TFZ Exclusive 5 Review – Sound Like Salted Caramel

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Verdict –

It’s easy to see the common trends with these affordable Chi-Fi iems, many are immensely impressive with a few outliers providing truly price beating performances. However, many are still lacking the refinement of the earphones in the next price class up, some may rival earphones like the 1More Quad Driver and Pinnacle P1 in certain aspects but overall, they aren’t as linear and coherent. The Exclusive series so far has come the closest to these earphones in technical ability, but their tuning is a bit raw. Similarly, more tonally correct earphones around this price simply lack the engagement and technical foundation to compete.

The Kinera H3 and King still possess the most pleasing balance of tuning and technicality to me but that’s not to discount the Exclusive 5 as a very realistic and logical choice for buyers looking for some more clarity, resolution and sub-bass impact. The Exclusive 5 also has a class leading build and a super ergonomic if heavy design that easily outclasses earphones at and far above their price. While they do give up some speed in pursuing this more weighted sound, the Exclusive 5 is nowhere near as heavy handed in its execution as a lot of budget earphones.

Verdict – 8.75/10, TFZ have produced yet another impressive fully-featured sub $100 earphone that provides a more dynamic alternative to the King and H3 whilst retaining much of the quality of both. Their bass response and build quality, in particular, are truly outstanding. Buyer’s looking for an affordable, featured and vibrant earphone should look no further than the Exclusive 5.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

6 Comments

  1. Jeff on

    I just got the Kinera H3’s, and while I really like the sound, I am not sure I’m sold on the amount of bass provided. While before I bought them I had read both the reviews for the TFZ Exclusive 5’s and Kinera H3’s, and ultimately decided on the H3’s, I am wondering if you think it’d be worth also getting the TFZ’s if I want a little more bass I can ‘feel’.

    Or do you think it might be a better idea just to be happy with the H3’s and save the money for a pair of IEM’s that’s definitively better than both the TFZ’s and Kinera’s?

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hard to say really, both iems are similarly bassy, the Exclusive 5 is more v-shaped to my ear. When shopping for your next earphone, maybe look for one with a sub-bass emphasis because a lot of earphones boost mid-bass instead which is more or less how the Kinera’s sound.

      • Jeff on

        Thanks for the reply. The reviews made it sound like the TFZ’s were bassier. I’ll hold off for now.

  2. Martin on

    Hi,
    What would your choice be out of Oriveti Basic or 1More Quad driver.

    Or can you recommend any IEMs in the £100-200 mark. I love deep bass but i also like them to sound balanced as i love jazz fusion and acoustic music too.

    Thank you for all your efforts in your informative and welcome site

    Best
    Martin

    • Martin on

      Sorry. I meant to include these as an option as well as the Basic and 1More

      • Ryan Soo on

        Hard to say, if you’re looking for balance, the Basic and TFZ 5 aren’t the most even, linear earphones though they also aren’t horribly sculpted either. For acoustic, I might take the Basic since it’s smoother with a more natural midrange, treble isn’t super sparkly or airy but has a little more aggression that makes acoustic sound nice and crisp. The 1More Quad is more balanced than both, it has nice clarity and a great soundstage, it’s a good choice if you don’t mind the ergonomics and lack of removable cable. Pinnacle P1 is a pretty good option as well unless you’re treble sensitive of wants loads of sub-bass but deep and mid-bass are organic and full. It’s a good all-rounder and the tuning is nice for acoustic.

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