Tin T5S Mars Review

A couple months ago I received a random box from China at my doorstep. I wasn't expecting anything at the time and didn't even know what it was. When I opened the packaging, I was staring at a goofy looking sci-fi box that said MARS on it. And just below that, it said T5S. 

Oh.... yes. It's the newest Tin Hifi product. The Tin 5S was shipped directly from Tin to me for review. It's approximately $129 and can be found at a number of online retailers, including Amazon, Linsoul, Hifi Go and others.

It took several weeks before I actually had time to open it. This was mostly due to a lot of work travel, the holidays, and more work travel, and then other stuff I was using. I eventually opened it up and listened to the product a couple months later and was actually surprised that it was better than expected, although it does fall short in some areas too.

 First off, the item comes with a very nice Tin Hifi branded white, fake-leather, case. Its flip lid is magnetic and opens up with a pocket-like storage area for the headphones. It's very attractive, well-padded, and very functional.

The cable that Tin Hifi used with the "MARS" is also very attractive and easy to use, and lightweight. It is silver-plated copper, and is braded with a dark shadow and a clear sheathing material that is weaved together in 4 wires. (2 clear, 2 shadow gray) The cable terminates in a flush 2-pin design into the shell, and it came with a 3.5mm stereo jack.

The shell design is an all-metal steel gray look with a flat faceplate that has a brushed finish and the Tin Hifi branding in a reflective chrome. It's a medium sized IEM and fits very well in my ears. There are two vent ports on the shell with one on the bottom and one near the nozzle of each shell. This is fairly standard for most IEMs that come with dynamic drivers.

Sound Impressions

Tin does not stray too far away from their sound signature of their latest "S" series IEMs like the Tin T3S and Tin T4S products. This is a balanced IEM with an elevated bass and upper treble. The T5S extends both the subbass range and the treble a tad more than the previous units making this the best at bass extension, and some mixed results in the treble. 

Let's start with the good. I found the bass to be fully extended and that is great for electronic music and  it has a good amount of quantity for most genres. It does sound a little bit lacking in resolution and depth however, and is a bit one-noted.

The mids are also represented well and considered neutral and balanced to me. Since it is a single-driver IEM, I didn't have problems with coherency or any out-of-place tonal issues here. 

There area where I found the most annoying is the treble range -- which isn't too uncommon with Tin Hifi's range of products. They've always emphasized in the treble range and primarily around 7-10KHz and this one is not much different. It provides quite a bit of clarity and air, and that's really distinguishing on listening, but it also can be quite a sharp attack and can be fatiguing and leave some tracks with ringing ears at times.

But with this type of sound signature, it does present sound separation very well, and imaging is above average for a ~$100 IEM. It's technical strengths are separation and imaging, but it lacks resolution and note quality.

 Final Thoughts

If you are big fan of Tin Hifi's sound through the past 8 or 9 years, you'll probably enjoy the Tin T5S as it is very much aligned with their house sound, although this time with better bass quantity and extension, and an overall better product design, cable and carrying case. It's perhaps not a worthy investment as the sonic attributes are subtle from previous products, and it adds a little bit more of a peaky treble that can be good or bad depending on your tastes and sensitivity.

I don't think this is one I'll use often and it is not one of my favorites at this price point, but it's not the worst either. I put it in the average category, with a slight positive towards accessories and build quality.