Home IEM Reviews Tin Audio T2 Review: An IEM Gem

Tin Audio T2 Review: An IEM Gem

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on
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Shoutout to Cory Tucker for the loaner unit!

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

The Tin Audio T2 In-Ear Monitor (IEM) represents a stalwart presence in the realm of budget-friendly audio gear, offering an experience that defies the conventional expectations tied to its price point.

While not destined to astound with flamboyant sonic signatures or overwhelming characteristics, the T2 captivates through its unassuming yet impressive performance.

Standing as a testament to simplicity and fidelity, this IEM unveils a sonic landscape that leans towards neutrality, devoid of exaggerated highs or lows.

In our forthcoming exploration of the T2, we’ll delve into its understated excellence, dissecting its balanced sound profile and reliable build quality.


Table of Contents

Click to navigate the page!


Introduction
Specifications
Build
Comfort
Sound
My Video Review
Photo Gallery
Imaging
Amplification
Genre Pairing
Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!


Introduction

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been really into IEMs (In-Ear Monitors).

For whatever reason, I much prefer the feeling of actually having headphones envelope my ears.

I’ve always been that way. Call it a security blanket for my dome. Whatever.

Years back I bought my mom a pair of Shure SE215s, which are another incredible set of earbuds, especially for the price.

Unfortunately, someone at her job stole them which is another story in itself.

Aside from that…

There’s a cool fella named Cory Tucker who frequents my channel on YouTube and enjoys my video reviews.

One day he reached out to me and said something along the lines of “I would love to send you some demo units for review. I want to keep seeing videos on your channel!”

He ended up sending me the Superlux HD330 as well as these T2s from Tin Audio.

So let’s talk about them, first running down their specs.

Tin Audio T2

Specifications

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With that, what about build?


Build


The build of the T2 is quite good, and for roughly $50 these don’t feel cheap at all.

I love the white braided cable; it feels extremely solid and durable as if it could withstand some abuse.

It terminates in a standard 3.5mm jack, but the jack resembles something you’d find on a headphone way out of its price range.

I’m floored at how rock solid it is and haven’t been this impressed with one since the original Audio Technica ATH-M50/50x.

Tin Audio T2 Review

Gently pulling on the other ends of the cable results in a snap, as they detach quite easily from each bud.

The design here is marvelous, as you can quickly discern the right side from the left.

It’s color-coded Red and Blue with a small “R” and “L” on each of the buds if you look closely enough.

Tin Audio T2 Review

If you look closely, you can see the “R” right where the Gold is.

I have pretty good vision, but not everyone will be able to make these out on the Gold area of the termination without really looking for it.

The actual earpieces themselves are made of aluminum and have small rubbery caps that click into place on each of your ears.

The overall build?

Fantastic.

BUILD SCORE: A+

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How about comfort?


Comfort


I’m not going to sugarcoat it, comfort is a bit of a mixed bag.

On one hand, the earpieces fit pretty well into your ears and don’t tend to want to come out most of the time.

On the other hand,

for whatever reason, I get a slight “burning” sensation from wearing them, and I’m not exactly sure why.

As soon as I remove them, the sensation goes away.

Other times when I’m wearing them I don’t feel the burn, and I can wear them for a much longer period without an adjustment.

It’s like a hot, kind of uncomfortable feeling that gives me the urge to take the buds out on some occasions.

Other than that,

they are pretty comfortable and can sit a bit further inside your ears with a gentle push, but also pointed straight down.

I find that this enables them to deliver a bit more bass with the cleanest overall presentation.

COMFORT SCORE: B

Speaking of presentation…

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The best part?


Sound


I’m at a loss for words in trying to describe how good these sound.

Let’s start with the bass.

Bass

The bass here has a lot of thump and great articulation but never sounds bloated or clammy.

I listened to these for a few weeks and then emailed Cory to tell him how much I loved the sound signature as well as the low end.

I hadn’t seen a graph, but as soon as he sent me one I understood.

It’s very similar to an Audeze LCD-2 type of bass, or something similar to a HIFIMAN Sundara.

Not too rolled off, not boosted. Just right.

In fact, this entire sound signature is non-intrusive in a way that enables you to appreciate the subtle textures of each frequency.

I had heard rumblings of people complaining that these had no bass and I just had to laugh. Really?

Graph courtesy of Crinacle.

No bass. K. Sure. *takes deep breath*

Mid-Range

The mid-range has a presence bump at around 3kHz, similar to an HD600.

The difference is that it doesn’t come across as shouty or in-your-face – likely since the bass here is less rolled off and tends to give the compositions more max meat.

Vocals and instruments have just enough zing and excitement to them, but I rarely (if ever) find myself getting the urge to turn the volume down.

Everything sounds very natural and organic, with fantastic resolution, detail retrieval, and tonal balance.

It manages to do all of this while not sounding cold or sterile.

