TFZ Exclusive King – THE King

*Note: The TFZ Exclusive King will be updated soon to become the TFZ Exclusive King Formal Version. Sound and design will remain the same, but it will now feature removable cables. I’m fully on board with this change given the fixed cable version has limited strain relief and heavy housings which was not a good recipe for longevity.*

*Impressions of the new TFZ Exclusive 1, 3, and 5 here.*


Today we’ll be checking out the newest from TFZ, the aptly named Exclusive King.

TFZ, whom you may be familiar with already from their prior releases under the TTPOD brand, surged onto the market last year with their Series 1, 3, and 5 earphones which were positively received. While I haven’t had the pleasure of listening to those models, I understand that with The King here they’ve taken their sound in a different direction, one that’s more suitable for those that like their bass subdued and emphasis on detail and clarity. Those of you who fall into this camp should be right pleased with The King. Why? Let’s find out.



Huge thanks for Penon Audio for working with me on this one and sending over a complimentary (i.e. free of charge) sample for the purposes of this review. I am not receiving any monetary compensation for this review and the thoughts within do not reflect Penon, TFZ, or anyone but myself.

Your very own King can be purchased over at for 99.00 USD:

My Gear and I:

I’m a 30 year old professional working for what is currently the largest luxury hotel chain on the planet. I have a background in Psychology which probably explains my somewhat dry writing style. My entry into the world of portable audio was due primarily to a lack of space for a full-sized stereo system during my university years, and truly began with the venerable JVC HA-FXT90. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI’s multi-earphone review thread, reviews from other established reviewers, and thus being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own.

Fast forward a couple years and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to write about products for wonderful companies like RHA, Accutone, ADVANCED, NarMoo, Mixcder, Brainwavz, Meze and many more. I don’t do it for money or free stuff, but because this is my hobby and I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to a product that makes them happy, I’ll consider that a job well done and payment enough.

Gear used for testing was a Shanling M1, HTC One M8, LG G5, Topping NX1 portable amplifier paired with an XDuoo X3 (Rockbox), and my aging Asus G73 gaming laptop paired with a Creative SoundBlaster Recon3D usb amp. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. While I enjoy a variety of signatures I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even mid-range response, and reduced mid-bass, though lately I’ve been enjoying more mellow and relaxed products with a bass tilt. My favorite in-ears, the Echobox Finder X1[i] with grey filters installed and the Fischer Audio Dubliz Enhanced are good examples of my preferred signatures.


Packaging and Accessories:

TFZ did a good job packing The King into a low cost package with nice visual appeal. The simple silver-coated cardboard with glossy silver logo and writing looks fantastic and is unexpectedly easy to read. Lifting off the lid has The King’s beautifully blue, glistening housings on full display, securely held in place in it’s plastic tray by a King branded sticker, the silver-colored, braided cable coiled below and neatly tied up with a handy Velcro strap.

Lifting out the plastic tray reveals a couple extras nestled in underneath; manual, 12 month warranty card, an information card replicating the information from the back of the box, and a small cardboard box containing the accessories.

– single flange silicone tips in s/m/l

– one pair of bi-flange silicone tips

– one pair of foam tips

– cable clip

– removable silicone ear guides

It’s a nice selection of accessories. I was initially worried about the included tips as they are somewhat slick in hand, but they seal just fine. To my surprise the bi-flange tips ended up being my preferred set. Normally multi-flange tips are a no-go due to the shape of my ear canal.

The King’s unboxing experience is simple and well thought out with a comprehensive accessory kit that should ensure a good fit for most.


Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

An earphone with king in the name better be well built, and TFZ’s Exclusive King doesn’t disappoint. Yes, they are mostly plastic (metal face plate), but the feel in hand is reminiscent of a all-metal infused monster. The weight of those thick, dual-magnet, graphene coated 12 mm drivers combined with nearly flawless, super smooth molds means The King exudes a serious feeling of quality.

Back that with a gorgeous silver-colored, braided cable and The King’s quality feel continues to ooze forth. The translucent, well-relieved 45 degree angled jack looks fantastic giving you a quick glimpse of the cable it’s protecting. On one side TFZ is printed in a shocking red that really stands out amid the electric blue and white used everywhere else. Strain relief along the rest of the cable is non-existent which I found quite disappointing given The King’s cable is fixed. With such heavy housings The King would benefit greatly from either a removable cable or some seriously beefy strain relief.

