The P1 is a new flagship offering from Tin HIFI, now well known for their great budget offerings such as the T2 or T3 which I’ve reviewed recently. This time however, it parts from the previous design consisting of a balanced armature and dynamic driver and moves towards a much more rare design in the IEM world, a planar driver.
In the box
- 1.2m 3.5mm copper cable
- 6 pairs of silicone tips
- 2 pairs of foam tips
Build quality and accessories
The build quality of the IEMs themselves is quite good, they feel solid, the machining is clean and smooth but the two sides of each IEM don’t line up perfectly. The connectors have a good snap to them and don’t feel like they are going to break any time soon. The finish isn’t quite as nice as some higher end monitors like CA Andromeda S or oBravo Cupid, it’s more than acceptable at the price though. The cable in stock form is absolutely horrible, braiding is so loose it feels like the cable was tangled and not braided. Was that to save on material cost? Malfunction of the braiding machine? We will probably never know but it’s sad since the cable has potential (see pics above after re-braiding).
The case is good quality for the price, it has good resistance to it and isn’t extremely bulky, I kind of wish it was better finished on the joints as if you pay attention you can see the glue on the joints.
Fit and comfort
Here we come to the first problem of the P1, the fit is extremely fiddly to get a good seal and sound, pulling the IEM out 1mm can make a difference between no bass and actual bass. The connector is also angled too far back so they don’t sit in the ear as well as say Audiofly af180 which in turn renders them uncomfortable for longer listening sessions.
Another big issue of the P1 is how hard it is to drive properly, no phone I know of can drive it to it’s full potential thus why making use of a dedicated DAP or amp necessary.
The tuning of the P1 is fairly good (especially with tape over the vent). Because of the lower treble roll of it gives it a bit of a mid/vocal centric characteristic.
The bass on the P1 reminds me of a well executed dynamic driver, it’s linear, has a good punch to it especially with the vent mod, good example of this is “Infected Mushroom – Return to the Sauce” which has an almost continuous bass hits that give the song its body. It does extend very well and has decent amount of texture and detail. It isn’t as detailed as a BA bass but it compensates with a fairly natural presentation.
The midrange is very well tuned, everything has at least a decent timbre with good to great detail. On songs like “Fleetwood Mac – The Chain” nothing sounds out of place, the male vocals are a bit more forward but not enough to feel like they are overly emphasised. Guitars have good presence and texture to them, “Eagles – Hotel California” sounds natural and I’d almost say analogue, with no harshness to be heard. The S range is toned down rendering the sibilance a non issue unless it’s extremely present in the mix.
This, for me is a bit of a mixed bag, even though the extension is there it lacks a sparkle to it. Songs like “Death – Voice of the Soul” lack that touch of crispness that makes them special. The detail again is quite good, more than usual dynamic driver IEM at that price range but a bit less than a BA. I would call the treble tuning non offensive.
Imaging and Soundstage
Here’s where the P1 breaks down for me. The busier the mix the more the stage gets congested and separation becomes worse than any other IEM at that price range. All sounds become this soup presented a blob inside of my head. This isn’t something I can personally accept for an item at that price point. Songs like “Hans Zimmer – Main Theme (From “The Dark Knight Rises”)” lose a lot of their magic of hearing the space and the instruments playing next to each other rather than one on top of another.
The P1 is hard for me to recommend, it is a very coherent IEM in terms of sound with a non offensive tuning but it lacks the technical aspects of things like ikko OH1 or a more expensive oBravo Cupid. If you don’t care much about the imaging and staging but like a laid back treble presentation with a mid centric sound it may be for you, otherwise there may be better things around.
Get Tin HIFI P1: