TinHiFi T3: Preview
The TinHiFi T2 came out of nowhere in 2017, rapidly becoming one of the most highly recommended budget earphones. The combination of a low price, great build, and most importantly a near neutral signature made it an easy recommendation.
TinHiFi followed up the T2 with a pro variant nearly a year later, though it didn’t go over quite as well as a result of introducing an unnecessary treble boost that threw off the T2’s legendary balance. Sure, that change wasn’t without some benefits like a larger sound stage and more detail, but the Pro was simply too bright to have much widespread appeal.
With the new T3, TinHiFi revists the T2 Pro’s formula, doing it right this time around. Gone is the dual-dynamic setup in favor of a 1+1 hybrid. Unlike most earphones in this price range, TinHiFi contracted a genuine Knowles armature to handle midrange and treble duty. Bass is still handled by a tried and true dynamic driver.
The T3’s signature pulls queues from both the T2 and T2 Pro. Treble is elevated over the T2, most notably in the brilliance region which gives the T3 more sparkle and vibrancy, though not to the overblown extent of the T2 Pro. As such, the T3 retains the T2 Pro’s airy presentation and great sound stage but doesn’t adopt its fatiguing, somewhat aggressive side. The midrange is quite similar to the T2’s but with a slightly leaner and more articulate presentation. Bass sees a change I was expecting from the T2 Pro but didn’t get, that being improved extension and sub-bass presence. Both T2s rolled off early resulting in a low end that, which not anemic, lacked impact and much in the way of visceral feedback. The T3 fixes this and as a result come across even more well-rounded and versatile than the T2.
In addition to the sonic improvements, TinHiFi managed to improve ergonomics without straying too far from th design used on the T2 twins. The most notable change was the mirroring of channels. What was the left ear piece on the T2 is now the right ear piece on the T3. This results in a product that is designed to be worn over ear thanks to the installation of preformed ear guides. The other major change was the removal of the slanted section above the MMCX port. Filling that in lets the body of the earphone rest more naturally in your outer ear, thereby improving stability and overall fit. Or at least that’s how it working for me so far.
Going back to the cable, TinHiFi has gone all out this time. I quite liked the cable on the T2 and T2 Pro since they felt much more premium than what you got with most of the competition. The T3’s cable does that again and is extremely similar to the outstanding cable included with the Kinera Idun. I suspect they’re using the same OEM.
So far I am very impressed with the T3. This is what the T2 Pro should have been all along. Those of you who just bought the T2 and are regretting your purchase, don’t worry. While the T3 is similar and improves upon the T2 in a number of ways, the T2’s slightly darker, more mellow presentation is still an amazing listen and remains plenty competitive.
Be on the lookout for my full review soon. In the meantime, the T3 is a worthy pickup and I can’t imagine too many being disappointed with what TinHiFi is doing here. This is a phenomenal earphone and well worth your time.
Thanks for reading!
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Thanks to Lillian with Linsoul audio for sending over a sample of the T3 for review. At this time, you can order your set through Massdrop where it is debuting at 59.99 USD: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/tin-audio-t3-iem
Following this drop, it sounds like it will become available through Amazon at the regular retail price of 69.99 USD.