Tinhifi C5


Headphoneus Supremus
Tinhifi C5 - still mediocre
Pros: Large stage
Good clarity
Great ergonomics and comfort
Unique driver configuration
Cons: Shouty upper midrange
Treble extension could be better
Price vs performance
The Tinhifi C5 is a hybrid dual-driver earphone with a unique driver configuration. It has 1SPD (square planar driver) and 1BA. In this review, I’ll be taking the Tinhifi C5 through its paces. It’s priced at $79.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by HiFiGo for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.


  • Impedance: 9Ω±15%.

  • Driver Configuration: 10*10 SPD Planar Driver+ Customised Balanced Armature Driver.
  • Frequency Response: 5mW.
  • Sensitivity: 101±3dB.

  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz.
  • Weight: 4.41 grams(single earpiece).
What's in the box

What’s in the Box​

  • Tinhifi C5 IEMs

  • Detachable 0.78mm 2-pin silver-plated copper cable
  • Mesh pouch
  • 5x pairs of silicone eartips

  • 1x pair of foam eartips
Tinhifi C5 design


The C5 in-ear monitors (IEMs) feature a sleek, curved design crafted from aviation-grade aluminium alloy. With no sharp edges or straight lines to be found, these IEMs are incredibly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Unlike other products that feature prominent branding on their shells, the C5 opts for a minimalist approach, with only small L and R markings to denote the left and right sides. Additionally, the inner side of each shell features two pinhole vents, one of which is located near the base of the elliptical-shaped nozzles.

The included cable is made from braided silver-plated copper and features 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. This lightweight and supple cable offers excellent handling, making it a great choice for everyday use.

C5 inner side of shells


Tinhifi C5 frequency response graph


The bass of the Tinhifi C5 is tight, concise, and has good extension. The SPD driver is capable of producing some compelling deep rumble, which adds depth to the overall sound. The mid-bass has a nice thump and weight to it, but its fast decay ensures that there’s no lingering resonance or smearing.

However, it is worth noting that sometimes the bass can get pushed back in the mix under the glare of the dominant upper midrange, which can affect the overall balance of the sound.


The midrange tuning of the Tinhifi C5 is neutral with a boost in the upper ranges. However, the note size is slightly thin, especially in the upper mids. The 2kHz-4kHz area is the most dominant region and sometimes sounds shouty.

The upper registers of a piano can sound piercing, and instruments like trumpets can sound uncomfortably bright and upfront, which negatively affects the overall resolution. While it’s nice to have clarity in the midrange, when it’s pushed too far, it affects the overall presentation. The peaky upper midrange doesn’t lend itself to a coherent sound signature.


The C5’s treble is crisp and fairly even, with most of the focus placed on the lower treble as it falls off abruptly above 10kHz. Although the quality of the treble itself is quite good, it’s overshadowed by the upper midrange lift. As a result, the treble loses some of its air and extension, and it doesn’t sound as prominent as it could have been.

Soundstage and Technical Performance​

C5 has a decent soundstage. It’s not especially wide but it has natural, rounded dimensions. Stereo imaging is average and gives you an idea of instrument positioning but isn’t pinpoint precise. C5 handles instrument separation quite well but the overall resolution deteriorates when there’s a lot of activity in the upper midrange.

Tinhifi C5 IEMs


To summarize, the Tinhifi C5 IEM can be considered a decent entry-level option for those who prioritize a neutral midrange and tight bass response. However, the midrange’s peaky upper region can lead to shoutiness and some listener fatigue.

Moreover, the upper midrange boost overshadows the treble, leading to a reduction in its air and extension. The C5’s soundstage is satisfactory with adequate instrument separation, but the resolution suffers when the upper midrange is busy. Overall, the Tinhifi C5 IEM is decent but hardly compelling enough to justify the price.
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Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
A good value V-Shape IEM
Pros: Harmon like tuning* Build is small and comfortable..
Cons: Treble needs more energy but nothing major.

The TinHiFi C5 is another mew IEM from Tin , this time using a SPD and BA driver configuration. While it looks similar to the T2 plus the shape is more rounded and looks great in my opinion, its simple yet pretty.
Packaging is cool looking. Inside you get both silicon and foam tips, the C5, Silver cable, and a pouch. The units are comfortable even laying on the bed, I think they will fit most people well and have good isolation.


Sound Impression:

Bass: Is well controlled and has good texture and decent weight. This is by no means a bass head IEM but is more than competent to tackle any music well. The Sub-Bass has a rumble and Mid-Bass is speedy with a good punch.

Mids: are smooth and transparent with a natural and balanced tone. Vocals are placed well and have good body. I found them to be enjoyable without any harshness.

Treble: Has good details and sparkle it extends well and is not harsh or laidback. Many will find its neutrality pleasant.

Soundstage: The staging is wide and imaging is accurate and doesn't suffer in busy recordings.

The C5 is a budget gem for sure offering well placed vocals and a wide-open stage, it has both abilities and a pleasant tuning.


