Tanchjim Hana - White Swan IEM!?
White Swan are described as beauty, light, purity and graceful. Is the Tanchjim Hana a White Swan? I always enjoy sitting and watching the swans move about gracefully on the pond; controlled, light movements as if they aren't even touching the water; pure white cleanliness; a site of beauty to behold in my opinion. Let's take a closer look at the Hana and see if it meets those White Swan requirements in an IEM.
A BIG thank you to inToit Reviews for lending the Tanchjim Hana for review, greatly appreciated. Check out the links down below and give him a subscription and tell him I sent you.
Dekoni Bulletz: https://dekoniaudio.com/product-category/bulletz/
If you like an unboxing experience that makes you feel like you made a quality purchase then the Tanchjim Hana will fill that itch. For the price tag, the Hana exceeds expectations; for sure have seen more expensive IEM come with less. There isn't really much to talk about as the pictures will do the talking.
A few things that stand out to me; 2 sets of silicone tips (bass and treble); amazing cable that is lightweight, beautiful and an instant favorite; carry case that is perfect size and gorgeous. Tanchjim Hana is the IEM that you don't touch while eating Cheetos.
Diaphragm: LCP diaphragm (Liquid Crystal Polymer)
The Tanchjim Hana is beautiful to behold just like a White Swan. Pure white in a teardrop shell shape. The Hana has some heft to it in the hand. The shell is smooth like a skipping stone and has a short nozzle. I find the fit to be problematic as the nozzle is too short and the smooth back makes for an awkward placement in my ears. I struggled to keep them situated properly as the tips kept wanting to slip out of the ear canal. Actual comfort wasn't an issue once they were seated properly but that only lasted until my wiggle worm tendencies broke the fit and I had to readjust. The cable ear hooks are soft and light and do a good job of looping the cable out of the way but don't do a good job of securing the Hana. I really enjoy the look of the Tanchjim Hana but I don't enjoy the fit. The Hana fit is tolerable but not the best for my ears.
So Tanchjim includes two sets of silicone tips with the Hana, nice touch. Both sets are good quality build, soft but sturdy. The Bass Enhancing tips are cone shape with a small bore. The Treble Enhancing tips are olive shape with a wider bore. I find that they both sound decent in their own way but both introduce issues with the sound. The Bass Enhancing tips bring in a nice plump, robust bass and a warmth to the mids but the details get mushy and bloated in the deep end. The Treble Enhancing tips on the other hand bring out more details in the bass and lessen the plump and robustness but they add in too much air and treble extension causing harshness and sibilance.
So I messed around with all sorts of tips and settled on the Dekoni Bulletz tips. With these tips I get a decent seal, the bass is impactful, plump and detailed without mush and bloat and the mids and treble have air and extension but don't have as many moments of harshness and sibilance.
Note: The Dekoni Bulletz tips are my favorite tip pairing with the Tanchjim Hana and will be what is used for the sound impressions.
Bass: Loud and powerful but not precise and accurate is the way I would describe the Tanchjim Hana bass. The bass is engaging and gripping but is not controlled throughout. A lot of times the bass will be a BIG one note sound that blasts down deep and sends chills up your spine but it isn't realistic or natural. Often details are overlooked for impact with the Hana. On less busy tracks or bass light tracks the bass does a better job of staying controlled but it is still hard to differentiate between bass instruments and bass notes. Add in a bassy track and the fun factor kicks in and the control and details are forgotten and are buried by the heap of thump.
Mids: Hollow, unnatural and over-emphasized in the upper reaches is how I would describe the Tanchjim Hana mids. There is something off with the Tanchjim Hana mids that drives me nuts. Vocals sound light and weightless; there is no definition to voices. Instruments sound metallic and unrealistic. Add the stock tips and those concerns are exacerbated to one extreme or the other. Adding the Dekoni Bulletz helps to bring in a smidge of body. The other concern of the Hana is the over-emphasized upper mids that are peaky and uncontrolled. Harshness and sibilance are abundant. The upper mids are way too elevated to sound remotely close to natural and realistic. The Tanchjim Hana mids are not cohesive.
Treble: Hot, energetic, sparkles and over-emphisized are the descriptors for the Tanchjim Hana treble. The treble is overly excited, just like my dogs are when my wife and I return home. One of our dogs has a high pitched, ear piercing bark that is reminiscent of the Tanchjim Hana treble. It is very distinct when it appears and it will make you reach to pull the Hana out of your ears as quickly as possible. The boosted and elevated treble adds in a lot of air and extension but it goes too far; landing in the harshlands. I am a treble lover but it has to be controlled and natural; the Tanchjim Hana misses in these areas of the treble. Often the treble is weightless and floating in space with no body. The lower treble boost is too much and has too many instances of sibilance and harshness. The treble can be pleasing on slower and less busy tracks but the moment that splashy cymbals or higher register voices and instruments are introduced, look out!
