Disclaimer: I purchased the Yinyoo Topaz at a reduced price for review from MissAudio. If you are interested in purchasing the Topaz, it is available from the MissAudio Ali store at a discount here. To receive the discount to $108 for Audiofool readers, add the item to your cart, checkout using “Other” payment methods and choose bank transfer. Leave a note to MissAudio indicating you read our review and wish to have the price adjusted and the price will be reduced to $108 for you.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The topaz comes in an appropriately colored blue slip-cover box with the Yinyoo logo in gold on the face and the model specifics on a label on the foot. Lifting the cover reveals the earpieces surrounded in foam and a Yinyoo soft-case. A warranty card is under the foam but all else is hidden neatly inside the case.
The kit with the Topaz is pretty standard at this price point with a soft case, cable, shirt clip, and two sets of tips in small, medium, and large. One set of tips appears to be spin-fit style small bore tips while the others are closer to spiral dot style with large bores and a step in the channel.
Shells are cast aluminum in a teardrop style with the outer shell being faceted with what looks like sharp edges from a distance but all are nicely polished so no rough or sharp edges exist. The underside of the shell is polished smooth and sits comfortably in the ear. The only place not equally well polished is the flat where the bi-pin connector sits and the pictures below show toolmarks through the outer plating. This has no impact on sound or comfort, but is an obvious cut-corner on an otherwise extremely well made shell. Seams are tight with no glue or gaps, and the coating is very even in color throughout. Nozzles are at the lead edge with both an upward and forward rake allowing for fairly deep insertion. The .78mm bi-pin connectors are the new raised/recessed style that give the connection a little more stability. Normal bi-pin cables can be used but look slightly odd when connected due to the gap.
10mm bio-cellulose dynamic driver that yinyoo calls the SR002. The balanced armatures are Bellsing made 30017 packages that are basically a copy of the Knowles TWFK driver package. A total of 4 of the 30017 packages are used 2 per side to handle the mids and high frequency details. Perhaps most interesting is the listing of a 4 way electronic crossover. With basically 3 drivers per side, the question becomes is this a mis-print or do we have a bass, the mid-range twins, a high, and an ultra-high frequency driver based on the cross-over. I would expect it to be typo as the FR for the Topaz nearly parallels the FR for the 30017 drivers and if one were tuned in an offset fashion I would expect it to be evident in the FR. Nominal impedance is a low 13Ω which is something to watch with sources with high output impedances. Sensitivity is listed as 106dB/mW. I did find the Topaz did well directly from a phone or tablet and scaled with the use of a better source.
The cable provided with the Topaz is immediately noteworthy due to its design. The jack is of the 90º style that I much prefer housed in black plastic with integrated strain relief. Above that two wires run in parallel in lamp cord fashion. Each individual wire has visible twists through the black casement. Yinyoo lists the cable as 4 core silver plated copper. The splitter and chin slider are the same black rubber as the jack casement. This makes the chin slider a bit stiff to move but does mean once you have it in place, it stays which is good. Each wire terminates in a preformed ear-hook without memory wire and a well-labeled .78mm bi-pin connector. A large R or L is clearly visible on the side of the connector and a matching marking on the rear of the earpieces next to the Yinyoo branding.
Sound notes were done with the narrower bore tips as I found the large bore tips enhanced bass a bit too much for my tastes.
The Topaz has good sub-bass extension and quantity. The mid-bass follows nearly linearly from the sub-bass but lacks a bit of speed of decay and control and at times can feel a bit boomy. (Try INXs – Good Times for example). Attack is a bit faster than decay and leaves a good bit of lingering warmth. EQ is needed to back off the mid-bass in the 100-200Hz region slightly (-2dB) for best results. Some bass bleed into the mids is present again contributing warmth to the sound. Overall, a well done low end without any one element dominating the signature although I do wish it were a bit cleaner. This is particularly true as bass gets faster as “Blues hand me down” (Vintage Trouble) is considerably murky when listened to on the Topaz.