Headphoneus Supremus
The TINHIFI Dual Driver SPD Planar + BA Universal IEM
Pros: Cool shape/design and stellar ergonomics which present perfect fit, placement and feel
Only 4 grams each
Unique oval nozzle shape
Perfect ear-hook aggressiveness
Comes with foam ear-tips
Cons: Not as good as its SPD brothers, the $49.00 Kinera Gumiho or $59.00 Kinera Pandamon IMO
Too forward midrange, 2kHz to 3.5kHz becomes distracting to all other frequencies
Medium soundstage & overall so-so imaging abilities
Departure from 2019v2 Harman Target in all the wrong areas
Uneven midrange FR which has one area artificially boosted and the other lacking
Uneven treble which also has one area boosted and the other lacking
Not efficient at all, needs juice to come alive

TINHIFI C5 Universal IEM

  • Driver Unit: Planar & BA Drivers
  • Interface: Gold-plated 2P connector
  • Cable: 1.25m Silver Plated Copper Cable
  • Impedance: 9Ω±15%
  • Max Power: 5mW
  • Frequency: 10-20000Hz
  • Sensitivity: 101±3dB@1kHz 0.126V

Often my reviews can come-off unbelievably positive and gushing, as that is simply what happens when I find a product I can relate with. I simply spend time with a product and explain what I like about it. I have spent 22 days getting to know the TINHIFI C5 and it’s actually much harder to write an enlightening review concerning the negative outcome. Every review I take serious and try to be as fair as possible, yet it is what it is……….and if I had $69.00 to 79.00 dollars to spend on an IEM, you better believe I would take this review seriously.

$69.00 down from $79.00

The Celest sisters!


Now of course the two Kinera Square Planar Driver IEMs were landmark for the industry. Why? Number one, they completely undermined the expected price to get into planar drivers. Number two, they have a definite musicality and sway about them. Still they were not perfect and truth to be told this TINHIFI C5 maybe has a one-up on them as far as ergonomics and possibly looks too, if that is your subjective stance? See both the Pandamon and Gumiho had better imaging and soundstage. The Gumiho was terribly un-even too, yet twisted that character around and somehow made it just that……….character. The Pandamon had a giant toothed Panda monster on the shell that was either hit or miss as far as outside aesthetics go……and somehow this Panda monster charmed you until you didn’t care what the darn IEM looked like. Yep, audiophiles are like that, they would walk around with wet-hair if they thought that would make their IEMs sound better.

So am I saying don’t buy the TINHIFI C5 and buy the Pandamon or Gumiho? Well, yes and no. Just understand that these value planar drivers emit a certain style of response character that is unique unto itself. While not perfect, they offer a quality that can end-up a value if this is the style of replay your looking for.


Note picture:
The listing here puts the Kinera Pandamon at the top of the heap, even better than the way more expensive TINHIFI T4 PLUS! So where does this put our humble TINHIFI C5? Probably at the bottom right between the TRN XuanWu and the TINHIFI T2 DLC?

Listing in order of sound preference per dollar spent. Where the TINHIFI C5 would fit between 8 and 9.
  1. Kinera Pandamon
  2. TANGZU Wan'er S.G
  3. DUNU Kima
  7. Kiwi Ears Cadenza
  8. TRN XuanWu

Top row L to R
  1. TANGZU Wan'er S.G
  3. Kinera Pandamon
Middle row L to R
  3. Kiwi Ears Cadenza
Bottom row L to R
  2. TRN XuanWu
  3. DUNU Kima

Judged sound quality per dollars spent.
I always judge IEM in my reviews as sound per dollars spent. This means that recently I gave a full 5 stars to a basshead IEM because it was a great sound value for $109.00, yet I gave a lesser score (of 4.5 stars) right before it to an IEM that costs $369.00. And the $369.00 is better in every way, as it should be for $369.00!

So in reality there has been a tremendous change in the under $100 area of the IEM industry. This in-fact heated up in 2022 and is continuing the trajectory in 2023. And while there are always subjective sound impressions and individual by individual fit impressions………there are ways of tuning an IEM correctly and ways to make them fit correctly across the board. Still I’m not going to say that I am correct totally in my judgment of the C5, as in the almost infinite scope of subjectivity, truly some may perceive it as different. Still as most reviewers continue to try an IEM out, a plethora of gear is used. Meaning that (if) in-fact an IEM is gear dependent to reach a level of progress into which it can be perceived as balanced or simply more musical, so be it.

See this is a huge deal:
Much of the time the sound output of an IEM can be adjusted. Too much treble? Get a more midrange centered source. Too much bass, same thing. Need power to get rid of a power-hungry IEM putting-out a foggy tone, revert to a desktop. Now that’s typically extreme, but you get the idea, that in testing IEMs most good reviewers are looking for a way in. The choice of ear-tips, the style of cable, maybe even EQ can result in a change taking the IEM to a better place with more acceptance.

Driver character:
The problem at times is whole IEM tunings which affect the whole picture. The first culprit is un-evenness. And I bring this up first as it may be the first and foremost concern when purchasing a new product. I say this because most of the time it’s more important than technicalities. Possibly 80% of the reason we like IEM playback is due to FR. That means that we all have our own personal signature that if that style of response is met we can put-up with an off technicality somewhere along the line. Maybe the bass is not detailed, but the rest of the signature seems to do everything right, thus getting us a level of musical communication regardless of the bass. As even if we have pet sound responses, a stupendous interesting replay inside of only one area can at times make-up for a loss somewhere else. And often a source and/or cable and/or ear-tips can help dial-in where improvement needs to take place. Still there are IEMs which are so off that they rebel against any style of salvaging or correction.

If you have followed TINHIFI over the years they are often innovators of design. Such an amazing product is the TINHIFI P1 Max Planar IEM. This coming in on sale now at just $99.00, and makes way better sense to go ahead and move forward on.



The P1 Max may not look close to the same in photos but you would be surprised how close they are in ways. Both offer a smooth shell with while the C5 is even smaller, both are close in weight, with the C5 as 4 grams and the P1 Max at 5 grams. But the other add is the P1 Max is a real Planar, the original cost was a real Planar cost of $169.00. At the (sale) price of $99.00 the P1 Max is exactly $20.00 more from the original C5 price, and you get a more even/complete/correct musical experience. And while the nozzle shapes are way different they feel the same (in-your-ear) and reach the same personality in fit. Though one is resin construction and the C5 is metal, yet both are 3D printed! Where you would think build would be important with IEM use, and it is. Except even if build is the cat’s meow (as is with the C5 build) what’s it all worth is the sound isn’t up-to-snuff?

INSIDE jpeg.jpeg

When in fact this construction shows it’s essentially the addition of two sections. Each joined with a precision placement where the visible joining creates a crease which is only visible to the eye, not the fingers. The bottom side offers two identical vents with the R or L marker placed in the middle. The 2Pin holders come up as looking almost like nozzles, yet closer inspection shows the right side to be filled in with red plastic, the left side clear. Such a set-up goes to increase the glamor of the product creating a single smooth entity when joined with the included matching cable. Such cable 2Pin holder-connectors have the same diameter as the IEM joins as well as silver finish. This whole set-up goes one step further to increase the streamlined futuristic look and feel of the C5. Opposite the cable joining area are the nozzles. As such ear-tips of any shape and size seem to go with the C5. Even my standard wide-bore tips worked and created the perfect seal. Due to the smaller size it may be found they fit most people, added to that the weight is positioned to lay closer to the ear itself, creating improved ergonomics. From afar the look of the C5 has almost no distinguishing lines and simply appears as a functional glob of metal. Though I must say that due too the size and form factor the cables and ear-hooks go miles to simply add to the whole package. These subtle ear-hooks seem to hold just the right amount of firmness, and align to give the greatest feeling! Seemingly invisible to the senses the ear-hooks and weight of the C5 go the extra mile to make fitment truly one of the best! Even out and about the weight and fit seem to make the C5 a perfect sports IEM as well as staying-in-place throughout your daily activities. Such a creation the C5 is not bright or showy, neither dull or lackluster, but possibly right in-the-middle, as far as looks go. Simple refined elegance to anyone who may become inquisitive, as nether man looking or female looking, again right in the middle?


DSC_0046.jpeg detail.jpeg
DSC_0047.jpeg detail.jpeg



  • TinHiFi C5
  • Ear-tips
  • Manuals
  • Carrying pouch
  • Cable 1.25m Silver Plated Copper



Screen Shot 2023-04-20 at 10.22.06 AM.png

The Sound:
In general:

As reiterated earlier the whole of the sound is difficult to fully relax with. This is two fold because (One) while the bass is incredibly present, it is over-shadowed by the midrange. Two, add to that..........there is a steep treble fall-off which fails to add any style of air to the display. So you are greeted with truly basic (for the price-range) soundstage and imaging, then the lack of top-end air makes what imaging is there appear to hold even less magic. But it truly has me curious what would happen if we took the mids down and placed them into a satisfactory level of output? Meaning even if the top treble was left be, how would the entire signature be accepted if only the bump of 2kHz to 3.5kHz was reduced into blending with the rest of the signature? This final (peaky midrange) stance we have is a sound designers way to add clarity though un-proportional balance of the FR. When in the end it almost does’t matter how much clarity is found when it’s at the risk of losing evenness, correctness and completeness. We all have found IEMs which land in a much better position when trying to be more conservative in their sonic quests. Still I’m not sure where the BA starts and the SPD ends or in-fact there is an overlapping which could very well produce out energetic midrange.


While there are a few truly amazing ideas here, the full bounty of gifts have been ruined by an un-even balance of FR. Yet, go ahead and refine this tuning, even toning it down, and we are probably in-store for more popularity, because the size, shape, build and overall ergonomics are a total win. I have handfuls and handfuls of IEMs that don’t fit and act in positioning like the TINHIFI C5 does. The way the ear-hooks attach to the IEMs and the way the combination attaches to the human form is one of win-win. I can only imagine the IEM building department being so proud of their work, where the actual sound design department maybe needed some extra help from outside. Such a tune proves that more cooks in the kitchen can be good at times.

$69.00 down from $79.00

Linsoul website: https://www.linsoul.com/
Linsoul Aliexpress Store: https://ddaudio.aliexpress.com/store/2894006
Linsoul USA Amazon Store link: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=A267P2DT104U3C

I want to thank Kareena of Linsoul for the love and the TINHIFI C5 Universal IEM review sample.

These are one persons ideas and concepts, your results may vary.

