's prior models which means it's going to be a tight squeeze for many cell phone and DAP cases. Too bad because it looks phenomenal.


    The CNC machined, semi-open back aluminum housings are also unique to TFZ and as I suspected upon first viewing, have been somewhat divisive in the public eye. The spider web inspired design my review sample features looks much better in person, especially in green, lacking the goofiness of the alternate version which is saddled with a nuclear symbol of all things. While I enjoy the look of this earphone, in my eyes TFZ missed a great opportunity to craft a product that's as visually mature as it is sounding. At least it's comfortable, with a fairly compact, rounded shape that rests in the ear nicely. The shells being aluminum are quite light with only the aforementioned weight from the y-split and chin cinch causing any potential for discomfort. Isolation is below average though, being semi-open back, something you can test yourself by cramming them into your ears backwards. Lots of sounds leaks in, and a fair bit leaks out too.


    While the design is divisive, no one could dispute the build quality itself is fantastic. The machining of the metal is crisp and neat so all parts line up tightly without any gaps. On the inside of each ear piece is some printing which, amusingly, contains a spelling error; “HD Resolusion” instead of “HD Resolution”. Some care, I don't. The rest of the product is crafted with a level of attention to detail and quality often missing in pricier Chinese earphones. That said, if not only to appease picky Western buyers it would be nice to see that addressed in the future since it is such an easy fix.


    At 8.9mm, the Tequila's titanium coated drivers are smaller than the 9mm and 12mm graphene drivers found throughout the rest of their lineup. This new driver features copper-clad aluminum voice coils, just like the more upscale and well-received King Pro, also sharing it's smooth, refined sound, though with a signature more geared towards modern pop and electronic music. The Tequila 1 gives off a gentle u-shaped signature with a minor bass focus, and to my ears is a more relaxed listening experience than other TFZs in my possession.


    The Tequila's upper ranges are well extended, and while still there, treble peaks are reduced compared to prior releases like the Exclusive 5. They improve on the impressive detail and separation of lower end TFZs, especially on congested tracks like the reggae metal riffs from Skindred, without producing the same levels of fatigue over longer listening sessions. Dropping into the mid-range we hear a fairly thick and full sound, especially when pitting it against sub-200 USD champs like the Simgot EN700 Pro which comes across somewhat thin and recessed in comparison. The extra heft and and body the Tequila 1 carries into this region gives vocals and instruments a commanding and full-bodied presence. Despite being set slightly behind the bass and treble regions, the mids retain good clarity and authority in a track. This is a trait I've praised TFZs for in the past, and it was a pleasure to hear in this model too. Bass leads the Tequila 1's signature and is punchy, quick, and well textured with great sub-bass extension and emphasis, though mid-bass is slightly more prominent. This mid-bass hump gives the Tequila 1 its warmth and bleeds ever so slightly into the lower mids, though it's rarely a detriment, especially if you enjoy a bass forward signature. The semi-open back design of the Tequila 1 leads to a stage that is very open, not quite to the extent of the EN700 Pro but more so than the Exclusive 5 and even the Exclusive King. I find this impressive given the vast staging of those models is slightly exaggerated by their leaner presentations.


    After spending the last three months with the Tequila 1, I have come away impressed with the additional level of refinement it offers over TFZ's more affordable models. In the very busy sphere that is the sub 150 USD market, it stands out for it's bassy but clear signature that doesn't make a lot of sacrifices to achieve the desired tune. It's not for those looking for a neutral or reference product, nor is it for those those that want an absolute bass cannon. They sit neatly in between offering glimpses of both worlds. And while TFZ's earphones seem to have always offered eye-catching designs, with a few exceptions in their older B-Series of earphones, those that I've heard have backed it with great sound quality and the Tequila 1 is no exception. In the end, this earphone delivers a quality audio experience in a visually appealing, or at the very least interesting package, backed by great build quality, solid ergonomics, with the only clear downfall being limited isolation.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    Disclaimer: Thanks to Penon Audio and TFZ for the complimentary review sample. The thoughts within this review are my own and do not reflect TFZ, Penon Audio, or any other entity. There was no financial incentive provided to write this review.

