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TINHIFI T3 Plus Review

TIN Takes a New Approach

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
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Hardware Reviews 0

TINHIFI is known for delivering affordable earphones that offer impressive performance for the money. Until now, their designs have all shared the same DNA with their distinctive aluminum shells. This includes the original T3, which is still available today.  With the T3 Plus, the company is trying something new with 3D printed resin shells and a new liquid crystal polymer (LCP) dynamic driver. Coming in at $69.99, they’re an affordable entry-point to excellent sound quality and may just be TINHIFI’s best IEM yet.

Specifications

  • Current Price: (Linsoul, Amazon)
  • Driver: φ10mm Liquid crystal polymer vibrator membrane speaker
  • Sensitivity: 105±3dB @1kHz 0.179V
  • Frequency Range: 10-20kH
  • Interface: Gold-plated 2Pin connector
  • Plug type: 3.5mm black glue gold plated plug
  • Conductor/Cable: Φ 2.8mm (40 / 0.05 oxygen free copper+ 200D Kevlar) * 4-core Black PU cable L=1.25m
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15%
  • Rated Power: 3mW
  • Max Power: 5mW
  • Max Distortion: 1% @1k Hz 0.179V

TINHIFI T3 Plus - Overview and Key Features

Compared to the rest of its line-up, the T3 Plus really stands out from the pack. Instead of using the full aluminum shell that we’ve become used to over the years, these are the first to feature fully resin shells. They’ve been made with a 3D printing process and have beautiful, granite-like faceplates that are very appealing. Soundwise, this may or may not make a difference, but I definitely find them to be the most comfortable TINHIFI earphones I own due to the smooth finish and the lack of “cold metal” sensation putting them for the first time.

Inside those shells, the T3 Plus’s feature a brand new dynamic driver. The original T3s featured a PU+PEK dynamic driver, which was said to enhance the sense of space they were able to deliver — I wasn’t able to test these, so can’t say if they were successful in that. This new model uses a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) driver that’s intended to provide bass with “faster attack” and less overall distortion. The bass is definitely punchy and full, but it falls in the middle when it comes to bass quality. More on that later. 

The earbuds come in excellent packaging. The cardboard box is held in an outer sleeve. Inside is a padded box complete with decorative ribbons. It’s much closer to a jewelry box than a traditional IEM packaging. Included in the box are the earbuds themselves, six pairs of silicone ear tips, one pair of foam ear tips, a fabric storage case, and a pretty nice cable.

The included accessories are decent, but I wish that TIN had scaled the packaging back and included a nicer storage box. The pouch works but doesn’t offer any protection. I also feel like this cable is a step back from the T3 and T4. The cable is colored to match the buds, which is nice, but does look a bit bland compared to past TIN offerings. It’s also rather thin, leading to easier tangles when stored in the pocket. It’s soft and not microphonic (doesn’t send noise up the cable when it rubs against clothes), so it gets the job done reasonably well, despite it not being to my taste. 

TINHIFI T3 Plus - Fit and Comfort

The new 3D printed shells are very comfortable and fit securely with the proper tips. My usual tip sizing translated perfectly and that was all that was needed to fit the Plus snugly for multiple hours of listening. I like aluminum shelled earphones, but resin is definitely more comfortable on first insertion. There’s no cold feeling before they warm up and the inner surfaces are smooth and well contoured. I didn’t experience any discomfort in multi-hour listening sessions. These are an easy wear, even over extended periods.

TINHIFI T3 Plus - Listening Impressions

TIN describes the T3 Plus as having a “total harmonic balance in the sound signature, with a strong bass, natural mids, and comfortable treble responses.” Is a “total harmonic balance” compatible with “strong bass”? That’s the question, right there. The good news is that, marketing aside, they still sound very good.

The standout feature, in fact, is that strong bass. These buds have a big low-end emphasis but it’s well-tuned. The bass doesn’t overwhelm the mids. It’s a good fit for hip hop (test tracks: NF - My Stress, Eminem - When I’m Gone, Tom MacDonald - Church) but falls short in speed and definition. Kick drums sound rounded, soft around the edges. The Moondrop Aria offers more definition but less overall thump for a similar price. At the same time, this feels like a fair sacrifice for the cost savings the buds offer.

Where the balance comes in is that the mids are also forward. Vocals come right forward, as do higher-pitched mid-based instruments like guitars. This helps to even out that low-end thrust.  Mids also have a natural tonality that make them enjoyable to listen to. 

Treble, on the other (third?) hand, is very well-tuned. It’s forward enough to add energy and sparkle to songs without treading into sibilance. Cymbals are crisp and snare drums snap. Atmospherics also resound in ambient tracks in a way that adds to the sense of space and occasionally “out of this world” quality. 

Soundstage on this set is decent, offering a good sense of separation between instruments. It’s not exceptionally wide, so not the best fit for gaming without the help of something like Dolby Atmos, but plays well with studio reverb and other environmental effects in songs, games, and even movies.

Final Thoughts

The TINHIFI T3 plus may not be the pinnacle of “balance” but it truly is a great mainstream headphone. While I could get in the weeds about bass “speed” and “resolution” (and those do matter), the fact is that this set hits the right notes for a very fun listen that I believe most listeners will find a lot of enjoyment in — especially for the price. Combined with the new resin shells, this is my new favorite TINHIFI earphone under $100.

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.
 
8.0Great
Pros
  • Beautiful shell design
  • New earpieces are very comfortable
  • Improved cable
  • Solid, but not overwhelming, bass
Cons
  • Cable can still be prone to tangling
  • Bass can get muddy/lose refinement


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


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