Tipsy TTROMSO PineStone Sea

antdroid

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Comfortable shell design
Fun V-shaped sound signature
Nice cable and shell color styling
Cons: Bloated bass response
Upper-mids can be harsh



The TTROMSO is a new IEM by Tipsy that is named, incorrectly, after the Norwegian town of Tromsø. The theme around the IEM is based on the Aurora Borealis, I'm presuming, with its color pattern and design. The IEM retails for $89, and is a single dynamic driver in-ear with a V-shaped sound.

The TTROMSO was provided for review by Linsoul, and can be found on their retail store at Linsoul.com. The unit comes in a single color choice of PineStone Sea blue/green, and has a matching blue-colored IEM cable with fabric sheathing. It does get tangled fairly easily, but is otherwise extremely lightweight and comfortable.

The shell has a sea-green and blue look, with something of a borealis or ocean/algae look. I can't really tell for sure. That said, this is an extremely easy to wear IEM that is very lightweight and small, and should fit comfortably with most ears.




Sound Impressions​





The TTROMSO is a V-shaped sound, with a big un-neutered bass boost and a equally big gain in the upper-midrange and low treble. It actually quite resembles my budget favorite CRA from CCA, which came out recently at only $14 USD. Imagine the TTROMSO as it's wiser sibling with a slightly more refined technical performance, but with all the same boombastic sound and occasional tingly sharpness.





TTROMSO's bass is dirty, and it's not clean, and it is really not that detailed, but it has punch and slam. The dynamics are decent, and probably on-par with the CCA CRA, and that's a good thing for a low price. Now, of course, this model is 6X more in cost, but still relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things. There's a big leap in overall bass quality when you move up in the 2x price range for sure.

The mid-range is mostly dominated by the upper-mids here, and on some tracks, I do find it a bit blaring and glaring, with a sharp and tiring attack. While the CRA had those moments occasionally, I do find the TTROMS to be a bit more fatiguing here.

That said, the overall mids and treble quality is a step up from the CRA, with slightly better detail, slightly better separation, and a little bit better exactness.

This IEM doesn't really blow its competition out and really kind of fits in-line with the rest of the under $100 price range. It's fun, and fits nicely, but I may consider spending my money on the CRA for a fun bass-heavy IEM and then using the rest of the money on a Moondrop Aria, and getting two solid IEMs with different styles for different music for around the same price as the TTROMS.

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Literally Stars
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Preface:
This review should have written itself. Why? Because really good IEMs (that match your desired frequency response) inspire writing. Think of it as “love poems” to the IEM art; you’re simply making a laundry list of what aspects went down so well. In fact, I’ve been waiting years for China to make this IEM…………….or really anyone to make it for that matter. Reason being.............there is always something. You know how it goes.....there is slightly too short of nozzle, or there is that small treble peak that is mostly hidden, but then appears. Also I’ll make a full-on list of more expensive past IEMs (that I own currently) and compare sound signatures. Heck, I’ve been looking and waiting since 2016 for this to arrive. So now that it’s here let’s celebrate!



Tipsy
Tipsy Life's "slightly drunk lifestyle"
Head-Fi is predominantly a US website. Even with international exposure, its readers are very much Americans. Having a maker with a name “Tipsy” is different to say the least. They have used a display “bottle” to introduce the IEMs. Yet, it’s all in fun. This is a lighthearted and creative marketing concept.

Here today we have the newly introduced TTROMSO IEM

The Name:
The name is simple marketing. In search engines, Tromsø brings up the town in Norway. But putting in TTROMSO will still bring up Tromsø, so they added PineStone Sea.

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Tipsy TTROMSO PineStone Sea
Model-Tipsy TTROMSO Pine Stone Sea
Driver-12mm LCP dynamic driver
Frequency range-20Hz-20000Hz
Impedance-240ohm
Sensitivity-109+/-3DB
Connector-0.78mm 2Pin
Plug-3.5mm gold-plated plug
Cable length-1.2m
Cable material-dual core OCC silver-plated high resolution cable


Quoted from Linsoul:
“TTROMSO-Norwegian Aurora Color”
TTROMSO is a small town located in the Northern Europe that inspired Tipsy design team with its tranquil but ingenious aurora. The newly launched model bears a unique name-PINESTONE SEA, that not only is the best interpretation of Tipsy hardware aesthetic concepts but also concludes the development of Tipsy series of products over the year. In this modern world, Tipsy envisions a federation of art and industry to surprise those who love art and music.”

