Current testing methodology is v1.2
August 31, 2022
4.06 x 3.94 x 1.26 in
The Tanchjim Zero is the brand’s latest budget offering, with a sale price of around $15. Established in 2015, Tanchjim audio is a Chinese brand of Hi-Fi in-ear monitors.
It follows a similar tuning to its brother, the Tanchjim Ola, but does it have what it takes to stand out from the ever-changing market of IEMs? We’ll find out in a bit.
For those that love neutral/brightly tuned IEMs, the Tanchjim Zero is an option they must consider getting.
Recently, budget IEMs have greatly improved in terms of build quality and, most importantly, sound. Long gone are the days of spending tons of cash to get a great-sounding pair of IEMs.
One prime example is the Tanchjim Zero – a pair of IEMs with neutral tuning that offers excellent sound quality easily exceeding its price point.
If you’ve had experience with IEMs such as the 7hz Zero, Moondrop Chu, and the Moondrop Quarks, these IEMs offer a similar sound signature and can be a great addition to your collection.
- Driver: 10mm Composite Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 1.25M+3.5MM gold-plated non-magnetic
- Frequency: 7Hz-50000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 118dB
What’s in the Box?
- Tanchjim Zero in-ear monitors
- 7 x pairs of silicone ear tips
- Small carrying pouch
- Instruction manual
- Warranty card
Stuff I like
- Neutral tuning
- Great clarity and resolution
- Affordable price
- Smooth mids
- Vocal clarity
Stuff I like less
- Lacks body caused by the bass roll-off
- It sometimes sounds thin and shouty and too bright
Comparable products to consider
One of the classics, the Moondrop Quarks still offers good sound quality and an affordable price regardless of its age.
Compared to other IEMs at this price point, the Tanchjim Zero came in much better packaging.
These IEMs are packaged and presented well. Plus the box came with an anime graphic on the front, reminding me of the packaging from brands like MoonDrop with the Aria and Chu.
The accessories that came with them, such as the small carrying pouch made of gray fabric and the additional 7 pairs of ear tips are a great addition.
The Tanchjim Zero has a transparent resin shell with an aluminum face plate.
Even if they’re small, these IEMs felt durable while I was examining them, making accidentally breaking them the least of your concerns.
The non-detachable cable is well-built, and since it’s silver-plated, it reduces the stethoscope effect that budget IEMs tend to suffer from. I’ve had zero problems with the cables tangling on the Tanchjim Zero because they were designed to reduce the risk of this happening.
Fit and Comfort
The fit on the Tanchjim Zero was pretty good, and I didn’t encounter any problems with how they fit in my ears. Plus they’re incredibly light.
I have a reasonably medium-sized ear, so medium-sized ear tips work well for me well. The pre-installed ear tips on the Tanchjim Zero were a perfect fit, so I didn’t have to swap them out for a different size.
The shape of the Tanchjim Zero is a relatively common bullet-style shape and would generally be a good fit for most ears.
The included cable doesn’t make unwanted noises which can be caused by brushing against my clothes or any object.
When benchmarking the sound quality of the Tanchjim Zero for the first time, I immediately noticed that its treble and upper mids were more forward in a mix.
This, in turn, makes vocals and other instruments, such as snare hits, more present.
In particular tracks, it needs more bass than some may be looking for. This can be a deal-breaker for bass heads. The lack of bass contributes to the overall lack of body and fullness of the sound when listening to some tracks.
Since these IEMs have a neutral tuning, there’s a need for more bass and some people may find this a deal-breaker.
The lack of bass is a hit or miss on these IEMs and as mentioned previously, listening to certain tracks can result in a lack of fullness and body to the sound.
Although they’re not as punchy as V-shaped IEMs, they still managed to keep up with busy tracks and sounded natural. The texture is generally good and can be sufficient for some people.
Ultimately, it all boils down to preference. If the lack of bass isn’t a concern for you, these IEMs perform well based on how they’re designed.
I really loved how the mids sounded on these IEMs. Midrange instruments and vocals were lush, organic, and lively on certain tracks.
Although the vocals are very present in the mix, they’re not “in your face” and still manage to blend smoothly with other frequencies.
The treble on the Tanchjim Zero was tuned just right for my preference. I encountered no harsh frequencies for the most part, even though the treble was sparkly and bright.
It was charming to the ear, and I prefer the treble tuning of the Tanchjim Zero over my Salnotes 7Hz Zero as it’s less fatiguing and has the right airiness.
Music Listening Impressions
I’ve tested the Tanchjim Zero on different genres of music to see where it would work best.
Listed below are the various genres that they work well with and my findings:
- Classical/ Orchestra – The Tanchjim Zero performed well in this genre. On the track “Let you Break my Heart Again,” the vocals and instrumentation were present and had great definitions. The instruments could shine and sound very lively; the same goes with “Swan Lake, Op.20, Act II” by Tchaikovsky. Tracks used: Let you Break my Heart Again (Laufey), Swan Lake, Op.20, Act II (Pyotr Tchaikovsky)
- Jazz/Bossa Nova – The bass and the guitar instruments sounded warm and smooth. These IEMs highlighted the beautiful voices of Rita Payés and Laufey upon listening to the tracks. The highs didn’t get in the way and sat perfectly alongside other frequencies in the mix. Tracks used: Nunca vas a comprender (Rita Payés), Stoneflower Album (Antonio Carlos Jobim), Falling Behind (Laufey)
- Acoustic/Vocal-focused – The stripped-down character of acoustic or vocal-focused songs works well with neutral-tuned IEMs as they showed the natural character of the sounds. The Tanchjim Zero works exceptionally well with these genres, as its mids and trebles sit perfectly with each other, and the clarity and definition are noticeable. Tracks used: Ikaw at Ako (Johnoy Danao), Boston (Juan Karlos Labajo)
- Modern/Indie – I listened to modern/indie tracks on the Tanchjim Zero just for the hell of it, and they were great. There were no harsh frequencies whatsoever and the vocals and instruments sounded smooth and clear. It was the perfect combo for a pleasurable listening session. Tracks used: Glue Song (Beabadoobee), Another One (Mac Demarco)
After testing the Tanchjim Zero IEMs, I discovered that their neutral and, sometimes, bright tuning generally works great with vocal-focused tracks.
The Tanchjim Zero was a great addition to the sub-$20 market as it offers something different that makes it worth trying.
These IEMs come close to the Moondrop Quarks when it comes to design so they easily met my expectations, plus they have similar tuning. The only difference is that the Tanchjim Zero is more up-to-date than the Quarks.
Overall, these IEMs can be a hit or miss for some.
Since they have a neutral sound signature, which some people may prefer, bass heads, in particular, may find these IEMs lacking and boring.
Treble heads and vocal lovers alike would find these IEMs very pleasant as they have the right tuning for that specific demographic.
For its price, it can definitely be a no-brainer purchase.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2024-02-21 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.