W for Mystery
- Enhanced W-profile at every point in its frequency range.
- The highs are an example of presence, extension and control, with no need for roll-off or recession.
- Mid-highs that achieve clarity without compromising perception, free of sibilance.
- Very sensory and powerful sub-bass end, with good technical ability.
- Remarkable level of detail without being analytical in any case.
- Airy, well-structured, clean and slightly volatile and ethereal soundstage.
- Great fit and comfort.
- A slight driver flex may occur if overly occlusive tips are used.
- The first half of the midrange is perceived as being far away.
- The capsule design is not new.
Link to the Store
What is SuperTFZ? With that name, the only clear thing is that it seems to come from TFZ. Is it something like a sub-brand or is it the evolution of TFZ in an improved form? Just guessing, but it is clear that SuperTFZ has been on the market for three models already and I don’t think I have seen a new TFZ model during these launches. The first release from the brand is the model I’m going to review today, the FORCE1. This is a model that uses a handmade transparent resin capsule, the design of which looks familiar to me. Inside is a dynamic driver from the Tesla magnetic group, with a double magnetic circuit and a beryllium-coated diaphragm. The cable has a peculiar design, especially in its metal and rectangular connectors. It uses a four-stranded cable with 24 wires of 0.05 each and the connection is 2Pin 0.78mm. The complete transparency of the capsule allows you to see inside and how the driver cover is gold-plated, as well as the brand name around it.
After this model, the brand has released two more, each one more expensive than the previous one. The second in the list is the Force King ($129) and the most recent is the Force 5 ($199). It is clear that the names are not very original, as well as repetitive. But we’ll see if that has any influence on the sound…
Note: It seems that there is a version of this model that has a hole near the metal mouthpieces. I don’t know if this influences the sound or not. The version reviewed here does not have such a hole.
- Driver Type: Dynamic driver with dual Tesla group magnetic circuit with beryllium coated diaphragm.
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
- Sensitivity: 105dB
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Jack Connector: 3.5mm SE stereo straight plug.
- Capsule Connection Type: 2pin 0.78mm
- Cable length: 120cm.
The SuperTFZ Force1 comes in a vertical box with a square, black base. Its dimensions are 93x93x148mm. It opens by sliding the cover upwards. The cover is light coloured on the sides and black on the top. On each side there is a different motif, on one side the logo in black on a white background, on others realistic photos of the capsule and, finally, the brand name and the holographic seal of authenticity. The box has a seal to certify its closure. Removing the cover reveals that the box is a parallelepiped with the IEMS resting on its square top. These are embedded in a black plastic tray, underneath it is another dark cardboard box inside which are the rest of the accessories. In a nutshell:
- The two SuperTFZ Force 1 capsules.
- A black bag with gold-plated brand logo.
- Silver plated 4-strand cable with 2Pin 0.78mm connection and 3.5mm SE plug.
- 1 set of white silicone and narrow core tips, sizes SxMxL.
- 1 set of white silicone tips with wide core, sizes SxMxL.
- 1 pair of extra tips already attached to the IEMS.
- 1 instruction manual in Chinese and English.
Each set of silicone tips comes in a white pouch.
The packaging is a bit big for the contents, it could be half the size. It should be noted that it is original, but I would miss a hard case with a zip instead of the pouch. Except for this preference, the contents are just right and while the cable is quality.
Construction and Design
The Force1s are made entirely of transparent, high-strength resin. Inside you can see the large dynamic driver. The mouthpieces are metallic and gold-plated, 5mm long and 5.1mm diameter. They are fitted with a fine-mesh metal filter. The outer sides of each IEM are translucent. In my case they are of a colour that varies according to the light and there is a completely transparent option. In the centre of the outer faces you can see the brand logo as if it were a golden foil, on the right capsule. On the left side you can read the brand name on the base in gold italic letters. The 2Pin 0.78mm connections are gold-plated and resin-coated in an oval shape. The set is very compact, strong and durable looking, as well as beautiful and very attractive.
