TINHIFI P1plus Review: Cruelly underatted Planar gem

THE PLUS:
-Very high resolution that feel unforced
-Ultra fast attack speed
-no agressive peaks
-high level of transparency
-well balanced neutral signature
-fast bass with great control (no bleed)
-nuanced texture
-generous amount of micro details
-exciting and snappy upper treble
-excellent imaging
-high sound value


THE MINUS:
-poor design with bad fit
-extremely eartips capricious
-lack of weight in overall attack
-bass is still a bit light in impact
-in rare occasion, timbre have timbra imbalance
-lack of treble sparkle decay
-musicality is hit or miss depending of music
-definition edge is a bit blurry-softed

TONALITY: 8/10
TECHNICALITIES: 9.5/10
CONSTRUCTION-DESIGN: 6.5/10
SOUND VALUE: 9/10


Tinhifi isn’t a mystery anymore, this chifi earphones company have been around for about 6 years and are mostly know for their best sellers like the legendary Tinhifi T2 (dual DD) as well as T2plus, T3plus and to some extend their first planar IEM, the P1. While I wasn’t a big fan of the very hard to drive P1 planar, today I will review their rather underatted Tinhifi P1plus which I enjoy tremendously and do a review video months ago (but decide to erase all my english video).

CONSTRUCTION


This is the biggest negative part of the P1plus, which unfortunately can inflict negatively on sound presentation too and surely explain paradoxal reviews we read about them. Their were complaint about both fit and eartips issue with the first P1 and what Tinhifi do about it? Nothing, nada, they use exact same shell and just improve inner acoustic elements (with great result in that regards). Construction is sturdy, small and quite beautifull, but the nozzle is too angled and with the trangle shell design, it tend to pop out of ears whatever ear tips I choose from included one.
Design isn’t good, and this perhaps explain why their next realeast, the MAX, will have a more ergonomic organic shape.


And this is where things become very complicate, the ear tips inflict tremendously on sound experience, night and day difference depending of the one you choose. For me, every ear tips I try but the wide bore short ear tips compress the sound and make it bright, lean in dynamic and plain displeasant. I urge everyone to try this very eartips I show you ,you will not believe what you hear and this will make you understand better the sound impressions I share about them too.

Included cable too is the same, copper litz cable is always nice.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS

(Gear used: TRI TK2, Xduoo XD05plus, both with and without SMSL SH9. Xduoo Link2 Bal)

TONALITY is neutral to mid and treble centric with minimal mid bass boost, bass is warmest part and overall brightness is smooth yet vivid and highly revealing. I’ll call these analytical neutral.

TECHNICALITIES are incredible, think about a Final F4100 with more natural timbre or a Shure KSE1500 with a warmer, fuller tonality. I take those example due to very fast treble attack they have, P1plus being in same league but better rounded as a whole. Level of resolution and transparency is excellent. Sound layers are projected in a way you can reach extreme complexity in nuance without going muddy or compressed. Everything feel effortless with the P1plus, micro details nuance in texture can be found but doesn’t feel imbalanced in timbral cohesion, fastest percussions will be sharply rendered with incredible timing and articulation, to the point it can distract you and make you stop walking to focus on this spectacular moment. Wow effect is there, but not forced unless a special music moment ask for it.You know when you can get every details of a drum rolling and are in awe? The P1plus deliver that.

SOUNDSTAGE is extremely dependant to the ear tips, more so than source or amping power, here, i share you what I hear with the only pair of ear tips that permit me to get an open sound presentation and it’s big, airy, wider and taller than deeper but still above average in deepness. 3D ultra open and out of your head soundstage.

IMAGING is one of the (numerous) highlight of P1plus, the mix of open spatiality, great transparency and high resolution sure help here. Instrument separation is excellent while positioning is very holographic so perhaps not the most accurate but still way above average in sub-200$ price range. Lower range is harder to precisely spot and high range instrument like percussion, violin, high harmonic in piano have more space and air.

BASS was underwhelming with original P1 and one of biggest quirk, here we sure have more weight, slam and overall impact but it’s concentrate in mid bass and still doesn’t move lot of air, especially in rumble part. So, yes, a bit lean and dry but beautifull textured and very fast in attack, tight and punchy with enough elasticity to not make it boomy. For a planar, this is very good bass, but it’s better for acoustic instrument like kick drum, cello, even if it work for IDM I would not suggest P1plus for rap or big beat like drum and bass, as said, rumble is tamed, a bit dry and lean, but hearable still. Dynamic punch is there, but i would not call this bass well rounded, it’s clean yet with a softed definition and while kick and sub is super well separated, it doesn’t add alot of fun factor and energic heft to the music. For rock, jazz and classical, it does very well and again, ear tips choice can add bit of thickness and rumble to lower end.

