TRI i ONE English Review


Risky Reference




Construction and Design




  • Technically they are very good.
  • Level of definition and resolution.
  • Bass quality.




  • W-polarised profile, which moves away from the balance and homogeneity of an audiophile reference product.
  • Penetrating sound in the mid-highs and first treble, which can be tiring.
  • Its design does not fit the morphology of my ears.
  • Exaggerated packaging in size.


Purchase Link


Link to the Store




As many of you already know, TRI is something like KBEAR’s premium brand. This time, I am going to review the i ONE, which is the top of the range product using a single dynamic driver. A member of the i-series, this is a product that is over 300€ in price. It uses a powerful N52 NdFeB magnet for its 10mm driver with a PET carbon diaphragm. It has been manufactured in aluminium alloy under a 5-axis CNC machine. Its surface is anodised. It has a galvanised mirror coating and uses a 2.5D curved glass on its outer face. The cable is a TRI Wolfram cable with 4 shielded pure silver OFC cores, which have a thick textile coating. Finally, it is worth mentioning that they come with the new TRI Clarion silicone tips.


I want to thank KeepHiFi for making this review possible and especially SenyorC from the blog:


Thanks to him I have been able to review this exclusive product.





  • Driver Type: External magnetic circuit with 10mm dynamic driver, N52 NdFeB magnet and PET carbon diaphragm.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108dB@1kHz
  • Impedance: 24Ω
  • Jack connector: 3.5mm gold-plated
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2Pin 0.78mm
  • Capsule Material: Aluminium alloy.
  • Cable length 120cm ± 3cm.
  • Cable Material: 4 shielded pure silver OFC cores.





The TRI i ONE comes in a huge box, measuring 240x169x69mm. It is white. The few letters are grey. On the front only i ONE and a slogan. On the back a few specifications in several languages. It opens like a book, but has flaps on one side and the other. On the right flap is a BN photograph of the floor of what could be a band stage, or a studio. The interior colour is bright orange. There is a plate with another photograph, this time in colour, of a deer. Above is the TRI logo. The interior is made of velvet-covered foam. There are several compartments containing the capsules, a couple of orange cardboard boxes with the cable, and other accessories. The tips are in dedicated blister packs and, finally, there is a large orange leather box. The summary of the contents is as follows:


  • The 2 TRI i One capsules.
  • 1 cable.
  • 1 brush.
  • 1 green cloth.
  • 1 blister pack with Clarion Tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • 1 blister pack with Balanced Tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • 1 leather case.
  • 1 cloth bag to protect the capsules.


The packaging is very large, living up to its premium status, but it is overkill.
Although the storage box is large, the cable makes it slightly difficult to store the product inside. The pouch to protect the capsules is appreciated, but impractical. Only for those who are very meticulous in this regard.



Construction and Design


TRI wanted to stand out from the crowd and took a risk with the design, especially with the size of the capsule and the protrusion of the rim. But I will discuss this aspect in the next section.
The capsules are made of aluminium alloy and have a shiny micro-sandblasted surface, which is very eye-catching and attractive. The logo is on the rim, next to the 2Pin connection. Nearby, on the outer side there are two holes. There is another hole at the base of the nozzles. These have three levels and are protected by a perforated metal part. The outer face has a 2.5D glass, with a mirror surface. The name of the model is written on the inside and it has a pattern made in one half, with vertical rectangles of different lengths.
The cable is called TRI Wolfram and consists of 4 shielded pure silver OFC cores. It has a textile coating for each strand and is quite thick. The connector is 3.5mm gold-plated. The sleeve is metallic, hexagonal shaped and black. It has the logo and branding in white ink on one side. The divider is the same, but shorter. The pin is a black metal ring. The connectors are black cylinders with bevelled rings in blue and bright red and polished, all metal. The 2Pin 0.78mm connection is mounted on a translucent hard plastic plate.
The shape of the capsules resembles a triangle with rounded corners. The presumed face of the larger cathetus has two flat parts of unequal size. Overall, it is a small but fat capsule. The inner face is neither flat nor rounded. They wanted to make a rising curve that ends in a rim/protrusion that anchors above the fold of the pinna. The problem is that this capsule is small and does not fit my morphology.
I don’t understand how a premium cable and product doesn’t have a balanced plug option.
Overall, the look is really premium, very neat and very well finished. The design is elegant, but fails in the ergonomics applied to my particular morphology.



Adjustment and Ergonomics


Because of the above mentioned, the anchor protrusion does not reach its destination. In length, it does not go beyond my antihelix. What’s more, it bumps directly against it, causing continuous discomfort. On the other hand, the choice of tips has not been easy. I tried to find some tips that would allow a deeper insertion, with the intention that the capsules would «float», to move them far enough away from my ears so that there would be no contact with the antihelix. I was able to find some very large bi-flange tips from the old Rose Mini2 MKII 2.0. With them I got the best sound and the best fit, but this design is not comfortable at all.
The weight of the cable and its thickness don’t help the comfort either. So this section has a clear failure, at least, in my particular case. And it’s not that I have a special morphology, as normally I almost never have problems in this aspect. To give an example, the Campfire Solaris, due to their large size, I couldn’t wear them for more than half an hour. By that I mean that these things happen even in the best houses.







