INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:
The TinHiFi T3 Plus is an in-ear monitor (IEM) using a single liquid crystal polymer diaphragm dynamic driver. The T3 Plus is currently on sale for around $70 at TinHiFi’s Official Store on AliExpress. I received the T3 Plus directly from TinHiFi in exchange for my impressions.
I have used the TinHiFi T3 Plus with the following sources:
- Qudelix 5K
- Ikko ITM01
- Audirect Beam 3 Pro
I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to:
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The TinHiFi T3 Plus comes in a medium-sized rectangular grey cardboard box with a white slipcover. The slipcover has minimal branding. In addition to the IEMs themselves, T3 Plus comes with 12 silicone eartips (S [2x], M [2x], L [2x]) in two different color schemes. My review package also included three pairs of TinHiFi aquamarine blue foam eartips. The T3 Plus comes with a grey TinHiFi-branded drawstring bag for storage. In terms of documentation, the package includes a user manual and a card with a Quick Response code link to TinHiFi’s website.
BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:
The TinHiFi T3 Plus has translucent dark grey acrylic shells with a pseudo-custom fit. The teardrop-shaped faceplates have a black-and-white marbled pattern into which the TinHiFi logo is embossed in gold. There is a single small circular vent adjacent to the nozzle on each shell. The interior faces of the shells are marked with “L” and “R” indicators. The 2-pin connector holes are flush with the shell. The nozzles are brass with mesh nozzle filters and have substantial rims to secure eartips.
The detachable 2-pin cable is curled in a spiral pattern below the Y-split. Above the Y-split, both sides of the cable are wrapped in a double-helix pattern. The cable uses dark anodized grey metal hardware for the 3.5mm jack housing, Y-split, chin-adjustment choker, and 2-pin connectors. The Y-split hardware is branded with the TinHiFi logo. There is strain relief above the 3.5mm jack, but none at the Y-split. The cable has pre-formed plastic earguides without memory wire. The cable is moderately microphonic even with the use of the chin-adjustment slider.
COMFORT, FIT, AND ISOLATION:
The TinHiFi T3 Plus is intended to be worn cable-up. The earpieces have a moderate insertion depth. Secureness of fit is average. Comfort is above average. Isolation is above average for a single dynamic driver design. I did not notice driver flex with the T3 Plus but I used the included foams for my evaluation.
My measurements of the TinHiFi T3 Plus can be found on my expanding squig.link database: TinHiFi T3 Plus — Squiglink by Bedrock Reviews
My review unit has some channel imbalance but it was not audible outside of the “Gaming” mode on the Ikko ITM01, which I presume applies a preset which exacerbates the imbalance in the vocal region.
My measurements are conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle per the process described here. These measurements should not be directly compared to IEC-compliant measurements.
The TinHiFi T3 Plus has a Harman-ish tuning.
The T3 Plus has a warm, sub-bass-focused bass tuning. The sub-bass is elevated above the mid-bass. Sub-bass extension is good but not exceptional. There is more slam than rumble. The bass has moderate texture. Bass articulation is good, but bass dynamics are slightly compressed. Drums have slight plasticity to their impact.
The T3 Plus follows the Harman target in principle with respect to its midrange tuning, with a shallow recession in the lower midrange followed by a broad elevation in the upper midrange. The upper midrange is smooth and omits the dreaded presence region peak. Vocals are exceptionally clear for an IEM of this price, especially with respect to male vocals. The T3 imbues melodic male vocals with a lushness uncommon for budget IEMs. Female vocals sound slightly less vibrant in contrast, but this is a tradeoff worth making in my opinion. The T3 Plus also does a very good job of preserving the audibility of underlying instrumentation, which is a common pitfall for IEMs with Harman-ish tunings. I do not find the T3 Plus to be sibilant. Midrange timbre is mostly natural but exhibits hints of plasticity and compression, as discussed earlier.
The T3 Plus’s treble response is likely to be the most polarizing aspect of its tuning as the lower treble is more elevated than I would consider safe. I enjoy the sizzle and definition this gives percussion, but some may find it uncomfortable. While there is more sparkle than air, upper treble extension is surprisingly good for a budget IEM. Transient delivery is a little hazy and not as sharp or defined as it could be. Detail retrieval is good for the price. As mentioned before, instrument separation is very good. Imaging is fairly average, but the soundstage is quite wide for a single dynamic driver design.
COMPARISON WITH THE MOONDROP ARIA:
The Aria has superior sub-bass extension but the T3 Plus sounds warmer and more full-bodied. This increased sense of body also applies with respect to vocals on the T3 Plus. Vocals are more prominent on the Aria but the T3 Plus does a better job of maintaining the audibility of midrange instruments under vocal lines. The Aria sounds less plasticky in terms of its timbre than the T3 Plus but also sounds thinner overall. The Aria has cleaner bass articulation but the T3 Plus has better overall detail retrieval. Treble transient delivery is more defined on the Aria. The T3 Plus’s soundstage is more expansive.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The TinHiFi T3 Plus is very easy to drive. I did not notice hiss with any of my sources.
The TinHiFi T3 Plus, while quite different from the IEMs which built TinHifi’s reputation, is a well-tuned IEM with competitive technical performance for the price point.
The TinHiFi T3 Plus can be purchased below: