General Information

The new flagships from TRI. A brilliantly tuned set which differs from analytical TRI Starlights and Starseas but is no less competent.

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Latest reviews

voja

500+ Head-Fier
New flagship, new approach, new sound
Pros: Stunning design
Build quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Balanced lows
Mid-centric (my favorite)
Warmth in mids
Highs are extended well enough to provide sheen, but don't reach sparkle (can be either a con or a pro, depends on personal preference)
Airy
Apparently has a very similar frequency response to an IEM 7x its price
Cons: Cable definitely could've been better
Large physical size could throw some people off
Balanced lows can feel underwhelming at times. Obviously in electronic music, but there is also an "oomph" missing in some stringed instruments
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TRI is back at it once again. After making a statement with its flagship Starlight, TRI has introduced a new flagship: Starshine. Not only is Starshine the company’s new flagship, but it’s also cheaper than the Starlight model. It comes with a simpler driver-array that is inferior in quantity, but still remains the quality. TRI is on a wild run, they just released their entry-level Aurora and also announced on Facebook that they are going to have more releases by the end of the year. Either way, let’s dig into where the Starshine shines.

Unboxing Experience

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If we are talking about the packaging as a whole, it’s average. This is not where the budget went, which is something I’m happy to say. The Starshine’s box comes in a purple-ish cover that revolves around the galaxy theme. The front features the company’s logo, model name, and a message “Shine like stars, providing exquisite sounds”. Once you slide off the cover, you will be met with a much familiar glittery black box, in which you will find all the goodies.

Formal format of what’s in the box:
1x 2.5mm cable
5x ear-tips (L/M/M/SM/S)
3x angled adaptors (2.5mm to 3.5mm, 2.5mm to 3.5mm Pro, 2.5mm to 4.4mm)
1x cleaning cloth
1x carrying case

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Design

Once again, TRI does not disappoint. We have yet to see the KB Ear company to disappoint with their design. From their least priced IEMs, all the way up to their most expensive, the design is always on point. In the case of Starshine, there is a more nature-like theme going on. The shells on their own are some of the most beautiful I have seen. I’m one of those people who is a fan of resin art in IEMs, and this is one great example of how a good design should look like. Each model is unique with its own resin pattern. Speaking of it, it consists of a glittery brown, blue, and white paint mix. What is nice is that the glitter isn’t everywhere, it’s only in certain parts, and this greatly contributes to the eye-candy final finish. I have to say that they heavily remind me of the most gorgeous headphones on the planet — Rosson Audio RAD-0. Besides the resin art, there is a TRI logo on the faceplate in a shiny finish.

TRI is keeping up with the current trends and opted for 2-pin connectors instead of MMCX connectors that were previously used on the TRI i3. Further supporting this statement, the new i3 Pro appears to feature 2-pin connectors. Much like its bigger brother Starlight, Starshine continues the flagship tradition of utilizing electrostatic drivers. It features a quad-driver setup which consists of 2 BA (Knowles 29689 for the mid-range and Knowles 22955 for the low frequency range) + 2 EST (Sonion). For the comparison sake, Starlight featured 1 DD (CNT) + 2 BA + 4 EST (Sonion 2389).

Starhine’s shell features no vent holes, but doesn’t suffer from any driver flex issues. In similar fashion, its nozzle doesn’t have a lip, but also doesn’t have the problem of ear-tips falling off. Speaking of the nozzle, it is of a soft triangular shape with three large holes. Because there is no grill or mesh below the nozzle, you must make sure to take good care of it. The last thing you want is your ear wax to make its way into the drivers… Yikes!

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Build Quality & Cable

The material of choice for the shells is resin. More specifically, they are made of imported German resin that has skin-friendly benefits. Though the shells are made of resin, do not mistake them for resin filled shells — which as the name suggests, are filled with resin inside. Starshine has a hollow resin shell that results in a lightweight design without compromising build quality. It should be mentioned that this is not a small IEM, far from it. It’s a very large in size, so I’m suspecting it would be quite a bit heavier if it had a resin filled housing. But then again, it’s about preference. Some prefer their IEMs heavy and solid, others prefer them light. For a daily driver, I prefer the latter.

The cable is slightly different version of KB EAR’s Rhyme model. It is a high purity 8-core copper and silver mix cable. Whereas the original Rhyme has stainless steel housings, Starshine’s cable has chrome housings. If you ask me, it’d be much better off with the original cable. KB Ear is known for amazing cables, so it is kind of disappointing to not see one of them here. I think chrome and shiny surfaces are the last thing you want on something that will constantly be touched… I dearly love my TRI i3’s but they are fingerprint magnets. If I can send a piece of feedback to TRI, let it be in this part of the review. I don’t mind the 8-core cable, it’s light, flexible, and feels nice. However, I think it would’ve been much, much nicer if we saw the more premium models like the Inspiration series or the Grace series. Both of these models feature outstanding housings, but are also considerably more expensive. If there is one place to use your premium cables, it should be in your flagship models, so I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future. Otherwise, the standard KB Ear Rhyme model would’ve been just fine.

While not directed at Starshine specifically, the trend of using those rounded chin sliders (that don’t really do what they are supposed to) needs to stop. Every time I see one of these, I have the temptation to remove them. Hell, I prefer a cable with no chin slider, unless it stays in place and does what it is supposed to. This is definitely nitpicking, but for example, it would’ve been nice having gone with a chin slider like the on the Diamond.

Comfort & Fit

This is the second time that TRI hit the comfort bullseye. The first was with the i3 (the gigantic shiny IEM). Actually, TRI i3 is similar to the Starshine in a couple of different things. The big shell size is one of them. On the other hand, Starshine has improved the overall fit due to the different nozzle shape & angle. It should also be mentioned that both the TRI i3 and the Starshine protrude from the ear. Weight is where these two go their separate ways.

Starshine is a lightweight IEM, also making it a perfect choice for long listening sessions. Due to their large size, they never fully disappear, but they do disappear in the ear. The ergonomic shape contributes to the comfort because there are no pressure points on the pinna. The only reason why it cannot fully disappear is because there is a subtle pressure point on the tragus.

Bringing up the ergonomic shape once again, I can confidently say that the fit & insertion is deeper than on the TRI i3. However, the isolation is more relaxed than on the TRI i3, which provided a vacuum-like seal. I also want to take the opportunity to tell you that due to its vent-less design, if you do insert it deep and get a tight seal, make sure that you slowly take it out of your ears (opening your mouth/jaw helps a lot). If you aggressively remove the IEMs from your ear, you could very easily damage your ears and get an inflammation. How do I know? It happened to me 3 times in the past, and it is no fun.

Taking the size into consideration, I consider Starshine to be a perfect fit for my ear.

Sound Performance

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Lows

Oh my, is it nice to take rest from head-shaking IEMs and headphones. Don’t get me wrong, I adore any head-fi product that is capable of physical sensation of rumble, but sometimes you just want to focus on the mids and take a step back from the lows. This is what Starshine is to me, an IEM with a balanced lower-frequency response.

Starshine basically screams “Bassheads, be gone!”. As someone who primarily enjoys listening to intense vocals and acoustical, I greatly enjoyed the toned down quantity of lows. This is not to say that it lacks in quantity or quality!

Some may think that the attack & decay are slow due to the lack of dynamic drivers, but that’s not the case… at least for the most part. The attack is very fast and snappy, while decay is slightly slower. For example, on my standard test tracks (“Smoking Mirrors” — Lee Curtiss, “Hydrogen” — MOON), Starshine proved that it is capable of fast attack, but also proved its bass depth quality.

What I was not expecting is to hear the subtle rumble in the introduction of “Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys. If you have read my past work, you know that the majority of headphones and IEMs cannot pull off the depth of the drum kick. In fact, TRI i3 was the first IEM that I heard was capable of pulling it off.

I found the sub-bass response to be quite similar. If you are looking for the physical sensation of rumble, look elsewhere. Like other IEMs with a balanced lower-frequency response, Starshine is able to produce sub-tones in a manner where they are less audible but can still be felt. In comparison to a similar-sounding IEM — HiFiMan RE-800 Silver — Starshine has less quantity which contributes to an overall more balanced bass response. The tracks I used for sub-bass qualities are “Why So Serious?” by Hans Zimmer, “Theme for The Irishman” by Robbie Robertson, and “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. In the last track there is supposed to be a sub-tone on panned to the right, it should be audible at the very beginning on the song. The sub-tone comes from the reverb of the strings that are panned to the far left, however, on Starshine this frequency wasn’t audible.

