- Similar response to Harman Target.
- Comfort, ergonomics and lightness
- Low and medium-emphasized, treble-safe.
- Clarity and depth.
- The cable is fixed and rigid.
- Low sensitivity, they require power to show their potential.
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Tanchjim is a brand from China, established in 2015, according to its logo. The Cora model is the lowest priced IEM that the brand has in the market. Other models of the same brand are Darkside and Oxygen. The Cora wants to be a model with a fun philosophy, young and casual, proof of it is its packaging, its design and the multiple colors to choose.
Although it seems very simple, there is much more research and development behind it than can be seen at first glance: both the materials used, the design of the capsules, its interior, drivers and cables, have been carefully designed to provide the best sound.
- Driver: Dynamic driver with 9.9mm carbon diaphragm
- Frequency response:10 Hz – 40 kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ω
- THD: <0.2%
- Plug: Recto 3.5mm
- Cable size: 1.2m
The Cora come in a striking red box, decorated with multiple simple drawings and musical styles. On the cover of the box you can see a photo of the IEMs, the brand name and the model. The specifications are written on the back in several languages. On the sides you can read various musical styles and various schematic drawings that allude to the interior content.
After opening the box you can see:
- The capsules are encased in a foam mould.
- A box at the bottom containing the accessories.
- Manual of use.
- Warranty Certificate.
- Business card.
- 3 pairs of red silicone tips sizes SxMxL with narrow inner channel.
- 3 pairs of red silicone tips sizes SxMxL with wide inner channel.
- A transport bag.
The packaging is very striking for its casual design, as well as for the vivid color in intense it has. The box is compact, of good quality and thickness. Its interior is simple but remarkable in its desire to be very attractive.
Its content is according to the price level, two sets of silicone tips with different inner diameter, to modify the sound and a bag for storage. I miss foam tips and a hard carrying case.
Construction and design
The Cora are small, very ergonomic and ultra light IEMs, designed to be used over the ear. The cable is fixed and despite the quality of the conductor, the rubber coating is quite rigid, with a very high memory effect. It is easily bundled and takes the form of permanent storage. Without a doubt, the cable is the worst thing you can find in this model; moreover, it is fixed. The best of it are the Jack, the divider and the fitting piece for the lace under the chin.
The cable is connected in the capsules directly, protected by a translucent plastic cone. On the left cone there is a dot to indicate the side.
The capsules consist of a thin machined aluminium outer plate and a transparent plastic body. Its shape is very rounded and very well designed to fit inside the ears. The nozzles are wide and short. They have a very fine and microperforated filter, almost transparent.
The name of the model is written on the left external plate and the logo of the brand is drawn on the right, both in white.
In my opinion, the design attracts attention in itself, but does not give a sensation of robustness to the naked eye, due to its minimal weight. Then, once carefully observed, there is no sign of imperfection or weakness in its construction. The assembly of both pieces is concise and they form a very compact and effective set.
Adjustment and ergonomics
The fit is excellent, even though the nozzles are short and wide. With narrow outer diameter olives, like the ones that come as standard, a good superficial fit is achieved. Although the cable does not have an ear guide, it does not prevent it from being easily installed. Moreover, with the help of the metal part of the cable, its positioning will be even safer. The combination of these elements provides an almost perfect fit: barely noticeable, barely heavy, barely rubbed, do not move, do not disturb. It can be said that the design in this case is very ergonomically correct.
Once adjusted, the capsules hardly move or allow rotation. The sound variation due to movement is almost non-existent. Once the right tips are found, the placement process to find the best sound is very fast.
Isolation is medium, because the insertion is superficial.
The negative points are: the sporadic appearance of the Flex Driver effect and the most visible absence of the indication of each channel (right-left).
The profile is very close to the Harman IEM Target 2017, with a little more presence in the lower zone, but also more trimmed in lower highs. Despite this, the essential sonorous characteristics of the Cora are the clarity, the depth of the bass, the cleanliness of the sound and a flagrant fall in the treble.
The lower zone is remarkable, very clean and deep, with good punch and control. It extends more than what the Harman Target indicates, in my opinion is a success because the bass feels complete and without loss of energy throughout the range. And although it undeniably has a profile with an emphasis on this area, its presence is never overwhelming or feels above the mids.
The sub-bass is quite fast, with an enormously contained explosive, with excellent recovery. And I say explosive because it feels like a small cannon shot that hardly echoes. This aspect is undoubtedly an exceptional feature of these small IEMs. The other characteristic of the sound in general is its cleanliness, in my opinion I don’t observe darkness in any range, neither in the bass.
The texture of the area is quite natural and despite the cleanliness and lack of blurring, the lower area offers a medium level of detail and separation.
If the punch of the sub bass is remarkable, the presence of the voices are also remarkable. I have previously commented that the Cora don’t have a great separation, because they don’t generate that feeling of hollow, of silence, between the musical notes. But they do achieve a good differentiation between the low levels and the voices. In pieces where the lows stand out and there are voices, these never appear far away, but quite the contrary, they are shown frontals and easily distinguishable in their own planes. It is clear that basses do not interfere with the mids, but live together in perfect harmony. The different sound layers are easily visible. In this sense, the vocal and instrumental positioning is quite good and their individual follow up is simple and enjoyable.
The hissing is absolute zero. The perceptible cut in the treble helps in this sense.
The look of the mids is quite balanced, they feel natural, neither warm, nor cold, with no trace of darkness, but neither of brilliance. The best words to define the profile are still clean and clear.
It is not only the voices that should be emphasized, because the rest of the range is at the same level of quality and perception.
It is the area with the least accent and clearly trimmed of the Cora. Starting at 4kHz, the gain descent begins. Only a small rebound between 7kHz and 8kHz. As you can deduce, the extension is not very large. This characteristic is perceived in the rest of the ranges, especially in the detail, but not in the dark.
The trebles of the Cora, are fair, their quantity and presence border the limit: they contribute the precise detail, the just vividness, the soft nuance, the natural brightness and an abundant clarity.
The scene has more depth and separation between planes, than width. The Cora offer a more frontal than open focus, where it is easier to distinguish the distance between the different sound planes. Thus, the separation is appreciated more in this frontal distance than in the width.
Still, definition and sharpness are quite good for their price range.
But the most remarkable aspect is still the overall clarity of the sound and its cleanliness in the recreation. The resolution level is good, but without reaching the level that some well-tuned BA drivers can offer.
I’ll start with the most obvious things: The first big difference between the two is the volume, the KB100 are much easier to move than the Cora. The second difference is in the lower zone. According to the frequency response curve, both IEMs start from the same sub-bass gain. From there the KB100 rise, while the Cora fall. The third obviousness is a certain similarity in both curves, starting at 1000 Hz.
If the volume is increased so that the lower zone is equalized in both IEMs, the sub-bass is quite similar, both in punch and in presence. What clearly changes is its relationship with the other frequencies. This is where the Cora stand out, offering a depth of bass and a clearly greater power.
Voices have a similar predominance, but the profile of each IEM is noticeable. The Cora have an emphasized low zone, this provides more body and minimal warmth. KB100s offer more brightness and definition, due to their greater presence in the upper mids than the rest of the frequencies.
Specifically, male voices, due to the slight hump of the KB100 around 200Hz, are closer, but also have a certain muddy spot in some recordings.
The rest of the middle zone is equally influenced by the profile of each IEM, as well as the drivers used. The Cora present this range from a softer and more natural point of view, while the KB100 are influenced by their BA driver, which provides more definition, detail and a colder and more analytical staging.
In the high part, although in both the cut is noticed, the KB100 offer greater presence of low trebles than in the Cora, conditioning their sound globally.
As for the scene, the KB100 have a wider scene, while the Cora offer greater depth. Three-dimensionality, stereophonic recreation, separation and definition are also greater in the KB100.
Again the big initial difference is the sensitivity. As can be seen in the graph, there is a 10 dB difference between one and the other, with Ostry being much more sensitive.
The graphs show a similar curve, where the differences are in the upper mids and the lower highs. These differences have a great impact on the final sound. The KC06A are perceived darker, warmer and less detailed than the Cora, much cleaner and clearer.
The lower zone of the Ostry is more diffuse, less defined, thicker, more overwhelming. The Cora offer more information, better texture, a lower zone more analytical and defined, with better recovery.
Similarly, the differences in the mids are repeated between the two IEMs. Although the voices show a similar presence, the darkness is evident in the Ostry in the direct comparison. In addition, the lack of clarity of the KC06A affects the separation: the sound is more forceful, without fissures, but without distance, too homogeneous and dense. The Cora offer greater depth and better instrumental recreation.
The upper zone, in its highest part, is similar. But the low highs differ. The cymbals sound somewhat more complete in the Cora, while in the Ostry they sound more isolated and thinner, very focused on those 6kHz. That peak is not enough to provide some extension in the low highs, it only serves to highlight that band, sometimes sounding unreal.
The scene in the KC06A is quite focused and centered, due to the homogeneity of the sound. The Cora provide more width and sound depth.
The Tanchjim Cora are IEMs with a profile based on the Harman Target, but with a slight cut in the low highs and a little more emphasis in the lower zone. Its sonorous presentation is clear, clean and deep, with good low and medium ranges, free of sibilances and unwanted peaks. They are very comfortable and ultralight, with a packaging and a young design, fun, attractive, with the possibility of choosing between 5 different colors.
Contrary to the current tendency, the cable is fixed and rigid, with enough memory effect. Another negative point is its low efficiency.
Sources used during the analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate (OpAmps V6 Vivid Dual + V6 Classic Dual).
- Sabaj Da3.