Following the successful launch of the initial Trinity range on Kickstarter, Bob (Trinity's CEO and lead designer) received a lot of calls for a sport suitable IEM. So even before the initial campaign ended, he was designing a new model using the original Delta hybrid configuration of their own dynamic driver paired with a custom tuned BA. This time it was placed in a more ergonomic chamber and a waterproof coating was added along with a shorter third cable ideal for exercise (armband DAP wearers). The resulting product of course was the Trinity Atlas and that is the model I'm reviewing today.
The underlying vision and philosophy behind Trinity is that high quality audio should be affordable to everyone – and without compromising on build or materials. And just because it is high quality – it shouldn’t mean it has to be high cost.
Bob has been incredibly busy over the last couple of years, and this has led to the release of the original range (Hyperion, Techne and Delta original), and since progressed to the Atlas, Delta V2 and coming releases of the Phantom/Master series (Sabre, Master4, Master6, Phantom Air and Hunter – some of these are still in active development). One thing I really appreciate with a company like Trinity, and a designer like Bob, is the willingness to involve his consumers in some design decisions, so that the end result is (hopefully) exactly what the target audience is looking for.
I count myself incredibly lucky to have been able to work with Bob on most of his projects – via email, PM and phone – and must admit a little personal pride in what Trinity have achieved. So without further comment – let’s have a look at the Trinity Atlas – a community inspired project.
I was provided with both prototype models during development and also a couple of final models of the Atlas on its completion. These were given free of charge both for development during the programme, and for the purposes of reviewing them after the public release. Bob does not expect them back. In the past I have purchased Hyperion (2) and the Delta V2, but have been provided free review samples (either prototypes or finals) of the Hyperion, Techne, original Delta, and Sabre.
Apart from my obvious involvement in feedback on the development, I am not otherwise affiliated with Trinity in any way, nor do I make any financial gain from my contributions.
PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.
I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.
I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 49, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays).
This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
The Atlas arrived in the traditional grey Trinity retail “book style” retail box – measuring 125 x 190 x 55mm. The box is simple but well presented, with the Trinity logo and model (ATLAS) on the front cover, and specifications, accessories and a little about the Atlas on the back.
Opening the front flap reveals an information and instruction manual. On the main part of the box is another protective board cover with clear window to observe the new Atlas. Opening this then reveals a foam inner with appropriate cut-outs to house the Atlas, carry case, provided tips, and filters.
The entire package is comprehensive and includes:
- The Atlas
- The Trinity zippered carry case
- 5 pairs of tuning filters
- 4 sets of silicone tips (1 pr small, 2 pr medium and 1 pr large)
- 1 set of dual flange silicone tips
- 2 sets of foam tips (1 pr med and 1 pr large)
- 1 multi braid cable, 1 x long multifunction mic/control cable, 1 x short multifunction mic/control cable
- 1 shirt clip
- 1 straight to right angle jack converter
The Trinity standard case is black, has an internal mesh pouch for tips etc, is triangular shaped, and zips to open/close. It is reasonably spacious, has a good mix of both flexibility and strength – so it is comfortable to pocket, but still protects your IEMs really well.
I've included the specifications from the original Delta for comparison.
| || Atlas|| Delta Original|
| Type|| Hybrid BA + 8mm Dynamic Driver|| Hybrid BA + 8mm Dynamic Driver|
| Frequency Range|| 19 Hz – 21 Khz|| 19 Hz – 21 Khz|
| Impedance|| 16 ohm|| 16 ohm|
| Sensitivity|| 110 +/-3dB @ 1kHz 1mW|| 110 +/-3dB @ 1kHz 1mW|
| Cable|| 1.2m std + 1.2m & 0.6m mic enabled (replaceable)|| 1.1m OFC std (fixed)|
| Jack|| 3.5mm gold plated, straight jack|| 3.5mm gold plated, straight jack|
| Weight|| Approx 18g with tips in place (std cable)|| Approx 14g with tips in place|
| IEM Shell|| CNC polished aluminium|| CNC polished aluminium|
The graph below is generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. I must stress that they aren’t calibrated to IEC measurement standards, but the raw data I’m getting has been very consistent, and is actually not too far away from the raw data measured by other systems except for above 4-5 kHz where it shows significantly lower than measurements performed on a properly calibrated rig. So when reading the graph, don’t take it as gospel – or at least remember that the area above 4-5 kHz will likely be significantly higher. It is my aim to get this system calibrated at some stage in the future.
The graph is provided merely as a point of discussion and further in the review you can see comparative data to some other IEMs. The graph in this section is the Atlas with gold (or middle) filter. I used this filter for this section simply because it is the middle filter. In the filter section of the review is a graph showing all filter frequency responses.
The Atlas is a lot different to the original Delta, and is probably closer to the Hyperion in its overall tuning. It has a definite V shape with a steady rise from mid-range to mid-bass and still rising into the sub-bass. This gives quite a warm low end with pretty prominent bass impact. The fundamental mid-range from around 700 kHz through to about 1.5 kHz is relatively recessed which makes male vocals particularly a little thin, and vocals generally appear a little further back in the mix. There is a rise in the upper mid-rang from about 2-4.5 kHz, and this gives the Atlas sweetness with female vocalists and also a lot of clarity and air. There is a peak in the lower treble at 9kHz which brings some added definition to cymbals and violins, and which also largely avoids sibilance. The channel matching is excellent.
I'll go into much more detail when we reach the sound section.
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
The Atlas is quite a different beast compared to the former Trinity models. Gone is the cartridge style casing, replaced by a 2 piece aluminium ergonomically designed casing – similar to the Shure SE series in shape. One of the features of the Atlas is a splash proof coating so they are ideal for an environment which could contain high moisture (i.e. exercise).
The Atlas measures approx 18mm across, and 16mm from top to bottom (11mm if you're just counting the main body). The depth is approx 15mm at its widest point, and another 5mm once the filter/nozzle is fitted. There are 5 filter/nozzle options which are interchangeable for tuning. These nozzles also fit the Techne (and will fit the upcoming Sabre). The nozzle is angled forward which is ideal for securing a comfortable fit – especially with the somewhat shallow fitting (more on that later).
The shell is two piece and has a visible seam, but the body is nicely rounded, and the fit is comfortable. On the orange model the seam is quite noticeable especially at the nozzle, but it appears pretty sturdy at this stage, and I've had the Atlas for quite a few months now. There is a small vent at the top on each earpiece adjacent to the MMCX connectors. The housing is beautifully rounded in the internal side with hard edges, and a simple R or L is printed here for piece identification. The outer facing side is convex and actually feels really nice when handled (sort of fits your thumb). It has the Trinity logo printed on both earpieces.
At the top of the atlas is a forward angled hood which houses a standard MMCX socket. There are three cables included – the standard Trinity multi-braid cable, and two rubber jacketed cables equipped with a multifunction remote and microphone. The standard cable measures 1.1m in length from jack to MMCX connectors. The connectors so far have been pretty firm and I've had no issues with connections cutting out. The Atlas connectors freely rotate in their sockets. The male connectors have an L or R embedded in the plastic, but they are relatively hard to see. This does not matter as much with the Atlas – as it is impossible to mistake which earpiece is which due to their over-ear ergonomic design. There is good strain relief at the socket junction. The Y-split is a really nice looking aluminium tube with good flexible strain relief at the bottom, and a superbly implemented cinch at the top. The jack is gold plated, with spring loaded strain relief. It is iPhone case friendly, and for those who prefer a right angled jack, Trinity include a right angle adaptor which works really well.
The standard cable is the same as the one used on most of the Trinity products and is one of the best I've used (until you get into the mega-buck boutique cables). The cable consists of 4 OFC wires – both sets of two tight woven into a spring like weave. These two weaves are then woven again together below the Y-split. The end result is an extremely flexible, and gorgeous looking cable with virtually no memory. The weave also gives it strength. So far in my testing (over-ear), cable noise is minimal – unless it comes into contact with a rough surface (zipper etc). The cable can be slightly tangle prone – but careful winding and storage solves that easily.
The secondary cables are both rubber jacketed, have 4 pole straight jacks, and this time each has a combined single button control and microphone port on the left hand earpiece. The push button control is a universal standard (one-click pause/play, two click next track, three click previous track, and press and hold activates Siri on the iPhone 5S for me). The controls work with both the iPhone and also the FiiO M3 (but strangely not with the X1 and X3ii – I'm guessing this is a FiiO issue rather than Trinity). The control unit hangs about 4cm below my ear if worn over ear, and just below my chin if worn straight down. The microphone is pretty clear, and I had no problems being clearly understood when test calling my wife. The cable also has reasonably low microphonics when worn over ear. The 0.6m cable is ideal for armband use or top-pocket. I only have two gripes with these cables. The first is that the cinch keeps coming off the cables (they are open both sides – and work their way off easily. The second is that the cables tend to retain memory. But considering you're getting three cables, and they are all working pretty well – these are minor critiques.
Overall the build quality and attention to detail is very good.
FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. Atlas's shape is also ergonomic, so that means shallow fit. But because of the angle of the nozzle, I was surprised when I found that the Atlas's large silicone single flange worked perfectly – as did the included foam tips. There is one issue though – because the nozzles have a very narrow diameter, the included foams and double flanges tend to come off in my ears (if I get a very good seal) – frustrating! I did experiment with a number of after market tips, and had good fits with Ostry tuning tips, Sony Isolation tips, Spinfits, and Comply T200s. The ones that surprised me were the Shure Olives. If you are prepared to force them on, they fit quite nicely and provide an excellent seal and great durability.
Stock tips - dual flanges won't stay intact
Stock foam (again issue with staying on) but Ostry tips are good
Isolation with the Atlas will depend on the seal you achieve, and with the Shure Olives I find isolation is average to above average for a hybrid containing a vented dynamic driver. With music playing you’re isolated pretty well – but I wouldn't be using these for long haul travel.
Spinfits and Sony Isolation are excellent
Spiral Dots are a no-go, but Shure Olives fit if you force them
Comfort for me is absolutely excellent and the ergonomic design is really ideal. After a while I don't really notice I'm wearing them and they sit slightly inside my outer ear (YMMV). I would have no problems lying on my side or sleeping with the Atlas intact.
The Trinity website offers the shells in 6 colours – orange, red, purple, silver (polished aluminium), gun-metal, and matt black. During the KS campaign there were also some two tone offerings available. I've got a couple of photos of some models I had during the tuning process – all are quite striking. More on the Matt black one in the next section.
ATLAS FILTER SYSTEM
Each filter stands just under 7mm tall, with a 4mm diameter threaded base, and 5mm nozzle. The filter screws easily into the main body of the Atlas, and can be replaced for different tuning. Most of the filters have a very small tuning vent located toward and just above the threaded section. The vents control the bass quantity. There are 5 filters included but the changes they give are pretty minor.
Red has the most bass – about 15 dB above the mid-range at 50 Hz, then each filter has a little less bass than the previous (about 1.5 – 2 dB increments): red, orange, gold, purple, and ending with gun-metal. My favourite filter is actually the gun-metal.
The spare filters are housed in the now familiar little aluminium tube with the screw on cap (you get two of them). This is brilliant as the tubes fit neatly in the case pocket so that your filters are always with you – and the tube should be big enough so that it won’t get easily lost.
When Bob sent me the final Atlas for the review – he actually initially sent me the black matt pair you saw in the previous photos. They are beauties, and as luck would have it – they are also unique (see the graph). They have a reasonably big drop off in bass from about 200 Hz down. They also fit my preferences quite well (I sometimes just EQ them up a little). The amazing thing is that the channels on this pair are also perfectly matched. Lucky – or did Bob do it intentionally? I don't know – he won't say, but I love my unique Atlas.
The following is what I hear from the Trinity Atlas. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X3ii + E17K as source, and this time the gun-metal filter in place (my preference), and Bob's included silicone tips. I was using the orange “correct” Atlas (not my “specials”).
For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the E17K was around 20/60 (on low gain) which was giving me an average SPL around 65-70 dB (with peaks around 75 dB). Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
Thoughts on General Signature
The sound signature with the gun-metal filters is still mildly V shaped with enhanced bass, a recessed primary vocal area, and slightly elevated upper mid-range or presence area. Bass – even with this filter can tend to be a little boomy but the balance overall is not too bad. Lower mids are a little on the lean side, but there is a natural progression through the upper mids with female vocals being emphasised a little more. For those who've had Trinity products before you will recognise some of their “house sound”.
