TinHiFi TWS2000: Or is it T2000?

Greetings!

Today we’re checking out TinHiFi’s entry into the world of true wireless earphones, the T2000.

Or is it TWS2000? Early marketing called it the TWS2000, and this is pure speculation with absolutely nothing to back it up, but I bet they were asked to change the name. HiFiMAN already uses the TWSxxx moniker for wireless versions of their iems (RE600 = TWS600, RE800 = TWS800). I wouldn’t be shocked if TinHiFi was politely asked to change the name in preparation for the release of a TWS2000 based around HiFiMAN’s RE2000 driver.

Setting my conspiracy theory to the side, given Tin’s history of kick @$$ budget gear expectations were unsurprisingly high for the T2000. Potential customers were excited at the announcement of this project because it seemed to offer a lot interesting features at a relatively low price of 79 USD. Dual 9mm + 8mm Nitinol Diaphragm dynamic drivers. The ability to be used wired or wireless. A UV light system built into the case that would sterilize the earpieces between uses. After all, this was released while Covid-19 was at it’s peak, ravaging countries around the planet. A quick charge feature that gave you 3-4 hours of listening time with only 20 minutes of charging was yet another enticing feature.

All interest in this model came rapidly crashing down after a few influencers spectacularly derailed the T2000 hype train. Unlike them, I’ve been using the T2000 since June of 2020. While I wouldn’t call it a good true wireless earphone and do not recommend it, it’s not the steaming pile of feces I was led to believe. Sure, the T2000 has issues and absolutely feels like a first gen product from a brand that has never made a true wireless earphone before. Also, given how little it has in common with the rest of their lineup it feels more like the TinHiFi name was slapped on some OEM product.

Negativity aside, the T2000 has some redeeming qualities and is not a total dud, so, let’s take a closer look shall we?

What I Hear

(Wired) I was expecting the T2000 to sound pretty terrible after reading impressions from early content providers. Thankfully that was not the case. While the signature selected is a pretty standard v-shape and unlike anything else in Tin’s lineup, it is actually quite well done, though not without a couple niggles.

Treble is sharp and bright with decent control and a realistic rapidity to it. Notes strike with authority and decay appropriately giving the upper ranges a reasonably nimble feel. There is a bit of splash in there that I’m not a fan of, but that I know others out there really like that since it adds energy without being overly tiring. Clarity and detail are also solid and in line with other products in this price range, wired or otherwise. Overall a decent showing in the upper ranges.

When it comes to the mids they could definitely use a push forward since vocalists tend to fight surrounding instruments for attention. That negative aside, the T2000 does a good job with timbre and tonality, adding a realistic note weight and density. Save for a metallic ring that crops up on cymbals, it sounds reasonably accurate. Guitars in particular sound awesome and appropriately crunchy when called upon. Both male and female vocals are equally well-represented with plenty of detail on tap. If they were more forward, this would be a pretty good mid-range for a low price TWS, it’s just unfortunate they’re set back so far.

Bass out of the T2000 is way more prominent than you would expect given TinHiFi’s history of relatively bass-light earphones. This is far and away the best part of the earphone too. Reach into sub-bass regions is fantastic with a thumpy, well-controlled mid-bass region. There is plenty of texture and detail to be had leaving the T2000 a pretty satisfying listen when playing the grungy basslines of Tobacco’s heavily textured tracks. Toss this low end tuning into the T2’s shell and pitch it as a bassy iteration of that classic and I bet it would sell like hotcakes.

The sound stage isn’t all that bad either. Thanks to the airy upper ranges and pulled back vocals, the presentation feels quite wide with effects that soar off into the distance. Depth of the stage is notably more moderate, though it doesn’t stop the T2000 from doing a good job with layering individual track elements. Channel-to-channel movement is also pretty good with smooth transitions and enough precision to track footsteps with reasonable accuracy in competitive shooters, for example.

The T2000 is a perfectly satisfying listen if you like a v-shaped sound. You get plenty of texture and detail with a tight, punchy low end with fairly natural sounding mids set within a wide sound stage. The mids could stand to be more forward and the treble quality tightened up a bit, but overall its not a bad listen whatsoever.

TinHiFi T2000

(Wireless) Used wireless, the T2000 does a good job of keeping a consistent signature though there is some degradation of quality. The most apparent is background hiss that is evident on quiet sections of a track, but is easily drown out. Treble takes the biggest hit and ends up sounding somewhat metallic. Sibilance is also notably more prominent. Bass remains tight and punchy with solid texturing so no complaints there. The T2000’s good sound stage and technical performance remains, though I found imaging less nuanced and more vague. While this is a perfectly serviceable earphone when used wireless, I prefer to use it wired.