End of quote.

Comes with a 1 year warranty.

Get them here:
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?me=A267P2DT104U3C&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DE

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Color:
PANTONE 18-4250 TCX
Indigo Bunting


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The Escapists:
Much is put into the escapist properties of this Universal IEM. Creating the Aurora Borealis Indigo Bunting Color, and naming it TTROMSO is to elude to a faraway place with beautiful night sky. Transporting the listener……..almost, while using the magical qualities obtained with IEM music listening.

Are the concepts above simply marketing tools without out any substance? Let’s find out if the sound quality backs up the look and theme.



Disclaimer:
Kareena Tang from Linsoul sent me the Tipsy IEM in exchange for this review.


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True Wireless Stereo TWS.....only there are no wires, so no sound. Silly model, doesn’t she know these are not simply a fashion statement?

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Besides the TTROMSO, Tipsy makes 9 other IEMs. There are also CIEM variations of the Tipsy Super 12, Super 5 and Super 9.

Tipsy Super 12 or Tipsy Super 12 CIEM
Tipsy Super 5 or Tipsy Super 5 CIEM
Tipsy Super 9 or Tipsy Super 9 CIEM
Lava V2
Dunmer Pro
Dunmer S
Dunmer
Blue Aurora

TWS/TM-1 (His/Hers)

While not the most inexpensive in the line-up, the TTROMSO sits in the lower echelon of products offered. Newly designed as a value IEM priced at $89.00, it offers an incredible bargain for those simply wanting to start at the introductory edge of IEM audiophile listening, or add an extra complementary sound-signature to an existing collection.


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I will use the word TTROMSO and Tipsy interchangeably when describing this IEM; deal with it!

The Sound:

I’m actually going to get to the sound first. Reason being it’s the most pertinent subject in this review. That, and I’m incredibly excited to reveal it to you. What was at first interpreted as good became great.

First off, the TTROMSO PineStone Sea didn’t need any burn-in. Let me point-out this is highly unusual in my experience. It almost has me wonder if it was done at the factory? This single factor was the beginning of many special traits that makes this particular IEM stand out from the pack. Next is the tuning. To tell you the truth, I never expected to get such a dynamite tune. Normally there is something? A slightly hot pinna gain or some strange boost in the treble that makes you search for workarounds. There may be an off timbre in areas, but it’s not a deal breaker for me!

This is one of the best tuned IEMs I’ve come across. And....the fact that it comes in at $89.00 makes it all the more special. Mind you it’s not perfect. The FR is perfect, all it’s missing is a slight defect of technical aspects. But there are dimensions of fun so hypnotizing that you simply don’t care. Maybe that’s the Tipsy character part, you get swept up in the musicality at hand and ditch any scrutiny of technicalities? I mean, that’s what it’s about, right? FR is 80% of the path to win-win?

There is a special level of sophistication here. Though this is an extra-bass IEM. But even if I mention bass, you think of fog, or some kind of havoc which will ruin your day. When in reality it’s not like that, though bass is subjective!

The problem with the bass is it doesn’t have all the definition. But that’s OK because I’m comparing the TTROMSO to way, way more expensive IEMs. So if you were looking for issues maybe you may not get all the bass texture there is. But considering the price of admission…………..well. We are still way on top. But wait I’ve not told you my favorite part of the signature. Normally with subtle V signatures it’s the bass and the treble that gets emphasis.......and we are listening to that kind of tune. The bass and the treble will act to balance each-other out.

Still my favorite part of the TTROMSO is the midrange. What? How can the midrange be your favorite part of a V signature IEM? It’s simply the way they did the mids, that and where they find themselves existing in the soundstage. A perfect tune has you not find fault in any one area, and that my friends is what we have. Simply a fun and musical IEM for the masses.

Tipsy has a boatload of experience. They put all their eggs in one basket here. This was the one IEM, the one tune, that they knew everyone would like! Well, not everyone......there is always that stick-in-the-mud who needs this or that. But you get my drift. The most well rounded, best built and most fun $89.00 IEM they could make. The rest is as they say…………………..history.

