Current testing methodology is v1.2
The Senfer DT9 is an earphone manufactured by the Chi-Fi audio company Senfer. This brand is quite well-known in the audio community because of its most popular release, the DT6.
Both the DT9 and DT6 are hybrid IEMs.
The DT6 has numerous reviews and people already know how good they are. So here I am testing and reviewing a different product of theirs, which is the DT9.
Excellent sound with the right customizations.
The Senfer DT9 is a hybrid driver earphone that may be considered rebellious as it’s often being berated for its affinity for sibilance.
Though my initial thoughts about the DT9 were roughly the same, I believe that a couple of cable swaps and ear tip rolling can make its true sound unravel. At the end of the day, with its warm bass, illustrious midrange, and detailed treble, I think highly of the DT9.
I may have to say that the DT9 isn’t something a beginner should pick up as it requires a little tolerance and a lot of sound tweaking through customization.
If you’re deep in the audio rabbit hole, then you already know how cables, tips and sources change the sound of an earphone. Given this, I’d recommend the DT9 but only if you’re dedicated enough to find its true sound beyond the first impressions.
- Driver: Dynamic Driver + Knowles Balanced Armature
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 116db/mw
What’s in the Box?
- Senfer DT9 earphones
- 3.5mm jack
- 10 x stock ear tips
Stuff I like
- Deep sub-bass
- Fast mid-bass
- Vivid midrange
- Bright and detailed treble
Stuff I like less
- Thin sounding midrange
- The upper midrange is sibilance-prone
The Senfer DT9 oozed a certain kind of feeling after I unboxed it. There was something about its build and cable that just showed that it has substance.
Its packaging is gorgeous. I don’t know if that’s relevant, but appreciating its packaging is a big part of the unboxing experience. The DT9 comes in a silver holographic box with an anime aesthetic.
Upon opening the box, you’ll be greeted with shiny steel electroplated shells. This is why it reminds me so closely of the Heart Mirror. Only a few IEMs in my collection have a shiny metal finish.
I hooked it up to my Shanling DAP and listened to its signature.
It reminded me of the HZSound Heart Mirror but with more bass. The midrange sounded forward and the overall signature was bright and had a lot of sparkle to it.
I consider that to be the strength of the DT9’s tuning and at the same time, its weakness. With this bright signature came sibilance – not that all songs are sibilant, but a lot of them are.
A majority of vocals nowadays are equalized to have sharper-sounding notes to give vocals more definition and clarity. The DT9’s tuning amplifies this and as a result, sibilance occurs.
I still love it though despite it being piercing but to be honest, I plan to make some swaps with different cables and tips, to bring it closer to my preference.
The build quality of the Senfer DT9 is excellent. The shells have a great heft to them and feel nice to hold.
The cable is a silver-copper hybrid MMCX cable that’s 16-cores thick and has good weight and elasticity
For me, the best part about the build would be the high-quality metal L-termination. It ties everything together.
Fit and Comfort
The Senfer DT9 has a very ergonomic shape that fits well in the ears.
The included silicone tips fit nicely but I always swap out the stock ones with my own tips. I’ve tried silicone and foam tips and both types give me a good seal.
I really don’t have anything else to say regarding this category as the DT9 to me is comfortable.
The Senfer DT9 has an interesting sound signature.
It has a warm but bright signature with a W-shaped tuning. The W-shape just means that the bass, the midrange, and the treble are all boosted.
I rarely come across earphones that don’t give me a V-shape or a Harman neutral signature, so the DT9 strikes me as a very refreshing set.
The sub-bass has great depth and presents it along with a superb rendering of texture, while the mid-bass has good speed and dynamic interplay to it.
The midrange is vivid and has a lot of detail. I envision in my mind that it’s a piece of wire that gets cut by a wire splitter. The sound seems to expand like focused light hitting a prism.
The treble has a lot of details to it despite remaining smooth.
Technicalities don’t fall behind the tuning either. The soundstage has good depth and it presents a sense of space inside the soundscape while remaining to be intimate horizontally and vertically.
The imaging on the Senfer DT9, is average, which is good by all means. It may need help to place instruments when a track is busy or congested.
The transient response is excellent and has great timbre and shimmer to its tonality.
The sub-bass reaches substantial depth.
The bass in the song Starboy by The Weekend, has really deep 808 bass at the start of the song. It’s the first time I’ve heard the bass sound like it had a snap in the middle of it like it had layers inside that thick bass sequence.
With other IEMs I own, the bass on Starboy just sounds like a huge wall of rumble. A little bit of grunge to it but that’s it.
The texture of the DT9’s sub-bass is visceral. It’s not the deepest sub-bass I’ve encountered but I actually find its depth appropriate to my preferences. It goes deep without sounding muddy.
The mid-bass has good dynamism to it and does a great job of maintaining musical engagement. Kick drums have good timbre and have ample punch and slam to them.
Overall, the bass subverts the common expectation that a bright signature can’t have clarity unless there is a significant detriment to the bass frequencies.
The midrange of the Senfer DT9 is forward and sounds very detailed.
Although it may sound thin with its quantity, I find the midrange more mellow and light to listen to, which is the opposite of listening to very thick and warm signatures.
The upper midrange makes the whole of the midrange that’s relatively mellow seem to multiply tenfold like light splitting into colors of the rainbow. I think this holds the perception of a thin-sounding but very detailed midrange.
The upper midrange also introduces sibilance even though it contributes to the shimmering midrange performance.
Tracks with an upper midrange that’s left alone will sound normal but tracks that have the EQ boost in their upper midrange will get that amplified to a piercing degree.
So far all the tracks by Vaundy that I’ve listened to have no sibilance while songs by artists like UMI for example sound sibilant. Vaundy is a male artist as opposed to UMI.
The effect might be a combination of a lower register plus zero upper midranges EQ, making Vaundy sound breathtaking while avoiding sibilance.
UMI on the other hand may sound sibilant because of her register plus an EQ sharpening of her upper midrange notes.
Some users that didn’t customize their Senfer DT9 have resorted to making specific playlists to listen to which is something you can also do but, in my opinion, would be very cumbersome.
Overall, the midrange is brilliant and is in no way perpetually sibilant.
The treble on the DT9 is also forward, making a lot of the transient pop off the sides of the main vocal line, grabbing a lot of attention and making listening more fun and engaging.
The treble has no sibilance and despite being very detailed remains smooth throughout. The transients sound very life-like and have great sparkle and crispiness to their delivery.
Overall, it’s a very well-implemented treble – it’s smooth but energetic.
The Senfer DT9 is a great-sounding hybrid earphone that has one of the best innovative tunings I’ve seen in a long time.
It does have its issues like the upper midrange glare and consequently a very unpredictable behavior with replaying songs, but it’s hard to deny its base nature without the sibilance.
On songs that have none of the glare, the DT9 provides an articulate and engaging experience that has a lot of sparkle and shimmer.
The current setup I run with the DT9 is using foam tips along with more amplification. Using it with the VE Megatron has somewhat balanced its peaks while allowing it to perform more reliably.
I’ve yet to swap its silver hybrid cable to a full copper one as well as invest in Final E ear tips, but until then my setup will have to suffice.
In the end, the Senfer DT9 is a very unique hybrid earphone with a refreshing tuning and signature. At the $30 price point, there are only very few IEMs that do what the DT9 has achieved.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.