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Mangird Tea IEM Review: 7 drivers per ear!

Care for a cup?

Christopher Coke | Posted: Aug 25, 2020 4:00 PM
Categorized under
Hardware Reviews | 0

Knowing my love for multi-driver IEMs, Linsoul Audio recently sent over the Mangird Tea for me to try. Featuring seven drivers in each each, they’re an impressively packed earphone for the price. Still, at $299 they don’t come cheap. If you’re an audio enthusiast or just a fan that wants one earphone for everything they enjoy, this may be the right choice for you. Let’s take a closer look and find out. 

Specifications

  • Current Price: $299 (Linsoul)
  • Drivers: Knowles RAD-33518 balanced armatures x 2, Sonion 2600 drivers x 4, German Bio-titanium dynamic driver x 1
  • Resistance: 18 ohms 
  • Sensitivity: 112 ± 2 dB / mW
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Input: 0.78mm pin
  • Termination: 3.5 mm
  • Cable: 8-core OCC cable, detachable
  • Cable length: 3.9 ft (1.2 m)

Like many of the so-called “Chi-Fi” brands, Mangird probably isn’t a name you’ve heard of before. A couple years ago, that would have left me skeptical, but in the world of earphones, it’s clear that overseas brands are pushing the price to performance envelope more than most currently popular in the U.S. Look no farther than the Moondrop Starfield or the Fiio FH1s for examples of excellent sound at a fraction of the price of the major brands lining store shelves at your local Best Buy.

The Mangird Tea is a different beast. Coming in at $299, it’s definitely on the premium end of any earphone purchase. Maybe my thinking is flawed, but when I factor in the natural savings of going for one of these brands in the first place, seeing such a high price point actually raises my expectations. If this were a Sony branded headphone, it would come in closer to $500 — or so those loose lines of connection whisper to me. Imaginary price comparisons aside, if you’re spending this much money on an IEM, you’re right to expect a lot. So what does it offer that isn’t in a cheaper headphone, like the Starfields? That’s what we’re here to find out. 

What's included in the box

Case and Earphones

The Mangird Teas come in a simple black box. Compared to my recent Kinera Freya unboxing, it’s much simpler, with just the case, accessory box, and documentation card inside of pre-cut foam to keep it safe in transit. Mangird could learn a thing or two from Kinera in the packaging department, but the case is a nice metal tin that’s big enough for the earphones, cable, spare tips, and a dongle DAC. Technically, you could carry it in your pocket, but you won’t have room for much else, so I found it easier to throw in my bag or leave out on my desk.

Ear tips

The headphones are exquisite. They feature a traditional IEM design, which is molded to fit the contours of your ear. They’re black with faceplates that appear wrapped in strands of black fabric embedded with copper flakes. The look here is understated but no less gorgeous for it. They connect to their cable with a 2-pin header and have a blue-trimmed bass port around the back. 

Face plates

The earphones aren’t overly large, which is surprising given how the seven drivers installed in each one. Two Knowles balanced armatures drivers cover the high frequencies, four Sonion 2600 BAs are responsible for the mids, the bass is handled by one German bio-titanium dynamic driver. By splitting the 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response range into distinct parts, Mangird is able to prevent distortion and tune the sound to a much higher degree than if it were a single driver playing everything. It works incredibly well, which we’ll get to soon.

Also included in the package is a beautiful silver cable and an array of ear tips to find the perfect fit. The cable is one of the most high-quality I’ve ever seen shipped with an IEM at this price. It’s an 8-core, OCC cable, which essentially means it offers higher purity than non-OCC components. Does that effect sound? Some say so, but to my ear, I can’t really hear a difference. What I love about the cable is that it’s braided like a thin rope and appears made to last. Because of its thickness, it isn’t prone to tangling, looks great and is altogether easier to manage. 

With that out of the way, let’s get into how they sound.

Crinacle SPL Chart

Graph courtesy of Crinacle - visit his site and show him some love

Sound Impressions

With seven drivers and a premium price, you expect outstanding sound and the Mangird Tea absolutely delivers. It is the best sounding IEM in my collection, topping the ThieAudio Legacy 3, my beloved Moondrops, and far outshines the Kinera Freya. In both presentation, soundstage, tonality, bass, separation, detail… the Mangird Teas are fantastic. It’s a shame Mangird isn’t in department stores across the U.S. because it deserves to be stacked up against the Sony’s of the world. It really is that good. 

Note: I conducted most of my listening on my Samsung Note 20 Ultra using the TempoTec Sonata HD Pro DAC/amp; however, I also had very similar conclusions without this separate device using only my Samsung Note 9.

But let’s break it down a bit further. The frequency response is 20Hz - 20kHz, so doesn’t merit the “Hi Res Certified” badge that’s increasingly stamped on our headphone boxes — it doesn’t need it. The driver array does an outstanding job of preserving clarity and detail, even when pushed with an external EQ, or when pushing harsh content like intense action sequences in shooters or driving metal music.

Shape

To my ear, though, they don’t need an external EQ. As you can tell from the frequency response graph above, they’re tuned with bumps in bass, middle-highs, and from 6-8kHz in the treble range. On paper, this should lend them a nice thick low end with lots of detail — my preferred tuning. Thankfully, that’s exactly how it translates to my ear. 

These headphones have solid bass. The opening distortion blasts in The Weeknd’s The Hills (Eminem remix) had real rumble. The bass synth in the chorus pulses in a wash across the mix. Meanwhile, the violin sounded distant but cut through to circle the song and add that layer of ominousness that permeates the song. 

Meanwhile, Audioslave’s Like a Stone highlighted, the forwardness of the mids. The rotary guitar in the opening of the song sits even ahead of Chris Cornell’s vocal, which comes through buttery smooth. The detail. The detail retrieval of the headphones is written all across this song, particularly in the texture of the effect-laden guitar solo, with the exact texture of the guitar coming through. As a guitar player myself, this is something that’s often lost in the compression of modern music tracks and homogenized into a “smoothed over” sound to the guitar tone. I’ve heard that exact effect on this song with my original Jabra Elite 65T earbuds, but there was nothing of the sort with the Teas.

For gaming, they are simply the best IEMs I’ve ever used. They naturally have a better-than-average sound stage, putting them close to a pair of over-ear headphones. Give them a little extra power with a generous source (like the TempoTec Sonata I tested with, or even a mid-tier gaming motherboard), it widens further. On top of that, the audio seems to crispen and become tighter, with better distinction between sources. That means that you’ll be able to pick out more details in the cacophony of sound, know exactly what direction they’re coming from, and react before you find yourself at a respawn point wondering what happened. Simply put, these are the only IEMs I’ve tested that can truly compete with a decent over-ear gaming headset (when properly powered).     

Final Thoughts

The Mangird Teas surprised me. They are simply phenomenal; really and truly a great earphone, whether you’re listening to music, playing games, or, better yet, looking for one headphone that will sound great doing all those things. If you have the money and want the “one earphone” that will deliver no matter what type of content you’re throwing at it, look no further: you’ve found it.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. We are not an affiliate partner of Linsoul and make nothing based on purchases through the included links in this article. 

9.5Amazing
Pros
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Beautiful design
  • Wider than average soundstage
  • Exceptionally good for gaming
  • Solid bass with good detail in the mids and highs
Cons
  • Quite pricey


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight