TIN HiFi T2 DLC Review
A classic reborn
Pros: + Balanced tuning with natural timbre
+ Dynamic and impactful bass
+ Lush mids and smooth treble
+ Very comfortable and lightweight
+ Good build quality
+ Plenty of ear-tips
Cons: – Bass is hollow and not that well controlled
– Mid-bass masking and lack of clarity
– Average resolution and technicalities
– Bestest by some of the competition
– No carrying pouch
– Mediocre cable
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the T2 DLC is $59 and you can order it directly from TIN HiFi.
Sometimes you can find it discounted as low as $49 which is a better deal.
TinHiFi is the brand name of a big OEM/ODM manufacturer from China which was launched in 2017 to bring HiFi sound and quality at a more accessible price point.
The T and P series of iems from TinHiFi are well known among the community with the P1 MAX being an excellent affordable planar magnetic earphone and my most beloved from the TIN HiFi catalog.
T2 DLC or T2 2022
The T2 DLC or T2 2022 is the new, improved version of the classic TIN HiFi T2 earphone that has already seen three revisions, the latest one being the EVO that was reviewed here.
According to TIN HiFi the T2 DLC features the following improvements over the EVO version:
The T2 2022 version features a fourth generation DLC composite diaphragm and 10mm DLC flagship dynamic driver that has been enhanced and optimized over the years.
The DLC diaphragm is beneficial to frequency response and substantially decreases unnecessary vibrations.
Using PU polymer, independent hanging case the T2 2022 has incomparable dynamic performance.
Furthermore a Japanese imported CCAW ultra lightweight voice coil with high density N54 magnets and brass, dual chamber, design is used for the T2 DLC.
The T2 2022 version continues to adopt aviation-grade high density aluminum as material for the cavity, which makes the sound waves reflection more balanced.
Meanwhile, a straight out sound cavity is used for reducing the resonance caused by the reflection of the sound waves.
Build quality and fit
The T2 2022 adopts the same neat and ultra compact design as the previous models.
This is the classic rounded, bullet shaped, IEM that fits comfortably and discretely into the ear for a fatigue free user experience even after prolonged time of use.
Positioning is secure and tight, offering great passive noise attenuation.
The metallic housings are lightweight, well made and they look pretty durable.
The T2 DLC features a detachable cable with 2-pin 0.78mm connectors instead of the MMCX of the previous models.
It is the usual 2-pin straight plug and not the newly developed recessed one, so care should be taken in order not to accidentally bend the pins.
The cable has eight strands of silver-plated copper with TPU sheathing at the outside, it has an aluminum splitter and it ends in a 3.5mm aluminum plug.
The cable is of typical quality for the category, it is mildly microphonic and it gets easily tangled.
The T2 DLC comes together with 5 pairs of silicone ear-tips in various sizes and one pair of foam ear-tips.
A carrying pouch is not included.
The T2 DLC was left playing music for about 100 hours in order to settle down.
With a 16Ω impedance and 102dB/mW of sensitivity the T2 DLC is very easy to drive and you can use it straight out from your phone although an entry level USB DAC dongle is recommended for the best sound quality.
I have used the FiiO KA1, iBasso DC05 and ddHiFi TC35 Pro.
The T2 DLC follows a different sound path than the EVO, it has a more balanced tonality with a touch of added sub-bass, even mids and a natural treble without upper spikes.
The low-end is neutrally tuned with satisfying sub-bass extension and a touch of mid-bass emphasis that adds a pleasant warmth without bleeding into the mids which stay clear and well defined.
On the technical side of things, the bass is a little boomy and hollow, quite tight and clear but not that well controlled and it doesn’t shine for its definition either.
A simpler bass line gets well resolved but when things start to get more complicated the overall layering and instrumental separation struggle by losing in clarity and exhibiting a certain degree of masking.
Dynamics though are quite explosive, despite the size of the driver, and the T2 DLC can sound satisfyingly impactful and contrasted.
Mid-range tuning is well done, voices, especially female, get some gain and become the star of the show but without sounding shouty or strident.
Articulation and resolution are above average while timbre is quite natural and lifelike with plenty of harmonic saturation and lush texture.
Treble tuning is on the safer side, the T2 DLC is smooth sounding, mildly subdued and not that crispy on the highs but it isn’t lacking in overall liveliness, clarity and airiness.
This is not a critical listening earphone but rather made for everyday casual use so while detail retrieval and resolution don’t shine they are still enough to get the job done even with more demanding material.
Soundstage is nothing special to talk about, it is decently open and spacious so as not to sound overly congested.
Listening to classical music, like baroque concertos was a quite enjoyable experience but the T2 DLC doesn’t feel at home with larger symphonic works and choruses.
Compared to the TRN ST5 ($59.80)
The real problem for the T2 DLC comes from the competition which is becoming aggressively fierce at this price point.
Take as an example the TRN ST5 which has the same price but it comes with a three plugs modular cable and offers the same kind of pleasurable tuning but with considerably better technicalities in every part of the frequency range and better soundstage making it a much more competitive earphone for critical listening.
The T2 DLC is though more comfortable, lightweight and compact sized so you may end preferring it for these reasons alone.
In the end
The T2 DLC is an upgraded version of the T2 Evo with a more balanced tuning and natural timbre plus enhanced technicalities.
A step into the right direction, the T2 DLC is a musical and engaging earphone, compact sized and with a very comfortable fit, perfectly suitable for casual listening on the go.