Letshuoer S12 vs. Tangzu Ze Tian Wu Comparison Review

Letshuoer S12 vs. Tangzu Ze Tian Wu Comparison Review
Letshuoer S12 vs Tangzu Ze Tian Wu Comparison Review

Like a lot of listeners, I can’t get enough of headphones or IEMs that feature planar drivers. Though once constrained to scarily expensive units, it seems like planars have been coming down to more and more reasonable price points that the average, casual consumer can actually afford. Two such examples of this come in the form of recent releases from Linsoul’s Tangzu and Letshuoer brands: the Tangzu Ze Tian Wu and the Letshuoer S12. The tech inside the two may be rather similar, but there’s a lot more to go over in the way of differences when it comes to look, feel, and overall sound.

What’s In The Box?

Tangzu Ze Tian Wu, Letschuoer S12, IEMs, in-ear monitors

Letshuoer S12

3 pairs transparent silicone ear tips

3 pairs standard silicone eaertips

3 pairs foam eatips

Headphone cable

2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm adapters

Semi firm pleathery carrying case

User manual and quality assurance certificate

Tangzu Ze Tian Wu

-Ze Tian Wu In-Ear Monitors

-Semi-firm leather carrying case

-3 pairs of “Balanced” silicone eartips (S/M/L)

-3 pairs of “Bass Enhanced” silicone eartips (S/M/L)

-1 pair of “Foams” silicone eartips

-Detachable 5N ONC 1.2 meter braided cable (2 pin to 3.5mm, 4.4mm balanced version also available)

-Tangzu Drink Coaster 

Look and Feel

While the Ze Tian Wu has a flowery, nature oriented aesthetic, the S12 looks like Ikea started making IEM’s. That’s not a diss – in fact, while both headphones are fairly stylish, my preferences swing towards the S12’s clean, modern and metallic look. The fit is easy and comfortable on both units as well, requiring very little adjusting once they’re sitting in your ears. Once again, I have a very slight preference towards the S12’s fit, which had smaller buds that felt like they sealed into my ear just a little more securely. While the S12 wins the look and feel category for me personally, I have to say that I was still pleasantly impressed with the Ze Tian Wu’s easy and comfortable fit, as well as its snazzy carrying case. It’s a close call.

Letshuoer S12, Tangzu Ze Tian Wu, IEM, in-ear monitor, linsoul

Technical Specifications

The Ze Tian Wu and the S12 have nearly identical drivers, 14.5mm and 14.8mm planars, respectively.

Tangzu Ze Tian Wu

Driver: 14.5mm Planar Magnetic

Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Impedance: 16 ohms

Sensitivity: 102 dB

Distortion: <1%

Letshuoer S12

Driver: 14.8mm Planar Magnetic

Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Impedance: 16 ohms

Sensitivity: 102 dB

Distortion: 0.5%

Sound Stage

I found the response time (that is, the speed at which sound can start and stop playing) to be particularly striking in both pairs of IEM’s, something that is expected but nonetheless welcome in earphones that use planar drivers. When it came to width and image, however, the S12 wins the round. Not only was the S12 wider than the Ze Tian Wu, but it was wider than a great deal of IEMs in its price range. While I wasn’t necessarily disappointed by the Ze Tian Wu’s staging, the S12 offered a lot of room that led to a more kinetic listening experience and more spatial layering. I’ll get into the balances in a moment, but I preferred that the S12 found most of its space in its imaging rather than in its balance like the Ze Tian Wu (which found its space with a mids scoop).


Though both pairs of IEMs certainly pack a pretty powerful bass, this isn’t to say that they have a similar bass response. The Ze Tian Wu is fairly concentrated on its low bass and subs, making it well suited for pop, dance and electronic genres. The S12, on the other hand, is a little less selective in how it boosts it low end. Mid bass is brought up considerably, perhaps even outpacing its subs. Where the Ze Tian Wu rumbles, the S12 gets punchy and warm. The Ze tian Wu has a narrow and dramatic boost in its low bass, whereas the S12 seems moderately shelved up from 40 Hz all the way to 125 Hz.


It’s pretty apparent that the mids are where these two IEMs find their greatest differences, and what gives the S12 its edge over the the Ze Tian Wu. Though it may be “a thing,” the the Ze Tian Wu has a wide and heavy mid scoop that diverts attention towards its subs and highs. While there are times with the S12 where the fundamentals on male vocals can sound mildly attenuated, it overall balance maintains a rich mids profile that meshes accurately and warmly with its low end. For this reason, I found the S12 to be a more versatile IEM that can handle mids heavy genres like rock and jazz more compellingly than the Ze Tian Wu, which was prone to stripping some energy out of guitars, male vocals, and horns.


Finally, we can give a round to the Ze Tian Wu, which impressed me with its bold and distinctly planar-sounding highs. Hi-hat transients took on a pointy character and vocal air was soothingly coaxed out of mixes, resting upon the thick, low bass that dominates the other side of its frequency response. The S12 had enough highs to keep a natural sound that was never muffled, but nonetheless seemed a little heavy handed with its treble roll off. Cymbals in general and hi-hats specifically had a coarse and sandy texture, but didn’t reach the granular tips heard in the Ze Tian Wu. The one benefit of the S12’s high frequency profile was its aversion to sibilants, which the Ze Tian Wu had a bad habit of emphasizing.


To my ears, it seems like the Letshuoer S12 has the edge over the Ze Tian Wu in terms of versatility. I was quite entertained with its wide soundstage and full balance, which struck me as more closely meeting audiophile standards than the IEMs from Tangzu. The Ze Tian Wu is still a lot of fun and will definitely please more casual listeners, especially if they listen to pop or electronic music, but the mids scoop was simply not conducive to the guitar that’s in much of the music that I like to listen to. Regardless, I’m happy to see IEMs with planar drivers making their way more prominently into the sub $200 range. Both the Tangzu Ze Tian Wu and the Letshuoer S12 are exciting and affordable IEMs to see on the market.


The Letshuoer S12 is available from Linsoul and the Tangzu Ze Tian Wu can be purchased from Audio46.

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