No­ble Au­dio Tri­dent

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

What’s in a name? Per­haps be­cause each bud has three bal­anced ar­ma­ture driv­ers it’s a ref­er­ence to the three-pronged fork of Po­sei­don’s Tri­dent? Or maybe No­ble Au­dio sim­ply thought it was a cool name. What­ever the rea­son, the Tri­dents have plenty more than a name to catch your at­ten­tion. For one, there’s the price – you may be sur­prised to learn that these are the US brand’s en­try-level in-ears.

Can a pair of in-ears be worth £275? It’s a ques­tion No­ble an­swers by point­ing you to its on­line cat­a­logue – the more pricey cus­tom-built ones, es­pe­cially, are works of art. No­ble brings some of that splen­dour down to this price point. The buds have a lovely speck­led grey fin­ish with branded alu­minium end caps.

“These Tri­dents aren’t your typ­i­cal off-the-shelf buds. It’s a pre­sen­ta­tion that’s hard to ig­nore”

Fancy ac­ces­sories

De­spite be­ing chunkier than most, they nes­tle snugly in­side your ear canal. The cable is thick and plaited, and also con­forms to that pre­mium look and feel, al­though it doesn’t fea­ture an in­line mic or re­mote. In this re­spect, fea­tures have taken a back seat to fancy ac­ces­sories which, as well as the hard case, in­clude – wait for it – an own­er­ship card. Whether or not that is some­thing worth show­ing off is largely de­pen­dent on their sound.

From the first lis­ten of Ya­zoo’s Only You, it’s ob­vi­ous that the Tri­dents aren’t your typ­i­cal off-the-shelf buds. The gen­er­ous amount of clar­ity on of­fer sweeps through the sweet melodic synths, and there’s plenty of re­fine­ment, smooth­ness and even-handed bal­ance too. It’s a pre­sen­ta­tion that’s hard to ig­nore – even when play­ing lo-res Spo­tify tracks from a lap­top. How­ever, adding a por­ta­ble USB DAC be­tween your source and the Tri­dents ex­pands their sonic ca­pa­bil­i­ties. We use the Oppo HA-2 (£270) and im­me­di­ately hear gains in punch, body and so­lid­ity.

The Nobles of­fer a good sense of con­trol but, like an over­worked party host, they are too busy to have fun. Dy­nam­ics could be sub­tler, and the tim­ing runs a lit­tle astray, af­fect­ing the way they carry a rhyth­mic track. But these Tri­dents have a mighty sound to go with their mighty name.

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