The cable is 4 strands with 24 silver plated wires of 0.05 each and coated with transparent TPU. It has over-ear guides. The sleeve of its connectors is particular, in the case of the 3.5mm connector it is a polished metal parallelepiped with the brand name on one side and two black screws on the other side. The splitter piece is more square, almost cubic and has the logo drawn in black on the main face. There is no adjusting pin and it is missing. The cable is original, but the metal parts feel a bit heavy. There is no choice of a plug other than 3.5mm SE.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The fit is simple and excellent. The mouthpieces are not very long, but the ergonomic shape makes them project a little more, allowing you to play with multiple tips to find the best seal and sound. Depending on the size of the tips used, the insertion can be shallow or medium to suit individual taste. This is thanks to the shape and construction of the mouthpieces.
Due to the highly ergonomic design of the capsules, the fit is outstanding and movement is minimal.
In addition, the level of insulation is remarkable.
The profile of the Force1 could be represented as a pronounced W. Its sub-bass is very emancipated and from there begins a deep drop towards the mids. After reaching the valley, the rise towards the upper mids is also quite steep, but then it continues into the air zone, creating a second, much lower V. What do you get here? Well, clearly a very powerful bass, a polarised tuning, as well as high mids and highs that remain at a high level. It’s a familiar profile, powerful and sharp, but stretching the clarity zone further, where others don’t reach.
As a good W-profile, the sub-bass is the star, reaching an abyssal depth, with a level of power and physicality quite high in the LFO range. This tuning manages to shift the focus far to the left and the sensation of fast decay is felt, even in the low-mid range. This creates a very sensory perception of the bass and a cleaner transition, despite the high initial body. The punch, not without power, is moderately fast and bold, there is little aftertaste and its descent is pronounced towards the mids. In this way, the sound is freed from any swelling caused by the low-mid range, which has a noticeably smaller representation. In this way, the bass is not perceived as extensive, nor does it take up all the space in the range, but it is very distilled, despite the great vigour to begin with. Each stroke is finite, starting from very low but decaying with good speed, leaving only a slight aftertaste of extension, but freeing the rest of the range from its presence. This is what limits its width, it provides agility and cleanliness in the development of the low area. The texture is compacted, with an evocative initial roughness, which dissipates as the sub-bass disappears. Some information and emotion is lost, but there is no denying that the lower notes are precise and defined. The layering remains and the recreation of planes is somewhat particular, though the representation is still adequate.
The mid-range has two distinct parts. The first half feels more sunken, while the mid-highs are perceived as a flight into clarity. The initial phase is ago sterile and moderately distant. The body in this part is thinner and its presence is unremarkable. Still, it is surprising that, despite the tuning, the overall presentation of this phase is higher than expected, as well as having an equally higher than theoretical weight. It is clear that the sound is not completely homogeneous, but it is never uneven or unbalanced. It fits perfectly with a U-V profile, but with plenty of light and clarity, with no hint of darkness, and that is appreciated. The relative remoteness of the male voices detracts from their level of detail and their complexity is not very high or noticeable. It is similar with the instrumentation, the basis of which is in this first part. I can’t point out that the sound is warm and I perceive a good neutrality that deserves to be noted for those looking for such a profile. As you move into the upper-mid range the sound becomes bigger and brighter, the definition improves and the excitement increases. The intonation accompanies the female voices, making them more prominent, gaining in resolution, detail and richness of nuance. However, the elevation of emphasis has been calculated with just the right amount of grace so as not to exceed the sibilance barrier. This ensures that the central range does not decompose or sound forced. I cannot deny that this step forward helps to maintain a more realistic naturalness and that the perception of the sound moves more flatly without the timbre suffering any detriment.
This is perhaps the best aspect of the Force1s, along with the remarkable sub-bass performance. I think the treble tuning, right up to almost its air zone, enjoys a great and wise blend of expressiveness, flare, control, brightness, extension and, very importantly, naturalness. It is an active presence, with plenty of information, but well contained. The treble crackles with a natural timbre, the sibilance is at bay and the extension prolongs the radiance in a pleasant, musical, even subtly soft manner, as well as possessing a lustrous emphasis. It is therefore remarkable how brightness has been combined with control, so that nothing sounds bad and everything sounds good. It’s not the perfect zone, but it is very remarkable, as a clear example of how you can get realistic and pleasing highs without clipping, exaggerated control zones or limiting their extension. The Force1s have many virtues in this range, even their air zone is quite good, something that still elevates the overall quality of the zone.
The presentation of the scene is mainly frontal, but has good laterality, which adds to the level of realism and openness. Depth is remarkable, while height is more than adequate. The sound has enough fluidity to spread pleasantly and naturally, and even surrounds at times, appearing slightly ethereal and gaseous. Finally, with the good amount of air, the expressiveness of detail and the great presentation of the treble, the stage is superior and more vivid than average. I was surprised by the size of the soundstage, there is no congestion and the distance between elements is remarkable, without the separation hinting at a completely dark background. It’s not an analytical sound, but it’s not too soft either. The level of detail, resolution and definition is variable depending on the frequency range. In the early bass and from the upper-mids onwards, these are the best areas to appreciate the technical aspects. It is not a prodigy, but one could say that it is natural, with extended abilities on many occasions, possessing a good relationship between macro and micro detail.
I like to compare IEMS of similar price and profile. And the Reecho SG-03 is the perfect match for the SuperTFZ Force1. These IEMS are made entirely of aircraft grade aluminium alloy. They are heavier and although their ergonomics are good, I find the fit of the Force1s superior, as well as their comfort and use for long listening. In terms of accessories the SG-03 comes with a zippered case and has 3 pairs of tips. The Force1 has a black pouch and two sets of tips. In the end, more or less the same, but I’ll take the zippered case as I already have too many tips. The cable is better in the SuperTFZ.
In terms of profile the Reecho SG-03 is also characterised by an emphasised sub-bass curve, with similarly tuned mids and treble with the classic control drop after the first hit of brightness. In that sense, the Force1s stand out the most from the SG-03s, with the high end having little discussion unless the user’s taste is for controlled, softer treble. One could even go so far as to say that there is a clear drop-off in the early treble of the SG-03s, when the SG-03s offer a more complete representation of the range, without any omission or clipping. No argument whatsoever in favour of the SuperTFZs.
In terms of bass there is a similarity in tuning, as in power. I sense that the Force1s have a more sub-bass oriented bass, with a little more power and darkness. Whereas the SG-03s offer a bit more extension. The bass is more sensory in the SuperTFZs, while the greater presence of mid-bass aids a more natural listening experience in the SG-03s, not as extreme and sensitive as in the Force1s. Technically, both guarantee a remarkable level and I feel that preferences between one and the other will have to do with the difference in sub-bass exposure, depth (Force1) versus the more realistic timbre and longer range (SG-03).
In the mid-range there are also differences, in this case, in favour of the Reecho. The range, despite the fact that both show a clear dip in their graphs, is not felt so much in the SG-03, as they show more body, physicality, presence and closeness in the first half of the mids. There is a clearer hollowness in this area in the Force1. The information is there, but its perception is more distant, more orphaned, less revealing and offering less richness. In addition, a more pronounced unevenness is felt, while the SG-03s manage to achieve a better balance between low-mids and high-mids. The second half is emphasised in both models. There is more sparkle in the Force1s and their better treble range offers a higher level of detail. While this same zone in the Reecho is also very positive, but with a warmer, even nuanced timbre comparatively speaking.
The scene presents itself with a similar structure. But the better airy feel seems to offer an advantage to the Force1. It feels slightly more ethereal, volatile and surrounding. Separation is more on par, but there is a better level of definition, detail and resolution in the SuperTFZs.
The SuperTFZ force1 is a return to a polarised profile, but an improved one. The upper area is a clear example of this. But there is also a noticeable increase in detail, resolution, richness and texture. The increased power across the entire frequency spectrum helps this sensation. In the lower range, the heavy emphasis on sub-bass offers a very sensory presentation of power, bringing a diverse and pleasing physicality and sonority. The mid-highs are tastefully tuned, controlled and do not overstep any boundaries. Only the roll-off in the first half of the mids establishes a reservation in its use as a fun all-rounder. But this is not uncommon for IEMS with a powerful W-profile. The finishing touch is an airy scene, with good separation and slightly ethereal spaciousness.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- TempoTec Variations V6.
- Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper Limited Edition.
- xDuoo Link2 BAL.
- xDuoo XD05 BAL.