Tanchjim Hana Review: Tanchjim’s Starfield?

Table of Contents

Introduction

For those interested in non-audio opinions, click here.

Tanchjim is probably most well known for their Oxygen, a $280 single dynamic IEM tuned Harman-ish just like the Moondrop metal shell dynamic IEMs (Kanas Pro, KXXS and Starfield). Now in terms of raw technicalities, I thought the Oxygen outperformed the Moondrop dynamics though the nearly-$300 price tag was too much to swallow for most, hence the Oxygen’s relatively stagnant popularity relative to their Moondrop counterparts.

The Hana, from the outside at least, looks to be Tanchjim’s equivalent of the Starfield: the exact same build shape as the Oxygen, the lower price tag, even down to the paint-baking job that warranted a dedicated warning on the box to tell users about the potential flaking of the exterior. 

So naturally with all these similarities indicating that Tanchjim has gone “full-Starfield” on us with the Hana (even down to the anime mascot that Moondrop’s so well-known for these days), I’ve been extremely excited at the prospect of a “budget Oxygen” that would fight with the likes of the Starfield’s already-insane value proposition. So now it’s time to answer the question that’s on everyone’s mind: does the Hana fulfill our expectations?

Product page: https://hifigo.com/products/tanchjim-hana-in-ear-earphone-iems

MSRP: $160

Driver configuration: single DD

This Hana was kindly provided by HiFiGo.

Signature & Tonality

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To answer the big question at the start: no. This is not the “Oxygen… but cheaper” proposition in the same vein that the Starfield was “KXXS… but cheaper”. The Hana is different enough to be its own separate entity entirely and so should be treated as such.

Comparison courtesy of the Graph Comparison Tool

The Hana’s sound signature can be described as simply a bright-leaning mild V-shape, with an emphasis in both its bass and treble but greater in the treble.

The big problem I see in the Hana is in the general tonality of its midrange; it has a bit of “T4-ism” going on in that it’s more intense than neutral with a distinct clarity boost, but in my opinion executed more poorly than Tin HiFi. The word that comes to mind is “uneven”, a sense that the instruments are emphasised in odd harmonic areas and so constantly triggering the uncanny valley effect in me.

Overall the Hana isn’t bad by any means but suffers from the cutthroat nature of the sub-$500 market. Hard to get it out of your head of what could’ve been rather than what’s right in front of you when the “could’ve been” is the Oxygen, one of the best tuned dynamic driver IEMs out there.

Tone grade: C+

For more information on the grading system, click here

Technicalities

If you’re looking for a technical IEM, the Hana isn’t quite top tier material either. Sure it is more technical than it is tonally pleasing, but I doubt it would please staunch detailheads looking for the best-of-the-best in the sub-$200 market.

Nearly everything about the Hana’s technical capabilities can be described as “above-average-to-decent, but also nothing special”. Resolution, note definition, imaging… all perform within expectations for a $100ish IEM but doesn’t quite have the X-factor to differentiate itself from the oceanic competition.

Technical grade: B-

For more information on the grading system, click here

Valuation

Most well-established IEMs around the Hana’s price point tend to differentiate themselves with a superior tuning, ultimately bottlenecked by middling technical ability. 

The problem now is that the Hana appears to compete with a lot of sub-$100 IEMs. And at an MSRP of $160, that’s pretty much a death blow. There’s nothing much to differentiate the Hana from, say, the BLON BL-05 (and that’s the more expensive BLON that I don’t like!), and things aren’t looking very great when pitted against its “true competitor”, the Starfield.

Value Rating: N/A

For more information on the grading system, click here

Conclusion

A relatively short review for good reason, the Hana doesn’t really bring anything new to the table that compels me to recommend it over the competition.

It’s barely acceptable as an IEM just north of the tough $150 mark, but the story remains the same at every price point you go: the passing grade isn’t enough when overachievers are a dime a dozen.

Grade: C+

Awarded grades are in reference to the Ranking List.

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