Ricardo Robecchi talked about this in his excellent Tin Audio T2 review: budget audio nirvana.

But the Tin Audio T2 are not defined positively by their sound signature alone. They are incredibly apt even in technical aspects, with a wide soundstage assisted by precise imaging and superb instrument separation. Dynamic range is nothing short of surprising. Even when listening to tracks with complicate layering and multiple instruments, sound is always crystal clear and it is easy to distinguish instruments and hear even minute details.Ricardo Robelli, Soundphile Review

The T2 has this incredible knack for never getting out of line with regard to any frequencies. It’s especially impressive considering the following:

  1. The T2 is a very cheap IEM that sounds like it should cost a lot more than it’s priced at.
  2. It has a very low Impedance and high Sensitivity. Usually pushing an IEM or headphone with these specs is asking for a blowout or a headache. Granted, I was using them with the FiiO Q1 MK II, which doesn’t have much power.

Still, if I turn up the volume it doesn’t get harsh or grating.

And that’s something worth mentioning.

Tin Audio T2 Review

At the beach!

Treble

You’d think that a darker-sounding treble like this would result in lost detail.

Not the case here.

In fact, it makes them sound better because it’s not artificially trying to provide more, as in the case with a Samson SR850 or Beyerdynamic DT880.

Those are both great headphones in their own right but can get a bit hot at times (especially the 850).

No, the T2 handles treble in a way that it really has no business doing.

It portrays this sensitive area a lot like a Sennheiser HD600 or Audeze LCD-3.

Relaxed yet still detailed and revealing.

The only thing I can dock a point or two for is that the treble can sometimes get a tad fuzzy/metallic, which makes sense now that I look at a graph, but to me, it’s a minor nitpick because of how phenomenal the overall sound is.

Still, you will notice it from time to time.

SOUND SCORE: A

Video Review

My Video Review

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Images

Photo Gallery

2019 Beach Trip

Tin Audio T2 Review
Sun drenched.
Tin Audio T2 Review
At the beach!
Tin Audio T2 Review
Braids.
Pulled out.
Audeze LCD-2 Review
The original.
Tin Audio T2 Review
Detached, like society.
Rubber piece taken off.
Take 2.
Paired with the HA-2.

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With that, let’s talk about Imaging.


Imaging


Imaging is sublime here.

It’s a bit hard to believe that an IEM in this price range is capable of providing such great width and spacing, but the T2 handles both with ease.

Prepare to start hearing sounds in all directions.

Even the most minuscule and seemingly arbitrary sounds, utterances, instrument plucks, and breaths are all rendered with great precision.

There’s a revelatory quality about these that kind of does take that proverbial “blanket” off of the sound, allowing it to breathe and express itself in a very pleasant way.

The attack, sustain, and especially the decay of instruments and vocals are so incredibly revealing at times, that it makes familiar tracks you’ve heard all your life sound foreign.

“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac is a great example of a song that I’ve heard in nearly every circumstance, with pretty much every type of headphone, Amp, phone, CD Player, Stereo, iPod, etc. you can think of.

FiiO Q1 vs. E10K vs. DragonFly Red
On the way to the beach.
Baywatch Edition.

I remember listening to this song on a Disc-man and some crappy $10 headphones (you know the ones with the cheap foam “ear pads”) back in the ’90s and early 2000s.

It sounded nothing near as detailed, articulate, and musical as it does with these earbuds.

Now you may say, “Well yeah, but you were listening on a Disc-man with a likely worse recording.”

True, but these are $50 earbuds over 20 years later, and they rival a lot of stuff I’ve heard for hundreds (if not thousands of dollars). No exaggeration.

To quote Ricardo again:

The Tin Audio T2 is a real gem. It delivers a lot of value at an affordable price – but what’s more important is that it sounds like a much more expensive product, with refinement and general quality that is way beyond the average level at this price point. It may not be a “flagship killer”, but it can be the only IEM for daily use for a lot of people. Yes, I think they are that good! Ricardo Robelli, Soundphile Review

The Soundstage is equally as impressive for an IEM at this price point.

I wouldn’t call it incredibly wide, but it’s wide enough, dare I say out of your head sounding at times.

It will have you turning your head on occasion wondering what that sound was that you heard; another mark of a great headphone or earbud.

On John Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice” at around 7:57, there was a loud sound that I thought was coming from inside my apartment or outside.

I rewound the track a couple of times and the same sound startled me, indicating that it came from the song.

It’s the sound that makes your heart drop for a split second, as you pause the music, ensuring that you’re not about to get obliterated by Jason Voorhees. 😛

All in all, instruments and vocals just sound incredibly realistic, lifelike, and natural with these, and it’s something that did catch me off guard upon first listen and pretty much every subsequent one thereafter.

IMAGING SCORE: A+

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Will you need an amp?


Amplification


The short answer is no.

At 16 Ohms Impedance and 104dB Sensitivity, these can be driven straight from your phone to loud enough levels.

