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TRI i3pro Review

by Mahir Efe Falay

TRI i3pro review looks like a contradiction as I am normal after fine examples of high ratios of price to performance in iems.  Final e1k, HM, Bl03, Bl05, Sg01, Tanya and MT1 are different examples and Tripowin Lea is a modern example.

Please forgive me as this three drivered beast is quite charming, nearly mesmerising than any of the truly budget earphones I was talking about all the time for years.

I am hearing a display of layering I didn’t hear before in this price segment. Very transparent. Half a circle wide in live recordings. Tonality is undeniably better than all the budget earphones so far. Instrument separation is better than pretty good. Frankly, at a quite good level 5N cable, stock tips and matchbox sized amp permits.

TRI i3 pro Review Begins:

TRI or Transmit Real Imagination is an unseen, slow but solid striker. Starting from times of i3 and i4 they displayed something different than the rest of the crowd. i3 has been stopped as of now but i4 is still banging. This i3pro is no exception for their disciplined and perfectionist approach. Following review will end with cable and amp change results.

Now is review time. This time, amping is mandatory. Wasn’t optional like in other driver types.

Box and Contents

Dark blue in color, hypnotic pattern in the front, backside is Chinese and English full config+product name, spec, firm address and barcode for its selling to pass through the cashier. All the usual stuff. And decent specs. Cable is pure copper, not that sensitive, 15 ohms of impedance…Well, so what? The thing  many can say. But knowing the Planar driver in it along with its hybrid nature and sensitivity factor (103dB) alone is signalling what’s to come 🙂 

(Before jumping in the sound section, I delay to face with its truth and continue with the box contents)

Contents are plentiful. Strong and sturdy leather case, 3 pairs of stock eartips, 5 pairs of KBEAR (I guess coded as 07) eartips, a cleaning brush, a warranty book, a cleaning cloth (remember Aurora?), and a TRI Audio branded OFC cable with 5N purity are included. The only meh so far is the cable’s purity. I’ll shut the tiny doubt down (or pour gasoline on the fire) in my conclusion after I switch it with other cables.

Cable

Cable is a strong looking and feeling 1.2m of braided 5N pure copper… As the brand had it inscribed on the box. Connectors are all in shiny metal just like Yuan Li and Aurora I reviewed with joy. The only minus so far is it’s earhook length. It’s making listening to i3 pro while laying down a very hard experience if you are using a pillow under your head (man, who doesn’t unless he is a hard-core monk or

some sort of extremist.)

Sound

He who contains a planar magnet, must be ready for a huge amount of power. My lessons with he400s taught this to me. And he400es will be showing it too.

Used primarily z4 for its power needs. And an overkill session (but not slaughter with power),will be performed in the ending. I must see i3 pros limits. 

Timbre is neutral to dark plus warm-ish as well. And it’s pretty smooth too. Warm + smooth might hint of a bassy experience. But the control factor is so high at i3 pro, so bass (I mean lower frequencies) is only present when the record is calling it for. 

Layering is fantastic when powered up and better than fantastic when more power is poured in. This is where LO cables and dedicated amps are useful. Staging is screaming of the planar magnet it has. Very wide and deep stage here. Positioning on the stage is very high as well. One can confuse it with the colorless king of Er4SR given enough power. With the power of Z4, Gilmour and his band and chorus of ladies at the back of the band + audience cheering are well separated from each other. Punch is gentle as the result of smooth sound signature. Do not expect a crispy iem with a boxed in and energetic sound here.

Clarity is at 85/100 level. I had suspected of it’s cable. Power factor is added into the mystery now. I still remember how power evolved he400s with the order of iphone 5<dx50<Schiit Vali<Schiit Lyr<Schiit Valhalla 2 + Bifrost. Sense of air is great, as if the music is coming through speakers of a half open can. And this closed back has the tech few iems possess. This is pretty apparent at live recordings. You can be a fan of live tracks. And this is leading us to separation capacity. Separation is at notch for a closed back iem. Handling a classical music assembly or rock band or a Symphony with equal ease.

Extensions are pretty good and realistic too. This is making smooth jazz or any other metallic trebled genres a great joy IMO. Texturing is no need to say pretty high. In combination with its clarity, one who knows electric guitar can play all the notes he hears. Combined with its high clarity, instruments’ material can be understood. The same goes for vocals too.

Tonality is the aspect it is shining at. Be it a guitar, any other instrument or vocal(s)..And when it comes to Zimmer’s 96 piece orchestra, you’ll be swimming in a sea of notes and instruments that have their own bodies in the soundscape. 3d imaging is at 90/100 level. Texturing and tonality and extensions when combined are making this score at this level. Huh, it was an eerie feeling like when I was listening to DM8 – which I consider as the king of this in my experience.

Vocals are %100 true to their originals. Texturing and tonality is of great help here. And the chorus are just some steps behind the singer. Organic and clear in where other iems can give you nasal vocals.

Sibilance is not found at my experience. But some tracks are in the border of the unwanted effect.

Bass is pounding though not adept in going deep at the level of many electronic tracks demands. But with the help of its neutrality, it can keep up with many genres. Afterall you won’t be getting the same bass level with Zimmer’s Crimson Tide – 160 BPM. Haven’t I said neutral?

Mids are smooth with very high technicalities and it’s of great help in large orchestral music when it took place in a stadium. (thanks to mr. Zimmer) Treble is not plenty. Or spiky. But the natural treble is fixing it to the amount and shape that depends on the track. Rule of neutrality.

Amp it up! (Q5k and Zishan Z4 dap)

The lines above are the result of a NoBS hit Q5K. This transparent, neutral and sparkling matchbox worked well. But this is not enough. Who said it is? Now finally giving it the justice it deserved. Clear the space for heavy cannons!!!

Z4 > Line Out Cable > Dethonray ha2 H Gain at 1 o’clock (it can be maxed easily but still won’t hurt)

Strings gained weight. Separation became the best among all the setups I had tried. I can select all the instruments in various places on the stage as if they are talking with each other. The never bleeding bass gained thump and somehow hardness. Bass kicks of the drum at a small club (I can tell from what i3pro tells me) live recording of Lebowski’s are actually shaking my ears! Extensions are very good considering the volume of the recording place.

Z4 > Line Out Cable > Fiio K5 pro + gain 3/3 at 2 o’clock (at the freaking level of 5 o’clock – it’s max level – was still not unlistenable! )

The stage became fuller than ever. Double kicks of the drum are something now. Tonality is the star of the show now with already high clarity and 3d imaging. Vocalist is singing near you.

Cable it up!

6N Pure Copper cable is used. Setup is the amped setup I had given the details above.

First thing to notice is the darkening of the soundscape. And the rise of dynamics. Drums accompanying metallic blowns, violins and the male chorus at the deepest end of the fairly large and deep stage are simply eargasm..hearing this experience isn’t making me want to advance further and end my impressed face.

TRI i3pro review Conclusions

Now ending TRI i3pro review I wish it never ended. One of the most joyful reviews I’ve done for some time. But strings must be tied anyway.

Adding 6N cable to it’s circuit has balanced the sound even more. The result is fantastic. And planar magnet tech in iem is a relatively new thing with few iems. But while somewhat new, not amateurish in implementation unlike a particular iem. Even though I hadn’t heard the i3 before, this iem is wonderful with only 1 planar driver at it’s tribrid configuration. I hope this makes way for planar magnet tech to reach budget fields. Maybe this makes the new owner budget minded Edifier to nudge Stax into using highly premium electrostatic with midend or hi end too..or am I wishful thinking? 

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