Disclaimer: Linsoul sent both the Tin Hifi T2 and T2 Pro earphones to me for the purposes of a review here at Headfonics. Our T3 review will be coming out shortly also.
The T2 is currently going for49$ and the T2 Pro, 59$ at Amazon.com. They share a dual-dynamic driver core, basic aesthetic, and house signature sound. To find out more, hit up Linsoul’s Amazon page, and see if you can make heads or tails at Tin Hifi.
To find out more about our budget IEM reviews on Headfonics, click here.
Late January, Marcus introduced me to the Tin HiFi authorized reseller, Linsoul. They have a great selection of Chi-Fi personal audio on Amazon. Check them out in the links above. Recently, reviewer*, a YouTuber I follow, raved about both the T2 and T2 Pro in a pair of videos which I had previously missed. He was right to rave- at least about the T2. Tin HiFi may sound like a silly name in English, but from what I gather, its roots are heavenly.
Both the T2 and T2 Pro share the same spec. As far as I can tell, the T2 Pro diverges from the T2 in color, plug thickness, and number and array of ear pads. It also diverges from the T2’s basic neutral sound signature.
Tin HiFi’s website is absolutely unhelpful in sussing differences. In fact, as far as I can tell, it fails to mention both the T2 Pro and the newer T3.
The same tech: dual drivers, the 10mm of which does lows, and the 6mm of which does highs, and maybe mids, . Both are 16Ω, quote the same amount of 5N oxygen-free copper in their plugs, and use the same damnably slippery and ultimately useless neck cinch.
Apart from elbow angle, both earphones look and act like the 2013-era Astrotec AX-60 hybrid. They lack carrying cases, filter inserts, ear hooks, and the same array of different earpieces, but they are much, much cheaper earphones.
The Pro comes with ten earpiece pairs, one in foam, three in poorly-made black ‘hybrid’ form, and six soft-edged silicon pads. The T2 does away with the hybrids, but otherwise is similarly outfitted.
Like the Astrotech AX-60, they are tough and well machined. Nary a glue splotch or scratch mars their surfaces. In fact, I find them better machined than not only the AX-60 but a number of high-end earphones, Hifiman’s RE800 inclusive. Like the AX-60, the T2 and T2 Pro are ported along the back and horn portion of the mounting tube. The T2 Pro is a shade lighter than the T2.
That, and the cable’s thicker plug, and better selection of ear tips are the only things that differentiate the two earphones. If like me, you’ve got both in hand, I’ll be damned if you don’t mix them up. Really there should be some sort of branding or marking on the earphone shells.
Cables and Connectors
True to their price, both the T2 and T2 Pro are strapped to poor cables. They stretch, kink, and are fiddly. Worse, the thing supposedly cinching together the two channels -purportedly a neck – does nothing of the sort. It falls. It rises. It does it all the time at the smallest change in gravity. It is utterly pointless. It’s so bad that I’d rather the T2 lacked a neck cinch all together than having this thing.
The cables fasten on too tightly. If you put lotion on or cooked with oil in the last few days, you’ll not be able to prise them off again without employing a plumber. The red and blue bits on the earphone’s MMCX jack has no analog in the cable, nor are the cables color-coded. Instead, barely-visible L and R markings rise out of the plastic near the MMCX plug.
The left side also has a tiny raised nib opposite the L sign. A thin heat shrink stress sleeve sticks out from the bottom end of the y-split, and a thicker tube juts out from the multidimensional heavy plug. If only the T2 had a nice, Hidizs MS1-like cable.
Yes, it really is called a multidimensional heavy plug. Hello from the future. And the past. And all the common timeframes split when we decide to turn right rather than left.
Pros and Cons
It’s nice that Tin HiFi include one set of foam earpieces. The soft-edged grey pads are also nice. And the earphones’ metal work and sandblasting are top notch. But that cable. It’s horrible.
Comfort and Fit
If you got on with the AX-60, you’ll get on with the T2 and T2 Pro. They fit well, hold firmly onto their ear pads, and are large enough and jut out of the ear enough to make removal and insertion easy. Evidently, you’re supposed to be able to wear them with the cable either hanging down or over the ear.
Hanging them with the cable over the ear is no problem, but if you want to wear them with the cable hanging straight down, you may have trouble. The earphone sticks out enough that it will clear many ears. Others will get squished pretty hard by the mounting pole. I get on with it, by my wife does not. And when inserted with the cable down, the earphones cant forward strangely in my ears.
That issue aside, both the T2 and T2 Pro are easy to use. And despite How much I rag on about the cable, it transfers only a little touch noise to the ear. Of course, that is, if you ignore the impossible neck cinch. Every time it falls down, it will make a dull scraping sound on the wire, negating all benefits of the T2’s noise-free cable.
Despite being ported, both earphones block your music from quite a bit of environmental noise. Take them on the train, and more likely than not, you’ll not have to raise the volume much over the volume you listen to at home.
The mix of seven ear tips (T2) or ten (T2 Pro) covers most of the bases. Foam, soft, and hard rubber, in most sizes. Because I’ve got sensitive ears, the soft-edged rubbers are great.
Their machining, however, isn’t. Some are deformed, others have strangely shaped stalks. Whatever. These are rather inexpensive earphones. I really should remember that. Still, earphones in the price range whose accessories are nicer aren’t rare.
Accessories and Packaging
I’m pretty sure that the boxes the T2 and T2 Pro come in were made for cheap ballpoint pens that pretend to luxury. Inside the box is a book-like thing that nearly requires pliers to lever out of the box.
Open the front cover and you pull out some pretty hefty literature. Oh! It’s not the literature that’s heavy, it’s the earphones, whose foams, which vicelike, grabbed the literature.
Then there is the foam. It stinks like a chemical factory. These are inexpensive earphones, Nathan, no need to judge. Still, some cheap earphones have better cables, better ear tips, and lack stinky boxes and inserts. But Nathan, do those earphones sound as good?
Click on Page 2 for Sound Impressions & Comparisons