Overall Detail / Clarity
Tracks used: Gaucho, Sultans of Swing
- Slightly noticeable mid-bass hump (even with this filter) and bass guitar does tend to slightly dominate – it is worse with other filters
- Good detail retrieval – cymbals are very clear and clean with good decay. If I switch to other filters some of the finer detail can be masked.
- Guitar has extremely good edge but is slightly peaky
- Vocals in both tracks are leaner in the mix and a little to the back.
Sound-stage, Imaging, and Sibilance Test
Tracks used: Tundra, Dante’s Prayer, Let it Rain
- Good directional cues, and just outside the periphery of my head space – so reasonably good width, but slightly less feeling of depth
- Imaging is relatively clean with precise placement
- Good contrast between vocals, piano and cello with Dante's Prayer. Loreena's vocals are more forward than Knopfler's in the previous section.
- Good immersion (applause section of Dante's Prayer) with impression that crowd is around you – but again more sense of width than depth.
- A nicely holographic presentation of “Let It Rain” - not as good as Delta V2, but still thoroughly enjoyable. Sibilance is present in “Let It Rain” - I know it exists in the recording. However it isn't overly emphasised, and for me is very tolerable. Again cymbal presence in this track is really good.
Bass Quality and Quantity
Tracks used: Bleeding Muddy Water, Royals
- Strong mid-bass and sub-bass impact and strong portrayal of the overall dark mood. Mark's vocals are lean compared to the quantity of low bass.
- Average speed and bass resolution – strong impact, and is quite boomy.
- Signs of mild bass bleed into the mid-range
- Strong sub-bass and rumble (“Royals”) and for me it is mildly excessive.
- Good separation between mid-bass impact and vocals (“Royals”) with the gun-metal filter – but with the gold filter there is again some bass bleed.
Tracks used : Aventine, Strong, For You, Human, The Bad In Each Other, Howl, Safer, Light as a Feather, Don’t Wake Me Up, Ship To Wreck.
- Very good transition from lower-mids to upper-mids – this is one of the strengths of the Atlas, and typical of most Trinity IEMs
- Euphonic presentation with good air and a definite touch of sweetness to female vocals
- High contrast between vocals and lower pitch of instruments like cello – again if switching to gold filter bass is stronger than I would like.
- No signs of stridency with Aventine and Strong – a good sign of cohesion
- Good bass impact with music with highly dynamic content (Feist, FaTM)
- Surprising with tracks with lower bass impact because the Atlas can actually be quite delicate when it wants to be. Gabriella Cilmi was really stunning, as was Norah Jones and Sarah Jarosz. Definite tick for most female vocalists.
Track used: Away From the Sun, Art for Art’s Sake, Broken Wings, Hotel California, Immortality (Seether unplugged), Keith Don’t Go, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.
- Male vocals are thinner, and more distant. Turning up the volume increases the bass impact – trade-off if you are not a big bass lover.
- Bass presence is generally visceral with rock - very dynamic, but there is good contrast with lead guitar.
- Really good portrayal of older classic rock artists like 10CC. Good detail and contrast between bass and vocals with “Art for Art's Sake”.
- Managed to make the Eagle's Hotel California a little boomy but otherwise a good rendition. Does guitar very well.
- Surprised me with Seether's cover of “Immortality” - quite nice tonality and balance – but still wishing male vocals had a little more weight.
- Good but not great with Pearl Jam. Vedders vocals could use a little more presence, and the timbre isn't as good as it can be. Cymbals and high level detail is really good with the gun-metal filter. Not a fan of the gold filter with Pearl Jam though. Vedder sounded like he was standing about 2 foot from the microphone, or they simply had the mixing board wrong.
Genre Specific Notes
- Not bad at all with Alt Rock, although bass guitar does dominate slightly with PF's Money. It wasn't bad – but I've heard better. PT's Trains was really quite good – could be the higher pitch of Wilson's vocals.
- OK with Blues and Jazz – double bass was good and there was a nice mix of higher end detail with cymbals / hi-hats. Sax was slightly subdued and although enjoyable would not be my first choice for this genre. I tried briefly with the gold filter, and just as quickly took it off again.
