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  1. cleg
    So familiar, yet so better
    Written by cleg
    Published Feb 8, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - sound, design, package, accessories set, wearing comfort
    Cons - none for this price, it's non the ultimately best IEMs ever, but one of the best in its segment
    1-Main Pic.jpg
    Tin Audio were never overambitious and never tried to seize the unseizable. They have found their way - to build relatively cheap IEM models with neutral sound signature - and follow it. After having released two successful models - T2 and T2Pro they decided to try to build hybrid IEMs and released T3.

    I received TinAudio T3 as a free sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. IEMs are available from AliExpress for $70.

    Usually at the beginning of my reviews I speak about some technical peculiarities of the models, but in this case, there is not much room for that. The dynamic transducer is rather good, as well as Knowles armature, metal body, and oxygen-free copper cable - there is nothing to make audiophile surprised. However, the hardest thing is to “mix” those parts correctly to get a good sound. TinAudio succeeds in it because you can hear their signature sound in every model they release. It is also appealing that the price of their IEMs is not very high - just 60-70 USD per unit, and you can clearly consider it to be a budget solution.

    2-Box.jpg

    Specifications
    • Transducers: 10mm dynamic + Knowles armature
    • Frequency Range: 10Hz - 40kHz
    • Sensitivity: 95±3dB
    • Impedance: 16Ω
    • Cable: 1.25m, OFC with MMCX connectors
    • Jack: 3.5mm

    Packaging and accessories
    The box of T3 became more complex in comparison to previous models. It sports outer white slipcover with a perforation that leads to the inner box. As usual, the inner box is made in the book style, but now it has a transparent window that shows the IEMs. This makes good packaging even better.

    What’s in the box:
    • IEMs
    • cable
    • ear tips: 2 pairs of foam ear tips and 2 sets (3 pairs/set) of silicone ear tips
    • manual
    3-Accessories.jpg

    Such presentation works really well and the IEMs can be a good gift. They look much more expensive than they actually cost.

    Design and usability
    Another good point of this model is its appearance. IEMs cylindrical bodies of classic style are made of metal and there are MMCX connectors in the back part of the bodies. The shape of IEMs has been redesigned in comparison to the previous models. The general appearance became much better and effective, but, this doesn’t spoil the usual severity that has become TinAudio’s style.

    Due to traditional shape, the IEMs fit well to most ears, providing good comfort and decent isolation. At last the company acknowledged that putting connectors in front is not such a good idea and moved it to the back part of IEM bodies, as it is done by many other manufacturers designing IEMs for over ear wearing. You, nevertheless, can easily wear T3 “cable down”, and in such case, it will be a good idea to switch earpieces around and to get the cable without ear hooks.

    4-Overview.jpg

    The stock cable is very good - soft, flexible and perfect in everyday use. It also looks appealing - a braided variant that may cost quite much if sold separately. MMCX connectors, which are made of metal, have a fine fixation. Jack is made of metal as well and sports carbon insertion.
    The Y-Splitter is made of metal and the slider is represented in the form of a cute transparent bead.

    Overall the look of T3 can be called “expensive”, the build quality is very good and you can easily see how affordable became IEMs, looking the same as flagships of 5-7 years ago.

    5-Without Tips.jpg

    Sound
    I used the following equipment for testing purposes
    • Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as DAC and AMP
    • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as source
    • Fidelia as the player
    • Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000 and others as portable players
    • High-resolution recordings in lossless formats (Dr. Chesky The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc etc.)

    Before listening the IEMs have been burnt in for 48 hours with changes during the first couple of hours only.

    This time TinAudio have made a slightly different signature in comparison to their usual neutral one, making T3 sound more lively and it is the exact reason that allowed new IEMs to make a good step forward. The model is more emotional and became more recognizable while keeping non-colored sound and good resolution for its price. Making my reviews I always take into account the price range so I will not repeat it further on.

    6-On A&K.jpg

    The lows are almost not accentuated and this will not appeal to enhanced bass lovers. Still, they are solid and springy and have good depth. In combination with resolution and good layering of more expensive models, it makes lows sound balanced and natural. The IEMs cope well with timbres of this register.

    The mids in comparison to the previous model have become less accentuated in terms of micro-details but slightly focused on macro-details. They have good weight, are emotional and sound on a whole new level. In combination with TinAudio signature neutral sound, this allows IEMs to sound more mature. Detail retrieval is still on a very good level, however, and the involvement into music is good. The soundstage is average in terms of depth and width, the positioning and layering are good.

    Treble is the thing that has been revised here as well, apparently due to the correct choice of armature driver. Of course it cannot boast layering or tonal richness of expensive multi-driver models, as well as their length, however, the treble has resolution and natural timbre. Also, I think that TinAudio engineers have chosen the correct amount of treble and it sounds rather balanced.

    7-Full View.jpg

    There are many competitors in this price range, and I have chosen some of them:

    Ostry KC09 This model offers a darker overall signature with slightly less resolution and more accentuated bass.

    iBasso IT01 This model is more aggressively tuned, lows and highs are more accentuated. That’s why despite almost the same level of detail retrieval and resolution, TinAudio's model sounds more neutral.

    Whizzer A15 Pro Those are good dynamic IEMs with slightly more natural lows (yet without the same depth). In other parts of frequency range TinAudio sound more detailed but less full.

    8-Stylish Shot.jpg

    Matchability
    Of course, the sensitivity of 95±3dB is rather low. Although part of modern smartphones will surely cope with it, such use case is not recommended. The technical ability of T3 is rather high and they require a portable player to truly shine. Actually, even the players of the entry-middle segment will do.

    TinAudio T3 is not genre-specific. The only condition for you is to like the neutral, non-colored sound. They are also moderately sensitive to the quality of recording, approximately 7 of 10.

    9-Again with A&K.jpg

    Some tracks as an example

    Kovacs — Mama & Papa Unusual contrast of lyricism and epicism with distinctive vocals will bring pleasure for any music lover. This track shows the technical abilities of T3.

    Dead Can Dance — The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove Despite minimalism the track sounds full and T3 shows it well, with rich drums, vocals, and percussion.

    ZAZ — Eblouie par la nuit Another way to show IEM technical abilities - a very emotional track that allows T3 to shine.

    Conclusions
    Upon the whole, TinAudio has continued their traditions and this will appeal to their brand fans. Again they have produced neutral and detailed sound in the convenient body. T3 is a good improvement in sound signature that, luckily, haven’t made the price go up.
      Light - Man, pitsel, hakuzen and 4 others like this.
    1. Killcomic
      Great review! You know, while reading this, I couldn't help but hear your voice in my head like in your videos.
      Killcomic, Feb 11, 2019
      cleg likes this.
    2. ThatAFKNoob
      Excellent review! The Tin T3 are probably going to be my favourite IEM once I get my hands on them!
      ThatAFKNoob, Feb 11, 2019
      cleg likes this.
    3. ArlakTheRecluse
      Unfortunately I literally just bought the T2's, so I'll likely stick with them till they break. Great review, I should have waited 2 more weeks!
      ArlakTheRecluse, Feb 14, 2019
      B9Scrambler and cleg like this.