TY Hi-Z F300M Earbud

Rating:
3.66667/5,
  1. B9Scrambler
    TY Hi-Z AWK-F300M: High impedance isn't helping
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Apr 16, 2018
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Great shell and cable - Quality bass - Very comfortable
    Cons - Timbre - Unbalanced tune
    Greetings,

    Today we're checking out a very high impedance ear bud from TY Hi-Z, the F300M.

    TY Hi-Z has quite a positive reputation in the ear bud realm due to their offering of a wide variety of quality products at prices that tend to bely the performance on offer. I was excited to check these out based on this reputation and the few reviews I read. Were my expectations met? Not even remotely. Let's take a closer look.

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    Disclaimer: Thank you to TY Hi-Z and Chi from Penon audio for arranging a sample unit. The thoughts within this review are my own and do not represent Ty Hi-Z, Penon Audio, or any other entity. There was no financial incentive provided. At the time of this review the F300M retailed for 69.00 USD: https://penonaudio.com/ty-hi-z-f300m.html?search=f300m

    Source: Being a 300 ohm bud, the F300M requires a ton of power to drive. Given this, it was run for the first month almost exclusively with the iFi Pro iCAN. Once that was returned to iFi, it was up to my TEAC HA-501, the Auglamour GR-1, and the Walnut F1 to carry the torch. If you don't have a powerful amp you'll get nothing out of the F300M.

    Personal Preferences: I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, and thinksound On2 offer unique examples of signatures I enjoy.

    Specifications:
    • Driver: 15.4mm dynamic
    • Impedence: 300 ohm
    • Sensitivity: 115 +/-5 dB
    • Frequency Response: 16-24000 Hz
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    The F300M Experience:

    Packaging and Accessories: The F300M arrives in a VSonic-esque package. The entirety of the front is a plastic viewing window showing off the earpieces and emblazoned with the Ty Hi-Z logo, which I think is one of the best designed logos in the world of Chinese products. At least the TY part is. Lift out the cardboard/foam panel the earpieces are nestled within and you are greeted by the same simple, semi-hard clamshell carrying case with a faux carbon fibre look that I used to get with my KZs. Inside are the rest of the accessories, 4 pairs of foams (two donut, two full). Below that is an after sale guide which goes over warranty info, burn in and care directions, and info on the benefits of high impedance designs. English translations are expectedly spotty at best, so enjoy the read. In all you get:
    • AWK-F300M ear buds
    • Carrying case
    • 4 pairs of foams (2 donut, 2 full)
    In all, a nice presentation backed by a basic accessory kit. Just enough to get you going and keep the F300M protected.

    Build and Comfort: The F300MT shares housings with the HE 150Pro and the TY Hi-Z F32MT, and it's wonderful. It's all metal, light, has fine metal grills front and back, a great paint job, and it's all put together with precision and care. The braided cable is exceptionally cool too. Despite a very rubbery and somewhat bouncy sheath, it is well behanved with little to no memory and good tangle resistance. In terms of cable noise, this one is exceptionally quite and one of the best I've come across. Add to that a great looking straight jack with a carbon fibre finish and good strain relief. Relief could be improved everywhere else though. Regardless, this is a great cable that I wish was installed on a different product.

    Because the shells are so light and do not have a thick base, I found the F300M very appealing to wear. There are no sharp edges and the design slots in comfortably and securely regardless of whether you're wearing them cable up or down. I also found them low profile enough to wear in bed, lying on my side. I suppose that the wide face will cause issues for those with smaller ears, but again that's a common issue with ear buds since they tend to use such large drivers.

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    Sound: To me, running the F300M with full foams is an absolute necessity. Without any or with donuts, the F300M is especially peaky. Don't go anywhere near horns or excessive cymbals. Poor ears. Ouch. Note that all of below impressions were gathered with the full foams installed.

    Like the F32MT, I found the F300M rife with potential but saddled with a very inconsistent tune. Let's start with the low end which is one of their best qualities. Mid- and sub-bass balance is tuned well with a nice mid-bass presence that is punchy and quick. Sub-bass is more emphasized though, giving the rest of the F300M's signature a strong base upon which the rest of it is build. Texture is excellent with lots of layers to go along with the depth. Throwing on Gorillaz's “White Flag” with it's thumpy, measured bass line really suits the F300M. I really have no complaints with the way the bass on this bud. This part is pretty great.