Driver Burn-out Is Not Real:
Hilariously, there have been folks who listened past burn-in and wondered into mental adaptations which made them think they were listening to driver burn-out. No, not with the TTROMSO PineStone Sea. But such a phenomenon does occur. The listener mistakenly thinks he is experiencing a “window” of time where, post burn-in the listener is now experiencing burn-out. This is simply mental adaptation which in occurrence happens due to the brain slowly figuring out the whole signature spectrum. Think mental adaptation, then going past to mental boredom. It happens, but it’s rare. The fix is normally to add a smidge of treble with a silver cable, add EQ or change amps.

Why am I even bringing this up? Because with signatures like the TTROMSO there is always that chance. It will come a time when you possibly want just a smidge more treble. And the (easy) remedy is just change to a brighter cable or add EQ a little. The only IEM that I know that did this was the BLON BL-01. But I’ve read about it happening. Does this mean the TTROMSO is tuned to be borderline too dark? Darkness is a matter of taste. Still the TTROMSO walks that line so wonderfully, I wouldn’t worry about it. Still IEMs are very subjective creatures and everyone IS different.

The reason for (the coming) TTROMSO popularity is simple, but at the same time it escapes many a manufacture. The 12mm Dynamic Driver is huge. The venting is incredibly precise. There is a gold vented device on the side made in such a way as to carefully do out/in air-pressure. There is also a very critical vent on the bottom of the IEM which also lets air in/out. If you study inside the TTROMSO you will see part of its construction is solid, and part is chambered. This is the first I’ve seen of this exact style of construction, though there are a few semi-chambered designs.

The reason for the coming popularity is:
The frequency response/tone
The fit and form factor
The style
The cable

The value
The construction



Here are traditional instruments the Tipsy does perfect!

It’s not easy to get this exact tune. If it was, more manufacturers would offer it.

Tone and Timbre:

Tone and Timbre can be perceived as slightly off, which is often the case with IEMs at the price. Though it’s interesting electronic music has no such issues. The reason for this is guitars, bass, drums and the orchestrated instruments have real-life counterparts, so we have a reference in our sonic memory. Typically this style of criticality will be a learned talent, such a phenomenon that often new comers to the hobby will not even notice the issue. I do hear guitars ever so slightly off, but in reality it doesn’t bother me one bit. Remember the actual musical event is gone, all we have is a recording. Typically a recording can be “off” due to a worldwide non-standardized process of studio recording. So to benefit the Tipsy sound, it is sometimes closer to real and sometimes not. But badly recorded music get a full dose of forgiveness with the Tipsy, that’s worth the price of admission alone. DCD Anastasis (2012) is a perfect example of music that sounds wonderful, 100%. Somehow the instruments are not common, or electronically generated. So with music like this the only concern would be the vocals. Such vocals are one of life's gifts, and while they are siting slightly back in the mix, especially for Lisa Gerrard, it really is not cause for alarm.

Guitar:
The guitar replay is special, as not only are they forward and in relief, but they somehow find a focus in the best part of the soundstage. The magic with the TTROMSO is that not only are the guitars clear, they show what goes on with-in that clearness. The replay is dynamic and conveys the emotion and articulated realms only found within (your) music. Take for example Opiate2 by Tool. The song has a style of multiple guitars (gradually introduced) which seem to unfold into more, unexpectedly. This unfolding takes place as each track seems to open within the soundstage; like a flower. You can hear all of the emphasis and ways the guitar becomes subdued and finally restrained. Yet somehow they are using a guitar synthesizer in exactly the same notes of the guitar fully placed way behind in the mix. Due to the organic reverberated aspect of the TTROMSO those guitars seem to be right where they are supposed to be, not only in placement, but overall tone also. Believe it or not this $89.00 IEM is able to discern these elements? And while this song isn’t the most busy, it’s complex in having multiple instruments which find themselves very close together in tone. There is actually way more studio trickery than at first expected. There are areas where the vocals are reverberated back on-top of the vocal performance. As an effect, those multitrack elements are swung out outside of the regular vocals. With the TTROMSO we get to hear such curiosities and experience the wonder of intricacies in the (Tool) performance art.


I tried to cause some trouble for the TTROMSO!

Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight
Revamped by At the Movies

Contrary to what you would think....my plan backfired on me. I thought At The Movies take on the eighties sound would be too much for the TTROMSO! Truthfully I dislike the Cutting Crew as well as this new artists take on their hit song.

