Disclaimers: Tralucent supplied the 1Plus2 for the purposes of this review. The Tralucent 1Plus2 is available off-again-on-again from Tralucent Audio. It goes for 1300$ – 1500$. Find out more about it here.
My history with Tralucent goes back to the Tralucent T1 amp, which I reviewed at TouchMyApps back before Lieven and me were chums. The same amp made my year-end-ohmage list in 2013. Meanwhile, Tralucent’s head, Gavin, had an earphone in a constant state of update. That was the 1Plus2, which was one of the first indy hybrid breakthroughs. It is still in production, and today, it is better than ever.
I can’t figure out exactly what Gavin is trying to do with Tralucent. I do know this: he commissions some of the best audio engineers out there. They know their shit. They just don’t always know how to design something that is nice to use. His earphones are as unwieldy as FitEar’s ToGo!334.
And they’re at least as well furnished. They come with good literature, clear branding, oroto-freaking-fon ear pieces, cleaning cloths, tote bags, a paint brush, and all of that put into a box that you won’t hide.
Tralucent is a brand to whom image is as important as execution.
As you know, I’m not a fan of memory wire. And the 1Plus2 has 8 centimeters of it. It’s not great for glasses wearers, but it is a far, far better implementation of memory wire than is, say, the cable that comes with LEAR’s awesome hybrid, the BD4,2. And it’s way more comfy than the thing that comes with Earsonics’s EM32 and Velvet.
The list goes on.
Why the 1Plus2 cable betters them is that it is softer, more supple, and much better insulated. From end to end it is sheathed in heat shrink. And, its coaxial pins go in at a perpendicular angle, and are attached to pinch-friendly nubs which make the cable both easy to remove and to insert. Next, the cable is clearly labeled. Red turtleneck for right, blue turtleneck for left. L and R labels wear on the inside of the coaxial plugs. Excellent.
The neck cinch is beefy and clear. It is, however, a bit hard to budge up, or down.
The only gotcha is that the 3,5 plug goes in straight. If you’re an owner of a large modern DAP- say like the AK240, or Calyx M, or what have you, take care. Plugging this straight cable straight in, may, in the long run, damage your player. Ditto if you have an amp. Straight plugs are only good for desktop and home audio. For portable audio, they are a no no.
Compared to its most direct competition: LEAR, Rhapsodio, and even Earsonics, Tralucent’s chassis quality is a step above. It is blemish-free, well-tooled, precisely flanged, bears quality coaxial jacks, and, in even the carbon fibre-played-out world we live in, it manages a handsome-enough face.
But, like all top-of-the-line multi-driver earphones, it is huge. It sticks out like a cork, and doesn’t sit flush in the ear. And there is a lot of scribbling on its faceplate. The sound port looks good, but the squished trademark, not so good.
Being big means that 1Plus2 may not fit all ears. If you have medium to small ears, it would be best to demo the 1Plus2 prior to purchasing. I get on with it pretty well, but my wife does not.
Sound impressions after the jump: