The super.fi 5's were my first upgrade from stock buds and they were a definite 'night and day' difference. I was happy with them for a while until I yearned for more midrange presence and clearer vocals. In the past year my quest for the 'perfect' earphones has included: Sony EX90, q-JAYS, Etymotic ER-4P, Shure SE210/310/420 E4G and E500, phew. . . oh, and also my favourites for the past 9 months, the Denon AH-C700.
When I saw Amazon discounting the Triples, I had to buy them :)))
I've been listening to them exclusively for 12 days and wanted to wait until I was familar with the sound and the fit before writing a review.
FIT: Easier for some reason than the super.fi 5's. I think the shape of the Triples is slightly more curved and they certainly don't feel as big as they look (if that makes sense.) I wear them with the cable running down my back and have absolutely no problems with microphonics or annoying cables sticking in my face. I insert them by pulling my ear up and out, putting the earpiece in straight, and then 'twisting' it up further towards the ear canal. They stay put really well once the memory wire is secured over the ear. Initially (for the first few hours) they hurt quite a bit and I thought I wouldn't be able to keep them. But once I 'broke' them in, they were fine.
SOUND: Fantastic. The Triples produce a wide soundstage with big big sound. They sound like speakers are strapped to my head, nice! In comparison with the super-fi 5's, the midrange is unrecognisable. It's much less recessed and a whole lot clearer with vocals. The bass is much better controlled and the treble detail is beautifully sweet. For those who were disappointed with the super.fi 5's - the Triples 'fix' everything. They are fairly neutral but with a fullness that adds real weight and body. I don't listen to much rock with earphones as I prefer to use my main speakers for that - but they excel with just about anything. Any preference for the E500 will probably be down to individual taste rather than a difference in quality since they're both high-quality products.
COMPARISONS: I had the Shure E500 (twice) and simply couldn't enjoy them at all. They have a very warm sound which no doubt suits 'bright' daps, but I have Sony daps and I found the 'warm + warm' too much for me. Also, I found the E500s weren't involving enough for me. The frequencies sounded so disconnected from each other that it was hard for me to get involved in the music. The Triples produce detail and enjoyment without me being aware of the separate frequencies. It's easier to get 'lost' in the sound. The E500s also (to my ears), sounded quite cheap at lower volumes. They needed to be cranked up to shine, whereas the Triples sound enjoyable at lower volumes which is nice if you tend to listen before going to sleep. However, the fit of the E500 was much more comfortable and less intrusive than the Triples, they just melted away into your ears. The Triples do not melt away!!
Finally, I still have (and love) my Denons, but I was curious about the Triples. Now I have them, I shan't be letting them go. But my Denons will still be in use due to the ease and quickness of insertion and their fantastic 'magic' cable that never tangles!
They also sound fantastic, great bass, tight and controlled, forward midrange and very sweet treble. But the Triples seem to magnify all that and give me 'more' of the same sound. Still... the Denons are less than half the price of the Triples and are beautifully built with aluminium housing, sturdy enough that you don't have to worry about dropping them or babying them at all. The Denon AH C551s are the cheaper C700 but the sonic differences are barely noticeable. The C551 has more bass impact, the C700 more treble extension. Both phones are excellent value and sound great.
And finally pros and cons for the Triples:
* Great overall sound from all of the frequencies.
* Great fit if you can deal with spending a few moments positioning them. But once the memory wire has 'remembered' where it's supposed to be, insertion in much quicker.
* Isolation is great. I could barely hear the lawnmower when I was wearing them.
* Yes, well, they're not the smallest on the market! Compared with the tiny q-JAYS, it's like having a football stuck in your ear. I read that people with small ear canals should 'look elsewhere'. Well, I'm a female with small ear canals and have no problem with the fit at all. The beauty of these is that I can even leave them resting slightly further away from the ear canal and still hear everything I need to. The sound doesn't become 'thin' and 'bassless' when I do this, unlike with most other earphones. Also, with the cable running up and over the ears, there's no pressure on the top of the ear lobe (something I had problems with various other phones)
* Price. I think they're overpriced even with the discount. For that price it would have been nice to have had a more flexible cable and at the very least, a spool in the metal case to wind the earphones around. You just have to shove them in and slam the case shut before they spring up again.
Having said that, I'm still keeping them :))
If you can afford them, and are happy to fiddle around with the fit, then you'll love them. I certainly do.