TRN is one of the brand that I don't pay much attention. Actually, until several months after the release of the TRN V90 that their existence as an IEM manufacturer came into my mind.
The TRN VX is one of their newest work on the market. Like a lot of their past IEM, they also went for a hybrid design consists of 1DD + 6BA drivers. Let's see how it sounds after having that much drivers inside.
Before going into the post, if you are new, please read this before having any comments regarding my writing or point of view.
- Drivers: 1DD + 6BA
- Price: 74$
- Purchases link: https://hifigo.com/products/trn-vx-1dd-6ba-metal-hybrid-units-hifi-earbuds-in-ear-monitor-iems
This TRN VX unit was provided by HifiGo in exchange for my honest review.
Build and Accessories:
- 3 pairs of silicon tips (S/M/L)
- Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
- Instruction manual and warranty card
- The IEM itself
During my time waiting for the TRN VX to arrive, I have heard that TRN has cut the cost of the packaging in favor of "sound quality" and the packaging reflect this decision really well. The accessories that comes with the TRN VX is as "basic" as it can be, down to the only necessities that most IEM need to work, nothing more, nothing less.
Readers who read my BLON BL-03 review should have known about the fact that the cable isn't my favorite part from that IEM: It just feel like someone just use some cheap plastic and turn it into a cable. The TRN VX's stock cable also has the same texture, even the ear hook which was one of the reasons of discomfort for some people is also isn't that far off when compared to the BL-03. At least, I can say the VX cable is slightly better due to the fact that the 2-pin connection is now enclosed with plastic and the Y-splitter, straight jack casing are made from metal.
The TRN VX has a black metal shell with seashell-like design on the back. There are 2 vent hole on the front with Left/Right indicator on each side of the IEM. I have no problem wearing the TRN VX for long session and isolation of the VX is also expected - it was within the average range among the grand scheme of IEM that I have tried.
Measurements are done on a calibrated IEC-711 clone. Expect a resonance peak at around 8kHz.
My measurements are also raw and uncompensated, hence flat in graph is not flat in real life.
The TRN VX has a bright V-Shaped signature
How I think the TRN VX isn't worth your consideration:
Being someone who usually listens to Japanese music, The TRN VX is probably one of the worst contenders for this genre, especially with vocal-centric tracks. Vocals tend to be shouty, shrills and sibilance is a common issue. Not only that, some percussion instruments like cymbals sound quite splashy, sharp and too upfront that some can find it offensive depending on their tracks. For these reasons, the "ringing" effect occurs quite often and I find myself often taking breaks when using the TRN VX. BA Timbre is also an apparent issue here, notes occasionally lack authority which throws me off every listening sessions but this might be an aftereffect of me being used to single DD IEMs or those that managed to reduce the BA coloration down to the minimum.
How I think the TRN VX can worth a purchase:
Surprisingly, despite the wonky tonality that the TRN VX is to my ears. While soundstage isn't all that good or anything, notes presentation within the IEM is quite clean, layers of instruments are reproduced well with small issues with notes being overlapped. The VX bass is also fine in my opinion: there might be some complaints about how it lacks some extension and texture, typical DD punch is still there and the boost was well executed without any sign of bleed which further enhance the VX overall clarity. The BAs also have some of its merit here, giving the IEM some edge on the detail retrieval ability despite being noticeably incoherent throughout the spectrum.
vs TRN V90:
Sporting at around 53$, the TRN V90 is cheaper than the VX by roughly 20$ so the obvious question from current V90 owners is that if the VX worth the trouble upgrading or not (if one has any intent to do that).
I think the answer I would give this time is more likely to be a "Yes" mainly due to the tonal performance of both IEMs. If I have described the VX tonal as "wonky", then the V90 is worse than that. Coming from the TRN VX to the V90, Vocal has gone to the point of being too unnatural, every instruments is too "into your face"... In short, the whole sound presentation is noticeably more unbalanced.
Of course, one can find themselves not selling off the V90 due to something like its bass. But honestly, if you are offended by the V90 upper midrange tonal and still want to go for the TRN route, then the VX is worth the trouble getting through.
vs Shozy Form 1.1:
For the people who are thinking of buying a new IEM around the TRN VX asking price without caring about whatever brand it is though, the Shozy Form 1.1 is one of the IEM that I would recommend over.
Comparing to the 1.1, The TRN VX's bass is cleaner and tighter, details retrieval is also slightly better. But, I think the winning factor of the Shozy Form 1.1 over the VX is also because of its tonality.
While both IEMs do have some problems that cause my ear to fatigue, the Shozy Form 1.1 is less "into your face" than its competitor. Tonality is also significantly warmer on the 1.1 which overall, is more pleasant to listen to. Hence, I would take the 1.1 over the TRN VX every time if given the choice to choose between the two.
With all that said about the TRN VX, despite the fact that it can appeal to some people who is looking for a bright, energetic signature, I found it hard to add it to my recommendation list.
With the price it is going for, the sound signature of the VX would be one of the major factor that holding it off from the competition. Of course, it isn't a bad IEM by all means, but in my opinion they definitely need more work on this segment.
Recommendation ratings: Niches