    Sources: For at home use the Tequila 1 was powered by my TEAC HA-501 desktop headphone amp. For portable use it was paired with the Auglamour GR-1 or Walnut F1 paired with my Shanling M1, LG G5, or HiFi E.T. MA8. The Tequila 1 is easy to drive with little benefit seen from amping. Bass tightens up somewhat, but not enough to justify the extra bulk that goes along with carrying a portable stack.

    Specifications: Driver: 12mm titanium crystal dual-chamber dynamic / Impedance: 20 ohm / Sensitivity: 109 dB/mw / Frequency Response: 5hz – 40khz / Lowest Power: 8mw

    Some Test Material: Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album) / Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album) / Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album) / King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album) / King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track) / Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album) / Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (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 Bone) (Album)
      hqssui and volly like this.
    1. misteral201103
      Nice review! I got a chance to listen to them when I was last shopping for IEMs and I was quite impressed - especially at the price they are going for. Not bad at all. Just not as good as what I had my eye (ear?) on!
      misteral201103, May 7, 2018
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  5. Moonstar
    TFZ TEQUILA1, the Eye-Catching IEM with HiFi sound
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Feb 12, 2018
    Pros - Eye-catching fashion styling,
    Good sound performance for the price,
    Replaceable cable option,
    Good build quality,
    Great Price to Performance Ratio
    Cons - Maybe not for people who prefer a neutral tuning
    TFZ TEQUILA1, the Eye-Catching IEM with Hi-Fi sound

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 IEM was provided to me by the company TFZ via Penon Audio for free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with TFZ or Penon Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.


    2. Introduction:

    The company TFZ (The Fragrant Zither) is located in mainland China in the province Shenzhen and is a manufacturer for high-end audio and video products that we know since a few years with it’s popular IEM (in-ear monitor) line, the TFZ Series 1/3/5 and the Balance 2/2M and models like the Exclusive King.

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 series is the new fashion style IEM group with double dynamic (DD) Graphene drivers.

    3. Price:

    The MSRP price for the TFZ TEQUILA1 is around 139,00 USD.

    Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/tfz-tequila-1.html
    Manufacturer website: http://www.tfzither.com/

    4. Package and Accessories:

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 comes in a small, black card box and includes the following contents;
    • 1 pair TFZ TEQUILA1 IEM
    • 1 pcs. of cable with 0,78mm 2 pin connection
    • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips with wide-bore
    • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips with small-bore
    • 1 pair of foam ear tips
    • 1 pcs. of Pelican Style Carry Case


    Inside the box is a white hard case with a Pelican style look. The case is big enough to store the earphone it self and some silicone ear tips for on the go.


    They are 3 pairs of silicone ear tips with a small and 3 pairs with a wide bore. TFZ also included 1 pair of soft foam ear tips. The tips are comfy and don’t fatigue after long listening periods. The only con could be the transparent-white color of the material that could get yellowish after sometime.

    The IEM comes with a cable that has 2 pin connectors.


    5. Specifications:

    a) Driver:

    Inside the TFZ TEQUILA1 is a Dual-magnetic two-way Graphene driver with a relative small outer diameter of 8.9mm. The magnet of the driver is made of NdFeB N50, the voice coil of copper clad aluminum wire and the diaphragm of Graphene material.

    b) Cable:

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 comes with a nice looking 4 braided 5N OFC (Oxygen free Copper) cable that has 0,78mm 2pin connectors. The cable is sturdy and has low to non microphonics.


    The stylish looking y-splitter and the chin slider are made of a relative heavy metal material that has a silver color.


    The straight plug is also made of this silver colored metal and has 3.5mm gold plated TRS connector.


    c) Drivability:

    The TEQUILA1 is an efficient IEM with its relative low impedance of 20 ohms and a high sensitivity of 105dB. This technical feature makes the TEQUILA1 to a good IEM option for devices with low power like mobile phones, tablets etc.

