IEM for a stupidly small amount of money

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Rotijon, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Jjwfr

    Jjwfr Rando

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    Verdict: still has very deep thick subbass, with a smaller midbass hump. Midrange less recessed thought maybe still down 1dB. Upper mids don't have the sharp 'edge' that makes female vocals shine (may be a good thing for those sensitive). The treble is similar to the TFZ 5 but less peaky / sharp -- similar in the way of extension, but smoother. I.e. not detail monsters.

    Overall -- there are two options on massdrop. The $119 for the B2 WITHOUT detachable cable is a better buy than the B2M WITH detachable cable. Enjoyable sig, and $119 isn't that much for what I'm getting. But at the $199 price point, I would get the Mee P1 instead.
     
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  2. ktmracer12345

    ktmracer12345 Rando

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    A few questions on these:

    1. There seems to be little consensus on Series 3 vs Series 5. Is there one that seems to be better, or are they just different?

    2. There seems to be little consensus on 3/5 vs 3s/5s. Both the 3 & 3s are available on Massdrop right now. Is the tuning different? Is the braided cord worth $10?

    3. Did Marvey, sphinxvc, or any of the other more reputable members (you know who they are) ever listen to a modded version of these?

    4. Are these still the latest Chi-fi hype train or has something else come along? This thread seems to be dying off.
     
  3. beowulf

    beowulf Guest

    Been through the whole pages on the thread, which having a shop page open right on the "Pay Now" step but couldn't get myself to click it.

    Anyone has the Shure SE846 and can do a comparison with the TFZ S5?
    I got the SE846 about a week ago and while I find them quite good, I'm not exactly blown away. They ended up costing almost 900 EUR, to which I'd probably have to add another 20 for tips (stock aren't working for me) and maybe a cable (I hate the stiff cable guide).

    Now in parallel I use a set of Havi B3 Pro 1 (Were 70 EUR I think) which for some reason I really like. Maybe it's the sense of space or the punchy (yet a bit muddied) bass. Doing an A/B with the Shure and the Havi leaves me a bit disappointed... the 846 are better at everything except comfort, but I just don't find the gap enough to justify the price difference, even considering the diminishing returns that are common in the hobby.

    I have at least one month left to return the Shure SE846, so I'll keep them for now and see if some mental burn-in helps. But does it make sense to order the TFZ, or are they so below the 846 that it will be a waste of money? (I won't be able to return the TFZ).

    I'm a full-size can guy, not really into IEMs, so don't have much experience to compare....
     
  4. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    I liked the Se846 a lot, but have found several better iems at even cheaper prices. Ibasso it03, a few Sonys, and probably a couple of others that I don't recall. I was say the Ibasso it03 is a bit better then the 8s, may want to get a listen to those.
     
  5. phillip

    phillip Friend

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    I personally tried the TFZ 1s, 3s and 5s (s is the newer version), and the Balance 2/2m (Gold and Silver). The 1, 3, and 5 sound a lil plasticky to my ears (maybe is the reverb thing on the bass). But generally, the TFZ sound sig is bass heavy. And while I can dig it for a few moment, in the long run it feels wonky and my head pains.

    Maybe it's just not meant for me.
     
  6. skank

    skank Friend

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    How do the 2/2m's compare to the 5s? I have the 5s and like them out of my phone or ipod but they have WAY to much bass if I play them out of my PC using lossless WAV files or when playing CD's. I normally listen at pretty low volumes so the bass boost isn't too offensive to me but I'd be happy if the 2/2m's were a little more 'balanced' without loosing any detail or airyness.
     
  7. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    I'd rather have the 5 than the 2 or 2m's. I found those quite mid bass heavy and annoying.

    Massdrop has a KING version of the 5 with a graphene driver. It may be worth considering if the rigidness of graphene can improve the TFZ sq.
     
  8. phillip

    phillip Friend

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    What SGS said is true. I sold my 2 (silver) because it pains my ears too much. I'm very sensitive to the big thumping bass (should be the mid bass) that long exposure to thumping will hurt my listening experience. Thinking back, the reason I bought the 2 (silver) is because the 2/2m (gold) is even mid-bass heavy. They're absolutely fun to listen to in the beginning, but it hurts very quickly with the thumpings. I chose the 2 because it "lacks" the mid-bass bump compared to the gold. However, sooner or later, the silver is also too much to bear for my ears.
     
  9. Lynolix

    Lynolix Rando

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    A review on Reddit's /r/headphones on the TFZ Exclusive King (for what it's worth):
    https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones...oes_it_again_with_the_new_tfz_exclusive_king/

    There's also a MD drop available for them atm, alongside the other iterations (minus the Balance series).