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Mids

Without surprise, my favorite part about this IEM is its mid-range. I’d call this mid-range heaven, but it’s more widely known as a mid-centric sound signature.

What attracted me the most is the full-body of vocals. Thanks to the warm quality, vocals sound lush and can be enjoyed for long periods of time without any signs of fatigue. I could listen to Sia’s and Rosalía’s discography all day long. If I had to to pick two standout tracks from Sia, they would be “Chandelier (Piano Version)” and “Elastic Heart (Piano Version)”. There are a far too many outstanding and less-known Sia’s tracks that I adore, but there is something unique about these piano versions, a raw quality. However, it should be noted that if you are a lover of edge and aggressive vocals, Starshine will probably not satisfy you and you probably want to look for a set of brighter IEMs — like the TRI Starlight.

But what about strings? Well, they sound like strings… But they are missing some of that depth and “oomph” due to the balanced lower-frequency response, and they are also missing some of that sheen in the upper mid-range due to the present warmth. You win some, you lose some. You can’t have it all. You can’t truly make a warm headphone without the sacrifice of details and edge. Some of the tracks I listened to for the string qualities: “Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, “Go Insane” by Lindsey Buckingham, “Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, “End of the Game” (album) by Peter Green, “Beyond the Realms of Death” by Judas Priest, “Song of Bangladesh” by Joan Baez.

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That little green you see in the nozzle is what I believe is the Sonion EST driver

Highs

When I was very early into this hobby, I formed a misconception that I am treble sensitive. As I’ve become more experience and have gone through various different headphones and IEMs, I realized that I am a treble lover and more than that, a person who naturally prefers a bright sound signature. The main reason I was mislead to believe that I was treble sensitive is due to the erroneous stereotype that bright means piercing. Not only does bright have “nothing” to do with piercing, but it also has nothing to do with sibilant. Both of these terms refer to bad qualities, whereas bright should be associated with good qualities such as sparkle and sheen.

The main difference between piercing/sibilant qualities and sparkle/sheen is that the first two are unpleasant. The latter two are pleasant, though it depends on personal preference. A headphone that sounds peaky isn’t bright, it’s simply sibilant. Imagine listening to some gorgeous vocals and them sounding shouty. People will often use the term “bright” in all of these cases, but I strongly disagree.

With this being said, I noticed that many consider Starshine to be a bright-sounding IEM. While I agree it possesses sheen (a quality of a bright sound signature), it doesn’t necessarily sound bright to my ears.

As reference tracks for treble qualities, I used “Stop Trying to Be God” by Travis Scott, “Portia” by Miles Davis, and “Rocket Man” by Elton John.

In “Stop Trying to Be God” the focus point is Stevie Wonder’s harmonica, which starts right around the 4:44 minute mark and is present till the end of the track. There were sheen qualities present during the peaks, but I don’t think it reaches sparkle levels, which is what makes a headphone/IEM bright in my eyes. It’s a rather smooth bright treble response, never made me squint my eyes or tingle my ears. The same goes for the track “Portia”. Just for clarification purposes, when I say that it doesn’t reach sparkle levels, that should also be a direct indicator that at no point was there the slightest sign of sibilance.

The last track was used because it was referenced by The Headphone List as a track that showcased a [almost] piercing qualities in the hi-hats. Now, I am not mentioning this in a negative way, quite the opposite actually. I value fellow reviewers who take the time to break down a song and the qualities that are present in one. Music references in reviews are a crucial tool that allow both the reader and the listener to use the mentioned reference tracks to listen to the qualities described in the review. For example, when I listening to “Rocket Man”, I couldn’t hear qualities that would be anywhere close to sibilant. Are the hi-hats bright and sharp? Absolutely. However, I don’t think they stick out enough to make them sibilant or in the sparkle range.

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Soundstage & Imaging

One of the most prominent characteristics of Starshine is its airy nature. Don’t get me wrong, the soundstage width isn’t the widest out there, but it is above average. What I’m talking about is how “open” these IEMs sounds. The elements in the mix have enough room around them to breathe, allowing you to distinctly tell apart each element in a track. It’s not as though this is audible in few tracks, instead, in just about every track you can hear the airy nature.

Conclusion​

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TRI (premium brand of KBEAR) has once again proven that it is capable of manufacturing a product that lives up to its price. While the company made a strong statement of details with its Starlight, Starshine aims to follow the electrostatic route but with a smoother approach.

