Written by ngoshawk
Published 23 minutes ago
Pros – THE BOX!!! It is SOOOO COOL!!
Good neutral sound
Fit-n-finish is very good
Very nice looking IEM
Sound quality is quite good
Cons – The cable…look for a replacement
Dearth of accessories, but no big deal, really
TinAudio T2-$49.90 at Penon Audio: https://penonaudio.com/tin-audio-t2.html
TinAudio is another Chinese company, which is a fairly new to the game. Producing three units; the T1, T2 and T515, all reside south of the $50 USD mark. As such, one can call them “affordable” replacements for standard-issue Smartphone headphones. Not included on the MMCX cable-model is a microphone/audio control, so the T2 could be construed as an “upward movement” from Tin Audio.
Disclaimer- I want to thank Penon Audio and Tin Audio for the review unit, on which this write up is based. The T2 was provided free of charge, and in return Penon only ask an open honest review. I would not have it any other way.
A bit about me:
I am older. I am happy that I have rediscovered the joy of music, through personal listening devices. Through this opportunity, I have become exposed to some wonderful kit. Much I now own, much I covet. Much I would never purchase, for various reasons.
My listening style has changed somewhat over the years…from old time Rock-n-Roll to the Blues to Reggae, to Bluegrass. I cut my teeth on Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, The Who, Santana, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd. But the music I hold dearest and nearest my soul, is Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was lucky enough to see him perform four times…twice in open air venues, followed by (that evening each time!!!) smoky blues bars, where intimate would be an understatement. Each holds a very special place in my psyche, and I can almost remember the whole of each concert in their entirety…
I enjoy a warmer signature in my equipment, and listening, with a good bass line (but not basshead), complimented by outstanding vocals. Combine the sweetness of SRV’s guitar and Billy Holiday’s voice, and you get my musical genre.
Through too much hearing loss of high end (loud car stereo as a teenager with a car…), I cannot quite fathom the differences of sound that those experts on Head-Fi do. So, I try to accommodate with subtle differences…detailed differences wrought from my days banding birds and working bird surveys where it was imperative that I separate what kind of Warbler, or Flycatcher, or Sparrow that was, and from what direction and elevation change the song originated. I used my deficiencies of treble-loss to my benefit; searching for that sound, which was not there a moment before. I got pretty darn good at it. And, I TRY to use that same methodology to separate details enough to offer a modicum of differentiation in the product at hand. I like to think I’m doing OK. But can always improve…
iPhone X (through Apple Dongle)
Fake You Out– Twenty One Pilots
Guns For Hands- Twenty One Pilots
Trees– Twenty One Pilots
Dragonfly– Ziggy Marley (of course!)
Live It Up-Ziggy Marley
Three Little Birds– Ziggy Marley on Live From Soho
Running Down the Dream-Tom Petty
Tell Me Why-Los Lonely Boys
The Hardest Part-Coldplay
Everything’s Not Lost-Coldplay
- Brand: Tin Audio
- Model: T2
- Driver: dynamic 10mm woofer + 6mm tweeter
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Frequency response range: 12-40000Hz
- Earphone interface：MMCX
- Plug: 3.5mm Carbon fiber gold-plated straight plug,
- Cable: 1.2M 5N oxygen free copper silver-plated wire
- Tin Audio T2
- REALLY cool box in which they came
- 3 pairs of silicone eartips
- 1 pair of blue foam eartips (mounted, when unit came in box)
I must say that the package in which the T2 came is absolutely brilliant. Opening like a book, from right to left, you are presented first, with the instructions. Under that you find a perfectly divided foam insert. With the gold/carbon 3.5mm jack dividing each half, an IEM to either side there is a certain elegance to the presentation. One in which I do like very much. With the mounted blue foam tips, there is the right amount of color to highlight the IEM’s. Knowing that a company might know of what they do, I left the blue foams on for the burn in period, and initial listen. Overall this is a pretty ingenious presentation, and one that certainly raises the “presentation bar.” I will state that I switched to the silicon ear tips, as the blue foams just didn’t agree with me. And, I usually use Comply’s or the manufacturers equivalents on pretty much everything.
Made of a semi-polished alloy, the IEM has quite the mechanical industrial look to it. Looking like it was forged, could very well have been the intention, and I do approve of the look. The two halves fit together nicely and bely a cost above which this lies. The two “halves” are also of a different gray color, adding to that industrial look. With a blue for left, and red for right rubber gasket, the color again is accented well. Using MMCX connections, the cable attaches quickly and without issue, albeit quite hard if you do it wrong. I found if you do it gently, it was much more approachable. The cable itself an issue, though. While it does look quite “elegant,” the braided silver coated copper cable does tangle quite easily. There is also a certain “stiction” to it, which can hinder untangling. A gold-plated jack, accented by a carbon fiber middle lends a bit of bling to the cable, too. Not bad mind you, just about right. But that cable it not up to par in my book…one might even want to look for an inexpensive replacement.
As an IEM/earphone, this can be worn either over ear or down like an earbud. There is no memory wire for over ear, and I did have a little bit of trouble making the cable stay behind my ear on occasion. If one wishes to wear them down like a bud, simply switch cables, so the one with the BLUE is now right and RED is now the left bud. Problem solved. I prefer over ear and left them that way. I did try them reversed and down and found no problem what so ever. Not bad either but I just prefer over ear.
