TForce Yuan Li Review: Start of a Dynasty

  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Excellent technicalities
  • Great build quality

  • Shells are smudge magnet

TForce is a newcomer in the portable audio industry, but like many other companies, the people behind TForce have years of experience. Yuan Li, which is the name of a Chinese emperor who founded the Tang dynasty, is their debut IEM. This is their first in their upcoming trilogy of IEMs, which currently retails for 119 USD. The Philippine circle of reviewers received one unit of the Yuan Li provided by TForce as a part of their international tour.

Driver unit: 1 10 mm dynamic, diamond-like-carbon (DLC) coated diaphragm
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 103.5 dB
Frequency response range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz

Poco X3 paired with iBasso DC03 and Shanling UA1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The Yuan Li comes in a large, elegant looking sleeved box. Upon removing the sleeve and the magnetic flap, you will see the Yuan Li earphones, and a leather case below it that is spacious and feels really premium. Removing the foams that hold the earphones will reveal the included eartips. 
A "balanced" set with wide bores, a "bass enhanced" set with regular size bores, and a single pair of foam tips. At the bottom of the box there is a warranty guide, a thank you card, and a parchment paper with some art and Chinese writings on it.
The shells are made of aluminum with a highly reflective and shiny finish. The faceplates sport the TForce logo, and right below it is a tiny dot that is color coded to help distinguish the left and right side. At the other side of the shell, there is a single vent. The nozzle, which is a separate piece from the shell is gold in color, has a lip to hold eartips in place and has a cloth mesh filter.
The cable is a twisted 2 core 6N OCC copper. It is very light and soft, but it kind of retains the bends and twists you make when storing them. The male 2 pin connectors are made of metal and have side indicators just like the shells. The splitter, chin slider, and the 3.5mm gold plated plug are also made of metal.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows have a very clean presentation. Subbass has great depth, and it really lets its depth felt when the track demands for it. The rumble here is at a moderate level; not too tight and not too lose, and the same can be said for the decay. Midbass has great control as well with an average amount of thickness.

Overall, the lows may seem to be just average sounding at first. But upon a more critical listen, it can be noticed that the lows of the Yuan Li sound cleaner and better textured than average.

The mids are reproduced in a neutral manner. The clarity and transparency in this section is excellent. Both male and female vocals sound very natural and engaging. There is a very, very slight emphasis on the upper mids that adds a hint of shimmer in the female vocals and other instruments that are inside this section.

Overall, the transparency in the Yuan Li's mids is what separates it from the other IEMs in this price range, and that emphasis in the upper mids is like the "cherry on top" for someone like me who prefers it that way.

The highs, just like the mids, have a neutral reproduction. Although there is a tiny hint of being laid back in its position, the reach in the highs is great, accompanied by a decay that is well extended. That being said, the amount of details present in this section is still very good.

Overall, even though the highs of the Yuan Li is not the sparkly type, it maintains its presence well without the fatiguing factor and does a very good job of presenting the subtleties in each track.

Soundstage and Imaging:
The stage has an average expansion. The height slightly expands more than the width. Even though the stage is not that spacious, the imaging layering, and instrument separation here is outstanding. Different instruments and their positions can be pinpointed with ease, and congestion is hardly ever felt even in complex tracks.

TForce Yuan Li (1 DD, 119 USD) vs. Moondrop Kanas Pro (1 DD, 190 USD)
The Kanas Pro has more impact in the subbass, while the depth seems to be identical. Midbass is slightly thicker in the Kanas Pro, but Yuan Li has the better texture. The mids also seem to be identical, with both of them having that slight bump in the upper midrange. Meanwhile, with the highs, the Kanas Pro has a bit more reach. The stage of the Kanas Pro has more expansion in the width, but with the instrument separation, imaging and layering, they are both very, very close to each other.

The Yuan Li is a neutral sounding IEM that some my find boring due to the said neutrality. But for those who have an acquired taste for reference sounding gears, choosing the Yuan Li is a no-brainer. The Yuan Li is the type of IEM that doesn't have a dominant section in the sound, but instead its strength lies in its ability to reproduce all frequencies with great accuracy, and with this release, TForce seem to have started another dynasty.


  1. time for my kz zsn pro to be changed.

    1. That's gonna be a huge leap that will satisfy you for sure. Good luck!

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