Tech Inside

Connection is stable during regular use. Specs show the T2000 to offer slightly more range than the average true wireless earphone (40ft vs. 33ft). Testing resulted in a solid performance from the T2000 but when it came to stability among obstacles it fell short of the similarly priced Astrotec S60 2.0. Where the S60 2.0 can be used anywhere in my apartment with the source in the furthest possible location (my office), the same can’t be said for the T2000. The connection will start to sputter shortly after line of sight is broken. Probably not going to be an issue for most, but since I like to stroll around my apartment with true wireless iems in, the T2000 doesn’t cut the mustard.

Battery life on the T2000 is rated at 3-4 hours with up to 16 hours of use possible following additional charges via the case. I found those ratings to be pretty accurate with the T2000 lasting half a workday before needing a top up. Note that I listen at lower volumes than most and typically keep my source device within arms reach, so results may vary if you listen loud or routinely make use of that 40ft range.

The case is where you find some of the T2000’s interesting features. On the lid is a button for activating the UV Antivirus lights for around 1 minute at a time. On the underside of the lid are the six UV LEDs that light up when activated. You’ll know when they’re on as the leftmost LED on the lid will light up blue, as will the semi-opaque ring that rounds the centre of the case. This feature is tied to the magnets that hold the lid shut. If opened while the UV setting is on, the lights will immediately shut down. There is debate about whether the UV feature implemented here is actually of use or not. I’ll let more adventurous individuals explore its viability.

Also inside you find the included cable. TinHiFi handled this in a unique manner. The cable is wrapped around a plastic skeleton that surrounds the inserts for the earpieces. A lot of reviewers complained about how much of a pain it was to utilize this feature because the cable has to be wrapped in a very specific way. If you haphazardly complete this process, the plug won’t line up in the right spot, or the cable will block the magnet or hinge preventing the case from sealing. It is a finicky process, one that means most simply won’t use it. In defence of the user, the included cable is pretty cheap and clearly meant as a backup option for when wireless is no longer an option.

In The Ear According to the marketing material “…The shape of it [T2000] was taken from moulds of the human ears to make sure every curve matches perfectly with the contours of the ear…” Sure, the basic head-on, triangular shape is decently ergonomic and isn’t so broad as to make the T2000 unsuitable for smaller ears. No, the problems start with how laughably deep the shell is.

It gives users that Franken-bolt look everyone loves and dispenses the weight unevenly causing hot spots in the ear canal. The nozzle is also a problem. It is ovular in shape which in itself isn’t a problem. The legendary Panasonic RP-HJE120 uses ovular nozzles and those are plenty comfortable. What is an issue is the size. ~7mm at it’s widest and ~5.5mm at it’s thinnest, this is a pretty meaty nozzle. Add to that a short length and you’ve got a recipe for annoyance. None of the stock tips worked (not that there is any variety to choose from), forcing me to dip deep into my tip collection. After running through a couple dozen options, I finally settled on large RHA Dual Density tips which added the length necessary to deal with the weight and provide a reliable seal. TinHiFi needs to step up their ear tip game with this one. The subpar ergonomics would be more manageable if passive isolation was good, but it’s not. The shallow fit and small vents placed everywhere means minimal outside noise is blocked.

Another ergonomic issue is the single control button on each earpiece. I typically prefer physical buttons to touch controls, but the amount of pressure required to depress these buttons is too high and forces you to shove the T2000 hard against your ear. It was unpleasant enough for me to avoid using them and instead pull out my phone or player and use the controls there instead. If you want to change volume you’ll be doing this anyway so no big loss. On the plus side, the buttons are easy to find and aren’t easily mistaken for something else.

While ergonomics and comfort are not amazing, the T2000 is constructed quite well. The earpieces are entirely plastic save for an aluminum button, though you’d probably never know it was metal unless touching it in cold weather or some paint was scratched off. Seams between the two component parts are not hidden but tolerances are extremely tight with nothing misaligned. On the inside of the stems where the cable plugs in you find L and R markers. Tin didn’t cheap out by painting them on, instead making them a part of the mould. Also on the side of the body of each earpiece are the twin gold charging connectors. They are neatly integrated and recessed into the housing. Keep an eye on them since there is a risk of ear wax settling in and preventing charging. Another aspect of the T2000 that I really appreciate is that the inner pins of the MMCX ports are reinforced with a plastic ring. I’ve seen plenty of cases where these pins are damaged and split, making the earphone useless. The supporting ring they added helps prevent damage to the earphone port if someone carelessly jams the cable in.

The case is decently well constructed, but it’s not amazing and I wouldn’t want to test durability. The exterior is mainly plastic with all the electronics placed in the lid instead of the base. This means that the Type-C port is also in the lid, just above the hinge on the rear. It works fine, it just feels like an odd placement. On the top of the lid are two buttons and six holes. The left button is labelled ‘UV antivirus’ and turns on the inner lighting. The right button is labelled ‘Power’ and is used to check how much juice is left in the case. The six holes are indicator LEDs with the centre four being used for power and charging notifications. The far left is used for the UV feature. The far right LED only briefly lights up when initiating a charge, and when checking battery levels. Opening the case you find the inside of the lid where the LEDs are is metal. I suspect this plate is what gives the case most of its weight. You can also see that the creaky hinge is plastic with a small, exposed ribbon cable crossing over it. This cable connects the charge ports to the battery in the lid. Given how delicate ribbon cables traditionally are, I don’t expect it to last long if you are opening the closing the case on the regular. Overall the plastics used feel fine, if not a bit thin (they flex when squeezed), and the visual design is nothing to write home about. Worse of all, the case is massive.

