HELM Audio F2 Review featured image

HELM Audio F2 Review



The driver array, according to HELM Audio’s specification has a posted 10mw max power handling capability but I beg to differ and think that that specification should be revised because these can handle lots more.

A perfect example is that they comfortably handle their DB12 which is capable of 111mW at the same 32Ω load.

These improve sonically as power input increases. Although the F2 seems to be designed efficiently enough to run off a mobile device directly and not lack in volume, you can still use a high-power amplifier and obtain improved results.

Sensitivity specifications are listed as 103db @1kHz and an impedance of 32Ω. The frequency response is listed as 20 to 20kHz and THD levels as less than 1%. At 1kHz. No power input is listed.

HELM Audio F2 paired with smartphone


The HELM Audio F2 can run directly off a 3.5mm jack if your mobile device is equipped with one. However, after the above experience, I found that these have excellent scalability as you increase the quality of the amplification.

You might enjoy the extra amount of bass that the F2 offers but you might go overboard if you use a bass boost feature or something like the iFi Audio hip-dac3 with XBass. That will probably take you overboard. So, use neutral-toned sources with the F2.

Tin HiFi T5

Select Comparisons

Since there are not many equally-valued audiophile-level IEMs with built-in microphones and inline media controls out there, only IEMs of current similar price tiers will be compared to the F2.

Tin HiFi T5


The Tin HiFi T5 follows the T-line tradition by using a single dynamic driver implementation for full spectrum reproduction. In the case of the T5, it uses a 10mm DOC driver that presents a load of 48Ω to the driving amplifier stage.

The higher impedance might translate into a less efficient set but they both seem equal in that respect. The T5 single driver does post a wider frequency response that is capable of reaching 40kHz but that frequency range is unusable. What matters is the quality of the delivery.

The T5 is a well-accessorized IEM out of the box. It comes with a nice storage case, a decent cable assembly, 3.5mm connectivity, seven sets of tips, surprisingly some replacement output nozzle filters, a brush, and some tweezers. I have rarely seen an inclusion of accessories of this caliber at this price point.


The Tin HiFi T5 IEM shells are robust, made from aviation-grade aluminum, and are ergonomically designed to fit most ears. One obvious observation is that there’s a large size difference between these two. The F2 earbuds are smaller and more compact.

The Kevlar-coated cable assembly is removable and the IEM shells use a flush-mounted system with .78mm two-pin connectivity. Not only does this set have a generous accessories package, but the features also add to the overall package.

Comfort-wise, I’d give it to the F2 if it had a longer output stem because that would aid in a better seal and increased comfort. The T5 is a larger IEM and some might feel more so the extra bulk.


I do enjoy the overall T5 sound signature up to the high-frequency response that I find to be on the harsh side of the scale and overcooked. The bass response is similar to the F2 bass which has an elevation into the lower midrange but little effectiveness below 30Hz.

The T5 seems more impactful and better at portraying a realistic snare and just presents itself with an improved attack and visceral energy. It’s the punchy set in this comparison to the F2.

But again’ the T5 high frequencies are harsh and the set seems too forward overall and sonically speaking. That puts the F2 front and center if you prefer a set that will not provoke a tinnitus attack, literally.




The OD100 also uses a single dynamic driver but it uses a 9.2mm diamond-like carbon dynamic driver with a 16Ω impedance and it does a good job, especially considering the bottom line and the low price tag.

ORIVETI had a couple of objectives in designing the OD100. One was to make the IEM small in stature. The second objective was to serve up as much performance as possible given a certain budget level, and I think they succeeded.


There is a funny aspect to the OD100 design because it looks more like a TIN Audio-designed IEM than the TIN Audio T5 in this comparison. The OD100 body style resembles the T2 and T4 style bodies which are robust by nature.

Their all-metal construction could probably survive a run over by an average vehicle but please don’t try that and just enjoy the music they produce.

The stock cable is a nice one and is removable but doesn’t include inline controls, let alone a microphone which the F2 has. It’s composed of a quad-braid and metal hardware.

Again, there is a clear win when it comes to accessories included in the box. The OD100 comes with a zippered and padded storage case, nine sets of tips, and of course, the cable assembly.


The OD100 has a flatter sonic tuning overall and is a neutral set, more so than the other two. Perhaps that’s what you’re looking for. But there’s also a bump in performance when it comes to the OD100 soundstage, especially depth.

The set does better staging by a small margin but fails at producing the top of the spectrum and there’s a lack of high-frequency extension with this set’s sonic signature. However, bass bleed is kept to a minimum on the OD100.

It’s a good thing too because the OD100 has a forward midrange presentation and it would ruin that aspect which is tastefully done. But one can tell there’s an increased smoothness character in the F2 midrange response that the planar driver is responsible for producing.

HELM Audio F2 box

Our Verdict

The HELM Audio F2 has a lot going for it but with a few caveats. Yes, it has an elevated bass response and an attached cable but it has a microphone, 18-function media controls, and a satisfying overall sonic presentation that surpasses most models you’ll find on a big-store end cap.

Construction-wise, it’s also superior to many budget models plus HELM Audio offers excellent after-sale service that is attentive and responsive, or at least my single experience with their staff went that way, so I have to give credit where credit is due.

Another aspect that’s worth mentioning is their recent F2 price reduction. All that combined makes the HELM Audio F2 a reasonable offer.

HELM Audio F2 Specifications

  • Driver type(s): Dynamic Coil & Magnetic Planar
  • Driver Size: Dynamic Coil 10mm, Planar 6mm
  • Max Power Handling:10mW
  • Frequency response: 20 – 20,000Hz
  • Sensitivity: 103db
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: ≤1% @1kHz
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Connector: 3.5mm TRRS
  • Features: Volume Control and Microphone

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