Those big eighties drum sounds, I thought for sure this song would be simply too much, being the TTROMSO might accentuate the reverb?

What? How? Not only did they get the exactly what they needed in playback, a phone....a regular phone sounded fantastic. Even the guitars are perfect. In fact the YouTube video playback was clearer then the MP3 off my DAP. They must be optimized for phone playback (More on that to follow?) Whatever is going on....... it’s one of those times when you come to realize that stuff IS getting better, and not just a little better but drastically way better!

The multi-tracked vocals.........you can hear each person singing individually. The bass is tight and punchy.......getting low but fast and carefully accentuated. The guitar parts, all fully heard, yet gritty and full. Personally I don’t even like the song, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect tool to test what we have in front of us.

Treble:

I found that one thing that was interesting was the treble was never hot, but you could make it hot with too much volume. It was this area of pinna gain where it was simply too bright if the volume was taken to the extreme. So the Tipsy is never strident or harsh at regular volumes. Meaning it was the pinna gain that would have you lower the volume, and nothing else. Probably most would never listen at that specific volume level.....so I don’t really see it as a fault. But the top is so refined and smooth……………..that really (with-in the realm of everyday listening) it stays prim-and-proper.

We are actually gifted with the edge of high-end audio. I can only imagine the youngsters trying these out and getting their first taste of real audio.

Yes, obviously there are more expensive IEMs with better “more defined” treble experience. Still here we are met with an amazing and satisfying level of competence, especially for the price asked.

The Midrange:
Amazingly......thick, meaty....and big! Note weight has nice volume and dignity! At times there would be a slight congestion, and obviously more expensive IEMs show a sense of separation which this humble $89.00 IEM can’t touch. There was a sense of congestion especially with super fast progressive metal, where our TTROMSO was pushed to its technicalities limit, yet always a superstar at doing frequency response. Obviously slower music didn’t ask as much from it, but as far as instrument tone and texture it was fairly accurate and real. I heard a small amount of distortion which is the end result of the TTROMSO simply biting off more than it can chew………………..which is maybe not consistent but none the less a reality which can be found if one attempts to look for trouble! Such examples of sound character seem to be part of the DD experience.

The Bass:
Ahh.....the bass, the bass. Really well done. While a place can be found where of course the TTROMSO drops the ball. Still, it seems to save the show with complete, even and correct frequency response. This style of response gets surprising low, showing you a side of your library you didn’t know you had. Yet it’s not necessarily playing favorites with any one frequency? Meaning the quality of the bass, while maybe more emotional, is found also stretching up to the treble area. Lower piano keys have a weight and timbre that draws you in. Especially with the decay. The decay is where it’s at with the TTROMSO, making up for some lost technicalities!

Much of this hobby of ours is like cooking. There can be regular changes of equipment which bring about an understood and expected/desired set of results. Take for example the Sony WM1Z DAP. With the included TTROMSO 3.5mm cable it was exceptional. Still I wanted to find out if there were any sonic gifts to be found using the 4.4mm optional 1Z amplifier, a plug and cable switch away. The Sony DAP offers two complete separate amps inside.

A switch to the DUNU DUW-03 4.4mm cable and we are greeted with a slightly bigger soundstage. Still the (exact-same) sonic attributes (characteristics) are still there. Time to switch to the more midcentric Sony WM1A! Ahhh.....I think I may have just found the key! The Sony WM1A also offers two complete separate amps inside, again I’m using the 4.4mm balanced.


TTROMSO IEM
Sony WM1A Digital Audio Player

DUNU DUW-03, a 4.4mm balanced cable

Because the Tipsy does contain a high level of amber tones, we have room to explore. Such slight darkness and shadow mean there is an freedom to experiment with different cables. If anything new vistas are illuminated to then be explored. Let’s just call this a new perspective extra-sparkle, like that of hair color, stuff has more detail.

The new introduction of a silver DUNU DUW-03 4.4mm balanced cable brought about new found depth. Such are the choices found with ample amounts of sonic leeway.

You can basically use your own subjective judgement here, as the tone is so smooth anyway............we are never putting out fires or looking for correction, well maybe a slight correction......but I found it! Bass has a whole new level of speed, any slowness (somewhat) was instantly replaced with dexterity! So what’s happening here is a profound reaction to source character!

