Concert For You
- 7 sound tuning combinations.
- Ability to detail, analysis and resolution.
- Intimate and exclusive soundstage sensation.
- Capsule construction quality.
- Adjustment and sound insulation.
- Cable Ear Guides.
- Recommended for use with sources with very low output impedance, ≤ 1Ω.
- They may be somewhat large for small ears.
- The special sonority may not be to everyone’s liking.
Link to the Store
Tansio Mirai is a Chinese brand, something dark. It has a few models on the market, but it is not easy to find information about it. But I sense some distant similarity with Jerry Harvey: custom and semi-custom models, many possibilities to customize his capsules, almost exclusive use of BA drivers. But there is a difference, apart, of course, from the origin. It is the use of switches that allow the sound to be tuned, modifying its frequency response. On this occasion, I’m going to analyze your newest product, which also has fewer BA drivers: only two, Knowles CI-22955 for the low zone + Knowles ED-29689 for the middle and high zone.
- Type of Drivers: 2BA (Knowles CI-22955 + Knowles ED-29689)
- Technology used: 2 drivers, two-way crossover, 2 conduits.
- Switches: 3 switches to tune the sound.
- Sensitivity: 110dB/mw
- Impedance: 14Ω 1kHz
- Jack Connector: 3.5mm Audio
- Capsule Connection Type: 2 pins 0.78mm
The TSMR-2 come in a white box (160x122x45mm), very simple: it looks like a generic brand box. It has the logo on the top, the brand letters on the flap and a sticker on the back, with the name of the model and its customization features. Once the box is open, a large black case with zipper appears. Inside there is a simile leather bag containing silicone tips, a forked brush and a tool to move the microswitches. There is also a transparent plastic Zip bag containing the cable and capsules. Finally, there is a brochure with instructions in Chinese and English. The tips are 3 pairs of size SxMxL, white and 3 pairs SxMxL, black. All have a fairly wide inner core. The cable is relatively simple: it consists of 4 braided black strands. The 3.5mm jack plug is gold plated. Its sleeve is angled. The divider is a black cylinder. The sleeves of both pieces look metallic. There is a translucent plastic ring for cable adjustment. There is also a velcro strap to collect the cable. The sleeves of the 0.78mm connectors are made of plastic and from them, the cable is covered with a semi-rigid and transparent plastic, which gives them shape over the ear.
The presentation is very austere, the accessories are good, but the tips offer few options. The zippered case is too big and the leather bag is somewhat small.
Construction and Design
The capsules are made of semi-translucent, anti-bacterial resin, which ensures safe contact with the skin, without the risk of discolouration. Actually, they look quite robust and perfectly finished: no imperfection is observed. Both the microswitches and the connectors are correctly assembled. The brand name is shown on the outside of the left capsule. On the right, the logo. The capsules are light but thick. On the side are the three microswitches. On the inside, the name of the model is marked as an incision, without ink.
Although the resin is dark, you can feel the inside of the capsules, drivers, cables and conduits. The capsules are large and fat, even the nozzles are of a diameter greater than normal, 6.6mm. It is curious to see that these have been textured, so that the tips do not slide easily and can not fall off inside our ears. In each nozzle there are two ducts, one per driver.
The construction of the capsules is impeccable, no defects are observed and everything is completely constructed as designed to ensure comfort, durability and safety.
The cable is composed of 4 black wires, braided with knots. Its construction is quite simple and its appearance, correct, but below the level of the capsules. The least suitable is semi-rigid reinforcement, which gives the shape over the ear: it is too twisted. The Jack connector is angled and has good ergonomics. Best of all, it does not produce microphony.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
As I have already mentioned, the capsules are large, fat and their nozzles have a thick diameter. But they are long, which allows to compensate the adjustment, achieving a comfortable superficial insertion. It is also possible to place extension rings on these nozzles, to play with the depth of the tips, maximizing ergonomics and, above all, obtaining a fairly large insulation. Using large hybrid tips, I achieve a greater soundproofing than the norm, and at the same time, thanks to the thickness of the nozzles, a very complete and long-lasting adjustment.
What I found annoying is the protection of the cable in the area above the ears. This covered part has a tendency to roll up excessively, as if it were a spiral. This causes that it rubs, with greater pressure, on the ears, damaging the comfort. The solution is not very complicated, or change the cable, or remove the protector. With a little patience can be achieved, no problem.
The profile of the Tansio Mirai TSMR-2 can be varied at will. By means of the micro-switches, 7 operational combinations can be adopted. Their profile can range from a fairly balanced one, with highlights in the mid-high zone and at the beginning of the highs, to another in V, where the low mids become more prominent.
The switches mainly change the gain of the lower zone. But they also provide air and clarity in the upper zone. By lightening the emphasis in the area, the highs are released, achieving a cleaner and clearer sound. There are also combinations that increase the sensation of scene and separation, increasing the value of the tuning produced by the switches.
TSMR-2s have an impedance of 14Ω, they move very easily. But it is not recommended to use them in sources that have a high output impedance, since their frequency response is clearly altered, becoming very dark IEMs, short of air and very congested. So, my recommendation is to use these IEMS, with sources whose output impedance is lower than 1Ω.
