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Tin HiFi T4

Rating:
4.5/5,
Tags:
  1. Banbeucmas
    Tin Hifi T4 Review
    Written by Banbeucmas
    Published Dec 1, 2019 at 6:06 AM
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good clarity
    Balanced sounds comparing to T2/T3
    Good packaging
    Technical ability is amazing for the price range
    Cons - Lack bass
    Shouty upper mids
    Average imaging and soundstage
    20112019_194106.jpg
    About me:

    I am a student who loves to talk and write about everything I made and found. Music/Audio happens to be one of them as I listen to music daily and play some Piano/Guitar along the way. My music preference is Rock, J-pop and especially Instrumental, I do listen to other genre of music if I happen to enjoy the song provided.

    The review is from my website: https://banbeu.com/tin-hifi-t4-review/ with some editing to fit the time I am writing.

    Introduction:
    Tin Hifi, despite my dissatisfaction with the P1, they still seem generating new hypes every time they release a new product. The Tin Hifi T4 is no exception, with tons of positive reviews from reviewers who received the product early just to "tease" their audiences and more or so with a successful crowdfunding campaign of over 300.000$ on Indiegogo, no doubt it is one of the hype of the chifi community in the last quarter of 2019. So, while most of the reviews out there are far before the release of the earphone itself, this post will be one of the first reviews of the Tin Hifi T4 after its release to the public, reflecting my own experience with it after a few days using it.

    Informations:
    • Price: 110$
    • Drivers: 1 DD
    This unit was bought from Linsoul through their campaign on Indiegogo.

    You can purchase the Tin Hifi T4 on linsoul website after a few days.

    Packaging and Builds
    [​IMG]
    Seem like Tin Hifi never gets tired of improving their packaging with every new release. Besides the usual silicon and foam tips, the leather case is bigger and in my opinion, looks nicer than the Tin P1 case. The cable looks good on screenshots, but not that good when you get your hands on it: it has a rubbery texture upon touching, which makes the chin slider comes with it harder to use due to the friction on the cable.

    The Tin Hifi T4's build is metal as usual, but the coating is different from T3 and T2, there is also a new jet-engine like pattern on the back plate also. For some reason, the earphone has actually shocked me several times when I tried to use it with my laptop, something which hasn't happened to me when I tried their past product. While this issue is common for metal IEMs, I will give out this warning for the first time to future Tin Hifi buyers. (Or at least, ground your house...)
    Sound:
    Signature & Measurement:
    [​IMG]
    Measurements are done on a steel coupler with dynamic microphone, while the result seem to be close to an IEC 711 coupler, there are noticeable roll off in the bass region and frequencies higher than 10kHz is also expected to have roll off.

    The T4 seem to follow a neutral bright signature from its predecessor, but I have seen different interpretations of it: mildly V-shaped, U-Shaped, some even would even say it is warm-neutral. But, I think it still can be called as a neutral IEM despite the tuning.

    The bass seems to be more focused in the sub-bass region rather than the usual mid-bass which gives more rumble to the T4, but not really punchy in anyway whatsoever so I would still obviously not recommending it to bassheads. The lower mids are slightly elevated and the upper mids peak nicely at 2kHz, there is also a peak on 6kHz, which can make vocals shouty depending on song choice. Finally, treble roll off after 6kHz, so cymbals don't seem to shine much on the T4.

    Subjective opinions:
    [​IMG]
    Surprisingly, while I expect a somewhat thin sounding notes from the T4 after hearing its predecessor, the reality seem different. Vocal for some reason sounds thick and while I am not that impressed with the T4 on many "weeb" song in my music library like 凋叶棕 - ためすがめ due to the high-pitched "anime" females vocal doesn't sound right to my taste, I was able to enjoy songs with male vocals like Baio - PHILOSOPHY! more than I usually do.
    Comparing to T2 and T3, the Tin Hifi T4 tuning is less bright and less aggressive, providing a more balanced sounds across the board. It also sounds different from the newly released BLON BL-03: The Tin T4 is more shouty on female vocals and its bass lacks punch comparing to the BLON.

