Today we’re taking a quick look at the TFZ My Love LTD, the first set of headphones from TFZ and hopefully not their last.
TFZ has has a quick rise to popularity with their Series and Exclusive lineups, and has recently seen a new lineup emerge; My Love. While it’s not explicitly stated, I gather these are targeted at a younger, feminine crowd given the naming and colour schemes found on a number of these models. That include the matte purple applied to the LTD we’re checking out today.
My experiences with the LTD have shown TFZ isn’t making this lineup all show and no go. They’re appealing for a number of other reasons beyond their snazzy good looks. Let’s see what makes the LTD a nice headphone, shall we?
The My Love LTD was provided free of charge for the purposes of a fair and impartial review. The thoughts here are my own and are not representative of TFZ, Penon Audio, or any other entity. There is no financial incentive for writing this review.
The TFZ My Love LTD currently retails for 99 USD over on Penon Audio. Note that you get two headphonesl one in black, one in purple. His and Hers I suppose.
For at home use the LTD was powered by a TEAC HA-501 desktop amp or straight out of my Asus FX53V laptop. For portable use it was paired with an LG G5, Walnut V2s/F1 amp/dac combo, HiFi E.T. MA8, HifiMan MegaMini, or Shanling M1, all of which brought it up to listening volume without any effort.
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 in my headphones I generally lean towards slightly warm with elevated treble and sub-bass, an even and natural mid-range response, with reduced mid-bass. The HiFiMan RE800, Brainwavz B400, TinAudio T2, and thinksound On2 offer examples of signatures I enjoy.
Packaging and Accessories:
The My Love LTD was not sent over as a full package. For your 99 USD you actually get two pairs of headphones, one in the purple found here and another in a sexy matte black. Since I was not provided the full set or retail packaging, I’ll be skipping this section this time around.
Build, Comfort, and Isolation:
Compared to other on-ears I’ve got like the Sony ZX302 and ZX600, the My Love LTD feels positively overbuilt. The plastics are dense with just enough flex to provide some confidence that they won’t break in a fall or it you accidentally sit on them. The ear cups are aluminum and quite weighty, adding to the overall feel of quality. Fit and finish is quite good, with everything slotting together very well. There is a good bit of extension to the metal-reinforced headband so they should fit larger heads. Extending the arms is smooth, yet met with a tactile and audible click for every notch of movement.
The cable feels a bit fragile, however, but thankfully it’s removable so not a major issue. The 90 degree angle plug is compact, well-relieved and should fit comfortably in most cell-phone cases. Leading into the left earpiece is a 2.5mm plug. I would have preferred a 3.5mm plug for durability and compatibility purposes, but it’s still easy enough to find inexpensive replacements in this format, especially if you wish to add an inline mic which is conspicuously absent.
While the LTD is a pretty heavy little headphone, it’s comfort is near the best of any on-ear I’ve used; better than the thinksound On2 and about on par with a lightweight such as the Sennheiser PX-100ii. This comfort is possible due to the extremely soft and plush earpads which out of the box felt great and they’ve only gotten better over the month and a bit I’ve been using the LTD. The headband is lightly padded, but it’s thick yet supportive enough to distribute weight evenly across the top of your head. I have no issues wearing these for hours on end, though in warmer temperatures the faux-leather pads do start to get warm.
Isolation is also top notch for an on-ear, doing a great job of blocking outside noise. There are no vents on the LTD so far as I can tell, and this is reflected in their ability to dull incoming distractions. I found they isolated about as well as the A-Audio Legacy with ANC on. That both speaks to how well these passively isolate, and to how poor the Legacy’s ANC performance is. Oh yeah, and that isolation isn’t one way. You can absolutely crank the volume and as long as they’re properly sealed, very little noise escapes.
Overall the LTD is very well built, exceptionally comfortable ( not just for an on-ear), and it isolates well. These are a good headphone for travelling, something that is further supported but their compact folding mechanism and swivelling ear cups.
I have really enjoyed the Exclusive Series of TFZ’s in-ear headphones for their bright, detailed, mid-prominent signatures and punchy, well-extended bass. I really had no idea what to expect going into the LTD. If you want something light and audiophile friendly, stay far away. If you’re in the market for a compact bass-cannon, keep reading.
The LTD is warm, a little dark, and extremely bassy. Thankfully all that bass is handled well via the application of some fairly large 40mm drivers TFZ crammed into these tiny headphones. Detail retrieval and clarity are not standouts, but are more than acceptable for the price. Outside of the monster bass, the LTD’s sound stage is uncommonly large for a small, closed back headphone.
This large sound stage comes with both positives and negatives. The positive is that unlike most inexpensive on-ears, the LTD sounds large and offers a pretty respectable “out of head” experience. Sounds travels a good distance from your head and has lots of room to move. The negative is that this sound stage comes across very artificial, almost as if a 3D affect has been applied, similar to a digital surround effect or virtualizer. This makes imaging quite vague, but thankfully doesn’t hinder the LTD’s decent layering and separation.
Treble on the LTD feels slightly recessed and rolled off. It’s not overly sparkly or shimmery but it is quite detailed. You might have a hard time hearing it behind the prominent mid-range and monstrous bass lines though. On the plus side, this relaxed presentation means it’s far from fatiguing and not at all sibilant.
The LTD’s mid-range is handled better. While it still sits behind the low end and is sometimes affected by mid-bass bleed (less than you would expect once you’ve hear all that bass) the texture and energy is there to carry a track, be it with piano, vocals, guitar, etc. Given this headphone’s bass-heavy signature, this mid-range presentation works really well with pop, hip-hop, dubstep, and other genres that are generally electronic biased.
The low end is easily the most prominent and entertaining aspect of the LTD. While I’m not normally a fan of large mid-bass humps, it’s quite fun here in the LTD. The bass is absolutely massive, very punchy, and generally well controlled with a big of warbling flabiddity (I know that’s not a real word) rearing it’s head on especially deep, drawn out bass lines. Extension is pretty good with the LTD providing a good bit of visceral feedback, but it’s overshadowed a bit by the mid-bass.
This headphone is not for those valuing technical prowess and an accurate reproduction of music. If you want hilarious levels of bass backed by fairly clear mids and are okay with a large but artificial sound stage, these will be right up your alley. These are certainly fun, especially with hop hop and EDM.
The LTD in my eyes would be an appealing purchase for a few select groups; boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife that want matching style cans; parents that want to get a durable set of headphones for their kids that also look good and won’t cost them hundreds of dollars; teens and university students that use a lot of transit where tons of bass and good isolation are valuable qualities. I suppose they would also be great for someone that likes to have backup headphones available in case their primary set breaks. You get two pairs with your purchase after all.
I have enjoyed my time with the LTD and even though their bass-focused signature is far from my preferred, they’re nicely designed and attractive, well built, and entertaining enough for me to use as a daily driver. Or they would be if I was sent the black pair. I don’t think I pull off the purple quite as well as she does.
(Image on right found on PenonAudio.com)
Thanks for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Some Test Tunes:
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)
Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)