Have you ever wished you could turn your favorite IEMs into true wireless IEMs? Well, Fostex might make your wish come true thanks to their neat little true wireless model, the TM2. How does it work? And what can you expect in terms of sound and design? Let’s take a look in this Fostex TM2 True Wireless Review.
Fostex TM2 True Wireless Review
IN the BOX
I wasn’t particularly happy with the fit until I realized that the ear hooks are malleable. Bend them, twist them…Whatever the shape or fit is of the IEM you’re trying to attach, the TM2 should comply. Furthermore, the actual Fostex earbuds that come with the TM2 provide decent sound isolation and a no-nonsense fit. You’ll also have three different sized eartips to choose from. So, no complaints in this department.
Driver Unit and Connection
The TM2 employs a 6mm dynamic driver unit that is detachable via MMCX connection. In fact the earpiece detaches in two areas, as shown below. The reason for this is that Fostex also sells a couple of 2-pin options (sold separately) for those who use IEMs with a 2-pin connection.
Controls and Functionality
The TM2 uses a combination of buttons and touch sensors to control its host functions. For example, the touch sensor on the sides of the earpieces allow you to adjust volume and even fast forward through tracks (which is a neat and uncommon feature). The buttons on the bottom of either earpiece allow you to play/pause, skip tracks and answer/end calls. I found both, the buttons and touch sensors easy to navigate after a few minutes of practice. And the touch sensors were responsive without being overly sensitive.
A bit of a problem here. It’s not that the call clarity is particularly lacking, but if you live in New York, the microphone will pick up chatter in Houston. So, the mic won’t isolate from any ambient sound. And if you live in a busy city, forget about it. (This problem could potentially be fixed by adjusting the “landscape sound” settings in the accompanying app. But I didn’t have the will or energy to play around with it. #Coronavirus)
Battery Life and Charging
The TM2 offers 10 hours of continuous use. Now, I don’t think that the case holds any extra charge. At least, Fostex doesn’t advertise anything about the charging case holding additional charge. But I’m $%^&#@* up on DayQuil right now. So, you probably shouldn’t trust anything I write in this review.
The other thing to note is that the charging case uses a micro-USB connection for charging, which in terms of longevity, is inferior to the newer USB-C charging option. (USB-C also usually faster to charge). Still, the TM2 fully charges in 1.5 hours, which is surprisingly fast.
Aptx, AAC, SBC.
The TM2 has a IPX5 rating, which means it should be able to withstand some sweat and a little rain.
The Fostex TM2 has an accompanying app that gives you a battery life indicator as well as the option to update firmware (and the “landscape sound” setting). And Fostex also promises to include a 5 band equalizer in a future firmware update. But the future is now, and I don’t see the equalizer. I guess promises are made to be broken.
The bass has some solid grip to it. So, it’s not a wet or resonating sound. And while the bass has enough power and impact to do justice to pop tracks, it doesn’t steal the show. In fact, this is the kind of bass that works well for all genres. The low end lends a little warmth to rock tracks without bleeding into the higher frequencies. And because the sound is dry and detailed, classical strings have plenty of texture and substance.
The upper mids are favored over the lower mids. As a result, vocals tend to slightly stand out in the mix, creating a dynamic feel when listening to modern genres especially. The downside to this is that you lose a little body in the lower midrange. That being said, the overall sound is tight and clean; the separation is quite impressive. And as such, acoustic genres, like folk, have a nice crystalized feel. So, if you like a tidy and intricate acoustic guitar, the TM2 is sure to please.
The highs offer some crisp percussion without becoming uncomfortable or bright. At the same time, the TM2 doesn’t present a weighty sound signature. And vocals in this range feel reasonably buoyant, even if they don’t present a thoroughly airy performance.
Although the soundstage didn’t strike me as particularly grand, the imaging felt quite accurate for a true wireless model. The sense of height is certainly there, and though you won’t get the deepest stage, the more obvious gradations in depth are apparent.
PROS and CONS
Pros: Clean and inoffensive sound signature; if you don’t like the sound signature, you can change it for one you do like.
Cons: Not good for calls.
Besides the wacky microphone, I have no complaints. Decent sound with controls that are easy to navigate. No pairing issues. Sure, it would have been nice to get an extra 20 hours of battery life in the charging case, but hey…Life is full of disappointments. Let’s give Fostex a break. The TM2 introduces a really cool technology that turns your favorite IEMs into a true wireless miracle. #Gratefulaudiophile. #Blessed.
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