    But, putting away my complaints about the tuning of the T4 which goes by my preference more than anything, the T4 note clarity is good, better than most (if not all) of the past Tin Hifi product (Yes, I think it beats the P1 technical wise, I wasn't a fan of it anyway despite the fact that it was an improvement to Tin Hifi past product at the time). Although this earphone imaging and soundstage is seemingly "average", for 110$, its technical ability seem to shoot nearly everything in this price range off the cliff which is really impressive.

    Conclusion:
    I usually would try to write some more of my thoughts about the IEM that I am reviewing, but this time, let just keep it short: Do I recommend the Tin Hifi T4? Yes! For 100$, in my opinion, it is the best that Tin Hifi has to offer and I see the earphone would still be relevant in the future as a solid recommendation to a lot of people just like how the T2 was. Hats off to you Tin Hifi.
  2. Captainbeefturd
    Simply Effortless
    Written by Captainbeefturd
    Published Nov 30, 2019 at 8:42 PM
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Design, build and comfort well above price point. Neutral Ballanced tonality with excellent timbre, all frequencies perfectly represented, soundstage almost holographic
    Cons - Imaging and detail not as on point as I've heard at this price. Upper mids can be a touch in your face with silicone tips, the supplied T2 foamies smooth this out though
    This is my first review outside of listing reviews so apologies in advance

    A short intro about myself: I can't profess to have anywhere near the experience of others here but I've been keen enthusiast of music, production but particularly its reproduction for many years. From DJing in some fairly well regarded cubs during the heady 90's rave scene, some rudimentary producing but mostly decades of keen listening using only the best music I can afford. Up to recently this included a set of custom Wilmslow Audio Studio Monitors driven biwired by 2 Audiolabs, a Linn CD player and my trusty old 1200's as source, so I have a reasonable reference point of quality gear.

    Unfortunately life events changed so I had to trade most of this in, lost for affordable quality audio I happened on what was coming from China at relatively rediculously cheap prices. I chanced a set of kz as10's and while far from perfect was blown away by what chifi's producing, genuine 'audiophile' sound at budget prices. I've since been bordering on the obsessive and at some point owned all 'the better' regarded KZ's (as16, ZS10 pro, zsx an extremely accomplished iem), CCA's (cca10, c12 and C16, superb, reference class) Trn's (the new Ba5's rediculously well tuned for a sub $50 all BA IEM) Shuoer Tape, a couple of Senfers and everything that Tin hifi have produced (T's and P) up to and now including the T4. I've forked out my own hard earned cash for all of the above including the £62 for the T4 from the Indiegogo 'Campaine' (still not sure why Tin Hifi would need this being their apparent establishment, but hey so long as its a few quid cheaper, makes it a bit more special, purchased on day of release I received them yesterday just over 2 weeks later.

    Opening the box your immediately greated with a far more premium experience than the T2, T2P even the T3 (and Tin do do premium presentation well) using a similar black box to the P1 with a comparable array of accessories including a new, much larger ,leather carry case and their usual well above average array of quality silicone tips and just 2 of the grey Tin Foamies (3 pairs of T2 blues also in the deal). For testing I used the T2 tips and set of cp145 spinfits (although tbh I found the included silicone tips virtually as good)

    Build quality is even even better than Tin Hifi's usual top notch standards (P1 excluded), the IEM's are cnc machined steel alloy, unlike earlier T series incarnations the T4 is not bullet like in terms of weight as well as build, the T4 is machined from mysterious substance lighter than air. In fact I could bearly feel any weight at all holding both iems and the cable, doing the tried and tested piece of chocolate method the entirety weighed less than 1 and half cubes of Cadbury Dairy Milk I had at hand. The cable is a simple twin braid which looks exquisite with the machined back to the housing. My only complaint would be the cable is slightly tacky to touch and therefore tangle prone. I never thought weight was an issue until wearing these you wouldn't know they're there, ZERO fatigue (in every respect). Using the classic old bullet design the diameter is slightly narrower with an almost sexual fit (my apologies just the only way I can describe a tin hifi T fit). This provides superb isolation and I suspect better acaustics, presenting the sound to your ear drum directly and securely, certainly to my ears and I'm yet to hear much different! They are by far the most comfortable headgear I've ever worn, superb ergonomics and virtual weightlessness means that even after 5 hours straight I don't even know there there, I never realised the weight of an iem mattered quite this much.

