Tin HiFi T5 Review
Tin HiFi is arguably one of the most successful Chinese brands in the audiophile scene. Their branding has pretty much become synonymous with great value and innovation. With products such as the Tin HiFi T2 and P1, they prove that great sound quality can be achieved even with a limited budget.
This time around, Tin HiFi is once again looking to up their game with the release of the long-awaited Tin HiFi T5. This IEM is the latest version in the T Series and the successor to the Tin T4. But, unlike the previous models, Tin HiFi is looking to introduce features that are usually only reserved for higher-end models.
Of course, Tin HiFi isn’t the only brand that is aiming to offer premium features at a budget price point. The market has massively changed since Tin HiFi first entered the scene. So the question is, does the Tin T5 have what it takes to be a truly special IEM in the incredibly crowded sub $200 price point? Keep on scrolling to find out.
We would like to thank Linsoul for providing the review unit and for making this review possible. However, this does not influence our review in any way. Everything written here is my honest opinion.
Packaging and Accessories
The Tin HiFi T5 offers a lot more extra accessories compared to your normal Chi-Fi IEM
The Tin HiFi T5 comes in a clean-looking white box that is very similar to the previous generation T4’s box. The look and feel of the box are quite surprising since it is very similar to modern smartphones and other gadgets. The improvement in each generation of Tin HiFi’s packaging is a good indication of how much effort Tin HiFi puts into the presentation of their products.
Opening the box reveals the T5’s newly designed shells as well as the gorgeous carrying case that it comes with. You do have to dig in quite a bit to access the silicone ear tips.
Once inside, you are greeted by six pairs with two variations. You get regular black silicone ear tips as well tips with colored stems. We chose the ones with colored stems and also utilized third-party ear tips for this review.
Additionally, you get a cleaning tool and tweezers for changing the filters. The extra filters, the foam tips, and the stock cable are all found inside the carrying case.
Overall, I was very impressed with the packaging and accessories of the T5. The box is well designed, and you get way more accessories than usual. As someone who is experiencing Tin HiFi’s products for the first time, I am very impressed.
The included carrying case is one of the best looking that we have seen
- Silicone Ear Tips (6 Pairs)
- Foam Ear Tips (1 Pair)
- Magnetic Carrying Case
- Extra Nozzle Filters
- Cleaning Tool
- Tweezers for changing filters
Before we go through the rest of the review, we thought that Tin HiFi deserves some extra credit for making such great accessories. For the price that you are paying, you are getting a lot of high-quality extras with the T5. The carrying case alone looks way better than the ones you get from IEMs twice or thrice the price of the T5.
This gorgeous-looking white pleather case has a magnetic locking mechanism. The space inside isn’t too big, and there aren’t any compartments to store small accessories such as ear tips. However, it has enough space for the IEMs, which is all I ever need to carry.
The included cleaning tool also looks unique, and the color matches the case. Overall, these accessories do not add to the performance of the IEM. However, they add a lot of value to the overall package.
Design and Build Quality
The Tin HiFi T5’s shells is built with titanium which is only usually seen with high-end models.
The Tin T5 makes a departure from the traditional bullet shell design that the T series is known for. Instead, they are now utilizing a more traditional universal IEM form factor. I highly prefer this shape since it tends to be more comfortable.
The material used for the T5’s shells is also different. The Tin T5 is constructed of titanium which gives it a very striking look and a very solid feel. This was quite surprising since titanium is usually reserved for more high-end IEMs.
However, I initially thought the shells were made of aluminum due to their lightweight design. But regardless of the material, these IEMs are well built and should survive the challenges of daily use.
I also like the aesthetics of these IEMs. They have a very clean and professional look which makes them seem more expensive than their asking price. The only visible branding is Tin HiFi’s logo which is located on the faceplates. The logo can barely be seen since it is only visible at a certain angle.
The only design element that I disliked was the left and right indicators. The font used seems out of place. I would have preferred if they used a more appropriate font and if they made the indicators less visible similar to the main logo. But aside from that, the aesthetics of the T5 are on point.
The Tin T5 features a rather thin stock cable. This would normally be a downside, especially since there are lots of thick and high-quality stock cables at this price range. However, the thickness works well with the T5’s overall design.
The cables feel light and pretty much disappear once you start using them. And most importantly, they do not get tangled easily.
The build quality is also on point. The housing of the 2 pin connectors and the 3.5mm connector are made of metal. The Y-split also feels solid and looks great with the subtle branding.
In terms of specs, Tin HiFi claims that the stock cable is made of 40/0.05 Oxygen Free Copper cable that is plated with 200D Kevlar. The main benefits include complete electrical isolation for fast and clean transmission.
Overall, the stock cable isn’t the best that I have encountered. However, it is still a great cable, and I do not have any real complaints.
Fit and Comfort
Tin HiFi claims that they have used machine learning to achieve the best fit possible. And while you won’t be getting a fit that’s close to CIEMs, I will have to say that these are indeed very comfortable. Despite not having as many grooves as other semi-custom IEMs, I did not feel any pressure points or discomfort during prolonged use.
The only real complaint that I have is with the nozzles. They are quite short, and some third-party ear tips had some compatibility issues. We have tested some of our favorite and most recommended ear tips, such as the Spinfit CP100, JVC Spiral Dots, and Azla Xelastec.
Out of these ear tips, the only one that had an issue was the Spinfit CP100. It simply would not stay in the nozzle and was almost left in my ears. Even the stock ear tips were initially slipping off but stayed in place once I pushed them enough. The rest of my ear tips worked properly.
The trend with the recent dynamic driver offerings such as the KBear Believe is that they tend to be power-hungry. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the Tin HiFi T5. I was able to run it with most of my sources with relative ease.
My test equipment included DAC/Amps such as the iFi Nano BL, dongles such as the Audirect Beam 2SE, and DAPs such as the Fiio M11. If you are just starting out and haven’t invested in higher quality sources, you still won’t run any issues with driving the T5.
Tested with: Fiio M11, iFi Nano iDSD Black Label, Audirect Beam 2SE
The Tin HiFi T5’s sound almost made me believe it was a more expensive pair. However, some of its limitations remind me that it is indeed a sub $200 IEM.
The aesthetics of the Tin HiFi T5 isn’t the only one that received a massive overhaul. Even the drivers are completely reworked by Tin HiFi. The T5 is equipped with a 10 mm DOC dynamic driver, which Tin HiFi claims to be the evolution of DLC dynamic drivers.
Aside from the claimed superior sonic performance, Tin HiFi also claims that the physical properties of the diaphragm will not change over time. This gives the user confidence that the drivers will not easily fail.
But with that said, I chose to go blindly with this review. I initially did not pay too much attention to the technical specifications (which I didn’t have during my initial listen) and instead solely judged the IEMs for what they had to offer.
Of course, I will admit that I did have some high hopes considering the rest of the T series had nothing but praise from the community. However, I did not expect the T5 to be this good.
The Tin HiFi T5 exceeded my expectations and impressed me even during my initial listen. I even mistook these IEMs to be a more expensive pair due to their sound quality.
And the reason for this was because of the well-implemented balanced signature and its technicalities. Lows are punchy and are able to go deep. Mids are transparent and airy. And highs are also very well extended without being fatiguing to listen to.
Additionally, I did not find any major issues with the T5’s presentation. It did not have harshness, the mids were not shouty, and the lows were not bloated.
But with that said, I found some things that prevent it from fully competing with more expensive pairs. These were, unfortunately, things that reminded me of the price point of these IEMs. Let us talk about the T5’s sound in more detail.
The Tin HiFi T5 offers deep and well-extended bass. However, the bass is more felt than it is heard. They present a powerful slam but do not interfere or bleed into the lower mids.
The only downside with the T5’s excellent control of the lows is that the overall sound doesn’t feel as thick as competing offerings as well as higher-end IEMs. The T5 doesn’t sound thin. But I do think it could use a bit more body in the low end. Also, while I do not consider this to be a basshead IEM, I do think that it steps up and performs when the songs call for some deep and hard-hitting bass.
The mids were arguably my favorite aspect of the T5’s sound. They were very pleasant to listen to and had great positioning in the mix. It had a layered effect where vocals seemed to be separated from the rest of the frequencies and, at times, appeared more forward than they actually are.
The vocals on the T5 are also very good at preventing any harshness. I listened to my usual test tracks featuring female vocals that had intense passages, and they did not appear to be peaky on the T5. Of course, this does mean that some details are lost, but I do not mind since the end result is very enjoyable within the context of the T5’s overall signature.
The only possible critique that I have with the T5’s sound signature is the highs. This isn’t because of poor execution. In fact, the highs are very commendable, considering this is a dynamic driver IEM.
Peaks are well controlled without sacrificing detail. And if you haven’t experienced more expensive sets, then you shouldn’t find any fault on the highs. But for me, it was immediately apparent that the T5 could not resolve highs as well as it does with the mids.
This issue was most apparent whenever there were crash cymbals in a song. These elements naturally sound messy whenever they are hit. But for the T5, it felt that they could not bring out all the detail on these cymbals. And when directly compared to more expensive DD or Hybrid pairs, the overall sound isn’t quite as clear.
However, I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker. In fact, this is pretty much in line with its price point.
Imaging and Soundstage
With how good the presentation of the T5 is, I did find the sound to be immersive. However, I wouldn’t say the T5 is the widest sounding IEM that I have heard, even at this price point. They are pretty much above average.
They give enough room for instruments to breathe, therefore giving a more realistic sound. However, they do not have that beyond your head feel. The imaging is also quite decent but is nothing out of the ordinary.
Ikko OH1 Meteor
Another excellent sounding IEM that arguably competes above its price point is the Ikko OH1 Meteor. And despite having a different driver configuration, its sound signature reminded me of the Tin T5.
One difference that you will immediately hear is that the OH1 offers a more colored sound. The OH1 has a more fun-sounding approach where the bass is stronger, and the mids are more pronounced.
The T5, on the other hand, has a more balanced signature that does not highlight any specific frequencies. But from what I’m hearing, both IEMs have a similar level of technicalities. The OH1, however, has a wider sounding stage.
Both IEMs trade blows in sound quality as well as in build quality. The better IEM will come down to which sound signature you.
Tin HiFi has once again delivered a great value IEM with the Tin T5. Nearly everything about the package feels very premium. Everything from its accessories to the performance of the IEM is all top-notch. And it now feels like Tin HiFi has learned how to deliver a complete package.
The T5 isn’t a perfect IEM, however. There are some instances where you are reminded of the technical limitations of its driver. However, I would argue that even with those minor issues, the T5 still delivers an enjoyable listening experience. If you are looking for a balanced sounding dynamic driver IEM under $200, then it is hard to beat the Tin HiFi T5.
- Driver Unit: 10mm DOC Driver
- Sensitivity: 103dB ±1dB @1kHz 0.126V
- Frequency Response: 10-20kHz
- Impedance: 48Ω±15%
- Rated/Max Power: 3/4mW
- Max Distortion: 1%@1kHz 0.126V
- Interface: Gold-plated 2P connector
- Plug: 3.5mm black glue gold plated plug
- Conductor/Cable: 2.8mm (40/0.05 oxygen free copper +200D Kevlar)* 4 – core Black PU cable L=1.25m
- Housing Color: Titanium empty grey.
Albums Used For Testing
- Milet – Who I am
- Babymetal – Legend Metal Galaxy
- Mamamoo – Travel
- Periphery- Periphery 3 and 4
- Blackpink – The Album
- Final Fantasy VII Acoustic Arrangements
- Square Enix Jazz- Final Fantasy VII At Billboard Live Tokyo
- Sawano Hiroyuki – Best of Vocal Works
- Yorushika – Plagiarism
- Intervals – Circadian
Stephen is a musician, cinematographer, and headphone enthusiast who is passionate about reviewing audio equipment. He has been playing guitar for at least a decade, which introduced him to professional recording equipment such as headphones and in-ear monitors. With the help of reviews and online content, he was able to learn the ins and outs of the hobby. His goal is to give back to the community by providing quality content to help others enjoy the beautiful (and expensive) world of audio.
Favorite Headphones: Sennheiser HD660s