New Head-Fier
Pros: Well tuned DD IEM considering the price
Very cheap, good choice for a beater IEM
Above average extension
Cons: Congestion at busy tracks
Sibilance at prone tracks
Shouty at prone tracks

TRN MT1 & TRN CS1 Review: "The hyper-budget brothers shoot out"

Disclaimer: This review is based on my personal experiences. Your mileage may vary.

The TRN MT1 is TRN's contestant in the hyper-budget IEM lineup along with KZ EDX and such. As expected with budget IEMs, many people were not afraid to blind buy the MT1. And those who have took a dive were surprised on what the MT1 has to offer. It gained popularity in the audio scene as one of the best budget IEMs money could buy.

However, weeks after the TRN MT1's release, TRN announced a new 1DD IEM along with the TRN ST2. The TRN CS1. TRN said the the CS1 will be a limited version and only 1000* sets is gonna be available on the market. And the CS1's price? Almost the same with the TRN MT1.

Now a question arises. With the two brothers being at the same price bracket, same brand, and same driver configuration. Which of the two of them will perform better? Will the CS1 be able to stand out against the MT1? Which one has the better build? Etc etc. Let's find out.

Build Quality:
Right off the bat I will tell you that the TRN CS1's build quality better than the MT1... For me at least. The CS1 is very cool looking with that black shiny metal shell and silver grill accents. However the MT1, by no means is ugly. The MT1 sports a all-plastic transparent shell, you could see the driver inside the MT1.

Upon closer inspection, the TRN CS1's size is smaller than the TRN MT1. Although the both of them share a common IEM KZ-style shaped shells, so you have an idea on how they fit.

On the stock cable, the cable on the CS1 is thinner than the MT1. The CS1's jack is straight type, while the MT1 has a L-shaped jack. Although the ear guide on the MT1 is horrible, stiff and unmanageable. It's better to remove the ear guide IMO.

Both of them have similar sets of generic stock ear tips, but I wonder why the one that is pre-equipped in the IEM is different from the rest?

Sound Quality:

Phone/Laptop >Zishan U1 (ESS Version) > TRN CS1/MT1

All stock from cable to ear tips.

My TRN MT1 is the "dyuamic" version. (If this matters)

- For the bass, the CS1 has the upper hand on this section. The bass in CS1 is lively and impactful, it has a nice deep sub-bass and the mid-bass is strong. In the MT1, the subbass also has a nice depth to it, but lacking in mid-bass. Like you can feel the depth, but lacks the mid-bass slam.

- As for the mids, the MT1 has the upper hand. The upper mids on the MT1 is much more smoother compared to the CS1. The mids of the MT1 is thin sounding as it lacks body, but the upper mids makes up for it as it has a wide extension with no sibilance noticeable. The mids on the CS1 is much more well bodied, but suffers from midbass bleeding, where the MT1 only has minimal mid-bass bleeding. The upper mids of the CS1 is detailed and bright, but it's stunted extension makes it sound shouty. In fact the CS1 makes my head hurt after listening to it for a while. The MT1 can also get shouty at times, but the CS1's shouty tendencies is much more evident and annoying.

- Right away the treble of the CS1 is more detailed and bright, because of this the treble sounds harsh. The treble extension of the CS1 also lacks extension, same with it's upper mids. The MT1 on the other hand has smoother and more natural treble compared to the CS1, but it is not as detailed compared to the CS1's treble. But it has a wider extension and is not harsh sounding.

- The soundstage of the MT1 is wider compared to the CS1. Seems like the grills of the CS1 is only for show and it is not a true open-back IEM. I'd say that the soundstage of the CS1 is average, but average is not enough as the CS1's bass, upper mids, and treble have so much presence to the point that it sounds congested at times. The soundstage of the MT1 is above average, which is very good for the price. However it is not exempted as both the CS1 and MT1 struggles with busy tracks.