    For testing I used my Fio m6 as source playing mostly Tidal Master quality via my Tempotec IDSD plus (better known as the Hiditz dh1000 - rediculous value at about a hundred quid from Ali for a superbly tuned neutral Dual Sabre Dac, looks boss too). For testing I've played some of my favourite test tracks from Radiohead (in Rainbows mostly), Some Zeplin, Beafheart for some more avant garde Jazz thing, a few Damien Rice live and other acaustic tacks and a couple of live albums from Daft punk and justice to cover edm.

    Unlike nearly any Chifi iems these required zero burn in or 'adjustment' (depending on which side of the argument you fall) there was no unusual peaks, bloating or general weirdness they sang to me straight from the box, more so their incredibly easily driven from a reasonable smartphone, as well as a low powered DAP to more dedicated focused and powerful Dac/amp, they require no pushing and didn't sound strained at any point.

    Lows are strong but almost delicate in texture, sublime! Deap sub bass rumbles can be met whilst mid bass are tight enough, I wouldn't describe bass as tight and authoritive but realistic (had my fill of overly tight almost bomby bass), I'd say relaxed but on point

    To my ears these are the most balanced iems Tin Hifi have done and the mids represent this perfectly their just there, where they should be, detailed and textured beautifully with a timbre I've personally not hears on an iem near this price (even on high end cans). Male vocals are right there articulate detailed and strong ,female vocals just have a clarity and tenderness every note distinct sweet! Upper mid vocals can be a bit intense with silicones (cp145's) but smooths out nicely with foams

    Treble perfectly pitched with a reasonable amount of detail retrieval, others have found them overly bright and I'd agree with silicone tips this may be the case but use the supplied T2 (or foamies of your choice) and this is nicely tamed. I've heard better detail and imaging at even half this price but the presentation is everything I'd want to hear on the recording (do I really need to hear the bassist fart! ). There are many more iems even cheaper than this producing more detail throughout the frequencies but there's a richness, engagement and musicality you hear here you'd only hear on high end gear way beyond this price point and I believe this is where the T4 lives with that premium vibration!!

    Staging is magnificent broud, deap, high low, whatever, holographic to my ears. Combine that with the fact i can hardly feel I'm wearing them and i really am there, each instrument playing with tenderness, authority, richness and reality. Positioning is pretty good but like the detail, being a DD you won't get that pin point accuracy and sharpness you may get from BA's etc so could appear slightly vague almost, compared to many IEM's near or even bellow this price point.

    In summation theirs a premium quality oozing through the T4's from there design, accessories to their build but mostly in the musical presentation, there's richness and delicacy combined with enough authority to really present a well poised beautiful sound, especially at this price, the only weakness might be I didn't find they amp as well as some.


    If I was to sumerise in one word.....deft (deft and sublime if I could have 2)
    I understand on general release these will retail at around 110usd, I still feel this is good value as they easily compete if not beat a Shuoer Tape (one of the most regarded midfi iem) and imo Tin Hifis very own P1 retailing at approximately 30% more. There are things either of the 2 mentioned iems do do better but as an overall package (especially accounting for comfort and achieving a good seal) but require a lot of work faffing with tips or acquiring the power from a medium sized power station, the T4 just does this effortlessly

    Perhaps the best summation would be technically the likes of the Tin hifi p1, Shouer Tape, BLON BL-03, TRN BA5 may well ofeen beat the T4"s in 90+% of areas but they lack that rich premium timbre you only get with truly high end gear

    Sightations and thanks;

    I'd like to a special thanks the bottle and half of Malbec who promoted but in no way influenced this review, all the thoughts and opinions are purely mine and I have no affiliation with any potential type of wine
      jithu215 and Viajero like this.
  3. DallaPo
    TIN HIFI| 1*DD | Rating: 9.2
    Written by DallaPo
    Published Nov 19, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - balanced, natural sound
    outstanding 3D imaging and excellent separation
    great design and haptics
    wearing comfort
    Harman curve
    Cons - upper mids could be a little smoother
    a little more liveliness would be nice for my taste
    Intro
    The TIN HIFIT4 is the in-ear which the T2 Pro could have been and the T3 should have been. So it took a while until a worthy successor of the popular T2 came out. The T4 is a perfect symbiosis of the T2 and the T3 and combines both advantages perfectly, without reproducing its disadvantages. The whole thing is done with a dynamic driver, which is almost perfectly tuned to the given possibilities of a single driver.

