The TINHIFI T3 Plus may be a little edgy in the upper mids, but they’re comfortable, and they sound amazing with certain genres.
A couple of years ago, I reviewed the T3 IEMs from TINHIFI, and we liked them for the most part. They had a significant hump in the upper mids, which made them sound edgy on certain tracks, but they were beautifully spacious and organic for the most part.
We also liked their comfort and bulletproof build quality; not too many sub-$100 earphones have full aluminum housings and a beautiful two-tone braided cable.
Now we have the $79 TINHIFI T3 Plus, which sounds like a sequel, but it’s a whole different animal in reality. While the original T3 was a metal bullet-style earphone with BA and Dynamic drivers, the T3 Plus is a plastic IEM-style earphone with only a single Dynamic driver. From what I can see and hear, the only similarity is the pricing and sound signature.
So, is the T3 Plus really a “plus” over the first T3? Is it worth the $79 (+ an extra $20 off as of this writing)? Read on, and I’ll let you know the scoop!
Disclaimer: This unit was sent to us by Hifigo in exchange for our review. However, no input was given or promises made regarding the content contained in this evaluation.
As already mentioned, the T3 Plus has a resin (plastic) housing shaped like your standard universal-fit IEM. They have a lovely marble finish which makes them look more expensive than they are, and the gold TINHIFI logo looks really good set into the side of each earpiece.
In addition, the earpieces have brass nozzles set into the ends, which hold the ear tips securely. Inside the earpieces are 10mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms.
The braided cable that comes with the T3 Plus attaches with standard two-pin connectors, and while it’s thin, it’s also flexible, making it easy to work with.
I also like the cable’s tangle resistance, plus the shrink wrap near the connector allows it to hook comfortably over your ear. Overall, the cable is nicely put together, including the metal 3.5mm plug with excellent stress relief.
As far as accessories go, you get two types of silicone ear tips, three pairs each, a pair of memory foam tips, plus a cloth carrying bag. With the vast array of included ear tips, you should have no problem getting a secure, comfortable fit, and consequently, they fit me like a glove using the pre-installed tips.
For my sound tests, I connected the T3 Plus to my Fiio M11 Plus LTD digital audio player and played a bunch of tunes from the Tidal “Audiophile 101” playlist. As you would expect, these IEMs are quite easy to drive, and any dongle or smartphone should have sufficient power. On the other hand, they do scale nicely with cleaner sources.
TINHIFI advertises the T3 Plus’ sound as balanced with solid bass, natural mids, and comfortable treble response, and I’ll say they were right on the money with two of those.
The T3 Plus has a balanced v-shape tuning with slight elevations in the upper mids and bass, giving them something of an open, exciting sound. The bass is strong but not overpowering, which provides some nice weight to the presentation.
The treble is also pretty smooth, providing nice air and openness, which I like. I would also say the lower midrange is clean and natural, which is one of the things I liked about the first T3. This makes many instruments and vocals sound quite organic. Soundstage is above average for the price point.
The only issue I have with the T3 Plus is a slight sharpness in the upper mids, which makes the sound just a little metallic and unnatural at times. I heard it a lot with jazz and classical songs. This especially comes out with horns and strings, at times making them sound a little piercing.
With rhythmic genres like hip-hop, pop, and R&B, they are lush in a good way, with pleasant warmth plus good clarity. In addition, I found them to be really musical with this type of material, with strong dynamics and precise attack.
The Wrap Up
Ultimately, like the original T3, I found the TINHIFI T3 Plus to be well-built, extra comfortable to wear, and technically proficient beyond their price point. On the other hand, like the original T3, they still have a little hardness in the upper mids that can be distracting at times, albeit not as severe.
Even so, I think the TINHIFI T3 is quite good for the money, especially if you listen primarily to modern genres like hip-hop and pop. They are quite musical in that regard.
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.