Being in the UK I have spent a lot of time in my reviewing careers dealing with overseas companies, Asia and US are probably the main culprits for companies bases but their are some EU nations like Poland and Germany that have big audio scenes. For IEMs especially the UK has been slow, we have ACS and Minerva making CIEMs but they are musicians companies at heart but recently there has been a change for the better. We are seeing some IEM companies, with great audio reproduction as a focus become more common, in the UK. Let me add thats not just based in the UK but designed and manufactured. The first of this trend was RHA, which I would say is now a raging success with me seeing guys down the gym wearing them, apple stores selling them and generally getting a lot of love from forums and blogs. Out of that shadow has appeared Trinity Audio Engineering. Bursting onto the scene with a successful Kickstarter campaign and some great ideas, they certainly seem like they are here to stay! I must be honest and say it does seem like this company are squeezing the most out of Kickstarter as they have not only used it to fund their initial range of IEMs but also their new sports range and interesting future headphone. Obviously Kickstarter is there to fund a project but now doubles up as a great way to generate interest in a new product. While their new sports range is round the corner, I have got hands on with their old flagship, the Delta. Like RHA’s flagship the delta features a metal build and tuning filters (Inearspace’s least favourite trend as you know) but unlike their dependence on dynamic drivers, the Delta is a flagship pairing a balanced armature with a single 8mm neodymium dynamic driver. This comes with either a standard or microphone cable with an RRP of £90. There is however a discount on both with the mic’ed and standard version only £60. Odd considering you normally pay a fair deal more for a mic! This deal helped up the value so much with these products that one of my colleagues at work said he needed a new earphone and he now owns a Delta. In fact a fair few are now on my recommendation.
Plastic likes to break, metal doesn’t. Plastic feels cheap, metal premium. Yes it is a little heavier but there is something about a metal construction in an earphone that I really like, it just oozes class. I have gotten about when it comes to IEMs but of the 150 odd that I have owned, not many have broke, I take care of my possessions. The few that have broke have had one common denominator and that is the plastic shell and all of them were more expensive than the Delta. No the Delta is not alone at the price with a metal shell but it still across the board is a rarity. I guess it is harder to deal with and construct. The actual shape of the shell is nothing new or unique but the cool touch it possess’s does more to differ it from the rest. The seams look flawless and the little vent on the back is discreet. As these are usable with screwable filters which we will touch more on later, you can physically remove the sound bore in which the tip is placed. The metal filters screw in tight and feel great but the only worry would be that you are completely opening up the monitor revealing the guts of the monitor including the snout less balanced armature right at the front. Maybe I am being sceptical but if you are changing filters a lot you could let dust or other substances make there way into vitals.
Unfortunately this does lack removable cables, which is something I will moan about regardless of price, I have seen it done under £50 so I am not being harsh. I do know Trinity have changed their ways moving forward and their new Pure range will use MMCX removable cables but for now we are with out it. The cable is fixed without any real strain relief either and while it keeps things streamlined, it is probably the biggest concern for the earphone. Not that the cable is bad with its tight quad braid (significant because they are not soldering an extra ground at the y-split) and metal y-splits and jacks. Oddly one of the accessories is a jack that turns this into having a right angle, which I would have preferred. I guess this allows for use with some phone cases. You also get a nice triangle case like I got with my Telefunken IEMs and a range of single/dual flange silicone tips as well as some foam!
The Comfort Factor
These are pretty small little IEMs with an almost stubby form factor. I say stubby because they do not want to insert to deep into your ear. That comes with both pros and cons as it means they don’t feel intrusive in your ear but combined with the port for the dynamic driver these will not isolate at the top level although the foam tips will make it a little better. These are probably designed to be worn with the cable straight down but react fine to going other the ear for reduced microphonic and a little bit of their weight bared by your ear. I actually prefer wearing them this way. I must say the concha type earphones that are popular for design choice these days suit me better but this more traditional build has no real issues in terms of design.
Tune Me Up
One of Trinity’s speciality of sorts is their tuning filters. Now your probably know me and Josh hate them because we just like an earphone that is designed to be good at one thing but with filters being easier to use like with this and the Kennerton Algiz it is beginning to make more sense, not that we are getting complete won over by the idea. Its just good to see riddance of the days when filters were something you lost or took pain and frustration to use. Phonak Audeo’s system comes straight to mind! This is much simpler and much more convenient. It reminds me of Echobox’s Finder, Kennerton’s Algiz and RHA’s T20 system where you screw on and off the tip nozzle and the tuning is done within these be it through a filter or in the case of the Delta, venting.
These now come with 4 filters, all promising a different effect and this is achieved by different amount of porting on the filters. I asked Trinity’s Bob for more details.
“The filters change the sound by vented ports on the side of the filter. These are done to precise measurements with a laser. Apart from the gunmetal which uses both a damper and laser cut vent…Silver has zero vents…Gunmetal has damper and vent and Purple has larger vent… the vent on the gold is less than the purple. The venting ports only effect the bass levels…But by doing so give the appearance of changing the rest which it doesn’t”
The official filter descriptions are that Silver is Fun (enhanced bass), Gunmetal smooth (natural), Purple Vivid (treble) and the new gold that is only shipping now being smooth.
Page 2 for Sound
Page 3 for Measurements