Though I myself enjoy an even brighter sound signature than the one present in Starshine, I think that its sound signature will satisfy way more people than if TRI went for a brighter approach (like they did for the Starlight).

Besides living up to its price, Starshine is a mid-centric IEM done right. I would heavily recommend these to anyone who is a lover of vocals. They are particularly enjoyable for long listening sessions due to their fatigue-free nature. Whether it’s essy tracks, edgy & aggressive vocals, sharp and bright percussion, Starshine never reaches near sibilance. From my experience, I find the overall upper-end quite smooth and fatigue-free, while the mids incorporate more warmth.

The combination of a balanced low-frequency response, present yet warm mids, and smooth highs is what I believe makes the Starshine a special IEM. It’s certainly a worthy consideration if you are after a mid-centric IEM under $500.

TRI Starshine retails for $499. KeepHiFi's current sale price is $469. You can get it for $422 (10% off) on KeepHiFi's website if you decide to use my code "voja". I am receiving a financial benefit if you decide to use the code. Non-affiliate link: https://keephifi.com/collections/in-ear-earphones/products/tri-starshine-2-electrostatic-drive-2ba-custom-iem

Setup used for testing:
iBasso DX300 + AMP11 MK1
Gain: Mid
Volume: 44 (the loudest I put the volume was 53)
Filter: NOS (D5)

Disclaimer: TRI Starshine has been sent to me free of charge by KeepHiFi. I am being compensated for the publishing of this review to KeepHiFi's website. The review is based on my personal listening experience, it is completely free of any bias from an external force (whether that's online hype, other people's opinion, or the manufacturer itself). I also want to state that I completely based the review on what my ears heard, my experience wasn't affected nor influenced by graphs/measurements. KeepHiFi played no role in the writing of this review (no bias).

I’ve never been a measurement guy, but if there is one time I’d like to put an emphasis on graphs and measurements, it will be now. All credit goes to RikudouGoku, who pointed out the similarity of TRI’s Starshine ($500) and Vision Ears’ Elysium ($3500). From his speculation, the FR of Starshine looks better. Also it’s impossible to overlook the similarity in the driver setup: Starshine (2BA + 2 EST), Elysium (1DD, 1BA, 2EST).

Also, hats off to Crinacle who supplied the graph:

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Last edited:
voja
voja
@CT007 TRI themselves announced that Starshine is their new flagship. I know for a fact that I read that coming directly from them
abheybir
abheybir
I got @CT007's point here, @voja Starlight is the flagship from TRI with 4 Electrostatic Driver+2BA+1DD configuration.
voja
voja
@abheybir Absolutely, I'm well aware of that.

However, I was just as confused when they announced that Starlight, a cheaper model, is their "new flagship".
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Mosauwer

100+ Head-Fier
TRI Starshine Review - Bright Shining Northstar
Pros: Clean
Colorful and musical
exciting and energetic
micro-detail retrieval
Fast bass with precise attack
Build and comfort
Full set of balanced cable
Cons: Upper-treble
Neutral tonal accuracy,
Stock ear tips

At first​

Let me thank Keephifi. This was a unit Sent from a friend from Keephifi for my honest review and opinion. Though I’ve got it for free, my opinions are honest. Because self-esteem is much more valuable than free earphones. So, this review will focus on my experience and finding of long-term use of TRI Starshine. So, this is actually my self-opinion. Moreover, I'll publish my video review on my youtube channel which is in Bangla. Your opinion may vary to your listening and circumstances. I believe music is a subjective thing and there is a lot to learn and listen to. So your precious opinions and suggestions are cordially appreciated. I learn every day and today I might understand something different. So flood my post's comment section.

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Let me introduce myself

Music, from the very childhood, is my first love. The day I started playing guitar, and the day I opted to play Ukulele, Music been with me at home or outside. Every now and then enjoyed music through my daily setup, smartphone, DAP, and so on. It's been five years, my journey through the path of music. I am fortunate enough to listen to many legendary headphones and earphones.
As music preference goes, I hear a lot of metal and rock songs. But as I have born in Bangladesh, my country's music library offers a lot more enriched genres. So I love to hear other genres too until it sounds awkward to me. So, Folk, classical, pop, melody, instrumental are also in my liking list.

The Brand:​


In the budget category, Kbear has been a strong name lately. TRI Audio is their premium counterpart who is actually focusing on $100+ earphones.
We’ve got several IEMs from TRI. I3, Starsea, Starlight are bright stars among them. Today the star of the show is TRI Starshine.