That my friends is the FR value in a nutshell! And while the Tipsy may not be for everyone, I can’t see any of the general populace taking offense to the tone. If anything (for most buyers) the Tipsy/TTROMSO experience will enlighten aspects of the audiophile hobby in ways unexpected!

Cables and Digital Audio Players:
Typically I’ll use the provided cable when I start. Reason being is I want to experience the whole package, the way the IEM was intended to sound. Still with the included cable the Sony WM1Z digital audio player seems a hair too warm. Also (as mentioned earlier) some believe that different amps and cable composite materials/construction change the sound.

The new choice of the DUNU DUW-03 4.4mm balanced cable utilized a different amplifier in the player. Yet the TTROMSO was still exhibiting the tonal character of the WM1Z. In a nutshell the response was just ever so slightly too dark for my taste. Now what I came to learn later was the TTROMSO was simply doing its job being transparent. The Sony truly is considered a warm and dark digital audio player. So my solution was to switch DAPs. In comes the Sony WM1A. The difference in players can be found with the 1Z offering a deeper bass, warmer response and brighter treble. In contrast (totally) the WM1A is way more midcentric and has an actual reduction of bass and treble. The crazy part is here I’m using a $199 cable with an $89.00 IEM.

A Phone:
The actual way the IEM plays as provided (with stock cable) is wonderful. Any source you use it with will bring about optimal results…….almost. Though I would maybe stay away from slightly darker responses? Much of the true sound character has been designed to wake with simple phone use along with the provided cable. The fit, finish and cable texture provide an 10/10 experience from a phone!

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Un-boxing Experience:
This is by far one of the most complete un-boxings of the year for me. It may seem mundane but even the small blue strap with the TTROMSO name was a nice touch. Literally just like the sound-signature, everything is important to Tipsy. When you pull on the strap it lifts the foam holding the IEMs out; like they are in a tray.

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The Box:
First off, it should be noted that for someone at an actual store, there are full-specifications on the underside of the box. “Please store owner, can I use your microscope?” There is even THE (sexy as hell) headphone response curve included. The graph is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

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Also included, the company name and address. They have included a serial number for each unit, itemized in the lower right-hand corner.

Packing list:

Headphones
72-core single crystal copper silver-plated high-purity custom-cable (1.2m)
Earphone storage bag
S/M/L silicone tips
1 set foam tips
Cleaning cloth
Card case (electronic manual-warranty card) (thank-you card)

Aromatherapy tablet

Opening the Box:

You are greeted with a magnetic latch. Interestingly enough the actual cardboard is flush against the box. This will trick even the highest IQ of Head-Fi into attempting to slide the box out!

Upon opening we are met with the company slogan “Tipsy Life”. Looking down we are greeted with a company thank-you card/information package and a beautiful gold designer tissue cover. The tissue cover here is simply like nothing I’ve ever run across, reminding you this is a rare and imported item. The tissue seems to be abstract gold art, a conceptual creation of waves and maybe bubbles? Also just so you know the maker; the word Tipsy is embossed in gold in the off-center area of the tissue. Maybe the tissue is for the tears?

All this and I haven’t even got started:
Below this is a strange package, it has the letter S encased. Supposedly there are 5 different Aromatherapy Tablets. Each letter offers a random scent corresponding to the letters in the name TTROMSO. So you have no idea which single one you will get!

So you’re probably wondering, with all my years of headphone un-boxing, when the time would be when I’ve seen it all? Yep, I’ve seen it all now.

There was also a twist-tie on the holding the cable together. Unfortunately during the box opening I seem to have misplaced it?


Now below all that is a final layer, almost like a false bottom to the box which contains a (embossed) carrying-bag and folded (embossed) cleaning cloth. Inside that bag we find two sets of silicone tips and one set of foam tips. The earphones themselves are also shipped with a set of silicone tips.

The Cleaning Cloth:
Normally such extras fail to impress due to the selected quality being sub-par. With Tipsy on the other hand things just keep getting surprising better and better.

So the cloth is super heavy and giant. It’s folded into 1/4s and comes open with this super heavy feel. Luxurious is the only would I can come with for this? Tipsy is continuing to out-do themselves on every level. The cloth opens to 5”X5” and has the Tipsy name embedded!

