TFZ No.3 English Review


And why not No.1?




Construction and Design 85%
Adjustment/Ergonomics 80%
Accessories 70%
Bass 85%
Mids 85%
Treble 75%
Separation 75%
Soundstage 80%
Quality/Price 85%




  • Quality of the lower zone, especially the sub bass.
  • Mids clean, clear, near and vivid.
  • Comfort and lightness, including cable.




  • Absence of foam tips and rigid transport box.


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The No.3 is a new model of  The Fragrant Zither, which uses the third generation of drivers built by the brand. It uses two magnets, two cavities and has a double voice coil. The magnets are a part of the Tesla magnetic group to offer a better and more realistic scene. The diaphragm is diamond and due to its high rigidity, can suppress harmonic waves produced, reducing distortion and improving clarity.





  • Driver: 11.4mm double cavity & voice coils, tesla magnetic group
  • Magnetism material: NdFeB N50
  • Diaphragm: Diamond diaphragm
  • Frequency range: 5Hz-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Impedance: 20Ω
  • Cable: 3.5mm silver-plated cable
  • Type of capsule connection: 2pin, 0.78mm





The TFZ No.3 come in a white, elongated, simple and minimalist box, with the brand name and model on both sides. Its dimensions are 213x83x43. Its interior is equally clear and simple: the capsules are embedded in a mould covered with white cardboard. Underneath it is the cable. Another elongated box with accessories completes the contents:


  • A blister with 12 tips of white silicone SxMxL. In addition, there are a couple of medium tips inserted into the IEMs.
  • A clip.
  • A bag for storing the IEMs.
  • Instruction and warranty booklet.


The presentation is not as luxurious as in Tequila 1, on the contrary, it is quite austere. There are no foam tips or a rigid transport box.



Construction and Design


The shape of the capsules is almost semicircular, with a relatively large diameter and thickness. They are made of transparent plastic, except for the mouthpieces, which are metallic and gold-plated. On the inside of the external face there is a plate that looks like metal, marbled gray. It shows the logo of the brand and the name of the model. The inner faces are written «TFZ-IEM» and the letters R and L inside a circle, to indicate the channel.

The two-pin connector is made of transparent plastic and is different from that of the capsules.

The diameter of the nozzles is 6mm and they are slightly longer than those of Tequila 1. A dense metal grille protects the interior.



The cable is plastic-coated and flat, but thick. The inner wires are silver and look somewhat thin. The connector cover is straight, grey and light metal. The plug is gold-plated. The divider is made of plastic covered with a grey light metal plate. There is no piece for the adjustment under the chin. The cable has a velcro strap to pick it up.

Contrary to what may seem, the plastic of the cable is not at all rigid, but is very flexible and not at all microphonic. It’s one of the best plastic-coated cables I’ve ever tried.

The design is eye-catching because it is transparent: you can easily see the large dynamic driver inside. He is guilty of the outer size of the capsules.

All in all, the external metal plate, the transparent capsule, the golden nozzles and the semicircular design, provide a very attractive elegance that does not go unnoticed.

The plastic used for the capsules, although sufficiently rigid and thick, gives a false sensation of fragility. But on the other hand they allow the No.3 to be very light.



Adjustment and Ergonomics


In my ears fit well, but in smaller ears not so much: I have been able to check with another person, whose ears are different from mine and the fits are not so perfect. Personally, for me they are more comfortable, comparatively speaking, than the TFZ Tequila 1. Their fit is more natural and softer. In this sense, the material used is an advantage (plastic), in addition to being more rounded. The insertion is something deeper, at the limit of being superficial.



It is true that No.3 are bulky too, that is why, if the fit is adequate, neither movement nor rotation is possible. The alteration of the sound is minimal since the fit is quite firm, in this sense, above his brothers, the Tequila 1. Their shape, somewhat more ergonomic, facilitates daily use and walking with them does not pose any problem, just keep in mind that the insulation is above average, so you have to be careful when walking through the city.







The No.3 profile is halfway to a V or U IEM. They have a greater emphasis on the sub-bass zone and the upper-mids and lower-high zone, as well as a rebound over 8-9kHz.

Although TFZ is well known for its power in the lower zone and the No.3 do not detract in this sense, its enhancement between 2 and 5 kHz, gives it much clarity, a clearer and brighter shade, than a predominantly bass.





The No.3 profile is halfway to a V or U IEM. They have a greater emphasis on the sub-bass zone and the upper-mids and lower-high zone, as well as a rebound over 8-9kHz.

Although TFZ is well known for its power in the lower zone and the No.3 do not detract in this sense, its enhancement between 2 and 5 kHz, gives it much clarity, a clearer and brighter nuance, than a predominantly bass.

TFZ is TFZ and its stamp is patent again in this area, but this time its footprint is different. The area is not as big or as wide. Thus, the generated sound is different, being the narrowest range, it interferes less in the mids.

The speed is good towards moderate, the lows never become diffuse at all. The definition is also remarkable but the body is not so complete.





The high mids of the No.3 have a clear emphasis. This fact detracts from the warmth of the voices, but brings extra clarity and definition, especially to female voices. Meanwhile, male voices feel a little more distant.

