TGXEars Serratus: A love letter to music

Pros: Everything that is not written on the cons list

Cons: Needs some power
Won’t be suited for all genres
Earbud isolation
Not basshead friendly
You won’t find it in the usual stores


Disclaimer: This unit was provided by @tgx78 with a discount in exchange for a written review. Despite me and him being close and speaking regularly, that fact won’t influence my opinion of this unit and I won’t tell him my feedback until the end of post this review for a matter of transparency. No incentives of any kind were given and the review you are about to read are my own thoughts and opinions. Thanks once again to Tgx for the opportunity and support.

Product Info

Driver Setup: Single Dynamic Driver (300ohm Blue PET Polymer Resin Crystal Diaphragm)
Price: $200
Purchase link and contact info:

Comfort, fit and isolation: Typical MX500 shell fit and comfort with zero isolation
Foams used: Stock
Source used: Topping E30 + L30 stack (high gain), Singxer SA-1 (high gain), Ovidious B1
Test playlist with some of the songs used:Tidal

Prologue – TGXEar

Music, art and a passion to mess around and build stuff – three things that gave Jim his reputation across the online audio forums. Violin player since a young age, the “timbre checker” as some call him, tried out more gear than I could ever list, especially the ones labeled as TOTL. Later down the road he found his love for earbuds timbre and had this crazy idea of buying parts and trying to make them himself. The result of all this passion, knowledge and hard work is TGXEar.

Being relatively close to him, I had to try his work at least once to find out what he is made of, and since he asked nicely, I agreed to do a review on them and raised myself this question: is all that experience what it takes, or do you need something else?

To answer that question and more, let’s quickly analyze the Serratus, his first released flagship, but not before unwrapping it first.

Build quality, accessories and driveability

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​Big full stop ahead. Serratus has a 300ohm driver, a sensitivity of 102dB SPL at 1mW and it is power hungry. I don’t mean you won’t be able to run it through your regular bluetooth amplifiers, but I feel that the performance won’t be the ideal one if you care about that. As always, YMMV but beware you will need some juice to put this up in the air.

Now, with that behind our backs, let’s talk about build quality. The almost industry standard MX500 shell is used but the crystal clear skin leaves nothing to the imagination and reveals the star of the show dressed in blue.

From the gorgeous looks to the most small color coding detail, nothing was left by chance, and that moves along into the cable chosen. Distancing herself from the rest of the DIY competition, Serratus packs up a delicately thin 4 core litz 4n silver cable, 4.4mm terminated with a working chin-slider.

This gorgeous, tangle free and well built XINHS cable is proof that Tgx moved miles until he got what he wanted, as the included foams are no exception: carefully tested and picked to match the tuner’s intention for the frequency response.

To wrap it up, a simple but personally written red-case, displaying the model name on the front with the serial name on the back, done with a silver marker.



​Neutral, accurate and audiophile are the three words that came through my mind when I finished my first passage.

Jumping to the low end, it almost comes close to your ever-so-neutral type of earbud on a first look: a touch of a rolled off sub-bass in the tail but close to flat. Given it’s an earbud and we have no proper way to measure it but using our ears and doing a sine sweep, I proved myself right and to my surprise, the roll off felt minimal at 20 hertz.

Hypnocurrency” by Deadmau5, the now classic “Why So Serious?” or even “Dream of Arrakis” both by Hans Zimmer, showed a complex and articulated sub-bass, with enough rumble to be at the bare minimum felt physically (let alone compared to the majority of the earbud world). Despite its great texture, and as expected for the genre, I will disclose right now that the sub-bass is the weakling of this neutral focused tuning, but it’s so good in the grand scheme of things that you can already guess where this is going.

Once you go a step further on the frequency response, things just keep getting better. Mid-bass follows and don’t let the “neutral” tuning fool you: this will hit you in the chest. “Packt Like Sardines In A Crshd Tin Box” by Radiohead, during its intro, will show you just that. Again, the word articulation comes to mind as the bass has the right amount of speed to never feel too fast and for sure not slow, just a beautiful balance hitting the right spot along with its tightness. On more jazzy tracks (Mark Letteri – Magnetar comes to mind) you will even forget you are hearing a neutral tuned IEM, as the bass guitar and drums are so present and separated, despite the bandwidth share.

Moving up the candyland, the mid-range. Transparency but not enough to feel thin, as the shelf left some weight to it – it just sounds correct and accurate. It’s north than neutral, meaning they are slightly forward but still not your face and congesting the whole frequency. If we were talking about IEMs, I’d probably compare it to something that most people don’t know I like by now (wink wink) such as the Letshuoer EJ07 or EJ07m.

