TinHiFi is a Chinese brand that understands the budget IEM category very well, offering outstanding value-driven designs. The TinHiFi P1 was launched in 2019 with planar drivers, immediately making a name for itself. The brand branched out with the T1, T2, T3 and T4 IEMs, and introduced the P2 in 2020.
TinHiFi is now looking to continue its momentum with the P1 Max. Although the name suggests that IEMs are another variant of the P1, this is not the case: the P1 Max has larger planar drivers, a 0.78mm 2-pin female connector instead of MMCX and a rather nice new design.
What TinHiFi hasn’t changed is the value; the P1 Max launched for $189 but is available for just $129 on HiFiGo, making it one of the most affordable planar options you’ll find today. You can also buy the P1 Max from Amazon, but you’ll have to shell out $169 (opens in a new tab). As with most IEMs, you get a standard two-year warranty with the P1 Max.
TinHiFi is known for its interesting designs, and while most of its product portfolio features stainless steel shells, the P1 Max’s are resin. They still feature a stainless steel wire mesh on the outside and the design is beautiful, if not as unique as the first generation P1. However, opting for resin means that TinHiFi was able to gain some weight, and it shows in everyday use. The P1 Max has a comfortable fit with the nozzle not stretching too much and the shell sitting on the outer ear and not exerting much pressure.
The build quality is exceptional and the P1 Max are just as sturdy as their metal-shelled siblings. You get a decent amount of accessories in the box, including six pairs of silicone eartips, two memory foam eartips, and a braided cable with good memory retention that terminates in an asymmetrical 3 plug, 5mm. The P1 Max has a 2-pin connector instead of MMCX, and while I would have liked to see the latter, that’s okay. As it stands, the bundled cable itself should be more than enough for most users interested in the P1 Max.
There’s good isolation too, and while they’re not on par with the best wireless headphones, the P1 Max do a great job of reducing ambient noise to some extent. They’re decent with low-hum sounds like the AC, but I could hear my keyboard clicking when using the IEMs.
The biggest draw with the TinHiFi P1 Max is the sound, and there’s a lot to like here. The IEMs have large 14.2mm planar drivers, and TinHiFi has done a great job of tuning the audio. The result is that you get vibrant sound with good dynamic range and excellent detail retrieval. Sensitivity is quite low at 98dB, so you need to pair the P1 Max with a good DAC to unlock the sound’s full potential. I used the P1 Max with Fiio’s BTR5 and KA3, and switched to the excellent BTR7 once it became available.
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The sound signature is clean and detailed, with the bass in particular shining through. Planar speakers tend to deliver a smooth, fast and engaging low-end, and that’s the case here. There’s good sub-bass extension, and you get a decent growl, giving good low-end presence.
The P1 Max doesn’t miss a beat in the midrange either, delivering clear, detailed sound with plenty of energy and good instrument separation. Female vocals come out with a good tonality, and there’s never any harshness. On that note, there’s a bit of exuberance in the treble region, and there are a few instances where the IEMs sound bright as well. However, most of the time you get uplifting effects.
Where the P1 Max sets itself apart from the likes of the Fiio FD3 is in the soundstage; they sound bigger and more attractive, which makes a difference in everyday use. The LETSHUOER S12 are a good alternative to consider here, with these IEMs also featuring planar drivers and lively sound. That said, after using both, I’m looking to the P1 Max; they just sound a bit more dynamic.
All things considered, the P1 Max’s are some of the best IEMs you’ll find for under $150. They have a terrific sound signature thanks to large planar drivers and good tuning, and they perform well in a variety of genres. They also have excellent build quality and good design, and you get all the accessories you need in the box. Considering they retail for just $129, you’re getting a bargain.
TinHiFi P1 Max delivers where it counts: sound quality. These IEMs sound phenomenal thanks to large planar drivers, and they’re great value now that they’re selling for less than $150.