Among the various profiles that can be combined, the gain in the lower zone can vary from a balanced level to a fairly noticeable presence. Luckily, there are 4 combinations to modify this band. One could even say that there is another, but its difference is already more subtle. This allows you to tune the lower zone almost to your liking.
Basses are generated by a good size BA driver, the Knowles CI-22955. It has a tendency to elevate the mid bass. From this point on, the level feels quite flat, but its fall at the sub-bass end is noticeable. Nevertheless, the hit at the beginning of the sub-bass is remarkable.
More and more, the bass produced by BA drivers are assuming more naturalness. In this case, it’s possible to distinguish that typical look, especially for its texture and speed. But it’s still a sonority, something different, to which it’s easy to get used. But there is another sensation that allows us to detect its origin: it is the amount of air generated by the driver. Although bass is clearly predominant in some combinations, the amount of energy and its power does not reach the levels of a great dynamic driver. But, without a doubt, and here is the great virtue, the most remarkable thing, is the weight and forcefulness that they get inside all the sound, without masking it at all. In this way, the bass feel very well articulated, with a very appropriate position, remarkable resolution, but without getting to possess a great depth. In spite of the notable emphasis that is reached in their more favorable combinations, the bass-heads would be somewhat disappointed. However, I, as a good lover of the area, feel quite satisfied with the level demonstrated. I value, above all, his dynamism and speed, the blunt and tight hit, the level of detail and his docility with the rest of the frequencies.
Finally, in my humble opinion, I prefer the color of the lower zone in its combinations of medium or high emphasis, rather than in the combinations of treble.
If there’s one thing that stands out about the middle zone, it’s its coherence. Coherence that starts from the lower zone and goes up to the high zones. The centre is there, in the middle… What a great discovery! But it’s not always easy to make the transitions. And it is here where the great work carried out by Tansio Mirai proves to be effective, in getting the three bands together and that each one of them is capable of sounding, almost, in an isolated way. It is clear that the switches help and that there are very sweet combinations in this sense, such as 020, which favor this recreation. But, above all, it has been demonstrated that the used drivers and crossovers play a fundamental role in this sense.
In this way, the voices enjoy a wonderful clarity, good projection, great focus, remarkable body, without feeling of hollow and with some bright flashes. Once again, the analytical capacity of the TSMR-2s is placed as the star of the function, adorning the voices with unusual details and ornamental nuances, so that they parade in a unique and distinctive way. Once again, a real listening pleasure.
The instruments are not treated differently, but, as with male voices, there is a feeling of warmth, not darkness, in the lower part of the mids. Hence, the body in this area is noticeably larger, without lowering the analytical point or the speed and precision of the notes.
The highs do not undergo much modification with the changes of the switches. But, in the positions in which the lows are attenuated, the incidence of the high zone, gains protagonism, basically because the sound is liberated of the weight of the low zone.
The upper end is clearly perceived as if it came from a good BA. In this sense, the sound is totally sincere, it is not about masking the pure and defined character of its origin. But, of course, we are not talking about just any driver. Even so, the Knowles ED-29689, is not a driver that has a large extension above, but rather is characterized by being centered more in the middle zone. In this way, there is a certain lack of air, which gives a not so cold character, something more natural also, to the sound of the TSMR-2. In this way you get a sharp treble, but without being penetrating, with a very immediate and definite spark, which gives a look of speed but without stun, or bother. It is not possible to speak of soft trebles, but there is no hardness in them either. In this sense, the work has been based on trying a good balance and balance, very enough to reveal very suggestive details, in many treble nuances, but without leaving an analytical musicality, but realistic.
The TSMR-2 manages to detach itself from an artificial high-pitched sound, without ceasing to sound pure and analytical, thanks to its high level of definition and its excellent resolution capacity.
But, in the background, there is something distinctive about their highs, a laudable ability to describe them in a quite particular way, halfway between the emphasis and the isolation of their notes. The great virtue is their ability to stand out independently of the rest of the range, in addition to sounding with extreme clarity and definition, without harming the most sensitive ears.
Since the sound of the TSMR-2 is more compact, it has a tendency to sound more concrete, somewhat more congested, but without being negative. Its stage is collected, intimate, but providing a sensation of live sound, very near and close, in the foreground. It has a great capacity to present details in a distinctive way, thanks to the virtue of offering music so near and close, which allows the listener to mix with it and feel that it surrounds him. The only drawback is, perhaps, a certain lack of air. Even so, the separation is great. The congestion is not due to a lack of space, but only to the particular staging of the music. This is clear, due to the level of resolution and definition that have the TSMR-2, so characteristic of some remarkable BA. Its analytical profile provides a very high level of nuances and micro details, within reach of very few IEMs in this price range.
BGVP ArtMagic DH3
One of the models that I’ve liked the most lately, has similarities with the protagonists of the current review: both use BA Knowles and both have microswitches to tune their sound. They even look similar in construction, but the DH3s are more ergonomic, while the TSMR-2s are fatter. The same goes for the nozzles of both. Although, in the end, due to the particular morphology of my ears, I find the Tansio more comfortable, as they fit better and move less.
