In this review, we’re talking about the Tin HiFi T5. Say that out loud five times quickly after a drink. It’s a bit of a tricky one tonight in terms of how it stacks up against competition with the price. Let’s have a closer look.
Thanks to Aoshida HiFi for sending these to me to have a listen and tell you guys what I think. I am also going to include here links to the KZ ZAX review and the CCA CKX just for you guys to compare what’s in this review, even though the Tin T5 are sitting at probably twice the price that these units are.
Also, if you would like to win these, then make sure you visit the giveaway page, and you’ll go with a chance to win these. And if this giveaway is already expired, then there’ll probably be other competitions there with likely some more IEMs or other stuff that you could win.
So with the T2, we had a double dynamic driver configuration. The T2 really kind of launched the whole Tin HiFi following and popularity. A lot of people really believed that it was an exceptional IEM for the price and really kind of launched a lot of buzz around, you know, what a lot of people call the Chi-Fi movement. I just think that’s wrong. It’s just HiFi, guys. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in Japan or in China or in Australia or in the U.S. It’s just HiFi.
Overall, these impressed me. I only have one complaint really that is the strongest about this, which I’ll go into a minute.
Let’s start with what you get in the box. It’s a decent-sized box compared to what you’re going to get with the KZ ZAX and what you’re going to get with the CCA CKX, and the reason being, obviously, is that they definitely want you to feel like you’re getting value for money. At the price, which currently is about $129 USD, it’s a little bit higher than some of the other entry-level or more affordable IEMs.
Once you crack into the retail box, you get the IEMs with foam tips automatically suggested. There are some replacement filter tips.
You’ve also got your instructions, warranty cards. And you’ve also got a full range of silicone tip earbud sizes that you can play around with to make sure that you get the perfect fit.
So in terms of accessories, yep, a level up at this price. The case, which I think is way too much bling for me, I feel like I should be driving a Porsche 944 white leather to match, is actually a really good case. It’s a nice, solid case with a magnetic clasp. So in terms of something that you can throw in your bag (I don’t know if it’s going to stay white for very long in the bottom of my bag) but it does work really well. It fits them well and keeps them safe.
In terms of tech specs, we’ve got:
- Driver: 10mm Driver – DOC
- Freq response: 10Hz-20kHz
- Sensitivity: 103dB ±1dB @1kHz
- Impedance: 48Ω
- Connectors: Gold-plated 2 Pin
- Plug: 3.5mm gold plated
- Cable: 1.25m 4 Core OFC Kevlar coated cable
- Inline Microphone: No
The 10,000 to 20,000-hertz frequency range feels right. 48 ohms – pretty easy to drive from anything.
Usually for IEM reviews, I just use smartphones as a source, usually an iPhone because I think most people that are buying these aren’t necessarily going to be slapping them on to an expensive DAP like an Astell & Kern, Cowon, FiiO or an iBasso. So I would definitely say that these drive really well.
The cable, gold-plated. Two-pin connectors on the earbud end, and a Kevlar-coated cable, which I definitely feel…it feels good. It’s not braided. It’s twisted, but it’s got a real solid feel to it. It’s certainly not a cable that I instantly thought, “Man, I want to replace that.”
The other cool thing with the cable that none of the other budget IEMs on the market come with (although that’s a generalization) is a the cable ring/cable tightener built onto the cable.
The benefit of that is when you’ve got the IEMs on and you’re running the cable down the back (which is where they’re meant to go by the way, not the front) you can pull that up and it just tightens and secures your IEMs on your head..
And if you don’t have one of these on your IEMs, if you’ve got something like the KZ ZAX, or the CCAs, or anything else like BASNs, it to use a little rubber band because it’s kind of a little bit grippy, and you just twist it over the cable a few times, and then you could kind of pull it up and push it at the back of your neck/head.
Build Quality & Size
Build quality overall is really great. The metal housing is excellently machined. I have no complaints at all about the way these have been put together.
Putting these next to the KZ ZAX and the CCA CKX the T5 are much larger than the other two. They are a pretty decent size which almost makes you feel like you’re getting value for money. The T5s are quite a lot deeper than the Zax or CKX.
The only complaint that I have with them is there’s quite a bit of space around my ear once they’re in. They’ve got the cable tie on the cable so they do hold fast. They don’t move, they don’t wriggle around but when I’m first putting them in, there’s quite a lot of give and leverage around.
They don’t fit sung into the outer area of my ear which is probably a pretty typical ear. I don’t know if that’s a complaint or an observation. They do fit. They do stay in. But I think if I were to switch to the silicone tips from the foam, I might not feel as secure if I was going out and about for the day.
How do they sound?
How do they sound? This was the hardest thing in terms of a lot of the IEMs that I’ve reviewed. When I started, I went, wow, these sound great. Amazing. Love them. Their sound stage is clear. The treble isn’t fatiguing. It’s not going to wear you out. The mids are there. There’s bass. And then the longer I listen to them, I thought maybe they would do well if you burn them in and run them for a long time.
The reason I say that is it seemed to be that they were sensitive to what I would feed them. So there were some tracks that sounded amazing, especially rock tracks where you’ve got strong guitar through them. Listening to something like Thrice, which is kind of a guitar-heavy sound, sounded really nice, but then I would switch over to something else like London Grammar. And while the vocals started really well, they seem to disappear a little bit.
Flicking over to something like blackbear, which again his vocals quite push forward in his mixes, but then when all the other instruments came in, I kind of lost him a little bit in there.
The bass is punchy but not particularly strong or overwhelming. Some people have suggested these are big in Bass but I felt the KZ Zax were stronger.
Overall they did sound good but tonally they just seem to be a little bit sensitive to what you might feed them. There were times when I just felt a lot that the vocals were getting a little bit lost around everything else that was going on and didn’t feel… I wanted the volals to sit forward.
In terms of tuning, iit wasn’t a V shape where they just sucked the mids out. Lots of mids, especially kind of lower mids, but it’s almost like those came out a little too hard like Toms and Snare drum were competing with vocals a little bit too hard.
I think that they do sound really good, and I think a lot of people are definitely going to like these.
I’m trying to think, if I was to say, “If you listened to a lot of…, I would recommend these to you.” Again, I would say Rock music would do well.
They’re quite good across the frequency range, but I’m a real vocals guy and I don’t like to feel like it’s coming through a thin sheet of paper either. Unfortunately, there were times with these that I felt it was bit like that.
I wanted to rave about them after I first listened to them, but the more I listened to them, the more it slowed down. The more I put them up against some of their competitors, there were definitely some pros and cons which I’ve hopefully clarified in this Tin T5 review.
If these are the only IEMs that you’re looking at buying right now, I’m sure you’re going to be happy with them. If you’re an audiophile that’s trying to bounce around all of the sub-$200 range of IEMs, there might be some others out there that emerge a little bit ahead of these.
I think there might be some divided opinions about these. It’s going to be a “love it” or “don’t love it so much.” Whereas, I think something like the KZ ZAX would probably be more of an all-around winner for most people in my opinion.
Have a play with them. Tell me what you think in the comments below and stay safe out there.
This post was last updated on 2021-09-28 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.