Equipment Used:
Sony WM1Z Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 3.5mm and 4.4mm
Sony WM1A Walkman DAP MrWalkman Firmware 3.5mm and 4.4mm
Sony TA-ZH1ES DAC/AMP Firmware 1.03
Electra Glide Audio Reference Glide-Reference Standard "Fatboy" Power Cord
Sony Walkman Cradle BCR-NWH10
AudioQuest Carbon USB
Shanling UA3 Dongle DAC/Amplifier 3.5mm and 4.4mm
Samsung Android Smartphone 3.5mm output

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Well I was hoping that the magic fairy of audiophiledom would appear and sprinkle some fairy dust onto the C5? But she never arrived, and even though I wanted her to come and waited patiently, she never showed up?

In is what it is.

Reappearance of the T2+ style shell looked interesting but...:triportsad:

That's where I saw it! Yes, I was going to mention that TINHIFI had made a smooth shell of what looked like the same material, but I forgot where I saw that! Thank-you. Except.....regardless....3.5 stars!
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New Head-Fier
Best Integrated SPD In An IEM, The TinHifi C5
Pros: 1. Harmon target tube adjusted
2. Subwoofer Bass
3. Forward and energetic mid range
Cons: 1. Uneven Treble
2. Average Technicalities

Review OF The Tin Hifi C5



An company from China by the name of TinHifi is well-known for its electroacoustic products, particularly for their affordability and value. The products themselves are well-liked for their musical integrity and accurate understanding of how sound is reproduced. They are well-known for their IEMs like the Tin T2, P1, P2, P1 Max, C2, etc. They have created a variety of these IEMs that contain different types of drivers, including balanced armatures, dynamic drivers, and planar drivers. I'm going to be reviewing Tin Hifi's new IEM, the Tin Hifi C5, today, and this is the first I've heard of them using a square planar driver. Let's go over a few things I need to clarify first, though, before I do that.



*Since this unit tour was organised by the kindly people at Linsoul, I am grateful to them. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as "C5."
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the C5 based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.



Two drivers are placed on each side of the C5's hybrid driver configuration. There are two drivers: a balance armature driver and a square planar driver. The C5's shell is made of lightweight aluminium metal, and the nozzle has a more oval-than-circular shape. The Shells fit comfortably inside my ears and have a very light but rigid feel to them. However, using these for a prolonged period of time made me feel a little bit worn out. The shells are perfect in every other way. A straight 3.5mm plug serves as the termination on the 1.25m-long, high-quality silver-plated copper cable, which connects to the IEM via two pins. Technically speaking, the sensitivity is 101dB and the impedance is 9 ohms. The range of the frequency response is 10Hz to 20kHz.



The C5 has a more V-shaped sound than most IEMs, with the treble being energetic and detailed, the midrange being refreshed and focused, and the bass standing out in the mix. Although the driver configuration makes this kind of little different, one may describe them as fun and enjoyable sounding IEM. The C5 has a planar and a square planar driver, as was previously mentioned, which contributes to my opinion. The fact is that each type of driver has unique properties. For instance, a dynamic driver's bass response can only be fully reproduced by another dynamic driver, and a balanced armature will sound the cleanest and have the most metallic flavour. Whether or not the tuning is able to hide their traits, they behave in accordance with how they are tuned. The C5 caught my attention because I'm only interested in products that use a novel approach. I have owned the Kinera gumiho and pandamon, which felt brand-new and especially the gumiho, which has a response similar to the C5 but produces a different sound. The C5 is not the only square planar IEM I have heard. The C5 are tuned better than any SPD-configured IEM, and tuning is everything when it comes to audio equipment. Let's listen to the sound more intently.



Particularly in the upper treble, the treble has a very sweet taste to the tonality of the notes. Although some notes have an almost metallic timbre, nothing actually sounds metallic because the notes retain their integrity. And throughout the entire response, this is true. Although the vocals don't sound particularly spacious or airy, this is to be expected from an IEM with a V-shape sound signature. Returning to the upper treble, the vocals may begin to sibilantly behave and sound like they are merging into a single note. Another characteristic of a balanced armature, if not tuned properly, although tuning greatly obscures it. The cymbal crashes and snare hits sound detailed thanks to the instruments' good shimmery and sparkling presentation. Although the instruments have excellent energy going on, the lower treble feels a little less energetic than I had anticipated. The vocals don't sound relaxed or in the background; rather, they sound somewhat incomplete but forward-moving throughout the mix. They don't sound dull at all, but the presentation's open space gives the impression that something is tripping me up. Although it has lean characteristics, the timbre prevents it from sounding impolite. The music is vibrant and exudes a lot of energy. To sum up my observations, I'd say that the lower and upper trebles of the instruments and the vocals appear to sound differently in different tracks. In some, the vocals appear to be very lively and spacious, and the instruments support them, while in others, the vocals sound incompetent and vague with details, while the instruments go all out to bring out the best in them. Overall, the treble region is presented in a detailed, energising, and somewhat expressive manner.

