Pros: Quality bass; wide soundstage; good timbre in mids; controlled trebles; excellent details
Cons: More than 200 hours burn in; ruthlessly transparent; bass and soundstage not as deep as Ref1
As stated elsewhere, for the longest time I have been more familiar with Tralucent Audio as the makers of the Uber cable as well as its silver/gold cable. both of which I have terminated for Fitear customs. I have owned the 1plus2 for for more than a month now. My 1Plus2 comes with the silver/gold cable. As with its younger sibling, the 1Plus2 needs at least 200 hours to hit the sweet spot. One thing which all owners of the 1Plus2 never fail to talk about is the sheer soundstage of this IEM. This soundstage is apparent even from the outset. The other thing which owners constantly rave about is the tight bass of the 1Plus2.
The 1Plus2, as you may have guessed from its name, uses one dynamic driver with a pair of balanced armature drivers. It is a hybrid IEM.
First Impressions & a Second Meeting
I will be the first to admit that the first time that I met the 1Plus2, it was after a 15 hour flight from NYC and my ears were still recovering from the flight. Spkrs01 had very kindly met me on Boxing Day to hand me the Tralucent silver/gold cable for Fitears. Of course, he tempted me by whipping out a Uber as well. But that is a story for another day...
Spkrs01 also produced a brand new 1Plus2 and asked if I would like to try. I put it on and listened to a couple of passages on my DAP. At that point in time, the 1Plus2 did not make me sit up and take notice. Blame it on the jet lag, ears not fully popped or having the Fitear 435 and AKG K3003.
The second time I had a chance to listen to the 1Plus2 was again when I met Spkrs01. This time he had a fully burnt in one which had clocked well in excess of 200 hours. This time around, the 1Plus2 blew me away as I listened to DSD music on the balanced output on the AK240: That soundstage! The grip of the mids and the purity of the sig! I wanted it; and it was mine. That was how I came to own the 1Plus2.
Build Quality & Comfort
As I had indicated previously, by this time, I had stopped buying universals because I found that Fitear customs fit me so well and were so comfortable. As with the Ref 1, I was surprised how comfortable the 1Plus2 were. Unlike the Ref 1 (which I prefer with Spin Fits), I am very happy using the 1Plus2 with Ortofons. The interesting thing is that although there have been some complaints that the 1Plus2 is less comfortable than the Ref 1, I found that the 1Plus2 fit my ears much better. With the Ref 1, I actually have to do some adjustment. While with the 1Plus2, I plonk the tips in and that is it: perfect seal.
I will say that I am also happy with the build quality of the 1Plus2. No issues here.
The Tralucent silver/gold cable is perhaps unfortunate to find itself in the same family as the Uber cable. In any other company, the silver/gold would be the flagship cable. That it is not is down to not so much its lack of quality but rather because it stands next to the superlative Uber. While there have been some concerns expressed about the ergonomics etc of this cable, I feel that the payback in terms of excellent sound quality far outweighs any inconvenience of a stiff cable. Of course, I will be frank and say that I can't say that it is any worse than the stock 001 Fitear cable.
Music Genres & Sound Quality
I am blessed to have an abundance of riches insofar as my music collection is concerned: it covers a wide range of genres from the Tallis Scholars (medieval church music) to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, to Mandopop to Popera to K-pop.
The 1Plus2, with proper burn in, handles all the genres in my music repertoire very nicely. Of course, what is outstanding about the 1Plus2 is its unrivalled soundstage. It even has a 3D soundstage which is eclipsed only by the Ref 1. The 1Plus2 also has a very tight bass with deep impact. Again, this bass is eclipsed by the visceral sub bass of the Ref 1. Unlike some other IEMs with significant soundstage, the 1Plus2 does not suffer from being overly bright or harsh trebles. Once, burnt in, the 1Plus2 displays none of these issues which plague other IEMs: the 1Plus has smooth and clear treble.
While I have seen the sig of the 1Plus2 being characterised as V shaped, I cannot help but wonder if too many of us have grown up listening to rather mid forward cans and therefore anything which is not mid forward is then characterised as having recessed mids. From my perspective, I find the 1Plus2 very balanced: everything is kept in the appropriate proportion to the other parts.
What I do like about the 1Plus2 is that the mids have great clarity and timbre. There is a great rawness in emotions I always feel when I listen to strings on it. The 1Plus2 is no slouch in terms of voices either. In fact, I do love the purity it renders on vocals.
The 1Plus2 has one characteristic which may be good or bad depending on the quality of your chain: it is very neutral, detailed and transparent. If there are any shortcomings in the music files or sources, you can be sure that you will hear them.
The 1Plus2 is quite versatile with DAPs. In fact, it is fantastic with the notoriously finicky Tera Player. Other than the usual suspects like the HM 901, HM 802, Calyx M, and AK240, the 1Plus2 is also very good with the HM 801 and HM 603 which have what is commonly characterised as warmer sigs. Of course, my view is that they are more mid-centric than anything else. This of course plays right up to the strength of the 1Plus2 with its pure and emotive mids.
The lesson I learnt in my journey to the Tralucent 1Plus2 is that we should look beyond first impressions. I did and I have reaped the rich rewards of having the 1Plus2.