Tin HiFi T2 Headphones Offer Fantastic Sound at a Bargain Price

A great wired backup for your Bluetooth gear

Key Takeaways

  • After tiring of worrying about battery life and connectivity issues, I recently bought my first pair of wired headphones in years. 
  • The Tin HiFi T2 are beautifully made, but are a far cry from the elegant minimalism of Apple products. 
  • I was impressed with the excellent audio quality and neutral sound of the T2, which cost less than $50.
The Tin Audio T2 headphones packaging.

Tin Audio Company

I’ll admit that I bought the Tin HiFi T2 in-ear headphones based on their looks. 

They have a multicolor cyberpunk style that’s like nothing else on the market. But after using them for a few weeks, I can recommend the T2 for their outstanding sound and build quality, as well. They offer a terrific and reasonably priced alternative to the plasticky earbuds that are so common for less-expensive audio equipment. 

This was my first time buying wired earphones in years. I own both the Apple AirPods Pro and the AirPods Max. My quest for yet another option began out of frustration. I love the convenience and freedom that Bluetooth offers, but I hate the limited battery life and connection problems.

"While AirPods are all smooth curves, the T2 is a mass of braided cables and heavy earpieces."

Say Goodbye to Battery Life Woes

After one too many marathon listening sessions during which I had to rush for a charger, I decided I needed wired backup headphones. I’ve already spent too much money on Bluetooth gadgets from Apple, so I wanted to keep the costs down. 

The inexpensive offerings from big-name manufacturers like Sony get decidedly mixed reviews. But then I hit on reviews of the T2, which recommended them as more bang for your buck than you would expect, and I was hooked. I took the plunge and put down my credit card. 

Unboxing the T2 was a treat, as it comes in an elegant navy blue box that resembles a tiny book. After years of using minimalist Apple designs, the T2 came as a shock when I first handled it. While AirPods are all smooth curves, the T2 is a mass of braided cables and heavy earpieces. It’s also a riot of colors, with several different included ear tips, each in its own hue. 

After spending a few minutes unbraiding tangled cords (remember those days) and admiring the heft of the earpieces, I began to realize that while the T2 is not lightweight, it feels solid and unlikely to break. The materials are a thoughtful blend of textures that are a pleasure to use. 

Sound, Glorious Sound

The real test, of course, is how the T2 sounds. The short answer is marvelous. I’m no audiophile, but I’ve been using headphones for decades, and these offer excellent sound reproduction for the price. They obviously can’t match the depth and soundstage of the $549 AirPods Max, but that’s really not a fair comparison. 

The T2 has a neutral sound that’s relaxing for long listening sessions. I mostly use my headphones as background noise when I’m working. These headphones don’t have any kind of noise-canceling, and to my surprise, I found that to be a welcome relief. Manufacturers have been trying for years to drive home the idea that noise canceling is a necessity as a way to make you upgrade.

Closeup of the Tin Audio T2 wired headphones.

Sascha Brodsky / Lifewire

I’ll admit that noise canceling can be handy for long plane journeys and certain other situations, but they are hard on my ears. My AirPods Pro, for example, gives off a distinct noise as it tries to cancel outside sounds. After an hour of this, I have to turn the noise-canceling feature off. 

I listened to a mix of songs from Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” to Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony,” and was impressed by the clarity of the sound quality. The rock songs lacked the punchy bass that you get on other headphones, but it meant that I could hear some of the other notes that much better. 

Best of all, it was great to take the T2 out of its package and simply plug it into the headphone jack on my MacBook Pro instead of fiddling with Bluetooth settings. Of course, most electronics made recently lack a headphone port, so you may have to pony up for some kind of adaptor. I also didn’t have to worry about constant reminders that the batteries in my headphones were running out of juice. Sometimes, simple is best.

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