TFZ King In-ear Earphone Review

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Verdict –

DSC02265-23When reviewing a piece of audio equipment, I often like to consider the price I would pay for the sound quality and features on offer and whether it is higher, lower or the same as that recommended by the manufacturer. The K3 Pro, EN700 Bass and Basic are all fabulous earphones that pursue different sounds; they have no shortage of features nor do they lack technical ability. That being said, the King is the only earphone among those that I’ve heard that I would pay considerably more for; their resolution, detail retrieval and tuning all over-perform for TFZ’s very accessible asking price; in fact, they are a little cheaper than the aforementioned models. Combined with their solid housings, ergonomic fit and exceptional noise isolation, and the King’s make for an incredibly versatile earphone that is just as suitable for travel as home use. That’s not to say that the King is THE earphone to buy around $100 USD; while their sound quality is spectacular, I’m sure many will prefer the smaller housings and bassier tones of the Oriveti Basic or perhaps the more natural and organic Simgot EN700 Bass. Ultimately, audio is subjective and is heavily a matter of personal taste but I doubt many would be disappointed by the King.

Overall – 9.25/10, Smaller eared folk may struggle with their large housings though those who find a good fit will be rewarded with comfort and superb isolation. Sonically, their technical advantages over other similarly priced earphones are a double edged sword because the King’s aggressive, brighter nature is also its most polarising aspect. But if it’s clarity and detail you want, the King is a delightfully revealing and engaging earphone that thoroughly outperforms its asking price.

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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.

19 Comments

  1. Have formed a desire to get these but am very worried about that housing size. But I have no real way of knowing just how big it is. What I do know is that I once bought these IEMs called Revonext QT3 and found them impossible to wear the to size ( and maybe shape too). Would anyone here possibly be able to tell me how the TFZ King housing size compares to those ?

    • Hi Hugo, depends what you’re looking for. In terms of detail and resolution, I would think so, but if you want more bass, the others will likely suit you better.

  2. Hi Ryan,
    Thank you for reviewing this fantastic item. Can you compare TFZ King and RHA MA750 which one is better. Thanks

  3. Hi Ryan,

    Great work reviewing this product. Just a simple question; i am planning to upgrade from my Piston 2. I was planning to go for the Yamaha EPH-100 but with this being in the same price range i have a decision to make. I mostly use the news set to play games and watch movies and listen to music occasionally. Which one do you think suits me best considering i really like my Piston set.

    • Hi Amin,

      Unfortunately, I haven’t heard the Yamaha’s so I can’t provide direct comparison or recommendation. I would perhaps point you towards the TFZ Exclusive 5, it is similar to the King with a nice soundstage and resolution but it is also more v-shaped with a warmer low-end that will be better suited towards films. I think it will be a more natural progression from the bassier Piston earphones and you get the added benefit of a removable cable over the Yamaha while retaining a nice metal build.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

      • Hi again Ryan,

        Thank you very much for the reply. The reason i mentioned Yamaha was because of the 2016 guide of recommended earphones where Yamaha was the next step from Pistons. However this review persuaded me to look at my other options in the same price range as well. Now that i know that i should rather go with TFZ 5, it basically comes to price and availability for me. Thanks again.

  4. Hi Ryan,
    Great,detailed review. Can you please compare the Fiio f5 and Tfz king based on sound quality alone.
    F5 is cheaper and both have removable cables. Does the sound quality justify the kings higher cost? Also in your opinion which is the best iem under 100 usd for sound?

  5. Hi Ryan,

    I would like to know how these compare to the popular VSonic GR07 mkII and HiFiMan RE-400. I’m looking for something balanced along those lines but brands like VSonic are hard to find here now.

    I like a little treble sparkle but am very sensitive to harshness and sibilance. I love good mid-mids but not too much high-mids. Thanks beforehand for your advice.

    • Hi Darryl,

      Based on your sound preferences it doesn’t sound like the King will be a perfect match; it has a bright midrange with female vocal emphasis and treble is moderately forward and aggressive. It is relatively balanced but not nearly as neutral as the RE-400, the King has substantially more bass and treble than that model. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard the GR07 mkII in quite a while so I can’t provide comparison.

      • Noted, thankyou so much for your reply!

        Looks like I’m gonna have to plan a long trip to the big city to demo all of these side-by-side, instead of just order from home. So many choices!

  6. Hi Ryan, thanks for the review! I would like to know how they compare to the Fiio ex1 gen2, as I feel the ex1 gen2 also leans bright. Would this be similar? I’m trying to find an alternative or an upgrade to the ex1 gen2 which I quite like!

    • Hi Sofia, the King has a notable advantage with fit, seal and isolation which are all very good, the EX1 2nd Gen doesn’t isolate much at all. The King is much more balanced, the EX1 2nd Gen has a considerably more recessed midrange. Perhaps the V-shaped K3 Pro will be a better fit if you’re coming from the Fiio.

  7. Hi Ryan
    Just want to know how this will compare to the 1more triple driver since they are in the same price range

  8. Hi Ryan,
    Great review for another fantastic chinese iem. I’ve purchased en700 bass after reading your review and they should be here soon. I see that you have given the highest rating to Kings, but I think they would be too bright for me. I’ll also let you know my feedback when I get my hands on en700 bass.
    Btw, which iems you will review now? LZ A4 by any chance?

    • Great to hear Shaan,

      Really, the quality difference between all of these earphones is not humungous so buying one that fits your preferences is the best decision. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the A4 in depth, unfortunately. Also, hope you enjoy the Simgot’s!

      Ryan.

  9. MarkMcCoskey on

    Might have to check these out. I switch between HiFiMan RE-400a’s and Etymotic Research HF5’s. Thanks!

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