Tech inside:​

This gem is equipped with a hybrid quad-driver configuration. We are getting two Sonion EST drivers and two Knowles BA drivers.
The MRSP of TRI Starshine is $499.

purchase link: https://keephifi.com/collections/tri/products/tri-starshine-2-electrostatic-drive-2ba-custom-iem

Spec:​

  • Impedance: 56Ω
  • Connector: 0.78mm 2PIN
  • Color: blue
  • Frequency response range: 20-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Cable material: copper and silver-plated mixed braided cable
  • Drive unit: 2 electrostatic Drive+2BA
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Included in the box.​

  • TRI Starshine
  • 2-pin Cable with 2.5mm jack
  • 4.4mm and 3.5mm adapters
  • Carry case
  • Cleaning brush and cloth
  • Manual
I am loving that more and more manufacturers are providing balanced cable in the box with interchangeable modules. Though I praise the mechanism of the Dunu cable system more, TRI is no a slouch. The adapters are practical and obviously a step in the right direction.



Design & Build Quality:​



We all will consider that look and sound are both subjective. But I am 98% sure everyone will love the semi-custom look resin shell of TRI Starshine. Why 98%? 2% can complain about resin and what not. In short, it's a great-looking iem. The smoothed out inside and starry, galactic look, the blueish finish has made me mesmerized. The build and design scream its premium and beautiful. It has a perfect size, and its weight is exceptionally less than the acquired look expectation. There is a translucent black bottom where you can see the drivers easily. The Blue colored Swirl design has the TRI logo on top of the faceplate. Nozzles are on the shorter side. So, tip insertion is a key aspect of TRI starshine.

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Cable:​


Stock Cable with TRI Starshine is KBEAR’s Rhyme 2-pin Copper and Silver-Plated mixed braided balanced cable. The final termination is a 2.5mm balanced jack. But it adapts 2 quality, right-angled adapters (4.4mm and 3.5mm). Adapters are made outta plastic and metal but I would appreciate a direct 4.4mm cable more. However, I should add that the adapters work perfectly without adding any extra bulk to the cable. With the MSRP I would crave better cable.
But there are no noticeable microphonic. Overall I like the softness of it. It wraps & unwinds like an ideal daily driver. The cable didn’t get tangled much.


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Case:​


There is a case inside the box, which is flex leather. I am sure it's not as practical as others in the market. The TRI Starshine barely fits in the case. I have seen the exact same case with TRI Starsea which is a $130 iem. So, we can demand a better case with a half kilo buck priced iem next time.


Fitting and Comfort​


I love the shape of you.. Ahemm. I love the shape of TRI Starshine. It has a semi-custom vibe with it. The shell is extra nice & very lightweight. So comfort is not an issue with average to large ears. But we have to admit everyone’s ear anatomy is different. I gave it to more than 4 of my friends who had no issue with the fit. I’ve used stock Kbear tips (white), Final E series, Final e series clear, Sony hybrid, and a few Spinfit models. My experience was best with the Sony hybrid (black), and Final E series. I used it in a 12 hours journey with sony wm1a, which gave me good comfort, above-average isolation, and an enjoyable listening session.



TRI Starshine needs Power:​


This is a power-hungry IEM for sure. So, to get full-bodied dynamic sound, we need to feed Starshine with quality RAW power. I have used it with Sony Wm1a (it needs 100+ gain in the high mode), ifi idsd black label, Cowon Plenue R2, cayin iha-6 etc.
with power, TRI starshine shows its true potential.


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Let’s start the main game “SOUND”​


Tips first, I am recommending an upgrade cable and final E tips for better SQ. But I will discuss the stock performance. Inside the box, there are a few different tips available. The white one gave me the most comfort and isolation. You may or may not believe in burn-in but I used it over 2 months, so that’s that.

My go-to gear was Sony wm1a with walkman mod and Cowon Plenue R2 (could manage to push as hard as i would like). On the dac amp side, ifi idsd Black label and Topping D70s/Cayin IHA-6 stack. Among all, I liked the pairing of Wm1a and Starshine most.