    Handling
    To see that the T4 belongs to the TIN HIFI T-product line, just take a quick look. The evaluated case design of the T2, T2 Pro and T3 is also used in the T4. As an optical eye-catcher, the T4 has fine lamellas that resemble a turbine, which sets it apart from its relatives. Also the metal is not matt, but polished, the rest remains the same.

    For the cable, TIN HIFI does not rely on reinforced material, but likes to constantly go other ways with its models. The cable of the T3 was really an eye-catcher, both haptically, optically, but also on the workmanship.
    With the T4 we get a cable, which NICEHCK often likes to add to its MMCK-IN-Ears.
    It has "only" 2 cores, which have a good diameter and are silver plated. It has a rubberized coating, which doesn't feel as smooth and supple as the previous models. However, it is very comfortable to wear and does not really tend to knot.
    Talking of comfort, the T4 is not to be outdone if you also rely on the right tips.
    In this context, you can also influence the insulation, which is very good with the foam tips supplied.
    The transport case is also a small highlight. It rather reminds of a jewel case, which is covered with leather and has a soft inlay. TIN HIFI knows how to put a smile on the face of their customers with the accessories, as with the T4.

    Sound
    Let's get to the actual topic: The T4 has really gripped me in terms of sound and so far represents the most mature in-ear of TIN HIFI for me, I'm deliberately ignoring the P1 here, because it stands alone and with the right DAC behind it is really a small work of sound art for me.
    Back to the T4, which has hardly any weaknesses and if so, these are not of technical origin but simply a matter of taste. I always have a hard time with statements like: "This is the best in-ear under 100€" or something like that, because that can only be a personal feeling for myself, but the T4 does damn much right to negotiate such a status, because it doesn't only want to appeal to a small category of audiophile listeners, but the broad audiophile mass.

    TIN HIFI is not known for its invasive bass in terms of quantity. However, it usually offers a controlled, detailed, dynamic bass that is more at home in the midrange. This is also the case with the T4. However, the expansion into the sub-bass range is more pronounced and, for my taste, more stable, fuller and rounder than its predecessors. It blends in perfectly with the sound without being too intrusive, but not too shy either. Very well-balanced and linear, it always finds the right balance between noble restraint and powerful substructure, depending on what is required of it. Rarely have I heard such a balanced bass that nothing really disturbs me.

    Meanwhile you read more and more about the Harman curve when it comes to the tonal characteristics of an in-ear. This curve represents a curve which should come close to the current "ideal" sound image for the majority of society and is adjusted annually. The T4 is strongly oriented towards this, but for me it has to admit defeat in the mids compared to the Kanas Pro (also Harman). These are more advanced in the upper regions and not quite as relaxed and soft as in the Kanas Pro. On the other hand, they suggest more clarity and assertiveness with the T4. The voice reproduction is very successful with the T4, because although the upper mids are somewhat more prominent, which usually gives female voices more vitality, male voices are just as good. Be it by the solid body through the precise bass, which does not slip into the mids, or by the present lower mids. TIN HIFI has always had the knack of presenting mids in a very natural and tonal flawless way. They do the same with the T4 with ease.

    The treble is also an outstanding feature of the T4. Somewhat bright, but not too exaggerated, they have an amazing extension. They open the sound far upwards, so that music never sounds pressed at any time, but can always move freely in space, which leads to a wonderful separation and spatial representation. They don't sound too metallic or unnatural in any other way. They bring this infamous sparkle to the top end and always surprise with fine micro details. There are no signs of fatigue even after a long time of music enjoyment. But you should keep an eye on the volume. Not that the T4 gets dirty at higher levels, but still the rise in the upper mid-range (5 kHz) could become a bit independent and the signature could drift a bit too much into brightness due to higher gain in the higher frequencies.