The accent in the sub bass isolates the mids and they are perceived more separated, detailed and fine. The range is not so compact either, but it sounds wide, clear, clean, close and more decongested. Although the level of detail is good, these are not analytical IEMs that offer very high micro detail, but the resolution is that of a good dynamic driver.





Starting from emphasized high mids, the highs start descending to rebound around 8-9 kHz. The upper zone is somewhat sharp and thin, without becoming crisp. The extension is moderate, but provides a good level of luminosity and air to the whole, offering a sound with a good level of detail, separation, definition and resolution.



Scene, soundstage


The scene is moderately good, with a clearly perceptible width and depth. Instrumental positioning is sometimes sensitive to the close-up presentation offered by No.3, diluting into closeness.

The separation is noticeable, all the luminosity, the air, the proximity and the certain brightness, plays in favour of a clear, detailed, clean and clear presentation.





Anew U1


Leaving aside the clear differences in sensitivity, in favor of the TFZ, the U1 offer a warmer sound, with a certain greater darkness, but at the same time the highs are finer and sharper. Although the No.3’s tone is brighter and clearer, that treble band is softer. The profile of the U1 has a more pronounced V towards the bass, with the mids somewhat deeper and duller. On the other hand, the general character of the TFZ is clearer and diaphanous, providing greater luminosity and a greater sense of openness. The voices are more present and vivid, although some wheezing is more likely to escape, comparatively speaking. Meanwhile, the Anew offer a more relaxed and comfortable sound for long listening.



The lower zone is similar in both, being somewhat more extensive in No.3. The level of depth is very similar in both, although the speed is greater in the U1.

The separation and definition is greater in No.3, as well as the level of detail, mainly due to a more prominent middle zone. At scene level they are similar in width and depth, only the proximity of No.3 can alter the perception in this aspect.

In terms of construction, both the cable and the capsules, the Anew offer a more luxurious, distinguished and eye-catching finish.



Ikko OH1


Looking at the frequency response graphs, at first glance you can see more similarities than differences. Both IEMs have similar mids, with the emphasis on their high part being wider on No.3. Even the treble seems more present than in the Ikko. Of course, the lower zone also has more gain, more sub-bass and more extension. But how does all this translate into the final sound of both? Despite these obvious differences, there is one physical quality that provides a greater disparity: the drivers used. While the Ikko use a dynamic driver and a Balanced Armature, the No.3 only use a dynamic driver. This way, although the curves resemble each other in their middle zone, the sound is not the same in this part. Clearly the OH1 are more analytical, precise, defined and with higher resolution, while the No.3 are warmer and more compact. The lower zone in the TFZ is sensibly more present and this affects the rest of the frequencies, clouding, comparatively speaking, their sound. Thus, it cannot be concluded that the No.3 are OH1s with a plus in the lower zone, because each driver produces a clearly differentiated sonority: the definition and detail fall on the band of the Ikko, while the bass punch and warmth go towards the No.3.



At scene level they are very close, despite the remarkable definition of the Ikko, the punch of the No.3 offers more dynamics and a feeling, in my opinion, of greater depth and a little more width. However, the OH1 provides a more oval scene feel, where the mids are somewhat more distanced, while the ends are closer, contrasting with the close-up sound of the No.3.

In terms of construction, the Ikko are metallic and the No.3 are made of plastic, however I prefer the cable of the TFZ.

Finally, comfort has its pros and cons in every model. The Ikko are more comfortable, their smaller size fits better, compared to the larger volume of the No.3. But the OH1 nozzles are shorter, offering a more superficial insertion.



TFZ Tequila 1


The rich brother of the No.3 does not have a sub-bass response as powerful as the No.3, but his mid-bass is more prominent, offering more body and a more complete low zone. Bass of Tequila 1 are faster. They also have a warmer profile, which is very noticeable in the voices. In No.3 the mids sound finer, with greater clarity and proximity, accentuated by their greater emphasis on this area. While in Tequila 1 the mids enjoy greater forcefulness and power, they are also softer and safer. The high mids and low treble of the No.3 are brighter and can generate more wheezing, comparatively speaking, than Tequila 1. But they also offer some more detail and resolution.



In terms of scene they are very similar in width, but the depth of the No.3 is appreciated greater and with more separation. However, Tequila 1 offers a greater sense of openness.

As a conclusion, Tequila 1 is more visceral, powerful, warm and open, No.3 being somewhat deeper, cleaner, clearer, with more brightness and a little more detail, offering a finer sound.




No.3 is a V-alternative that offers a more focused sound in the sub-bass and high mids. In addition, their mids are closer, with nearby voices and very enjoyable. Its profile differs from the typical V of sunken, darker and distant mids, guaranteeing a more vivid, clear and sharp listening, without treble hammerings.

Despite the size of its capsules, the fit is soft and firm, guaranteeing a high level of comfort both in long listening, as in daily use and outdoors. In addition, they possibly have one of the best plastic-coated cables in their price range.

And, of course, a low zone with the TFZ stamp.



Sources used during the analysis


  • Burson Audio Playmate (OpAmps V6 Vivid Dual + V6 Classic Dual).
  • F.Audio S1