Tunai Piano Hi-Res Headphones Review
Peter Donnell / 1 year ago
The world of hi-res audio is getting bigger every week. It seems I’m tripping over myself with headphone reviews recently. So many brands are releasing some of the finest headphones I’ve ever tested this year. Of course, Tunai is a big part of this here at eTeknix. Time and time again, they’re delivering innovative and very competitive products. Furthermore, they’re doing so at a price point that no doubt has their rivals worried. The Tunai Piano headphones are not on the market yet, but when they hit Indiegogo later this month, they’re sure to take the world by storm once again.
Set to hit the market at just $59.99, the Piano are set to shake up the market. With specifications, features, and build quality that one would typically find on $100-200 headphones. How has Tunai done this? I honestly have no idea, but if their previous headphones are anything to go by, these should be pretty special.
- Dynamic Dual Drivers
- Ceramic Drivers
- Hi-Res Audio Certified
- Kevlar 3n OFC Cable
- Protective Carry Case
- Three Sets of Silicone Ear Buds
- Available in Three Colours
- In-Ear Design
- Frequency response: 10 Hz – 40,000 Hz
- Driver unit: 13mm dynamic driver + Ceramic Driver
- Diaphragm: 8um aerospace grade PET
- Sensitivity: 105dB/mw
- Impedance: 32ohm
- Cord type: 3N (99.9%) Oxygen Free Cable (OFC), Y-type
- Cord length: 110cm / 3.6ft
- Wearing type: Inner ear
- Plug type: 3.5mm gold plated L shape
- Colours available: 3 – Rose gold, Polar blue & Sterling silver
- Images & more technical details can be found here.
What’s in the Box?
The latest headphones from Tunai come bundled with a lovely protective zip up bag. Of course, you’ll want to keep them clean and dust free, so this is a nice bonus.
You get three extra sets of earbuds too, with a fourth set pre-fitted to the headphones themselves. Getting that perfect fit shouldn’t be a problem here!
The bag is very nice quality, and small enough to fit in a small jacket pocket too, so easy to travel with.
The interior has a very soft lining too, so as not to scuff up the headphones when they are stored.
A Closer Look and Performance
The headphones themselves come with a gorgeous brilliant white cable and fittings. It’s a very stylish looking cable. However, it certainly not forms over function. The lightweight cable is built to be super strong and meet those oh-so-important audiophile standards.
It comes with 3N 99.999% Oxygen Free Copper cabling (OFC), with a Y-Type cable design. It also features a 3.5mm 4-pole gold-plated jack. That means you can pair it with your mobile devices, game controllers, and pretty much anything else really.
On the cable, you’ll find a small controller, which features a single button. Of course, if you’re on mobile, that button can be used to answer/end calls, pause and play music, or wake your mobile assistant. There’s a small microphone too, nothing too complex here, but we’ve used it for a few phone calls and it’s as good as any other brands microphone really. Nothing much interesting to say on that subject if I’m honest, it gets the job done.
Now, let’s move on to these rather fantastic looking earbuds. As you can see, they’re as good looking as any of the fashion headphone brands out on the market today. With a choice of rose gold, polar blue and sterling silver to choose from, you’ll find one that matches your taste easily enough. The white cable matches up with the white coloured metal housing of the drivers, as well as those earbuds too, keeping things looking uniform throughout.
Despite the three colour choices, the only coloured section is about 1/3rd of the driver housing. I like it though, it’s understated while still making a statement, adding a hint of colour and style. While I haven’t seen the other two colours in the real world, but I must admit I’m quite fond of the Polar Blue… which is green, let’s be honest now. I wouldn’t have picked this colour typically, but now that I have it, I’m very happy with it.
The design is quite typical of modern high-end headphones. The drivers are quite large for in-ear, but use angled channels for the drivers that point down into your ear. This not only gives a more direct sound, as is obviously preferable to ones mounted 90-degree to the ear; typical on many in-ear driver mountings. However, it also provides a rather secure anchor that balances the weight of the earbuds and keeps them firmly in your ears too. I went for a good run and jumped around the office, and these little buds were happy to stay in my ears the whole time; no complaints there then.
Hi-Res Audio Needs Hi-Res Range
So why are the drivers as big as they are? Well, they feature a dual driver design, with one massive 13mm dynamic driver kicking up the bass end of the sound, while a smaller ceramic driver deals with the more delicate frequencies. Hi-Res audio needs to be able to produce around 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
However, the Piano rock the world from 10 Hz right up to 40,000 Hz, which is way below and above the range of human hearing. Sure, you can “hear” that, but it still moves the air regardless at those ranges, adding “feel” to the sound. Furthermore, it also means the ranges that music is produced at fit nicely in the range with nothing left out.
