The Trinity have an impressive presentation. The tonality is a warm and smooth one, but don’t underestimate the technical capability of the Trinity, as it is combined with a very large and airy stage, and an incredibly revealing nature. Much of this is dependent on source, but with a neutral or brighter source the Trinity will happily point it out to you when a recording is of a poor quality. That difference was clear between my AK70 (warm-natural) and the K3 (neutral), but also between the SE and balanced out of my AK70. The balanced out of the AK70 is a little more laidback in the treble and (using Ares II) that helped to make the Trinity a bit kinder to older Jazz recordings. But even with a neutral source it does not get offensive because of the smoothness. It is just that the Trinity achieve such outstanding clarity and are so exceptionally detailed, well beyond anything I have heard so far, so there is no hiding for poor quality recording. It is like the Trinity kindly tap you on the shoulder saying: “Excuse me, could you possibly get a better quality recording of this album because this is not quite up to snuff, my dear chap?” …rather than sticking pins in your ears to bully you into buying a better quality recording.
When I shared some first impressions of the Trinity I used the word “soulful” to describe their sound and I still think that is a great word to sum up what I feel the Trinity with the brass nozzle do best. For classical music, especially any pieces with a bit more emphasis on the bass section such as Beethoven’s 5th, I think the Trinity are a touch too warm and the bass a little too physical. Not that it is in any way bad, I could happily listen to it (and have), but it is not quite as good as the Trinity are for other types of music. When I switched to music by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Sting (Live) and Santana, the Trinity started showing their incredibly soulful nature and proved to be the most engaging IEMs I have heard to date.
What struck me about tracks such as Santana’s Smooth is how coherent and well balanced everything was. There is some slight emphasis on the bass, but in a way that you might expect it at a live performance. It is when you focus on Rob Thomas’ voice and Santana’s guitar that the bass starts to become more functional and the soundscape starts to take shape. The bass guitar adds a smooth and relaxed rhythm, percussions add energy and cymbals top off that energy with a wonderfully sweet sparkle, all surrounding the voice and guitar at the centre compelling you to move. Everything just feels like it is in exactly the right place to build up the emotion of the song and get you fully immersed in the music. It feels like standing right there with Rob and Santana, playing/singing along, rather than merely listening.
The bass of the Trinity is a full, resonant and physical one with great detail and texture to it. It is a relatively slow bass and it gives the sound something similar to what you get with a live performance. It can extend really deep when needed, but does not do it as prominently as, say, the Empire Ears Legend X. I think the way the bass is tuned is a key part to the overall ‘soulful’ character of the Trinity.
The Trinity seem to have a character to them that is genuinely a coherent combination of three parts and it all starts with the bass. As with Santana’s Smooth, the Trinity excel with The Rolling Stones’ version of I Can’t Quit You Baby, where the foundation is the bass layer. It provides a slow pace that is set by the bass guitar and an impactful and physical drum to create a tangible ‘moody’ feeling upon which the other layers such as the guitar riffs sit, to give that unmistakable feeling of melancholy that is so characteristic of this track. In this case the bass adds the sort of warmth and physicality that helps set the slow moody pace, but in a more uplifting track such as Commit a Crime, the bass guitar is a little faster and due to its texture sets a higher foundational rhythm for the track that is incredibly engaging. To my ears it is technically incredibly good, but more importantly, works exceptionally well within the overall signature.
Although I think the Trinity excel with music such as blues, jazz and soul, they are of course much more versatile and the bass adds tons of fun for more popular music. I love the impact, weight and texture in Imagine Dragons’ Yesterday and the fun it adds to Walk the Moon’s Headphones. The quality of the bass and its physicality mean the Trinity are incredibly fun and engaging to listen to. Less ideal for classical, but it will work for mostly everything else.
The mids of the Trinity are very clear, detailed and have a unique character to them that provides a lot of energy to the overall signature. The mids are natural in their tonality, but not exceptionally so, which is where I think an intentional trade-off is made in favor of achieving that energy. This is also where I think the Trinity are less ideal for classical, as instruments such as woodwinds do not quite have the fullness I get with my Phantom (which are my reference in this case). So that is something linked to my personal preferences as well.
However, the trade-off I mentioned is absolutely worth it. The Trinity are by far the most amazing IEMs I have heard so far for guitars, both acoustic and electric, and here is where that coherency of three parts starts to take shape. To go back to the Rolling Stones, the foundation of a warm and moody bass get topped by a layer of crisp, extremely well-textured electric guitars that have incredible energy and emotion. It is so engaging and lively that it perfectly compliments the physicality of the bass to give that wonderful feeling that only blues can give. And it feels so real that it is as if you are part of the band because you automatically get drawn into the riff. This works just as well for acoustic guitars, as each type of guitar comes through with its characteristic sound clearly rendered by the Trinity. So, for instance, Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album sounds just as amazing.
Vocals felt to me a little further back than I am used to, allowing instruments (especially guitars) to come forward a bit more clearly, although the vocals themselves maintain excellent clarity and sound natural. While I think the Trinity overall are quite warm, vocals seem to be well balanced without a clearly favoring male over female vocals. There is a hint of sweetness to female vocals, but I did not feel it unbalanced choral pieces to the point that male vocals dominated over the female voices. It felt quite well balanced.
This is of course where the Trinity introduces its new tech, the dual electrostatic super tweeters, and I have to admit that the treble certainly feels unlike anything I have heard. The treble is incredibly transparent, natural sounding and has a refinement that to my ears feels unique. It is sweet, sparkly, light and airy, seemingly without effort, yet it stays so smooth.
This is also where the Trinity become complete. Back with the Rolling Stones you get this wonderful blend of the cymbals within the overall image, providing sparkle without demanding any attention. In my opinion this is exactly where the cymbals should sit. Like icing sugar, they add sparkle over the image, but they are just there for the finishing touches. Nothing too splashy or too forward and yet still clearly defined and present with a richness that is incredibly enjoyable. It is a testament to the quality of the treble that even though it is not pushed forward, it can still distinguish itself from the very energetic bass and mid range instruments to form a genuinely coherent trinity of layers.
Another great example of this is the sound of the brushes in Madeleine Peyroux’s You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. It is that typical sound for jazz, coming through incredibly clearly while sitting perfectly within the image. It adds just the right type of energy for the song and that, in my opinion, characterizes the treble really well, it is a Goldilocks treble: just right.