TGX Ear Serratus

Sound Analysis.

The Serratus have a well-balanced and natural tonality. Emphasis feels to be primarily placed on timbre and detail retrieval, with a notable lower treble lift to increase the clarity of note articulation. That lift can be pushing it a bit for some, especially if they are sensitive in that area, but I expect this is an intentional trade-off in order for the Serratus to perform as well as they do. And they do perform impressively well.

What struck me most about the Serratus is the presentation as a whole, with two aspects working as a rock-solid foundation. Jim has been able to achieve an incredibly lifelike timbre that is presented through clear and precise imaging. I guess this is what Jim was talking about when he said the Serratus were tuned for orchestral music and concertos. The image is very stable and thanks to a large and airy stage, the Serratus present the positioning of the individual instruments of the orchestra with great clarity against a deep dark background. I can honestly say that I have never heard earbuds do this (probably due to my limited experience), only ever IEMs, and only ever higher end IEMs.

Each instrument is not only clearly presented, every one of those sounds lifelike. I intentionally use the term “lifelike” here because it is something more than “accurate” or “natural”. I actually ended up reaching for my HD650 (paired with the Eletech Inferno aftermarket cable) to do a quick comparison and indeed, the Serratus have in my opinion a very similar quality timbre. That is not the only similarity I found. Remember how I had never heard earbuds sound like headphones? Well, the Serratus have that quality. They sound far bigger than their small size would lead me to expect and again reminded me a little of the HD650. I don’t mean that the Serratus are the HD650 in an earbud. There are notable differences as well, such as the more pronounced lower treble lift, but in these two aspects they did remind me of those iconic headphones.

The bass on the Serratus is very well done. Nothing excessive, but a good quality bass that has proper extension into the deeper regions. It is a very well controlled bass, although I wouldn’t call it tight or articulate. It is more of a natural bass with enough control to position bass instruments correctly. For instance, a tympani sounds lovely and full of texture without overpowering any other instrument. There is a good level of impact that works perfectly well for more popular music too. This gives the Serratus more versatility that I had initially expected.

The mids are gorgeous with that lifelike timbre, which not only works well for classical, but is great with acoustic music all-round. I don’t find the mids on the Serratus particularly forward or pushed back in any way. To my ears the balance is really well done and just right for classical music. The vocal foundation feels good and natural, but the lower treble lift unfortunately takes away from that. I used the Serratus for some general-purpose listening and voices in games or on YouTube (etc) can come across a little nasal. This does reduce the versatility of the Serratus somewhat.

The treble has of course the lower treble lift I already mentioned, but that is of course not the whole story. The treble extends really well to add plenty of air to the Serratus’ presentation. There is also a lovely, slightly cooler sparkle to the Serratus that allows small treble details (e.g., triangles in symphonies) to come through with plenty of clarity.



I was considering doing a couple of comparisons with the Astrotec Lyra Collection and the FiiO FF3, but ended up deciding against it because it simply does not make sense. The TGX Ear Serratus are in a different league, they are aimed at a different use and require a different source. I find comparing them could lead to confusion. Where earbuds such as the FF3 are great for easy portable use even with a phone, the Serratus are only portable if you have a portable source powerful enough to drive them to their full potential. I therefore prefer to underline this difference and (hopefully) avoid disappointment for those who are specifically looking for easy portable use.

I do believe Jim might be working on lower impedance earbuds, so there might be options coming up from TGX Ear for this as well.



The Serratus are great high-impedance earbuds that excel at timbre and imaging. The tonality creates very lifelike sounding instruments in classical or acoustic music and there is a lot of detail coming through. The presentation is big and airy and resembles headphones more than IEMs. The only potential issue for some can be the notable lower treble lift.

Some different versions of the Serratus are available, both cosmetically and (I believe) in the shape of the shells for those who might get a better fit with smaller shells. The accessories are very basic, but TGX Ear makes up for that with very personal customer service and various custom options.


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