- EDM, Hip-hop and Trance (if you love impact) can really hit hard. This was a real strength of the Atlas and I guess this is where the V shaped signature really shines. Eminem was really dynamic – and AVB's album “Imagine” was really enjoyable – especially when the tracks with female vocal backing were queued. The Flashbulb was really good (this group isn't overly bass heavy electronic) and “Reunion” was an album I thoroughly enjoyed with the Atlas.
- Pop was pretty good generally and results tended to vary depending on the artist. I could see a younger generation really enjoying this presentation especially with some more modern female pop artists. Perhaps I am starting to show my age a little.
- Indie was really good for the most part. A lot of Indie artists seem to have a higher pitched vocal presences, and the Atlas captured this really well. Band of Horses was dynamic and very enjoyable, and Yesper's combo of acoustics and sublime vocals was a real treat. Wildlight's “Dawn to Flight” was enjoyable, but because there is a reasonable bass presence in the track already, I found it tended to encroach on Ayla's vocals slightly. Take some bass away though and the presentation of vocals is brilliant.
- Classical was surprisingly very good. The upper mid-range lent a lot of presence and space to strings, and the low end was pretty good for piano and cello. Female opera was also sublime, but male opera just a little thin.
The Atlas is easily powered straight out of the portable devices I have, and I haven’t experienced any issues with the iPhone 5S, or any of the FiiO DAPs. With typical pop/rock songs on the iP5S I’m usually at a volume level of around 25-35%, on the X3ii around 30-40/120. I did try amping with the E17K, but noticed no obvious signs of improvement (apart from when I was utilising the EQ). I tried the IMS Hybrid Valve Amp, but this wasn't a good pairing – too much warmth for my liking. I couldn't say that the Atlas either benefits from or needs additional amplification.
By now you'll understand that my biggest issue with the Atlas is simply the amount of bass. So I set out to use some very basic EQ (using the E17K's tone controls) to reduce the mid and sub-bass. I returned to Wildlight's track “Dawn too Flight”, and set the bass to -4dB (still using the gun-metal filters). This will be too bass light for many, but for me the transformation was incredible. Wonderful balance, and I was left with a much flatter signature, and Ayla's incredible vocals. This is the beauty of the tone controls on the E17K, and the best part is that it can be done in a few seconds, and you don't need to be adept at EQ to get something you like very quickly. The Atlas responds extremely well to EQ, and I've added a graph below so you can see the result of the change. Modifying the bass also stops some mid-range from appearing so recessed. While I had the Sabre on the rig, and out of impulse really, I dropped both bass and treble tone controls by -4 dB. The result was wonderful and this ended up a lot closer to my ideal signature. Magic!
EQing with the E17K - both -4 bass, and then -4 bass and treble
X3ii and E17K are a perfect duo to tame the Atlas bass
This is always a hard one to judge – because you want to compare with something in a close price bracket, and also with something that others may be able to get an instant feel for. The problem is that I know people with an interest in some of Trinity's other line will want comparisons to the new Delta V2 and also the upcoming Sabre. So in the end I chose them and also The MEE Pinnacle P1 – as it is also an ergonomic design and in a very similar price bracket.
All of these comparisons are very subjective – and influenced by my own preference, physiology and bias. Comparison was once again with the X3ii + E17K, but this time the Atlas had the gold filters in place (middle filter option). Note that you have the ability to reduce bass further by utilising the gun-metal or purple filters. All IEMs were volume matched with a 1 kHz tone and using a proper SPL meter. Lastly please note that while the Atlas KS price was $150, I am using the current price of $218 from the website for comparison.
Trinity Atlas (~$218) vs Trinity Sabre with gold filter (pre-order $110 / normal $185)
Both have fantastic build quality – precision aluminium shells, 3 x quality detachable cables (the Sabre's are two pin), and extremely good comfort when worn. Both also come with 5 sets of filters – but in the Sabre's case the 5 are duplicated with longer filters for deeper insertion (the filters will fit both Sabre and Atlas in case you are wondering). The filters also pretty much do the same thing as far as sonic change goes – increasing or decreasing the bass response. The one advantage Atlas still has is the slightly more ergonomic fit, and also the water-proof coating. Sonically the Atlas has more bass and is more V shaped. The Sabre has very good bass in its own right though – and the push pull dynamics are very smooth and quite fast for a dynamic driver as well. In the mid-range, the Sabre is a little more intimate (vocal presence is closer), and they have a more vibrant tonality. For the introductory price at the moment, the Sabre really is an obvious choice – and when it reverts to normal RRP a lot will depend on your preference for bass (with the Atlas able to deliver far more / very elevated levels). For me personally I would definitely take the Sabre – unless I was using EQ or using my “special blacks”. If EQ or the “specials” are an option – then the Sabre has a real fight on its hands.