I was expecting The King to be a comfortable earphone given it uses the same housing as the KZ ZST hybrid (but nicer plastics), and it is, though I’d give the comfort edge to the KZ entirely due to weight. The King’s hefty drivers had a tendency to drag the housings out of my ear when using anything but the stock bi-flange tips or large-sized KZ “Starline” tips.  Thankfully there is a chin cinch present which enables a more secure fit. I found them best suited to use around the house while relaxing and reading a book, or doing low-activity chores, surfing the web, etc.

That’s not a bad thing either as I didn’t find The King doing a particularly great job of isolating me from the outside world, at least not when using silicone tips. Sitting at my desk at work, using them to passively block sound (no music helping out) I could clearly hear myself type, cars on the nearby road, people chatting as they walked through the parking lot, birds chirping, and everything else under the sun. Tossing on the included foamies boosted isolation to the point where I could hardly hear any outside noise. A pretty stark difference really. If strong isolation is important to you, I highly recommend picking up some extra foam tips at the time of purchase to get the most out of The King’s varied isolation capabilities.

Overall The King is a very well built earphone that could stand to benefit from either better strain relief or removable cables to accommodate those heavy housings. Comfort despite the weight is quite excellent, though I found myself moving to deeper insertion tips to accommodate the weight. Isolation ranges from mediocre (silicone) to stellar (foam), almost entirely dependent on the tips you use.



Tips: The stock tips are quite nice and I spent the vast majority of my two weeks and tens of hours with The King using the included bi-flange pair. The extra insertion depth helped draw out the bass and reduce treble emphasis which, with the single-flange tips installed, I can see some finding a touch over-done. The included foam tips had the same effect of balancing out their signature nicely, soaking up some treble energy, while vastly improving isolation. KZ Starline tips are also a good choice for the extra insertion depth and the stability that brings, but the stiff core doesn’t do much to soften the treble. If you have Sony Isolation Hybrids on hand, they are also a fantastic choice for their treble-taming qualities, though I worry they’ll tear upon removal as they’re fragile and the fit is quite tight.

Amping: I had no issues driving The King from any of the sources I have on hand; PS Vita, HTC One M8, Shanling M1, LG G5, XDuoo X3, etc. mind you, I had no need to listen to them loud. The King performs exceptionally well at low volumes. I did find the treble increased in prominence and bass became more authoritative when amped and when the volume increased, but it didn’t add anything to the experience.

‘TFZ Hi-Fi MONITOR EXCLUSIVE’ is printed smack dab on the exterior of the housing. Makes it pretty clear as to whom TFZ’s target audience is with these earphones, and once you’ve got them in your ears, I think you’ll agree. It takes on a slightly warm and thin, treble prominent, mid-ranged focused sound that has a well-extended, sub-bass focused low end playing support. It’s a sound that truly involves and envelops the listener.

The upper registers are extremely crisp and tight. The clarity and detail retrieval is pretty impressive for a dynamic driver, quite easily keeping pace with BA equipped earphones I’ve tried, be they BA-only or hybrids. The air between effects is clear and even on chaotic tracks like King Crimson’s ‘Starless and Bible Black’ nothing blurs together.

The King’s mid-range has just the right weight, presence, and tonal qualities to engage you on any track with vocals. I love the way both male and female vocals are presented, with female vocals have a slightly more forward sound to them. The aggression and emotion in Killer Mike’s ‘Reagan’ or Scroobius Pip’s ‘Death of the Journalist’ shines through, as do the sultry tones of Sarah Barthel on Big Gram’ ‘Run for Your Life’. Toss on something overly textured and gritty like, well, anything from Tobacco’s ‘F***ed Up Friends’ and you’re in for a treat.

While The King’s bass presence does take a backseat, I’d hesitate to call them bass-lite. Throw on some bass heavy EDM like AC Slater’s ‘Bass Inside’ or even an action movie and you’ll be shocked at how much this earphone can let loose when called upon. Considering how tame it’s low end is the majority of the time, the heavy wallops of rumbling sub-bass they can send your way is a real eye-opener. Part of what makes this possible is a down-tuned mid-bass region, or at least that’s how I hear it.

