TRI Starlight Tribrid Flagship IEM Review: A Highly Detailed Experience!!
TRI followed the latest trend of Tribrids and EST drivers with its flagship Starlight that was released last year. It has been leading the fantastic product range of TRI Audio with a price tag of 799.99$. The pair houses an excellent seven-driver tribrid configuration featuring four EST drivers, two balanced armatures, and a CNT dynamic driver unit. The pair got some rave reviews from famous YouTubers such as Z reviews, which got me excited and I ended up buying a pair for myself. Today I am gonna share my unboxing and initial impressions of this beautiful pair. For technical details and key features refer to the TRI Starlight store page here.
About TRI Audio:-
TRI Audio was founded back in 2018 as a sub-brand to KBEar but focusing primarily on mid to high-tier of IEMS. They released their first IEM in 2019, the TRI I3 that is one of the most successful Planar driver IEMs in the market even today. The brand has always focused on delivering well-designed beautiful IEMs with high-quality sound performance to cater to the needs of audiophiles. Starlight is their flagship pair coming at 799.99$ with premium driver configuration under its sleeve. Let’s begin with the unboxing now.
Package & Accessories:-
The Starlight comes in very simple packaging. It’s a rectangular black box with just the golden TRI logo on the front. Inside we have the beautiful earpieces sitting firmly along with a beautiful silver carry case and two pairs of foam ear tips on the front. The included cable and several pairs of silicone ear tips are kept safely inside the carry case.
The presentation of Starlight is minimalistic and simple with an elegant package. You can check out my unboxing of TRI Starlight on the HiFiGo YouTube channel below.
>Pair of TRI Starlight earphones.
>Standard 2-pin connector cable with a 3.5mm termination plug.
>Two pairs of foam tips.
>Nine pairs of silicone tips.
Design & Build Quality:-
The earpieces here have spectacular looks with a sparkly finish on the face panels and a transparent inner shell. Each earpiece of Starlight features a unique subtle design on the faceplates. Inner shell is completely transparent, one can easily see the neat placement of multiple driver units inside the cavities. The drivers are actually fitted well inside shells showing the excellent craftsmanship of TRI’s engineers keeping the shell size small even with seven drivers. One can also see multiple acoustic tubes from the drivers to the ear nozzle.
The entire cavity here is made with high-quality resin material providing them with a sturdy built while maintaining the lightweight of the earpieces. Included accessories such as the carry case, ear tips, and cable are also of very good quality. The cable feels rich and premium to hold, it doesn’t add much weight to the pair. It has standard 2-pin connectors and a 3.5mm termination plug.
Driving The TRI Starlight:-
Don’t go on the low impedance rating of the Starlight. The pair shines with better, powerful sources as compared to only smartphones. Smartphones can make sound at adequate volume levels but the output sounds bloated and distorted. Once we pair the Starlight with a decent enough source such as the FiiO M11 Pro Hi-res player, the pair shines with its brilliant sound performance. I personally textured the pair with a generic dongle over Mate 40 RS, Hidizs S9 with Mate 40 RS, FiiO M11 Pro, and iBasso DX300. The generic dongle did no good with the pair though Hidizs S9 added the required dynamics and technicalities to the output. Though I found the pair best with Hi-res players such as the FiiO M11 Pro and DX300 by iBasso. So in my opinion, Generic dongles/direct 3.5mm smartphone output won’t do justice to the Starlight. I suggest using it with at least a good dongle DAC/AMP such as Hidizs S9, Lotto PAW S1, Luxury & Precision W1, or with hi-res players such as DX160, M11 Pro, DX300, and more.
TRI Starlight has a superbly detailed sound presentation. The detail retrieval is just fantastic, each note on instruments shows its weight and has excellent separation. The pair has a reference-grade output with natural tonality and timbre. I don’t find the pair emphasizing any particular frequency rather it presents all-frequencies in a great tonal balance. The DD unit produces impactful lower end with quick, punchy mid-bass, and powerful sub-bass presentation. Mids have a slightly recessed presentation with well-detailed vocals and airy instrument presentation. Treble is sparkly with outstanding detail-retrieval presenting ultimate clarity in instruments. Treble has an extra bit of sparkle that might not suit treble-sensitive people, though for me I liked the engaging presentation with the pair.
Starlight has a tight and punchy lower-end presentation. It complements the other frequencies with its punchy mid-bass response and a powerful rumble in the sub-bass region. Even with such deep punches, the lower end is controlled well within its region. Even with bass-heavy tracks such as Bad Guy by Billie Eilish the bass doesn’t feel overpowering or bleeding into the mid-frequencies presenting a clean, crisp overall output. I find the output decently punchy enough and not to the level of calling it a bass head IEM. The bass punches here are refined and carry a well-defined texture. It adds to the immersive sound output of the Starlight.
Starlight show ultimate clarity in the treble portion thanks to four EST drivers. The pair has a lively, energetic, and sparkly high-frequency response that presents superb detailing in instruments. Each instrument note can be heard separately with such high-detailing presenting a very enjoyable sound experience to the users. Treble sensitive people might find it slightly over powerful though that can be controlled with EQ apps too. But I personally loved the brilliant detail retrieval of the pair.
Mid-Frequencies take a step back and sound slightly recessed with good clarity. Vocals and instruments have a natural timbre and tonality that sounds just amazing. Both male and female vocals are crisp and have a rich tonality. With complementing bass and highly detailed instruments the mid-frequencies are complemented well in the output.
Soundstage and Instrument Separation:-
Starlight has a wide soundstage presentation with a good sense of depth and height. The pair excel in technicalities of the output such as imaging, layering, and tonal balance presenting an excellent overall performance.
Tri Starlight is an instant favorite for me with decent looks, brilliant instrument detailing, ultimate clarity, and punchy lower-end response. I always love when IEMs deliver quality instrument separation and detail. The tonal balance of the pair is another point in its favor. The only thing I find wrong with the pair is its very simple packaging and slight extra sparkle in the treble portion other than that it is a fantastic pair to own. You can check out more details on the HiFiGo store page here.