Empire Ears – Legend X (2DD/5BA – 2,399$)
The Legend X is Empire’s flagship hybrid monitor. It’s one hell of a beast if you drive it right, and that’s where it get difficult for most sources. The Legend really needs high power to shine to me.
The EE puts bass more forward than the Trió, it goes deeper with more physical impact and thunder. The Legend X has higher resolution in its lows, while the Trió has nicer texture and is better controlled. Legend’s bass has more speed and hits considerably harder than the Trió’s.
Mids are denser and thicker on the Legend X, while they are slightly warmer on the Trió, there is more air in the midrange on the 64 Audio monitor compared to the EE. The Trió has a more emotional sound in comparison to the Legend X. The EE hybrid has an even richer midrange and top end.
Highs are brighter and slightly dryer on the Trió than on the Legend X. The Legend has a more golden glow in the lower treble and upper mid segment. Trió is faster and more agile up top and has a sharper, but not sibilant, treble.
When we look at technical abilities I have to give the Empire Ears monitor the nod, it has higher resolution and creates a bigger venue. They both are on par in terms of layering and imaging, where both are excellent performers.
The Legend overall has a more fist-bumping fun tuning, while the Trió lets you kick back to your favourite tracks. To me the Trió also sounds more coherent from top to bottom.
Noble Audio – Khan (1DD/4BA/1Piezo – 2,399$)
The Khan is Noble’s recently introduced triple-hybrid flagship monitor. Like the Trió it only comes in universal format. The Khan is one of few monitors that uses a piezo electric ceramic tweeter. This is a ten millimeter driver that sits below the dynamic woofer.
Khan has a more visceral low end, with higher resolution and bigger impact. It reaches lower into sub-bass than the Trió but doesn’t bring the soft and organic sound the Trió manages to recreate. Trió has a more prominent mid and upper bass, with a slight bloom into the lower mid segment.
Midrange is warmer, more emotional and denser on the 64 than on the Noble. The Khan however puts higher resolution into the midrange and brings more air into it. Both create a nicely spread soundstage, where Khan keeps the musicians closer. Trió has better layering and imaging in my opinion and also seems smoother. The Trió has more blood in its veins compared to Khan, which is lighter in its presentation.
Highs are brighter and faster on the Trió, while Khan is richer and softer. However, Trió is more accurate and detailed.
The Trió might be one of the most overlooked models by 64 Audio. Everyone seems to focus on the top-tiers in their range. However, a good number of things have made their way down the line and can be found in their other products as well.
The build quality and fit are both great and I really like that 64 Audio is constantly trying to improve their designs by thinking outside the box. One thing that might be worth considering to change is the supplied tip-selection. Less here isn’t more in my opinion. Other than that the Trió offers the full package and to me is one of the best models out there.
The Trió might be the perfect fit for those who want a seductive sound, that’s easy to love and enjoy during extended listening sessions. It’s a monitor that convinces with excellent body and a mildly warm sound, a monitor that lets me forget about the rapid life in a big city.
If I were to pick a single universal monitor of all my inventory, I would go with the tiatm Trió as it features the sound closest to my listening preference. It has great body, emotion and guarantees me a fatigue free listen, where enjoyment is more in focus than technical excitement. The Trió has the ability to draw me into the music, and for this alone it will be placed in our Best Universal IEM List.