We decided to separate out the Trumpets as they were the only in-ear models in the test, and therefore pretty different from the on-ear and over-ear models in the rest of the test. Had they been ranked, they would have likely landed in the upper-mid-pack. . . sort of. Like the Beats Pros, what was fascinating about the Trumpets is how polarizing they were. Will and I both loved them. Brent, after some fussing, thought they were OK. Lauren, however, felt they were little better than her stock iPod earbuds.
The culprit was the fit, as is the case with most in-ears. Multiple tips are included with the Trumpets, and Will and I were able to find a pair that lodged the tiny Trumpets in the ear canal so they worked well. Lauren and Brent did not. Brent cheated and borrowed foam tips from his recent Fuse InTune review. Once so equipped, he found they were almost a little bass heavy, a big change from his initial poor-fit listen. He also felt that the treble was "great, super-detailed, super-clear — the glockenspiel in “Shower the People” from James Taylor Live at the Beacon Theatre sounds like it’s coming from a set of Revels." He actually wished the balance was a bit more uptilted so he could enjoy a little more of the treble.
Will said that the Trumpets "put a smile on my face," going on to say comment that it was "so pleasant to hear wonderful sound" and that they were some of the best-sounding headphones he'd heard. I found there to be plenty of treble, while maintaining solid bass. Drum hits had a solid attack, and they provided a surprisingly wide soundstage for earbuds.
The oddly small size generally worked for the panelists, and the rubberized cable seemed impossible to tangle.
In the end it seems that if you can get a decent fit, the Trumpets are an excellent sounding choice.
Read on for our conclusions, and some notes on Brent's testing procedures.
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