    But what really makes the T4 a must-have for me, or let's say at least a listening test, is the stage, but especially the 3D presentation. Here you can hear everything you need to hear, neatly distributed throughout the room. Maybe some more expensive multi-driver models can do that even better, but here I see the T4 at eye level with the Kanas Pro, in detail even more brilliant, but the Kanas sounds rounder and more mature.

    Outro
    What else would I want from the T4? Slightly smoothed upper mids and a slightly warmer disposition. The T4 is far away from sterile, but it could still bubble a bit more vitality out of the small turbine. But that's really just a subjective perception and a lot of complaining on a very high level. I'm really fond of the T4 and can recommend it without a guilty conscience, for all those who are looking for a natural, directionally neutral V-signature, with balanced bass and good sub-boost, precise, tonal correct mids and an excellent expansion in treble without fatigue factor. In addition one gets an outstanding spatial representation, which scores with vocal intimacy and astonishing separation in depth and width.
    However, it won't be a perfect match for those looking for pure fun headphones. Fans of absolute neutrality might also dislike the upper mids and the sub-rise.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tin-hifi-t4-in-ear-monitor-earphones#/

    ___________________________________________________________
    More reviews: https://david-hahn.wixsite.com/chi-fiear
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHIFIEAR/
      Viajero likes this.
  4. antdroid
    Tin Hifi T4 Review
    Written by antdroid
    Published Nov 15, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Outstanding Value
    Nice comfortable design
    Attractive metal shell
    Neutral-warm sound
    Good detail resolution for this price range
    Cons - Some may find it too bright
    Some may find it lacking bass
    [​IMG]



    As I write this, I just realized I never tried the Tin T1, and I know nothing about it. But that aside, the product line from Tin Hifi has been decent to good. The Tin T2 was an instant chi-fi classic, with a neutral reference-like sound signature, good build quality, and removable mmcx cables at an affordable price. The follow-up T2 Pro had a very bright signature, that some like and others hated, and the T3 took parts of the T2 and T2 Pro and added just a Balanced Armature driver to give it just a little more resolution, and slightly added warmth and was pretty successful at that.

    The last Tin Hifi product I reviewed was their attempt at a Planar Magnetic IEM, the P1. This one had mild success in my eyes. It had a better out of box tuning than any other planar magnetic IEM I’ve tried (that is, default tuning with no modifications or equalizer applied), but the bar is quite low in this aspect, and the tuning still had some flaws such as overly bright tonality, and in-your-face soundstage, or lack thereof.



    Introducing…

    Quickly on the heels of the P1, Tin Hifi announced their latest creation, a dynamic driver, Tin T4. This new item retails for $109, but will be sold on Indiegogo at a special early bird price of $79 starting on Nov 11th.

    While in some ways, this is their simplest effort yet. Unlike the previous T-series I have tried, the T4 only has a single dynamic driver, while still retaining a generally similar housing shape and size. This new housing is much more intricately designed though, with a milled design that is reminiscent of a moving turbine blade engine.

    The new housing is still made from aluminum and feels rather light and nice. The connectors feel more sturdy than previous iterations, and the new cable is silver-plated and looks luxuriously braided with thick wires. In a small change from the past, the T4 is designed to be worn over-ears, instead of drop-down cable style like on the T2.

    Also included are a variety of tips and a really nice fake-leather brown jewelry-style flip box that has plenty of room to house the IEMs and a couple other small accessories.

    Sonic Barrier

    When I first put on the Tin T4, I was quite reminded of how the Custom Art Fibae 7 sounded for some reason. It has a neutral-ish reference type sound that I like with a touch of bass elevation that gives it just enough warmth to sound balanced, and not overly bright. The T4 has that same type of sound, while perhaps being a tad brighter, but not in sounding harsh or sibilant.

    [​IMG]
    Frequency Response Graph -- Note Channel Matching was exceptional!


    I was actually very pleasantly surprised by this IEM. It fits closely to my ideal neutral reference sound signature. The bass levels are right about where I like it, giving more quality than quantity. There’s still enough sub-bass quantity to provide rumbling texture in songs that provide it, and a smidgen of punch when necessary, but in general, it is a little lighter than other IEMs, especially those that are coming out of the Chinese marketplace lately.

