(Last Updated On: November 6, 2019)

Utilizing double magnetism, double cavity, and double voice coil, TFZ No.3 offers a smooth and non-tiring listening experience to fellow audiophiles.

Thank you Linsoul for sending me the TFZ No.3 for my honest review. I am not affiliated with Linsoul and no monetary award in any format is offered.

With the emerging of Chi-Fi in the audiophiles market, more outstanding in-ear monitors (IEMs) are available in the lower price range.

This could be good news and bad news to fellow audiophiles – more choices and too many choices.

The Fragrant Zither (TFZ) is a China-based IEMs manufacturer that focuses on a wide range of IEMs. From the top of the line – Tx Bear 10 to the entry-level – T1 Galaxy, TFZ aims to provide a listening solution for audiophiles – be it entry-level or top of the line. We will review on TFZ No.3, a midrange IEM from TFZ.

TFZ No.3
TFZ No.3

TFZ No.3

“TFZ provides an affordable alternative for new audiophiles to enter the world of high fidelity. With the warmth injected while not compromising the clarity, TFZ No.3 might be setting a new benchmark for entry-level IEMs.”

Pros:

  • »Sub-bass rumbles
  • »Detachable cable
  • »Sturdy nozzle
  • »Rigid acrylic shell

Cons:

  • »Shell could be too big for certain users
  • »Highs might not be sufficiently energetic

Unboxing

TFZ No.3 has a very simple but modern packaging. Nowadays, IEMs packagings are getting more complicated and a lot of manufacturers are throwing in less useful accessories to make their packagings look grand.

I am glad that TFZ focuses on a simple yet useful packaging.

The outer layer of the packaging is a white hard sleeve with the branding on it. Removing the sleeve, one can immediately spot the TFZ No.3. Underneath the TFZ No.3, you can find a box containing the cable for No.3. Besides that, there is an accessories box. Opening the accessories box, you can expect:

  • 3 pairs of wide bore silicone ear tips
  • 3 pairs of narrow bore silicone ear tips
  • A white soft pouch
  • A cloth clip

Technical Specifications

  • Driver: 11.4mm Double magnetism, double cavity, double voice coil ,tesla magnetic group
  • Magnetism material: NdFeB N50
  • Diaphragm: Diamond diaphragm
  • Frequency range: 5Hz-40000Hz
  • Impedance: 20ohm
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Cable material: 0.78mm detachable silver-plated cable

Build

The build quality of TFZ No.3 is excellent – rigid and sturdy. The crystal clear acrylic shell allows users to see through the 11.4mm dynamic drivers in the shell. Facing the outer side is a silver faceplate – eyecatching.

A close look on TFZ No.3
A close look on TFZ No.3

The brass nozzle improves the overall build quality of this IEMs. As mentioned in my earlier review of Simgot EK3 and Campfire Audio Polaris V2, IEMs nozzle is always the weakest part of the IEMs. TFZ successfully mitigate this issue by implementing a brass nozzle.

The brass nozzle
The brass nozzle

On top of the shell, users can find a non-recessed 0.78mm 2-pin connector. This implementation may create some problems during cable-rolling. However, after testing several aftermarket cables, the protruded 2-pin connector does not create any hectic problem for me.

The non-recessed 0.78mm 2 pin connector
The non-recessed 0.78mm 2 pin connector

The cable provided in the packaging is a 3.5mm unbalanced terminated to 0.78mm 2-pin silver plated copper (SPC) cable. The cable is coated using a layer of rubber as a strain relief to protect the cable. There is no chin slider on this cable but due to the softness of the cable, it does not create serious microphonics when I am moving around.

Cable provided by TFZ in the packaging
Cable provided by TFZ in the packaging

Fitting and Isolation

The overall fitting of TFZ No.3 is average. The slightly large shell stretches my ear a little horizontally. I can get a good isolation and this made No.3 my travel companion during this review period. There is a vent to mitigate driver flex in the inner side of the shell so it minimizes the noises from surrounding to disturb the overall listening experience.

Driver flex is when the driver bends due to the pressure of air against it. Usually, it occurs when you’re inserting the IEM into your ear and air in the shell creates pressure to bend the driver.
A vent on the inner side of the shell
A vent on the inner side of the shell

The shell might be a little too huge for those with smaller ears especially females. I could not find a good fit with the provided ear tips but ear tips rolling can be easily done. Based on my testing, SpinFit CP100, MandarinEs Symbio W and Final Audio Type E ear tips can fit perfectly on No.3.

Pairing

For this review, I paired the TFZ No.3 to Radsone EarStudio100 (ES100) which is connected to my LG G6 via LDAC.

I used test tracks from my lossless library to audition No.3 when I am writing this review.
TFZ No.3 with Radsone ES100
TFZ No.3 with Radsone ES100

Sound

I do not have much experience with Chi-Fi except for major brands like FiiO, iBasso, and Simgot so I am a little unsure what to expect initially.

The first impression on TFZ No.3 is jaw-dropping

The overall sound signature is at the warmer side, making No.3 comfortable for long listening. The soundstage is sufficiently wide and the depth is amazing. Thanks to the high-performance dynamic driver.

Due to the good performance in the width and depth on the soundstage, the separation and layering are produced in an accurate manner. The fidelity and clarity are above average for an IEMs within USD$200 price range.

TFZ No.3
TFZ No.3

Lows

TFZ No.3 has a very good sub-bass extension. It rumbles upon call. I would definitely recommend this IEMs to bassheads. I believe it can fulfill their craves in the lows especially sub-bass.

It is hard for you to stop yourself from stomping your feet together with the rhythm when the bass kicks in

The attack and decay speed of the bass is above average for a dynamic driver. The speed is at a sweet spot – giving the overall texture a sense of warmness and emotions. Due to the good layering, no bleeding towards other frequency regions is spotted. This creates a good overall fidelity and I enjoy the rumbles from No.3.

TFZ No.3
TFZ No.3

Mids

The mids is well-positioned in the center of the stage – neither too shouty nor too laid back. This makes the overall presentation enjoyable one. The mids body is full and lush. Due to the air injected by the dynamic drivers and the smooth transition from the lows, the mids is warm, full of emotions and breathy.

For vocals, the body is rich. For those who love coffee, I would like to describe this as my favorite beverage in Singapore – Kopi Gao (Americano with an extra shot of espresso).

The presentation is very energetic and the warmth provided the emotions – it is like a real scene.

TFZ No.3
TFZ No.3

Highs

The highs are a little bit shy among the three frequency spectrum. This could be a common characteristic for a warm IEMs. There is no sibilance found during the review period of almost a month. This could bring a fatigue-free listening experience for users.

Although the presentation is polite and conserved, it does have a good extension without disturbances and distortions.

There is sufficient air injected in the treble – making the presentation airy and hence improving the fidelity of the overall performance.

For those who like a more energetic high might find the treble a little bit weak in TFZ No.3.
TFZ No.3
TFZ No.3

Conclusion

The TFZ No.3 is a great choice for those who want an entry-level IEMs that can fulfill their bass cravings. For those who are interested, you can grab it now at USD$109 on Amazon. There are another two designs – carbon fiber faceplate and TI version. User can choose based on their personal preference.

TFZ provides an affordable alternative for new audiophiles to enter the world of high fidelity. With the warmth injected while not compromising the clarity, TFZ No.3 might be setting a new benchmark for entry-level IEMs.

Well done, TFZ!