The Tin Hifi T4 earphones are the latest IEM from this Chinese audio company that just keeps releasing products that redefine the balance of price to performance. Originally their T2 and T3 earphones were met with great acclaim in the audio community and since then they really excelled with the Tin Hifi P1 which I think is currently the best value under $1000. The T4 is a budget/mid-entry-level earphone with a single dynamic driver. It is to be released on the 11th of November with preorders on IndieGoGo (something which I am not a fan of but since this is being backed by Linsoul I have faith that customers will be well taken care of).
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging and accessories on all the Tin Hifi earphones I have tested in the past have always impressed and the T4 are not the exception to the rule. For the price you are paying this is a really nice package and the accessories are well done and well thought out to enhance the experience for the buyer.
It’s high quality and classy cardboard box affair. You slide off the top and are met with the earphones which are set in a protective foam with the cables detached. Underneath you have the branded carry case and the accessories.
The carry case is a very nice brown leather top opening model with tasteful branding on the top. It has a clamshell top opening and seems very well. It has brown stitching though the leather . to match the aesthetics and the inside has a nice soft-touch fabric to help keep the earphones safe in transit. Size-wise it is big enough to get the earphones in and also a few accessories such as eartips but I doubt you will be getting your DAP or amp in there.
Tin includes a range of eartips in the box that should make it easy to get a good fit. There are 2 types of silicone tips in various sizes and 1 set of medium Comply foam style tips. I found them to all actually be very good quality and they certainly haven’t cheaped out like many other companies choose to do in this area.
Build Quality and Styling
The Tin Hifi T4 are a very well made set of earphones. You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into them as every area of the design that I would usually dissect leaves me with almost nothing to complain about.
The body of the earphone is an all-metal barrel construction but with a protrusion for the MMCX adapters that will allow you to wear these earphones with the cables down or over the ear. Most Chinese earphones lately are designed to be worn with the cable over the ear and this versatility is most welcome. For example, if I am listening to music with my motorbike helmet it’s almost impossible to get an over the ear IEM to not cause discomfort.
These earphones feel extremely well put together and sturdy. I have no doubts as to their ability to take punishment over the years and I far prefer this to a plastic or resin shell earphone in terms of long term ownership. The MMCX connectors are gold plated so they will be more resistant to corrosion and they have a good solid click while connecting yet remain easy to remove when changing cables.
Speaking of the cable this one is very nice indeed and it helps to complete the overall aesthetic of the T4. It’s a silver twist braided style that is of excellent quality materials and hardware. The splitter, MMCX connectors, and 3.5mm headphone jack are all made from metal.
The Jack point is a straight angle just like I like it and it is gold plated and has excellent knurling on it for enhanced grip. It has a good strain relief system that is robust rubber yet not so long as to ad unnecessary size to it. In the middle, you get the usual TIn Hifi velcro cable tidy which I find useful when storing the cables in the case.
There is very little in the way of microphonics when worn with the cable over the ear although there is some with the cable worn straight down. I found it to be very tangle-resistant and it doesn’t hold shapes form storage too badly although a more supple cable would excel in this area.
Comfort and isolation
The Tin Hifi T4 has a more traditional barrel shape to them but don let this fool you because they are a very comfortable set of earphones. When worn with the cable over the ear they just seemed to disappear in my ear and the straight in shape of the housing meant it was very easy to get a good fit.
They are also a very good set of isolating earphones so if you are looking for something to block out a lot of external noise then these are going to be a good option.
So I am a big fan of the design and the build quality but as always whether or not I recommend something is going to come down to the price and the performance and Tin Hifi have nailed it. However, I’m going to have to confess that I knew that for some time. A few months back Linsoul sent me 3 versions of this earphone all with very different tunings and they asked for feedback on which ones I liked most. Well, it turns out the one they went forward with is also this one that I liked from the test samples. It’s good, it’s really good.
What we have here is a smooth, detailed and airy sounding IEM that sounds wonderfully natural and clear.
The bass is strong and punchy yet at the same time very refined and natural sounding. There is no overt boominess to it and there are zero ingresses into the lower midrange. Still despite its ability to remain composed, it does still carry enough weight to really make electronic and other bass-heavy genres come alive. It has the admirable speed for a dynamic and of course, there is that rumble in the background that packs a punch.
The midrange is smooth and airy. These are one of the best earphones at this price that I have heard when specifically considering them for male vocals. A lot of these Chifi IEM’s place emphasis on the upper mids that help the ladies’ voices come through but can leave male voices sounding on the thin side. Definitely not here as it has a heft to it and weight and graininess that I really like. For example, the track “Black Jesus” by Everlast feels extremely realistic and powerful. I like this a lot but at the same time if you switch to acoustic stringed instruments the T4 can really open themselves up and show and airy side.
The high notes are very smooth, they are clear and they are detailed but they don’t have that presence that I am getting used to in the electrostatic and planar earphones I have been testing recently. I like that smoothness though as it balances out well with the way the lows and mids have been tuned. It’s definitely not going to offend you but there’s a lot of clarity in the top end without it being pushed into the hot and spiky territory.
The soundstage is fairly large for an in-ear headphone and the T4 display equally good levels of width and depth. They are and open and airy sounding earphone with lots of spacing between instrumentation. For the price, I think these are an absolute steal when it comes to performance.
Tin Hifi really are cementing there place as one of the best earphone manufacturers in the world right now and they are putting out earphones like the T4 and P1 that is extremely well made. The T4 is a great looking set of earphones that design and build are all top-notch but the thing that really stands out is just how good they sound and how little they cost. As mentioned I am not a fan of Indigogo or other similar sites so take that into mind when ordering but as I also mentioned Tin has partnered with Linsoul on this release and they have an excellent track record of taking care of their customers. An excellent earphone for the money and very highly recommended.