Sound stage size is very large, throwing effects everywhere around you and at a good distance if called for by the track. Unlike other earphones I’ve tried with larger than average sound stage size, The King isn’t afraid to get intimate as heard in the closing moments of Culprate’s ‘Undefined’.

I found it quite accurately places sounds as well, with stellar separation and layering. This is quite evident when used with Dirt Rally in the cockpit view. The sound design on that game is amazing and truly shines when paired with a good set of headphones or earphones like the Exclusive King.

The TFZ Exclusive King is a very, very good sounding earphone. It’s detail and clarity is near unmatched compared with other earphones in this price range I’ve tried. I can definitely see some finding it a little bright, and others thinking the bass lacking quantity, but to my ears the tuning is spot on for giving you a quality, yet versatile, high fidelity sound.


Select Comparisons:

Havi B3 Pro I and II: For a while now the Pro I has been a Head-fi staple for those wanting a very capable, neutral-ish budget earphone. The Pro II does just a good of job as the Pro I, shifting its neutral-ish emphasis by taking a little from the high end and adding a bit to the low end. The King’s presentation contains the best of both of these (soundstage, imaging accuracy, layering, etc.), but adds some extra energy and sparkle in the high end, while improving on their end-to-end extension. It’s much easier to drive too.

BeB 1200EX: The 1200EX and Exclusive King are two sides of the same coin when it comes to their sound signatures. The King is a touch brighter, it’s sub-bass slightly more prominent, and layering improved, but other than that the differences are hard to pin down. Choosing between the two comes down to preference really. Cable down, go 1200EX. Cable up, go with The King. Care about sound quality only, The King edges out the competition. Build is split as I prefer The King’s design and fit and finish but the 1200EX’s metal housings and overall durability.

Final Thoughts:

TFZ’s decision to call this product the Exclusive King is not without merit. It’s easily one of the best single driver earphone experiences I’ve come across. It’s clean, crisp, and detailed signature brings out every nuance in a track without being overbearing or uncomfortably aggressive. It’s not perfect though. Due to the weight of the earpieces it could really benefit from either better strain relief or removable cables. With the wrong tips, it can also be a touch strident in it’s treble.

Overall this earphone is a very rewarding experience, from the design, to the build, to the sound. Everything about it has a premium and refined air that many products at this price flat out lack. Awesome work TFZ.

Thanks for reading!

– B9Scrambler

13 thoughts on “TFZ Exclusive King – THE King

  1. thank you for answering again, for the moment I’m leaning to buy my Frankenstein (v2s haha) and in your opinion which iem would come as a complement to this player with a budget of $ 60 less.

    P.S. I read that the tfz series 2 are almost the best now, what impressions he gave you.
    pd2. I will analyze the options that you suggested the cc10 and t2 thank you very mucho.


    1. You’re welcome. The V2S is good with most iems, just stay from anything really bright or sensitive. BA iems are not a great pairing, hybrids are a little better. Single or multi-driver dynamics are preferred; Tin T2, Shozy Hibiki, Auglamour R8, Tin T1, Simgot EN700 Pro, etc. Stuff like that is better than the hybrid KZs, bright TFZs, Tin T3, etc.

      Series 2 is a quality iem. I like it a lot but it is on the brighter side, like most TFZ iems. If you are fine with that, I have no problems recommending it, though it can get tiring paired with the V2S. Otherwise it is a great option.




  2. Hi Scrambler,
    First thank you for the work of answering, sorry if my English is bad, I had to translate everything.

    About a month ago I’m looking for the best in-ear headphones I can get, you’ll see I’m a person who enjoys listening to music like daft punk – underworld – the chemical brothers – rammstein, etc …
    For that I bought 3 years ago, some sony mdr but they are diadem, they have lasted me since then and now they are a bit worn but I get the most out of them, but I think it’s time to change them for about m50x, when I bought the sony did not have much idea of ​​a good hearing aid, for me they were only brands and high price what made the difference, since the mdr cost me around $ 150 here in Peru where I live, then for a long time and much more in this month, I am saving and thinking about buying a headset 2 headphones, one for my house which will be the famous Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50, and I’m looking for some in ear to go out or exercise but offer the best audio quality and be durable, very apart a player that if possible is DAC I was thinking of the m6, but it does not matter that the player does not have apps, why I would like to have my songs in a microSD, I looked at the reviews about the m0 , but also me I was a bit discouraged when I saw that they offered the same sound quality as a high-end cell phone, but I really liked their smart watch design.
    In Conclusion, if you had to buy these things right now what would be your best option:

    1. Headphones for home, budget: $ 160 (which I think the best option would be the ATH-M50, please correct me if not)
    2.- Headphones for street and be more in daily use, budget: $ 50 to $ 80 (here I had a lot of work researching, first I did not know I wanted to buy the xiaomi hybrid, then I started to investigate and decided to invest a little more, the KZ brand appeared, the first one chosen were the KZ ZS10 with spinfit and silver cable, then the ZS7 appeared, then the Fiio, then Yinyoo V2, and several more that even I went crazy from searching and searching, and believe me I’m already tired, the last I could read about them are the TFZ EXCLUSIVE-KING and I really do not know which is the best of all, please help me.
    3.- DAP for home and street: first I think to buy one and then the other (as an upgrade), set for the first $ 70-100 maximum, and for the one who buys me from here to a time $ 200.

    Thank you for the time it takes you to read my comments and doubts, I really appreciate it, I look forward to your answers and recommendations since I have seen the work you do here and there are few users today who spend their time and opinions without pressures do not take advantage of the decisions they offer.
    And practically what you tell me, is what I will buy.

    PD: all purchases will be made on Aliexpress if possible, based on those prices please.
    PD2: Do not worry telling me that everything depends on tastes and yours are different from others, yet I work I have observed your tastes must be very demanding and good and balanced, I will be guided of yours …



    1. Hello Hernán. Thanks for the comment and questions. Happy to help if I can. I’ve covered everything being suggested so you can check out the reviews for more info. Should be a Google translate option somewhere on the right hand side of the page if needed.

      1. I don’t have a ton of experience with a variety of headphones. Mostly iems. That said, my Philips 9500 has been a fantastic set of budget friendly, full-sized headphones and to my surprise is available on AliExpress within your price range. They’re open back though. Not sure if that would be an issue. They tend to compete with the Sennheiser HD6xx lineup so you know the performance is good 🙂

      2. Not sure of your taste in signature so I’ll suggest a couple different options. TinHiFi T3; really clean, neutral bright signature with lots of detail. Durable metal build with an amazing MMCX replaceable cable. BQEYZ KC2; mild v-shape with good clarity. All-metal build. Not a fan of the cable, but others are keen on it. Easily replaceable regardless should it break. KZ ZSN. On the warmer side with a pretty smooth signature. Great build, decent cable, and very inexpensive. Good all-rounder. T3 and ZSN would be my preferences.

      3. I have a limited set of DAPs on hand so I’m not going to be much help here. I quite enjoy the M0 and use it as my primary device. It doesn’t sound much better than a good cell phone, but that means it’s still pretty good. Plus you get all the extra features. It’s been a great daily device and for ~100 USD is outstanding. If you want to save some money the F.Audio S1 is great but it has some downfalls; easily scratched materials and the sound over Bluetooth is mediocre. On the plus side it sounds fantastic, has great battery life, has a simple but quick UI that is easy to navigate, and it can drive headphones with some hefty requirements. It was my daily until the M0 showed up.

      Hopefully this is useful and makes sense. If you have questions about any of the items suggested do not hesitate to ask.


      – B9


      1. First of all, thanks for the time and dedication to answer my questions, I appreciate it very much.

        I still have doubts that IEM bought me, since I saw many models, too many and that made me ill, but in the end I think having and knowing the different options will help me, from this list:
        – Budget ($ 25 or less):
        KZ ZSN (is it the best?)
        – Budget ($ 25-80):
        KZ ZS7
        KZ ZS10
        KZ AS10
        YINYOO V2
        TFZ Exclusive King
        TinHiFi T3
        TIN AUDIO T2
        FIO FH1
        Revonext QT2
        TFZ Series 2
        1MORE triple driver
        (I know it’s difficult, but what would be your opinion, I’m looking for a warm sound, to be able to distinguish the instruments and a normal power, and that goes hand in hand in better cost-benefit relation, because for example if the TFZ the most expensive of the $ 79 list (on offer), does not differ in much difference in sound quality of the ZS10, it would not be worthwhile at the moment to acquire the TFZ … things like that)

        And one last query, in DAP’s, I could see your reviews about the Wallnut V2S, what do you think about sound compared to shanling m0 and m1, there is a lot of comparison ?, since if I only look for sound quality, of course the m0 is beautiful, and the V2S is like frankenstein (lmao) and bypassing the shanling functionalities, the sound quality varies a lot ?.

        again a pleasure to find people like you, thank you ..