The TRI i ONE could be said to have a W-profile because it has three clear peaks in its frequency response. The first is located in the sub-bass, the second above 2.5kHz and the third above the dreaded 5kHz. The conjunction of the last two peaks, which are at the same level, causes the sound to veer towards brightness. An attempt is made to compensate with a powerful sub-bass, but the double excitation of the second V makes the sound predominantly «bright», to say the least.
On the other hand, in my opinion, this profile is not the most suitable for a premium IEMS, which is the reference of the brand. Whenever I think of a flagship model, I always imagine a more balanced, homogeneous and, it must be said, audiophile frequency response.





You have to admit that TRI has managed to make a good dynamic driver for the bass. Qualitatively speaking, it is very good. It has almost everything you would expect from it: power, punch, depth, sensory response, forcefulness, presence, cleanliness, speed, layering and dynamism. I just miss a little more texture, a little more sensory and a little deeper, if that’s possible. It is agile in its execution, quick in its decay, there is hardly any aftertaste, it is clean with the mids and is very capable with complex passages. Its ability shows in bad recordings, with unfiltered bass, with complicated bass lines and difficult to execute. The i One has had no problem dealing with such challenges and has handled them all in an exemplary manner. There is no hint of hesitation, no unwanted rumble, no distortion. Moreover, it is able to cope with a good level of volume without complaining at all. I have put these TRIs through some tough bass tests, where many of my IEMS in my collection suffer greatly. Whereas the i ONE’s have always responded in an exemplary manner. It seems like that should be the norm. But mixing high volume, with dirty and almost exaggerated bass, is not always a good combination for IEMS. And that’s where I have to rate these TRIs with an excellent grade in this section.
Nor can I forget the level of precision, definition, detail, even the light and clarity of the area. Qualities that undoubtedly confirm the value of a great dynamic bass driver.





The steep W tuning is not the best way to represent the midrange. After a noticeable drop from the sub-bass, the inequality between the lowest part of the first half and the highest part of the upper-mids is about 14db according to my own measurement. The first part of the midrange suffers from these consequences and the remoteness of its presentation is noticeable. This is particularly evident in the male vocals and the instrumentation in this area. The drums, some of the guitars, brass instruments and some other string instruments, as well as the male vocals, can sound a little soft, light, distant, lacking in physicality and body. They have a bright timbre, lacking sedimentation. However, they are very well articulated and when they are on their own they are remarkably well executed, with good nuance, detail, even texture. But they lack a denser base and a more emancipated projection. The female voices can become piercing and sharp, as can the upper frequencies of these instruments, as well as the rest. Something that causes fatigue, even discomfort, at times. These are not IEMS that I would choose for long listening.
On the other hand, the overexposure of the upper mids and first highs means that when these come into play, the micro details of the lower mids are left behind and are lost. This is a technical driver, with very good resolution, which makes the mids very detailed. But the tuning does not allow it to reach excellence, nor to extract all the potential it possesses. Thus, depending on the genre or even the song played, the i ONE can be very good or sound hollow, due to the remoteness of the first part of the midrange and the higher presence of bass, upper-mids and first treble. In this way, the great work done by the driver is diluted by an unbalanced and focused profile in certain frequency ranges.
Despite all this, this is not an IEM that emphasises detail over substance. In this case, despite the low density of the midrange presentation, it is not a clearly analytical IEM, although it is remarkable technically speaking, in terms of precision, speed, agility and dynamics. But the low homogeneity of this range prevents a greater brilliance and a more balanced exposition of all the music.





The treble is preceded by an excited upper-mid range and has a high initial sparkle. Then there is a relatively clear decay, a classic manner of controlling the zone. In this way, the presentation is flashy, bright, crisp, becoming sharp and marked at times. The sibilance remains on the edge, at the limit of what is acceptable. But it makes the sound fatiguing and exposed. The extension is simply good, although the airy feel is not very high. Thus the treble is penetrating, powerful, but focused on the first part. It loses delicacy, again because of this particular presence and affects the rest of the centre frequencies, because it overpowers them.
Again, technically very competent, the treble details are present, although they mask those midrange nuances, because of their higher level of exposure and closeness.



Soundstage, Separation


The soundstage is wide, has good height, but is average for its price. The depth struggles with the closeness of the upper-mids and first highs. These anchor the scene, bringing it too close. Details that should be more volatile are presented in the foreground, very close to the listener. While some of the instrumentation and vocals are in a middle distance that is not real. A sense of air is lost because of this attachment of nuances and the logical/natural order of the presentation is reversed. The staging feels somewhat forced in that sense, although the clarity is very high, as is the level of transparency. Technically very good, in aspects of resolution and definition, nuances are lost depending on the frequency ranges, by superimposing those frequencies on others. The separation is also noticeable, but the second half of the upper-mids and the first highs concentrate and concentrate the information, generating a somewhat uneven exposure. Again, depending on the song, everything can vary, so they are not good all-rounders. These IEMS are selective with musical styles and songs.





TFZ Tequila PRO


I like to compare similar profiles in order to be able to determine differences between IEMS and to be able to evaluate them better. In this case, I have nothing more similar than the TFZ Tequila PROs. Their frequency response is very similar. While the TFZs can be found for $179, the TRIs can be found for $249.
Starting with the design and construction issues, I like the TFZs very much and they are completely made of metal. It is a cylindrical design of a good diameter, with sloping nozzles. It is also not without controversy in its ergonomics, but I have to say that they fit me perfectly. However, the TRIs, as I have already mentioned, have much worse ergonomics for me, more uncomfortable and less compatible with my anatomy. Despite the beauty of the i ONE, I prefer the mix of simplicity and elegance of the TFZ.
The profile is remarkably similar, both are W-tuned, both have dynamic drivers. The TFZs house a dynamic driver with a Tesla magnetic group and 11.4mm diamond diaphragm. On the other hand, the TRI i ONE have an external magnetic circuit with 10mm dynamic driver, N52 NdFeB magnet and PET carbon diaphragm. The TFZs are characterised by the fact that they require very little power to deliver great sound performance. The i ONEs are harder to move, but not too hard either. But the differences are clear in this respect.
If there was one thing TFZ knew how to do well, it was dynamic bass drivers. In that sense, TFZ has always been a reference. And it makes things very difficult for a great low end like the i ONE. To be honest and after many tests and quick comparisons, I could say that the TFZ are slightly superior. The bass is more concise and tighter, while the TRIs are subtly more rubbery. Both have a very similar demeanour, presence, execution and timbre, but I think the TFZs sound a little more sensory and the i ONEs sound more rounded. But there are far more similarities than differences. At the limit, the i ONEs have a superior technical point, with a bit more control, precision and resolution. While the TFZs have a more visceral, punchy feel, moving more air, but also booming more.
The technical competence of the TRIs shows in the mids. The TFZs sound a bit muddier and more shaded, something that can be felt in male vocals. While the TRIs always maintain a lot of clarity, transparency and definition, the TFZs feel less resolved, although the timbre is more pleasant, comparatively warmer and not as bright. Despite the technical loss, it is more musical and enjoyable. It also has a little more body and density. In the upper-mids it’s the same: I still find the TRIs more penetrating. Being more analytical, having more definition and resolution, their notes are thinner, more separated, but also more piercing. In that sense, they are more demanding and harder in a particularly sensitive area. With more technical expertise, being more suitable for monitoring, the TFZs are a little more homogeneous and permissive.
In the upper range, a few things remain the same: the treble of the TFZs is rounder, a bit more linear and extended. Whereas in the TRIs they are thinner, sound sharper, crisper, brighter and slimmer. Again, the pattern of technicality vs. musicality is maintained, if this analogy can be allowed in a clearly exalted W-profile.
The i ONEs, being technically superior, are able to go a step further in the recreation of detail, reaching a more micro point. Comparatively speaking, the TFZs are a notch rounder, but the fact that they are less penetrating and somewhat more «balanced» allows them to offer a palette of detail at other frequencies where the TRIs overlap.
At the price point of the i ONE, I demand a higher amount of scenery from them. In this respect, both are similar. But the greater separation, volatility and finesse of the notes offer a freer feel in the TRIs. Although there seems to be more depth in the TFZs. Compared one to one, the TRIs are better on stage, in separation, clarity and transparency, offering a sense of taking up more space. The TFZ’s seem more conjoined and dense, their better homogeneity softening the exposure, reducing it comparatively speaking.
Having the profile covered with the Tequila Pro, I wouldn’t buy the TRI and ONE, unless I really liked the profile and I was looking for a technical superiority, taking into account that their ergonomics may or may not fit the morphology of each one of us.





Previously, I have reviewed TRI products that I really liked, such as the Meteor, the KAI and the TK-2 DAC/AMP. And I really expected the new i ONE to be a great product, living up to its price and top of the range status. But I think TRI has taken a risk. First, because the i ONE’s design means that its ergonomics are not universal. I will have tried about 100 IEMS and only a few units have not fit me well. The TRI i ONE has been one of them. Secondly, they have a very pronounced W-profile, which takes them away from the balance and homogeneity that I would expect from a reference IEMS.
The TRI i ONE are technically very good, I would say excellent. With a performance, definition and resolution fully in line with their price, even higher. But I think that their profile detracts from the true potential of the driver they have and leaves me wondering how far they could have gone, with a more homogeneous and balanced tuning in their central range. On the other hand, all this is just a personal opinion, because if the profile of the i ONE fits any enthusiast, it would be difficult to find something better.



Sources Used During the Analysis


  • Aune Flamingo.
  • Earmen Angel.
  • TempoTec Variations V6.
  • Hidizs AP80 PRO-X Red Copper Limited Edition.
  • ACMEE MF02s.