I would state right off the bat, that this is quite a pleasant listen to me. One where the mids tend to take front stage, but with good support from the treble and bass characteristics. A good bass foundation is there, and while not thunderous or booming, it is there and in about the right amount for me on something of this nature. Treble is a bit hot for me, but for those who prefer that, it is not harsh, just a bit bright for me.
Bass: As stated, a good foundation is here, just not in enough bass for my tastes. I like a bit of rumble, or a good amount and this is a bit shy of that. With two vents (one front and one on the back), the bass is there, and one modification is to cover the inside vent, which increases quantity and rumble. Some prefer that mod, but I will admit that for this review, I left it stock. I will try the mod, though. I would not call this polite bass, though. There is too much of it to be called that. Let’s call it “slightly on the north side of rumble” bass, providing a decent sound on which to build. Enough to satisfy audiophiles, but not enough for bassheads, or those who like good deep-reaching bass.
Mids: With good transparency, there is plenty of detail to vocals. Succinct would be a good descriptor. Precise for this price point is an added bonus. With Tyler Joseph’s voice cracking through the T2, one can certainly become involved with the sound and the IEM. That engagement is a definite plus for the T2, and enough to call the mids quite good in my opinion. Followed by Lyle Lovett’s Bears, which can be brittle on some of my IEM’s due to the cymbals and Lyle’s enunciation involved, this is a very good mid to pair. With the bass on some of my IEM’s this song can become sibilant, but not here.
Treble: Enhanced would be my one-word description. Running a bit too hot for me, I would add that it could be considered bright by some. But with good detail, this can be “covered up” a bit, and brought back into perspective. That said, when I raise the volume, the treble does become a bit much for me. Not overwhelming mind you, but enough for the sound to become tiring for long periods of a decently-volumed listening session. I would call it controlled-detail. That treble dynamic driver can definitely be heard. Think boisterous little sibling who wants attention no matter what, and you get it.
Soundstage/Separation: With a fairly wide presentation, detail retrieval is about average. Not the most detailed, and some songs can become congested, but for this price quite nice. Good clarity is there in all but the busiest of songs. On U2’s wonderful A Man And A Woman, Bono’s voice is simply sublime. With excellent detail, the song only becomes congested at the busiest of parts. A limitation of the price, I am mostly sure. Not bad mind you, but short of more expensive IEM’s. That said, I continue to listen, and enjoy that presentation.
When Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky comes on, all of the above is forgotten, and I just enjoy that sumptuous vocal treat. Truly one of the all-time best solos…stunningly superb. With enough separation, this IEM can certainly be enjoyed.
Detail/Clarity: As mentioned above, there is a good amount of detail present. One, which can certainly be enjoyed in most situations. Going back to Pink Floyd, Keep Talking gives us a vibrant representation of sparkling detail. Not brilliance mind you, but enough sparkle to aid in a detailed presentation. Clarity as a result is enhanced. I enjoy Pink Floyd anyway, but this is a pleasant surprise in which to have. Enough clarity to give a decent depth of sound, but again lacking that finest of details one might hope for in any choosing.
Coming off of another review, I am surprised at how close the two were in overall “pleasantness” of sound. Costing half of what the T2 costs, the Hypsersense Hex02 ($25) pairs up very well against the T2. With excellent ingress/egress characteristics, and a better bass line (to me), the Hex02 is a viable choice to the T2. With better clarity and detail retrieval, the T2 is the clear winner there, but the Hex02 has to me, more and a better bass quality. Deeper reach, more rumble gives a good “illusion” of quality. I say illusion, because while the Hex02 is quite good at its price, the T2 wins overall due to the better (to me) sound quality and capabilities in handling complexities of song. One could not go wrong with either. For sheer ease of use, the Hex wins, except that the T2 can also be worn down. In that fashion though isolation is lost. Ingress/egress is equal to the Hex, but for my ears, the fit isn’t as good as wearing them up. There is more bass (as my ear covers the inside vent), but I am simply not as comfortable wearing the T2 down as the Hex02. Moving back to over ear, I lose the bass bump, but gain isolation and better detail.
One could thusly justify owning both, and for $75 have two very nice IEM’s. And, be happy with both.
Finale: When presented with a cacophony of choices, one must sift through what please thee, and thus focus on those preferences. What with today’s overrun market of affordable IEM/earbuds it can be extremely hard. That is where marketers such as Penon come in. When they send samples out, they try not to flood the market but cover the market such that there is a very good representation of products, choices and price points represented. I consider this a very good positive of being on the receiving end of said products. Beneficial? You bet! Providing a service to the audio-heads of our world? Indeed! But there is a higher purpose here to me. One that can be a bit difficult to define. With so many choices, we can become overwhelmed. So, in that “service” provided we are exposed to what marketers choose to put forward. They do so under the guise of providing good quality at good prices. That is a definite gamble, as not all products end up being on the good end of the spectrum. This usually becomes evident quite quickly. Well, I am happy to report that this is not the case with the Tin Audio T2. It is a very good product, at a decent price. Speaking of which, this to me is at the upper limit of price for the T2. Any higher, and a risk of running into IEM’s of better quality could have ruined a good package. This is no world beater of $200 IEM’s, but it can certainly hold its own in today’s ever increasingly crowded market.
I would recommend a listen to the T2, as it provides all the goods of a decent mid-priced IEM. Excellent quality of build, ease of changing cables and the ability to be worn up or down; the T2 is worth a look if you are in the market for a decent upper low-fi priced IEM.
I want to thank Penon for the opportunity to provide this service to the community of which I speak. A valuable tool is to get the product out there, so it can be heard, delivering positives when warranted. And so far, it has worked out well.