    Leading into the midrange, like the F32M, the F300M is pretty hit or miss. On “Rhinestone Eyes” by Gorillaz, Damon's vocals taken on a very hollow and shouty presentation whereas the female background vocals take on a slightly more natural tone and lack the sibilance in the main vocals. Contrast that with Paul Williams on Daft Punk's “Touch” who sounds engaging and natural.While Paal sounds great, the 70's inspired guitar work and strings often come in too aggressively and sharp. The balance is simply wrong. Timbre is way off as well highlighting that an earphone like the Kinera H3 really isn't as bad in this regard as we've been lead to believe. It can get much, much worse.

    The F300M's upper ranges fare better than the mid-range thanks to some early roll off, at least with full foams which effectively tame the peaks. Without it they're thin and unbearably peaky. Back to full foams. The way it's presented is really nice with melodic metal, such as the classic “Black Album” from Metallica. The only major flaw is a lack of clarity and definition when tracks get busy, so avoid thrash and speed metal. It all starts to bleed together into a cacophony of noise. On a track like Gramatik's “Bluestep” which starts with some prickly cymbal work, it works well enough with the cymbals just licking at the heels of what I consider too aggressive; most of you can read that as quite bright. Later on (~2:35) there is another shimmery effect that kicks in that sounds organic and smooth with great clarity and none of the harshness I was expecting.

    In terms of sound stage, the F300M is pretty average for a bud. Unlike the F32MT or HE 150Pro which use the same shell, covering the rear vents does nothing on the F300M. Still, they do a decent job of giving you a sense of space and in terms of imaging accuracy are acceptable. I wouldn't use them for gaming or anything that requires precision sound placement, but for general listening it's fine. Separation is also decent until a tracks get really busy, such as one King Crimson's “Starless and Bible Black”. A 9:07 when the jazz explosion happens after a long and arduous build, the F300M collapses upon itself. Not good.

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    Final Thoughts: In the end, like the F32MT, the F300M shows flashes of brilliance in the mids and bass, but overall is a disappointing listen. With an uneven tune and exceptionally odd timbre, along with an inability to adequately separate convoluted tracks, it was a hard one to get through. It also doesn't help that the 300 ohm rating makes in exceptionally hard to drive requiring a half decent amp to get at the best of it's already fairly meager performance. On the plus side, I absolutely love the cable and shell. Its a good looking unit and the cable's sheath is pleasantly unique among my collection. The carbon fibre jack has a seriously high quality feel to it too.

    I went in excited to try out a well-rated ear bud from a storied brand among ear bud enthusiasts, and came away loving the physical presence but let down by the audio performance. Sorry all, but this is another one I cannot recommend.

    Thanks for reading.

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock - Skelethon (Album)
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (Album)
    Elton John - Yellow Golden Brick Road (Album)
    King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp - Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (Album)
    Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco - F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt - Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bone) (Album)
      noknok23 likes this.
  2. audio123
    TY Hi-Z F300M - Harmonious Performance
    Written by audio123
    Published Dec 27, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Warm, Smooth, Engaging Sound
    Cons - More Stage Width
    Introduction

    TY Hi-Z is an earbud company. Recently, they have come up with the TY Hi-Z F300M. I would like to thank Penon Audio and TY Hi-Z for this review unit. At the moment, you can purchase it from https://penonaudio.com/TY-Hi-z-F300M .

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    Specifications

    • Unit diameter: 15.4mm
    • Impedance: 300ohm
    • Cable length : 1.3M
    • Sensitivity: 115 ± 5 dB
    • Frequency range: 16-24000 kHz
    Unboxing & Accessories

    It comes in a black package with a transparent film that shows the earbud inside. On the transparent film, there is the TY Hi-Z brand name printed on it. After removing the transparent film and the semi-hard foam, there is a red-black case inside the package. The case contains 2 pairs of foam cushions and 2 pairs of donut cushions.

