*We get the review unit of Tin Audio T4 from Stars Picker Audio Library, thanks! They are also the official distributors of Tin Audio’s products in Malaysia. They are a bunch of friendly, handsome guy and pretty woman running the store, I will definitely pay a visit to their audio shop if I would like to have an audio bliss
*Pictures taken in this review is not that nice and I apologize for that, been extremely busy lately and I only have 10 minutes to shoot three items, thanks for understanding, cheers!
We have just reviewed the Tin Audio P1, that was an IEM employing 10mm Planar driver for only 140 USD, it is a breakthrough for me because of the technologies and sound quality, P1 is a fantastic IEM. Now, along with the P1, I do have Tin Audio T4 with me for reviewing purpose, I have to be honest though that I don’t listen to T4 that much, although I did brought them together with Sony Walkman NW-A105 for a traveling trip, mostly because the A105 didn’t synergy too well with them, and P1 sounded superior to the T4 (unsurprisingly, P1 is at 140 USD and T4 is the only 88USD), the time when I listen to the T4 is when I am writing this review, but that doesn’t mean that T4 is terrible sounding.
Tin Audio T4 (88USD)
Tin Audio T4 looks pretty much looks like what the Tin Audio family IEM (other than the P1, which is definitely different looking), their design language is distinctive, build quality, and finishing are quite impressive. However, I don’t like the star-like cutting pattern in the housing. Still, your mileage might be different and heavily depending on taste, the housing is constructed by aluminium, and you can easily replace the cable with the MMCX connector, the cable itself is good in quality. However, I found that the cable is a little not flexible but not a significant complaint, build much nicer than typical IEM cable. For this price, it is quite amazing, the cable even matched the looks of the T4 as the aluminium design seems in line with the housing, Tin Audio might be new in audio world, but I admire their attention to their product, the storage box that Tin Audio included in the packaging for you to store the T4 is of good quality casing too. However, I think that the box is a little too big, it is really nice looking and practical.
T4 is utilizing a 10mm Carbon Nanotube driver, which should be a rigid and light material, although not as attractive as the planar driver used in the P1, the Carbon Nanotube is an excellent driver too, and it is evident that Tin Audio didn’t save money on the driver.
Comfort level is good, but the insertion is a little shallow, results in an average only noise isolation performance. I have faced with some perfect fit with the T4, rest assured though the comfort level is reasonably good.
For 88USD honestly, I can’t ask for more in term of packaging, build quality, finishing, and accessories, Tin Audio pretty much nailed all of them. I sincerely hope that Tin Audio can keep doing it with passion and enthusiasm, being determined in their own design philosophy is not the easiest thing to do. Still, if they keep doing it and get it right, that will be damn rewarding for them, because they are building up their fan base now, being I am newly joining them because of I quite like their products and their spirit for their products.
I have paired Tin Audio T4 with JDS Labs The Element, Stoner Acoustics UD125, Venture Electronic Odyssey HD, and Sony Walkman NW-A105. High-resolution music is being used, we also stream Tidal Master and Spotify Premium during the evaluation process. T4 is a retail demo unit, so we have burned it in for another 24 hours with IsoTek Burn-In CD.
T4 pretty much still share the Tin Audio house sound tuning, which is clean and clear, they put transparency and speed ahead of anything, for those who love Tin Audio’s house sound, they will be pretty difficult for them to find love with other manufacturer’s products. If manufacturers messed wrongly with the tuning, this would often lead them to a product that is overly bright and brittle, with the little technical capability to speak of, not so with the Tin Audio, they seem to know what they are playing with. The tuning of them are quite successful, although I can find some treble sensitive guy will say the T4 is bright sounding, I believe those who are less sensitive to treble will really like the tuning of it.
Let’s start with the treble first. The treble is not shy, but I personally don’t think it is bright, the treble hit when the music has it but don’t really ever sibilant, I don’t have any problem with the treble honestly, it is a satisfying level in this region, but nothing I can really say is bright, maybe a little edgy but not bright. The extension is good too but not as elegant and effortless as I like, however for 88USD, it is pretty amazing.
Midrange, well, is good. Although at the time I found that the vocal sounded a tad closed in and chesty, it will nonetheless a very clean and clear vocal performance, although not completely free of coloration, it is pretty minimal in the coloration. Detail and nuance level in the vocal is well played, you can even have some texture in the vocal, all in all, it is an impressive mid-range performance for 88 USD.
Bass is where it gets interesting, it get more bass than the P1, and it is still pretty clean in this lower region, not much rumbling and atmosphere (portrayed atmosphere better than P1 though) to speak of, but at least it is more pronounce and it is a deep, fast and clean bass, so don’t expect it give you a lot of rumbling and impact, it is still Tin Audio, they love clean bass more than anything.
The soundstage is still reasonably open, wide, and spread. However, soundscape seems quite closed in, just, to be frank, this is not what we should be looking for at this price range, and in an In-ear monitor, I can nitpick that T4 can’t ‘describe’ the ‘shape’ of the music clearly, but this really is not what we should be looking at for an entry-level IEM, same goes to imaging and instrument separation quality, although it is good really nothing extraordinary, the coherency of music is a little lacking to my taste.
Will I recommend it? Yes if you only have 88USD and don’t have a power source (T4 still require a fair power amplifier though), but if you are willing to spend more, I will rather get the P1, it is not that much more expensive but sounded more special and comfortable to my ears, for the price T4 is good but might be too dull for most newbie who loves contemporary music, good for the money. Still, if you can spend more, you can have something even greater, and the improvement alone is worth the extra money, IMHO.