MIDS are lean and clean, free of sibilance and a hint organic in there presentation. These aren’t thick and lush mids, more open and crisp with smoothly transparent timbre. Female vocal are centered and wide in layers, they never get overshadow by anything due to excellent transient response that permit them to be on front of the stage. Timbre is nuanced in texture, just slightly dry, free of sibilance or any agressive upper mids but time to time we have a slight metallic sheen in upper register of some instrument like violin and saxophone. The lead attack is a bit light too, but this doesn’t translate in dull piano presentation since the dynamic is well articulated. What impress here is how the P1plus can deal with complex track and extract all sound layers even with numerous instruments playing in same register, this make it very revealing yet effortless and will greatly benefit music like classical symphony or complex jazz and rock. Highly technical mid range that keep a realist tonality and avoir being overly bright, shouty or messy.

TREBLE is the best part of P1plus, the attack is lighting fast and have good snap to it too, will an appealing brilliance but not alot of decay and sparkle. We are near into X-ray like resolution and the vividness doesn’t translate to harshness since attack control is excellent too. As well, this is the sound part with the most airy presentation, and spacious separation which add widness and deepness to soundstage. If you feel rewarded when an IEM show you details of your music you never heard, you might be overwhelmed with joy with the P1plus since it will extract every details of your track yet it will rarely amplify background hiss of poorly recorded track. If I nit pick, I would say sometime upper highs can stole the show, for exemple, in electronic music like IDM the micro details will tend to distract you a bit, but this is extra excitment for most of us. When it become problematic, it would be for cello that can have too much micro details in texture that affect timbral balance due to lack of density in timbre.

COMPARISONS

VS TRI I3PRO (1DD-1planar-1BA: 170$)

Let’s beging by saying the I3Pro are notably warmer, more bassy and U shape and evne feel dark sounding compared to way more highly resolved sound of P1plus. I3pro bass impact is more of a warm dark slam compared to textured punchy bass of P1plus. Mids is where they differ alot, P1plus being cleaner, better resolved and textured, more transparent with more accurate and crisp imaging and less veiled-softed by bass warmth. Treble is better balanced with the P1plus while less lean and full with the I3pro, in the sens it will show you some micro details but not the full image of it, as well, highs attack is faster, snappier and more brilliant with P1plus. Imaging is notably superior wiht P1plus and feel veiled with I3pro. In term of tonality, I3pro is more lush, warm and U shape, it’s a less distracting listen since P1plus is more neutral-analytical. I do think most people will prefer the warmer bassier tonality of I3pro since the tuning is safer and less seriour sounding, but i’m not from this crownd and i’m confident to say P1plus is superior to I3pro technicaly and offer a cleaner, crisper, better balanced (even if neutral) sound.

VS TINHIFI P1 (1x10mm planar)

This is the interesting part, firstly, these are very similar yet quite different in dynamic presentation as well as bass response. P1 is warmer and more rolled off in sub bass, the punch tend to add warmth where the P1plus keep it tight. Mids are more lean and organicaly mixed with other part of spectrum. Treble is softer, less sparkly and airy. Resolution is notably cleaner and higer with P1plus, which improve imaging capabilities and soundstage depth. P1 might have slightly thicker smoother and more natural timbre, but it’s less transparent and detailed in texture. Attack speed is notably faster and more vivid in dynamic with P1plus, soundstage is more airy and open.
All in all, the big upgrade here is more about technicality than tonality since P1 is more natural in that regard and softed in treble.

CONCLUSION

The Tinhifi P1plus seem to have pass under radar, which surprise me since the first P1 was well receive yet it’s notably inferior in technicality and more rolled off in both bass and treble extension.
Sure, the mature analytical neutral signature will not trigger sens of musicality for everybody, but this isn’t cold or clinical sounding planar, just highly revealing and well softed in brightness.
To achieve this level of technical prowess in sub-200$ price range is something to celebrate and I wish their were more of this audiophile targeted IEM release in Chi-Fi market.
If it wasn’t for bad fit and ear tips issue that drastically affect sound openess, I would suggest those to everyone.
The P1plus is similar to the Shure KSE1500 in more than one aspect, it’s analytical, have extremely fast attack speed and an appealing sens of immediacy, sure, it’s not as crisp, sharply accurate and clean, but it have more natural timbre and weightier bass too.
So, if you searching to taste what it feel like to have an IEM that show you every details of your music in an effortless way, I can’t think of any better IEM in sub-200$ price range that deliver as high resolution in a neutral way.
Highly recommended!

—–
PS: I wanna thanks Tinhifi for sending me this review sample about 3 months ago, i’m not affiliated to this company and in fact I do this review even if I’ve done a video review which make Tinhifi stop communication with me. My sens of duty isn’t connected to any type of financial or gift compensation, but pure audiophile passion.
You can buy the Tinhifi P1plus for 160$ here: https://keephifi.com/fr/products/tinhifi-p1-plus

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