Usually when I think of Chinese made dual dynamic driver earphones a couple of things come to mind because of my past experience with those products – huge bass and a dark sound signature. Nothing wrong with that if it floats your boat but there are a boatload of IEMs that do that already. So when I had a listen to the TinAudio T2 it came as a bit of a shock to hear it was the polar opposite of what I was expecting. So, folks, that’s what we have today – the TinAudio T2 dual dynamic driver earphone. Onward!
Disclaimer: This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product. The TinAudio T2 is listed at $49.90 at the time of writing.
- Can be worn cable down or over-ear
- Layering and separation
- Detailed and balanced sound
- Good build quality
- Very basic accessories provided
- Driver: dynamic 10mm woofer + 6mm tweeter
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Sensitivity: 102dB/mW
- Frequency response range: 12-40000Hz
- Earphone interface：MMCX
- Plug: 3.5mm Carbon fibre gold-plated straight plug,
- Cable: 1.2M 5N oxygen-free copper silver-plated wire
Package and accessories
The T2 arrives in a discreet, little white box with just the TinAudio name, logo and model on the front. Inside the box is another little box that looks like a book with a blue cover – pretty cool! Opening up the “book” the first thing you see is a little user manual. Underneath that is the earphones presented nicely and seated in a black foam cutout. And of course under the foam are the rest of the accessories.
So what’s in the box?
- T2 earphone
- 1x MMCX cable
- 3x pairs silicone eartips (S, M, L)
- 1x pair foam eartips
- User leaflet
So very straightforward but unique presentation is what you get here. It would have been nice to see a carry case of course but it looks like the resources were put into making the actual IEM while keeping the cost as low as possible which is great for the consumers.
Taking a quick look at the cable – it’s pretty decent if a little ordinary. The feel of this 5N oxygen-free silver-plated copper wire is quite nice even though it’s a bit industrial. The beige MMCX connectors look and feel a little cheap but they’re functional and seem durable enough. There’s a piece of clear plastic tubing that acts as a chin slider and the same tubing is used again for the Y-split. The cable terminates in a large, straight 3.5mm gold-plated plug with a carbon fibre-finish. The cable has a few kinks and holds its shape a bit there’s very little in the way of microphonics. I found this cable to be fairly prone to tangling as it’s pretty thin above the Y-split.
Build, comfort and isolation
The metal housings of the T2 are very nicely crafted and are lightweight. There is a blue or red plastic ring on the MMCX connector on each piece to determine Left and Right – yes! The finish on the metal T2 has a very good finish and you could be forgiven for thinking that these cost more than their selling price. There is a pinhole vent near the base of the nozzle and another on the rear of the housing. Speaking of the nozzles they are fairly short but they have a solid lip on them to hold your eartips securely in place. There is also a metal mesh in place to keep our ear wax and debris.
The T2 is designed in a way so they can be worn cable down or over ear adding versatility and more options for the listener. Overall build quality is excellent.
When it comes to comfort the T2 is no slouch here either. It has a mostly generic cylindrical shape with a wider section at the rear to accommodate the MMCX connector. I would have liked the back edges to be a little more rounded but because of the housing’s short length, it doesn’t normally come into contact with the outer ear. All this means the T2 is a very comfortable IEM.
Noise isolation is about average for a typical earphone making them perfectly suitable for normal situations.
Gear used for testing
- Samsung Galaxy Note 5
- Acoustic Research AR-M20
- IQQ C5
- JRiver/flac > Arcam irDAC-II
The 16Ω impedance and 102dB/mW sensitivity make the T2 pretty easy to drive and they sound great even from my smartphone. Having said that though, you can throw extra power at these and they will soak it up and respond in kind with a little more weight in the bass and some added fullness in the midrange. Frequency response is not what we’re used to seeing in this segment – after a slight mid-bass hump it flattens right out and remains even all the way to the upper treble.
In general, the sound signature of the T2 is very linear and even from top to bottom giving them a sound that leans towards neutral. Sounds are clear and vibrant making overall presentation very tidy. With brilliant tonality and realism, the T2’s tuning makes it a true rarity in the sub $50 range.
Bass is a mixed bag being in parts the most impressive and the most disappointing range of the T2. Mid-bass is fast and tight with excellent texture and punch. It’s agile and very well controlled and of a calibre, I normally expect from more expensive earphones. Where the T2’s Achilles heel resides is in the sub-bass, which can dig deep but it’s at a very low level making it unsatisfying. It rolls off heavily below 25Hz where it becomes almost inaudible. At 30Hz and above, however, it can be really pleasing and is of excellent quality.
The T2’s midrange is a real treat. The timbre of stringed instruments is fantastic and true to life, as are vocals which can rise up out of the din and present themselves very clearly. There are air and space between elements which help to maintain that clean aspect that the T2 does so well without becoming too thin or analytical. There’s no noticeable bleed at all from the bass leaving the midrange free to shine.
Treble is prominent but it’s the good kind that won’t induce spikes of terror or annoyance. The extension is good and fairly even throughout. There’s enough sheen and sparkle to provide some airiness without being strident. Treble notes sound natural and blend seamlessly with the overall presentation.
Soundstage on the T2 is fairly average for this price range. It’s not vast but neither is it too intimate or closed in. Left and right stereo imaging is a strong point and positional cues are slightly above average. Where the T2 shines is in its separation and ability to spread elements rather than present you with a solid wall of sound.
Tennmak Pro ($27 USD)
The Tennmak Pro is another dual driver IEM that became quite popular in budget enthusiast circles. The Pro has a weightier bass than the T2 but is less textured. It’s also warmer and has a thicker midrange. Treble is more subdued on the Pro giving it a slightly darker feel. The T2 in comparison has a lighter and brighter sound with much improved overall clarity. The Pro’s sound has a more fun twist while the T2 scores more points in technical ability.
The Pro is extremely comfortable and has better noise isolation than the T2 but in contrast, can only be worn over ear. I feel that either of these is a worthy purchase -the Tennmak for a fun all-rounder budget IEM and the T2 for a more audiophile tuned experience.
Veedix NC50 ($56 USD)
The Veedix is, in my opinion, a largely underrated earphone that deserves more recognition. The NC50’s Bass has a lot more weight and impact compared to the T2 and its sub-bass is sublime. Midrange has delightful clarity, as does the T2 but the Veedix carries a slightly warmer tone making it less in your face and thus less fatiguing over time. Treble is less accentuated on the NC50 but the timbre and extension are amazing. Cymbal sheen is exceptional and you can hear the ringing presence fade into blackness with natural decay.
Both of these are comfortable but the Veedix comes out slightly ahead because of it’s more secure fit in the ears and the rubberized coating on the housings. If you’re a fan of bass then the Veedix is the way to go here. Those looking for more neutrality would be better suited to the T2.
The TinAudio T2 delivers an uncommonly refined tuning in the sub $50 bracket, steering away from the usual bass-heavy and V-shaped sound that is prevalent in this segment. Their well built and classy looking housings reflect the mature sound that they have to offer.
The T2 has restored my faith in what a dual dynamic solution can bring to the table and I hope to see more like this in the future, as we’re already neck-deep in budget hybrid IEMs at present. So to sum up – those looking for a solid budget earphone that leans more toward neutrality but is still musical and emotive look no further. The TinAudio T2 has got you covered.