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Tin Hifi T5s - Given the Time, T5s Will Impress?! - Honest Audiophile Impressions

A few years ago Tin Hifi released the T5 which was met with mixed opinions. I personally enjoyed the T5 and even to this day still find it unique and different. Now Tin Hifi has released the T5s, a revision of the original. With an improved shell design, a different driver type and an improved tuning; has Tin Hifi made the T5s more pleasurable for all?

A BIG thank you to both Linsoul Audio and Tin Hifi Audio for providing the T5s for review, much appreciated.

The Tin Hifi T5s will set you back $130 from your back account. The T5s has a 10mm dynamic driver with a next-gen ultra-linear diaphragm, 32 ohms of impedance, 103db of sensitivity and a frequency response range of 10hz-20khz.

The T5s comes in two variants, commerative and standard; we will be reviewing the standard variant. I am not sure of the differences in packaging and I don't believe there is a sonic difference.

The T5s comes in a square black box. The outer sleeve is white with an artistic drawing of a populated Mars. There is minimal Tin Hifi branding. The black box has gold lettering on the top.

Inside you find a white insert that houses the T5s and some accessories; cleaning brush & tweezers.

Underneath the top insert is another layer where you find a white leather carrying case. Inside the carry case you find the cable and tips.

The cable is constructed of 28 strands of 0.06mm enameled copper and 54 strands of 0.05mm silver-plated copper and connects with 2 pin. The build of the cable is excellent, feels and looks premium.

The cable is very light but well controlled. I have had no issues with tangles or twisting, the cinch stays in place and the ear hooks have the just right amount of tension.

Tin Hifi has included 2 types of silicone tips, S/M/L. There is a set of white foam tips as well.

The silicone tips offer different comfort levels but I didn't notice sonic differences. The thinner, flimsier tips didn't stay in my ears at all. The colored stem tips were adequate and fit me alright but I found them not to be the most comfortable over time.

I prefer to use the Divinus Velvet tips for the comfort but also because they are slightly wider and add in a bit of air to the presentation.

The Tin Hifi T5s has an aluminum shell. The faceplate has Tin Hifi branding. The shell is a bit heavy but at the same time very comfortable. The back is ergonomically curvy and the nozzle has good length.

When fitted with the Divinus Velvet tip, the T5s fits my ears perfectly. With the stock tips the fit is adequate but the T5s just isn't as comfortable and I find myself readjusting frequently. The isolation of outside noises is really good, probably somewhere around 70% being blocked, if I had to guess. The only really loud noises like vacuum cleaners, coffee grinders, larger vehicles or sports cars were somewhat heard but significantly muffled. To carry on a conversation the T5s had to be out of my ear. Turning on music even at lower than normal volumes put me in my own little world of nothing can bother me now.

The Tin Hifi T5s is quite easy to drive. Even the lower power USB dongles were able to get the T5s to loud levels with plenty left in the tank. The T5s does respond well to more power and scales with quality gear. There were no issues to report at all, the T5s was content on anything I paired it with; dongles, DAP and desktop.

So how does the Tin Hifi T5s sound?

When I first put the T5s in my ears and started listening I was pleased but I wasn't impressed. Over time the T5s has grown on me, they've matured and now I must admit I am impressed.

The bass of the T5s is neutral leaning with a slight sub bass uptick. The body and note-weight of the bass is natural. The sub bass extends good and there is enough rumble and grumble. The impact and slam is enough to keep the music engaging. the upper bass has the right amount of emphasis without bleeding into the lower mids. There is good texture throughout the bass region. Even though there is a bass presence the T5s isn't what I would consider a hard hitting bass prominent IEM. The T5s is a neutral, natural leaning bass with just a slight kiss of the fun side.

The mids of the T5s are very pleasurable with a slight presence in the upper mids. The mids maintain a neutral presentation for the most with just a slight emphasis in the upper reaches of the mids, around 2.5k-4.5k. The tonality of the mids is natural and accurate, reproducing instruments correctly. Vocalists sound natural as well. The energy of the mids may not be what everyone seeks as they don't have the most energetic upper mids that some enjoy. The T5s is borderline neutral, natural with that smidge of a kiss of forwardness.

The treble of the T5s is neutral leaning with rolled off uppers. There is an adequate amount of air and space but it could use a touch more in my opinion. The lower treble and the mid treble have a tick of elevation and may come across as hot to those treble sensitive folk. But the upper treble after 10k rolls off pretty quickly leaving just enough air and space. The treble has good energy and sparkle to stay on the side of natural but could use just a little bit more at times to add the wow factor.

The technical abilities of the T5s are competent enough but aren't going to be mind-blowing. The stage width is average but you aren't going to experience a grand size even though you can hear differences in venue sizes. The imaging is accurate and mostly precise, you can place details on the stage and follow them around but they aren't laser focused but are on point. Depth is decent, you can read a few rows into the stage. Layering is very good, the T5s keeps everything separated and isolated but cohesive. Detail retrieval is good for the price range, you aren't going to be missing details but you probably won't have any new details revealed. Resolution of the details is very good, there is no harshness, glassy, glaring or smearing. Tone and timbre is excellent, the dynamic driver sounds very natural and reproduces in a realistic way.

How does the Tin Hifi T5s compare to it's older sibling, the T5? The T5 has a bigger, heavier shell; the cable isn't near as high quality, the fit isn't as comfortable. And when it comes to the sound comparison, the T5 can't compete, the T5s is a significant upgrade. The T5s has better bass extension and control especially in the mid/upper bass region. The mids of the T5s are more natural sounding and aren't as forward and aggressive as the T5. The treble has better control and isn't as peaky as the T5. The stage isn't quite as wide as the T5 but has better depth and layering. The T5s has a little better detail retrieval and resolution and the tone and timbre is more natural and accurate. The T5s is more neutral leaning then the T5.

Overall, the Tin Hifi T5s is a pleasure to listen to. At first I was kinda meh on them as they just seemed like a small upgrade. But the more time I put on them and the more music I listened to the T5s started to impress me. As I started comparing them to the origianl T5 I heard significant differences and improvements. Given time, feed them quality music and use good sources, the T5s will impress most but not all. As mentioned earlier, those seeking a hard hitting bass or a vivid treble will be somewhat disappointed with the T5s. But if you looking for a neutral leaning presentation with a kiss of emphasis in the bass, pleasureable treble with just enough energy and mids that are natural and engaging without being forthright, then the Tin Hifi T5s may just be what you are looking for in an IEM. I highly recommend the T5s; they impress me, will they you?

I am Dave the Honest Audiophile. Thanks for reading, and I will catch you in the next one. Don't forget to enjoy the music and that honesty is the BEST policy!

I am not a professional sound engineer, producer, musician, or vocalist, etc. I have not done any scientific research, measurements, or in-depth testing of any kind; just my own listening, comparing and internet reading/research.  I have limited, real-life experience with recording, mixing and mastering gear.  I have been involved since my teenage years with various churches as an amateur sound booth technician.

Please take these thoughts, opinions and reasonings as just that, my honest audiophile thoughts, opinions and reasonings.

Twitter: @TalkDbs

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