Mid Range

The midrange is thought to be more harmoniously tuned and balanced than the treble range. The mid range performs more tonally richly and has better note weight. The vocals sound the most expressive and energetic in the upper mid range, and the instruments support them with tonally rich presence. The vocals are light and upfront, with the female vocals having good reach and the male vocals maintaining their girth and vigour. Guitars sound smooth and sophisticated because of the instruments' right and textured approach. The same holds true for all other instrumentals performed in this area. The vocals and the instruments are presented in a playful manner, which gives the response its overall energy and fun. However, I must admit that while the sound in this area is incredible, it doesn't sound particularly warm or natural. Just as the instruments sometimes sound a little grainy and the vocals occasionally sound a little peaky where the notes don't bring out the best details. The instruments are hazy and the vocals sound drowned in the lower mid range, which is pulled back and dense. They almost enter the mix, but their sound is still very hazy. Although the bass line sounds dense, the notes degrade more to a single note. Although not the best, it manages to keep the balance between the low and high frequencies. This kind of presentation could probably be described as dull and boring. Although they don't necessarily sound bad, as a result of their denser approach, the notes sound weighty and give the notes in the upper mid range more personality. The mid range presentation is enthusiastic, forward-thinking, and dense overall.


The bass region particularly impresses me; the presentation is nothing I haven't heard before, but as I've already mentioned, a response like this from an SPD that can produce such extension and rumble introduces me to a new side of this recently developed driver, and I have high expectations for it. Returning to the presentation, the bass is deep and extends well, with an emphasis in the sub bass region. Although it doesn't rattle or sound well textured, the sub bass region has a good punchy and rumble sense to it. In fact, the response is almost exactly like one coming from a subwoofer. When I'm listening to a bass-heavy track, the bass can make me feel a little overwhelmed, but it never obscures the other region, which is fantastic. These responses often satisfy me when I really want to enjoy the sub bass. The mid bass has a strong presence as well, and to be honest, based on the frequency response, I can tell that it behaves differently because the slams are so powerful and effectively slap you. The best thing about it is that, despite how hard the slams hit you, it ends almost immediately. It leaks a little into the lower mid range but doesn't feel bloated or seem to cause any muddiness in the mix, even though it isn't visible on the frequency response graph. The bass, however, doesn't seem to be slacking off; rather, it delivers a satisfying boom that doesn't result in a cloudy or puffy response. The bass region's overall response is strong, subwoofer-like, and deep.

Technical Performance

There are many IEMs that are better than this IEM in some characteristics, but there are also some that aren't. The technical performance is about average for an IEM in this price range. I'll be particularly thorough when comparing the C5 to other IEMs with SPD housing. Thus, despite the fact that the stage is very well situated and extends, the imaging is not very clear. The separation sounds far away enough. Although the resolution is expected, other SPD iems struggle to retrieve details as well. For an IEM of this kind, the speed is also quick.


Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation

The stage is appropriately positioned and expressed; it is wide enough to sound spacious and has a respectable depth. Due to the C5's other characteristics being superior to those of other SPD IEMs, the imaging is not as vividly projected as I had anticipated. Even so, there is enough distance for the elements to have breathing space. Additionally, it seems distinctive enough to identify the majority of the sound's source regardless of direction.

Speed & Resolution

The C5 offers better resolution and detail retrieval when compared to other SPD drivers thanks to its approachable details and resolving power. The notes' attack and decay are paced quickly, which surprised me because, from what I have heard, this is the best resolving pace for an SPD driver.

Sound Impressions


Tempotec V6 - The C5 sounds relaxed and well-positioned with a better balance between the regions when heard through the V6. While the vocals and instruments appear to be the same as previously mentioned, the treble has a less metallic nature. The mid range has the same energy but is less forward. The slams feel less active and detrimental despite the loving and prominent bass. Although the stage was sufficiently large, the technical performance felt average because the imaging lacked vivid clarity. The separation was very effectively done to sound aloof. The notes' pace was quick while the resolution and details were so-so. I find the overall presentation to be better and more balanced.


iFi Hipdac - The treble felt a little rounded and less airy with less space when paired with hipdac, but the vocals and instruments felt relaxed with a smooth presentation throughout the mix. The midrange was more forward, with the vocals and instruments responding more richly and tonally. Although the mid bass felt muddy and a little puffy, the bass itself felt punchier and boomier. The stage felt less open than usual, but the distance between the elements was still sufficient, so the technical performance was average. The imaging had the same sensation. Despite the fact that the detail retrieval was not better, the resolution felt a little better. When compared to other sources, the speed at which notes resolved was slower. Overall, the presentation seemed more relaxed and fluid, but I still prefer the tempotec V6 for pairing with the C5.


Tracks Used

Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere(Remastered)
Toto - Africa
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Daft Punk - Tron Legacy (End Titles)
GOJIRA - Amazonia
Fergie - Glamorous
50 Cent - In Da Club
Skrillex - XENA
Skrillex - Torture You
The Neighbourhood - Sweater Weather
Luna Haruna - Overfly
Blck Cobrv - Candy Shop
LMYM - 0 (zero)
Indila - Love Story
Marina Hoiuchi - Mizukagami no Sekai
Wayne - Not Enough


I must stand by my opinion and declare that these are the best SPD integrated IEM I have heard as I wrap up this review. The SPD drivers are the best you can find because they physically cannot produce the characteristics that other drivers are able to produce, but the tone and technical aspects feel the same as with other IEMs. Therefore, I highly recommend trying these out if you like the nature of this new driver. The C5 is the only IEM that has the capability of such driver integration.