    The mid-range is quite coherent and just slightly warm. It’s not thick and lush, nor does it sound thin to me. It sounds just how I’d like it so that every frequency stands on its own and doesn’t get bloated or becoming missing. The midrange is forward, just like the T2 and T3 before it. The pinna compensation begins around 1KHz as expected, and rises up quite high to a 2KHz peak and a reduction at 4KHz and another into the lower treble with a peak at 6KHz and a smaller one at 8KHz.

    The 6KHz peak doesn’t bother me, and typically doesn’t unless it’s overly boosted. The 8KHz are is where I have seen issues with past in-ears, but since it’s lower than the rest of the upper-midrange and lower treble frequencies, I don’t have any issues with sibilance or edgy harshness with the T4, and I did put this IEM through several pop tracks with female vocalists and known edgy songs for me and the T4 seemed to past with flying colors.

    This type of elevation in this area does make female vocals really stand out, and I do enjoy that. I love hearing vocalist’s emotion and bravado in their voices and having this type of rise really pushes that forward.

    [​IMG]


    The troughs and rises do help give the T4 with an adequate soundstage width, and I found the T4 to have just enough to separate instruments clearly and deal with congestion pretty well, which isn’t something I can say with many IEMs in this type of price range.


    I do think the T4 struggles a little bit with raised volume levels. While I typically do listen at around 70 dB/SPL when I’m using IEMs and headphones, occasionally I do raise the volumes a bit. I found the T4 to sound a tad strained and perhaps distorted slightly at higher volumes (I’m thinking 80dB and more). But at my moderate listening volumes, I find the T4 to sound clean, clear and actually surprisingly good.


    [​IMG]


    Some Selected Comparisons:

    Moondrop KXXS
    Normally, I would compare it with the Moondrop Kanas Pro, but since the IEM is now discontinued, the next best thing is their successor, the KXXS. I actually think the Kanas Pro and T4 sound very similar up to about 4KHz, but the Kanas Pro has a more laidback sound with reduced treble, while the T4 has more clarity due to the increased treble presence. Ok, so I guess, I did compare to the Kanas Pro after all.

    Now, the KXXS, it has noticeable more bass elevation, impact, sub-bass quantity, and longer decay than the T4. This could be good or bad depending on your tastes. For me, I like the T4’s bass levels because, in comparison, I find the KXXS’s bass decay to extend into the lower mid-range and actually that actually ends up muddying up a bit.

    I also find the KXXS to sound harsher and brighter, and surprisingly the T4 doesn’t have that issue, despite having what seems to be a measured higher response in those areas. I think where it differs is that the T4 has a big roll-off in the upper registers, and the KXXS has some rise there.

    So, for me, I was surprised that I prefer the T4 more than the KXXS.

    [​IMG]


    Etymotics ER2 Series
    I think the Tin T4 fits somewhere in-between the ER2 Studio Reference (SR) and Xtended Response (XR) models, and this is particularly where it’s bass and mid-range falls. The T4’s response is warmer than the SR, but not as warm as the XR. I think part of this is due to the T4’s higher rise in treble, which shifts the overall balance towards that area over the lower frequencies. This makes the XR have the same type of relative comparison to the T4 as the KXXS has above.

    I think both are similar in terms of overall quality though, but the ER series is extremely better at isolation. The ER2 series also has a more natural timbre due to the lower treble, but some may find that to be a slightly laidback in a sense.

    [​IMG]


    Blon BL-03
    Both have a shallower fit, though I find the Tin T4 to be much more comfortable to wear and easier to just put on and go. I had a lot more trouble out of the box with the BL03 with finding the right fit and seal and it was pretty instant with the T4. While the BL03 is a good, even great, value, I actually didn’t like it as much as many other people have. This is partially due to the sound signature being a little too bass and treble emphasized, and lacking mid-range forwardness.

    For the most part, I found the bass too heavy, and wished it was a few dB lower. That’s why I find the T4’s bass levels to be ideal for my personal preferences.