Conclusion and Thoughts:
To me the winner of this shoot out is the TRN MT1. For its price, the tuning is really good, natural, and more ear-friendly. The TRN CS1 however isn't a bad apple, but seems like a unrefined product that is rushed to ride the hyper-budget hype. Based on what I've heard it has a lot of potential to become a better IEM than the MT1, or other hyper-budget options. But first and foremost, they need to fix that goddamn ear guide. I also noticed that when the CS1 is paired with a warm source, like the Sony A55. It has become more bearable to listen to as it becomes more smooth and musical, but still can get shouty.

Headphones and Coffee

Previously known as Wretched Stare
Pros: A balanced IEM with slightly lifted Bass , Bass is speedy and has good control.
Decent Mids , Treble and soundstage is spacious.
Cons: Doesn't excel in anything particular, mids are recessed a little and mid/ treble can get harsh at times.

Packaging is typical TRN , KZ budget IEM styling no surprises there it works and inside the cable and tips are as expected.
Comfort was pretty good as they aren't big somewhere in-between small and medium and the shape is a tried and true guitar pick shape we all know well. Isolation was average and could improve depending on fit and tips.

Bass: Is well managed it has power yet retains a fair amount of control and details. I would not consider this a Bass head IEM but it was a good thump most would find it pretty deep but compared to some KZ and TFZ models I would say its closer to balanced with just a little more emphasis.

Midrange: Is good there is a slight recession that can be noticeable on older and poor recordings, lower Mids are warmish and pleasant upper mids a little forward, vocals sound full and rich but not overly detailed or natural.

Treble: Is relaxed with a tiny sparkle that lacks real energy but is free from harshness on most songs.

Soundstage and imaging: Soundstage is good it and the Bass are strong points to consider, it is open and has a immersive quality, imaging however is average to fair.

Conclusion: The MT1 is not bad its pretty decent if you consider the price and aren't expecting the world of it.
Its a very competitive place in this 15-20 range. I'm sure there is better and much worse ones for the money.



New Head-Fier
Pros: Great Value, Balanced Sound, Detail
Cons: Timbre and Peaks, Nothing really to hate on at the price



Disclaimer: I purchased the TRN MT1 with my own money at full price and this review is written of my own accord. For more reviews like these, check out our website at

My favourite memory of the TRN was their V80 IEM, one of the first few Chi-Fi earphones that I tried that truly impressed me. It had the perfect combination of build quality, sound quality and value. It’s been a while since I’ve found another TRN as worthy as the V80. Will the MT1 make the cut?

Accessories and Build Quality (Score: 7.5/10)


Accessories are actually quite impressive. Besides the stock silicone tips, you’re getting a removable Cable which is slightly improved quality over the usual sketchy TRN stock cable we saw with the TRN VX, which is many times the price of the MT1. This cable has a much more aesthetic and well-built 3.5mm jack and connectors. There is an option for a cable with a mic should that suit your needs better,

I bought the clear version, which I thought looked quite attractive, giving a full view of the internal wiring and the 10mm Dynamic Driver. There are 3 colours you can choose from, namely Clear, Grey and Green. Overall, I must say I was impressed with what I saw and felt in my hands for just US$5.

Fit (Score: 7.5/10)


The fit of the MT1 is rather standard given how it uses almost the same shell mould as the KZ EDX and the QKZ VK4. If you have experience with that shell then this shouldn’t be a problem. Slap on your favourite tips and they should stay secure in your ears even on the move.

Sound (Score: 7.0/10)


Frequency Response Graph of the MT1

  • Lotoo Paw S1
  • Hiby R5
Music listened to
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven Symphony 7
  • The Vamps – Cherry Blossom
  • Stevie Wonder – In the Key of Life
  • Bastille – All This Bad Blood
  • The Lumineers
  • Paul Kim
  • X Ambassadors
  • Børns – Blue Madonna
Bass (Score: 7.5/10)

The bass is punchy and drumsets sound pretty dynamic on it. The detail in this region and subbass extension is impressive for a $5 IEM. Mid-bass bloat is minimal. My impressions are mostly positive considering the expectations for the price. Realistically speaking, there is of course much room for improvement.