Lower mids can sound a bit thick as a result of the bass intrusion and male vocals lack the presence of their higher pitched counterparts as a result. Mids climb throughout the range and female vocals are a bit thinner but more forward and more realistic. I found no tendency toward strident vocals or any harshness at all and again it seems the tuner went for rounding off all the corners and smoothing out the sound. Detail is at times a secondary concern and I have no doubt that a bit more could be revealed were a little less smoothing done. The good news is the Topaz does respond very well to EQ and allows for fairly narrow band changes with reasonably clean borders. For example a +1-2dB push at 1kHz pushes male vocals nearly in line with female and brings back that life. It does at times make them a bit less mellow but is a trade off some will want to make.
Lower treble starts off forward of the rest of the signature but not enough to feel out of place or overly aggressive. Above the 5kHz mark, roll-off becomes pronounced with a peak added back in about 11kHz providing some air at the top end. Again, tuning seems to be more to the polite and less-aggressive side of iems and while detail is reasonably good, you cant help but feel that a bit more could have been brought to the forefront with a slightly more aggressive tuning. Fatigue is nearly non-existent for me and long listening sessions are comfortable as long as volume levels are kept to a reasonable level. Snare lacks a little crispness on attack and cymbals are impacted by the roll-off. Overall, this is a treble the treble-shy can likely appreciate as it does little to offend.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is good on the Topaz with a bit more width than depth and some sense of height allows for some dimensionality. Instrument separation is good, but better for the higher voiced instruments as the low end can get a bit muddied or overlapped. Imaging is good with spatial cues being fairly clearly identifiable although at times things seem to come from beside rather than from behind. Layering is only average due to the previously mentioned issues.
Two metal shelled iems from competing brands in close price proximity, here we’d expect a dog fight and we get one. The build on the Topaz is every bit as good as that of the M6 and the kit is similar on both. I prefer the bi-pin connector to the mmcx, but with the semi-proprietary hooded version on the Topaz, this is once again a dead heat. Neither cable is anything to write home about so that doesn’t help settle the fight so we have to boil it down to sound quality. Here it goes to the judges as their still isnt a knockout punch thrown. The two signatures are enough different that some will prefer the M6 while others will like the Topaz. Both have good bass extension but the M6 has a considerably more forward mid-bass with the default filters. The M6 goes for detail with the trade off being that it needs the DMG vented filter to tame it a bit. The Topaz brings a more civilized signature but doesn’t wring out the last detail. For those who love good mids, the M6 has a clear advantage, but for those with a bit of treble sensitivity the Topaz is likely a better option.
Build-wise the Topaz takes the prize. The metal vs plastic is just a more polished looking product. Cable wise the Topaz wins again as the cable with the C16 is likely its largest weak point. Sound wise, bass is similar between the two as neither has a particularly emphasized low end but both have good extension. The punch of the dynamic in the Topaz is obvious in comparison to the BA in the C16 and the Topaz has a bit more rumble while the C16 has a bit tighter control. In the mids, the two depart significantly, with the C16 taking a lead in lower mids and in overall detail while the upper mids of Topaz bring a bit more life to female vocals than the C16 can muster. At the upper end, the C16 has more detail and a bit more upper extension as it rolls off a bit further up, but overall the treble on the two are more similar than not with both being rather polite and non-fatiguing.
I had hoped to do a direct compare between the two yinyoo siblings as with obvious similarities and price points I think many will want to know which of the two is the better value for their use. Unfortunately, my D2B4 did not arrive in time to add it to this review. At some later date when I have both in hand, I will post the compare, most likely as part of the upcoming D2b4 review. I’ll add a link here when that goes up.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
The thing that kept coming up in my writing was laid-back and smooth. The Topaz seems to have been tuned to try and remove every sharp edge from the signature. While this is sometimes a trade off I would choose not to make, it does result in a very comfortable signature for long listening sessions due to its lack of anything fatiguing. I would suggest pairing the topaz with sources that are a bit clinical and dry as it will add a bit of warmth and may be over-matched by a player that tends to do the same. I would also suggest pairing with neutral or slightly dark sources when possible as the overall signature gets very bright when paired with a source that leans the same direction the topaz does. Overall, I think the Topaz makes a good daily driver or flight iem as it allows for long listening sessions with good comfort and no tendency toward stridency. I don’t think the Topaz is at its best in analytical situations, but the tuning suggests it was never meant for that in the first place. If you goal is to enjoy your music, the Topaz is worth an audition.