    [​IMG]
    Overall

    I find the Tin Hifi T4 a competent and good IEM, and I’m actually very happy with adding it to my collection. It’s the right type of sound signature for what I enjoy and I’m happy to recommend it at the introductory price, and even a strong consideration at the regular retail price. I think those who prefer a neutral sound signature will find this one right at home, and it comes with a nice set of accessories to go with it.

    The Tin T4 is an improvement and easily the most complete Tin Hifi product to date, and easily out performs the recent P1, which again, wasn’t one I particular liked.
  5. FcConstruct
    The New Benchmark Into MidFi
    Written by FcConstruct
    Published Nov 9, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great build and value proposition
    Very clean and engaging sound
    Neutral-bright signature with solid bass presence and treble coherency
    Great resolution compared to many IEMs in its price range
    Cons - Bass could be a touch more authoritative
    Treble might come off as harsh or sibilant depending on your sensitivity and music
    Fit might not be for everyone
    Soundstage and imaging is average
    upload_2019-11-9_21-38-36.png

    upload_2019-11-9_21-39-0.png

    This a review of the Tin HiFi T4, the single dynamic driver successor to Tin HiFi's T2 and T3. I got the T4 early as a review unit from Linsoul and it will go on sale on November 11, 9:00AM EST on Indiegogo for $79 as an early bird special + $20 in-store credit at linsoul.com Otherwise, it will have an MSRP of $110. Here's the Indiegogo link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tin-hifi-t4-in-ear-monitor-earphones

    About Me: I've been a live sound tech for the past 6-7 years at a church as a hobby and I play the piano occasionally on the side. My current daily driver is the Sony MDR-EX1000 though I do enjoy dipping my toes in the ChiFi world. Rock is my favorite genre (stuff like this) though I'm impartial as long as there's great musicianship. I'm fairly new to the HeadFi scene but I've written a few reviews on reddit on other budget ChiFi IEMs before.

    Build:
    The full metal shell is almost identical to the T2 with minor modifications. The first notable one is that the the nozzle is slightly longer than in the T2. The second is that the back vent hole is now moved to near the MMCX connector. The third is aesthetic with the turbine backplate. Otherwise, everything is the same. The nozzle is similarly wide, the weight is the same, and the other vent hole is still right next to the nozzle.

    Accessories: The stock tips are pretty decent. You get 2 sets of silicon and a set of foamies. Despite looking like SpinFits, they are NOT SpinFits sadly. One thing to note is the stock silicon tips are about 50% longer than the stock in the T2 (9mm vs. 6mm). The included over-ear cable is quite nice, a 2 core cable with a simple braid. It's fairly soft and pliable, if a little bit grippy. It does have some cable noise, but it's not too bad. Oh, you also get a premium-looking leather case. It's a bit on the bulky side IMO, more of a toss-in-your-bag rather than put-in-your-pocket type of thing.

    Fit and Comfort: The T4 actually fit better than the T2. The longer nozzle and tips really help the fit as you don't need push the wide nozzle as deep into your ear to get a seal like you did with the T2. Additionally, the pre-molded over-ear cable does a good job holding up the weight of the T4s. That said, if you had major issues with the T2's fit, this might not work for you. I personally didn't have an issue with the fit.

    Overall Sound Signature: A neutral bright tuning with enough bass that doesn't feel lacking yet not bassy. Bright because it is slightly treble focused and may potentially be harsh or sibilant depending on your music. The T4 is particularly clean with solid resolving ability, having an engaging and almost sterile or analytical presentation.

    Bass: Bass is clearly present without being overbearing, with more of a subbass focus than a midbass one. It leans a touch towards punchy than boomy and has a fairly quick decay. Bass impact is nice and tight though nitpicking says it would be improved if it were a little more authoritative. The strength of the T4's bass is that is well controlled without a hint of muddiness or bloat while maintaining a good sense of nuance in tone. Bass lines are smooth with well-defined notes that pop off in tracks.

    Mids: Thanks to the single DD, the mids stay nicely in step with the transition from bass and to treble to maintain coherency. The lower mids are very lightly elevated while the middle mids are neutral, leading to a lack of coloration here. The upper mids rise reasonably around the 2kHz mark to meet the pinna compensation similar to both the DF and Harman targets but are tamed as to not be overly strident. Instruments are presented cleanly with their natural tone coming through nicely. One instrument that stood out to me was the clarity of the snare drum timbre paired with a good dynamic response. Vocals are clearly presented without being too forward or favoring male or female vocals.

