TANCHJIM TANYA REVIEW: Appealing Tonality at an appealing price

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PROS: Balanced tonality, natural timbre, good layering, lower bass extension-slam, fatigue-free, Piano-Vocal-Saxophone sound marvelously full and emotional, Immersive yet laid back sound, Unboring Harman target approach, generous accessories, price value

CONS: Lack of high-low and lower mids, bit boomy-sloppy-juicy bass, average clarity-resolution, unprecise imaging, soundstage lack deepness, attack lack bite-snap, treble lack air-sparkle

TONALITY: 8.5/10
TECHNICALITIES: 7.5/10
CONSTRUCTION-DESIGN: 8/10
SOUND VALUE: 9.5/10

INTRODUCTION&EXPECTATIONS

TANCHJIM is a relatively new earphones company from China, it already has a solid fan base due to their highly praised Tanchjim OXYGEN flagship dynamic driver earphones as well as their more budget-friendly CORA model that follow Harman target signature.
Like the CORA, their new entry level ultra affordable earphones follow this harman target signature, but for less than 2 times the price of the CORA.

At 22$, my expectation for the TANYA is mostly about an even tonal balance that deliver an enjoyable and accessible musicality without any harsh boost in treble or mids. I don’t expect insane technicalities, neither I expect distortion or extremely weak dynamic. Let’s see in this review if the Tanya is the budget IEM to look for if we love laid back musical balance.

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PACKAGING is something I don’t usually even cover in this price range, but the number of accessories is so generous with the Tanya I need to share my joy about it. Box and presentation is well done, professional and refined, yet minimalist, some would think its come from Japan with this type of approach to esthetic. Anyway, as seen, we have 8 paires of eartips, a carying pouch and even 10 pairs of nice quality IEM nozzle filters. These filters are very good and doesnt interfer with sound rendering (i try the Tanya without them and it sound the same). so you can use them on IEM that have poor quality filter that negatively interfer with sou d rendering.

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CONSTRUCTION is more than decent for the price, but not as impressive as some IEM in this price range that have mmcx or 2pin connection. Its a cabled IEM. Its very small. But it’s while the front is made of plastic, the rear inner cavity is made of Titanium-alloy and the cover shell of aviation grade alloy. Design is refined with great care to details and the open back is a true one, not a decorative gimmick. Cable doesnt create lot of microphonic even when wear cable down. Due to the small size, the Tanya will be comfortable for any type or size of ears.

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SOUND (source used: Tempotec HD PRO)

These are source dependant, so we will read some conflictual impressions. But they sound only bad on Ibasso DX90 for now (thin, brightish, restrain in dynamic weight). With SMSL SU9-SH9 they are at their top, but with something like Audirect BEAM2 and Tempotec HD PRO they are great as well. To stay budget-minded i will only share impressions with HD PRO here.

So indeed, these are Harman tuned (warmed W shape with an emphasis in sub-mid-mid treble and no sharp peak) and can be compared in tonal balance with Final E4000, Moondrop Starfield or Sony MH750.

PRESENCE: Sub bass and mids, especially vocal, are the most upfront, they have an appealing hint of warmth in timbre. Female vocal sounds great, full-bodied and in the front stage.

TREBLE is a bit roll-off on top, but not dull at all, and still has hint of brilliance so its a versatile presentation that favors body and weight. Percussions can seem a bit overly in the background sometime, so for those searching super sharp articulate snappy highs with lot of air in separation, the TANYA isnt that. Its more talented in cohesive well layered macro-resolution than well define and focused micro-resolution. The TANYA aren’t suggested for treble head and those that want their highs to be clinically extracted in a clean spatiality.

MIDS are very natural, full-bodied, violin sound excellent without abrasive bite, it’s lush, dense, bodied; even electric guitar is enjoyable, though not ultra textured which is a plus for less fatigue. No sibilance to be heard. Smooth as butter. One instrument presentation stand apart and it’s the acoustic piano, which sound extremely natural yet never sharp or thin, the note are dense and we feel the weight drop, less so the decay so its more for low and mid range of piano. Oh, and saxophone too sound marvellous, i guess instrument that benefit density and smoothness will all sound good with the Tanya.

BASS is where polemic will happen IMO, its very light in kick drum impact, but not in slam or boosted sub extension. On some track its very welcome (Jazz, slow soul r&b) other not so much (fast electronic, fast rock). Separation is just average here and the bleed on high bass lower mids warm this part of the spectrum. The definition is hollow, but bass hit is weighty. Tone are very realistic though texture and articulation is softened alot. While the attack is slow in transience, it doesn’t muffle the sound or distort.

IMAGING is great in layers numbers and nuances, as if specific section in low-mids-highs are better extracted than other, giving a rich holographic sound with impressive density in transparency. Strangely, you spot layers of sound in TANYA spatiality instead of well define and positioned individual instruments. In busy tracks, it can feel a bit compressed and lacking air due to overwhelming amount of thicks wide layers.

SOUNDSTAGE (with right eartips) is good in wideness, not mind-blowing due to lack of deepness and clear air in separation-spatialization. Using the right eartips can notably expend its size.