They will however sound better with an amp like the FiiO Q1 Mark II if your phone’s DAC is crappy.

I would recommend the Q1 amp only for people with lower impedance, high-sensitivity headphones, or IEMs like the T2 because of its lack of power.

At 300 Ohms it only outputs 7mW. Even at 33 Ohm it only outputs 62mW.

Even with something like a Philips SHP9500 at 101dB, I found myself using gain and turning up the volume quite a bit.

Another cool option you could go with is the Oppo HA-2, which I used with the T2 as well. Another great pairing!

The HA-2 pairs well with pretty much anything though. It’s just an extremely solid all-around investment.

Do keep in mind the HA-2 has been discontinued, but I’m keeping the photos around for the fond memories I had with this pairing.

Paired with the HA-2.

I wouldn’t go crazy with an amp here, but you’re going to want one regardless when just starting out.

The Q1, while discontinued now, is still great, but check out my top portable options (always updated).


With that said…

What genres are best?

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Genre Pairing


It’s not too surprising how well these will do with multiple genres when you consider the excellent sound signature that they possess.

I listened to them with just about everything, ranging from Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, Indie, and Pop.

The way they also render instruments is particularly stunning.

There’s this lush warmth to them that never seems forced or unnatural.

On John Coltrane’s “Summertime”, one of my absolute favorite Jazz pieces, the spacing between instruments is spot on.

A lot of headphones have a tough time portraying Jazz because they tend to make everything sound congested and cluttered.

The T2 does a fantastic job of separating sounds so that it makes sense to your brain.

Aside from that, it’s an extremely nostalgic piece to me for some reason.

It evokes the spirit of summer so effortlessly and the T2 really brings it to life.

On “A Chase of Sorts” from TTNG, I love how the vocals and instruments never get out of line.

I never feel like the vocalist is shouting at me, and the instruments are on their best behavior, never abrasive or harsh.

Further, Bonobo’s “7th Sevens” sounds so lush and full that it simply blew me away. There’s so much impact and weight to the tracks, but it never feels overwhelming.

In a quiet environment at night, you’re going to notice these come to life and it’s quite breathtaking.

Tin Audio T2 Review

Emo day.

I would say be prepared to enjoy these with anything and everything you may like or desire to listen to.

They’re going to render the music with accuracy and excitement that’s hard to beat, especially at this price.

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What’s the final grade?


Final Verdict/Potential Caveats


Update:

Before I discuss the final grade, one of the reasons why I revisited this article is because I decided to buy a pair of these as a Christmas gift for Mom in 2021.

Unfortunately, I had to return them to Drop after receiving a faulty pair, so be forewarned.

One side kept cutting out and the build was not up to par.

The piece that connects into the bud wouldn’t stay in correctly and it was a huge pain.

I fully believe I simply got a lemon and would still recommend these as I think they are worth the risk.

In all likelihood, you will probably get a good pair, but it’s something to keep in mind.

For the price, I can excuse a hiccup here and there.

The reason I didn’t immediately get a replacement is that my mom’s iPhone doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack. So yeah. F you Apple.

Anyway, I’m still giving these a solid A because the first pair I demoed was fine build-wise and I didn’t have any problems with it.

The comfort factor (at least for me) holds the T2 back somewhat, and the slight fuzz in the treble as well.

Even with that said, I don’t think either issue is enough to drop it down to an A-.

For instance, comfort was a bit off yesterday but today I’m not getting that burning sensation.

Go figure.

It’s hard to describe how good these are, but I tried my best.

The resolution, dynamics, accuracy, timbre, clarity, detail retrieval, Soundstage, build, and overall sound signature are almost perfect.

Stunning when you, again, consider the price.

This could be the only IEM you’d need for quite a while before an upgrade. Maybe forever, but we all know that’s not possible if you’re an audiophile. 😉

Learn More:

 

 

Well that’s about it for today my friend. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this Tin Audio T2 Review, and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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So would you consider investing in these IEMs? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out our Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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Photo Gallery II

2021 Drop Purchase

Tin Audio T2

4.75

Build Quality

4.8/5

Sound Quality

4.9/5

Comfort

4.3/5

Soundstage

5.0/5

Pros

  • Fantastic Bass Response
  • Amazing Tonality and Resolution
  • Fantastic Imaging and Detail Retrieval
  • Good Build Overall

Cons

  • Fuzzy Treble At Times
  • Comfort Hit and Miss

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2 comments

Fabian November 30, 2022 - 11:55 am

Hey Stu great blog I agree with this review
These are amazing earbuds. I have a question
Have you tried these with other eartips?
And of so does it change anything? Thanks

Reply
Stuart Charles Black November 30, 2022 - 6:35 pm

Fabian,

Thank you for the comment and the kind words! Only the ones that came in the box. IIRC they don’t come with any extras (maybe those blue ones?) But I haven’t tried those.

Reply

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