Atlas (~$218) vs Delta V2 with gold damped filter ($145)
Again both have fantastic build quality – precision aluminium shells, and quality detachable cables (the Delta V2's are two pin) – although this time the Delta has 2 compared to Atlas's 3. Comfort wise I have to give the nod to the Atlas – the ergonomic shell is just a better fit (for me the Delta V2 is still very comfortable though). Both come with filters, the Atlas 5 vs the Delta's 7. This one isn't a fair fight though as you can make a lot more changes with the Delta's filters – and for me it is one of the best filter systems available in the market today. Once again the Atlas has the splash proof covering as a bonus. Both are dual hybrids – and you still have the Trinity house sound with an elevated upper mid-range. Switching back and forth between the two though, the first thing you easily notice is the Atlas's elevated bass and more impactful thump, and also the peakier upper-mids. The Delta V2 just sounds a little more relaxed, a lot more balanced, and for me anyway – more refined and smoother. This one isn't a fair fight – to me the Delta V2 will always be the better option simply for its variety in tuning.
Atlas (~$218) vs MEE Pinnacle P1 ($199)
The P1 is a full range dynamic, but it is ergonomic, built incredibly well, and in the same price bracket. Comparatively both have very good builds – with the Atlas being a lot lighter with its polished aluminium vs the P1's forged zinc alloy, The shaping on both is very comfortable, but this is one time the Atlas is bested for fit (for my ears) – the P1 is just figure hugging and totally disappears when worn. Both have quality accessories, both have detachable cables (Atlas x 3 vs P1 x 2), and both have very good carry cases. The P1 is a lot harder to drive and does benefit from extra amplification vs the Atlas being easily driven by almost anything. The other two features the Atlas has which P1 doesn't is the variable filter system and also the splash proof covering. Sonically there isn't a huge amount of difference between these two – the Atlas has the bigger bass response but they are very similar in the upper mid-range. And to show the versatility of the Atlas, if you sub in the gun-metal filter, the bass actually matches extremely closely to the P1 with the main difference now being slight differences in that upper mid-range. This one would be hard to pick a winner.
ATLAS - SUMMARY
The Trinity Atlas is an interesting earphone for me. I always preferred the Delta's mid-range (both 1 & 2) so after it was completed, I didn't really spend a lot of time with it. And when I first started seriously using it for this review and spending a lot of time just listening and playing around with the filters, it slowly dawned on me how good it actually is.
The Atlas has the typical Trinity finish and attention to detail, quality accessories – including a choice of 3 cables, and a filter system which (while not as good as Delta V2's) still gives some reasonable options for controlling the bass response. It has a water resistant finish, and when coupled with the short cable, it is ideal for exercise and gym use. Fit and comfort are very good.
Sonically the Atlas is pretty much V shaped no matter which filter you use, and all that changes is the quantity of bass you end up with. This can vary from almost bone shaking in its intensity (red filter with copious sub-bass) to the gun-metal with a mild v shape. The mid-range is typical Trinity with leaner low-mids and elevated upper mids. These make female vocalists a true joy to listen to, but it does come at the expense of a little body (leaner) with lower range male vocals.
The Atlas responds well to EQ, and a few judicial tweaks can net a really pleasant sound signature far more appealing to my own preferences. For my own tastes the gun-metal is the best filter and the one thing I would have liked would have been another filter even slightly lower in bass quantity.
Overall though, the Atlas is still one heck of an earphone and at the KS original price was an absolute bargain. At its current RRP, you still get a lot of earphone for your money – and while it is not maybe 100% to my tastes, for what it offers it is an easy 4 star recommendation (it would be 5 star at the KS price).
Finally thanks to Bob for allowing me to be involved along the way – and for supplying the samples for the review.