Tekfusion Twinwoofers Review
Thanks to Tekfusion for the sample.
First Impressions: I cannot help but notice the parcel packaging has been opened and then the bubble wrap surrounding the box has been slashed open. Slashed right the way into the box and through the clear plastic front where the IEM’s sit. Is this typical for things having come via India Post then DHL? Opening up the box and it would seem that they mostly made it through their ordeal, with only one of the attached tips having been sliced. I very much hope this in not typical.
Slapping them into my ears and I’m pleasantly surprised. I just presumed that something called Twinwoofors would be very bass centric and it’s not. The strike me all together as more delicate and subdued than I was expecting. These are good things but maybe a bit misleading, I know if was some Beats type person wanting all of the bass then something called Twinwoofer would catch the eye and then it would be a bit lacking on the low end. Also getting a bit of venting / airpressure issues on the right. Thank you sinuses and hayfeaver. I wish dynamics were all just more vented.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., HiFiMAN HM-601, 1G Ipod Shuffle, Nexus 5.
Lows: So the name “Twinwoofer” instantly makes you think tons and tons of overpowering bass right? It did me anyway. So first listen was a bit a surprise, yes there is a lot of bass but not the crazy level I half feared there might be. You know what else? The bass is really not half bad either. Sure it’s considerably north of neutral but given its name, if your reading this, I’m thinking you are just dandy with that. Sure it's not the most linear bass, its actually somewhat of great big rounded hump. I'm somewhat thinking Beyonce or maybe that Kim woman. It’s sizable and rounded but not in a way I suspect many will find entirely displeasing. Similarly it gives a most jovial impression, it wants to bounce a little, jiggle a bit and just have a grand old time of itself. It’s pretty agile and firm too, little of that soft expansion that a big bottom end can often bring.
The down sides are, the bass isn’t really terribly linear and its depth just kinda melts away. A big thump bump it likes plenty but when asked to a soft, smooth and gently warm flutter it gets a little confused. It gives you a punchy thump or its just farts and peters out.
Mids: Again with the name you’d kinda think masses and masses of bass so no mids. Well the mids, while clearly not the centre of attention, are again not half bad. They could be with a bit of a boost volume wise for my tastes but the quality is really nice. Detail is not only pretty good for a bassy beast but it’s got a great airy delicacy to them despite rather vocaly warm. For something so warm there is a slightly ethereal quality to the vocals. I know this just happens to play to my tastes but I like it plenty. In terms of detail, the mids are rather good too but with their not being overly prominent they are never in your face even when they ought to be. Also vocals err towards a tonaly warm sound and while that’s great for big beefy male vocals, the girlies sound a bit over warm and bit too demure. Given I love girly vocals this was a bit disappointing.
One small note against it, it despite its tonal warmth, still manage to head towards sibilance now and again. It never ear stabbed me but you tell the thought had crossed their mind.
Highs: I had half expected a very V shape but once more that’s not what we got. The highs here are mostly pretty tame. They share the tonally warm nature of the mid range so don’t expect dazzling highs blinding you with their brilliance. The quality of what is there I approve of. It’s warmed and smoothed with a hint of that air and delicacy we found in the mids including plenty of shimmer. Like the dancing of a warm sunset across a gently disturbed lake. It’s not about the full light of the day illuminating the faintest nuances but rather giving you a flavoured picture. So long as you aren’t expecting the absolute truth I think you’ll enjoy the acoustic flavouring offered up here. If I’m super honest, I always rather like when the highs are slightly softened, a beautiful painting can so often be more pleasing than a more accurate photograph.
Of course those who adore treble won’t be as pleased as I. The extension isn’t bad but it trails away faintly but that it starts with such a lack of edge or aggression won’t satisfy some. If anything details retrieval is casually obfuscated by this style and lack of abundance.
Soundstage: In terms of width these aren’t bad but seem to lack a little when it comes to depth of the sound field. Its a little unusual to do left and right projection so nicely yet have so little depth so you always sound like your right in the middle of things. It never really seems set out in front of you. Instrument separation is pretty good and distinct.
Fit: They were fine. I did get a little hint of air pressure issues but nothing of significance. The buds themselves were very straightforward and simply a case of shove in and done. Their shape happily allowed for up or down wear.
Comfort: Again I did have a little air pressure issues, that made reseating a little irritating but pretty much all nonvented dynamics are exactly the same. The buds and cable were both very light so weight was never any sort of issue.
Microphonics: The usual old story, up you don’t really get any, down you do but there is a neck synch that pretty much rectifies that if you use it.
Amped/Unamped: Well yes there was a bit of a difference but nothing wild. Given the price category of the Twinwoofors I can’t imagine they are going to come into much in the way of exotic sources anyway. Amping did make a bit of a difference but it worked just fine out a phone.
Isolation: For a dynamic rather good. Enough for normal, on a bus, out and about stuff. As usual though it’s not a BA so not really one I’d really want for a daily Tube commute or lengthy flight. Again as usual my warning, it’s easily sufficient to turn you into a road stain if you don’t look where you going.
Value: I can only find these presently available at US$50. So we’re pretty much looking at GR06 territory. Both are excellent there is no doubt there and I think which to go for is going to a factor of which sound you prefer of the two. The Twinwoofer is more bassy, more airy and with better width particularly in the vocals. The 6 is more upfront and narrowly focused. The one place the Twinwoofer really bests them is in the Bass, more so in quantity than quality but its likely to be more the crowd pleaser. In terms of value, a raw sound for your pound both are excellent.
Conclusion: The little Twinwoofers I can’t say I love their name as they aren’t twin drivered and even if they were why would want two woofers anyway? You know I’d rather have a woofer and a tweeter, but hey it’s just a name. Also I think the name is just misleading, I hear twin woofer and I think they must have ALL DA BASS!!!!!!! and sod all else. That allusion does them a mighty disservice. Sure the mids are a bit more distance than I would like to see but they are very good and the treble is excellent for this price. The treble has a great amount of detail and can dance a delicate shimmer with the best of them (at this price.)
Where I think things fall down a little is that the cable feels rather thin and the jack too lacks heft. It’s not to say they will not survive, the tiny jack I know some will like as it will fit in a phone with a case on. As will all things there are both pro's and con's to whichever way you go but next to the 6, the 6 just feels nicer, this feels a little cheap. Still that’s really my only complaint about the Twinwoofer (well, complaint that matters.)
So would I buy one of these? Probably not. I don’t love the elevated bass, the mids are a bit quiet for my tastes but the breathy airiness and delicacy they offer is so very nice. The sumptuously shimmering treble likewise offers a detail level and nuance that just bests what the GR06 can give you. The simple fact is the time has moved on and the 6 just is beginning to struggle to keep with with the Twinwoofers. They are close, really close but the 6 is clearly no more stand out spectacular like they once were. It would seem that the pretty new Tekfusion is set to become a real challenger for the best of what we have seen coming out of China for the last few years. With this in mind the Twinwoofer is important, it’s taken one the very best in its price range and can absolutely go toe to toe with and not only keep pace but on occasion give it a smacking. All I can say is that I for one welcome our new Indian IEM overlords. Let’s all hope this is just a taster of the good things yet to come.