I’ve had problems with in-ear headphones for years, because the sound quality is typically far better with the over-ear variety. When I found out about Trinity’s Delta Hybrid earphones, though, my interest was piqued. Trinity is a startup British company founded by the former lead designer at Rockjaw, with the goal of creating affordable in-ear monitors at a price that doesn’t break the bank. More on that in a moment; first, some facts.
- Company Name: Trinity Audio Engineering
- Product Name: Delta Hybrid In-Ear Headphones
- Price: $136.38
- Compatibility: Any with 3.5mm audio port
- Website: Trinity Audio Engineering
- Date Reviewed: Oct. 6, 2015
Let’s talk about headphone design. Most of the time, headphones use dynamic drivers to generate the sound. This allows them to create plenty of audio from something that is reasonably compact. When you get into the higher-end in-ear monitor (IEM) headphones, you typically find something called a balanced armature transducer creating the sound instead. These can be fine-tuned to make an accurate reproduction of the original signal, but they don’t deliver much volume. Most high quality IEMs use multiple balanced armature transducers to create enough volume to really hear the sound, but that gets expensive.
Enter Trinity with their hybrid system. The Trinity Delta in-ear headphones use a combination of balanced armature transducers and 8mm neodymium drivers to deliver highly accurate sound while still providing enough volume for booming base. When you purchase the Trinity Delta earphones, you even get several sets of different filters to allow you to adjust the sound balance.
Unfortunately, Trinity’s instruction manual doesn’t really explain what these filters do. Digging around a bit on the Web page, I was able to find the official documentation of the filters. The silver filter provides enhanced bass, while the gunmetal one gives a more balanced sound signature across all frequencies. If you attach the purple filter, you’ll get a reduced bass signature with a focus on upper mids and treble. Finally, a gold filter that only shipped beginning in October 2015 provides a balance between the gunmetal and purple filters.
Integration With iOS Devices
The earphones come with both a straight jack and an angled jack, so you can choose which works best with how you carry and listen to your iOS device. The tips are gold-plated, providing high sound quality. Trinity’s Delta Hybrid earphones work splendidly with both the iPhone and the iPad, and the full audio quality sound from Tidal sounds phenomenal.
Use and Feel (and sound)
These earphones look and feel like the high quality audio accessories they are. The CNC aluminum casing is anodized in gunmetal gray, and the variety of eartips are very soft and comfortable. You get five sets of ear tips, including some that are made from memory foam. Personally, I think the memory foam tips were a mistake because of how precisely they fit; in order to remove those tips, I basically had to tear them apart, rendering them completely useless. At least you don’t have to worry about them coming off and getting lost.
A handy carrying case allows you to store your headphones, the extra tips, and the aluminum tube housing the tuning filters. My only complaint about the earphones themselves is that the audio jacks are too wide to fit through the opening in most iPhone cases.
What really matters though, is the sound. These earphones sound almost as excellent as my Bose over-ear headphones, and the volume is quite splendid. The bass is rich and booming, the highs soar, and the mids are beautiful. Whether you’re listening to hip hop, jazz, classical, or rock, you get an accurate sound reproduction and plenty of volume to go along with it.
- Hybrid system brings in-ear monitor technology to affordable earphones
- Multiple tuning filters provide a variety of sound signatures
- Ear tips are soft and very comfortable, but also secure
- Memory foam ear tips are impossible to remove without damaging them (at least for me)
- Jack connections are too wide to fit through most cases
- No documentation included on the different filters
How Does It Stack Up?
These earphones are expensive, but they’re expensive for a reason. We aren’t talking about budget sound quality here, we’re instead listening to what may very well be the best that earphones have to offer in the way of acoustic reproduction for under $200. I wish the audio plug was slimmer, though, and more compatible with the cases we usually put on our devices.
Where Can You Get It, and How Much Does It Cost?
The Trinity Delta Hybrid earphones are available both from the manufacturer’s website.
If you are looking for a high quality set of earphones and don’t mind spending almost $150 for them, these are probably the best I’ve encountered. The few drawbacks to the earphones don’t affect the sound quality, and most people don’t swap out tips as often as I do when I’m reviewing a product.
The Delta’s Overall Scores:
- Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★☆
- Wow Factor: ★★★☆☆
- Sound: ★★★★★
- Value: ★★★★☆