Also included is an electronic user manual, and some style of MP3 music your supposed to get on-line? So....you wear the headphones, sniff the sent and listen to the provided tunes!

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Comparisons:
The Tipsy was left to burn-in at 59 hours, before testing. The test methodology was to simply sit with all the IEMs in question while listening. Contrary to normal, I used Sony Black Hybrid Tips on every IEM in the collection including the Tipsy.

The Sony XBA-Z5:
The Z5 was notably harder to drive. The surprise was how good it was, noticeably better at revealing the highs. Still the XBA-5 had a brittle nature to the highs which was replaced by smoothness in the Tipsy. This is simply BA character, while offering more pinpoint detail, it comes with a price. I have to also note the ergonomics was superior in every way with the Tipsy. The truly scary revelation comes with bass quality. The Tipsy out does the bass of “the legend”. While the XBA-Z5 offers slightly better bass detail…….I’m totally surprised at what I found. Also amazingly soundstage was almost (except for one thing) completely equal. Though take note the Tipsy offered a slightly more congested midrange, where the BAs of the Sony XBA-Z5 offered a spread-out offering with slightly more detail. So the treble and midrange elements were farther outside with the Z5. As noted the real amazing thing was the bass soundstage. So anyone here that relates with the Z5 knows what that bass soundstage is! This isn’t always a contest if one is better than the other.

The BGVP DM6 Universal IEM:
Again BA qualities, but while the Z5 was a hybrid, the DM6 is 5 BA drivers. There is a notable lower midrange happening with the Tipsy. Also the DM6 was slightly more efficient. And while I have been into the BGVP DM6 for years the guitar was different. Not bad mind you just different. The fun started when I thought I was listening to the BGVP DM6 and found the treble to be slightly steely (like a BA) when in truth it was the Tipsy I was listening to! The female vocals were slightly more forward with the BGVP DM6. The bass was surprisingly good with the DM6, though the Tipsy won due to a thickness present in the bass. What I was surprised at was how close these two were. The obvious main difference was BA timbre with the BGVP DM6. Still the DM6 does a great job of hiding it. One of the main issues was tips don’t stay on the DM6, As you can see, the Tipsy has the most beautiful metal nozzles for perfect tip placement. There is a bonus track on Assembly by Theatre Of Tragedy, in 44.1kHz-24bit. The song a cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’On." I don’t know where this track is from but the truth was finally noticeable. It actually may be the quality of the track, but the BGVP DM6 made the track sound like garbage, just compressed and lacking and any substance or dimension. Clear winner the Tipsy, it’s simply more forgiving, and has a better overall tune.

See Audio Yume Universal IEM:
The bass is way better than the See Audio Yume, as well as the soundstage is much fuller. But in reality they are night and day. They are so different there is no way to compare them. Fit is on par with the Yume, though nozzle is better on Tipsy and it has a better overall tune.

Thieaudio Legacy 4 Universal IEM:
The Legacy 4 has faster bass, tighter bass and more bass definition, though it lacks in soundstage and bass authority in comparison to the Tipsy. Fit is on par with the Legacy 4 though nozzle is better on Tipsy, and it has an overall better tune.

Triptowin TC-01 Universal IEM:
While I haven't heard the last two Triptowin offerings the HBB Olina or Mele. I was the first to review the TC-01. Let me just say the Tipsy has way better mids than the TC-01. I have the Triptowin Lea, but haven't got around to hearing it yet. It should be noted that the TC-01, the Mele, Olina, Lea and Tipsy are all single DD design. The TC-01 also has slightly short length nozzles which can create fit issues. Tipsy fit is 10/10.

The Earsonics ONYX Universal:
Ok, the above tests are questionable due to the Sony XBA-Z5 coming out in 2014, and the BGVP DM6 coming out in 2018. So let’s take a risk here. A TOTL Earsonis ONYX IEM. A four-way one DD combined with a set of two BAs for the midrange and one for treble. All drivers are custom made. It comes in at $561.00 Factory Direct. So this test used the track “Anabasis’ from DCD’s Anastasis in 44.1kHz-24bit. As suspected the Tipsy has more midrange. That really is not surprising knowing the ONYX tune. Though when the bass kicks in there is approximation with the Tipsy of that bass presence, thought not the quality or texture. The fascination came with how close they were in bass quantity? Something I would have never guessed in a million years. The ONYX is known for having borderline bass-head bass. Basically heavy bass with definition to satisfy the masses but also just enough bass for bass-heads. And that my friends, sums it up.

