Tangzu, previously known as the TForce, is a brand based out of China. It’s well known among the audiophiles out there even though they are a newly launched brand due to their high quality audio products. The Yuan Li is a perfect example for their impressive quality which does really sound great.
The Shimin Li is their new product in the budget lineup even though the product doesn’t look cheaper! A single dynamic driver, full aviation grade aluminium build, great stock cable with wide selection of ear tips! All just for 35USD! Let’s check out in this review how good this is.
>Driver spec: 10mm.
>Channel difference: 1dB.
>Frequency response range: 20Hz-20kHz
>Single dynamic driver configuration.
>High-performance dual-cavity dynamic driver unit.
>Neodymium N52 magnetic architecture.
>Aviation-grade aluminum ear cavities.
DESIGN AND FIT:
The construction is the best aspect of this IEM where for this 35USD price range no earphones provide this premium feel on the hands. The whole construction is made out of aviation grade aluminium which feels extra premium on the hands and does provide that nice heft on the hands. A nice design language is presented on the faceplate with a single vent. The 2 pin connector area is nicely flushed within the body. The ergonomics of the IEM is pretty nice thus the isolation and the fit is great.
The included stock cable is pretty good in terms of quality even though they feel sticky on the hands due to that rubber coating. The termination and the splitter area are metal while the connector area is plastic. Overall for the price the stock cable is above average. They also provide a variety of ear tips to choose from which does provide an excellent seal in the ears.
The sound profile of the Shimin Li is more on the balanced side with more emphasis over the mid section. In simple, the mid section takes the centre stage while keeping the bass and treble in the backstage. The tonality is exceptional here with fatigue free upper mid emphasis too which leads to impressive detail retrieval and liveliness. Let’s check out the sound section in detail.
Even though this contains a single dynamic driver the bass delivered by this is mediocre. Expected a lot from this set but the bass is just disappointing in this.
SUB BASS: The sub bass extension is very poor where the rumble is not that evident even in some bass prone tracks. The reach is quite shallow hence the satisfying vibrations are null in the Shimin Li.
MID BASS: The mid bass is average where this lacks the impact and weight. The bass is warm enough but lacks the body and attack. Every bass note appears lacklustre and impacts less. The bass notes sound to be very loose and the tight bass presence is not noticed here.
Apart from those negatives, the bass does have good control and speed thus the bleed into the mid section is very negligible and done a good job in that aspect. Due to this even the track separation appeared to be pretty nice with a good sense of space in between the instruments.
The mid range is the sweet aspect here as well as the star show. The tonality especially is very natural and transparent. It’s very pleasing and realistic thus it gives a nice engaging experience overall. The whole mid range presentation is done in a forward manner thus each instrument in the background and the vocals are placed well and forward giving a lively experience.
LOWER MIDS: The lower mid section has a nice bodied sound with adequate fullness. The fullness is neither too crowded nor completely left out. The male vocals especially have that thicker nature along with that richness. The piano notes and the kick drums have a good attack and nothing feels on the thin side.
UPPER MIDS: The upper mid section is nicely elevated without causing any fatigue in the longer listening sessions. The female vocals are nicely stretched out without any constriction in the extension. The river female vocal leads to that lively feel overall throughout the track. The percussion instruments and the acoustic strings had that natural strike thus making everything to appear realistic and natural.
The detail retrieval and the track separation is very impressive in the mid section and thanks to that wider stage presence. Every single instrument in the background is not made to be lost and brought out front in very good fashion.
The treble here is tuned to deliver a smoother sound overall without compromising on the details. The extension in the top end is above average and does retrieve some good amount of details.
BRIGHTNESS: They do have an adequate amount of brightness in the top end thus delivering some nice sparkly sound. The brightness does help in delivering an open sound overall thus no sort of closed feeling is sensed out.
SHIMMER AND BRILLIANCE: They are above average even though they are not the best out of this. Considering the other competitors in this price range these aspects are nicely done here. They are comparable to that of the Year Mirror.
CYMBAL CRASHES: The cymbal strikes are pretty nice with precise attack and decay. They do provide a good amount of splash thus the lively feel of the instruments are preserved. The timbre of the instruments in the Shimin Li appears to be neutral and no sense of metallic taste is observed.
The trumpets and the other percussion instruments do have that natural tone and the precise attack thus overall the treble is tuned as good as the mid section.
STAGING: The staging is wide enough and the height seems to be correlating with that. The depth sensation is pretty average due to that shallow bass response. The wider stage led to impressive track separation and nice presence of air in the mid and treble section.
IMAGING AND LAYERING: Both these aspects are done excellently in this Shimin Li. The transient response felt pretty smooth with precise placement of the instruments. One can easily spot out the instrument even in a complex track without any confusion since the separation and staging are stellar in this.
Varying depth of notes are nicely presented out hence the layering felt pretty impressive in this. The channel sweep felt smoother and non stutter.
Shimin Li, the latest budget offering from the house of Tangzu (Previously TForce) is a well executed Mid centric in ear monitor. The brand is well known for their Yuan Li model which got good response from the consumers and as a brand they are one of the few who actually listens to customers and tunes the sound based on that. The Shimin Li being their first budget IEM they have done some impressive work in it.
Coming to the build and design these are just marvelous. For 35USD the build and packaging they provide is stellar. Full aviation grade aluminium build which feels much premium on the hands and one would never believe this is a budget one without seeing the price tag of it. The stock cable is pretty nice with a wide selection of tips.
Coming to the sound, this is a mid centric tuning with more emphasis over the vocals and instruments. The bass is the weakest aspect here and if you are here with more interest towards bass then this is a no go. The mid section is tuned well with equal emphasis over the lower and upper mid section. Forwardly presented thus the experience while listening is more engaging and lively. The treble section feels more open and airy making the instruments sound more natural. The presence of air is not restricted and the extension in the top end is not limited too. The technical aspects like the staging and the layering are extremely done well for the price.
Overall the Shimin Li is not just an IEM at this price, but rather an equipment that delivers a PLEASANT experience to one’s ears. The mid range beauty can be experienced by one after listening to this.
PROS AND CONS:
- Engaging Mid Range
- Technicalities – Staging, Layering
- Detail Retrieval
- Build and Design
- Packaging and Price
- Bass Response
This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C
I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.