Looking back at some marketing material, both my wife and I chuckled when we read “…The T2000 case fits into any pocket and is a perfect fit for any occasion!…” The case fits well in the baggy pockets of my cargo pants and jacket but that’s about it. Sure, it’ll fit into my jeans pocket, but then I’ve got this highly visible square lump sticking out and digging into my leg. Also, given the fashion industry’s reluctance to include useful pockets on women’s clothing, any ladies out there planning to carry the T2000 with them will be chucking it into a purse or similar bag because there is no way it’s coming with them otherwise. The Astrotec S60 2.0’s case is significantly more compact and pocket friendly, though it also lacks many of the [somewhat gimmicky] features TinHiFi included with their wireless model.

In The Box The T2000 arrives in a fairly subtle box containing a stylized version of the Tin logo alongside the usual brand and model details. Removing the lid reveals a large slab of felt covered foam with inserts cut to fit the earpieces, case, tips, and documentation. What you see if pretty much what you get with the exception of the cable hidden inside the charge case.

  • T2000 earphones
  • Charging case
  • MMCX Cable
  • Type-C USB cable
  • Bi-flange tips (2x medium)

Overall this a pretty underwhelming unboxing experience given TinHiFi’s past products. The included tip selection is especially disappointing and basically non-existent. There is no variety so I expect most buyers will need to pick up a third party alternative just to start using it. Again, this makes me feel like TinHiFi enlisted an OEM to make them something to fill that TWS niche, with TinHiFi having little input on the final product.

Final Thoughts Expectedly, the T2000 is a disappointment. There are a lot of cool ideas going on, like the UV system, the ability to listen both wireless or wired, cable storage built into the case, and the dual driver setup. I like that they tried to combine various ear moulds to make the product ergonomic. Despite all the cool stuff going on, the T2000 ends up feeling entirely half-baked. There is some good though.

For the most part the signal quality is solid. The 20 minute quick charge feature is awesome and makes the 3-4 hours per charge listening time a non-issue in my experience. Despite having a fairly standard v-shaped signature, when listening wired the experience is satisfying enough, though not necessarily for a TinHiFi fan. Nothing else in their lineup sounds like the T2000 so those expecting a wireless T2 or T2 Plus will likely be left unfulfilled.

Do I think the T2000 is a good product? No, no really. It is rife with issues. That said, I still kinda like it though I wouldn’t recommend it. Once I found the right tips and tossed on a higher quality cable, it made for a nice companion when chilling at my desk or casually surfing the web with nondescript music playing in the background. There are plenty of other products that do almost everything better. Taken in a vacuum, the T2000 is an earphone I could live with. It’s more a case of settling than finding your endgame, but that’s more than I can say for some other products.

Overall the T2000 is a mixed bag that unfortunately isn’t worth picking up because there are plenty of other, better options in the market; ex.Astrotec S60 2.0, SoundPEATS TrueFree+, Dudios Shuttle, KZ S2, etc. Unless you just want to collect everything from the brand, there isn’t much reason to buy the T2000. I genuinely hope TinHiFi revisits the TWS format and takes their time to make something that better fits the brand. Ditch the gimmicks and craft something more focused and refined with a sound that better fits in with what fans have come to expect over the years. A true wireless T2 Plus would be pretty sick… hint hint TinHiFi.

Thanks for reading!

– B9

Disclaimer A big thanks to Lillian at Linsoul for sending over a sample of the T2000 for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my subjective opinions and do not represent Linsoul, Tin HiFi, or any other entity. At the time of writing the T2000 was retailing for 79.00 USD: www.linsoul.com/collections/tin-hifi/products/tinhifi-t2000

Specifications

  • Drivers: 8mm Nitinol diaphragm dynamic driver + 9mm Nitinol diaphragm dynamic driver
  • Transmission distance: 12 meters / 40 feet (without obstacles in the way)
  • Frequency response: 5Hz-18KHz
  • Sensitivity: 103+/-2dB (low-mid frequency); 96+/-2dB(mid-high frequency)
  • Impedance: 16 + 21ohms
  • Output power: 40mAh, 3.7V
  • Earbuds battery: 650mAh, 3.7V (3-4 hours of playtime)
  • Ultraviolet sterilization: 6 lights at 0.5w each
  • Bluetooth chip: RTL8763BFP
  • Standby time: ~120 hours
  • Charging case: 5V DC type-C, 2.8v-4.2V

Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, Shanling M0, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century

Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid

King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic

King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black

Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma

The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy

Steely Dan – The Royal Scam

Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams

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