I have been checking out a lot of different IEMs from Tin HiFi this year. As I’ve been making my way through their great selection, I never imagined a true wireless earphone from them, but yet, here are the Tin Buds 3 to surprise me. The Tin Buds 3 are an inexpensive pair of Bluetooth earphones that model themselves as traditional IEM, just without the cable. Can the Tin Buds 3 live up to the sound quality of IEMs?
What You Get
- Tin Buds earphones
- 4x silicone ear-tips
- USB type c charge cable
- Charge case
Look and Feel
It’s clear that the Tin Buds 3 are modeled directly from Tin HiFi’s own line of IEMs. If you just looked at the earpieces themselves you wouldn’t think they were wireless at all. They take on an ergonomic outer shell with a natural shape that fits like a puzzle piece in your concha. These buds sit right next to the Noble FoKus Pro as the best-looking true wireless earphones on the market.
Design and Functionality
The Tin Buds 3 is one of the few pairs of wireless earbuds to feature a beryllium driver. This 6mm unit is made with many layers that enhance the driver’s responsiveness. Their acoustic structure aims for a “professional” tuning, that aims to showcase warmth and clarity. There are no ANC features, and there’s no companion app with EQ. You do get touch-controls though, and they’re very responsive. The TinBuds give you solid feedback sound that comes after each touch, letting you know the action has registered.
Bluetooth and Battery Life
Bluetooth 5.2 is supported here. Pairing the earphones was quick and easy and with no dropouts. A single charge should last you about six and a half hours, with five additional charges from the case that only take an hour to get to full battery.
If the Tin Buds are meant to be indistinguishable from traditional IEM, the soundstage would be the best place to prove that. On the Tin Buds, the experience is actually fairly standard for both budget wired earphones and true wireless, with linear spatial qualities and average width. The stereo field spans half of my shoulder length and appears more interior when it comes to headspace.
Nothing in the soundage feels congealed though, as sound elements come through the mix with standard left and right positions. Of course, the lack of openness doesn’t give the imaging much dimension, it still presents a fine traditional stereo sound. Overall, this soundstage gives you a surface-level but solidified image that can feel big with heavier tracks like punk rock anthems and synth-pop bangers. However, if you’re looking for a true wireless with more depth that can easily localize the instruments, the Tin Buds 3 might not be the right choice.
In the bass, you won’t feel much grip from underneath, but the frequency presence still makes the sound signature appear whole. There is a good shape to the bass that makes most tracks feel full, just don’t expect any added texture from the sub-bass or even any significant punch to the timbre. Good for realism, but there isn’t much meat on the bone here.
There’s something particularly unique about the midrange of the Tin Buds 3, and that’s how dominant it is with vocals. Upon first listen, the vocals of most tracks immediately pop out at you, giving you a forward presentation that showcases the most transparency from the frequency response. Unfortunately, this response puts a lot of other elements in the background. Very little balanced is maintained throughout this region, but spouts of energy can still be felt in some areas.
For the most part, the highs have a good amount of volume to them and give the sound signature a clear flavor. While bright spots can be heard, the timbre never ventures into a harsher territory, however, I do think there is a limit to how much high-frequency information they can take. I found more energetic tracks to be quite shouty, especially with cymbals and the top end of some vocals. A bit of distortion can be heard, but not to a degree where it is actively destructive to the tone.
If you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earphones that most resemble the experience of having a good pair of IEMs, the Tin Buds 3 makes a good effort. Some parts of its sound signature are far from perfect, but they still bring some character to the sound that isn’t present on a lot of wireless earbuds, particularly in the highs. With good battery life, connectivity, and comfortability, the Tin Buds 3 are absolutely worth it for only $89.52.
The TinHiFi Tin Buds 3 are available from Linsoul.