500+ Head-Fier
TINHIFI C5: Lean, Mean and Almost Neutral Tonality
Pros: △ A lightweight aluminium alloy shell chassis.
△ The circular design of its shells will give an even smoother and plushy fitting in most ears.
△ Decent quality stock cable
△ A mild U-shaped with almost neutral tuning will definitely wins the ears of neutral heads
△ Punchy and clean bass quality
△ Clean, linear and transparent midrange.
△ Smooth treble response.
△ No harshness or even a hint of sibilance.
Cons: ▽ It needs a better power output to drive them properly.
▽ Definitely not for bass-heads.
▽ Resolution capability aren't that impressive.
▽ A bit dull treble will give an impression as way too laid back sounding on some treble-heads.
▽ Lack of sparkle and air.

Oi! Audio enthusiast out there, Welcome to my another IEM review article and what I have here is from TINHIFI. This is actually my fourth product review from them, so I just simply skipped the introduction about this company.

It seems that TINHIFI is constantly releasing a product on a two-month basis as they are aware of the constant changes of the portable audio market landscape especially in under US$100/£81. And they should be aggressive in marketing their products and introducing a new audio technology that is affordable to budget-conscious audiophiles yet it has decent quality to offer.


This is TINHIFI C5, this is a successor model of their previous models like the C2 and C3. But this time, TINHIFI decided to take a different turn on the implementation of its transducers as they applied a hybrid driver set-up on this one consisting of SPD (Square Planar Driver) and a balanced armature driver. I'm quite familiar with SPDs as I did some reviews of IEMs with similar technology and I have some ideas on how it will perform and how it scales differently on power output compared to standard planar magnetics. TINHIFI claims that it is their own newly-developed SPD in 10mm x10mm dimension. The SPD was supposed to deliver a full range frequency response and supplement it with a balanced armature for even better treble quality.


Both drivers are enclosed in a CNC-milled machine process aviation-grade aluminium alloy shell with its acoustic cavity chamber inside will dissipate some excess audio signal from the drivers to have a more natural sound with lesser resonance effect. Like all current releases of TINHIFI products, It adopts a 2-pin connector as its interlocking mechanism for more stable grip.


The TINHIFI C5's shells have a rounded and circular contour that gives me a more comfortable and better ergonomic view of how it fits well into my lug holes. They are quite light for an all-metal shell as it dont give me ear fatigue as I can wear them for a long listening session.


The product packaging of TINHIFI C5 is rather sensible on how it includes some basic inclusions that are very practical to users. The contents were packed in a small rectangular box.


Here the included accessories inside the box

■ a pair of TINHIFI C5 IEMs.
■ 6 pairs of white coloured, narrow bored ear tips of different sizes.
■ a pair of blue coloured memory foam eartips.
■ a canvas cloth IEM pouch.
■ Instruction manual.
■ Calling card.


Regarding its amplification and required power output, TINHIFI C5s are quite demanding when it comes to driveability on which you need a good source with more than sufficient power output. It gives me astonishment given that some square planar magnetic drivers are easy to amplify even on decent sources.


As for its tonality, this particular set has a mild-U sound signature in which it tries to target a more leaner, neutral sounding sonic profile.


The bass quality of TINHIFI C5 has a sufficient depth, more of a balanced side between tightness and punchy and yet it gives an ample texture on mid bass. This is not definitely a bass head's bass quantity.

Sub bass is rather decent on this one as I was able to perceive those rumble and reverberations coming from synthesisers and low-tuned guitar in some synth-pop and old school hip-hop tracks.

Mid bass is the focal point of the bass emphasis on this set on how it has a decent note weight on bass guitars, bass kick drums and bass-baritones. Bass guitars has this hollow and a bit mellow sounding that it still lacks the growl that I want, Bass kick drums seem to have a softer and a tad hollow sound on my ears as I want more thud from it. Bass-baritone vocals like Barry White have just enough vocal weight but I rather safely say it as "mildly warm" as it has the lack of darker, heft and depth that I really want on this particular voice type. Good thing about this set is that its low end doesn't smudge towards the midrange to give a cleaner definition.


A tad notch on midrange is one of the initial impressions that I instantly perceived on TINHIFI C5. And yet, it has smooth, transparent and linear delivery. Both male and female vocals have a balanced and smoother response that give a tonal colour of each specific vocal type.

Baritones have rather velvety and smooth but lack of lushness on it's a bit too mellow on which fares better on light and lyrical baritones like Billy Idol and Brett Anderson of The Suede but putting Eddie Vedder on the equation does not fare as it has an inadequacies on depth and power but rather too smooth. On tenors, it likely fares better on lyrical types like Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras which have more agile, clearer and graceful sounding. On female vocals, contralto have this husky and soothing quality but it still lacks depth and darker character that I want especially on Tracy Chapman's and Toni Braxton's vocal quality. Mezzo-sopranos seem to have this sweet and velvety quality to have a captivating listening experience from the likes of Andrea Corr and Annie Lennox. Sopranos performs pretty well as it has this sufficient energy to give a gleam, shimmering and airy sound on both lyrical like Allison Krauss and Mariah Carey , and then on coloratura-types like Diana Damrau and Olga Peretyatko and due to translucent nature of the midrange it gives some sense of euphonic but I certainly hear that it still lacking of depth and texture.