Closing This Up:
Well it’s been quite the experience reviewing the Tipsy. I learned once again that you can’t always judge an IEM by price. My final thoughts are a total recommendation. Still there are an elite few with a fairly large TOTL collection near-by. So the secondary question is.....what does it offer for them..........talk about first world problems!

Probably the Tipsy would be my out and about IEM. Why? First off, it is vented, but the two vents are super small. The fit is really what occludes sound. But your main form of sound-blocking comes from the way the FR works. Such a tune helps stifle the motorcycles and cars. But the other super cool reason to buy it is because they did everything right..........everything. The box it comes with, the nailing of the FR, the way they fit and the included cable.

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And while I didn’t do 8 cable change-outs, I was slightly worried about the 2pin in the IEM itself, only doing about 4 cable changes. My concerns could be just paranoia, due to it being plastic. This was an easy run as I wasn’t really curious about trying more cables. The sound conclusion to follow............

The Good:
  1. Nice detail and sparkle in the highs
  2. An extra wide display of lower treble on the outskirts of soundstage
  3. Note graph, super balance between highs and lows
  4. Laid back but with authority and charisma
  5. Totally correct tone and (almost) timbre (way above price)
  6. Correct imaging and relatively fast speed
  7. Great separation and placement in soundstage
  8. Incredibly musical included with a world-class soundstage
  9. The Frequency Response of Dreams
  10. The very definition of fun sound-signatures

The Bad:
This is nitpicking at its best.

  1. Not the last word in (general) detail though overall fantastic
  2. While there is good note weight not truly the best
  3. At times the leading edge holds slight distortion
  4. Obviously it’s not the end-all, end-all in treble detail.
  5. Slightly blended bustling, compacting of elements
  6. Does better with slow (not detailed) music
  7. Jumbled in fast sections (still price?)
  8. Not the last word in bass definition
  9. Female vocals ever so slightly set back
  10. Not containing a super fast pace structure at times
  11. Bass is at times blunted holding less texture and definition

The escapists realm:
The Tipsey TTROMSO follows though establishing a new value paradox in the IEM market today. The $89.00 price-to-performance ratio makes the TTROMSO a no brainer purchase decision. Deeply changing what was once thought of as the budget realm, the TTROMSO is truly all you need to visit the Stars!

Disclaimer:
These are my humble opinions take them with a grain of salt.

The thread for the Tipsy/TTROMSO
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/tipsy-ttromso-pinestone-sea.962618/
Last edited:
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
HA, I know. Awesome or Weird! Cheers!
C
Carpet
Waiting for mine to arrive. Not sure how fast things are shipping out of China with lockdowns! :frowning2:
Redcarmoose
Redcarmoose
Well, really I wouldn’t worry. I had 2 IEMs sent out on March 29th, and they left that day. Supposedly I have a DHL guesstimate for April 13th, but typically stuff arrives about 9 days sooner? But I’m maybe slightly closer than you? I was listening to the Tipsy today! So good!
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SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
A pleasant package
Pros: Build, aesthetics, overall package
Cons: too much bass presence for my personal tastes
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The Tipsy TTROMSO Pine Stone Sea (more on the name in a second) have been sent to me by Linsoul in exchange for me publishing this review. They have not made any special requests or comments, meaning that I will try my best, as always, to be as impartial and sincere as possible. However, as always, it is good to consider the fact that these IEMs have not cost me anything.

To find the TTROMSO via Linsoul, please visit the version of this review published on my blog to see (non-affiliate) links.

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Intro…

Tipsy is a brand of IEMs that I had honestly never heard of until Linsoul reached out to me about them. A brief search does bring back another few models from the brand but I honestly cannot comment on them as I have neither tried them, nor read anything about them. I see this as a positive because the less I know about a product before I listen to it, the less expectations I have, making it easier to avoid any preconceived impressions.

The TTROMSO Pine Stone Sea are priced at 80€ at the time of publishing this review which is not quite extreme budget level but is still at the more affordable end of things.

