TINHIFI T3plus Review: Overhyped Harman-teurism

PROS :
-Tonality well balanced and energetic
-Basses with authoritative strike
-Mids not too recessed for this type of signature V
-No need for amplification to make them “sing”

CONS :
-Resolution just passable
-lack of deep bass extension
-vocals not very pleasant and thin for male singers
– Confined, draft and compressed space
-saturated and non nuanced texture
-high a little shouty
-dry upper treble that cuts short

TONE: 7.8 / 10
TECHNICITY: 7.5 / 10
CONSTRUCTION-DESIGN: 8/10
SOUND BENEFIT: 7.5 / 10

Tinhifi seems to be searching for its identity since its dazzling success with the always excellent T2, an IEM with double dynamic drivers with an energic, textured, punchy and midrange centric signature. Since then, it seems to alternate between successes (T2 +, P1 +) and disasters (T2pro, T2 Evo, T5).

With the release of the T3 +, using an LCP (liquid crystal polymer) driver from the same family as the Moondrop Aria, will Tinhifi restore its glory?

If we go by the reception of popular reviewers like BGGA and other “hypes” news hunter swarms, the answer would be a saving and admiring YES.

Even if I am here to calm the enthusiasm of the hysterical promoters-hypers, I will try not to fall into the counter-attack, except when the amateurism goes too far as for example by affirming that the technicalities of T3 + are superior to those of Hzsound Mirror. This is objectively uber-false.

For this review, I used the cable included in the box. But the tips, I chose the ones that delivered the most open and balanced sound, the KZ Starlines and BQEYZ gray silicone tip for my ears.

My used sound sources are: TRI TK2 (bad pairing), Xduoo X20 (adequate), FIIO KA3 (a little too dry). As well as the Xduoo XD-05 + as an amplifier.

My conclusion is that the Tinhifi T3 + does not benefit from more amplification force, but rather from a clear, clean and neutral source without extra low or attenuated resolution. If you read anything else, it’s hogwash or confusing DAC and AMP. The only thing amplification can affect is spatial opening in a very, very subtle way.

CONSTRUCTION-DESIGN

Medical grade plastic shell with attractive decorative back plate. Lightweight and comfortable. Metal tube which could be quick to peel or break. Solid 2pin connector. Basic but passable cable, which does not negatively affect timbre or tonality. Minimal accessories, small carrying pocket, 5 pairs of silicone tips and 1 pair of memory foam tips.

ABOUT SOUND

GENERAL SOUND IMPRESSIONS

The Tinhifi T3plus neither impressed nor disappointed me on first hearing, what I felt was indifference. The bass sounded a bit rough to me, the vocals lacked a bit of naturalness and the treble sounded a bit too dry for my taste. The cohesion was well balanced, the signature quite versatile, but the resolution lacked transparency. In fact, pairing with the TRI TK2, one of my favorite portable DAC-AMPs, didn’t really do them justice due to a little emphasis in a bass section similar to the T3 + (mid-bass) which thickened the tone and rendered all very thick and messy in the resolution suddenly too condensed and slobbery in the bass. With a more neutral, clinical and analytical Xduoo X20, the T3plus gained in bass and midrange control and separation as well as in (much needed) air and instrumental separation.

TONALITY

A fairly well balanced V signature, not too bassy nor too aggressive, although a little abrasive in the mid-highs. A sound that has body, impact, mids not too set back and highs a little dry but rarely howling, and which cuts short. A tone that has more boom than extension, excited in its dynamics and rough in its highs.

TECHNICITIES

The resolution is average , not very incisive or precise, a little veiled in the low midrange and hazy in the high ones, the silence is rare there and not very clean.
Attack is average too, not super fast or complex in its rendering, with minimal impact and resonance, the timing is awkward and lacking in agility when the speed goes up.
Dynamics don’t have a lot of amplitude chromaticism, so the articulation feels like a bundle despite an attempt to amplify a high section to give those attacks more bite.

BASS has good impact weight and a good separation of kick drum and bassline that doesn’t go too low, sometimes some of the texture seems too emphasized in the high harmonics and some distorted bass synths will lack body if they are located in the sub-basses. Although the bass is meaty it does sound a bit dry, likewise it cuts the extension short and doesn’t go down to 20hz, so it lacks a sub-woofer in there to have resonant, transparent and flexible vibrance. For rock its going better than for jazz, because the counter-bass will sound a bit like a tom, or over-amplified and thickened in its mid-bass.

The MID frequencies are full, a little opaque but well rounded and without significant aggressiveness or sibilance. They are minimally set back, but this is the flattest spectrum. The bass swallows and thickens the middle bass. The female vocals have a little plastic-rough accent, like an emphasis on the breath of the voice, for meticulous listeners this can get on the nerves. So yes, the amplitude in the high mids might displease more than one, but we’re not in KZ or TRN territory either! It’s not a criminal offense of physical assault here, just some extra energy that can benefit the violins and electric guitar. Otherwise, the male vocals are more seriously receding and appear slim in body and stuck between low and high. The singers “Timbre Timbre” and “Hayden Thorpes” (tenor version) do not pass the test and seem belittled, again with some hooks in the vocable articulation. Anyway, tonally, it’s a bit awkward and off-balance here. It lacks warmth, organicity, transparency and openness. The clarity is condensed and lacks depth, transparency and accuracy.

The treble is quite dry and lacks extension, there is a peak that extracts and highlights some instruments like snare drum and part of percussion but the rest can feel diffuse and messy. The level of detail and the resolution are not completely bad, especially it lacks refinement and precision delineating well in the attack and the timing. Air and shine are sorely lacking at the high end of the spectrum, so the rendering sounds muffled. The treble bass also itches a bit, affecting the tonal accuracy. The outline of the individual sounds is not very well sculpted. Pass if you like acoustic guitar, harpsichord or harp because the sparkle, resonance and attack effect of pulled or struck strings is not there. The T3plus show their performance limit with complex music, fast and numerous and varied in instruments, it will be acoustic chaos, rough, uncertain and diffuse. Seriously, I can’t think of anything very positive to say about the high spectrum, but it’s less of a problem with slow or simplistic music, pop, soul, rap.

COMPARISONS

VS IBASSO IT00 (1DD-70 $)

Darker in tone with more emphasis on the extreme low end, more present and warm mids, the T3plus sounds more energetic and signature V, is less open and has more bite in the highs. The timbre is more natural and smooth with the IT00, which makes the vocals much more pleasant in roundness. The IT00’s spatialization is wider and open with a better feeling of depth but a more subtle and softer level of detail. The separation of the sound layers is more transparent and well organized with the IT00 and seems too saturated and walled up with the T3plus. All in all, the IT00 offers a much more addictive musicality, albeit more relaxed in the mid-bass impact and less textured-detailed. Tonally, despite extreme bass too high, the IT00s are better balanced, technical side the two are mediocre despite the IT00 seems to offer better instrumental separation. For lovers of female or male voice, the choice is simple here: IT00. For rock, I would go T3plus. Note: the construction of the IT00 is junk. MMCX connectors break super easily (bad internal soldering..that I redid … but they broke again during this comparison!)

VS MOONDROP ARIA (1DD (LCP) -80 $)
Getting sophisticated tuning to the Harman target isn’t easy, and that may explain why Moondrop has been perfecting this tonal curve for years … the Aria being perhaps the most accomplished result. Which makes the T3plus look good amateurish and primitive in overall rendering, drier, energetic and rowdy in the frontal impact of the bass.
The Aria have some flaw too, the lack of presence in the impact section that the T3plus overemphasizes, so yes, the down extension is superior but the punch not as bossy and defined. Still, it’s cleaner, the toms are not cut into natural resonance, the double bass sounds adequate. The resolution is highly superior even if less brutal than the T3plus, it is fuller and holographic, has more depth, transparent sound layers well open, this opening is more closed-compartmentalized-compressed with the T3plus and less linear. The vocals are more forward with the Aria, more natural, full, open, the saxophone-like blown instruments are tonally fair compared to an old transistor radio rendering with the T3plus. With the Aria, we breathe, with the T3plus we choke. The refinement is incomparable here …. the Aria being more airy in the highs, more sparkling and balanced. Here, the technicalities and the balance of the tonality are clearly superior and subject to a long immersive listening.

CONCLUSION

The Tinhifi T3plus have a nested V tone for simple, bassy music, in short, for young people who like to stamp their feet. This is not a targeted IEM for seasoned audiophiles favoring high resolution and realist reproduction of sound spatiality. They’re sure to be popular with many, though even rap needs more sub-bass for the boom to vibrate in resonance.
Still, this effort by Tinhifi to think outside the box deserves some respect, in the sense that it varies their sound signature and remains competitive in their price bracket, albeit not exceptional.

—–
PS: I would like to thank LINSOUL (!!) for sending me these IEMs for free …. hoping that they accept the honesty of my criticism, which in the end is subjective, independent, and integrates in its search for what offers a exceptional sound benefit.
You can get the Tinhifi T3plus for $ 69 usd here:
https://www.linsoul.com/collections/all … fi-t3-plus

1 Comment

  1. I have the T3+ and you assessment of them are spot-on. The thing that struck me was how balanced they are considering its V-shaped signature. My reference IEMs are the Thieaudio Legacy 4 which are detail and clarity beasts but gives a very good bass response if it’s in the music, so jumping from those to the T3+ really emphasized the overall darker tone of the latter. Even after extended time listening to the T3+, my ears was trying desperately to grab on to detail but I just couldn’t. Still, the T3+ are good IEMs when you just want to listen passively and not care about everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

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