    6. Technical Specs:

    Driver: Dual-magnetic two-way graphene driver
    Magnet material: NdFeB N50
    Diaphragm material: graphene
    Diaphragm diameter: 8.9MM
    Frequency response range: 5HZ ~ 40000HZ
    Harmonic distortion: 0.5%
    Impedance: 20 ohm
    Sensitivity: 105dB
    Magnetic flux: 9000KGS
    Wire: core count 4 * 18 * 0.05 5N oxygen-free copper
    Outer sheathe: high flexibility transparent PVC

    7. Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The monitor of the TFZ TEQUILA1 has a different look than traditional Hi-Fi level IEM’s. The housing is an all-metal aluminum CNC process shell and that has a quite small shell.


    The TEQUILA1 has two different front cover (looks like a grill) designs; one has the look of a spider web and the other reminds me to the radioactive symbol and to the umbrella logo of of the umbrella company in the movies of Resident Evil, LOL. They are also many color options like red, blue, green etc. for each style.


    The housing and the 0,78mm 2pin female connectors are very well made and it sits quite comfortable in my ears due the relative small size.


    The noise isolation of the TFZ TEQUILA1 is above average.

    8. Albums & tracks used for this review:

    George Michael – Older Album (Apple Music)
    LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
    Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
    Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
    Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (ALAC)
    Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)

    9. Sources used for this review:

    IEM : TFZ TEQUILA1, Pinnacle P1, Whizzer A15Pro
    DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Aune M2Pro, Chord Mojo, Hidizs AP60II, Ipaid Air 2

    10. The Sound:

    This review is written after a burn-in process of apprx.160 hours. After some experience with some other monitors with Graphene driver, I have come to the conclusion that it needs more burn –in den regular PET drivers. I have used the stock silicone ear tips with the wider bore.

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 is an IEM with a slightly V shaped sound signature with emphasis on the top and low end.



    The sub bass of the TFZ TEQUILA1 between the 30 – 50Hz frequencies has the right amount of weight without to be exaggerated. The extension of sub bass notes is great an there is plenty of depth with quite good accuracy.

    The speed of the double dynamic graphene driver inside the TEQUILA1 is quite fast, so that it is possible and able to produce fast bass notes. Bass notes between 60 – 250 Hz have fast attacks and decays so that it is possible so hear some nice kick drum and bass notes.

    The sound signature of the TEQUILA1 is V shaped, but the midrange is only slightly recessed so that there is a nice sense of space and some airiness without to be sounding too distant.

    Vocals and Instruments benefits from this tuning and the overall vocal and instrument presentation sounds in many situations quite natural, moreover male and female vocals sounding pretty emotional.

    For example; Laura Pergolizzi’s voice sounds quite intimate, just like the voice of George Michael in its epic album “Older”.

    Thanks to the good bass tuning, the TEQUILA1 sounds by no way muddy and it doesn’t exist any bass bleed that could be caused by the mid-bass area.

    The treble range of the TFZ TEQUILA1 is prominent due the V shaped sound signature, but there is no treble harshness or sibilance unless a track was recorded in that bad way.

    The upper treble range sounds crisp and tight and the clarity and detail retrieval is quite good for an in-ear monitor with dynamic drivers in this price range.

    The treble speed of the TFZ TEQUILA1 excels very well in some complex tracks like GoGo Penguin’s – Muration that makes a good impression for an sub 200 USD IEM.



    The TFZ TEQUILA1 sounds pretty specious and has an above average soundstage performance. There is a nice out of the head presentation in Yosi Horikawa’s track “Bubbles”. The staging is pretty wide with a sufficient presentation of depth and the positioning of vocals and instruments is quite accurate.

    11. Comparison:

    Vs. Whizzer A15 Pro (125 USD):

    The Whizzer A15 Pro is one of my favorite IEM’s in the sub 150 USD price category.

