As an avid trance & progressive listener, one area of the spectrum that can never go overlooked/undermined is the low frequencies. Having owned the entire top tier Monster series (Gold, Copper, MDT), I'll admittedly say it: I'm a basshead, loud and proud. However, that doesn't necessarily translate to me being biased towards bass-light or even bass-neutral earphones. I know a good sound when I hear one. Speaking of which, to my ears, the Atrio's deliver, and oh do they ever!
For a few days time, I took the opportunity to read up on potential competitors to my beloved MDT's. While I'm quite fond of the MDT's, they're hardly perfect; in fact, nothing ever is to be quite honest. Of the infamous bass-centric IEM's, there are quite a few names that immediately come to mind, including (but certainly not limited to) the IE8's, EX1000's, FX700's, the Monster lineup, DDM/DDM2, Eterna, Hippo VB, and the list goes on... Fortunately, based upon my findings, it wasn't at all difficult for me to narrow down my selection, owing to the fact that fit/seal & isolation are deal breakers for me. Hence long story short, my attention almost immediately fell upon the Atrio M5, with the latest MG7 dynamic drivers.
Were it not for the Monster eartip adapters, I'd have simply overlooked many top tiers, which fail to offer a decent seal, given the included tips, which from my experience, rarely ever offer a good fit/seal combination. It's really that one or two pair of tips I keep aside as my exclusive tips, irrespective of the IEM. Using the aforementioned eartip adapters, I was yet again able to use my Monster tri-flanges, with my new Atrios. When worn cable down, the Atrio's offer a sub-par seal, which I couldn't bare with for longer than 2 minutes. Fotrunately, the length of the y-cable extends comfortably so and allows for a more than reasonable over-the-ear fit. With the tri-flanges in place, and the Atrio's now worn over-the-ear, I begin my listening.
The very first song I chose to listen to brings out the full bass potential in any IEM I've come to test. Quite literally, from the moment my mouse clicked on the play icon, I felt the vibrations of every single low frequency note, like I never had before. I was in complete awe! I immediately thought to myself, were my MDT's this efficient? So after a few minutes of absolute euphoria, I A/B'ed the MDT's and Atrios, to which I was able to pin-point exactly which areas it was that the M5's shined. There is a massive mid-bass hump with the MDT's, one that's literally non-existent with the M5's. The M5's strength is packed almost entirely in its sub-bass, and rightfully so. As fond as I am of the MDT's (even to this day), it wasn't but 2 minutes that the M5's replaced them altogether. Bare in mind however, I hold both in equal regards, and as is always the case, it's a matter of preference, and nothing but.
The mids fall right into place, though I can see where some may perceive them as ever so slightly recessed, when in direct comparison to the rest of the spectrum that is. To my ears, that's hardly the case. I find them neutral, at best. In other words, they're not at all forward, nor are they recessed to the point where the midrange goes unappreciated. That's far from the truth, and is made apparent to me when mid-vocals come into play. They're quite pleasant, and there is absolutely no midrange bleed whatsoever, which is what sets them apart from the Monster series altogether.
With respect to the treble, it's amongst the most neutral/non-fatiguing I've come to hear, of any bass-centric IEM I've ever owned. Much like the mids, it's neutral at best, and sibilance is pleasantly non-existent. The soundstage bears more depth than width, no doubt about it. Regardless, the width is completely satisfying, and complements the depth very well IMO. As with most other bass-centric IEM's, the Atrio is no exception in that it bears an overall warm presentation, which coming from the SM3's, was nothing short of what I had hoped for. YMMV!
While it's true that there are many top tiers that offer better overall sonic performance, the Atrio is undoubtedly first class in what it's channeled to be, as a sub-bass monster. More capable than even IEM's nearly 3 times it's cost in that very regard, it's a dead easy winner in my book! It's even forced me to list my beloved MDT's for sale (until next time my friend), and I simply refuse to look back, period! They're not nearly as unnattractive as they appear to be, especially if you are able to acquire the special edition wood finish.
If you're in the market for one of the absolute best (if not THE best) bass-centric IEM, look no further. As the bass impact hits, you'll feel every note, and even feel the low frequency vibrations when the track calls for it, as if there's quite literally a subwoofer within your ear canal, without any midrange bleed. I haven't been able to take them out since the day they arrived, and I'm speaking quite literally. My listening sessions now begin with the Atrio's and end with the Atrio's, at least until my JH16’s get here hopefully mid July. In all honesty, I've even found it easier to finish my workload, because if and when I'm in the mood to procrastinate, I instead refuse to get up from my seat until at least the track finishes; a feeling no other top tier (excluding the SM3) has brought me to date.
Cheers and happy listening my friends!