Trió was designed to be powered properly by any source, and it of course can be driven by any DAP or phone. However, my personal opinion is, that hybrid monitors scale up with higher powered sources. We’ll take a look at a few DAPs and DAC/amps in this segment. I didn’t have any problems with hissing from any of my sources.
Lotoo – PAW Gold Touch
The PAW Gold Touch has become my personal reference since it has made its way from the Lotoo HQ to me. It has a superbly balanced and neutral sound signature that is a pure delight when reviewing audio gear. One other reason why I love it so much, is because it knows how to handle all my inventory.
You will get a spacious sound with heaps of details, a well and tightly controlled bass that reaches deep with great thunder. There is very good transparency in the midrange. The neutral sound of the Touch blends perfectly in with the harmonic and emotional mids of the Trió.
The soundstage is wide, deep and tall and musicians stand well organized in the room they are performing in. Imaging is top notch and the same goes for layering. Highs are fast and bright, with nice shimmer. They bring out every nuance of the sound.
Astell&Kern – SP1000
The SP1000 is another neutralish tuned DAP. To this date I consider it the one portable audio player with the cleanest signal. There is absolutely no impurity and everything is standing on a pitch black background.
The AK gives the Trió an excellent stage with a more holographic sound. The soundstage is very wide and deep with superb layering. Bass is a little less controlled and more boomy than on the Lotoo, but it still reaches deep with good texture and resolution.
You will get a sound with very high resolution, great imaging and wonderful extension. Treble is silky and pleasing to listen to. There is good body and splendid resolution in the midrange. Overall the sound is nicely organic and warmish with a high toe tapping factor.
Woo Audio – WA11
The WA11 is Woo Audio’s first solid state DAC/amp ever. It’s made to drive full sized headphones but of course doesn’t fall short when listening to IEMs like the Trió. With 1.2W into 30 Ohms there is more than enough juice to get even my vintage AKG K240 Sextett to blasting levels. On top of that, there is no channel imbalance even at very low levels with the Trió.
When I first hooked the Trió up to the WA11 I didn’t expect much, but I was deeply impressed by how much the tiatm scaled with additional amplification. The most noticeable change to me was the improved layering and soundstage, which stretches wide out of your head. You get a big sound that is deeply enjoyable on many levels.
Bass has excellent control over it with a tight grip and deep extension. The instrumental separation is outstanding. You get a fast and dynamic sound with very good imaging. The background is pitch black. Instruments have wonderful body and sound organic and convincing to me.
Mids are well formed and have excellent body and texture. Instruments are realistic and the timbre is absolutely spot on. Vocals sound full and dense, especially deeper voices such as the one of Leonard Cohen are addictive to listen to. Treble is fast, crisp, detailed and rich, it extends wide and sound crystal clean.
Consumers who are shopping for a new monitor in the price segment of the Trió are facing quite a big selection of possible candidates. We want to take a look at models with a similar price, but also we’ll compare the Trió to 64 Audio’s very own flagship – the Fourté.
All models are used with their respective stock cable and mentioned prices are for the universal models.
64 Audio – tiatm Fourté (1DD/3BA – 3,599$)
The Fourté and the Trió are pretty different from a tuning point of view. The Fourté is considerably brighter up top with a more present upper mid and treble bite. I’ve heard many people aren’t exactly drawn to the signature of Fourté, they however might find the Trió better suiting their taste in my opinion.
Trió is warmer and softer, it has a smoother midrange with bigger body and more weight. Whereas Fourté goes for hyper precision and accuracy, it is lighter and creates a bigger and more holographic soundstage. Fourté possesses the ability to really transport you into the scene, that’s something the Trió can’t do as well as its bigger brother.
Fourté hits harder and goes deeper in lows, but Trió has higher dynamics and a bigger fun factor to me. Lower mids are fuller and warmer on the Trió, while the Fourté has more air in them.
64 Audio – A12t (12BA – 1,999$)
The A12t is one of my personal favorite CIEMs, both the Trió and the A12t were introduced at the same time back in 2017.
Both these models have a few things in common, yet differ on some levels. For example, both have a more prominent bass, but the A12t has considerably higher resolution and puts sub-bass more in front. It has more grunt down low and builds a more solid foundation. The Trió on the other hand brings the advantages of a dynamic driver’s low end and sounds softer and more organic. It has more air in its lows than the A12t, while the twelve-driver is more dynamic and faster.
Lower mids again are fuller and warmer on the Trió, while they are of higher resolution on the A12t. The 12t has a lighter body in comparison, but creates a bigger stage with better transparency. The A12t’s midrange is more nimble-feet where the Trió is denser and heavier. There are more emotions in the Trió’s sound than I can find in the 12t.
Treble on the A12t is crisper, faster and brighter compared to the softer and richer Trió. It also has the benefit of exchangeable apex modules, where you can switch between signatures depending on the module installed. Plus, the 12t comes with both the M20 and M15 module. So in the end you get two signatures in one monitor.
Final comparisons and conclusion on the last page.