Decisions, Decisions… to Pro or not to Pro that is the question. Buying a set of Tin Hifi T2 earbuds on the other hand really shouldn’t be a question at all. The title really does say it all. The Tin T2 line of earbuds has been raved about on Youtube, audio forums for about a year now. This is TLR’s Tin T2 and T2 Pro review 2019.
Sure, people hear sound differently. Some could and might make the argument the T2 sound worst than other earbuds… We’ll that is true, at the price of $50 for regular and $60 for the Pro I’d hope a lot of earbuds sound better. What the Tin T2 line does that is harder to disagree on, is the sound vs dollar. Compared to $200 earbuds you might find some that sound better, under $200 though it becomes really, really hard. The next problem is if you do find in-ear monitors that sound better, does the slightly better sound justify what is likely double or triple the price.
Who is Tin Hifi
Tin Hifi sometimes called Tin Audio is a Chinese audio brand founded in 2016 by the parent company Linsoul with the goal of delivering stylish, Hifi headphones at reasonable prices. The T2 and T2 pro are proof that Tin can and has met their initial goals. Keep in mind the T2 isn’t the be-all product in the Tin hifi lineup, They produce a T3 that is dual driver, 1 dynamic and 1 balanced armature, but that’s not all if you’re into planar they make the P1 in-ear earphone. Today however we are focusing on the budget T2 series.
Why The Tin T2 line
We are only focusing on the T2 line up for a couple reasons. The first, they have amazing sound for the cost… Full stop… Secondly, they could be the end game of IEM( in-ear monitors) for most consumers. Yes, they are that good.
As always I’ll start with the packaging. The packaging with from Tin hifi is better than any headphones in the $60-70 price range. I’d honestly put it closer to earphones in the $150+ range. The box is are hard cardboard with an almost leather-like coating on it. Inside the earbuds and 3.5mm, jack are on display in custom cut foam, not just stuck down in some thin plastic like so many other brands. Once you removed the earbud panel you’ll find the literature and a selection of extra ear tips. As many other reviewers have stated the box is so nice you really don’t feel right throwing it away.
Looking at the earbuds the Tin T2 and T2 Pro are identical. If you removed them from the cables and threw the earbuds in the box together you really wouldn’t know which was the normal and which is the pro. Inside the box its much easier to tell the difference, as long as you have the cable connected. The Pro ships with a silver carbon fiber sleeve around the 3.5mm plug, the normal T2 has a black carbon fiber sleeve.
As far as the accessories go they both come with extra ear tips. The icon blue foam tips are pre-installed on both. Both also include a selection of rubber and silicone ear tips, however, the pro goes the distance and includes no less than 11 pairs of optional ear tips. So no matter your ear size the pro has you covered, and likely the normal T2 do as well.
I said it above the cable is detachable and replaceable. Linsoul uses MMCX connectors on both the T2 and T2 Pro. The cable is silver plated and braided. The cable alone could sell for more than the complete package. The included cables are some of the best that I’ve seen and we have headphones that cost multiples of the T2’s price.
The Sound TL;DR
The Pros have an enhanced upper range. The highs can in certain song become a bit much and become a bit sibilant. ( S and T sounds can be raspy) The Pro can bring a bit more detail to music due to the more lively upper high frequency, in the right songs they will shine. You can use an Equalizer to reduce this if it becomes too much. I found when using our Liquid Spark headphone amp that is known for very slightly rolling down the highs pairs perfectly with the T2 Pro. The T2 Pros enhanced highs works to form a perfect pairing with a full dynamic range and no sibilance.
The T2 (non-pro) sound exactly the same but the high frequency is more mellow. The highs for sure exist they just don’ t get the extra little boost the T2 Pro has. So you’re really paying about $10 more for a few extra ear tips and boosted highs.
Same, Same But Different
“Okay, Jules which do I buy”
So. Here we go. If you are like me and are somewhat sensitive to sibilant highs the Pros walk the line of being too much. I find that in most songs, 98% of what I listen to the T2 Pro are fine. The other 2% I have to check the equalizer or adjust accordingly. I personally carry the Pros with me daily and they kicked my Klipsch earbuds out of my bag… Yeah, $60 headphone completely outshined the reference earbuds that I’ve had in my bag for years.
The T2 (nonpro) are probably all that most people will ever need. They easily sound as good or better than IEM that cost $150 or more. No mobile phone pack in headphone except maybe the AKG included with the newer Samsung Galaxy phones comes close to the sound of the Tin T2. As a reference the AKG included with the Samsung cost $99, yes that is twice the price of the T2’s if you’re doing the math.
The Sound Explained
I’m going to keep this brief. Linsoul gave the T2 2 drivers per earbud. The larger is a woofer and its 10mm. The woofer handles the bass and most of the mid-range sounds. The second is a smaller 6mm tweeter which handles upper mids and high frequencies. This 2 driver design allows for better, cleaner sound separation. Most other earbuds in this price range will have one single driver (speaker) covering the entire range of frequencies.
The housing is machined aluminum which won’t distort or resonate as easily as plastic. This means the woofer can really move when needed without transferring unwanted vibrations into your listening experience. The aluminum build also means the T2 and T2 Pro are robust and durable.
The last piece of the sound quality puzzle as far as the T2’s go is the ear tips. If you’ve been around audio then you’ll know just how important a good seal in your ear is for sound quality. This is the reason Linsoul/Tin has include so many ear tips. There are soft silicone, firmer rubber and the blue foam ear tips included. I purchased a set of the comply memory foam tips on a recommendation and they fit great. You can find them here.
This is really easy. The Tin T2 earbuds sound well above their price range. The build is top-notch and solid. The cable is fantastic could easily cost as much as the complete package. If you take care of them you should easily get years of use. I think for the vast majority of people could buy the T2 and would be completely happy. The only reason that I could see the average person wanting another set of earbuds is Bluetooth. I’ve used them on my phone with an adapter, on my Nintendo Switch and PC with no problem. The T2 and T2 Pro are my recommendations if you’re looking for earphone (IEM) under $180.