Tin Audio T2. Tin HiFi T2 Pro. What’s up with that?
Yes, the second is supposedly an improved version of the first. Yes, they are from the same company. I understand that some company would do re-branding depending on whatever reasons they have in mind. What I am curious is whether the Pro version indeed is an improvement of the former or I am getting compelled to believe that for China IEMs, their interpretation of a Pro version is supposed to be a more neutral, or in most cases, brighter version of the non-Pro.
Heck, whatever the case is, let’s see how the Pro version is of the Tin Audio (HiFi?) T2 and how much different it is from the non-Pro version. Welcome to today’s edition of Bus Ride Impression.
I was impressed with how the T2’s earpieces were built. They seem and feel durable, something that would even tempt me to test it out with a hammer to see if it can stand the force. With the T2 Pro, it seems no different, fact is, the only distinguishing difference of the earpieces for both IEMs is the fact that the T2 seems to have a shade darker than T2 in terms of earpiece color. Other than this, everything looks pretty much the same: the identifying rings on the MMCX jack, the material used, the shape, heck it is even a bit confusing to identify which is which to the point that I had to put a mental tab on which is which while shooting a photo of the earpieces of the 2 IEMs:
The wires and the cable splitter also looked pretty much the same to me, which seems natural as the price difference is just a meager $10. I did like the fact that Tin HiFi decided to go for what seems to be an improved plug for the T2 Pro, of which kind of looks classier and seems with its silver carbon fiber look unlike the black one from the T2. I am not sure if the change in the plug somehow allows a difference in terms of sound quality; can’t even point out if the material used in the T2 Pro is a bit more expensive than the one used with the T2.
Overall, everything looks and feels the same for both T2 and T2 Pro, and as I appreciated the build of the T2, it is not any different in the case of the T2 Pro. Kudos to Tin HiFi in ensuring that they did not compromise on the build quality of the IEMs in any way. I am just hopeful this will be the case as they produce more works.
As expected, both the T2 and T2 Pro carried similar house sound, which isn’t really surprising. The thing that set the 2 apart was that T2 Pro sounded like it carries a sparklier treble, a little bit more conservative low end with the sub-bass feeling like a bit shallower compared to the T2. Mid-range sounded pretty similar to me, so it really is a toss between the two as to which you will pick based on your preference.
Sound stage seems similar between the two, although it felt that the imaging of the T2 Pro is a bit better, with spacing edging out with the T2 Pro compared to the one from the T2.
Let’s try the T2 Pro with some of my tracks.
Jumper (Third Eye Blind, A Collection)
Cymbals sounded so rich with the T2 Pro in comparison to the T2 with this track (using the Pono Player), something that I really liked. However, some might feel it to be too rich for their taste, so it will just be a matter of preference. I think though that it makes the track sound a lot livelier, thus the reason why I liked it. I felt the bass a bit trimmed though, something that I really am not complaining about. I kind of felt that there was a bit of spiking on the upper mid-ranges, albeit tolerable, so it is anyone’s ballgame between the T2 and T2 Pro.
Being So Not For You (I Have No Right) (P.M. Dawn, The Best of)
This track sounded so good with the Cayin N3 and Centrance HiFi-M8, sounding a bit more aggressive with T2 Pro compared to T2. Resolution is quite quick but is noticeably a lot more concise, overall tone sounded warmer, and the upper mid-range sounded a bit more refined. It felt like the peaks on the upper mids were a lot more relaxed. I think the DAP and the track highlighted the imaging significantly a lot to be more transparent.
Sailing (Christopher Cross, The Cafe Carlyle Sessions)
Trying out both the T2 and T2 Pro with this track on the iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label shows a difference in terms of details, with microdetails a tad more obvious and conspicuous with the T2 Pro compared to the T2. I think the details were made to be a lot more obvious with the T2 Pro that even a casual listening session will allow these details to stand out unlike what you can hear from the T2.
I really don’t have major gripes with the T2 Pro, but among the minor ones, one that stood out is the confusing similarity on how it looks as compared to the T2. I really had to mark one of the 2 just to ensure that I won’t accidentally switch them, but then again, unless you are removing the cables and mixing the earpieces together should you encounter the problem.
I also thought that given the price difference, Tin HiFi could have included some sort of protection for the IEMs like a pouch or even a case, as I saw the plug of the T2 chipping after some time. I think a proper storage should keep the pristine look of the IEM had there been a case or pouch provided in the packaging.
Other than these, I am pretty happy with how the T2 Pro performed. Heck, I do like it better than the T2, and I personally think that on the price point, T2 and T2 Pro should be one of the better choice.
Should I be given a choice, which should I pick? I will have to say both, as they offer some level of distinction but should be great keepers especially if you are in a hunt for a beater. Price to performance for me is stellar for both, and for T2 Pro, it actually hits the spot for me in terms of preferred tonality, although as I have said, in case I want the same house sound bit with a slightly wealthier bass, I will go for both.