BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Oriolus DP100

At some point in this hobby you will get to that crossroad thinking what is the practical route to take. As a hobbyist, ideally you should be governed as to what sound you will get out of your setup. However, there’s a plethora of factors to consider, primarily whether if you will go portable or stationary. While I would assume that hordes will prefer to go portable, there still is a considerable number of folks who would prefer a desktop setup considering the value they get out of it in terms of the sound. However, in spite of that, the reason why a lot would prefer to go portable is because we are practically living in a very fast environment nowadays; much more people are mobile given our daily lives whether it is due to work or school.

Given this point, another factor to look into is the efficiency of the music source you are getting. While cost plays a huge role when picking the right gear, one would think of it more on practicality rather than just being blunt; that is, going for what is cheaper (this should be the ideal as price to performance is the right measurement of practicality, not low price period) should be equated by one’s expectation as to what kind of sound one will get out of the gear. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Oriolus DP100”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Sagaris Icarus III

One would probably wonder as to what else can Trinity Audio offer now that they have laid out most of their recent outings for the season. Sure, Trinity Audio has the 12 pair tuning filter on every product they currently have, so most of the TA fans must have memorized each and every tuning filter there is for the brand. Apart from that, one might probably ask, “what else is new?”.

Enter the Trinity Audio Sagaris Icarus III. One would think that the said IEM would just offer the fanciful face plates you can switch around based on your preference. Yes, it is nice and nifty, but upon trying the IEM, one would wonder how in the world does Trinity Audio able to come up with yet a different style out of its tuning given its usual formula.

Let’s read on and find out how the Icarus III fare.

Build

As mentioned, TA pulled some bells and whistles in terms of looks with the new Phantom Master and with the Icarus III through the face plates which allows users some sort of customization. This should be nice as it allows one not to only change the sound signature through its tuning filters but also with how it looks. For some, this allows some updates on the looks once one gets tired of it, and can even allow ease in identifying which earpiece goes to which ear. Not only aesthetic, but should be quite functional. The Icarus comes with a pair each of gold fibre, polished blue and polished red face plates, but given the current air of technology, some pretty crafty dudes can even come up with other colors through a 3D scanner and printer.

The Icarus III also emulated the new Master with its cable management tech by terminating the earpieces at the cable splitter, which according to TA is to allow the IEMs to be used in single ended connection and in balanced connection in preparation for its Sagaris DAP and DAC. This I think is quite a good move as the package comes with a single ended 3.5mm-3.5mm cable (TRS) and a 3.5mm-3.5mm balanced cable (TRRS), which means it can be used with balanced sources like the HM901S. Furthermore, one can still opt to get a custom 3.5mm-2.5mm TRRS cable for other balanced sources should this be the case for their DAPs. Only issue I have is that it would have been nice if the earpieces are detachable with either 2-pin or MMCX termination, although for some it won’t really be much of an issue since the cable splitter already allows one to switch around cables for SE to balanced options. This is really just a matter of what floats their boats.

Shells are obviously where TA invested on improvements. While the older IEMs of TA has an uncanny issue on durability, TA decided to make this issue a thing of the past. The shell halves are now secured by screws, which mean only the totally clumsy ones can wreck havoc on the otherwise sturdily built earpieces. Overall, it is a kudos for TA to keep on improving their craft. This should quell some people’s malicious claims on TA IEMs’ durability.

As usual, the Icarus III carries twelve pairs of tuning filters, which should allow its users a wide array of tuning options.

In terms of weight, the Icarus is also significantly lighter compared to the new Master. Perhaps it was because of the number of drivers the new Master has, that I really am not sure.

Overall, the build of Icarus III has indeed been incredible, perhaps one of the best in terms of durability. Paired with TA’s one year warranty, the Icarus should be one of the best, at least on its price range when it comes to durability.

Sound

As I have said, one would wonder if TA has anything else to offer with their new line Sagaris. Fair enough, based on my initial impressions I was able to draw some differences on how TA tunes their usual lines particularly the Phantom series.

With Sagaris, TA opted to go for a couple of different drivers. They are pretty much driven off the typical BAs and DDs, and I was not really sure how the dual coil electroacoustic transducers and the series 2 wideband balanced armatures would sound differently from the typical ones. This we will tackle as I take the Icarus III for a spin.

For the test, I will go with my trusty Hifiman HM-901S and Aune M1S. Will also be switching the SE and balanced cable around to see how much difference it will make in comparison to each other.

Gravity (Sara Bareilles, Brave Enough: Live At The Variety Playhouse)

Perhaps this is where the strength of the Icarus III lies: live tracks. It places you in the midst of the crowd with relatively close seating from the stage. You won’t hear any echoes, Bareilles’ voice stands out well while harmoniously accompanied by the piano. The crowd erupting in applause only adds to the sense of realism you hear off the track, and it actually gave me goosebumps especially around 3:30 of the track. Bareilles’ voice was really made to shine with the Icarus III. Perhaps it was because of the gold undampened filter that I used, but the mid ranges are definitely spectacular, more so when using the balanced connection on the HM-901S which added an even wider soundstage and better clarity of the higher frequencies.

The Day I Tried To Live (Soudgarden, Superunknown)

This track sounded quite very interesting for me. Started off using the purple filters and balanced cable, the guitars at the start of the track sounded very distinct and crisp, with the drums entering with such resonance. Sub-bass is just lovely, with that very clean rumble that doesn’t spill over the neighboring frequencies. Cornell’s voice also stood out, but a bit of a downside is how rolled off the cymbals sounded like. Not too rolled off, but me being who I am feels that it somehow rolled off a bit too early for my taste. Soundstage still is superb, width is far more superior to the point that I feel this usually from open backed cans.

Dreams (The Cranberries, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?)

On the third track of the test, one thing stood clear, that is the Icarus III sounded with such excellent clarity. I tried to do some filter rolling and I still get to be satisfied with the level of clarity the Icarus III delivered. With Dreams, details sounded crystalline and no hint of veiling was observed. The details are amazing to the point that micro details are easily distinguishable. Of course, there’s also the separation which is, I must say, is better than most IEMs I have tried at the same price range. The rumbles on the track was amazing, guitar strums lingered quite well (pun unintended), vocals showed such assymetry that is truly awe-inspiring. I just realized that I am getting hooked with the Icarus III at the moment.

Between the balanced and single ended cables, I will have to say that I urge anyone who gets an Icarus III to please, please try the balanced cable. While the single ended connection is already excellent, I will have to insist that you try to use the balanced cable and be blown away. I think with the balanced cable, the dynamics and soundstage improved even further.

Wrap-Up

So the verdict? I am hooked with the Icarus III. I will have to laud Trinity Audio for coming up with the formula. You see, most cases in the IEM sector of the hobby would depend on the regular BA and dynamic drivers, but TA did something that not every manufacturer is always willing to do: venture with new techs for better sound. It is understandable, in fairness, as catastrophe might hit if they try to tinker with a rather little known technology. With TA, they took the gamble, and with the skills (and ears) they have, it is no wonder they were able to capitalize on the technology quite well.

The Trinity Audio Sagaris Icarus III retails for 235 GBP, but trust me, the IEM sounded way much more than the value. I may be overstating it, but I haven’t come across something like this for quite some time now. If you got the budget and you want something amazing, I highly recommend it. I am not asking you though to take my word for it, but I highly encourage you to take it for a spin, and I assure you that if every you have doubts, all of those will be allayed.

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Fiio X5III

The Fiio X5III, or otherwise known as the X5 3rd Generation has been quite hot in the market for the past weeks since it was released. This doesn’t strike me as a surprise though, as it is quite hard to find an Android powered DAP in the market with X5III’s price tag ($459.99 at Fiio’s AliExpress official store). Currently, other Android DAPs in the market would normally be priced at around $600 at least which makes you think whether Fiio’s latest DAP outing may be short changing the consumers or may have cut some corners to get to such price. With that, I think it will be best for us to see for ourselves how it does.