SUBJECTIVE APPRECIATION (Source used: SMSL SU9-SH9, Audirect BEAM2, Xduoo X20, Tempotec HD PRO, LG V30+)

The TANYA is this type of IEM that is both easy to love or hate, depending what you expect from them If it’s in natural tonal balance and musicality you will surely love them but if its technicalities and clarity you will be underwhelmed. In that regards, Final E3000 is a good example of this type of warm yet balanced and lively tonality. To me this is a safely tuned earphone and inded they don’t agress me when i listen to them even for multiple hours. As a big fan of piano, violin and female vocal, ive felt spoiled by natural tone AND timbre of these instruments, without emphasis in treble and due to the fact we a rarely play instrument in ultra high range for melody or long solo, the note trigger high level of emotion in me due to how wide, weighty and smoothly rounded these instruments sounds. Something like harpsichord will not pass the test and acoustic guitar will sometimes feel weakly tuned or lacking in both string slap and decay. To my ears, one of biggest drawback of Tanya is it’s lack of mid-high bass and lower mids, this recession did steal important presence and impact to kick drum as well as body density to cello or male vocal. Yes, overall bass presentation is achille talon of the Tanya, being bit overly boosted in sub lower end, hint sloppy boomy and not very refined.
It feel as if Tanchjim were like: Hey team! Do we do a basshead tuning or a mature tuning? And the team answer: BOTH!
Well, we can’t do that with limited technicalities (and overly recessed high bass-lower mids) and this is why I conclude Tanya is a GUILTY PLEASURE to be heard laid back way, not in an analytical way like i do…right now.

SIDENOTES:
These aren’t easy to drive and tremendously benefit from both good amping and good DAC, which is a bit of an oxymoron for an IEM in this price range. As noted above, Eartips will notably inflict on final sound rendering, especially imaging-soundstage. T’sound muddy with stock eartips. I try them with Ibasso DX90 and didnt like the result. With SMSL SU9DAC+SH-9 AMP they do blow my mind but still have slight drawback, like in bass kick definition cause of U shape approach to bass (more sub-mid presence), so acoustic bass in jazz sound great but slap bass will must likely lack bite. This is strange to say for an IEM in this price range, but the Tanya is very revealing of the source you use, try to avoid DAC or AMP that have an emphasis in bass or warm resolution, Tanya need a good dynamic attack and a little help in clarity and treble sharpness. Yep, you need to waken them up a little, cause Tanya is a sensual sleepy voluptuous woman it seems!

COMPARISONS

VS FINAL E1000 (30$)

The E1000 is more neutral, transparent and smooth. Bass is faster, thigher and less boosted-extended in sub bass region. Mids and vocal are a bit less fowards, they are thinner and more liquid too, but imaging is better due to less warmth and sub-bass bloom. Both have a natural timbre, but the E1000 sound overall cleaner and less colored-romanticized. Soundstage is a hint wider-taller with Tanya but lack the deepness of E1000. The attack is faster, more snappy and controlled with E1000 which delivers higher resolution and details retrieval. The E1000 tonality is a hint colder, more mature target while Tanya is more U shape vocal axed.
The E1000 has more balanced towards neutral tonality and faster, more accurate tonality making it near impossible to beat at its price point. The bass has less slam and vocal has less presence than more mass-tuned Tanya.

VS BLON MINI (25$)

The MINI is brighter and more V shape, with thinner more sibilant vocal, more aggressive and shouty treble and more boomy bass whit less sub bass body density. Clarity is sharper, Soundstage is deeper and imaging more 3D and spacious. Attack is faster and more edgy. Timbre is a bit more artificial and dry. The MINI feel very unbalanced and wonky in tone compared to the Tanya which have a smoother, more organic macro-resolution and notably more realist tone, which is evident with how piano notes are presented, with more body and weight and less emphasis on high pitch texture.
If you want some hefty V shape wow effect that will get annoying with time, go Mini, if you want something more laid back and musical with natural tone, the Tanya is sure better tuned though a bit limited from its entry-level DD technicalities.

CONCLUSION

The Harman target inspires alot of IEM companies these days, not always in a logical price range for what they give in terms of technicalities. This type of musicality is safe, smooth and laidback, sometimes too warm and thick in macro-resolution. Tanya uses its own trick to permit a more layered and weighty tonal balance that will please both fans of warm mid centric and U shape signatures, as well as those favoring natural timbre and tone over crisp clarity and technical accuracy. Tanya offers a thick balanced bassy & mid-centric sound with smoothed treble yet well-articulated dynamic. Tanya will most likely pass test of time due to how easy and enjoyable (and safe) is her tonality. Apart Sony MH750, i can’t think off of any other IEM offering this type of lush, balanced tonality and Tanya sounding fuller (not cleaner) than the 2 times cheaper Sony, it sure represents a great bargain for the ”harman target naturalist”!

——
PS: I want to thank Hifigo again for providing me this review sample, free of charge and free of any bias. Again, it’s me that contact them because I choose what I review. Go take a look at their store, they have great products at great prices as well as audio blog and other interesting audiophile articles.
https://hifigo.com/products/tanchjim-tanya-7mm-dynamic-hifi-earbuds

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