Even during the high season saturated with many activities and lots of work in my main business (motorcycles), can’t miss the chance to play with TFZ Tequila 1 and share the opinion about this unexpectedly good model of IEMs. Rarely there is a chance to find IEMs that would greatly differ soundwise and appeal towards bassheads in the best sense of this word. It is common for overheads that entry level models would hide all shortcomings of limited capabilities behind huge amount of lows, but TFZ Tequila 1, despite high accent on bass, is definitely not the case. This model belongs to newest luxury series of TFZ IEMs (TFZLux) and gives odds to many more expensive models.
TFZ Tequila 1 technical specifications:
- Driver type: dual-magnetic two-way graphene driver
- Magnet: NdFeB N50
- Diaphragm diameter: 8.9mm
- Voice coil material: copper clad aluminum wire
- Frequency response range: 5Hz ~ 40KHz
- Harmonic distortion: 0.7%
- Impedance: 20Ω
- Sensitivity: 105dB
- Cable connectors: 2pin, 0.78mm
- Wire: cores 4x18x0.05 5N, OFC, high flexibility transparent PVC
- Color options: green, red, blue, red+blue
- Ultra-large sound field, large dynamic transients
- Aluminum CNC processed shell
Packaging, design and build quality:
TFZ Tequila 1 box has its own unique design and doesn’t share any similarities with King or SG series. It has matt black slipcover that hides white box with transparent protective top underneath.
Not much of information, except for the shiny silver brand and product name plus the sticker with color option.
Tequila IEMs rest in special openings of the top foamy podium while all of the accessories are located beneath.
- Tequila IEMs
- audio cable
- storage case
- 7 pairs of silicone eartips
- 1 pair of memory foam eartips
- 3.5mm jack protective cover
Storage case looks very familiar — another type supplied by third party vendors and commonly used by many manufacturers. Very good build quality and secure locking mechanism.
If anyone is also into another great hobby of radio controlled models as I am — you have probably noticed the similarities in the design on Tequila 1 shells and current lineup of brushless motors for racing quads:
I understand that this is only a peculiar coincidence but couple of my friends have already asked me what type of motors are those ?
Shells are made of CNC aluminum and have golden insterts in the middle with brand name and serial number imprints.
All joints are very neat, no spacing between the elements. Openings at the back are protected by nylon lathing and I guess that those serve a purpose of making bass more open (like in open back overheads).
Output nozzles end up with 3 openings and special sockets for securing eartips at place.
Transparent plastic 2pin cable connectors are externally placed, have very tight cable fit and no free play whatsoever.
Stock cable looks pretty nice: OFC, aluminum audio jack housing, flexible earguides, transparent plastic connector housings and good banding protection. Seems that this cable is somewhere inbetween stock King II series and TFZ TC-3 upgrade cable in terms of build quality.
Tequila IEMs looks to be heavy and feels heavy (in fact ) Shape is quite strange and don’t add much to the overall comfortability either. Despite that, thanks to good stock cable earguides, this model is not a disaster and feel more or less ok especially in not trying to run or excercise. Yes, you need to get used to Tequila fit and to find the best position but it would become fine, eventually. But remember that there are many other models out there with much better fit.
Tested with HiBy R6Pro DAP
Lows and midbass:
Main characteristic of Tequila 1 sound can be exressed in one word — bassy. Bass has quite heavy presence with good amount of texturing and details. It fills the scene width and sometimes even tends to mask the less evident midrange. Bassheads would probably love these, but too much of bass to my own liking. The good thing is that it is detailed and not too obscure… Yes, it is overemphasized but also discloses some new details which have been shadowed by other models with less bass-heavy tuning. It also feels quite open and rich instead of being too dark and conjested. But the entire feel of lows is as if the scene got rearranged and backstage instruments like bass guitars have been brought to front.
On the other hand, midbass is decent in terms of speed, power and drive. Puchy sound with more than enough volume and air.
Mids and vocals:
There is an evident recession of mid portion and voices in comparison to lows and treble. Voices sound a bit distant but at the same time have pretty good thickness due to enourmous amount of lows. Female voices are more exposed, emotional and accented, although not overly crisp and shouting. «HD» description of Tequila 1 gets evident here — resolution is pretty high for one dynamic driver model which is affecting mostly female vocals, strings and horns. The entire picture is kept in good balance between warmth and virtual higher detalization caused by the influence of treble. Although, it might have been even better if mids were more exposed in overall. Sometimes, in bass-heavy tracks lows might overlap and shadow out some instruments in mids.
Very satisfying and even surprising experience. It would be hard to guess whiсh driver technology does this model belong to in a blind test. Treble is very bright, crisp, fast and clean which is very close to armature models. Only in some benchmarks for treble you’d get the understanding that it is not really catching up but for the most of the tracks it performs surprisingly good. Not so delicate and extended as in respected armature IEMs but quite competing. This range is also overexposed and accented to the extent of balancing the overemhasized lows.
Good soundstage width derived from volumetric bass and airy treble. But not that good depth due to mixing between lows and mids while the bass is also trying to constantly overlap with other ranges. In some less bassy tracks lows are perfectly layered but when it gets to more bass presence in a track — it shifts forward and narrows the scene depth.
Sound in overall:
TFZ Tequila 1 sound can be described as V-shaped, warm and bassy, with good bass texturing, very good mids and treble resolution, recessed mids and emhasized, clean and crisp treble.
Compared to Whizzer Kylin:
Very close models in terms of approach towards tuning and overall sound. Similarly overexposed lows, accented and crisp teble and recessed mids. Althoug, Kylin have less bassy feels in overall but the bass it produces suffer more from being too slow and feels more disconnected from the rest of the ranges. It is also less textured and more moody. At the same time, Kylin’s treble is more extended and even more transparent and airy. Fit-wise, both IEMs are not great while Tequila feels a little bit better… I can live with that, at least.
Compared to iKKO OH1:
iKKO OH1 feel more balanced (surprise, isn’t it? ) in overall — less emphasis on lows and treble and better layering between the instruments and ranges. Tequila feels much warmer and less shouting on female vocals. Resolution of both models is close to each other with OH1 behaving slightly better detalization due to hybrid driver combination.
Compared to DB Monroe:
DB Monroe are warm and bassy dynamic IEMs with better fit and more balanced sound. Bass depth and presence is not that huge as well as the treble is not that accented. On the other hand — DB suffer from less resolution in overall, less bass texturing and a bit moody sound due to lack of treble. Those IEMs are much closer to other balanced dynamic models in comparison to highly deviating nature of Tequila 1.
TFZ Tequila 1 should be considered as one of the most interesting IEMs by the bassheads and other fans of warmth in sound without sacrificing bright and crisp reproduction of treble. If V-shaped tuning is of a personal preference — Tequila 1 is a good representative, also delivering high resolution in mids and good texturing on lows. In fact, haven’t heard any rivals with such interesting combination of sound characteristics and only a few shortcomings. At one hand you get bassy and warm sound and on the other — evidently high amount of micro details with armature-like feel on treble. Such interesting experience and fun sound override the imperfection while forcing to return to Tequila 1 over and over again…