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Universal Fit item created by , May 5, 2010
Pros - Fit, Better cable, Replaceable cable, Balanced, Slightly Fun
Cons - Frail looking pins, price fluctuations
9.2.12 (or 2/9/12 for US)
I received a very small USPS package with my supposedly "new in open box" TF10's. The box, actually, was still sealed, and was from the Amazon Black Friday sale. For a brand new TF10, it's a pretty good price considering it's much after Black Friday. Anyways, some pictures of the box and what was inside...And what it looks like now. And no, dual flange does not mean massive ear aches.
Sound-wise: Out of the box, they felt slightly V-shaped in FR. Vocals weren't as emphasized as I liked, and there was a bit of bass emphasis. On my HP TouchPad, the sound felt slightly hollow and very distant, although still enjoyable. The treble was clean and unoffensive to my ears, although YMMV depending on how sensitive you are to treble. Even the sparkly songs (Endless Story) didn't cause any fatigue, despite the obvious treble emphasis. Despite all of that, I felt it could use an extra mid driver to spice up the midrange to my liking but it really isn't as recessed as some say. Dual flanges did stop the slight bass bleed, so that helped a bit. Definitely great for the price though. On a higher power source like a laptop, with the noise attenuator (aka impedance switch/increase), it's quite a balanced sounding earphone. Vocals feel airy, natural and anything but recessed. Much more forward and natural sounding for female and male vocals. Overall, it can be a hit or miss IEM. For me, I think it's a home run.
Comfort and appearance?
I looked and felt like Frankenstein so I decided to go ahead and jump into the flip mod and not a single regret was had. Dual flange and flip mod made for a very comfy fit, although they still stick out a bit. I'm probably not sleeping with this puppy on. Maybe a Westone UM1 or something of the like, but definitely not this. Too much risk of breaking the cable and then forcing me to go reshell. Now this may put more strain on the memory wire, but I used it as more of a clip, like those clip on headphones so the IEMs stay put no matter how fast I'm moving.
I'll give you guys a picture of what I mean with them still sticking out a bit though.
Yeah, I'm not sleepin' with that thing sticking out of my ears.
Soundstage and precision: Not quite as airy as dynamics but still plenty of space. It isn't extraordinarily precise either(compared to UM3), though it does beat out my other headphones by quite a bit. It is definitely more than enough to pick out where a missile is, barreling towards you at two and a half times the speed of sound.
Isolation/Sound blocking: Dual flange is more than enough for being outside and about. Enough to walk undisturbed but still hear the idiot's red SUV barreling at me going 50mph.
Build: The earphone itself is pretty tough and I like how it appears with the flip mod. It's fairly flush to the ear, but even when noticed, appears quite professional and unobtrusive. The electric blue can grab a bit of attention though in the wrong places. With the detachable cable, the pins breaking are my only concern. It seems maybe Westone pins might fare better since they are thicker. It's either that or I'll ask for recessed connections when they are reshelled.
Overall, it's quite a competent build and sounds quite nice. UnEQ'd, and depending on your source, they may sound a bit recessed or overly emphasized in the midrange depending on source. Feed them enough power, and they'll show you great potential. I may just try to get an E6 for this. Out of the box though, I can say this: I love'em already.
Scratch that, you need at least a small amp. My smartphone and laptop can't drive them to 100% potential.
Endless Story-Yukari Tamura
mezzo forte-Minori Chihara
Launch, White Devil, Gotta Stay Fly, Naval Warfare, Beyond the Canal, Horizon, Release - Ace Combat Assault Horizon Original Soundtrack
A Light Illuminating the Depths, Rush Out!, Aoi Kiseki, Termination-Falcom Sound Team JDK
Alchemy, Little Braver, Shine Days, Run With Wolves, 23:50 - Girls Dead Monster
And many more. I couldn't stop listening .
Pros - powerful well articulated bass, crystal clear high, seperation
Cons - SIZE/COMFORT, recessed mids, highs can be a bit too much
...everyone's said all that needs to be said about these iems.
One of the best values around imo...if you can get them in your ears. Once in, they sound great but do have their downsides. The high and lows are fantasic, both in quantity and quality. The mids have good quality, from what I can hear of them...quantity is not there though.
Luckily, I been able to find a reasonable seal with some aftermarket tips...barely. However, they are uncomfortable after more then a couple hours and when they go in/out. Worth the trouble for the acoustics but disappointing that ue would allow problem that is so easily remedied get in the way of what is otherwise a great product.
Pros - Love it
Pros - Sound fantastic
Cons - durability
Fit was an issue, these are HUGE! Not for small ears, and getting good seal is important to get the best out of them. Walking would break the seal with every step, even with foam tips. You really have to push them in to get them to stick, and even then they'd work their way out.
The cable also has a bendable bit embedded in them to make a U for wearing them over the ears. It was a nice feature but made putting them in your pocket difficult and the cable got tangled very easily.
Also, the bass driver in one of the earbuds died after one week. I felt overall the durability of the design was suspect and prone to failure. They didn't "feel" like the high end IEMs I was expecting. I sent them back to Amazon.
Pros - Great sound, very balanced and objective
Cons - Uncomfortable and just-ok isolation compared with others
Before buying these, I had the Etymotic ER6s and now I have the Klipsch Image S3s. I'll be comparing the Triple Fis to these.
The TripleFis have an incredibly balanced sound and exceptional bass output that doesn't sound fake or pumped-up. They might be a tad on the bassy side, but coming from someone who listens to a very wide range of music, from Classical to Folk to Metal to Electronica, it wasn't overkill; any genre of music sounds good on these buds. The TripleFis are loud too; you'll be playing your iPod at 75% volume, at the most. The Etymotics, on the other hand, were weak in the low end and had trouble getting loud (although they never distorted). The Klipschs, though the cheapest of the three, are tinny and fake sounding in comparison.
The only possible complaint about the sound I can make is that it lacks "character". I'm not one for subjective qualifiers, but what I mean is that the sound is perhaps too objective, too clinical. This almost certainly a result of the Triple Fi's very flat frequency response curve. In the end, this is a great problem to have; I'm essentially accusing the Triple Fis of being too accurate. Still, my Etymotics, despite their low bass output, seemed to have a little more "soul", whatever that means.
In summary, the TripleFis sound more like a pair of studio monitors than stereo speakers; they can handle anything you give them without distorting or straining, they're loud, they're neutral, and they sound accurate. These would be a great set of buds to make music with, as well as listen to music on. However just like with speakers, sometimes you want a little inaccuracy, a little spunk; some of the best home stereo speakers are as good as they are because they're NOT hyper accurate like monitors. Overall, though these are excellent sounding headphones.
So yeah, the sound is great, but what would you expect for $300? My real complaints are with the comfort and the seal. I'm a man of average height and weight, but these buds were way too big to comfortably sit deep in my ear. I had to jam them in while yanking my ear up, and even then they felt like they should go in deeper. And before you think it: yes, I was putting them in correctly. These are just biguns. As a result, they would ALWAYS come loose when I ran (although never when I walked around) and the noise isolation was just decent. Furthermore, they hurt my ears after an hour or so. Both the Etymotics and the Klipschs, in comparison, are more comfortable, stay in no matter what, and get much better isolation. I had these for a year and a half before I lost them and bought the Klipschs, and even though the Klipschs definitely sound worse, they are so much more comfortable, practical, and effective at noise isolation that I might already like them better for day-to-day use. On a more positive note, I never had reliability problems with the Triple Fis in that time, despite shoving them in my pocket every day and wrapping them around my iPhone; I thought they were built to last.
The final thing to keep in mind is that I only paid $70 for these (one day deal on Amazon). For that price, they were damn worth it, but I would absolutely not pay more than $120 for these. Despite their great sound, the Triple Fis have lackluster isolation and are flat-out uncomfortable. If you see them on sale pick them up, but I say otherwise look elsewhere.
(A side note: I had the headset model with built-in mic and remote. I haven't had other headsets to compare it to, but I'll say that the mic was not that useable for phone calls; people could never really hear me if I was outside around mild traffic. The remote was more useful than I thought it would be, however.)
Pros - sound, isolation, fit and finish
Cons - goofy looking, doesn't stay in ears during vigorous activity
got these during one of the Amazon gold box specials. Wow. My new everyday phones.
Pros - detailed, solid bass, good synergy with some players, good build
Cons - fit is a problem for many, not great for all types of music
I jumped on these when Amazon had them on sale. I had only been on Head-Fi for a month and was looking around to expand my listening horizons. I've had them for nearly a month, but hadn't reviewed them because I wanted to get past the new toy period and listen to them over an extended bit of time and with lots of different material.
Fit was an issue initially. They're huge and I have smallish flush ears. There was a lot of rubbing on the right pinna until I did the flip thing and put on Comply TX-500 tips. The best fit has come with medium Sony hybrids.
But even before I got the fit right, I was in love. I have the RE0 and Etymotic ER6 and ER-4P. All of these are "analytic" phones, full of detail and cool. They're all great in their fashion, but the TF10s have made me jump in my chair twice.
The first time was listening to Janelle Monae's "Tightrope" There's a kick drum at the beginning that just pops with these iems.
The second time was Saint Columbe's "Sonnerie de Sainte Germaine". This is 17th century chamber music. The viola da gamba rips like a crosscut saw.
I've read about the recessed mids with these phones and it's true, they don't work well for everything. I don't think they're good for rock music. But they've been great with John Zorn's guitar work and other mid-centric music for me. I don't think they're great with the EQ on my Cowon iAudio 9. But they shine with the Clip+ and iH140.
Pros - Guitar strings, Heart-wrenching highs, Great Bass extension, Detail
Cons - Comfort, Dependent on ear-canal size, Price if purchased new
Absolute steal at this price.
Should have given a review on these a long time ago but unnecessary because for one simple fact.
You either get a good fit on these and experience pure nirvana or dislike it for any possible conceived ideas.
It's quite inaccurate to listen to people's opinions as well.
Some people clearly state that the IE8 is much better than the Tf-10 but the Se530 is inferior. Others state the Tf-10 is worse than the ck-10s. There are even people that claim the tf-10 lack bass and the highs are sibilant. This all depends on many confounding factors.
But regardless to say, imo, I couldn't be happier with these.
Pros - punchy bass, good extension in both bass and treble, excellent isolation, warm, easy to drive, good build quality
Cons - warm, not as analytical as others, weird fit for some
I really like them, they are not as crisp as my sennys and the soundstage is more narrow (to be expected from iems) but their bass is noticeably better (it extends much better) and they are very enjoyable to listen to, I do not think there is any "burn in" time on them because of the armature drivers, but I will continue listening to see if anything changes. Also the sound insolation works quite well and I notice details I never have before because I assumed I was hearing outside noises on my open cans (the tapping of someones foot on a recording of chopins "revolutionary etude") so that is pretty cool. They are not as analytical as sennheisers notoriously are, but they warm without the exaggerated bass and thin treble that grados sometimes suffer from (I cannot stand it personally, it was grating, sr80s).
I am sorry I cannot compare it to any other iem, but the closest iems Ive heard are bose, so I dont even bother.
the size and shape does not bother me at all because I have large earholes so they fit fine, although I have a bit of trouble figuring out how to angle them in my ear sometimes.