Tin Audio T3 Review: Overshadowed

Introduction

The T3 is Tin Audio’s newest flagship model, moving away from their tried-and-true dual dynamic setup and instead going for a classic BA-DD hybrid. First released on Massdrop at $60 from its $80 MSRP, their first drop amassed nearly two thousand sales making it one of the most successful debuts in Massdrop.

My T3 was kindly provided to me by Linsoul for a full review.

The Signature

The response of the T3 is mild V-shaped, slightly leaning towards the higher frequencies. Relatively tame bass boost that’s focused more around the midbass area with the midrange just slightly behind. The tonality then takes on a brighter bias due to a higher frequency emphasis, in-between the T2 and T2 Pro in terms of volume.

The Bad

Not sure if this is strictly bad: the T3 has a very generic “cheap hybrid” kind of sound where the BA driver suffers from timbre issues, which may result in a jarring transition when moving from the DD bass to the rest of the frequencies. The timbre takes on a slightly plasticky, crinkly, almost grainy effect that many would call the “BA timbre”, though it’s far from the only IEM that suffers from this phenomena. It’s not too bad, in fact some are immune to this, but just something to take note of when considering a purchase.

Treble suffers from a bit of splashiness which can be translated to harshness or sibilance, depending on your ears. The T3 doesn’t seem to track cymbals as well as I’d like, having a tendency to overlap and smear especially in faster metal-type tracks. Violins and flutes, especially when played in the higher ranges, do get a little grating and fatiguing due to a somewhat misreplaced treble peak.

Imaging, like the rest of Tin Audio’s lineup, still remains strictly average. That said, I do think it has a very slight edge over its brothers, though not by much. They still sound like earphones and the in-your-head exists, no going around that.

The Good

Within the context of the “Tin Audio Trio”, the T3 seems to be the best technicalities-wise (by a small margin, but still) and strikes a good middle ground between the tonal balance of the T2 and the clarity/detail-focused signature of the T2 Pro. 

Overall, the tonality of the T3 is more or less fine. There are no awkward peaks or recessions in the midrange so doesn’t get skewed too badly in any particular direction. Bass is tuned well with no bleed or masking of higher frequencies, good speed and defined well enough, perhaps even slightly cleaner than the T2.

The T3 is more a general all-rounder than anything so there aren’t many things that I point out as being specifically a “good point”. It’s a bit of a basic signature, works well for most and won’t offend, except for potentially the treble emphasis which can get hot and tiresome after a while though again, not as bad as the T2 Pro.

Conclusion

The T3, while not as good a value proposition as the T2 due to being double its usual prices, still remains competitive within its bracket and may be considered slightly superior by some. Where it gains in clarity and a small edge in detail retrieval, it suffers in timbre to the same degree.

In a world where deeply V-shaped chifi hybrids dominate the market, the T3 is a decent breath of fresh air in the scene.

Final rank:

Thanks to all the generous souls who support my Patreon and a special shoutout to my $20 Patron, Denis. All contributions go into making future projects and content into reality.

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