    I've personally joined the drop on the King to replace my Shure SE425 as it's slowly breaking down from a "leaky" MMCX connector on the left unit.

    Given the review, and what I imagine the P1 to sound like, if the King is anything like them and my ears similar to the reviewer, I'll likely be happy.

    Here's to not having regrets on following through with the drop.
     
  10. phillip

    phillip Friend

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    I have myself a new version of TFZ Exclusive King, which is in grey-black shell. You may discount my account for new toy syndrome. I changed the tips with spinfits, and find them better than the rest of the TFZ family (including the latest iteration of Exclusive 3 and 5) in terms of personal sound preference. It's fairly balanced, and the most un-TFZ iem I've heard so far due to the significant reduction of boomy mid-range. Treble is definitely lifted, but the mids aren't dry (or lacking weight) to my ears.

    Let's see after few months if my perception changes.

    Edit 1: After a few days settling down, I find that the vocal projection is somewhat in front of my face while the instruments are further behind from me. The x-y staging is not extremely wide, but comfortably far enough so to not make the music sounds congested. Stage is not exactly tall either.

    Vocals are somewhat on the thinner and drier side in a smaller magnitude compared to the other TFZ family which has fatter and rounder vocals due to the lifted bass. The thinner and somewhat coarser vocals work magic on rock genre. Ladies don't sound alluring or magical here.

    Bass is not overpowering even with the Spinfits. With the skew pointing to mids and highs, surprisingly so far I'm not hearing any shrilling treble yet. Maybe I'm not sensitive to treble anymore.

    Edit 2: This thing is designed for low-powered devices. Pairing with smartphones, I didn't even manage to get the volume past 60% before the loudness is unbearable.

    Edit 3 (26/7): Surprised by the micro details it exudes (for that price). Can see why TFZ calls it the Exclusive King. Micro details are easily picked up due to the leaner signature (less midbass) and slightly elevated treble. However, not all genre sound fantastic on ExKing. For one, orchestra. Just listened to Vivaldi: Winter. The strings and positioning are amazing, but the width of the stage is limited. I love my orchestra in HD800, but not with most IEMS, and ExKing doesn't really excel in stage width as mentioned before.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  11. phillip

    phillip Friend

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    Btw, TFZ will release a new Exclusive Series 4 (I think), which is a consumer version of Exclusive King. Similarly priced, but perhaps more bass (judging from my interpretation of ExSeries 4 tuned for general public in the marketing material as opposed to ExKing for monitoring).
     
  12. pr0l1f1k

    pr0l1f1k Rando

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    Just ordered the TFZ Exclusive 5 by riding the hypetrain from other chi-fi reviewers and the comparably better fit than the Exclusive Kings. Here's hoping I don't regret anything... my current beaters are a pair of KZ ZS5.
     
  13. Francisk

    Francisk Rando

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    For the price, the KZ ZST and KZ ZS5 perform surprisingly well especially after pairing them with the Comply T400 tips.
     
  14. Panohm

    Panohm Facebook Friend

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    The KZ ZS5 is kind of controversial....
     
  15. Francisk

    Francisk Rando

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    I use my own ears to judge instead of relying on YouTube reviews. For the price, the KZ ZST and ZS5 sound amazing to me if paired with the right tips like the Comply T400. I don't really care how many drivers are there in the IEM as long as it sounds good to my ears.
     
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  16. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Rando

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    I got a pair of Kings to replace my TFZ-5s (cable broke and the dealer was willing to give me a pair of Kings with a minuscule top-up). Fresh out of the box, the balance isn't actually very different from my 5S, but it seems slightly more sensitive (it picks up a little hiss from my laptop while my 5S didn't). SQ wise it feels like an upgrade over the 5S across the board, but I hate relying on audio memory.

    I also heard the Exclusive 5 while I was at the store, and I thought it was quite a lot muddier than the Kings (and my old 5S). Its quite a bit more sensitive, too.
     
  17. Treesmithy

    Treesmithy Rando

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    I find that the Complys make the ZS5 a bit dark for my liking: sure the bass becomes wonderfully thunderous but you lose the crystalline highs on piano and the like. The detail also break down in noisy, complex sections with these tips (see "Us and Them"). I've resorted to the stock tips, probably not the best option but I can easily bump the bass without losing any of the signature openness and separation.

    As for the video above, I read that it had been debunked but haven't looked into it myself. If KZ did manage these results with half the drivers then their work is all the more impressive.

    EDIT: these ZS5's have kicked my ATH CKR9's into touch at a fifth of the price, they sound very special to me.
     

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