On instruments, strings like guitars (either acoustic or electric) have rather rounded and balanced sounding while violins sound lively enough with a semblance of vibrancy. Woodwinds like flute have this mellow and soft sound characteristics then saxophones have this rounded and sombre on them on any register. Brasses like trumpets have this rounded and vividness on them, then trombones have this tersive and dramatic sound. Percussions like drums especially the toms and snares have this an ample penetrating sound and precise on then but not as hard if you like hard hitting percussive sound. Celestas have this silvery and sweet sound on them, Pianos sounds more on the lustrous side that it sounds balanced to my ears.


The TINHIFI C5's is undoubtedly on a smoother side. Almost even, linear and neutral were the characteristics that I initially noticed that would give a lack of shimmer and crisp that affects the detail, energy and definition on vocals and some instruments. With those deficiencies, it will give a cleaner response in which you will not hear any harshness nor sibilance.

It is also noticeable that it has a lack of air and sparkle in the brilliance region which gives you that a bit of a dull sound. Crashing on cymbals sounds rather soughing and doesn't sizzle enough.


Soundstage dimensions and depth are comprehensively average on TINHIFI C5. Average sound field width, just above average height and a median distance of depth from front to back in which it gives me enough head room with its spatial field.

The imaging presentation of this set is rather linear and two-dimensional, as I was able to perceive the positioning of instruments and singers but it was a bit hazy to pinpoint the exact location. It has a decent separation on its elements and layering capabilities were presented in a more two-layered stacking of specific dynamic outlines with its own frequency localisation which I consider as passable as it can handle enough on complex multi-instrumental tracks.

There is a sense of cohesion and homogeneity of all drivers as it delivers a faster transient response with lesser distortion to a more firmer audio quality.

The resolution capability of TINHIFI C5 isn't its best assets on how it gives me a tad blunted and less defined on nuances and subtleties of details on its sonic background and viscidity on macro-dynamics.

Tonal colour of TINHIFI C5 is somehow balanced and natural but in some cases it sounds way too smooth in my ears.



It has similar drivers' set-up as it also has SPD ( Square Planar Driver) and a balanced armature as a support to better treble response. GUMIHO's product packaging like its Kinera cousins, it was well-presented and it has a substantial amount of inclusions.

● Both take a mild U-shaped sound signature that was quite a trend from last year's tuning. GUMIHO is a bit warmer and textured on tonality as it has similar bass quality but it has an instance of being a sibilant in some cases.

● GUMIHO has a tad wider sound/speaker stage compared to C5 but on separation and layering, it is quite struggling on complex instrumental tracks due to not so defined frequency profiles.


● It uses a newer generation of SPD which Kinera claims can deliver a fuller frequency range sound compared to its previous generation. It has more quantity on inclusions but its aesthetic design of its shells are rather uninspiring and garish in my liking.

● The tuning of PANDAMON is a balanced-warmish which has more texture, a tad warmer to give a substantial note weight. But it is less airy and lacks sparkle compare to the C5.

● Technicalities-wise, PANDAMON has a bit wider staging, similar imaging capabilities as they are both two-dimensional sound. Separation is decent but layering is somewhat a chink of an armour of PANDAMON as it struggles a bit on multi-instrumental tracks.

As I conclude my review about TINHIFI C5, Looks like TINHIFI is now taking a different direction on releasing their products on a quarterly basis. TINHIFI C5 is quite different compared to its predecessor on driver set-up and tonality. If you are looking for an almost neutral sound signature at below US$100/£83, then this set is for you.

TINHIFI C5 is now available on LINSOUL, and you can order HERE, Non-affiliated link guaranteed.



PLUG TYPE: 3.5mm

Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*


I am not affiliated to TINHIFI nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to LINSOUL especially to MS. KAREENA TANG for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate their generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.

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500+ Head-Fier
TINHIFI C5 - rare Neutral and Uncolored Contender
Pros: -
- Neutral and transparent tuning, uncolored
- Accurate with sound interpretation from the sources
- Well balanced dynamic presentation
- Fairly good technicalities
- Good resolution and speed
- Comfortable to wear for long hours
- Solid build
Cons: -
- Need power to shine the best, despite rated low with impedance
- Slightly lacking organic element to the timbre presentation
- Bass performances may be perceived as rolled-off
C5 Burger.jpg

TINHIFI C5 being the latest addition to the Square Magnetic Planar category, is in fact the only 3rd implementation of such IEMs....so far. The most surprising thing about this C5 (at least for me), is that, C5 has been tuned differently from the normal trend of sound nowadays, opting for a more neutral and uncolored sound signature instead.

I must say that, for the 100-120 hours I spent on it, C5 is a solid solution for those wanting an IEM that remain accurate to sound production as offered by the sources, which also means it will not impart any additional vibrancy or aggression to the output itself.