BASS:​


Without Wm1a I missed the bass impact a bit with other sources. But paired with wm1a the bass got textured and felt a bit punchier. Overall it was clean, not boosted, texture and separation were there. It certainly lacks the DD impact and dynamics. Nonetheless, notes felt separated. I would crave a bit more impact and a shy boldness there. Its BA bass, so speed attack and decay were reasonable compared to my DUNU SA6. Bass
It extends deep tho, you can feel the sub-bass rumble in “Massive Attack - Angel”. Mid and sub were fairly separated. If you squint your eyes, you can hear a slight mid-bass elevation from the sub. Overall, It offers clean, extended bass with decent speed and attack.

So it will get 4 out of 5 in the Bass section

The MIDS:​


The mids of TRI Starshine is fun. I think it's the most exciting part of these earphones. The lower mids have a bodied presentation where the instrument gets a particular character. Is it neutral? NO!! But it's fun. It has a minor dip in the upper mid-range, so the vocals become polite and gentle, where a lot of iems nowadays get shouty depending on recordings.
Neither the vocals nor the instruments have a forward presentation. To be honest, it's fun. Clean, textured, and enjoyable for a long period of time. There are no prominent peaks in the sound spectrum. It made the sound quite open, instruments got better separation by containing good layering. In fact, I find it better than my DUNU SA6 in that regard.

I will give it 4.5 outta 5

The Treble:​


Treble is kind of the USP of Starshine. It has the EST goodness in it. The lower treble dip removed any unwanted ringing or fatiguing factor. In 8k and above it rises high. Thus Strashine offers energy. The notes in the treble are colorful and the music becomes emotional sometimes. I can see a few treble-sensitive folks might not stand it. But it's not harsh of piercing by any means. It offers sizzliness, sparkle, and air in the treble. If you call it treble-heavy you won't be wrong. Those who are not sensitive to treble, especially the upper treble, will love the energy and musicality it offers.

It offers details as expected. Sparkle makes the drum snare exciting. String instruments get a different yet enjoyable character.

Though the cymbal attack might feel different and sharp, it doesn’t sound colorless or sterile. Overall it's open, energetic where instruments get unique (a bit different than neutral but enjoyable) characteristics.

And tip rolling helps. I used final E-series tips to get more bass impact and comfort.

I will give 4.25 outta 5

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Timbre and resolution:​


I find a great clarity with starshine. You will expect to hear good dynamics, little nuances, and the proper texture of every instrument. So, it's Highly resolving. Pairing with warm or natural sources offers a great versatility and musicality to love these earphones more. But Analytical or bright sources may take it to the fatiguing territory. So the resolution is not compromising in any means. But I found the timbre is a bit different. I neither call it natural nor artificial. It's in the middle. The textures are tailored in a way that I can't hate. There is a slight metallicness in the cymbals, string instruments and acoustic guitars, but it's fun and enjoyable regardless.

For resolution 4.5 outta 5
For Timbre 4 outta 5

Soundstage​


Sound Stage is a strength here. It's wider than the other earphones I have tasted in this price range. Though it's not deep enough, the separation is on point. I found space and air between instruments. It's better than DUNU SA6 and

The soundstage will get 4.5 outta 5



Let's Compare it the competition :​


In the market, it will face high competition with Dunu SA6, UM 3DT, thieaudio legacy 9, kinera norn and so on.
I had a DUNU SA6, UM 3DT, and Campfire Holocene currently at my possession to compare and i can say Starshine is better than kinera norn (coz of its poor value for money situation)

So, lets the battle begin…


Vs Dunu SA6​



DUNU SA6 is right around $500-550. It's been my daily driver since March and I love them a lot. I initially heard both of the iem with my Cowon plenue R2 and I loved the presentation of SA6. I sensed TRI Starshine needs more power. When the Sony Wm1a came into the equation, the scene changed 180 degrees.

I found the bass of SA6 is better with boldness and engaging factors. Starshine shines with better mids, overall instrument separation, soundstage, and treble excitement. Then again, SA6 is a bit more versatile and sounds good regardless of the source or power delivery.
So, SA6 can be an easy recommendation for mass audiences. On the other hand, with the proper gear, TRI Starshine is more fun, open and engaging.


On the cosmetic side, the cable of SA6 is a class of its own. The package of Dunu SA6 has better tips.
The build, look, and comfort for both of the iem are similar and comparable. None wins here.

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Vs Unique Melody 3DT :​



UM 3DT is a triple DD earphone that comes under $400, especially if deals are found right you can buy one for 300-320 easily.

