In this article, I’m reviewing the TRI Meteor IEM. The Meteor is a hybrid dual-driver IEM with 1 dynamic driver and 1 balanced armature. It currently retails for $109.
“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.”
— Jack London
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Keephifi for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Sensitivity: 105±3dB SPL/mW
Driver unit: Hybrid 10mm Beryllium-plated diaphragm DD and Knowles ED-29689 BA
Cable: 0.78mm 2-pin 5N OFC
Packaging and Accessories
The TRI Meteor comes in a textured black box with a dark grey cardboard sleeve. Included with the IEMs is a solid bundle of (mostly) useful items. Here’s a list of the box contents:
TRI Meteor IEMs
Detachable 0.78mm 2-pin 5N OFC cable
5x pairs of clear silicone eartips
3x pairs of black eartips
Like a streak of light in the sky, the TRI Meteor swept down upon us from above. The shells are made from resin in a pseudo custom style and are worn with the cable going over your ears. Meteor’s shells are transparent black in colour but you can still see the internals when you hold them up to the light.
The faceplates are solid black with streaks of silver shimmering under the surface. They match the colour of the TRI logo nicely and the pattern reminds one of gazing up at the night sky. There are 2 small vents just in front of the 2-pin connectors. The nozzle is part of the shells and is also resin. It has a dual bore design, each bore connected to a sound tube for its respective driver.
I find the Meteor shells to be extremely comfortable and I can keep them in my ears all day long. All of the edges are rounded and smooth. The overall build quality is excellent. Noise isolation is pretty solid too, so these IEMs are ideal for commuting, busy cafes or just about anywhere.
The cable is braided 5N oxygen-free copper with a glossy black sheath. All of the components, including the chin slider, are black aluminium. In terms of handling, the cable performs really well; it’s thick and supple yet lightweight.
It might be named after a fiery, speeding object but don’t be misled – Meteor has a lovely sound with a warm but clear nature. That’s hardly surprising since it closely follows the Harman frequency target. It’s more musical than analytical in its presentation but don’t let that fool you either – it scores quite highly in technicalities despite its inviting, natural tone.
Meteor’s 10mm Beryllium-plated driver creates a tight yet authoritative bass response. The tuning is skewed more towards the sub-bass than the mid-bass, giving Meteor meaty, physical rumbles in the low frequencies. This is coupled with a leaner mid-bass that has good definition, speed and texture.
It’s a bass that doesn’t overstep its boundaries or intrude into the midrange. Instead, it delivers punchy, rhythmic and tidy lows that are an ideal mix of rhythm and precision. Firing up Massive Attack’s “Angel”, you can feel the power of the bass but the electric guitars and vocals remain clear and detailed.
The midrange is relatively forward in the mix, especially in the upper mids. Things can get a little shouty here on certain tracks, particularly ones with screaming electric guitars but for the most part, it’s a smooth listen. Midrange notes are fairly neutral in tone with a touch of warmth coming through from the bass.
Vocals are articulate and detailed with enough body and warmth to sound natural. Instruments have a fairly accurate tone and the mids have pretty good clarity throughout. Gioachino Rossini’s “Bianca e Faliero” showcases the Meteor’s dynamics and its ability to mix diminutive melodies with grandiose crescendos.
Meteor’s treble has a safe tuning, as it adheres to the Harman curve. There’s an emphasis on the lower treble bands before it starts to fall off rapidly after 9kHz. As a result, it’s a smooth and airy treble but one that lacks bite and sparkle. It also means that micro-detail retrieval isn’t anything to write home about. This is mostly due to the large dip in the upper treble.
However, the good thing about a tame treble such as this is that it doesn’t cause fatigue or sharpness. In addition, the treble sounds cohesive and maintains the overall natural tone, even if it lacks precision.
Soundstage & Technicalities
This is probably the thing that surprised me most about the TRI Meteor. Many of us are familiar with Harman response IEMs and are aware of the technical limitations that come with it. Meteor suffers from some of these – namely upper treble sparkle and detail. But at the same time, it shines in other areas like soundstage, instrument separation and imaging. It might not be a large stage in terms of dimensions but it’s very organized and has ample clean air between instruments.
TRI Starsea ($109-$129)
The TRI Starsea is a hybrid triple-driver IEM with a 1DD+2BA configuration. Its tonality is brighter and it has more clarity than Meteor. At the same time, Starsea has better detail retrieval but at the cost of some occasional sibilance.
Starsea’s bass is very similar to the Meteor but due to a brighter treble, bass notes have cleaner leading edges and greater definition. There’s more clarity in Starsea’s midrange and vocals are more upfront albeit a touch thinner.
Starsea has a crisper and more precise treble with better details but Meteor’s tone sounds more natural. Its soundstage dimensions are bigger than the Meteor but instrument separation and overall resolution are comparable.
Moondrop Starfield ($109)
The Moondrop Starfield has a single dynamic driver. Both of these IEMs have a very similar frequency curve as they each have a Harman-based tuning. Starfield has less emphasis on the sub-bass, in addition to thicker and slower bass notes. But it has a slightly better sub-bass extension than the Meteor.
Vocals and instruments have slightly rounder notes, resulting in a warmer midrange than Meteor. The Meteor has greater midrange clarity. The Moondrop’s upper midrange has more body resulting in a smoother and warmer tone. Vocals on the Starfield are more forward and intimate compared to Meteor.
The Starfield has a similar rolled-off treble, however, it peaks again earlier in the upper treble, resulting in a similar level of detail retrieval as the TRI. Both IEMs have similar soundstage dimensions but the Meteor sounds a bit cleaner and has better instrument separation.
The TRI Meteor is another good IEM from this upcoming brand. For something in this price range, it’s hard to find fault with the Meteor. The build quality is great and the bundled accessories are fairly generous. It has fun, controlled bass, a pleasing midrange, good clarity and a nice tonal balance.