The name TTROMSO, according to the Linsoul page, is in honour to the town Tromso, located in the north of Norway, which served the brand as inspiration. I am not quite sure how the original town name Tromsø developed the extra T (maybe in translation?) and the addition of “Pine Stone Sea”, which I guess is in reference to the colour, does make for quite a mouthful when referring to them. Therefore, throughout the review, I will refer to the Tipsy TTROMSO Pine Stone Sea, as just “Tromso”.

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Presentation…

The presentation of the Tromso is actually quite nice for a set of IEMs in this price range. I know I say that I am all for the budget being spent on IEMs and not packaging, but if the IEMs sound good and the presentation is good, then I am certainly not going to complain.

The box is fairly simple but has a nice cheerful colour scheme, matching the colour of the IEMs. Inside the box, the contents are also adequate for something at this price range.

We get the IEMs themselves, a cable that I am quite fond of, 3 sets of silicone tips, 1 set of foam tips, a storage bag, a microfiber cloth and the typical warrant documentation etc.

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Build and aesthetics…

The IEM shells are hand painted and have quite a nice finish to them. Using blue and green as the colour scheme, they do remind me of the colours found in the Northern skies, and reflected onto northern waters, hence the “Pine Stone Sea”.

The shape is smooth, following a usual ergonomic shape, with quite long nozzles. I found that by using the medium silicone tips included, the fit was good and they seal quite deep, resulting in a passive isolation that is superior to usual. I used these on a few flights during this week and had no issues with being able to block out the drone of the engines.

The cable is also quite nice. It is a simple fabric covered cable but uses nice hardware (even though the 2 pin connectors are plastic), feels quite comfortable over the ear and I did not experience any issue with microphonics.

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Sound…

(as always, the tracks mentioned in this section are clickable links, allowing you to open the song in the streaming service of your choice)

Starting from the lowest notes, as I always do, there is a little roll off as we get down to the lowest subbass frequencies. While these are not the most powerful of IEMs down in these ranges, they still have enough subbass to fill in the low end well and I didn’t really find my usual “Chameleon” to be lacking. Ok, they are not going to vibrate your eardrums but they are far from anaemic.

Moving into the midbass regions, there is a bit of extra presence here in comparison to my personal preferences, with them running a little over into the lower mids. I can’t go as far as to say that they sound muddy or that there is a lot of bleed into the lower mids, but they do present a sound signature that is not the cleanest in this regard.

Listening to acoustic instruments, such as guitars, basses, etc. This extra presence does give them a bit of extra body and warmth, trading a little clarity and detail for more of a pleasant and relaxed sound.

On tracks like “Free Fallin’”, the timbre of the acoustic guitar is not quite as I would expect it to be but it doesn’t sound bad. The difference in timbre of the acoustic guitar is more like I would expect when listening in different venues. Not that it is wrong, it is just a little different to what I am used to.

Moving into the mids, there is a bit of overlap like I just mentioned, again, it is not something that sounds bad, just a little warmer than one may expect. As we move up towards the higher end of the mids, while there is a little climb, there really isn’t much of a boost until we get to above the 4kHz mark. This does mean that vocals are also a little bit further back than I would like but, once more, they are not bad. The low end, combined with this smoothness around the 3kHz mark, adds to the overall smooth presentation of the IEMs.

As we start to get into the higher ranges, it is easy to notice that treble starts to roll off, however, it doesn’t just fall off a cliff. Personally I would like a little more sensation of air and brilliance up top, but once more, the Tromso is not terrible in this regard, it just continues with it’s overall sound signature.

The soundstage is about average for a set of IEMs, nothing extraordinary but not claustrophobic, with placement of images being fairly decent but without pinpoint accuracy. The details in general are there, they are just subtle and don’t scream “look at all this detail!”.

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Conclusion…

I find that the Tipsy TTROMSO Pine Stone Sea, are quite a relaxing set of IEMs. If you are looking for a bright set of IEMs that scream detail at you, then these are not going to fit the bill, however, as a relaxing “enjoy” kind of signature, I find they work quite well.

I find they look good and are comfortable (which are obviously very personal opinions), performing at a level that is decent enough for their price if you are looking for this kind of sound signature.

The included accessories are not out of this world but they are more than adequate for something in this price range, although maybe a case rather than a bag would have been nice. Again, not really something to complain about.

All in all, I find that they are an overall pleasant package, both in sound and quality, that should be a good option for those looking for a smoother overall sound.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog (here) and on YouTube (here)
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