Soundstage/Imaging: Wider then most, Fun and inaccurate are the ways that the Tanchjim Hana capabilities of the soundstage and imaging can be described. The Tanchjim Hana has a fun soundstage that is wide and involving. There is a good amount of depth and layering. The Hana struggles with precision and accuracy. There is a lot whizzing around the stage but it can be uncontrolled in placement, especially on busier tracks. I like the soundstage for the fun factor but not for critical listening.
Details/Resolution: Average at best and lackluster is how I would describe the Tanchjim Hana details and resolution. Detail retrieval is okay for the price point but it isn't going to win any awards. What details that are retrieved and portrayed are enough to keep you engaged but you will not be blown away with the amount. The resolution of the retrieved details is lackluster, especially for the price point. The Tanchjim Hana has a lot of moments of smeared and muffled details, especially in the mids and treble.
Tone/Timbe: Pleasant and unnatural is the way I would describe the tone and timbre of the Tanchjim Hana. Tone is pleasant but not natural. There is a metallic finish to the notes and they are too light. Timbre is off and a lot of instruments sound like they are digitized even when I know that the track is acoustical.
Mytek Liberty: One of the better desktop pairings with the Tanchjim Hana. Bass is somewhat controlled, mids have a bit of body to them and the treble is a bit less peaky. But the details and resolution are still lackluster and the Mytek Liberty reveals the flaws on each track. Tone and timber still has that metallic finish at times.
Soekris DAC1421: Best desktop pairing with the Tanchjim Hana. The bass is defined and controlled, the mids gain body and lose a bit of the upper excitement and the treble is not nearly as peaky. Details and resolution are still lacking but do seem to have a tad more refinement and definition. Tone and timbre is still unnatural but the metallic finish is not as noticeable.
Sony NW-A105 Walkman: This is not a good pairing at all for the Tanchjim Hana. Mids are hollow, treble is glaring and bass is one note.
Nextdrive Spectre X: Best pairing for usb-c dongle with the Tanchjim Hana and my favorite pairing for portable. Tone and timbre still lack note density at times and have a touch of metallic finish. Detail resolution is still lacking refinement at times. Bass is pleasant and somewhat boomy but not one note; the mids still have upper excitement but do not venture into sibilance as often, treble is tamed slightly. The real pleasure is when you use higher quality music files.
xDuoo Link: Least favorite usb-c dongle pairing, not a good match at all for the Tanchjim Hana. I'd rather torture my ears with the Sony NW-A105.
Fits and seals in my ears better. Bass isn't as impactful but more detailed and accurate. Mids are not as expressive but have more refinement and details. Treble is better controlled and more natural. Soundstage is similar in width, depth and layering but has more accuracy in placement. Tone and timbre is more realistic and natural. Clear winner is the Etymotic ER2SE.
Fits and seals in my ears better. Bass is more defined and controlled. Mids are fuller and upper mids are not as excessively expressive. Treble is controlled and realistic. Soundstage is not as wide but has better definition and refinement in placement. Tone and timbre is more realistic and natural. Clear winner is the Etymotic ER2XR.
Fits and seals in my ears better. Bass is not as impactful, has more extension into the sub bass, bass is similar in refinement and definition. Mids are fuller and meatier. Treble is similar but not as splashy. Soundstage and imaging is similar. Tone and timbre is not metallic and has a more natural tone. Slight advantage to SeeAudio Yume.
Tin Hifi T5: Closer comparison then you would think. More controlled and defined in the bass. Mids are fuller, natural and realistic and the upper mids are not overly expressive and sibilant. Treble is airy but controlled and doesn't go into hot mode.
Soundstage is about the same width but deeper and more layered. Detail retrieval and resolution is better all around. Tone and timbre is natural and realistic. Clear winner is the Tin Hifi T5.
Final Audio A4000:
Let's keep it simple, Tanchjim Hana is the winner based on preference.
Overall: The Tanchjim Hana is an interesting IEM that clearly isn't a favorite of mine. I know I was hard on it but I can also see where some would love it. My search for a White Swan will continue. For me, the price point of the Hana says that it should be better then a lot of other IEM, and it just isn't in my opinion. There are too many flaws I'd have to dismiss for me to give a recommendation; unless your only other option is the Final Audio A4000 then I would highly recommend the Tanchjim Hana. The metallic tone and timbre, lackluster detail retrieval and resolution, overly expressive, sibilant, harsh mids, hot treble and the sloppy imaging are too much for me to overlook at this price point. There are a few things to keep in mind, the fit and seal was not good for me and source gear and music do make a difference in determining an opinion.
If you were to ask me if you should get the Tanchjim Hana, I'd say "Do your ears a favor and pass over the Tanchjim Hana."