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Tfz No 3 IEM Review – Pocket Subwoofer

TFZ,  a brand widely known for its impressive low end performance is here to give you that same feeling again in the form of an even more luxurious form, the NO:3!. A brand based out of China has released its mid tier bass heavy earphones to compete against the competitors. NO:3 is pretty unique in sound since most of the earphones in this price range won’t have this kind of low end performance yet bringing out the audiophile grade sound. In this review let’s check in detail about the NO:3 and its sonic performance.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Driver: 11.4mm Double magnetism, double cavity, double voice coil ,tesla magnetic group

Magnetism material: NdFeB N50

Diaphragm: Diamond diaphragm

Frequency range: 5Hz-40000 Hz

Impedance: 20 ohm

Sensitivity: 108dB

Cable material: 0.78mm detachable silver-plated cable

DESIGN AND FIT:

The design of the NO:3 is very minimalistically done where the whole body is made of plastic which of course looks cheaper. The faceplate has that nice gold textured TFZ logo and the fit is really good in the ears. They are not the custom shell shaped but still the ergonomic is very neatly done.

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The nozzle is made out of brass and they have a nice sturdy connection between the body and the nozzle. The nozzle is of good length and has a lip to protect the tips from slippage. The connector area is the proprietary QDC connector which is nicely aligned with the body.

The provided cable is very good in quality and its the usual TFZ standard cable where the cable has an outer sheath which looks very sturdier and thick hence tangling is not an issue. The cable has nice texture and has that nice supple feel in the hands. The provided eartips are of good quality too thus giving a nice seal in the ears.

NOTE: The no:3 suffers from a serious DRIVER FLEX issue especially in the Left Side earpiece and this issue is widely present in most of the TFZ models, where previously in the MY LOVE EDITION 2019 its observed. 

SOUND:

NOTE: The no:3 is highly sensitive to poor sources and causes a serious hissing issue hence a very clean source is required to avoid the hissing sound.

The sound signature of the No:3 is a V shaped profile but thankfully they have done it beautifully. IN fact I can say that this is the best and perfectly tuned V shaped sound profile. The full concentration is on the sub bass side rather than the mid bass focused which most of the brands tend to do. The V shape didn’t affect the mid range that much since the presentation is pretty much forward hence the recession is not that evident. In this review let’s dive in detail about the sound of the No:3 in detail.

LOW END:

Yummy! It’s deliciously done. It’s the star show here! The full sub bass focus is deliciously tuned. The sub bass presence can be felt very evidently and can be appreciated even in bass light tracks. The sub bass just digs as deep as possible and gives that nice rumble sensation in your ears. Literally the sub bass feels like a sub woofer fitted into your ears.

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The control, texture, separation everything is on point on the low end. The speed is slightly slower but that’s what helps in the massive sub bass and man this sounds fantastic. In the track “BIGFOOT – MALFNKTION”, the sub bass reach is very impressive and the earpieces just turned into  subwoofers. A nicely tuned sub bass which has excellent control, body and the reach. The separation is not compromised too which is pretty amazing in this NO:3.

In the other track “Lights – Paul Van Dyk ”, the sub bass presence can be felt very evidently giving these earphones a solid reason to purchase. The control and the separation is the impressive part here. Even with this enormous sub bass presence they don’t lose the control or compromise on the separation rather they are very polar opposite. The mid bass is very great here too where they are not overly boosted making the midrange very much congested. The subtle mid bass presence gives the midrange a nice body and warmth thus preserving the eargasm of the sub bass presence. Once you get used to this sub bass performance you will never reach out to other earphones for your low end needs.

Overall the bass is AWESOME in a single word. The bass is bigger, deeper, controlled, well separated, textured in all the aspects. Especially if you love electronic and trance music this is a god sent boon for you.

MID RANGE:

I need to again remind you that this is a V shaped earphone hence please control your enormous expectations. The mid range is definitely recessed for sure but here’s the thing, being a V shaped earphone the midrange is tuned excellent. The vocals are not pushed back giving a nice engaging experience but the instruments are sometimes found lost in the background but in some specific faster genres. But overall the midrange is presented very well with a nice engaging and energetic presentation.

The tonality and timbre aspect are slightly off here and I agree with that. The tonality is slightly artificial and the timbre is slightly metallic too. The instruments don’t sound as natural thus having that slight metallic taste. This is really a compromise in the NO:3

The detail retrieval is above average and very proud to say that this thing has very good detail retrieval being a sub bass cannon.

In the track “Better Half Of Me – Dash Berlin”, the male vocal is nicely rendered with a good body. The bass does create some fullness and nicely brought forward in the presentation. The thing that is lacking here is the tonality and the timbre. Slightly artificial but overall I can trade off in that area if you love EDM, Electronic since the low end thump is all you need. The detail retrieval, separation, staging and the presentation everything is perfect except the tonality.