      2. Happy to help!

        If you’re looking for a warmer sound I’d probably stay away from most of the stuff on that list. ZS10 or AS10 would probably be the only ones worth consideration.

        Knowing your preferences, the TinHiFi T1 is a solid pick worth looking at. Single dynamic and really good sounding. Very similar to the T2 but with a less treble and more bass, though still fairly neutral-ish compared to most of the stuff in that price range. CCA C10 could also be a nice choice. That one isn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s been getting a ton of great feedback from the community. So yeah, I’d be checking out to the T1 or C10 over everything else. Either of those should tick the right boxes.

        The Walnut V2S is a good DAP, esp. if you’re pairing it with warm sounding iems. Sound bats well above the price point, but of course that is countered by the 1970s design, build, and feature set, haha. Also keep in mind that it is meant more for use with high impedance, low sensitivity gear. With a lot of iems it will produce a bit of background hiss. Compared to the Shanling it is colder and grainier, but also more detailed.

        – B9


  3. Hi, Scrambler!

    You write some nice reviews right here, man. Found the site through Head-fi. My actual gear includes not much expensive AKGs, Sennheiser, Koss, KZs and some kind of ”simple” buds (mostly sub 100,50$) .

    The point is: after reading about Tin Audio, Brainwavz, Accutone, Simgot, Etymotic (plus others only one driver IEMs and brands) I realized that for serious sessions step up is considerable necessary.

    Different leagues about sound reproduction who doesn’t compete (with their own merits of course).

    Proprietary designs, better cables, about acessories, refined and precise tuning, consistent batchs (less QC problems) and lots of facts that commonly comes when we spend money at more ”artisanal/craft” products. They show more technical work involved, things created with care and time. Not only hype, fifty drivers per side and 40$ stuff that values 400$.

    Sure is nice to buy these for testing, recognize signatures, enjoying fun sessions. However, without being too focused at definition, details and damn high-ultra-unbetable-fidelity.

    Moreover, I saved my gold pieces a bit. And I’m moving on, Iooking now for a new mid-focused, soundstage wider, brighter in-ear. T2 and Svara are already in cart. hahaha

    At all, what you think about the TFZ Series 2? They whort a try? Good impressions in threads, reviews. Some guys said it owns a similar or closer sound to the King (twice the cost).

    Thanks for now and hope you keep this great job!


    1. Hey Saulo! Appreciate the comments and great statements. The cheap stuff seems to be a great way to find your preferred signature, which is why I really like KZ. Tons of signature variety and all of it pretty inexpensive. Once you’ve got your preferred signature in mind, that’s when you step up to the big boys, haha.

      I haven’t tried the Series 2 but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to the King in performance. The Exclusive 1 was almost there, it just lacked the refinement. A local Head-fi’er I know who bought the Series 2 said it was similar to the Exclusive 1. I think he said the bass was deeper and treble better controlled/less bright. It might be a side grade vs. what you already own, but I suppose it wouldn’t to try them.

      I’ve got lots of reviews in the works so you won’t be seeing me go away anytime soon. This coming week will be all TFZ stuff; Series 4, My Love II (these are really good), and the My Love LTD.


  4. How is this iem level of sibilance compared to sony mdr ex1000. Had the sony long ago. And about to buy the tfz king but need more research. Please respond. Greatly appriciated


    1. Unfortunately I’ve never heard the Sony but in my experience their tuning is generally pretty smooth and sibilance free. The King is quite bright and focuses on mids and lower treble but mildly sibilant at worst, in my opinion. The included bi-flange tips are a good match with the King. Seems like they give it a smoother response and a smaller bore tames the treble a bit.


    1. Hey Vinc! Thanks for the question. Happy to help. Haven’t listened to the M4 in a while so it was nice to pull it out for another listen. Yeah, the King is an upgrade. Not a huge one, but an upgrade none-the-less. Expect a surprisingly similar signature with some improvements in the presentation; deeper bass reach, more detail, better separation and more accurate imaging, larger sound stage. The King is also significantly easier to drive to volume. Hope this helps!


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