Bass on the 3DT has better texture and impact. It's bold and fairly fast despite having a DD there. But Starshine has faster bass. In the mids, Starshine wins with the presentation. Because 3DT lacked the emotion and body of mids. It’s forward, sometimes making a few female vocals shouty a bit.
3DT got more treble emphasis than TRI Starshine which might bring fatigue to the listeners. I couldn't manage to hear 3DT for more than 1-hour max.


3DT was fun too. It has a wow factor that may end up ringing in the ear, a tad on the aggressive side. On the other hand, TRI is clean yet enjoyable with energy and fun. I prefer the dynamics of 3DT but the overall presentation of Starshine was more enjoyable to me.



Vs Campfire Holocene​


Recently the campfire brought some newer models to the scene and one of them is the Holocene. It's currently priced at $649 so I compared both of them.

First of all, the Holocene is very source peaky and sensitive. It can sound good, smooth and enjoyable, or rough, edgy, and harsh depending on the source.
In general, the Holocene is on the technical side. It offers a well-balanced sound with a lot of details and clarity. I can mark it as a natural-sounding iem. Sometimes the vocals can be sharp. It's resolving, a sort of studio reference with some audiophile touch to it.

Starshine falls short with resolution, detail, and aggressiveness. But it's polite, power-hungry, and long-term earphones to conclude.


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Conclusion :​


At first, I was confused with TRI Starshine against my DUNU SA6. When properly powered and paired with the right gear, Starshine is fun, exciting, and comfortable. The tuning is tastefully done. But it's not for those who hate or are sensitive to the upper treble section. But who are open for fun, energy, and extra sparkle, TRI starshine will treat with openness, wide soundstage, and comfort. I recommend getting final e series tips and copper CEMA cable (i think they are the best bang for the buck) will do justice with TRI Starshine. Besides, you have to have a mid to strong DAP or DAC/AMP to squeeze the best outta it. Neutral and warm sources complement TRI Starshine
I got great results with Sony Wm1a, Hiby R6 pro (adds good energy to the treble section).

So, will I recommend it? I think I will point to a specific group of folks that I mentioned above.

Is the pricing good? Well, it goes down to 450ish during the sale. But I would rather be comfortable with the 400-420 range.


So, what is the overall score?

I would score 4 out 5 generally, but paired with a good source it will raise 4.25 out 5.


Tracks that I have used​

Incubus - Summer Romance
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
SOAD - Chop Suey, Toxicity
Eminem - Rap God
Metallica - Fuel, master of puppets, enter the sandman
Massive attack - Mezzanine
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Skillet - What I Believe
Slipknot - snuff
Tool - Lateralus, Fear inoculum
And a few of my local audio collections. All are at least 16bit FLAC.
Last edited:
Adnan Firoze
Adnan Firoze
A+. Awesome, comprehensive review. Hats off!
Mosauwer
Mosauwer
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abheybir
abheybir
The intro and spoiler just made me smile!! Very nice review!

asifur

100+ Head-Fier
TRI Starshine - The STAR of TRI (Short Review)
Pros: + Great Build quality
+ Good & punchy Bass
+ Non-fatiguing Treble
+ Great Soundstage
+ Good Tuning & Timbre
Cons: - Mids could be better
- Details retrieval
TRI Starshine -The STAR performer from TRI
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Disclaimer
:

This was a loaner unit from a friend for the purpose of an honest review. Everything mentioned in this review are purely my own based on my experiences with the IEM.
I didn't get the full box and hence can only do a short review.

Introduction:

TRI Audio is the Premium brand and sister concern of KBear - who are known for their in-ear monitors in the budget category.
TRI has several IEMs such as TRI I3, Starsea, Starlight and maybe few more more. Today, we will be talking about TRI Starshine.
The Starshine is equipped with a hybrid quad-driver configuration featuring two Sonion EST drivers and two Knowles BA drivers.
TRI Starshine is is priced at $499.

Specifications:

Specifications are as below:

Impedance: 56Ω
Connector: 0.78mm 2PIN
Color: blue
Frequency response range: 20-20kHz
Sensitivity: 98dB
Cable material: copper and silver-plated mixed braided cable
Drive unit: 2 electrostatic Drive+2BA

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Design & Build Quality:


Looks are always subjective, but I think these are great-looking IEM, that’s both striking and ergonomic. Though Resin made, these look very nice & premium. The shape of the IEM is nice & very light-weight that and provides a comfortable fit for all listeners. In my experience with the Starshine, the IEMs achieved a good level of comfort. It's just great for long listening sessions.

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The Stock Cable:

The cable really nice & durable and comes with inter-changeable connection adapters. Sound-wise also the cable seemed pretty decent.
really nothing to complain about here - all good.

Amp-ing Requirements:

Due to it's high impedance levels, this IEM requires quite a bit of amping to really shine. Amping here is mandatory to get a good performing sound.

NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SOUND....

Items used for this review:

DAC/AMP:
Shanling UA2, IFI Micro IDSD Black Label Signature
DAP/Source : Fiio M3 Pro, Laptop & iPad
Streaming Source: QOBUZ

Upgrade Cable: Following upgrade cables used to see how FH5S fares with different types of cables:
- CEMA Electro Acousti 6N OCC + OCC Silver plating 26AWG single crystal copper cable with balanced 2.5mm connector
- DUNU DUW-03 the cable that comes with DUNU SA6

Ear Tips: Final E series Black tips


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Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...


Let's now talk about the quality of Sound....

The BASS:


Bass felt textured and punchy. These is good texture & air in the bass. While the Bass doesn't contain the details you would expect from a typical Dynamic Driver output... it is still good and not falling short too much really.

The MIDS:

Midrange is a bit less pronounced due to the V-shaped sound of this IEM. Nevertheless, it's not like anything is missing. Mids have good with texture. Vocals sound natural.
However, detail retrieval in the mids section seemed somewhat lower.

The Treble:

Treble seems just great. textured and airy. No peaks found anywhere. its quite textured and detailed - I found the treble to be not fatiguing and enjoyable.

The SOUNDSTAGE:

Soundstage is great for the price both in terms of width and depth. It is amongst the strengths of this IEM. Its better than many others in the same range for sure.

Imaging & Timbre:

Sense of direction is quite good and the sound is quite natural hence I would say that this IEM has good imaging & timbre for the price.
Timbre however is not the best traits and it has BA timbre.

Comparisons :
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TRI Starshine vs DUNU SA6 :
IMG_6727~photo-full.jpg


The DUNU SA6 comes with slightly higher price tag and is quite a performer. It is a great IEM and very balanced performance in all departments.
Bass: The TRI Starshine has a punchier bass which I personally prefer while the DUNU SA6 comes with more detailed and textured Bass performance.
I much prefer Dynamic Driver based Bass which none of these two IEMs have.
Mids: The DUNU SA6 has much better and textured mids. more detailed and vocals sound a tad but better. But the Starshine is just great too while falling behind the Sa6 here.
Treble: I think in this department the Starshine has a soother Treble performance while the SA6 is just great with details and texture.
Soundstage & Timbre: In terms of soundstage the TRI Starshine beats the SA6 quite handsomely both in terms of width and depth.The AS6 seems to have better imaging while Starshine seems to have equally good timbre.

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TRI Starshine vs Unique Melody 3DT :

The Unique Melody 3DTcomes with 3 Dynamic Drivers and slightly lower price tag and tome is the best performer of the 3 IEMs..
Bass: The Unique Melody 3DT has great bass response with good amount of details air & texture. The punch & slam is also there. The Starshine despite a good performer loses out here.
Mids: The Unique Melody 3DT has detailed textured Mids with good vocal performance. The Starshine is just a little bit behind in this department.
Treble: I While neither of tehse 2 IEMs are as detailed as the SA6 - both of them have adequate details and air. The 3DT seemed a tad bit more textured and airy which I prefer.
Soundstage & Timbre: In terms of soundstage the TRI Starshine beats the 3DT by a very narrow margin in terms of width. Depth is slightly better in the 3DT and the Timbre is also slightly better in the 3DT.
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Conclusion :
Having said all that - The TRI Starshine to me seemed like the amongst the best performing IEMs from TRI till date. It comes with comprehensive sound performance when amped properly and can easily beat the likes of similar hybrid IEMs like FiiO FH7 which falls into similar category and I have used quite a long time back but couldn't compare as I had sold it off. I think it's going to be great value for money for people who give more weightage to comfort and smoother sound performance.
WendyLi
Samin Zaman
Samin Zaman
Your Best Shots ❤️
abheybir
abheybir
Good one!!
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