Tin Audio T3 review – do they shine bright?

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7.6

Sound

6.5/10

Fit and comfort

8.5/10

Build

9.0/10

Value

6.5/10

Pros

  • Spacious soundstage
  • Instrument separation
  • Overall clarity

Cons

  • Overly bright and lean
  • Vocal sibilance
  • Tangle prone cable

Following the footsteps of famed T2 and T2 pro, the next model in Tin Audio line of affordable in-ears is T3. It’s just slightly more expensive and comes with a promise of even greater fidelity. So let’s put those claims to the test.

BUILD AND FIT

Once again, Tin Audio opted for a proven formula with a full aluminum body feels solid and sturdy. The cable is different this time around with preshaped ear-hooks that fit around your ears. Other than that it’s still braided, quite soft and very prone to tangling. I’d prefer a classical no-hook cable as we had on T2 but that’s really a matter of preference. Detachable cable means you can change the default one with any MMCX connector cable you like.

It’s a very personal thing, but achieving a good and secure fit was quite easy for me. That’s great because the last thing you want with such lean sounding headphones is to lose even more bass because of a bad fit. Luckily, there’s a lot of different eartips, including foam ones, provided in the box.

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A rich selection of eartips in the box.

SOUND

Overall clarity and precision I liked about T2 is present in this model too. Already great instrument separation became even better. Bass is once again very well behaved, fast and precise, but on a leaner side. That means T3 is definitely not meant for bass-heads. And even if you’re not one of those I couldn’t blame you for wishing just a bit more grunt and weight in the bass region. Going past the bass line, T3 definitely sounds even more spacious than T2 and there’s more air around the instruments. Unfortunately, the upper midrange is even more pronounced this time and vocals tend to sizzle at you most of the time as sibilance is quite common. Now, join that with lean bass and midbass and we get the overall sound signature that is even brighter this time. For me, that gets tiring very quickly and I’m forced to use EQ to help me tame those sizzling sss, hhh… buy reducing some higher midrange and highs level ( -3 dB at 7-10 kHz). While at it, I also added some more bass (~ 2 dB below 250 Hz) to make things just a touch more pleasurable.

I can imagine this type of sound signature working fine with warm and dark sounding sources (DAC/AMP). In that case, the source and T3 could balance each other out. That’s purely theoretical thought, as I didn’t have such a DAC/AMP at hand to confirm the theory. Talking about sources, T3 is not hard to drive. It can work quite fine even with a good smartphone but will sound a bit fuller and more energetic with a decent DAC like Sonata HD, Dragonfly Black or Fever DAC.

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The cable goes around the ear this time. Still prone to tangling.

CONCLUSION

I was a fan of T2s. Those were on the analytical side of things too, but cheaper and definitely not as bright sounding. Now, T3 did improve on some things like imaging, spatial organization, and overall clarity. But going this bright, sharp, and analytical is not something I can enjoy or recommend to others. Of course, if you feel that’s something you’d like to experience, feel free to try them out and let us know how you feel about them.

 

 TIN AUDIO T3 – CHARACTERISTICS

Impedance: 16 Ohms
Sound pressure level (SPL): 95 dB 
Frequency response (Headphones): 10 – 40 000 Hz
Driver type: Dynamic 10mm + Knowle’s BA
Jack plug: 3.5 mm
Cable length: 1.25 m oxygen-free copper plated silver
Cable connector: MMCX

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