The drivers are rated for 32 Ohm, with a sensitivity of 105dB/mw. Many brands are much lower than this and are quite easy to power from even the cheaper end of music players, mobile devices etc. However, the Piano will accept a good pounding from a more powerful headphone amplifier if you have one. We cranked them through a headphone amp that can run up to 300 Ohm and pushed them way past their typical volume to much praise. Too loud to put in my ears, but the sounded distortion-free regardless.
However, for the main testing, our humble Samsung S9+ was more than enough to run through some albums, Flac files and other such media. However, even the max volume on that was pretty freaking loud with these, and the 75% level was a punchy and plenty powerful level for us.
The sheer power of these headphones is something to behold. While I can’t hear down to 10 Hz, and let’s be honest, who can! The drivers have a terrific low-end response that can really rattle your eardrums with amazing precision. The opening of Lend Me The Eyes of Millennia by Ihsahn isn’t music for the faint of heart, or for lousy headphones. The audio assault from the synth to the terrifying double bass, to the roaring vocals, will put any speakers through their paces in a real hurry when the main rhythm kicks in around the 1:15 mark. However, the range way incredibly dynamic even on the 13mm driver of the Piano.
Listening to Big Wreck – Albatross, the acoustic guitar may as well have been right in my own hands, with Ian Thronlys crunchy guitar tone and vocals soaring from the other side of the room. Being able to hear the plectrum click over the strings sounded as beautiful as it could.
I even went through a little of Eminem’s Kamikaze album, with its relentless opening tracks featuring some seriously low-end bass frequencies that’ll shake the frame out of most subwoofers and a brutal assault on the mid-ranges from Eminem. Again, things sounded as punchy as I would expect from larger over-ear headphones.
However, it was Steve Vai’s – In My Dreams With You that really showed the power of the Piano headphones. The end of the track with Devin Townsend overlaying his vocals was almost surreal. The main vocals were obnoxiously right in front of my face, with the layered tracks fading in from the sides and all around to a mighty crescendo. All the time maintaining the intensely tight mix of the albums drums, dizzying guitar tones, and admittedly iffy sounding cymbals, but that’s not Tunai’s fault by any measure.
I have linked YouTube version of the tracks mentioned. FLAC files were used where possible for my testing, and Amazon Music for the rest. More tracks were certainly tested too, but these are the ones that really stood out. YouTube quality may not give you the same results due to their audio compression.
Just One More Go…
It’s with a heavy heart that I packed these headphones away for the day; admittedly an hour later than after I intended to finish testing them. Will they be back out for another listen? Oh, no doubt about it. In fact, maybe writing this review can wait for just a few more albums, a glass of scotch, and a cosy chair…
How Much Does it Cost?
The Tunai Piano Hi-Res Audio Headphones are hitting Indiegogo later this month. You can check the Tunai website to keep track. However, Tunai expects them to retail for just $59,99 and they’re worth every penny and then some if that holds true.
Last year saw Andy test the Tunai Drum headphones, which admittedly look a heck of a lot like the Piano. They wanted to raise $15,000 to release those and blasted through that with $26,681 and over 500 happy customers from that alone, and great success on Amazon afterwards. I’m guessing they’ll have similar targets for the Piano, and give the performance I’ve heard from them, I may need to pick up a set for myself too.
You just can’t get sound this big for this amount of money. Well, that was true last year at least. It seems like extremely good headphones are getting cheaper by the week right now. Tunai has some firm competition on the market these days, but I think they still have the edge in regards to price, performance and build quality. Think you can find better for less? Let me know because I’d like to see proof.
Get Low and Get High
The sheer depth of the bass from these headphones is staggering. Not just for in-ear headphones, but for any headphones in general. It’s not boosted or amped in any way, there’s just plenty of it, and it sounds superb. Even still, the mid-range and treble have as much detail as is possible without spending a fortune on more dedicated equipment. For “plug in your phone and go” type headphones, the quality is staggeringly good.
Should I Buy Them?
Right now, it seems a “best set of headphones ever” lands in my lap every other week. Either the performance is better, or the price is better, and this week it seems to be both. Best headphones ever? No, there are subjectively better out there. However, I can’t think of anything that sounds better by a tiny bit until I spend two or three times over the value of the Tunai. Big performance on a wallet-friendly budget is here for everyone, and even the more serious audiophiles out there should eagerly check these out.