All in all, C5 is a good well rounded unit, especially if you want something that is truthfully uncolored and transparent
You can get TINHIFI C5 from HiFiGo:

My full review here on YouTube Channel:
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Kathiravan JLR

New Head-Fier
Pros: Controlled and Mature Bass (Typical Planar)
Resolution and Micro Dynamics
Faster Transients
Neutral Tone (Despite BA presence)
Transparent Treble
Cons: Unforgiving for Poorly mastered tracks

Tin Hifi, the brand based out of China is a well known brand among audiophiles and even a new person who entered this hobby would know their infamous T2. Tin products are very peculiar and they do have a good reputation in the market since most of their products never cease to amaze the consumers. The T3 Plus being my most favourite, the brand recently launched a new IEM with a configuration of Square planar driver and a balanced armature in a budget segment which looks pretty interesting on the papers. In this review let’s check out how good this is against the competition.



Driver Unit: Planar & BA Drivers

Interface: Gold-plated 2Pin 0.78mm connector

Cable: 1.25m Silver Plated Copper Cable

Impedance: 9Ω±15%

Max Power: 5mW

Frequency: 10-20000 Hz

Sensitivity: 101±3dB@1kHz 0.126V

Microphone: No


This unit has been provided to me by the team Tin HiFi in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. The whole views are based on my observations with this product hence it might differ from person to person.



The sound profile of the C5 follows a nice balanced signature. This IEM adopts a hybrid driver configuration where there’s a 10x10 Square Planar Driver and a customised balanced armature driver. These two drivers have a nice coherence thus delivering a pleasant filled beautiful balanced sound.


Even though they lack the dynamic driver the SPD driver does the magic here. The planar low end is something where that's more addictive and much more controlled, mature compared to the dynamic driver’s low end. The same planar characteristics can be observed here in this C5 where the bass is very nicely controlled and mature. The quantity is on the precise side delivering adequate thump and rumble to the needed tracks. The quantity is much enough in giving enough warmth and fullness to the tracks.

The sub bass digs deeper and provides those subtle rumbles when the tracks call for it. The mid bass is mature and tighter thus no sort of bleeding is seen in the mid section. These characters of the bass in the C5 helped in delivering a nice cleaner bass rather than a bloated response. The C5 is unforgiving for poorly mastered tracks hence it shows the low end roughness in those tracks upfront.

Overall the bass in the C5 may not be a bass head certified but this bass is really addictive in the long run due to its quality rich, less fatiguing, smoother, and controlled and a mature bass response. Bass kicks in when the track calls and doesn't compromise on the overall cleanliness of the track.


The mid section is melodious and smoother. No harsh unwanted spikes thus making the longer listening a peaceful and fatigue free session. Talking about the tone and timbre they are surprisingly neutral. Despite the usage of a BA driver the tone is kept as neutral as possible. No metallic or dry sense is observed due to the presence of BA.

The vocals are nicely kept in the front stage thus the podcasts listeners and the vocalists would love this IEM a lot. The instruments in the background are nicely represented without any congestion. The hybrid configuration helped in taking off each frequency separately making the imaging and layering an easy task.

The lower midrange is kept as clean as possible yet having that adequate warmth and the fullness. The male vocals sound sublime with a pleasant enough tone to them. The upper mid section is controlled yet has that nice elevation making the female vocals breathe some air and making the instruments shine.


The treble section is neatly carried out by the BA presence delivering some impressive details out of the track. The treble is nicely extended so no early roll off is seen. The brightness in the top end is adequate enough to provide a nice open sound. The shimmer and brilliance is present and is good enough. The cymbal crashes and the trumpets do sound nice since the timbre is neutral and not affected by the presence of the BA.

The detail retrieval is adequately nice and when enough power is feeded to the C5 the abilities to retrieve the details gets much improved. The electric guitar strings shine well with that neutral tone without any colouration. The treble section has enough room for air hence the sound the C5 produces is more open and transparent and more importantly an uncoloured presentation.



STAGING: The staging is pretty wide in the C5 thus paved the way for the instrument placements which never felt congested. The height is pretty adequate with enough headroom. The depth sensation in the staging is present and not overly done.

IMAGING AND LAYERING: Since the staging is wide and has a cleaner presentation overall the imaging felt no difficulties. These instruments are neatly layered out with precise placements of the instruments in the presentation. The transient response felt smoother and staging is pretty holographic.


The C5, latest offering from the house of Tin Hifi is a value for money package with an interesting hybrid combination of Square planar driver and a balanced armature driver. The tuning is done well with an excellent balanced profile and the construction is no slouch at all where it is fully made out of aluminium shells, it comes with 2 pin connector and a nice SPC stock cable.

The sound is balanced with cleaner presentation overall. Talking about each frequency response, the bass here is adequate, much more controlled and mature compared to competitors in this price segment. Cleaner bass yet has that needed fun out of the tracks.

The mid section is melodious and smoother with engaging vocals since it takes a nice front stage. The upper mid section is neatly elevated without any unwanted spikes making the female vocals shine. The podcasts listeners and vocalists will definitely love this IEM for sure. Has no bloat in the mid section making them appear cleaner overall.

The treble section is nicely tuned with a precise amount of brightness to extract the details out of the track. The cymbal crashes have precise timing of attack and decay. The shimmer and brilliance are on spot making the C5 to sound more open and transparent. The micro details are neatly extracted out without showing any hindrance.

Overall the Tin HiFi C5 has a mature tuning with excellent coherency between the drivers making them more controlled, coherent and dynamic enough. The C5 is definitely a “PLEASANT FILLER” among the competitors in this segment and it's going to be my primary pick under 80USD.

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