Let me try to explain the above paragraph with some music. Pianos never feel thin, over blurry or out of scale – they sound right, they feel right. Hania RaniNils FrahmYann TiersenSawano, you name it and Serratus gives it back.
Agnes Obel’s vocals are reminiscent of my favorite replay (done by RSV), with a touch less bite and less in your face, and the male counterpart just follows suit (Dead South – In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company).

Every good thing has to come to an end and, oh boy, what a way to close it by talking about the treble region. Cymbal hits, claps, brass, electric guitars, you name it and it’s good, without any hint of sibilance. And that ain’t even the best part.

The air and extension on Serratus is something breath-taking and I’ll try to explain to you why. It’s usually very hard to have the cake and to eat it at the same time. Everytime you try to raise these most upper frequencies you get slapped with either fatigue or the sense of unnatural details. This has none of that. Zero. As expected as it is from a more neutral tuning to put the treble at the center of the show, I was certainly not expecting this. The last nail in the coffin.

To leave a note on library compatibility, I would say these won’t fit any bass addicts or genres that need sub-bass to shine like hip-hop or modern pop/K-pop that are sub-bass heavy.

Technical chops


​The best was saved for the end, but I never told you it was regarding tuning, right?

One of the most difficult concepts to ever explain to someone that never experienced it is center imaging that is usually found on speakers. I will describe it as putting the vocalist in front of you but with some depth and the rest of the sound to appear on the sides and behind the vocalist. IEMs are one of the worst at this, they basically position the vocalist inside your head, close to your eyes and try to spread it around you (when they can), as they lack stage depth and can’t mimic 2-way channels.
This imaging and the giant stage even for an earbud are the first thing I noticed and I kid you not, I have been A/Bing Serratus vs my Edifier S3000 Pro since I got them and my conclusion is that Serratus is a mobile pair of speakers, and I think that speaks volumes on itself.

All of the above couldn’t be done without a brilliant sense of separation and dynamics, accompanied by the best level of resolving power I’ve heard in a bud. Serratus’ sense of clarity is truly mesmerizing, even if I compare it to IEMs, and justifying the speaker comparison once again.

Now, to end this the best way possible and to give you even more reasons to think I am crazy or a shiller, I will touch on the best technical ability of this set: its timbre. It’s not good, it’s not very good, it’s not exceptional – it’s perfect by my ears.

Once I heard the first cymbal strike, I knew I was up for something with that decay. I decided to incarnate the tuner and went straight ahead into some jazz and classical and here I am, around 8 hours of playtime later and still not letting these go.

The first classical track I played was Vivaldi’s Spring 1, reassembled by Max Richter:

The positional cues of the violins acting like birds in front of me, the hype building up and the stage evolving more and more, filled with a cluster of instruments correctly separated. Don’t ask me what happened but I got shivers all over my body and before I noticed, I was crying while listening to this Vivaldi play. Oh, it’s been a while.

The verdict


​I’ll be straight to the point, the TGXEar Serratus are the best earbuds I have ever tried and one of the best overall monitors I have ever heard and despite the higher-end price as far as buds go, these get the highest recommendation. If you are into buds, the money can be spent and it matches your library, look no further.

You might be guessing why I consciously avoided comparatives and well, I feel it wouldn’t be fair at this point. In fact, I had to re-do all my bud tierlist and drop everything down to make room for the newcomer.
Since the beginning of the year I had started a quest to find an ultimate version and upgrade to my forever beloved K’s Earphones LBBS (if you ever want to get into buds and you enjoy instrumental music or neutral tunings, start with these). No earbuds gave me that feeling so far since that one until now. This is the end of the line for me and I can now peacefully go back to my earbuds and not look for anything else, unless Tgx cooks something new.

On most technical fields the Serratus puts the majority of IEMs to shame. This won’t go without saying that there are two potential flaws to any person that wishes to buy these: earbud isolation and power requirements given they are 300ohm and hard to drive to its full potential, but nothing close to impossible.

Last but not the least, the price. For some $200 are just a mere IEM cable, to others are a lot of savings. These ain’t cheap, but to me they are worth it and after learning how long does it take to produce a single serratus, seeing the store price for every single part, Jim throwing away anything below perfection and the countless hours he lost in R&D, I truly think he is selling these on a loss and I wouldn’t do it as cheap.

To tgx78, that will be reading this all I have to say is thank you. I have no words.

Value ranking: 5/5. Personal rank: S+.

Thanks for reading!

2 responses to “TGXEars Serratus: A love letter to music”

  1. Alpha and Tantalus plsssssss


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