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    Earbud Build & Design

    The earbud shell is made up of plastic and it is in bronze colour. The shell is light weight and it sits in my ear comfortably. There are L & R markings on the left and right shells respectively. Below the logo on each shell, there are 2 stripes for design purpose. There is a TY logo printed on each shell too. It has an open back design.

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    Cable Build & Design

    The cable is 4 core braided. There is no chin slider. The y-splitter is made up of plastic and has a black housing. It has a 3.5mm gold plated straight jack with strain relief. The housing of the jack has a carbon fibre design with the brand name printed on it. The cable is soft and supple.

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    Sound Analysis

    Lows

    The F300M has a great sub-bass extension with a quick rumble. The mid-bass presents itself in a laidback manner. The slam is moderate and there is a slight punch. The bass has a good control and it is tight. Decay is moderate and the bass note is expressed smoothly. Bass texture is generally smooth. The bass nature takes on a warm and smooth approach as it is being expressed gently. The transition from the lows to the lower mids is smooth.

    Mids

    The midrange operates in a clean and transparent approach. The presentation is slightly technical. The lower mids on the F300M has a good amount of quantity to it for the presentation of male vocals. The upper mids are slightly forward with a decent amount of body to it. Female vocals benefit from the forwardness but with more body, it will be more organic. Definition on the midrange is quite clear. There is a good level of details retrieval. Overall, the midrange is musical and soothing.

    Highs

    The treble is extended greatly with a bright presentation. There is slight sibilance and harshness when paired with bright sources. There is no graininess in the treble and it is being presented with energy. The crisp is existent with a nice sparkle. The air at the top end has a good amount and this helps to reduce the congestion in the sound. The overall presentation has a good combination of air and energy. Clarity is good with a high level of details retrieval.

    Soundstage

    The F300M is able to excel in both width and depth. There is a natural expansion in its width to improve the positioning of vocals and instruments. I find the depth is rather good. There is an open feel to the overall sound.

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    Comparisons

    TY Hi-Z F300M vs HE150 Pro

    The F300M has slightly less sub-bass extension than the HE150 Pro. However, there is more quantity to the F300M. It has more body and its warmth is being expressed. The bass decay on the F300M is better due to its pace and this contributes to the overall rumble. Each bass note hits with more confidence. Bass texture on the F300M is smoother. Bass presentation on the F300M is tighter and there is control. The mid-bass on the F300M is more existent with an impactful slam. The lower mids on the F300M has more quantity and does male vocals justice. The upper mids on the F300M is less forward but there is more technical control involved. In terms of treble, HE150 Pro has more extension but the F300M has a tighter control at its top end. There is better mastery. There is more air rendered. In the soundstage section, the F300M has the better depth while the width is fairly similar. Resolution of the F300M is better.

    TY Hi-Z F300M vs Penon BS1

    The F300M has less sub-bass extension than the BS1. The F300M has more quantity to its sub-bass and there is more body to it. It improves the overall bass texture. Bass texture on the F300M is silky smooth. Rumble on both is quite similar but F300M has a more musical rumble. Bass decay on the BS1 is slightly faster and each bass note hits with more agility. The mid-bass on the F300M has more weight to it. The lower mids on the F300M has more quantity and male vocals are better rendered. The upper mids on the BS1 is more forward with more impact. In terms of treble section, the BS1 is more extended. The amount of air expressed for both earbuds is around the same. It helps to lighten the overall presentation. The F300M has a more natural expansion in soundstage and there is a good depth. Vocals and instruments positioning is slightly better on the F300M. Resolution of F300M is more refined.

    TY Hi-Z F300M vs Rose Masya

    The F300M has more sub-bass extension than the Masya but the Masya has the edge in its quantity. The F300M presents it bass in a more technical way. The bass articulation is more accurate. Rumble on the Masya is more impactful. Bass texture on both is quite smooth but Masya is slightly smoother. Bass decay on the F300M is faster. The mid-bass on both is around the same with a moderate slam. The lower mids on the Masya is more full due to more body. The upper mids on the F300M is better with more crisp and definition. The midrange on the Masya has more body in general and it sounds thick and lush. In the treble section, the F300M is more extended and there is similar standard of details retrieval. The air on the Masya has slightly more quantity. The stage width of the Masya is slightly bigger and there is more depth on the F300M. Resolution on both is very similar.

    Conclusion

    The TY Hi-Z F300M is a warm and smooth sounding earbud that packs details. It provides a lively sound and there is good engagement. The lows, mids and highs combine well together for a harmonious performance. The F300M proves itself to be a versatile earbud.

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    For more reviews, visit https://audio123blog.wordpress.com/ .
  3. Moonstar
    Great sound in a small package, the TY Hi-Z F300M
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Oct 16, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great Fit,
    Beautiful cable and solid build quality,
    Good bass response,
    Highly detailed for a sub 100 USD earbud,
    Soundstage
    Cons - Hard to drive (300 ohm),
    Recessed midrange
    The TY Hi-Z F300M
    Great sound in a small package...

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    Disclaimer:


    This unit was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Penon Audio beyond this review. These words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.

    Peonon Audio purchase link

    Introduction:

    The TY Hi-Z F300M is the latest High impedance earbud of the TY Hi-Z family.

    Package and Accessories:

    The TY Hi-Z F300M comes in a black card box with a removable transparent plastic cover.

    This card box includes the following contents;

    1 pcs TY Hi-Z F300M
    1 pcs. of hard case
    1 bag with various sets of foam tips
    1 pcs. of shirt clips
    1 pcs of Penon Velcro Strap

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    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The housing of the TY Hi-Z F300M is made of aluminum and is painted in a brown color. The build quality of the housing looks premium and feels much better than regular erabuds with plastic housings. There is a grill on the top of the F300M that looks like a vent, but seems not to affect the sound, so that I think that it is made only for esthetical purposes.

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    The cable on the F300M is hand twisted and the wire material is SPC (Silver Plated Copper). The coating of this cable is made of a nice rubber material that seems solid and has a soft feeling. Btw, I didn’t notice any microphonics due this review.

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    What I like about TY Hi-Z and K’s products is the plug quality. The gold plated 3.5mm TRS SE (single ended) plug looks amazing. The carbon fiber effect is eye-catching and is made of a solid feeling material (I think aluminum) that should last for a long time.

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    The big left and right markings are a big welcome for me, good job TY Hi-Z.

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    Technical Specifications:
    • Driver Diameter: 15.4mm
    • Impedance: ≈300ohm
    • Sensitivity: 115 ± 5 dB
    • Frequency range: 16-24000 kHz
    • Plug: 3.5mm TRS (Single Ended)
    • Cable length : 1.3M
    • Cable Material: SPC (Silver Plated Copper)

    Drivability:

    The F300M is a hard to drive high impedance earbud (300 ohm), that’s why it needs a powerful DAP, AMP or DAC/AMP like the Chord Mojo to show us it's true potential. People who plan to use this with an Smartphone or Tablet should look for another product.

    Albums & tracks used for this review:
    • Ophet – Heritage Album (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • Max Richter – From Sleep Album (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    • Metallica - The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
    • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    • Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard – A Watchful Guardian (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Dr. Chesky’s Binaural Album (Flac 24bit/192kHz)

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    Sources used for this review:

    Erabud : TY Hi-Z F300M
    DAP/DAC : Chord Mojo, Aune M2 Pro, Smart Player (aka Yin Lu Mei) D200+, Zishan Z2, Ipad Air2


    The Sound:

    This review is written after an intensive burn-in process of 100 hours. I have used the stock provided donut foams due this review.

    Tonality:

    The TY Hi-Z F300M has a small amount of coloration that comes from the bottom, the bass, that gives this earbud a relative warm tonality that reminds me to the HD600.

    Bass:

    The bass of this earbud is one of its highlights. It has one of the fastest bass responses I have ever heard from an earbud in this price category. The bass is quick, has great rumble without loosening definition. The best thing about the bass is the control, so it doesn’t bleeds in to the midrange.

    The warmth that comes from the 250Hz band gives the F300M a warm and musical sound experience.

    The bass quality and quantity is good enough to give instruments like bass guitars and drums a realistic presentation that is a welcome for earbuds that have in general problems with the presentation in this region. I have found a good example in the song of Pamafunk of Dr. Chesky’s Binaural Recordings Album.

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    Mids:

    The midrange of the TY Hi-Z F300M is detailed and transparent in its presentation. It has good amount of clarity and the level of detail is above this price tag. The midrange of F300M is a bit leaned back due the V shaped sound signature.

    The 2 – 3 Khz band on this earbud is adding a good presence and resolution to the sound, but I wouldn’t recommend to use the F300M with sources that have a bright and thin sounding presentation that would otherwise cause to sibilance.

    The upper treble region has a bit of stress that could be solved by using some sort of double foaming.

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    Treble:

    As I mentioned before, the F300M is a relative bright sounding earbud with crispy and vivid highs.

    The treble presentation of the F300M gives a good amount of air to the overall presentation. This factor is a welcome for instrument intensive genres like jazz, classic and blues, which is a pleasure to listen with the F300M.

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    Soundstage:

    The Soundstage and the openness of this earbud are really impressive and the first thing you will notice, right after the bass quality. I love to listen to live and binaural recordings with this earbud due the great presentation. The width and depth is better than I have expected form a sub 100 USD earbud.

    Recoding of Dr. Chesky and Otto Liebert (Up Close Album) are good test tracks and examples how good the F300M excels.

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    Comparisons:


    Now, I will compare some higher priced erabuds with lower (16 ohm) and same (320ohm) empedance. Those earbuds are the Rose Masya and the VE Zen 2.0.

    Rose Masya vs TY-Hi-Z F300M :

    The Rose Masya is one of my favorite earbud since the beginning of my earbud journey.

    First of all, the F300M has a much better fit and feels more comfortable than the Rose Masya with its bigger housing. The Masya on the other hand is easier to drive due the lower impedance of 12 ohm vs. the monstrous 300ohm of the F300M.

    When it comes to sound; The subbass of the Masya is great while the midbass of the F300M has better rumble and definition.

    The Midrange of the Masya is who it excels; it has a more natural and organic tuning, but the F300M has the upper hand in resolution.

    The Masya and the F300M have many similarities in the treble region, because both earbuds have a crisp and vivid treble presentation. It looks like that the F300M is a HD600 and the Rose Masya the HD650 in the world of earbuds.

    Both earbuds share a fantastic soundstage with an out of the head presentation.

    VE Zen V2.0 vs TY-Hi-Z F300M :

    The TY Hi-Z F300M has again the upper hand when it comes to fit and comfort. The F300M looks as it has a bigger housing, but it sits better in my ears then the V2.0.

    When it comes to the sound, we all know that the V2.0 is a monster :o2smile: Both are high impedance earbuds, 320 Ohm for Zen V2.0 vs 300ohm for the F300M, but the similarities ends in the sound department.

    The Zen V2.0 has a fuller and warmer sound that gives us a pleasure for the first 10 minutes. Bu after you chance to the F300M you will notice that the bass of the Zen is to overpowered end slow in comparison. The bass, especially the midbass department bleeds sometimes in to the midrange, so that that vocals can sound muffed in some bad recorded tracks.

    The bass of the F300M has more control and sounds more organic in direct comparison to the V2.0.

    The midrange of the Zen sounds warmer, fuller and more intimate then the more recessed tuning of the F300M. Bu this doesn’t mean that the F300M is not good for vocals. I love the Zen V2.0 more in this department but don’t forget that this is my personal choice and that there is a high price difference between these two erabuds.

    The treble presentation of the F300M has better definition and presence than those of the Zen V2.0, as result; the F300M sounds more detailed and airier then the Zen 2.0. Both earbuds have a good soundstage presentation, the Zen V2.0 wins in depth while the TY Hi-Z F300M has the upper hand in width.

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    Conclusion:

    TY Hi-Z did a good job by making the F300M one of the best high impedance erbuds of the sub 100 USD price rang. I can easily say that the bass, the great fit and the good amount of detail of this earbud worth every penny!

    Pros and Cons:

    + Great Fit
    + Nice cable and solid build quality
    + Good bass response
    + High detail for a sub 100 USD earbud
    + Soundstage

    - Hard to drive (300 ohm)
    - Recessed midrange

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