The T2 Plus is another new in-ear monitor (IEM) from Tin Hifi, and is part of their popular T2 family, although this one doesn’t really fit with the T2 and the T2 Pro. This is because it doesn’t look like the other two, nor does it have the double dynamic driver configuration either. Instead, the similarly priced $49 T2 Plus features a heavier round metal shell that is very reminiscent of the BLON BL03 and features a single 10mm dynamic driver.
The Tin T2 Plus was sent from Linsoul for this review. It is currently available on their website at http://www.linsoul.com and is priced at $59 USD, which makes it just above the $49 T2 and equal to the $59 T2 Pro. For comparison’s sake, the Tin T3 is $69 and Tin T4 is $109, at regular retail pricing.
The T2 Plus comes with a series of tips and a braided silver cable. The cable is lightweight and generally easy to handle. The connector and y-split and a nice silver aluminum metal that is not too weighty. The connectors are of the mmcx variety and something that Tin Hifi has continued to use. There is no case included with this model and that luxury only comes with their higher priced T4 and P1 models.
The new shell design has some heft to it, but it’s still very comfortable to wear. As mentioned above, it does remind me a bit of the BLON BL03 shell but with a metallic powder-coat finish. There are two small vent holes for controlling the dynamic driver bass. These are located at the bottom of the shell, and one placed just next to the nozzle of each shell.
If you remove the Tin TWS 2000 thing out of the equation, the T2 Plus is the warmest and bassiest of the Tin Hifi lineup. It’s got a more substantial rise in across the bass and lower mid-range than the T4, which has a punch mid-bass boost. There is a sharp rise at 1-2KHz that and a slightly uneven and brighter tonality in the treble, however not straying as bright and shrill as the Tin T2 Pro. In general, I found the T2 Plus to be a warm-bodied V-shape type sound signature that doesn’t totally come across as one.
My biggest fault with the Tin T2 Plus isn’t the warm bass response. It’s actually generally pleasant. It’s different than their other products, which adds a different flavor to their lineup. The original tuning, pre-production, had a more typical linear bass response, but this one beefs up the bass with a 6 to 7 dB shelf that starts right around 700Hz and rises through the sub-bass region with a small roll-off. I never found this actually too muddy despite the sharp rise. And while it does measure with an elevated sub-bass rise, I don’t know if I’d totally say it has the slam and rumble that I’d have expected. It does, however, provide a thicker and warmer sound than any other Tin product and that’s something that some will definitely welcome.
The mid-range can be a bit shouty at times, but mostly I don’t find this area too distracting. The graph looks worse than in practice here. My main problem lies more so in the treble region, where there’s always a sense of ringing and splash that comes across when listening to music with sharper treble instruments. Cymbals can sound overly splashy, with a ringing that can border on piercing. When I watched various YouTube videos, some that may not be recorded too well, they come across with sharp pain.
And while this isn’t always an issue with better recorded sound, there’s always a feeling that my ear needs to take a break after short sessions with the T2 Plus in my ears. I believe the sharp peark around 5-6K is the main driver for this fatiguing ringing sensation I get sometimes.
An example of this sensation comes each time the tambourine is hit in Mazzy Star’s Fade into You. Of course, this event occurs throughout the song in a rhythmic fashion and that tizzy becomes more acceptable and normal after some time, but I just know if I pull my earphones out, my ears will ring.
Aside from that quirk, the bassline in this song comes across with just the right amount of power and Hope Sandoval’s quiet, muted voice comes alive with the more forward upper mid-range that the Tin T2 Plus brings to the table, and overall makes this song quite enjoyable, though fatiguing.
Switching gears, Depeche Mode’s Strangelove sounds a bit too bright for my tastes. David Gahan’s voice doesn’t sound as powerful and deep as I’m accustomed to when I listen to this song on other headphones where his voice takes over. Instead, the synths and snare drums hits seem to be too much of the focus, and sound a bit too over the top and bright. One thing to add is that I do feel that the bass hits feel a little too fast and blunted, and doesn’t have the hanging decay notes that really make this song have the low-end power it needs.
I think the T2 Plus really shines in Buena Vista Social Club’s Veinte años. This Cuban bolero track features heavy use of acoustic bass and guitars which are given full center-stage presence on the T2 Plus. While the vocals are ever present, I find that the stringed harmonics are pushed to the front and provides the listener with every little detail in full clarity.
While that acoustic track sounded very good, I found the opposite reaction in Alison Krauss & Union Station’s Restless, a track off their 2003 record, Lonely Runs Both Ways. This has become on of my main test tracks as of late, so I’ve had quite a lot of familiarity with it across many, many devices and gears and I find the T2 Plus seems to give me the me the impression that this is playing the pitch higher than it should, maybe by half an octave. This could be due to the fact that much of the song has stringed instruments and Krauss’ famous angelic voice all fall into the upper midrange where the Tin T2 Plus has quite a steep rise. The song sounds leaner than expected, with much of the warm intro missing and everything sounding a bit light.
I find the Tin T2 Plus is a nice addition to the Tin Hifi lineup. It adds a warmer flavor to their existing roster, however it still maintains the brighter-than-neutral sound signature that has made their lineup popular. With that said, I don’t think I’d take this over the Tin T4 or Tin T3, and perhaps even the Tin T2, but it’s definitely a marked improvement over the Tin T2 Pro. For those who find the other iems are a bit bass light but can handle the brighter sound signature, I think the Tin T2 Plus may be the one for you.