Trinity Techne Review
Thanks to Trinity for the sample and collaboration.
First Impressions: Once more this is pre production set so no nice box or packaging. So there really isn’t anything much to talk about pre going in the ears.
Sticking them in my ears. Hmm well these filters I don’t think share the same colour scheming as the Delta’s do. Well this is going to get confusing then.
Source: Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., FiiO E7/E9 combo, HiFiMAN HM-650, Nexus 5, 1G Ipod Shuffle.
Lows: Lol, you may not know it but this about the 5th time I’ve written this. Oh filters, y u give so much work????? Anyway so when I’m done whining. I think we have a final set up, black filters, are open but just a touch and the gold are rather open. Open being more articulate and nuanced than the Silver which is the closed V shaped one. The black one is what I call natural sounding. The gold while strictly more “neutral” is a sound that’s oft a bit bass light for people’s tastes. The black is the one that sound more casually realistic. In the Golds the bass is tuneful and lithe while being similarly agile as with the Black just Black being quantitatively more. The Silver, well it has more extended depth as you’d expect but its treble is rather abundant too so it’s that classic V shaped, Senn CX95 like drama. The bass its rather vigorous.
Personally in 5 min of playing the black tip was the one for me. The Silver is you’re more archetypal V shape, which will undoubtedly be popular, with its punchy bass. The gold is very ety’esq. the black takes a more naturally feeling abundance and style.
Mids: At no point does the Techne ever be a midhead IEM. The silvers place vocals at the bottom of a bit valley but have a nicely even tonality. A little bitty on the cool and dry for added clarity. They are the same on the golds but with the bass rather more subdued. Moving on to the blacks, my fav filter, and the mids still never really dominate proceedings but are quite the equals of the bass and treble. Sure they no PL-50’s but the Technie in my mind is aiming for the “Now” range and it nails it. Vocals are smoothed and warmed a fraction to make them sound like they can actually sing and enough clarity and mid / bass space to prevent them from ever being obscured or dominated elsewhere.
For really great vocalists though, Nora singing about her home decorator (Painters song) and while on paper it’s a competent rendition. However with the blacks it’s a hint dry and more so with the Golds. Her vocals want a more heavy creamy weight, the Technie is tonally a bit light and airy.
Highs: Golds and Silvers are quite prominent in the treble, they like to let you know they can really blast it out too. The bright Golds have plenty. Much crisp, clean and a hint metallic. Like with the mids it’s competently capable and it’s at its best when you hurl bouncy pop its way. That goes double for the Silver tips where you get the same treble but with waaay more vigorous bass. The Blacks, have the same magnitude but comparatively the bass is in a more balanced quantity so it isn’t overall as relatively quantitative as with Gold or Silvers. Extension is rather nice, cymbal shimmers stay maybe a bit over clear and prominent but it’s not unpleasant.
Detail levels are good an all fronts, though I’m inclined to think a bit over clear with the Golds and Silvers, hey I’m no treble junkie. Actually oif trust be told I miss a prospective filter option that had a bit of foam in them to really dial down the treble. Hey that’s me, Mr treble sensitive.
Soundstage: Once more it’s a sense of breadth and width that stand out. Height not so much but I can live a large 2D scape. With the more closed golds in you lose out on that somewhat, they have a bit more intimate and heavy feel to them.
Fit: Great, easy as pie to stick in my ears. A classic case of shove in and done.
Comfort: Just as with the fit, a pretty effortless affair. They are really rather an odd shape and despite being metal weigh little on the ear, my ears were happy to have them on all day long.
Microphonics: Worn up, none. Given its shape you pretty much have to wear up anyway.
Cable: Excellent. The thing is some double braided super flexible thing.
Amped/Unamped: Now I know they have been made with phone use in mind so they are very easy to make very loud. (you know, that stupid french law about volume limiting which means EU products are all limited.) These then are particularly easy to go loud. They run very well out of any old source but….. if you feed them oodles of power they do greatly improve. At their price point I wouldn’t expect them to regularly meet big amps but if you do get a pair, then know that if you opt to add in a little mini amp then you will see gains from it. As usual it’s the bass that benefits most, it hardens up and feels more sprightly. Treble a little too but that’s more likely down to lesser sources just being less capable in reproducing highs. With the black filters on though using a lesser source, like a phone, does dial the bass power back a bit so it’s a quite reasonable pairing.
Isolation: It’s about the normal for a dynamic. The closed Silver tip was a hair better but not so that you’d pick just to get that bit more isolation. Easily enough for day to day use, on a bus etc etc. Not one for regular flyers probably but would do now and again. Obviously more than easily enough to get yourself run over if you aren’t using your eyes.
Accessories: I have a pre production model but should be, a bunch of tips, little tube for the filters, the filters too obviously and a little case. Case is pretty nice.
Value: Well, how important are the sound altering filters to you? If you are only going to have one IEM and you don’t know exactly what sound signature is the one for you then I can really see the filters being of use. You can buy something decent and having three different sounds available to you it greatly increases the odds of getting one that is you. The thing is if you know exactly what is or isn’t you, like I know me, then you are putting money into filters that once you’ve listened to them all you will pick one and then never touch again. Yes you have that flexibility but you do pay for it. When they go into retail at £65 you get a bargain if you want that flexibility or indeed if it’s for a gift.
Conclusion: Hmm, I don’t think I love the Technie. Right off the bat, I don’t love filters but that’s in part because I always find there is one you like more, so the others never get looked at after the first day. You pay for those filters though. However I’m not everyone, I know what I’ll like and what I won’t, I’ve heard so many IEM’s I can usually read any reasonable review and know how it’ll suit me, or not. I’m a pretty atypical consumer.
So what if you’re a normal person? Well, I do recognise that normal people tend to buy one IEM and live with that. They haven’t heard countless dozens to figure out what exactly is or isn’t them. They by one and for many £65 is considered a lot for earphones. Hell, for many the thought of paying £20 is a lot for something they think should come free with a packet of cornflakes. The use of filters therefor helps make sure that they will get a product that will work for them and it also lets them learn that there is a world of variety out there. All earphones don’t sound the same as each other. If they have only ever heard crap then no wonder they don’t want to spend money on them.
Lol, all that said about filters, I find myself wanting one back that had a treble filter in it, making it comparatively really rather bassy. Perhaps Bab might make one again, or you could always just add inn a tiny bit of foam to each filter and boom, you want a bass cannon? You got it.
The Technie I feel is clearly pitching itself at a consumer audience not a Head-Fi one. That it has changeable filters, the easy to run out of a phone all point them at a mainstream type competitor. It’s going after that person who’s just spent several hundred on a new phone and wants some power to their music. To get an introduction into higher end audio, to tailor audio away from the “more bass = better” crowd. The Technie can teach you, allow you to learn what can be done with a little filter difference. Let you find out that things do indeed sound different and let you discover what sound signature is really you…
…Or of course you could just say screw it, you could just buy them because they look so different from anything your friends have, odds are they will sound vastly better than what your friends have too.