I am not an audiophile. I listen to MP3 or streaming audio. Our home stereo is 15 years old, came from Walmart, and I never hooked up the rear speakers. My work headphones are the same cans I bought when I first started programming for a living. So, when Trinity offered to send me a set of their Delta Hybrid earbuds to review, I almost passed. I figured I couldn’t really give a decent review, full of exotic words like “headstage” and “presence.” Then I thought, “Eh, they’re earbuds. If they fit and don’t tangle, can you really ask for much more?”
Yes, yes you can.
To be clear, yes, the Deltas do fit, and no, they don’t tangle. The box came with seven different earpieces: four sizes of your standard silicone, two expanding foam, and one white pair whose purpose I’m not quite sure of, but which did a superb job of noise isolation, even if I did have a moment of panic where I thought they were going to touch my brain. (They go a bit deeper than my old cheap earbuds.)
The braided cable is a thing of beauty. Designed to reduce tangle, it works equally well aesthetically. In fact, every part of the Deltas seem to be designed just to make you realize how bad your old headphones suck. From the plug, which has both a spring and an additional 90-degree plug to reduce wear, to the cable, to the CNC milled aluminum housing that looks stunning and holds the three included filters you can use to customize the sound based on what type of music you enjoy.
The first filter I tried was the gunmetal gray. These are the middle-of-the road filters, and were my favorite of the three. My musical tastes are fairly diverse, but overall I lean towards metal or jazz/swing/vocalists (my “random favorites” will often result in some interesting playlists such as Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction (Trent Reznor Mix)” followed immediately by Neil Diamond or Tony Bennett). I liked the enhanced bass of the silver filters, but I felt like I was missing some of the instruments when listening to albums like Sinatra at the Sands*. The purple filters were the most vivid, and I almost liked them more than the gray, but, for my style, they were simply too focused on the upper range. They would be fantastic for orchestra, opera, etc., and I loved them when something like the Les Miserable soundtrack came on, but then it would switch over to something like Black Sabbath, and my eyes started twitching. The good thing about the filters is that they are easy to swap out. So, if I do feel like turning off the shuffle and making it a Neil Diamond day, I can quickly screw in the purple filters and hear every golden note. Or, if I suffer some kind of debilitating brain injury, I can swap them out for the silvers and enjoy the overproduced bass of whatever pop drivel is currently being churned out for mass consumption.
Whichever filter you go with, though, if you’ve always used PC speakers, average headphones, or, heaven forbid, the junk earbuds that came with your smartphone, don’t be surprised to hear your favorite old songs in a whole new way. I found myself listening to songs like Zeppelin’s “Going to California” two or three times in a row, finally realizing how beautifully the instruments were woven together on what was an old familiar I’d listened to hundreds of times before. If you are a fan of music and have never owned a decent pair of headphones, the Trinity – Delta Hybrid earbuds are a great way to get the high quality audio you might expect from larger headphones while still being small enough to not look like a tool on the train.
- Balanced Armature + 8mm neodymium dynamic drivers
- 3 x Interchangeable tuning filter system
- Impedance 16Ohm
- Sensitivity 110 +/- 3DB
- Frequency response 19 – 21000HZ
- 24ct Gold plated 3.5mm Jack
- 1.2M Cable length
*If you’ve never listened to Sinatra at the Sands, go do so now. Frank in his prime, backed by Count Basie and his Orchestra, conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones, recorded live at the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Update: Trinity recently announced the launch of a new Kickstarter for a sport version of their high end headphones. Splash-proof nano-coating, a hydrophobic layer, and three detachable cables.