It’s another beautiful sunny day in Midtown Manhattan, yet I’m sitting at my review desk playing around with more earphones. Normally, I’d be bummed out to be stuck inside on such a nice day, but today I get to experience the Tin T2 Pro. And I’ve been hearing nothing but praise for Tin earphones for a while now, so naturally, I’m stoked. At $79.99, though, this earphone definitely amounts to budget audiophile stuff. With that being said, how good can it sound? MajorHiFi investigates.
Tin T2 Pro Review
The T2 Pro comes a no-frills cardboard box. Inside that box, there’s a nice leatherette carrying case that holds the earphones and removable cable, as well as nine pairs of eartips.
Cabling comes in the form of a 4 ft (1.2 m) MMCX cable, terminating in a 3.5 mm plug. The cable is comprised of silver-plated 5N oxygen-free copper.
Holding the Tin T2 Pro in my hand, the earpieces have some weight to them. While not uncomfortable, this weight does give an impression of quality that seems absent in my higher-spec (but still plastic) Mackie MP-240s.
Inside each earpiece, a 10 mm dynamic driver handles the low end, while a 6 mm dynamic driver controls mids and highs. The earpieces are also color-coded, with a red collar around the MMCX connection on the right earpiece, and a blue collar around the MMCX connection on the left earpiece.
Capable of being worn with the cable looped over the back of the ear or hanging straight down, the T2 Pro offers a design that anyone can enjoy.
Though the nozzle seems a little on the large side, I didn’t have a problem fitting the T2 Pro with standard Comply foam tips, or Final Audio E-Type tips. However, the supplied tips should still offer a decent fit. Personally, I found the iconic blue foam tips the most comfortable, while also adding a bit more punch to the low end.
Frequency Range: 12-40,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 16 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 102 dB
Evidenced by these specs, the Tin T2 Pro offers a slightly-wide frequency range. Impedance remains low, making this earphone a great option for smartphones, computers, and other low-output devices. In regards to Sound Pressure, 102 dB should provide good volume in most situations, though the low impedance will also help in this area.
Right off the bat, the first thing that jumps out about the Tin T2 Pro is its distinct lack of warmth in the low end. While good bass impact still makes an appearance, no track sounds as fun or as engaging as expected. The flip side of this – and the area where the T2 Pro really excels – comes in the form of an enhanced impression of clarity.
Things only get better in the mids, where vocals stand in beautiful contrast to instrumentation. But more than just contrast, these mids exhibit an impressive level of separation that allows you, the listener, to pick apart different layers to the music. This separation works in tandem with an overall air of cleanliness, showing no signs distortion. Compression might be present, but almost imperceptible; it’s hard to even listen for such a phenomenon, as one note attacks and decays, another comes popping up, drawing my attention to something new.
Though I feared a bit of sibilance in the highs, the T2 Pro avoids this common pitfall with ease. Just listening to Rebel Rebel by David Bowie, the highs nail that anemic and raw guitar without any hiss on the vocals. On my classical test tracks, the high end remains relatively tame, too, without becoming harsh – even as violins build to a crescendo. While good for rock, these highs really shine with classical and pop – especially K-Pop. Bumping some TWICE with the Tin T2 Pro borders on a religious experience.
Soundstage actually exists with this budget earphone – and it’s not even half-bad. There’s depth and space, allowing you to place instruments around you. Though this sense of soundstage can seem a little confused on the most crowded tracks, it does well with most of the material I listened to during my listening sessions (including some orchestral stuff).
For classical and jazz, it may not get any better than the Tin T2 Pro. Rock and pop (and even electronica) don’t sound terrible, and in some cases still sound good. If you’re primarily interested in detail and soundstage, these earphones deliver superior sound for $79.99.
However, if you prefer a little bit of low end in your headphones (or if you love hip-hop), you would do better to consider the Final Audio E3000 ($54), or the Strauss & Wagner SI201 ($49) if you’re an iPhone user. Both of these alternatives offer a punchier low end, while still delivering a comparable level of detail.
Like Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji or a good John Woo flick, the Tin 2 Pro proves greater than the sum of its parts. With its rich clarity, excellent detail, and shockingly good soundstage, this is one earphone we heartily recommend. Furthermore, the $79.99 price can’t be beat for the sound you get, making this chi-fi earphone chi-fine.
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