TECHNICALITY AND TUNING:-
Pairing with sources:-
The TSMR 4 pro has a fairly low impedance of 20 ohm and is easily drivable out of mobile phones and thanks to 112db sensitivity it gets very loud without much problem.
Even when it plays well with any source, good amount of power does bring a lot more details and character to the table. Driven out of my LG G7 the TSMR 4 pro feels gloomy and notes lack much of the contrast and energy. The whole spectrum feels dynamically limited. The bass is lacking thump, treble is not energetic enough while the vocals and mid range are not much affected.
Jumping to Shanling M6 the scene changes drastically, the contrast and dynamic range improves a lot with plenty of treble energy and the lower end gains good amount of body. The stage is much more rounded and the layering and separation improves.
Driving it out of weak sources is okay but the power brings a lot more to the table.
There are not many earphones in this price range which has tuning switches. There is a manual for that inside the box. In their words you can have 7 different sound modes and all the positions have a number assigned to them. The switches are numbered 1, 2 and 3 from left to right. On is on the left side and KE to the right side. If the switch is up, it is on and the carries the number of the switch, if a switch is off it is denoted by 0. If all the switches are on the position number is 123 and if all of them are off it is 000. The first switch (the 1 switch) is for bass boost. The middle switch is for balance and the last switch is for mid range and treble elevation. It is slightly tricky for the first time but it is not difficult once you get a hold of it. The 000 position is not a valid position and the sound in this position is very limited. You are supposed to keep one switch on, always.
If you think the switches bring a lot of difference to the sound, you might be a little disappointed. Turning the bass switch on won’t make take it to bass head levels. Expect changes, just don’t expect a lot of it. Switches in 100 position do bring good amount of sub-bass and extension compared to the 003 position. Thanks to the switches the TSMR 4 can be flat, mid forward and can deliver healthy amount of bass. It has a lot of versatility, and the best part is unlike tuning filters, the sound doesn’t feel veiled or unnatural with any of those 7 switch positions.
I am going to review the TSMR 4 in 123 position, all guns blazzing!!
Quoted from penon:-
“Tuning mode instruction
0 means off (down) ,1/2/3 means on (switch position up)
100:- Bass enhancement mode
120:- Mixed tuning
020: All balanced mode
103: Mixed tuning
003: Mid-treble enhancement mode
023: Mixed tuning
123: Mixed tuning (lowest impedance)”
The TSMR 4 has Knowles drivers in each earpiece. Each earpiece has 2 22955 drivers as middle and low frequencies and 2 29689 drivers for highs incorporated in a two bore design. The overall sound signature is of the balanced type with hint of dampness to the treble notes, it does not have any brightness to worry about. The treble can feel a bit dark compared to the wholesomely bright and light sounding Avara AV3 and AF180 Mk2. If a bit of excitement is the need of the hour, flick the switches. The tonality and timber are some of the most accurate in this price. It has the tranquility which is rarely found with most of the IEMs.
The TSMR 4 is not bassy unless the no.1 switch is turned on. In the 123 position the 4 pro delivers good amount of slam and moves good amount of air too. It is not flat like ER-4P or the Audiofly AF180 while maintaining very good amount of details and texture. The sub-bass extension is not the best but is good enough. The focus is a bit more tilted towards mid bass which has good amount of weight and a nicely fuller feel to it. The upper bass is a bit less emphasized with good amount of energy and details. The lower end strikes a beautiful balance between being overly agile and lethargic. In other words it doesn’t have an unreasonably snappy or slow decay speed leaveing a nice impression with good amount of slam and thump. BA driver earphones usually have fantastic amount of control over notes along with accuracy and the 4 pro is no exception, all the notes, even the micro details have very good clarity and definition. Just don’t expect a lot of dynamism or a wholesome amount of thump and the TSMR delivers with fantastic details, technicality and accuracy. If you want more precision and an analytical tuning turn the no.1 switch off.
Compared to some DD the 4 pro has a tight and fast decay and can feel a bit less fuller but coming from something more analytical like the Nocturnal Avalon and AF 180 the 4 pro is much more full bodied and slightly on the thicker side.
There is no specification about the number of drivers used for the mid range but it is safe to assume that there is at least one and at max two drivers responsible for the mid range. It is either the drivers coupled with the treble driver doing the heavy lifting on its own or the 4 pro has two drivers in each bores partially responsible for the mid range. Whatever the configuration is there is no loss of energy in the transition region and the 4 pro maintain similar energy across the spectrum exhibiting excellent finishing around the crossovers. The mid range is cohesive and juicy, one of the few musically inclined IEMs in this price range. The notes are slightly on the lush side with a weightier feel to them along with very good accuracy and precision. The 4 pro leaves a bit smoother but a very enjoyable impression.
Vocals have a musical touch to them with excellent texture. The tonality and timber is one of the most natural and accurate in this price bracket. Both the male and female vocals have very good depth and a lot of resolution. Instruments don’t have the kind of bite I have seen with other 3-4 BA earphones in this price but the 4 pro already have very good transparency. If the extra bite is the need of the hour put the IEM in 003 switch position. Not sure what the graphs suggest but I don’t feel any kind of forwardness or lack of energy at the upper treble region. It is perfectly balanced with excellent control over any type of undesirable notes presentation. The 4 pro doesn’t lack any details by a long shot, it’s the lack of added notes depth and sharpness which makes it sound a bit less exciting.
There are plenty of micro details and the accurate notes depth and sharpness makes the 4 pro very enjoyable.
It is safe to assume that the 4 pro has a single driver responsible for the whole treble region and it does a very good job. There is plenty of details and the contrast along with dynamism is very good. The transition from upper mid range to lower treble region has no dip or extra energy to worry about. If the mind range was slightly mellow for a BA based earphone the treble region gains a bit of energy and exhibits good amount of spark and desirable amount of energy. The instruments feel lively and agile with a natural timber. Let it be Cymbals or percussions, all of them have similar emphasis with very good amount of texture. The transition is one of the cleanest but it still doesn’t have the thrill of the AV3 or Jomo Percusion. The extension is not the endless type as the 4 pro starts losing energy as it goes much deeper into the spectrum. IT has good amount of air but there are IEMs like the Avara AV3 with more air.
Instruments have similar attributes to the Mid range the treble doesn’t lack a single bit of micro detail but the slight lack of contrast and notes attack puts the 4 pro in the marginally less crisp side.
The sound stage of the 4 pro is very wide and tall but the depth can be marginally missing when compared to other IEMs in this price range. I find the stage to be big enough though. There is plenty of air and space between instruments. Layering and separation is of top quality too. Due to the slightly thicker mid range notes it might give an impression of a busier floor. Vocals hold the center stage with plenty of room and layering of the very good type.