    Design, Fit & Build Quality:
    It has a nice packaging and is well made. Both IEM’s are relative small IEM’s and have an above average isolation. The A15Pro is a small IEM but is not as comfy due the weight and the design choice. The TEQUILA1 is de better choice if you want listen to music for longer than 2-3 hours.

    Both IEM’s have cable upgrade ability’s. The TEQUILA1 has 2 pin (0.78mm) connectors, while Whizzer decided to use MMCX ones. This is my personal choice, but I think IEM’s and cables with 2 pin connectors are more durable and safe to use and to upgrade/change.

    The sound of this IEM’s is quite different. The Whizzer A15Pro has a colder and brighter sound presentation with more linear frequency response. The TEQUILA1 in the other hand sounds more musical and with its V shaped sound signature.

    The Whizzer A15 Pro is missing some bass weight that makes it not as conventional as the TEQUILA1. TFZ TEQUILA1 has the better tuning for a wide variety of music genres. The bass of the TEQUILA1 has better weight and response than the A15 Pro.

    The midrange performance of both is quite good, but the A15 PRO sounds a little bit too dry vs. the more emotional and intimate vocal presentation, especially for female vocals. The Instrument separation on both is quite good in the price range of between 120 – 140 USD.

    The treble definition and resolution for both IEM’s is good but the TEQUILA1 has the upper hand for the control and overall accuracy. The A15 Pro has also some minor problems like upper treble harshness in some genres like metal music. Some instruments like cymbals and bells do sound a little bit ear-piercing in some of my test tracks like Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught. The TEQUILA1 sounds more controlled and softened at the upper treble register.

    The TEQUILA1 has the better depth, while the soundstage wideness of both IEM's is nearly equal.

    Vs. MEE audio Pinnacle P1 (199 USD):

    The MEE audio Pinnacle P1 is one of my favorite IEM’s in the 200USD price range.

    Design, Fit & Build Quality:
    The Pinnacle P1 is a very capable IEM with its single dynamic driver. It has a die-cast zinc alloy housings and replaceable cables with MMCX (micro-coaxial) connectors and fits nice in my ears. The downside of the shell is that it is relative heavy that makes it uncomfortable after some hours.

    The TEQUILA1 has a double dynamic driver configuration with 2pin (0,78mm) detachable cables and a full metal housing that is very comfy even after 2-3 hours.

    The Pinnacle P1 has a impedance of 50ohm versus 20ohm for TEQUILA1; this means that the P1 needs more juice to show its true potential. The TEQUILA1 in the other hand is very easy to driver and sounds also good with mobile phones and tablets.

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 has more sub-bass extension, depth and quantity than the Pinnacle P1 that you can hear and feel. The bass on both IEM’s is fast and shares similarities in body, pressure and weight. The Pinnacle P1 has only a hint more mid-bass extension.

    The midrange of both IEM’s sounds airy and has enough space for vocal and Instruments. The overall resolution goes to the TFZ TEQUILA1 that has little bit better micro detail reproduction and sounds more dynamic than the Pinnacle P1. The upper midrange on the Pinnacle P1 sounds a bit too dry and also thin compared to the more energetic and fairly controlled sounding TEQUILA1.

    The treble range on both IEM's sounds crisp and transparent with a nice amount of detail. The Pinnacle P1 has little bit more treble emphasis on the top end that makes it prone for treble harshness.

    The soundstage on both IEM’s is above average and there is better depth for the TEQUILA1, while the Pinnacle P1 has the wider staging.


    12. Conclusion:

    The TFZ TEQUILA1 is an eye-catching IEM with its fashionable style. The build quality and fit is one of the best in this price category and the overall sound performance is pretty good for the price with its V shaped sound signature that gives it a musical presentation.

    13. Summary (plus and minus):

    + Eye-catching fashion styling
    + Good sound performance for the price
    + Replaceable cable option
    + Good build quality
    + Great Price to Performance Ratio

    - Not for people who prefer a neutral tuning



    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :