Tingker K200 dual hybrid in-ear monitor

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Massive sub/mid-bass quantity but still very clean (basshead levels of quantity)
Non-fatiguing treble
Female/male vocal balancing
Male vocals
Soundstage
Cons: Details
Instrument separation
Uncomfortable shell
Not a lot of accessories
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Disclaimer: I received this review unit for free from the Tingker store on AliExpress, thank you very much.

Price: 70 usd

Specifications:

Impedance: 19Ohm

Headphone sensitivity:121db±3db

Frequency range: 18-22000Hz

Cable Length: 1.25m±5cm

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Accessories:

Carry case

S/M/L silicone tips

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Cable: The 8 core SPC cable measures at 0.36 ohms. The build quality and a working chin-slider would have made me say that it isn’t needed to get a 3rd party cable, since the ear-hooks are very stiff so it makes it a bit uncomfortable due to the shell shape. A 3rd party cable is recommended due to that or if you can remove the ear-hooks.

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Build: The build is made out of metal, including the nozzle. So, it looks and feels very good except for the sharp edges. There is a metal mesh filter and a very small vent is present along with a lip on the nozzle.

Fit: You can wear it both up and down (if you remove the ear-hooks on the cable). For me wearing it down is more comfortable since you avoid the sharp edges, but the fit is better wearing it up. (I wear it up.)

Comfort: As mentioned in the cable section, the shell shape is actually a bit sharp on the edges so if you insert it very deep or have a cable with a very stiff ear-hook it is a bit uncomfortable. But if you avoid the sharp edges by not inserting it very deep it is pretty good.

Although since the vents are very small that makes the pressure stronger than on most other vented iems. So, on longer session, the pressure (along with the sharp edges) makes it uncomfortable. It has a small amount of driver flex.

Isolation: Above average even with the smaller build since the vents aren’t very big.

Setup: Ibasso DX160 (low gain, volume around 40), FAAEAL Litz copper cable, Final Audio Type E LL tips

Lows: The bass quantity is very high (basshead level) while is a bit loose (makes the bass more boomy), but the reason it stays clean is due to the fast speed (decay is especially fast).

Texture is average though but rumble and extension are above average. Both sub/mid-bass quantity are pretty even. Quality is pretty good but is bottlenecked by the texture (average or lack of it).

Mid-bass: Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), quantity is very good and makes it fun, it is also very clean due to the speed and the tightness makes it sound very natural. It does need to have more texture though.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), While the bass is very clean due to the speed since the tightness and the texture is a bit lacking it makes the individual strikes less distinct. The (02:55-03:01) section is hearable but not very clear.

Tsugumomo OST – Fighting spirit (01:26-01:36), the bass control can’t handle this without sounding muddy. It needs to be tighter for it to be cleaner even though the speed is still pretty good.

Sub-bass: Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension and rumble are very good and with the speed (decay) it stays clean. The punch is lacking some texture though, but the quantity and tightness are good.

Will Sparks – Sick like that (03:08-03:22), Texture is pretty good on this and the punch is very satisfying due to the quantity, tightness and speed.

Mids: Male/female balancing is quite good and female vocals aren’t sharp. But both female and male vocals tend to be a bit too warm and thick for them to be natural.

Details also suffers a bit due to that. Fortunately, the bass does not bleed in to the mids on most songs so the mids are clean.

Female-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), The vocals are a bit too warm/thick for it to sound natural, it also makes it lack some energy and detail.

Yuki Hayashi – MightU (01:58-02:55), Same with this one as with the one above, although this one needs even more brightness so it sounds a bit more unnatural than on OldToday.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), not sharp or sibilant at all. Which is good but again, it does lack some brightness/thickness so energy is lacking.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Crescent (02:07-02:26), the vocals are actually really good and natural while avoiding sharpness on this song.

Male-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), very natural and quite clean because of the warmth and thickness.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), It is lacking a bit energy due to it being a bit too warm and thick.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), electric guitar is not sharp, but it does lack a bit of energy and brightness.

Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), energetic but not sharp. Very well balanced between the vocals/instrument.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Texture for the cello is good, but the violin lacks some brightness/thinness making it lack energy (and not as natural) as a result.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), the cymbals are very recessed and lack a lot of energy. Not very natural.

Extension and air are pretty average.

Soundstage: Very big soundstage in width but average in depth.

Tonality: Warm L-shape, it is leaning quite a lot towards the warmer side but isn’t dark. It does make a lot of my vocal songs a bit too warm and sounds less natural as a result.

The timbre is pretty average for a hybrid and can NOT compete with single DD´s in timbre.

Details: Below average details

Instrument Separation: Below average, Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), the individual instruments are separated but imaging is a bit bad and hard to tell where the instruments are.

Songs that highlight the IEM:
Good genres: Trance, EDM, Hip-hop, Pop, Kpop

Bad genres: OST, Classical, Orchestral



Comparisons:

IEM:
Blon-BL03 (mesh mod)

Bass: Aurosonic – All I need (progressive mix) (0:00-0:25), the sub-bass quantity on the 03 when compared to the TK200 is almost bass light. There is much more quantity in the TK200 but they are both as clean due to the speed on the TK200 being faster than on the 03. The 03 is tighter though. But the TK200 sounds more fun on this.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), there is more texture on the 03 and it is a bit tighter. But the TK200 has much more quantity while it is faster so it is more fun on the TK200.

The bass on the TK200 makes the 03 seem like a neutral iem (it is not), but even with that massive bass quantity it is as clean as on the 03.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), the 03 outclasses the TK200 by being more natural (brighter and thinner), more detailed and cleaner sounding. Female vocals are much better on the 03.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), the 03 also sounds much better since it is cleaner and more detailed, while the TK200 sounds a bit bloated here. The male vocals are pretty natural on both, but the overall sound is much better suited for male vocals on the 03.

The mids are better on the 03 overall.

Treble: Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), cleaner and more detailed on the 03, but sounds a bit sharp.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), the TK200 is more textured on both the violins/cellos but the 03 is brighter and thinner so it sounds more natural and detailed.

While the 03 has a more natural treble, it does sound a bit sharp sometimes, while the TK200 is much more fatigue-free.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage is wider on the TK200. But the details, instrument separation and timbre are better on the 03.

Overall: The 03 has better SQ overall and technicalities. But the TK200 is better if you want a more fatigue-free and basshead iem.

IEM: Urbanfun iss014

Bass:
Aurosonic – All I need (progressive mix) (0:00-0:25), sub-bass speed, tightness and texture are much better on the Iss014 while it has more quantity on the TK200. The TK200 is more fun but the quality is much higher on the Iss014.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), the mid-bass has more quantity on the TK200 but is more textured, tighter and faster on the iss014. More fun on the TK200 but quality is a lot better on the iss014.

The Iss014 has much higher quality but the TK200 has much more quantity.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), more natural, detailed and cleaner on the iss014 while it is less fatiguing on the TK200.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), much cleaner, detailed and natural on the iss014.

Treble: Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), sharp and too bright on the iss014 but more detailed, while it is more natural on the TK200.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), much more natural, detailed and textured on the iss014.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), detail, instrument separation and timbre are better on the Iss014. But it is a bit too bright on the Iss014, so it is a bit fatiguing.

Overall: The overall SQ and technicalities are better on the iss014, but the TK200 is more fun and fatigue free.

IEM: Shozy Form 1.1

Bass:
Aurosonic – All I need (progressive mix) (0:00-0:25), a bit tighter on the 1.1 but faster on the TK200. Texture is better on the 1.1 while the quantity is much higher on the TK200. Sounds better much more fun on the TK200 due to the quantity.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), The quantity is much higher and a bit more textured on the TK200 while it is a bit tighter and faster on the 1.1.

Bass quality is better on the 1.1 but the quantity is much more on the TK200.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), much more natural, detailed and cleaner on the 1.1.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), the TK200 sounds a bit more natural (due to the warmth and thickness) but it is cleaner and more detailed on the 1.1.

Mids are better on the 1.1 and isn’t sharp at all.

Treble: Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), quite sharp and too bright on the 1.1 but more detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), more natural, textured, detailed and cleaner on the 1.1.

The treble is better on the 1.1 but can sometimes be quite sharp.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), details, instrument separation and timbre are better on the 1.1 but the soundstage is much bigger on the TK200.

Overall: The 1.1 has better SQ and technicalities overall but the TK200 is much more fun due to the bass and also much less fatiguing.

IEM: Tin Hifi T3

Bass:
Aurosonic – All I need (progressive mix) (0:00-0:25), Bass quantity is much more massive on the TK200. Speed, tightness and texture are similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), bass is almost anemic on the T3 so it does not sound good on this song at all. Speed, tightness and texture are similar. Missing some body and warmth due to the bass quantity on the T3.

The TK200 has similar bass quality but quantity is massive.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), much more natural, detailed and cleaner on the T3.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), more natural on the TK200 but more detailed and cleaner on the T3.

Male vocals are better on the TK200 while female vocals are better on the T3.

Treble: Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), anemic bass makes the entire song lack body and sounds lifeless on the T3. Sounds very bad on the T3.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), much more natural, detailed and cleaner on the T3.

Brighter and thinner songs sound better on the T3 while warmer and thicker (with bass) are better on the TK200.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), details, instrument separation are better on the T3. Soundstage depth is better on the T3 while the width is better on the TK200. Timbre is better on the TK200 and sounds much more natural due to the lack of bass on the T3 makes it sound lifeless.

Overall: The T3 and the TK200 are similar in SQ but T3 has better technicalities. They are complementary sets and are polar opposites in sound profile. If you want a bright-neutral iem the T3 is better while if you want a basshead L-shaped iem the TK200 is better.

IEM: TFZ NO.3

Bass:
Aurosonic – All I need (progressive mix) (0:00-0:25), bass texture are a bit better on the NO.3 while the speed and tightness are better on the TK200, but the quantity is similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), bass on the NO.3 is slower and looser, while texture is similar but quantity is a bit higher on the TK200.

Bass quality is better on the TK200 while they are similar in quantity.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), timbre is better and sounds more natural on the TK200, but it is more detailed and cleaner on the No.3 (due to it having more treble quantity).

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), much more natural on the TK200 but a bit cleaner and detailed on the No.3.

The mids are much better on the TK200 due to it sounding more natural, makes the No.3 sound a bit artificial.

Treble: Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), sharp, grainy and very unnatural on the No.3.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), much more natural on the TK200 but it is a bit cleaner and detailed on the No.3 due it having more quantity (fake details).

The treble is much better on the TK200 since it is much more natural and non-fatiguing.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), sound unnatural and grainy on the No.3, while soundstage, details, instrument separation and timbre are better on the TK200.

Overall: The TK200 outclasses the No.3 in almost everything and does a better job of being a basshead iem.


Conclusion: It is quite apparent that the TK200 is a basshead iem. I recommend it if you want a more relaxing, clean basshead iem. The overall scores gets a reduction due to its uncomfortable fit and below average technicalities when compared to its competition, but otherwise it sounds pretty good. Thanks for reading.

ElixBerd

New Head-Fier
Pros: + Enjoyable (fun) sound signature
+ Decent holographic imaging capabilities
+ Good resolution, separation and other technicalities for the money
+ Сomfortable to wear long-term, nice build quality and stock cable
Cons: - Excessive bass (source-, cable- and tip-dependent)
- High frequencies can be shimmering and fatiguing (source-, cable- and tip-dependent)
Tingker TK200 review: A Pleasant Surprise

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Disclaimer

These earphones were suggested to me for a review almost for free. However, the option of being honest in expressing my opinion is more valuable to me than any fleeting monetary gain. In short, I write what I think. Believe it or not. And I try to be as objective as possible.

Introduction

Tingker is a lesser-known brand among the plethora of IEM brands on AliExpress. Although it is not new on Chinese market. There's a more famous brand by which you might know them, Audiosense, which are famous for their highly successful 8 BA model T800. Recently they decided to start selling TK200 under their Chinese brand Tingker on AliExpress, although the model isn't new and it has been selling on Taobao since 2017, I believe. And I must say in advance that everything points to the fact that this AliExpress model is actually a retuned version of TK200, with a different frequency response, shell finish and a much better stock cable (Tingker representative has actually confirmed my findings by saying that the new revision has a different BA driver).

What made me interested in Tingker TK200 is the official frequency response graph. Without being pretentiously humble, I find myself quite experienced already in reading and interpreting FR plots. Of course I realize that FR plot alone can't tell everything about the sound of headphones (impedance and phase graph are also needed to "guesstimate" the sound), but I digress.

Specifications

I will just state that this is 1 DD + 1 BA hybrid earphones with 10mm dynamic driver responsible for low frequencies and Knowles RAD-33518 balanced armature responsible for middle and high frequencies. It has an impedance of 19 Ohms and sensitivity of 100 dB +/- 3 dB. This is stated on the official page of the product and I cannot attest it unfortunately.

Price

The official price is US $69.00 but right now Tingker Official Store on AliExpress is giving away $25 coupons making the total price US $44.00 for these earphones.

Summary

I wasn't expecting much of these earphones. The unboxing experience was quite nice but in the end sound is what's important. And when I first started to listen to them they caught me by surprise. A pleasant surprise it was, considering the price! The only fault I could hear right away was the amount of bass that I was hearing and the smear it was introducing. I have found later on that I can remedy this problem by a certain degree with different sources, tips and cables. The excess amount of bass in Tingker TK200 was not as severe of a transgression as in famous BGVP DMG or the recently-hyped ISN H40 (more on the comparisons later), but it's still keeping me from calling them balanced or neutral. That being said, the sound I was hearing was very enjoyable. Midrange is full-bodied, natural and transparent. Upper mid-frequencies (presence region 1.5-3.5 kHz) are softened so vocals are never shouty, at the expense of some texture on drums, stings and other instruments. But Tingker's still not overdoing it and making them feel hazy or dull. Good high frequencies are what's harder to come by in earphones, especially budget ones, but Tingker didn't fail here, with some caveats. You can expect a nice quality here with the timbre favouring shimmer and air (middle and upper HF) rather than strike and "meat" of the cymbals (lower HF). HF are colored for sure, but you almost never hear sibilance or graininess (and if you do, it's most likely your DAP or amp, or the track itself), or lack of detail that's very typical of budget earphones. You get to used to the timbre quite fast, actually, although it's the timbre of high frequancies that's preventing me from calling them outstanding in this regard. Overall tuning is fun and detailed, with boosted bass and high frequencies. I was surprised by the 3D presentation as well, with easy localization and feeling of volume of instruments. All in all, T200 is a great value proposition, much better that a lot of recently hyped earphones to be honest.

Packaging and accessories

I'll be brief here. Packaging feels premium for the price and already leaves a good first impression.

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Accessories are: 4 pair of earips, hard zipper case, 8-core braided SPC (silver-plated copper) cable and a manual/registration card.

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Build, comfort and ergonomics

Easily one of the most comfortable universal IEMs that I've tried. Although the form might be highly reminiscent of Tin Audio T2, actually it's quite a bit different. And definitely more comfortable due to thinner and a bit longer nozzle. Also MMCX connector is more protruded from the shell.

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Shells are all-metal (looks like brushed aluminum to me) and looks very well-made. Nevertheless they're quite light (lighter than T2). MMCX socket is cleverly protruded from the shell which certainly works better with included cable with ear hooks. There are 2 compensation holes in the shells. DD clicking noise when you insert the earphones is minimal (if at all present).

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The fit is excellent. TK200 can be inserted deep and provide above-average sound isolation. I felt no physical discomfort while wearing them even for several hours straight.

Sound Analysis

Please, note: my measurement setup centers around Panasonic WM-61 microphone and a DIY coupler, as well as E-MU 1616M ADC and DAC. Needless to say, my measurements might differ from others', and because of DIY coupler which is a 2.5cm hollow silicone tube, frequency peaks above 8 kHz can be exaggerated in my setup. Absolute accuracy isn't guaranteed anyways.

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Well, prime offenders to neutral sound signature are well obvious on this image. Low and high frequencies are definitely colored on Tingker TK200. If we average the responses, I have no argument with how Tingker treated the range from 300 to 5000 Hz: the slight emphasis on lower mid-range makes music sound richer and fuller, while a moderate rise (5 dB) at high mid-frequencies (1.5-3.5 kHz) gives vocals and instruments the needed amount of texture and presence to sound natural without introducing harshness and listening fatigue. But it is clear that low and high frequencies have been overdone here. Looking at that 20 dB peak at 10 kHz you might feel intimidated to even try these earphones, but the reason the peak is so high is mostly because of my measurement equipment.

FR is only one part of the equation when it comes to characterizing headphones. There are other important things to measure such as electrical impedance, phase, distortion, impulse response, etc.. Unfortunately I don't have technical means to measure all these at the moment, but I want to mention that TK200's dynamic driver doesn't feel particularly responsive to me. I'm sure impulse response measurement could've shown that. This, in conjunction with elevated FR in lower frequencies (<200 Hz), comprises the biggest problem with TK200, leading to overblown lower register at times. But plug them into something more powerful than a phone or a Bluetooth DAC, however, and low frequencies become more controlled. High quality cable also helps reducing LF smear.

One more point of critique. Many IEM manufacturers nowadays seem to adopt the popular idea of tuning, that is to dip the 6-7 kHz frequency range. While it is true that one type of sibilance lies in that region it is also true that many musical details are also there and by suppressing them so aggressively you make the highs sound bland and simplified (Moondrop KXXS is one such example). In my experience, sibilance is affected by something else rather than pure frequency response in that region. There are numerous examples of earphones having sibilance while having that 6-7 kHz region dipped like on TK200. This is also proven by me EQing TK200 to lift 6-7 kHz by +6 dB, and I still didn't hear any sibilance.

On to the positives of Tingker TK200, these have a rather spacious soundstage presentation and an adequate balance of resolution and comfort. Elevated bass and HF actually help with the spaciousness. Vocals and instruments are never shouty. Mid-range isn't thin like on so many V-shaped earphones, it is pleasantly full and natural. The upper mid-range sounds a bit distant at times, and that is because of bass and HF elevation, but this actually adds more depth to the soundstage (albeit artificial one).

I don't want you to mistake that, since I point out so many points of critique, it's a bad sounding IEM. On the contrary, if we take the price into consideration, I found these to be pretty good. They handle a wide variety of genres well, without being harsh on your ears (well, maybe extremely HF sensitive), and that's actually an accomplishment. And if you listen to these on public transport or other noisy environment you might actually find the bass-boost quite welcome.

Source-, cable- and tip-rolling

The most common belief is that headphones (earphones, speaker) give you 80% of the sound. In my experience that's not true. Well, it depends. If headphones is your most expensive component then sure, it will give you the most positive influence on the resulting sound. But if you start adding higher quality components in each part of the chain: digital transport -> DAC -> amplifier -> cable, you will notice that headphones have lesser influence on the overall sound than you initially had. That is the case with Tingker TK200. I have a variety of sources: multiple dongle DACs (like Meizu HiFi DAC Pro, Dodocool DA134), xDuoo X3 II, Shanling M2X, TrueMan (multibit DAP, based on Hifiman HM603), E-MU 1616M and my 'hi-end' standalone DAC/AMP "Focus". As I climb up this ladder TK200's drawbacks become less irritating and more taste-oriented. I also have this cable from Morpheus Audio (it's a little-known Russian-based brand), which is twisted 28-core of very high quality SPC (30% silver!).

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With this cable low end is much tighter, less propagation on the mid-range, every sound has more focus with ease of localization, highs sound less peaky with more natural timbre. I cannot overestimate the positive effect a great cable can make on an earphone, TK200 is no exception.

As for tips, try wide bore tips with TK200 if you find the bass is excessive in your setup. Also try shallow insertion or lesser-than usual tip size. It's the cheapest tuning option around.

Bonus: EQ

To those who might be interested here's an EQ that brings TK200 to more neutral and reference response.

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Here're the parameters:
1: Frequency 500 Hz, Gain +2.5 dB, BW: 3
2: Frequency 3000 Hz, Gain +4 dB, BW: 0.6
3: Frequency 6500 Hz, Gain +4 dB, BW: 0.5
4: Frequency 10000 Hz, Gain -5 dB, BW: 0.5

And that concludes my review, thank you for your attention!

P.S. There's a rumor that Tingker might update these earphones with a different dynamic driver. If that would be the case, I would be even more aware of these earphones in the future.
Pros: Phenomenal midrange presentation, Sturdy metal construction, Detachable MMCX cables
Cons: Bass could use a bit more body, Treble could use a bit more sparkle
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At the time of the review, the Tingker K200 was was on sale on Easy Earphone’s website. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
 
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/2015-New-Original-Easy-K200-Balanced-Armature-With-Dynamic-HIFI-Monitor-Headphones-DIY-In-Ear-Earphones/519064_32574223582.html
 
Introduction
Here we go again...
 
This is becoming a recurring thing. Hybrids are becoming more and more apparent and affordable. And although the market is flooded with earphones of this variety, almost every single one offers something different from the rest. Today we will be covering another obscure brand hybrid earphone, the Tingker K200.
 
The K200 caught my attention when doing my daily shopping for new and exciting products on Aliexpress. The K200 was listed at a reasonable price and had a lot of features like MMCX cables and hybrid driver configuration. After reading up on the product and seeing that it had a lot of good feedback that was primarily about the phenomenal sound quality, I knew this would be something that needs a Head-Fi review.
 
NOTE: Since getting these earphones in for review, Tingker has released some very fascinating multi-armature earphones. If you reference the link make sure to take a look at them in the Easy Earphones store.
 
Disclaimer
I was given an opportunity to review the K200 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Tingker. I would like to take this time to personally thank Easy Earphones for the opportunity to get the word out on Tingker.
 
My Background
I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
 
There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
 
I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
 
REVIEW
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The K200 comes in a simple medium sized black box. The front of the package has the Tingker label in metallic print.
 
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The back of the box features specifications in Chinese and English.
 
Specifications and Accessories
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Specification:                                                                                                             
Model: k200
Type: In-ear
Impedance: 19 Ohm
Headphone sensitivity:121db±3db
Frequency range: 18-22000Hz
Cable Length: 1.3 meters
Driver Type: 1x single Knowles armature & 1x 10mm dynamic driver
 
Accessories:
1x Zipper clamshell case
1x Pair silicone ear hooks
3x Pair red/gray silicone ear tips
1x Shirt Clip
1x Pair K200 ear pieces
1x MMCX Cable
 
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The entirety of the package is very respectable and offers the user just about anything they would need to make good use of the product. Although the tips are nice, I do think a few more pairs with some double flange and memory foam tips would have improved the accessories package.
 
Housings
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The K200 housings are impressive. They are an all metal construction that is lightweight. The only plastic is the banding that helps hold the MMCX connector to the unit. Even still this piece is very solid and could easily mistaken for metal. K200 is a barrel design with a separate MMCX cable attachment. They are designed to fit similar to the Audio Technica CKR line.
 
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All in all, the build of the housings is fabulous and almost too good for the asking price.
 
Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
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The K200 cable reminds me a lot of the the Xiaomi Pistons cables, but with added MMCX connectors. They have a cloth jacketed portion from the jack to the Y-split, with thin rubber coated wires from the Y-split and up to the left and right channels. The cable is of the budget variety and won’t blow you away with its impressive build. Still, I find it to be formidable and acceptable for its asking price. The Y-split is a slim profile metal jacketed sleeve with the Tingker name printed on it. A chin/neck slider works well and is made of the same material. It snugs into place just above the Y-split when not in use. The jack is a straight design with a thin metal jacketing similar to the Y-split. Strain reliefs are minimal and non-existent where the cable meets the MMCX connectors. These connectors are decent and not the cheap variety that is prone to splitting and falling apart.
 
Functionality
The K200 comes with a plug and play cable. Although a phone cable would have been a welcomed addition, the MMCX connection makes this a possibility for owners to purchase or use an aftermarket cable. I used the cable from my Trinity Delta and enjoyed using them as a phone friendly accessory. If you shop around you should be able to find a MMCX cable with a microphone and remote for around twenty dollars.
 
Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
The somewhat bulky housings would lead you to think that these are an awkward fit, but they are the opposite. They have a very comfortable fit both cable down and over the ear. I was able to wear them for long periods without any need to readjust or take a break. Wearing them cable down, microphonics were much more controlled than the average in-ear monitor. Worn over the ear they were very comfortable and secure when using the provided chin/neck slider. The K200 has virtually no microphonics when worn this way, and were my preferred fitment.
 
Sound Review
I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
 
I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
“Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
“Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
“Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
“Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
“Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
“The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
“Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
“Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
“One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
“Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
“Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
“And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
“Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
 
Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
 
Source Selection
At 19 Ohms the K200 is pretty easy to drive. They have a somewhat forgiving sound signature that works with cell phones and amplified devices. One thing I noticed was that the K200 sound tightened up when driving them with a portable amplifier. I was able to get some really fantastic sounds when using them with my Shanling H3, or any portable amplifier for that matter.
 
Sound Signature
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The K200 isn’t a perfect sound signature, but at the same time there are particular qualities in the sound that is brilliant in my opinion. They are midrange forward with tight punchy bass. K200’s upper midrange is slightly elevated then rolls off at sibilant ranges. I find the K200 to be decent in terms of its ability to play any genre, but  it particularly excels when playing rock music or just about any band genre.
 
Bass
Bass was a bit of a mystery to my ears. At first it seemed as the the K200 bass was lacking body (rumble), and although that remains the case to a certain extent, the bass can also seem somewhat monotone at sub bass tones as well. There is sub bass but it almost seems like the driver isn’t vented to allow it to achieve certain tones. Don’t let that comment mislead you to think that the bass is bad. While I feel that the K200 could be more responsive and full at sub bass tones it doesn’t necessarily ruin their sound. K200 has more punch than rumble. Don’t expect the subbass to be the star of the show. The best part of the K200 lower frequency presence is punchy and powerful midbass which pairs well with the rest of the K200 sound.  
 
Midrange
This is where things get interesting. The K200 has some phenomenal midrange which I feel is their biggest strength. It emerges from the punchy midbass into a timbre rich, textured and detailed midrange that avoids being unnaturally warm. Its super engaging and puts midrange instruments and vocals at a premium. Guitars and vocals sound awesome on these things. This is why I find them ideal for rock and band genres. A dip around 1k leads into a lift at 2-4 kHz range, making the midrange seem energetic and spacious. I don’t think very many people will be able to fault the magnificently tuned K200 middle frequency range.
 
Treble
Treble drops off from 5-9 kHz, making them very smooth and not sibilant. I’m left feeling like the  K200 doesn’t have the same treble extension as other earphones. Some will really like them for this reason because it is gives a smooth presentation at upper registers. While I enjoy the sound of the K200 treble, during critical listening, there were some parts where I do wish I had that extra treble extension. However, for the most part these were a earphone that maintains crisp feel without any harshness.
 
Soundstage and Imaging
The punchy and somewhat midcentric tuning doesn’t create a large stage. It’s an upfront feel that is adequate and much better than the average in-ear monitor. There’s a great sense of instrument placement and layering of sounds thanks to the awesome K200 midrange.
 
Comparisons
 
Xiaomi Piston Hybrid ($20 to $30 USD on many sites)
Xiaomi released the Piston Hybrid at the end of 2015 and was an anticipated release. This has got to be the cheapest hybrid earphone you can purchase.
 
Comparing the two, they have similar upper frequency responses. The biggest difference I noticed is the much thicker and boomy bass presence of the Xiaomi. While I feel the Xiaomi Hybrid worked better with modern genres, their bass response was too sloppy for rock music and couldn’t hang with the K200 sound for this genre. K200 midrange was much more clear because it wasn’t overshadowed by bass. Treble was very similar.
 
Build quality goes to the K200 for having more metal parts and a detachable cables. Tingker also gets the advantage in accessories thanks to its clamshell case and silicone ear hooks.

 
1MORE E0323 ($50 to $75 USD on many sites)
I pegged the 1MORE as the king of hybrids at the fifty dollar range. I have to say, now that I’ve experienced the K200 the E0323 has some serious competition.
 
Comparing the two, I’ll say that the E0323 has a more refined sound than the Tingker offering. K200 has better midrange and works better with rock and band genres. I also found that an amplified K200 trumps an amplified E0323.
 
Build quality goes to the K200, Their all metal construction is great and much better than the E0323. They also have a superior detachable cable. Accessories goes to the E0323 thanks to their unique and stylish case.

 
Conclusion
The K200 shows us that a premium build and sound doesn’t have to come at a premium price. If you gave these to me and told me that they cost a hundred dollars more than they do I would probably believe it. Their impressive build quality and addictive midrange makes them a winner. If you want an earphone that will make the most of your band genre music, The K200 will give you a budget solution for this.  
 
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Thanks for reading and happy listening!
1clearhead
1clearhead
As always.....great review! Starting noticing these several months ago and the construction and housing on these look really good. 
 
In a sense, you get MORE than what you pay for!
Paulpark222
Paulpark222
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