Tanchjim is a new Chinese company that specializes in in-ear monitors. Their first iem is of a dynamic driver configuration. I would like to thank Tanchjim and Penon Audio for this review unit. At the moment, you can purchase the Tanchjim Darkside from https://penonaudio.com/tanchjim-darkside .
- Driver Configuration: 9.2mm Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20000Hz
- Sensitivity: 103dB (at1000Hz)
- Rated impedance: 32Ω
Unboxing & Accessories
The Darkside comes in a black package that sports the brand logo and name on the top. It has black protective cover with an image of the iem, model name and brand name. At the back of the protective cover, there are specifications and instructions. After opening the package, there are the iem and 2 black boxes. The squarish box contains metal warranty card, eartips, stickers, instruction manual and information guide. The rectangular box contains a brown semi-hard carrying case with the brand logo printed on top.
IEM Build & Design
The Darkside has a smooth matte black shell and it is formed integrally by 5-axis CNC machine tools. The left side has a plain black faceplate while on the right side, the faceplate has the brand logo printed. On the inside of each iem side, there are the brand name and model name as well as L & R marking on the left and right respectively. There is a vent and the nozzle is slightly angled with a golden metal mesh for earwax prevention. The iem has a fantastic ergonomic design and it is one of the most comfortable iems I have tried. I am able to fit the Darkside in my ears well.
Cable Build & Design
The cable is not detachable and has a 4 core braided design. The cable has a memory wire section that is enclosed in a transparent heat shrink tube. It is very flexible. Both the chin slider and y-splitter are black in color with circular edges. The y-splitter sports the brand name and model name. The jack is 3.5mm gold plated right angled with strain relief.
The sub-bass on the Darkside has a moderate amount and it is presented well without sounding aggressive. It is able to extend moderately. There is a nice tinge of warmth which helps to produce a soothing bass presentation. The mid-bass on the Darkside has a moderate quantity and the slam has a laid-back approach. The bass decay is not very quick and the bass texture is rendered in a creamy manner. The bass presentation is controlled and each bass note is articulated with a smooth hit. There is a soothing listen.
The midrange operates in a warm and musical manner. It is able to express emotions well which gives rise to an intimate listen. The transparency and cleanliness has a moderate level. When tackling busier tracks, it gets slightly congested. The lower mids has good quantity and male vocals are expressed generally well in a lush manner. The upper mids is not very forward, resulting in female vocals presented moderately without sounding lively. The midrange has a moderate level of details retrievals.
The treble has decent extension with lack of crisp and sparkle. There is no sibilance and harshness. It is presented with smoothness. Treble presentation ensures a fatigue-free listening session without sounding too bright. The amount of air rendered is moderate and offers a nice airy feeling.
The Darkside has natural expansion in its soundstage. The width magnitude has a moderate level while the depth is closed in to offer the intimate feeling. There is an ordinary standard for the positioning of instruments and vocals.
Tanchjim Darkside vs Mee Audio Pinnacle P2
The P2 has more sub-bass extension than the Darkside while the Darkside is much fuller with extra sub-bass quantity. The P2 has the better depth for its sub-bass. The mid-bass on the P2 has less quantity than the Darkside but it is able to express with more agility. The Darkside presents its slam without sounding too hard-hitting and the laid-back approach makes it a relaxing listen. The lower mids on the Darkside has more quantity than the P2 and male vocals sound fuller with emotions. The upper mids on the P2 has more forwardness and results in female vocals sounding intimate yet energetic. The Darkside is able to provide a full-bodied approach. For the treble section, the P2 has more extension with crisp and sparkle while the Darkside excels with a good body and the smooth rendition creates a soothing effect. The P2 has slightly more definition here. Lastly, the soundstage of the Darkside expands more naturally while the P2 has a good width magnitude. The depth of the Darkside is slightly closed in and the intimacy helps in the vocals reproduction.
Tanchjim Darkside vs TFZ Exclusive King
The King has more sub-bass quantity and extension than the Darkside. The Darkside is able to produce a smoother sub-bass reproduction which gives a creamy feeling. The mid-bass on the King has a bolder slam with extra body and it is more aggressive than the Darkside. The bass texture on the Darkside is rendered more smoothly while the bass decay on the King has the slight advantage with extra agility. The Darkside is able to showcase control and gives a slow tempo. It is able to create a calm effect. The lower mids on the both has similar quantity but the Darkside is able to give a more emotional performance. The upper mids on the King is more forward and gives a nice bite. The Darkside sounds more controlled here and it allows vocals to be expressed well. Next, for the treble section, the King has the better extension with a more precise articulation. The Darkside excels in a different approach with a smooth presentation. The King sounds less controlled here. Lastly, there is a natural expansion for both while the King excels with a greater magnitude. The Darkside has a more closed in depth.
Tanchjim Darkside vs Oriveti Basic
The Basic has more sub-bass quantity and the Darkside is able to extend better. The Darkside has the ability to exert a strong control here and there is good mastery. The mid-bass on the Basic has more quantity and each slam is delivered with a good weight. The Darkside has a quicker slam. Bass articulation on the Darkside has better precision with a cleaner hit. The bass texture on the Darkside is rendered more smoothly while the bass decay is quicker with agility. The lower mids on the Basic has more body which results in thickness but may sound too dense. The Darkside is able to express male vocals in a more emotional appproach. The upper mids on the Basic has more forwardness and female vocals are presented in an intimate manner but there is better control on the Darkside. The midrange on the Darkside showcases a great finesse. Next, for the treble, the Basic has more extension while the the amount of air rendered is slightly greater. The Darkside has good smoothness and it is fatigue-free. Lastly, the soundstage on both expands naturally. The Basic has a greater stage width while the depth is very similar.
The Darkside is a dark and smooth sounding iem that is able to ensure a fatigue-free listening session and gives a relaxing feeling. It is able to invoke great musicality and vocals are expressed naturally. Furthermore, the Darkside has a fantastic ergonomic design that provides excellent comfort. The Tanchjim Darkside is their first iem and it is able to showcase an emotional unique sound.