TinHiFi has been making IEMs for while, they have had a lot of IEMs under their belt and few of them tasted plenty of success but they have been making an IEM which has a cult following like no other and it’s evident from its age and versions too. T2 has seen a handful of revisions and I remember back in 2019 it was one of the most talked about IEM around $50. It has the simple design which fits nearly every ear and delivers a very calm and balanced sound.
Priced at $60 T2 DLC goes head on against a handful of entry level hybrid and single DD based IEMs. In the last one month I have been working on a handful of IEMs in the below $100 price range and I will be comparing the T2 DLC with Tripowin Olina SE and NFaudio NA3.
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UNBOXING AND ACCESSORIES:
Tin has only changed the internals of this IEM, there are barely any changes to the appearance and they have used the exactly same set of accessories and packaging too. IT ships with the same cover too. There isn’t any way to tell the DLC nature of this IEM from the cover since there is no mention of that. The earpieces are placed up front, stuffed in foam while all the accessories and cable are placed under it. It ships with the usual set of clear single flange tips and a pair of blue foam tip.
T2 DLC ships with the same kind of cable as the OG T2 pro. The biggest difference is the change from MMCX to 2pin. Tin has used 5N OFC silver plated cable with layers of German Bayer TPU material.
This 8 core cable is fairly supple and thin. It does have a bit of memory but I don’t think one should mind this. There is little bit of microphonics too but it’s not bothering. The cable splitter is small. 3.5mm jack is a bit on the bigger side while the cable guides are fairly relaxed with good hold on the ear.
BUILD AND ERGONOMICS:
One of the biggest USP of T2 has been its build quality. Its straight barrel design isn’t exactly very ergonomic but it’s effective and fits most of the ears without any issues.
T2 DLC uses high density Aviation grade Aluminum which when paired with the straight firing driver reduces resonance. Build quality is excellent as always. It will survive drops on solid floors but I am not sure about the damage it can do to the driver so it’s wise to keep it safe. Even when the nozzle is slightly on the wider side it can fit T400 size tips without any issues and its deeper than usual depth gives it very good stability inside the ear.
PAIRING WITH SOURCES:
T2 DLC isn’t a very picky IEM but it does need some power to get loud mostly because of its 103db sensitivity and 32ohm impedance. It doesn’t change its signature with various sources but yes make sure the source is decently powerful. I have used my LG G7 and Redmi Note 10 pro and the T2 DLC sounds very good out of these.
T2 DLC houses a 10mm DLC driver which delivers a well balanced output which is very rare at this price point. Most of the IEMs tend to serve a V shaped sound with a bassy or treble elevated output but the T2 is delivering something different. The lower end is not heavy or boomy while the mid range and treble region are well balanced with very good transparency and details. There is barely any coloration to it.
I am using the stock tip and Shanling UA3 for this review.
T2 DLC is not going to win any awards for its bass performance but it doesn’t lack with anything either. It has very good rumble with the sub-bass and the sub-bass extension is decent too. Mid bass is smaller than the older versions but still is reasonably voluminous with very good of texture and definition. It moves good amount of air with a healthy body. It doesn’t have the heaviest slam but it still is punchy and enjoyable. Decay speed is on the faster side with excellent control but it still maintains very good dynamics. It binds the air when there isn’t much feel to it and lets the notes hit when the track asks for it. Upper bass nicely blends into the lower mids delivering very good energy and details.
As mentioned earlier, T2 DLC is a well balanced IEM without much elevation at either ends. The upper bass blends nicely into the lower mids without compromising on clarity or transparency.
Thanks to its balanced nature T2 doesn’t have any problem with mid range details or transparency. I have no issues in calling this IEM a poor men’s DUNU SA6 but that’s an insult to the T2, unlike the SA6 which can be a bit jittery with its balanced mode T2 has no jitter or finishing issues. Compared to the similarly priced Tripowin Rhombus, T2 has better air and space between instruments and vocals too are well defined with good texture and resolution. It delivers a calmer and balanced upper mids unlike the OG T2 which was sharp. Instruments in the upper mid region have good transparency and energy. It isn’t exactly aggressive or dull having very good presence.
I like the way T2 DLC steers clear of the bunch with its more balanced and relaxed treble region. It isnt agitated or aggressive like the Olina Se or the OG T2 but still maintains very good sparkle and liveliness. Yes it doesn’t extend deep into the upper treble region but has very good details and transparency till then. What I enjoy here is the engaging yet inoffensive presentation. Instruments and notes have very good traction but barely have any uncomfortable elements to them. Another issue one can say is the slight lack of air between the instruments compared to the likes of Shuoer S12 but T2 does very good at its price point. Layering is good and separation is a better than expected.
STAGE AND IMAGING:
T2 DLC has an well rounded stage but it’s just above average in size. It has average height and X-axis width but still has a fairly 3D-ish feel thanks to its above average depth. Unlike the Rhombus, T2 has a well distributed stage with instruments placed all around the head giving it a better sonical experience. Most of the instruments originate inside the head and finish out of head moving reasonably further in every direction.
I find the sonics to be decent with nice cue placement.
We all have seen a lot of brands doing a lot of stuff with their IEMs but there are IEMs that barely need upgrades, no need for more than basic experimentations since the existing IEM is already superb. One of the prime examples of this is the Tinhifi T2. This isn’t exactly the same IEM but it still has the T2 namesake while incorporating a new driver technology to the lineup. DLC stands for diamond like carbon even though T2 has been revised many times previously this is the first time they are using DLC drivers and even though DLC have been used with a lot of IEMs before the T2 it’s still is not a very common kind of driver when it comes to IEMs in the $50 price range. Now you do not need to make any other assumptions, this is not being targeted as someone who is upgrading from an existing IEM but mostly is for those who are buying for the first time. This is an excellent first buy IEM for those who are not looking for a flavored sound. This is an IEM that is supposed to provide them with an all round performance without breaking the bank and for me this T2 DLC feels like The IEM it was supposed to be some time ago. It has the details and balance, it doesn’t need a lot of power to sound good either, making it a perfect choice for first time buyers.