In today’s review, I’m checking out the Yinyoo Topaz, a 5 driver (4 balanced armature and 1 dynamic driver) earphone. Utilizing Bellsing balanced armatures and a 10mm bio-cellulose dynamic driver the Topaz shows some potential. So is it a gem or just a polished rock? Let’s dig deeper and find out.
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.
Good build quality
Detachable 2-pin cable
Is prone to sibilance
Package and Accessories
The Topaz arrives in a familiar Blue box with gold-coloured Yinyoo branding on the top. Removing the lid reveals the Topaz earpieces seated in a foam insert. There’s also a black Yinyoo zipper case which contains the accessories. Below is a list of everything in the box.
Yinyoo Topaz earphones
Clamshell zipper case
Detachable 2-pin cable
3 pairs of narrow-bore silicone eartips
3 pairs of wide-bore silicone eartips
Build Quality and Design
At the first glance, the naming of the Topaz becomes immediately apparent. The faceplates have a faceted surface like that of a cut gem. Made from aerospace-grade aluminium, the earpieces are lightweight but feel very robust and durable.
Overall build quality feels very good. The two-halves of the earpieces are joined seamlessly with no gaps or glue residue to be seen anywhere. On the inner shells there are 2 pinhole vents towards the rear of the housings.
Interestingly, the Topaz utilizes socketed 2-pin connectors, similar to some of the recent KZ earphones. The metal nozzles have a solid ridge that holds eartips firmly in place. It can be said that the build quality of the Topaz feels quite premium. It’s available in 2 colours: grey and gold.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
Adopting a common concha-filling shape, the Topaz is a comfortable IEM that can be worn for long periods of time without any issues. Edges are rounded and the surface is smooth, plus the dual vents on the inner shells act to alleviate any pressure buildup.
If you don’t like the current trend of braided cables then you might enjoy this one. The joined dual-strand style is like a throwback to times gone by. You might notice that it looks very much like the BGVP DMS cable. Its rubberized TPU sheath is a little on the stiff side but feels durable and is resistant to tangling.
At the top are the socketed 2-pin connectors, followed by pre-formed ear guides. Further down is a rubber cable cinch and simplistic Y-split. The cable terminates in a right-angled, rubberized 3.5 mm plug. There is a little bit of microphonics which is mitigated by the over-ear design and can be further mitigated by using the included shirt clip.
The Yinyoo Topaz has a V-shaped signature with a mature, punchy bass plus a lively upper midrange and lower treble. It presents a detailed sound but it’s one that can quickly become fatiguing if you’re sensitive to brightness or sibilance. With a vivid and energetic character, it could also be considered a little aggressive but it can also be fun too.
The bass extension is adequate and has reasonable depth. Sub-bass has a nice quantity and depth with a fast, controlled rumble. Topaz’ mid-bass is punchy and reasonably quick with natural weight and decay.
The 10 mm dynamic driver delivers just what one would hope in a hybrid IEM. It’s a rounded, tangible bass that has impact and weight, which is exactly what’s needed to counterbalance the accentuated upper midrange and lower treble of the Topaz.
The Topaz’ lower midrange is fairly neutral and transparent. It separates itself enough from the bass to take in some of its warmth without becoming muddy or thick. Male vocals are well articulated and textured but at the same time a little dry. Female vocals are treated much the same way as the midrange is surprisingly linear right up until 1.5 kHz where it starts to ascend rapidly.
Such is the sudden increase in the upper midrange and lower treble that it can at times become dissonant. Certain percussion elements and instruments such as piccolos and high piano notes sound thin and strident and vocals are recessed.
There are upsides to this as well, such as good overall clarity and presence plus the added snap it gives to snares and rim shots etc. But the difference from the lower to upper mids is so stark it comes off as harsh and fatiguing too often as well as crossing over into sibilance territory which is a deal breaker for me almost every time.
The treble delivers a good amount of detail and for the most part, is reasonably executed. It’s fairly tame except for a very large spike around 12 kHz that makes some cymbals splashy and diffuse. That same spike does add a good deal of airiness and some erratic brightness to the mix as well.
The Topaz creates a stage that has a good amount of width and moderate depth. There’s isn’t much layering despite the instrument separation being quite good. Imaging is decent in a left to right sense but the plane of focus is compacted from the limited depth of the stage.
It’s heavier in the bass and sounds muddier in direct comparison but the extra body in the midrange sounds more natural. Vocals are more forward and have more density. Its treble is a little lacklustre in comparison, giving it a darker but fuller overall tone. The soundstage is comparable but less so on bass-intensive tracks.
The AS16 uses a similar strategy of boosted upper mids and lower treble with a mature bass tuning in order to push details. It has a faster and punchier mid-bass and more rolled off sub-bass. It has more natural vocals and is more resolving throughout the midrange. AS16’s lower treble is more energetic giving it increased clarity and brightness. Soundstage dimensions are comparable but the AS16 has superior layering.
The Yinyoo Topaz shows some promise but is a little too enthusiastic in its upper midrange and presence regions which makes it strident and upsets the tonal balance. However, it does have a quality bass response and great build quality and could satisfy someone who isn’t offended by disparate brightness.