Disclaimer: I received this unit for free in exchange for a review. My setup is as follows: Apple music lossless (LDAC; phone) / Foobar FLAC (ASIO; laptop) > iFi gryphon > IEM (gray stock tips). A decently powerful dac/amp is recommended (120mW SE). The Shine normally retails for 90 USD
Build: Great. It's a 1DD/2BA hybrid. Metal faceplate and resin body. A bit heavy and rather thick (from faceplate to the nozzle's side). The only pet peeve is the QDC connectors, which has failed me countless times in the past, but it feels much more solid on the Shine so only time can tell. The 8-core cable feels rather cheap, but is light and not microphonic. As for accessories, only the pleather case stands out. It feels quite good even if the zipper is kinda crap.
Fit: Surprisingly well for something this heavy. The weight is not a concern for long listens. The IEM sits deep thanks to the small and long nozzle, not sticking out the sides
Sound & Gimmick: It's another one of those harman-neutral-ish tuning that has been flooding the market as of late. For reference, it sounds just like the OG Tripowin Olina with a much stronger bass and a tad less treble, fixing the occasionally harsh treble on the Olina. However, there's a twist: we've got tuning switches, and THEY ACTUALLY WORK. Overall, the warm and impactful midbass takes center stage with the instruments and vocals following very closely withouth much hiccup. Treble is relaxed but with decent extension
Switches (switches no.1 to no.4 from left > right): 0 is OFF and 1 is ON; I also cross-referenced with several squig graphs to get specific numbers, so big thanks to Aftersound, Hi End Portable, ianfann, and Acho Reviews.
0000: stock > tasteful yet fun bass with good midbass presence and body. Clear vocals and relaxed treble. Warm lower mids.
1000: increase bass, focused in the subs >>> if you need some extra oomph for bass-heavy stuff; minor detriment on the rest of the sound (other than the obvious tucked mids)
0100: slight increase in treble (around 3k-10k) >>> reverts it to the Olina sound, more or less
0010: increase in air (upper treble; 8k/10k+) >>> gives some extra air, as it does lean rather dark stock
0001: decrease bass across the board >>> WHY, JUST WHY? It just sounds shouty now. Stock already has a tasteful amount of bass, plus even if you don't like boosted midbass, there's a better setting (see below presets)
Presets: from the included manual
1111: Pop >>> it just sounds bright
0011: Classical >>> like Pop but even brighter
1001: R&B/Rock >>> surprisingly doesn't cancel out. It reduces midbass, turning the Shine into a subbass-focused set. If you feel like the added midbass warmth screws with the overall clarity, this solves it.
0001: HiFi >>> as previously stated, lol, no thanks
FYI, I'll be going with 0010 as I like the Olina sound but feel as it could use some air. Testing music used are all from Arknight's OST. Genres range from EDM, Pop, Nu metal, Orchestral, Rock, and pretty much whatever really
Bass: strong DD impact and weighty body (decay). Feels very full and fun. Drums feel weighty and authoritative. Not the tightest (decay) and fastest (attack) for a DD but not sluggish or downright muddy by any means. It leans toward a more warmer and fuller presentation with tons of heft and impact, my preferred kind of bass, generally. Technically (detail and separation) is ok for what it's going for and its price. However, it's no benchmark. Olina still has better technicalities in the bass and mids. If you prefer less midbass, 1001 is always an option.
Mids: lower mids has that added warmth on my setting (0010). Again, if you don't like this, go 1001. Upper mids sound dead neutral. Vocals sound clear but not over emphasized in any ways. Instruments sound very natural. Again, technically, it is fine for the money
Treble: relaxed but well extended. The 3rd switch gives that little extra bit of air to prevent it sounding too closed-off. It's always there but never sticks out and bothers me in any way. It never comes off sibilant even on tracks I know can be sibilant, which is great. Now, while the 2nd switch does boost the treble overall, it doesn't make it sparkle (at least not on its own). Other configs (like Classical) could fix this if that's what you want.
Notice a pattern? Functioning tuning switches actually covers a lot of the shortcomings of the Shine, preference-wise. I think that's a big W, as normally tuning switches barely does jack on a lot of IEMs, being a worthless gimmick that adds cost needlessly
Soundstage & Imaging: average (for an IEM) to somewhat large-average. Imaging is passable (note: IEMs either pass or fail in imaging for me, and I hardly differentiate any in-betweens; I have yet to hear "amazing" imaging on IEMs).
Conclusion: Normally, I'd go "eh" on another harman-neutral entry, but this one can actually retune itself to fit a wider array of tastes compared to its recent competitors. So even if the stock harman-ish sound is not to your liking, you can easily change it (I know EQ is a thing, but it might not always be an option). It gets a big thumbs up from me. However, for tech-heads, this might not be the best pick.