Tin Audio T2 Review: Flat on a Budget

Introduction

The T2 is the IEM that put Tin Audio on the map. I’m also severely late to the party considering that nearly everyone has been hounding me for a review for half a year… but hey, better late than never.

Sporting two discrete dynamic drivers, it’s a configuration that’s rather rare in the industry where everyone seems to be moving towards a balanced armature and dynamic driver hybrid design. It also goes for 50USD at MSRP, though “sales” dropping it down to $30 are fairly common and so that’s the price that usually get quoted around the internet.

As per usual, I’ll let the rest of the reviewers talk about build, accessories and other miscellaneous things. I’ll focus on my forte: the sound.

My T2 was provided to me by Linsoul for a full review.

The Signature

The T2 is tuned “neutral” with a slightly brighter tonality due to a small emphasis in treble on top of a bit of a sub-bass rolloff. It’s rare to find such a tuning in the sub-$50 range and so this is probably its biggest marketing point as an IEM.

The Bad

Two things popped out upon first listen: the resolution and the imaging ability.

The T2’s resolving ability is markedly average. I wouldn’t really call it exceeding the realm of $50 earphones and overall detail retrieval is adequate, but nothing that truly brings the phrase “punching above its weight” to mind (hate that, by the way). The transients seem to be the bottleneck in this case; while the decay is fine and gives the notes enough realistic weight in the usual dynamic driver fashion, the attack component seems to be a little blunted and so doesn’t resolve as much detail as I’d like in percussive-type hits, though fares well enough with bowed and wind instruments where initial transients aren’t that important.

Imaging wise, it’s below my experience of average but also forgivable at its price. The “in your head” effect comes in strong while the placement is a bit congested, making it a bit of a struggle to properly pinpoint the positioning of instruments and the like. Like with many, many others like it, the T2s still sound like IEMs. Nothing revolutionary, perhaps something one could consider as underperformance if expectations are high. For me, it’s entirely adequate and I don’t really put too much thought into imaging performance when I’ve decided to use IEMs.

There is a slight quirk in the tonal balance of the T2 as well. While mostly neutral, it does sound like there is a slight midbass to lower midrange bloat of some kind, which does help the T2 in not sounding entirely thin and reedy but also seems to cause a bit of smearing and fuzziness in the notes. I’m not entirely sure if this type of tuning is a strength or weakness so be the judge yourself. I could see the T2 being a little cleaner sound with extra bass roll-off, though I doubt it’ll sound natural afterward.

The Good

It’s a proper neutral IEM for $30 and it has very little competition in this part of the market. And I do mean “proper neutral” in that there are many sub-$50 IEMs that claim to be flat but are either too upper-midrange heavy or simply lie. Perhaps a little less midbass and more subbass, but that’s really nitpicking. The tonal balance and the timbre of the T2 really is one of the best that I know around the $100 range, at least if you’re someone looking for a neutral/balanced kind of signature.

There isn’t really much to compliment the T2 sonically; it’s kind of a boring by-the-book kind of sound that isn’t really outstanding in sheer technicalities but rather for how it’s tuned. I myself would go for the MH755 if I were purely looking for sound quality, but the build on that is utter garbage while the T2 comes in a solid metal shell with detachable MMCX cables right out the box. As a whole package and the niche it successfully fulfills, the T2 really does compete well in an already competitive price bracket.

Conclusion

A solid buy for a tuning that one usually gets at much higher prices. Nothing mindblowing sound-wise but certainly deserves the much overused moniker of “value for money”.

Final Rank:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.