The sound is excellent, but buyers should understand that these are still wireless budget earphones. While they outperform almost any other true wireless IEM dollar-for-dollar, they cannot compete with some of the very high-level wired earphones we find at this price.
They are realistic and natural sounding with good tonality and balance. The smoothness that is so characteristic of Berylium driver IEMs is there, but an extra thump is added with the micro driver setup.
It’s an earphone that performs best with genres like pop, rock, indie, and hip-hop due to its energy and presence, especially in the mids and lows, but it still struggles slightly with detail retrieval when comparing them to a balanced armature earphone.
The bass hits hard in more of a punchy form instead of as a sub-bass rumble. It keeps very good speed and, while towards the warm side, doesn’t overlap into the lower mid frequencies. It is definitely elevated a touch in this region, and I like that they focussed on a good balance of bass quality and quantity.
Mids were the highlight for me, especially when listening to male vocals or stringed acoustics. They sound smooth and full yet at the same time escape from coming across as too artificial or processed.
Highs are a little sharp in the upper mids but roll off smoothly after that. If I wanted anything different, it would be a bit more extension on the top end to create a larger soundstage, but I think this is the right choice for many people. It’s very liveable and doesn’t create listening fatigue.
Imaging, detail retrieval, and soundstage are all just average in the grand scheme of things, but that can be considered a bonus when talking about cheap wireless IEMs that usually offer subpar performance in these areas.
I really enjoyed listening to the Tin Buds 3. They were so competent at any of the mainstream genres of music that I would just set them, and they would get on with the job. I found they knew when to be smooth, when to be energetic, and boy, do they get loud.
I don’t think I ever needed to get the volume above 60% using my iPhone as a control during testing. That’s way louder than other wireless I have tested, even the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Apple Airpods needing more volume and operating around 75%.
This feels like a big step up for consumers. The Tin Buds 3 represent excellent value for money in terms of performance, build quality, styling and sound. As Chinese brands start pushing into the wireless market and directing their focus there where they have traditionally been pumping out wired varieties, it will scare many established brands.
If you are looking to drop cash on a set of wireless earbuds and your max budget is $100, then these are the ones. They get everything right and virtually nothing wrong.
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