Starting at the bottom, you notice that the DH3 have a dynamic driver. Both, in their bass boost configuration, offer a generous amount of emphasis in this area. But, DH3s gain in sub-bass and naturalness. They also have a silkier texture, not as marked as the TSMR-2.
The sound of the TSMR-2 is more compact than that of the DH3. Undoubtedly, another big difference is the feeling of width that generate the BGVP. This is even noticeable in treble, which sounds less narrow, more relaxed, with more air and extension. Voices also feel different. In the TSMR-2 they have more body and warmth, with a more focused, concrete and not so close projection. In the DH3, they are more zenithal and close, but with a colder and more dispersed look. They also have a tendency to sound hollower than those represented by the Tansio.
If we speak of scene the differences are also great. The DH3 have a clear virtue of extending their sound, while the TSMR-2, on the other hand, offers a very vivid and detailed sound, but in an intimate and recollected stage. Even so, one can never speak of congestion, nor comparatively speaking, but are two ways of delivering sound, from a large stage or from a hall, each with its advantages or disadvantages.
Finally, DH3s are a bit harder to move than TSMR-2s.
When TFZ created No.3, it broke the mold. Over time it has become one of its best IEMs, worthy of having a special version, like IT. Although its price is much lower than the TSMR-2, what is interesting is the resemblance of its frequency response and the comparison between BA drivers against dynamic drivers.
TFZ is synonymous with quality in the lower zone, so, for the comparison with the lower zone, I have configured the TSMR-2 in 100 mode, where the enhancement of this band is maximum.
The sub bass battle is won by the TFZ, the TSMR-2 do not come down with so much emphasis. It is also noticeable that the lower zone of the TFZ is more linear. The Tansio offer a powerful hit in the middle bass, but much drier and more contained, its incidence in the rest of the sound is lower. The basses of No.3 extend more in all directions, flooding more the rest of the ranges and lasting longer in time. When things get serious and electronic music is played, with heavier basses, the No.3 benefit from a more favorable terrain for their characteristics and show all their power in this band. The energy delivered cannot be compared to that offered by the good BA driver of the TSMR-2. However, there is also a perceived loss of control, beyond this range, even masking the highs. This does not happen with the TSMR-2; its higher resolution and more precise definition, allows the rest of the ranges to remain more unaltered than in the No.3.
But in this area, also influences the profile of each one. The No.3 have a more U-profile, while the Tansio offer a V-profile. In this way, the first highs of the TSMR-2 feel more present, but also more trimmed in extension, while in the TFZ, they are somewhat more relaxed, but reach higher, sounding wider and expansive. In general, the sound of TFZs is more relaxed, lighter, with more air. The Tansio have a tighter sound, everything sounds closer together and louder, very in the foreground, a more explicit sound. The No.3 have a cleaner sound in this sense, more liberated from the congestion that proposes the TSMR-2.
In the mid zone is where the difference in the sonority of both IEMs becomes more evident. It is true that the Tansio have a very particular sound, which can easily polarise opinions towards them. It is enough to compare them with other more classic IEMs, such as No.3. And what can be appreciated is the tendency of proximity generated by the TSMR-2, where the sound is projected from such a close and direct stage. The voices sound wider and fuller, while the TFZs offer a softer approach, with somewhat more distant, less defined, but softer voices. In the female voices of No.3, there is more light, more brightness and a greater openness. That’s because of that freer, more extensive trend they have in their upper zone. In Tansio, female voices are more corsetted, with heavier warmth. But it is also true that this characteristic can be corrected with different combinations of their switches.
The No.3 scene is not very big and despite the intimacy proposed by the TSMR-2, it does not imply a negative nuance, but quite the opposite, a special virtue, which the TFZ lacks in this sense, since it is neither wide nor intimate. In the section of separation, the Tansio are analytical, their level of resolution is great and the definition is the same. In this way, the separation of each note is revealed to be superior to that offered by No.3. Its softer nuance is detrimental in this sense, and a lower level of micro details is perceived.
Every earphone I try is a twist on my way of understanding sound. Lately I have had the great luck of being able to analyze very good products. That’s why it’s becoming more and more difficult to express the goodness of all of them. But I don’t want to apologize, I just have to improve in the task of describing how good IEMs sound.
The Tansio Mirai TSMR-2 has been a hard nut to crack, because if it’s already difficult to describe a profile, imagine 7! All the combinations of their microswitches, offer nuances in the sound, which are worth mentioning, but the article would be too long… That is their real richness: their ability to tune such a particular sound. Tansio Mirai has achieved a different signature with the TSMR-2, a very particular sensation, an intimate and ultra detailed stage, which places the listener inside a small hall, as if he were receiving a totally private and exclusive concert, a unique privilege. But that’s not all, you can also adjust the sound to our preferences, emphasizing each range at will. Why do you want to be in the front row of a concert, if with the TSMR-2, your favorite group plays every day in your head, exclusively for you?
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate.
- Tempotec V1-A