TKZK Wave – Balanced Performer
TKZK is a new offering from the parent company of TIN HiFi. I would like to thank HiFiGo for sending this unit to me for listening impressions and reviews.
Intentionally designed and built for simple elegance with plastic shells. TKZK Wave is as simple as it can be with a touch of artistic nuances on the front faceplate. The nozzle is admirably sized with proper length and bore size, offering good fit.
Driver Type: 1 BA & 1 DD each side
Frequency Responds: 10-40kHz
Sensitivity: 110±3dB @1KHz 0.126V
Max Distortion: 3%@1K Hz 0.126V
Plug: straight 3.5mm gold plated plug
Cable: 1.2m Silver Plated Copper
For the entirety of this review, I have opted to use my own Slow Rebound Foam tips, I am not a fan of silicone tips and the stock TKZK Wave unit does not provide any foam type.
Timbre, Tonality & Dynamics:
TKZK Wave exhibited good balance between Balanced Armature and Dynamic Driver timbre, with the DD side offering vibrant frequencies and the BA offering sparkle evident on the higher frequencies. All in all, I would regard Wave as balanced sounding (neither warm nor bright). Dynamic transients are well controlled to not sounding overly euphonic as would be observed from some “exciting” IEMs. If I am forced to label The Wave, I would regard it more of mild W sounding – Bass, Treble and Mids levelled properly without any hint of recessed presentation. However, it must be noted that TKZK Wave may sound metallic dry on some genres especially used for listening to Rock/Metal which tend to be shouty. With Jazz, Electronic, Bluegrass, Pop and it is fun and very enjoyable – totally unoffensive.
TKZK Wave Mids are neutral and natural. I did not sense any coloration to the tone on vocals. TKZK Wave remained faithfully transparent with projection of Soprano or Contralto vocals. Similarly with male vocals (Baritone), it sounded natural without any hint of warmth or added sparkle.
Instruments wise, it is clear and cleanly crisp with mild attack and decay – realistic as how I would put it.
There’s ample sparkle and shimmer to make TKZK Wave shine admirably. Yet this will still not be considered as a Trebleheads IEM. Treble extensions are admirable depending on how capable to source it. Even when played with natural warm sources (native AKM based DAC tuning), there’s clarity and crispiness to Treble presentation. It must be noted here that TKZK Wave seems to focus more on crisp edge rather than outright smoothness – so depending on the mastering approach done on the recordings, some songs may end up sounding a bit grainy edged on Treble decays. Stick to properly mastered records and this will not be an issue. What I do wish for is a bit more of Treble texture and details but then again at this price point it is totally acceptable as it is
I like TKZK Bass. It is very well tuned to not overwhelm the other spectrum of frequencies especially lower Mids or even Sub-Bass. Mid-Bas has ample punch and presence to make it fun and exciting – and still disciplined enough to not interfere or bleed anywhere else. But I have a feeling that Bassheads may find TKZK Wave not living up to the expectations. The overall presentation for Bass is decidedly balanced and unoffensive. Much similar to the approach of Treble, both Mid-Bass and Sub-Bass focus more on crisp decays, which means this can be perceived as rolled-off to those preferring smooth extended decays.
TKZK seems to be not a very speedy IEM. As noted earlier, TKZK Wave will not sound as good with Rock/Metal. This is attributed to it being a bit slow in handling outright Beats Per Minute speed over 150 BPM. Imaging and staging are average as well, on certain songs the separation lines can be a bit fuzzy with instruments sounding confined a bit too close together. Spatial imaging is good but nothing to shout about here. TKZK Wave is coherent enough to not sounding off key between the two different drivers, there’s harmony in Dynamic transients for as long as the songs are not exceedingly fast or complex.
Soundstage itself for TKZK Wave is what I regard as properly sized for an IEM, not exactly stellar but not shabby as well. There’s ample sense of space. However, imaging is not as razor sharp as I would prefer it to be (but I am nitpicking here).
Notably, being very easy to drive, TKZK Wave will sound great even straight from the phone out of my Redmi 10 or Sony Xperia X Compact. Switching to my 4 Vrms DACport HD does not exhibit much of an improvements. This is a twin edged sword, from one perspective it means TKZK Wave can be fully enjoyed even with weaker source, but it will also mean with superior partner, it will not shine beyond that.
On details handling, TKZK Wave is not a clinical unit. Macro Details are good but the retrieval of Micro Details are just average. And this depends a lot on how transparent the source is. On less than competent source then the details can be heard as fuzzy altogether.
TKZK Wave is a Jack of All Trade and Master of None. It’s designed for easy and casual listening that does not demand highly competent sources. But it may not be suitable for critical listening, especially not when paired with an already bright sounding partners. Everything about TKZK build and stature, it is comfortable and easy to wear, with the foam tips I get good isolation, and this mean that I can wear TKZK Wave for outdoor activities without worrying about noise intrusions – all running directly from my phone.
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