Trinity Audio are a new UK brand that was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter. Units are starting to ship to Backers, complete with a booklet of dedications, and they're now also available to order with worldwide shipping. The philosophy behind Trinity Audio's line of headphones - which start with the Hyperion, move up to the the Techne and then top out with the Delta - is to offer up high-end audio without the associated price tag. The Deltas are the top of the line at £90/$109 and aim to be great for everyday listening with a little extra. That extra comes in the form of three interchangeable tuning filters to change the sound, as well as some of the best reproduction at this price point. Read on as we find out whether or not they've succeeded in their goals.
Specifications and Features
For the £90/$109 price tag, you'd expect these to have quite the list of specs and including accessories. Thankfully, both are true. Here are the highlights:
- 8mm neodymium dynamic drivers with custom tuned single balanced armatures
- Precision engineered aluminium shells
- S/M/L silicon ear tips, two memory foam tips and a pair of double-flange tips
- 1.2M braided cable.
- 24t gold-plated 3.5mm jack with spring relief
- 16 Ohm impedance, with 110 +/- 3DB sensitivity
- 19 - 21, 000 Hz frequency response
- Hard carrying case included
Design, Fit and Finish
The Deltas are an attractive pair of earphones, but not for the reasons you might expect. There's little to the ear buds themselves to write home about; they're fairly classy looking, but they're ultimately just well-crafted - and light - ear buds. It's the cable that is the real eye-catcher here. It's braided throughout and reminds you of an old school telephone cord, it looks great and it feels nice, too. There's not a huge amount of cable noise here, although there is a little more than I'd expect at this price range. But bar creating a heavy, thick cable tug at your ears, Trinity Audio have done a great job with the cable. The silver jack and spring relief are also eye-catchers and they add a premium feel to the whole package. Even the case is good-looking and nice and portable.
As for the fit and finish of the overall product, I'm satisfied with the cable and the 3.5mm connector, but when the cable splits into left and right channels, I find it becomes quite thin. In the past couple of weeks I have had them however, I haven't come across any connection issues at all. Going with a thinner cable means these are really light and honestly, while wearing them I was wondering if there even was a cable at times. The filters (more on those in a minute) are house in a neat little aluminium capsule, which works well to house the other two you're not using. I would have expected a thicker cable, but there's nothing to suggest these haven't been put together well and despite how light they are, they feel well-made and are precision engineered out of quality materials. An interesting inclusion is a right-angle adapter that takes the jack from being straight, to right-angled. This is great as those watching films or using a tablet in landscape can hold their devices easier, this is a thoughtful and appreciated inclusion.
The Delta come with a trio of different filters, one gunmetal gray, one pink and one in a silver color. I was a little disappointed to see that there was no guidance - either in the box, or on the website - as to what each one of these actually did. However, this did add a little more fun into the mix, and actively encourages you to try something that a lot of listeners would instantly dismiss. I tried all three of them out and found the pink filter to my least favourite, with the sound coming across as very focused in the highs and almost abrasive, of course other people's ears might love this filter. The silver filter was nice, as it delivered a more restrained approach to things, and offered up a quality sound without any coloration at all. The default gunmetal filter however, was my favourite by far. It has that serious bass punch that I love about the Delta and while the highs aren't quite as focused as the other two filters, the gunmetal filter is the one I use all the time with these, as it works well with every style of music you can throw at it.
Disclaimer: the majority of these impressions are from the default filter, the gunmetal gray filter, so as to deliver an "out of the box" experience.
Going into the testing of these, I was pretty excited, and also apprehensive. Trinity Audio are pretty much a complete unknown in the world of earphones, which is great! Where's the fun in relying on the same old names for our music? Over the course of a couple of weeks, and far too many hours of listening, these have blown me away. For this sort of price, I was expecting the quality punch of a bass line that these deliver, as well as the clear, resonant highs. What I wasn't expecting is the amount of layers and subtleties that these can uncover in a track. I have a select set of albums - mostly from my favourite artists - that I use to test earphones, and I have discovered subtle things I have never heard before. I'm reminded of the famous "more cowbell" sketch from Saturday Night Live when listening with these, simply because when a cowbell is used in a track I hear it more than I ever did before with the Delta. Sound signature wise, the Deltas deliver tight bass that really thuds in your ears, but it never dominates the track as I found with the RHA T10s, and the highs are cutting without being distracting or too sibilant. The mid-range is not quite as forward as I'd have liked, but it is there, but vocals do sometimes get lost a little when theatre's a lot going on in the track.
Overall though, these are some of the better earphones I've tried at this price range. These little bundles of joy reproduce so much in a track that it's a wonder the driver can do it all. On occasions, there is evidence of the driver straining just a teeny bit, but considering that the Delta will open your ears up to new found subtleties in your music, as well as all the bass you could want and clear highs, there's little complaining you can do at this price range.
With earphones and headphones, people tend to trust the known, and respected brands out there, like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and of course, Beats. People like what they know, and they know what they like. Pleasantly, Trinity Audio's Delta are a pair of earphones that smashes that preconception of "better the Devil you know". With a neat hard carrying-case, a set of filters to play around with and a braided cable that actually has something about it, there's a lot included for the price. Not to mention a sound signature that will help you not only relive your old favourites, but discover the beauty in new music to find your new favourites. The bass is tight, yet not overwrought and the highs are clear and cutting, without distracting you from everything else. The mid-range could be a little better, but for hearing everything as it should be, with some added spice, these are an exotic pair of earphones that will make many listeners ask whether we need the likes of Sennheiser and friends.