Tin Audio T2 vs KZ AS10: In-Depth

I posted a review of the KZ AS10 yesterday on here (http://www.antdroid.net/2018/08/kz-as10-knowledge-zenith-growing-up.html) and it had a lot of interests. Several people asked me how it compares to the Tin Audio T2 with vent mod so I re-listened to it and ran some measurements to go with it. I've updated my original review with these impressions but I'll go into some more details here:

The Tin Audio T2 is a very clean, "neutral" sounding budget IEM. It has a very linear bass and lower mid response. Some people really enjoy this sound because the bass doesn't have a mid hump that exaggerates the sound and sometimes muddies up the mids. Others prefer a little more bass emphasis which can help give music more body and slight warmth. To do this, you can cover the vent hole on the ear-side of each driver. There's a small hole that can be covered with tape. Another method is to use a long foam tip or flip the stock tip in reverse -- the whole basic premise is to cover it. 

*Note: Keep in mind that closing the front vent will also remove the possibility of static pressure equalization, meaning that any constant air pressure between driver and ear drum can not be relieved and will inadvertently lead to excursion of the eardrum, something both uncomfortable and dangerous and leading to listener fatigue. -Oratory1990*

By doing this mod, the bass and low-end mids gets a significant gain. In my measurements they gain up to 10dB. This may be slightly exaggerated due to measurement error. But, this bass response ends up looking exactly like the KZ AS10 almost all the way until the middle of the mids.

So with that... how does it sound compared to the KZ AS10?
Well, the measurements look almost exactly the same in the low end. In actual listening, the KZ is actually punchier and this is probably due to it being dual dynamic drivers vs balanced armatures. The neat thing about the T2 mod is that it quickly retreats back to its stock signature in the upper mids and treble, so you dont lose very much energy and detail retrieval at all. It's lean yet punchy - kind of weird but it does in fact sound good.
The AS10 being slightly recessed in the mids does sound like it loses some detail compared to the T2 (with or without mod) and this is not that it's actually not playing; it's just recessed. Details in the mids are more forward sounding on the T2, while the AS10, little intricacies will sound faint in comparison.

I think people who enjoy the Tin Audio T2 with Vent Mod (i.e. covering the inside hole with a piece of tape to increase low end response) will enjoy this IEM. That said, you will be trading some more forward sounding intricacies and detail from the T2 with an overall smoother, warmer and more bodied sound in the KZ AS10.

I was asked this by several people as well. This is a tough one. The Tin Audio T2 is 30% or more cheaper than the AS10. The AS10 is a solid IEM if you like a warmer, laid back IEM while the T2 is leaner and brighter. It may come down to preference in sound signature. The T2 is still an absolute excellent IEM for it's price and class. A bargain value.

On a personal preference note, I listen to the T2 stock with foam tips. I prefer this sound over how it sounds with closed vents. But again, I don't need punchy bass. I like a smoother bass response... Hence why my tagline is made up of planars.

Disclaimer: The KZ AS10 was provided to me by Lillian of LinSoul and DD Audio store for review purposes without bias. The following review is my own unbiased opinion on this headphone. The Tin Audio T2 was purchased on my own and reviewed without bias. My headphone reviews incorporate my own listening and measurements taken from the MiniDSP EARS measurement rig. 

KZ AS10 Link:

Amazon Link: 

Tin Audio T2 Link:


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