In the track “WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL – SUSAN WONG”, the female vocal is beautiful where the upper midrange has no hotness thus they sound pretty smoother but again the tonality is not accurate. Otherwise the technical aspects are very good here too. The detail retrieval, presentation, separation are above average and pretty likeable.

Overall even with this recessed midrange , the vocal is brought out well with above average technicalities with little compromise on the tonality and the timbre.

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TREBLE:

The treble of the NO:3 is smooth yet detailed. Due to that V shape i thought the treble is going to be pretty hot but thankfully the treble is very smooth and nice. They show the smoothness  at a very good point yet they were also able to bring out the details. They never sounded veil or lacking in the splash, instead they were quite bright enough and sounded engaging. 

The cymbal crashes are pretty good in terms of decay and attack. The tonality is slightly off but the technicalities are very good. The high end has a nice sense of space and air hence the instrument separation and the layering effect is beautifully presented here. Since the treble is nicely extended the clarity in the upper end is fantastic combined with the beautiful and monstrous low end this is a really a beast in terms of sonic performance.

In the track “JACK OF SPEED – STEELY DAN”, the treble sounds fantastic with above average clarity. The trumpet sounds very good with nice openness and the piano notes sound very good too. The percussion instruments have that nice bite which is very good to see but the same artificial tonality repeats here. 

In the track “OUT FOR BLOOD – SUM 41”, it’s a pretty fast track and has a lot of complex instruments playing in the background. But this NO:3 is pretty fast too hence this can easily handle these kinds of tracks and the control, separation are on point. Thanks to the faster driver which helped in replaying these kinds of faster tracks with ease. The kick drums and the cymbals sound pretty nice with good attack and decay. 

The lower treble has no hotness which made this NO:3  a very pleasing set to listen to for a variety of genres. The whole presentation feels nice and wide and has that nice sense of space and width in between the instruments. 

TECHNICALITIES:

SOUNDSTAGE: The staging of the NO:3 is wide enough and one of the widest in this segment. The depth is very deep too since the low end presence is pretty dominating here. The height is average but overall the presentation feels grand enough and doesn’t have that intimate feeling. 

IMAGING: The imaging is pretty good too with exact positioning of the instruments due to that nice sense of space in between the instruments. The transient response is pretty smooth and the sound nicely sweeps from one channel to the other without any stutters. The 3 point imaging is absent hence they appear very smooth and clean.

Technicalities wise the NO:3 is really impressive and there is nothing to complain about considering the price. The tonality is the only aspect where I find this to be artificial other than that event the detail retrieval, separation, clarity everything are excellent here.

Tracks Used:

  1. SIRENS OF THE SEA – OCEAN LABS
  2. HIDEAWAY – JACOB COLLIER
  3. GLOBAL GEAR INSTRUMENTAL) – PUNYA SRINIVAS
  4. BUBBLES – YOSI HORIKAWA

PROS AND CONS:

Pros:

  1. Thunderous Sub Bass and Low End
  2. Airy and Well Extended Treble
  3. Separation
  4. Soundstage Depth
  5. Macro Details and Dynamism

Cons:

  1. Dry and Metallic Timbre
  2. Driver Flex
  3. Too Sensitive To Sources

VERDICT:

NO:3, the mid tier offering from the TFZ is well known for its low end performance especially the sub bass presence. The TFZ is already known for its bass performance, even though they are called the “LOW END REFERENCE ZONE”. The no:3 is a no slouch to that. The TFZ has given their best driver in this body to give this earpiece a life! Literally they have fitted a POCKET SIZED SUBWOOFER in this small body. 

The classic V shaped tuning is at its best form in this NO:3. The midrange is pretty exceptional considering this a V shaped and the treble has no hotness which we usually see in most of the V shaped earphones. This NO:3 just made a new benchmark for the Bass heavy earphones by saying “WHY COMPROMISE WHEN YOU CAN GET ALL OF THEM IN A PACKAGE!”.

This is definitely a wonderful product and a must have for EDM, TECHNO lovers and BASSHEADS get this ASAP! They have some negatives too which are the driver flex, too sensitive to sources, tonality etc but as a whole package and value for money this thing is an absolute gem. EDM, Trance and Metal Genre lovers! Go Get This!  A TRUE POCKET SIZED SUBWOOFER!

This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C

KATHIRAVAN

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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.

Shubham

Shubham Garg (Editor Shubz.in) is an engineer with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering from AKTU, Uttar Pradesh. Being a mechanical engineer he has always loved to learn the inner working of various machines and consumer electronics. He regularly tests various audio, home appliances, and daily use products, to provide the best advice to readers. He is a wizard that can make your shopping easy, saving you time and stress of figuring out what to buy.

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