disclaimer: The TinHifi T4 was sent for review by Linsoul Audio. I have no financial interest in either Linsoul or TinHifi, but have reviewed several items from both and will admit a bit of an expectation bias as the T2 and T3 have been standards bearers at their respective price points and the T4 comes highly touted as well. For more information on TinHifi products see their website or to purchase the T4, visit Linsoul Audio.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The T4 comes shipped in a black lift top box with the TinHifi logo on the front and specs on the reverse. Lifting the cover reveals the leather case in the lower portion and the earpieces in a foam surround in the upper part of the box. Other accessories are hidden beneath or enclosed in the case. The kit is fairly sparse, but well crafted with the cable and 7 sets of tips rounding out the total package. Tips include two sets of 3 sizes of silicones and a single pair of medium sized foams.
The T4 retains the barrel form factor of the previous generations but now has a starburst faceplate that makes it easily recognizable. The inner shell has 2 vents, one small on near the nozzle and one larger one at the junction of the barrel with the band/connector. Connectors are marked red/blue on the mmcx plates. Fit is easy with this shape as nozzles have no rake and exit the center of the barrel. Isolation is average unless foams are used, but depth is more than average due to the design. I can use medium tips and get a good seal and better comfort than my normal selection of large tips when using this style of in ear.
The T4 continues TinHifi’s trend of the T series with a single 10mm CNT dynamic driver. Nominal impedance is listed as 32Ω with a sensitivity of 105 dB/mW. The T4 is drivable with a smartphone or tablet, but does improve both qualitatively and quantitatively with a more potent source. I found the High Power mode on the LG markedly improved over the lower level and recommend the use of an external amplifier for best results.
The provided cable starts with a 3.5mm straight TRS jack in a polished metal housing with a couple of knurled sections for grip. After a short strain relief, a two wire twist exits the jack and runs to a matching polished metal splitter with a clear bead chin-slider directly above it. A single strand then runs to the pre-formed earhooks and mmcx connectors that also have the matching polished metal housings with a large L or R on the housing to aid in orientation. The cable is reasonably pliable and not particularly tangle prone but does come with a velcro cable tie for good measure. While not as high end as some, (KB ear Diamond), the cable is very workable and many will be served happily by it without need for replacement.
This is normally the point where I say bass is elevated with a focus on the sub-bass, but that isnt the case with the T4. Sub-bass roll-off is evident in the mid-30s but has good weight and rumble above that point, with mid-bass following in near linear succession from the sub-bass. One could easily argue the T4 has a flat signature until you reach the 1.5kHz range where it begins to have some emphasis. Bass is well controlled with good speed and slightly slower decay than attack leaving a touch of warmth without leaving so much as to obscure details. This gives the lower ranges of the T4 a sort-of relaxed smooth sound without sacrificing a lot of detail in the process and is quite enjoyable.
As a lover of well rendered mids, I have much to like about the T4 as the mids follow in linear fashion from the mid-bass without a lot of mid-bass bleed and with a very smooth transition. Mids are well detailed with good weight and timbre with strings having enough energy to show life without having so much that they sound unnatural or harsh. Guitar growl is well produced and acoustic guitar is equally well voiced. Male vocals carry weight and step slightly forward in the mix while the push beginning at 1kHz lifts female vocals a bit further forward in the mix but not aggressively so. The gentle push makes sure vocals are in front of the instrumentation, but only by a half-step or so not unrealistic.
The lower treble shares the slight forward push of the upper-mids but stops well short of sounding harsh and at times might even seem a bit shy as it has a tendency to be very forgiving even with tracks that should be harsh. The T4 is a good option for those who want an in-ear for long listening sessions that is free of fatigue as it rarely gets into territory that can cause it. Treble trades off that last bit of detail for a smooth sound and rolls-off fairly quickly above about 9kHz which does limit the top end air and sparkle a bit. It is odd in that most of the time I don’t miss that lack of top end, but it does occasionally rear its head and remind the listener that the tuning is more about fluidity than absolute range.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Stage on the T4 is well dimensioned with width being slightly larger than depth and a reasonable sense of height. Instrument separation is quite good as well so seating the orchestra is straight forward with good spacing between parts and most in proper orientation on the stage. Imaging is quite good with movement being easily tracked and positional cues being readily identified in the mix. Layering is good up to a point where it can thicken slightly. I found this tendency to be particularly true of genre like speed metal where the bass-line was particularly fast and tight.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
Up until now the T2 and the P1 both ticked some of the boxes for me, with the T2 earning the distinction of being the best TinHifi product in my view. That changed with the T4. It combines the detail level of the P1 with the smooth mids of the T2 and adds its own improvements in the low end that neither the P1 or T2 can match. This is easily the best earphone I have heard so far in 2020 when price to performance is considered. It easily competes with models several price brackets above it and wins more than its share of the time. There is a lot to like here and very little to hate on. If you are in the market for a new in-ear, I can honestly and sincerely recommend the T4. I’m struggling to find a reason why you won’t like it.
- Bass - 8/108/10
- Mids - 7.5/107.5/10
- Treble - 7/107/10
- Soundstage - 7/107/10
- Imaging - 8/108/10
Pros – refined sound signature is best TinHifi to date, design makes fit easy for all size ears, cable is 1st rate
Cons – None at the price point.