I was looking for speakers for a small 3.1 home theater system that could hold me over for the next 5-10 years before I have a proper home theater space, and I figured that I could move these to a 2nd small room theater set up afterward. I chose the TriTrix based on a few criteria. They were cheap ($210 for TL with cabinets in 2014 – $280 now on parts express as of 2018 Nov), had matching centers with great horizontal off-axis performance, and readily available without needing to do woodwork.
The TriTrix speakers are a great budget set up for a small or medium sized home theater. The speakers are mid forward and help bring out smooth midranges and voices, so they work excellently for home theater applications and solo vocal or instruments.
While they provide a large bang for the buck, it’s a bit too mid-forward to be used for music applications, but this is personal preference. The combination of mid-forward sound and lack of wide soundstage results in heavily layered music feeling suffocating, and there isn’t enough low-end extension for you to use this without a subwoofer, unlike a lot of tower speakers. In addition, the limitations of the drivers are noticeable for anyone with trained ears, especially in the lack of soundstage depth, separation, and treble reproduction.
It may seem like I’m bashing on these speakers, but they’re really good at what they do, which is home theater application. They’re not fatiguing, so you can listen to them for a while. In addition, they reproduce vocals well, especially in the center channel. If your main use is 80% home theater and 20% non-critical listening, and you’re working with a budget, these speakers may fit the bill.
These speakers were built with home theater in mind, so if you’re looking for hifi speakers, these are not it. The best way to describe listening to music on the TriTrix is “above average, but not great.” If you do a lot of focused listening sessions, you should pass on it. If you occasionally throw music on these while cooking as background noise, these speakers will be more than enough. With that said, these are not bad music speakers – it just so happens that at the same price point, there are plenty of other diy kits that can fill your music application much better than the TriTrix.
Bass extension is barely audible, so you definitely need to get a subwoofer for these. As far as treble goes, it performs well for a budget tweeter, being able to keep up with music and bring out some sparkle in the upper end, but it might disappoint the focused hifi listener. The silk dome combined with the toned down treble ends up being nice for home theater because all the glass shattering and higher frequencies don’t sound shrill.
Mids are bumped up, so the focus goes immediately to vocals on many music tracks. This forces you to the focus on the details, which gives the illusion of detail, but it sounds pleasant overall; however, the lack of soundstage depth makes it lackluster compared to higher quality drivers.
Since I don’t have them with me, I spend 4 weeks a year with them with application split between 50% TV, 30% music, and 20% videogames. The only time I notice their shortcoming is when I want to get some focused listening in. When I have them on the background and singalong, they sound more than sufficient.
- 00:00 – 00:36 – It’s apparent that the speakers are mid forward since his voice pops out while the background noises are subtle.
- 00:36 – 1:08 – Bass extension is present, but it’s relatively low. Highs are subdued, but the silk domes provide an ear-friendly and relatively crisp and tight quality. Guitar pops contain a lot of detail, but there isn’t a ton of separation between all of the instruments. Soundstage width is a bit lacking, but there’s a decent amount of depth.
- 6:58 – 7:30 – Bass extension definitely exists, but it’ll probably need to be bumped up a bit since it’s tough to hear. While the highs can keep up with the pace, it sounds slightly loose and lacks sparkle from higher quality tweeters. Lack of separation is apparent, but it’s enough to hear the different instruments.
- 00:00 – 00:50 – His voice definitely pops out as the main feature, and you have to really listen for the other parts, especially with the lack of soundstage width available. The highs feel a bit lost in the music, and while the bass hits are present if you listen for it, it also feels a bit lost.
- 00:00 -1:00 – This is what these speakers are made for. Her voice is front and center, and the speakers help you focus on all the small details in her voice from sibilance to phrasing. Piano, bass, guitar, and other instruments are more subtle. You can hear them if you listen for them, but not when you’re casually listening.
- 00:00 – 00:44 Violin attacks are reasonably sharp, but they feel slightly sluggish from not being as sharp as they should be. The lower strings are very tough to hear, which is disappointing since they should be adding a lot of depth and texture to the sound.
- 00:45 -1:04 Pavel’s aggressiveness doesn’t come through prominently, but it isn’t completely lost.
- 1:05 – 1:20 – Again, lack of separation in soundstage width is a problem, and the speakers lack depth and extension in lower end.
- 00:00 – 00:41 Midforwardness makes the piece feel a bit sluggish since it’s bringing out the sax and horns, highs and lows are less present and slightly lost in the background, and lack of soundstage makes listening to individual instruments a bit tough.
- 1:10 – 1:39 The speakers make up for their poor performance during the solo instrument sections because anything mid focused sound pretty smooth and brings out all the intricate details of that section.
The TriTrix speakers are a strong contender for someone looking build a DIY home theater. It’s for someone who doesn’t quite need the output of waveguide speakers and is working with a budget.
Would I build these again if I was building a home theater? It’s a tough call. I could build OS MTMs for a 5.1 set up, and they’d do better for music, so it really comes down to what application the speakers are being used for. I’d probably end up upgrading to set of zaph speakers since I personally love them or possibly build the aviatrix, but that significantly ups the budget.