    Treble: The T4 starts its treble response with a soft peak around 5kHz in the lower treble that elicits a crispness to the sound. Past this peak, the T4 maintains an elevated treble response with good treble extension. Vocals benefit from this elevated lower treble response as it brings out clarity in voices. Additionally, individual note definition is distinctly apparent in the hats and cymbals, and the T4 is able to render the delicate sound of these instruments quite well, with a crisp initial attack and clean, nuanced shimmer. Speed is not an issue. This is something many IEMs struggle with and I'm very pleased that the T4 can handle this region without trouble. Some may find it harsh or sibilant, especially if they're sensitive around that 5kHz mark or listen to music that hasn't been too well mixed. I personally don't have any problems.

    Staging and Imaging: Here the T4 stops being so stellar. The staging and imaging are quite average as far as IEMs go. While it never feels congested and there is enough staging and competent imaging, it doesn't push any new boundaries and has a slight in-your-face feel that makes the T4 more engaging.

    Resolution and Separation: Compared to all the other ChiFi I've reviewed in the past, the T4 is a very solid step or two above in the resolution department. I'm able to pick out extra notes or nuances in instrument timbre in many of the tracks listen to that were previously obscured in other budget IEMs. I've used the words "clean" and "clear" multiple times throughout this review and honestly, that's because the T4 is just that. Notes and chord changes are distinct and instruments are well separated. Together with it's tuning, the T4 culminates into an IEM that sounds almost sterile and analytical at times with how clean it is.

    Comparisons to the Tin HiFi T2: I spent a few days listening to the T2 before I got the T4 and the constrast is fairly stark. In terms of technicalities, the T4 defeats the T2 in every way and reveals the T2's weaknesses. It has greater resolution, less graininess, and a cleaner sound. Where the T2 is able to compete on is tuning, as it has sweeter vocals and better electric guitar body thanks to the small bump in the lower mids.

    Comparisons to the BLON BL-03: These two IEMs are quite different from each other. The BL-03 has relaxed and bassy tuning compared to the more engaging neutral-bright signature of the T4. The BL-03 has a softer bass response that lies more in the midbass than the tighter subbass focus of the T4. Additionally, the BL-03 also sounds more smeared out while the T4 has a much cleaner note presentation. Resolution wise, the T4 does beat out the BL-03, but the gap isn't as wide as it as it was in the T2. Staging and imaging is about the same for both. The T4 handily beats the BL-03 in the treble thanks to it's ability to manage complex hats/cymbal passages where the BL-03 cannot. However, the BL-03 does have a warmer tone that may be more enjoyable for those who are treble shy.

    Should you buy it? At it's MSRP of $110, I think it's absolutely worth it. It's a very good IEM that checks almost every box for what I believe a great IEM should sound like (tuning aside). I would have to nitpick to point out flaws. If you aren't treble shy and don't need a ton of bass, the T4 may fit the bill beautifully as a starter IEM (or even ending depending on you). It's engaging and coherent with great resolution and minor flaws. I can't say what it can beat above the $100 mark but I'm confident that the T4 will be a major benchmark for the entry into midfi.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Distorted Vision
      Distorted Vision, Nov 11, 2019
    3. FcConstruct
      @Distorted Vision My guess is that the Indiegogo campaign is solely a form of marketing. Indiegogo (which is similar to Kickstarter) is a much larger platform than any conventional audio forum (such as HeadFi, SBAF, or reddit). Thus while Tin HiFi does not actually need the funds to manufacture the T4, they're using it as a way to reach many more customers that would have no idea about audio.
      FcConstruct, Nov 13, 2019
    4. Captainbeefturd
      I have to say I'm envious of your selection of IEM's if you found staging average on the T4, finding my set possitively holographic straight from the box. I guess there's always scope for different fits and subjective reception of sound presentation though. Absolutely agree with your view on tonality and general resolution etc though
      Captainbeefturd, Nov 27, 2019
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