Luckily, I got a loaner from a very good friend to see what makes the X5III tick the audio enthusiast masses. To begin with (and for transparency), I am not a very big fan of Fiio (in spite of the fact that my humble beginnings were littered with several Fiio devices) but I will try and see if the X5III is any different from how the usual Fiio fares do.

With this, let’s get it on and see how Fiio’s flagship player does. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Fiio X5III”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Multi-Driver IEM Shootout

With the personal audio market continually progressing every single day, it is no longer surprising that what used to be very rare and expensive innovations are now replaced with more affordable stuff that proliferate the industry. Before there only used to be drivers in our IEMs or earbuds, which later developed to micro-drivers. Nowadays, multiple drivers are being crammed in the shells of our toys to offer better sound details if done properly and correctly against the objective of manufacturers. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Multi-Driver IEM Shootout”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Master

As we continue with the Trinity Audio week, we are now about to embark on reviewing the modular Master. Trinity Audio went to the direction of adding a little bit of pizzazz on this IEM by adding a bit more of customization through the included face plates. While some naysayers would say that it really is more of an improvement to the aesthetics of the IEM, it should be fancied by a lot as this allows a bit of distinction to the Master without having to go through buying multiple units just to have that flair of using a different looking one should you get tired of the design you are used to. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Master”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Vyrus V2

And it seems we are all in for a Trinity Audio week this week! This time, we are having the new Vyrus V2 in tow as we take it to the acid tests here at Bus Ride Impression.

The Vyrus V2 seemingly is a tamed down version of the original Vyrus if based on how it is built. However, with what Trinity Audio toned down in the V2 model in terms of physical design actually is compensated by efficiency and sound, so I will still say that it still is a major upgrade from how it was to how it is. True that Trinity Audio decided to take a few things out, but allow me to justify it with my point of view plus to add my take as to how much better it is from the first iteration.

Without further ado, let’s get on with it. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Vyrus V2”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Master 6

I will have to be truthful, but this took a while, but then again, it is finally here! The Master 6 by Trinity Audio has got to be one of the most reasonably priced IEMs given the number of drivers it contains (2 balanced armature drivers while the rest is Trinity Audio’s featured dual coil dynamic drivers) against its price. Pretty much brags a lot, doesn’t it, but this gem is not all about the drivers. It is more of what these drivers can deliver and how much it harmonizes to muster a really nifty listening experience.

The Master 6 was offered a year ago and was supposed to come out towards the end of the year, but due to some roadblocks encountered by Trinity Audio along the way, the Master 6 got push back several times. One would then expect that given these roadblocks, the IEM has got to sound really good.  Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Master 6”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Vyrus

Given the usually exorbitant cost of the hobby, it is not unusual that people would seek for a gear that would be just smack right in their budget while aiming for something nice sounding or fancy. Thus the proliferation of budget gears to fit the needs of the general population of the enthusiasts. However, once in a while you will come across something that is truly good that you will wonder how it broke the market by coming up with such an ingenious design of a gear for a fraction of its due price. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Vyrus”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Hyperion

Speaking of budget-fi gears, there will always be some compromises to accept when dealing with such. It may be in the case of the build of the gear wherein you will have to take extra care of the gear so as not to break it, or some compromises on the sound quality of the gear, or it can even be in the form of comfort while using it. As it is, it will just be entirely up to the user as to which ones are non-negotiable and which ones can be tolerated. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION: Trinity Audio Hyperion”

BUS RIDE IMPRESSION:Acquiring Gears

Hello and welcome to another edition of Bus Ride Impression! I have had several reviews tucked on me trusty belt and I thought of veering away just for the mean time from such as I cook more for the next episodes. Continue reading “BUS RIDE IMPRESSION:Acquiring Gears”