Sensitivity: 95±3dB SPL (94 dB SPL=1Pa) at 1KHz with input=0.126V(1 mW)
Package and Accessories
The TS-2260 comes in a fairly standard box with a white cardboard sleeve. On the front of the box, there’s a glossy colour image of the earphones. On the back is a list of features. Here’s what you get inside the box:
Looking at the Takstar TS-2260 is like taking a trip back in time; these shells have a definite old skool vibe going. At first, I was reminded of the Hidizs EP-3 that I reviewed way back in 2017. Fortunately, the TS-2260 is a lot more comfortable (more on that later).
The shape of the shells is somewhat similar to the iconic Shure SE215 PRO but in this case, they come with a non-detachable cable. They’re made from glossy black acrylic and are very lightweight but robustly built.
A single small vent sits near the cable connector. The nozzle has a good lip to hold eartips securely in place and a protective mesh cover to keep out debris and ear wax.
The TS-2260 comes with a fixed, non-detachable cable. Normally I would take issue with that but I’m giving it a pass here for two reasons. First, it’s a $14 IEM. Secondly, the quality of the cable is excellent: It’s 2 meters long (perfect for desktop/studio use) extremely supple and has no microphonics.
I was dubious about the comfort when looking at photos of this IEM but any misgivings were unfounded – the TS-2260 is exceptionally comfortable to my ears. The shells seem to disappear and I don’t even notice them there at all. I found them to be great for lying down too.
The earphones do a great job of blocking out noise thanks to some solid passive noise isolation. You can enjoy your music or get down to work without being distracted by external noise.
As popular as Harman and diffuse field tunings are these days, a lot of people still like an accentuated bass (though it’s almost become taboo to admit it among the enthusiast crowd). The TS-2260 laughs in the face of the elitist jerks and gives you a good ol’ fashioned serving of delicious bass. I’d go so far as to say this is a basshead IEM, but that wouldn’t tell you the whole story.
The provided marketing spiel suggests the TS-2260 is tuned for monitoring. While you can technically use any IEM for monitoring, we generally consider a neutral tuning best for studio monitoring purposes. If you’re familiar with frequency response graphs (see below), however, you’ll see that the TS-2260 doesn’t adhere to what we would deem neutral. Or even come close to it.
Do you see that massive slope on the left of the graph? That’s the bass. Lots of it. In reality, it’s not as extreme as it appears to be – unless you’re specifically talking about sub-bass (anything below approx 60Hz).
In the case of the sub-bass – yeah, it’s pretty epic. If you enjoy hearing and feeling huge rumbling low notes, you’ll get a kick (no pun intended) from the TS-2260’s deep growl. The mid-bass, however, is relatively standard in terms of quantity.
While its bass isn’t the fastest, it’s not sluggish either. Bass notes are rounded, impactful and have a decent amount of texture. Although the rolled-off upper treble gives it a slightly darker tone, it’s an engaging bass nonetheless.
The midrange is on the warmer side of neutral but doesn’t sound muddy. This is thanks to the fairly rapid bass fall-off above 200Hz and its boosted lower treble. So, although the sub-bass is kinda huge, the lower mids still feel separated and have enough room to breathe.
It’s a smooth and relaxed midrange yet the clarity is quite good. What’s surprising is the amount of detail found here (with the exception of bass-heavy segments). The overall tone of the midrange is good too, being neither too thick nor bright but somewhere in between. Vocals have a slightly forward presentation due to an upper midrange lift. They have just a touch of added warmth which makes them sound natural and alluring.
The TS-2260’s treble is somewhat unusual. It’s slightly forward in the lower bands but the upper treble is attenuated. Despite its upper treble roll-off, the treble is clear and provides ample detail retrieval. It doesn’t sound as laid-back as you might expect but it is certainly smooth.
There’s no sibilance and percussion attacks are sufficiently crisp. It’s not a sparkly or vibrant treble but has a fairly good timbre and extension.
Soundstage and Technicalities
The soundstage has moderate width mixed with good depth. The stage position is neutral with vocals placed slightly back from the listener. The virtual space created is larger than one might expect for a bass-heavy IEM. Thanks to its overall control and neutrality of the core midrange, the TS-2260 doesn’t suffer from congestion or a muddy wall of sound; the instrument separation is adequate to prevent any stuffiness.
CCA CRA ($14)
The CCA CRA (review here) has a single dynamic driver. Its overall tone is brighter than the TS-2260. Both IEMs have a significant sub-bass boost but it’s less prevalent on the CRA. CRA’s bass has more mid-bass and better definition while the TS-2260’s bass has more sub-bass rumble.
Vocals are more forward and closer in line with the bass on the CRA. They’re more intimate too, in terms of stage position. Spacing is better here too as the CRA spreads its stage wider albeit closer to the listener.
CRA’s treble is more upfront, especially its upper treble. It’s more energetic and shows occasional signs of sibilance.
CCZ Coffee Bean ($16)
The CCZ Coffee Bean (review here) has a single dynamic driver. It has a similar presentation to the TS-2260 i.e. warm and full-bodied. The Bean’s sub-bass is impressively big but not as extreme as the Takstar’s. The CCZ has more mid-bass impact.
Both IEMs are similar in the midrange. They’re on the warmer side of neutral with slightly recessed vocals but adequate clarity. The Coffee Bean has some added upper treble presence making it a tad brighter.
The Takstar TS-2260 has a smooth, warm and engaging sound. It won’t suit those looking for neutrality or technical mastery. But for those who want a musical presentation with a non-fatiguing treble and gobs of bass, you’ll feel right at home with this one.