Mids (Score: 6.0/10)

Upper Mids gets slightly peaky occasionally and has a slight metallic sheen noticeable in more instrument and female vocal-heavy tracks. Hence, the timbre here is not the most natural. Nevertheless, what stood out for me was the clarity and detail in the upper mids. It was mind-blowingly impressive at this price point.

Treble (Score: 6.5/10)

The odd sheen in timbre is carried on into the lower treble. Nevertheless, the detail and extension are way beyond my expectations. Treble in general is quite present as the MT1 feels rather balanced. this can be borderline fatiguing on certain genres and tracks if you’re sensitive. Personally, it was borderline tiring on longer sessions but otherwise manageable.


I didn’t expect too much soundstage and imaging from these given what I paid for it, so all’s fair. These don’t have many “layers” to the sound, separation and detail is just alright and more than what you can ask for, which IMHO, is already saying a lot. Plugging the MT1 into a better source with more power can potentially improve the bass response.




The QKZ VK4 is in my books, the reigning champ of the ultra-budget IEMS, and as impressive as the MT1 is for 5 bucks, the VK4 still retains its throne. Though almost twice the price of the MT1, the VK4 has a much much more polished tonality as compared to the VK4. The well-tuned signature of the VK4 nailed what some pricier IEMs struggle to achieve.

The MT1 has a slightly more pronounced upper mids and treble and I am under the impression that the MT1 comes out slightly tops in terms of detail and treble presence. Otherwise, they are similar in build and fit.



The KZ EDX made waves for what you can get for $5, providing a super affordable option for musicians, casual listeners or zoomers. I wouldn’t say it was great and neither was I a fan of the bass-heavy sound signature. However, I still couldn’t complain because of the value it had. The arrival of the MT1, however, changes things.

The MT1 beats the KZ EDX in sound in almost every area in my books and matches the other aspects of build and fit. In my opinion, the MT1 renders the EDX obsolete.



TRN MT1 with KBEAR Limpid Silver Cable

To sum it up simply, yes the MT1 did impress me. After my experience with the TRN VX, this was a very welcome improvement in my opinion of TRN and their future releases. If you’re in the market for a $5 no-frills earpiece, just get the MT1 and you might just be surprised at how much bang you got for your buck.

Overall Grade: B​

Click HERE for our grading list for earphones
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Reactions: ehjie and DGJM
I hope you can give these another try with any future sources you get. For me, the imaging/layering is their strong point.
@DGJM SFLR somehow missed this. That's interesting, these were the filters that came preinstalled with mine. I wonder how much difference it has on the sound....
Mine are like @DGJM with a stamped filter. I guess there was a later revision?


You Don’t Own These…. Why? - TRN MT1 Review 🔥
Pros: - well tuned (U shaped tuning)
- tight, well-controlled bass
- full bodied mids
- good soundstage depth
- good imaging for the price
Cons: - gets congested with busy tracks
- not the most resolving
- timbre could be better
- not the best image separation
I've been using the TRN MT1 for roughly a month and here's what I have to say about these $8usd IEMs.


  • Tuning here is amazing. The MT1 has a Balanced slight U-shaped tuning that is versatile and works for most genres.
  • Bass is tight, clean, deep, and well-controlled. No bloaty bass mess that bleeds into the mids.
  • Mids are full-bodied, slightly warm with great vocal presence.
  • Treble is smooth and non-fatiguing. Great for long listening sessions!
  • No harshness, no sibilance.
  • Pretty detailed for the price. Hard to find another IEM at this price range that can present detail as well.
  • Soundstage depth is surprisingly decent. Heck, it does soundstage depth better than some IEMs that are way higher priced than the MT1.
  • Imaging is good for the price.
  • Responds well to cable and tips.
  • Sounds absolutely amazing with simpler songs like Hip Hop, Pop, Acoustics, Indie, and soft-pop.


  • Can't handle busy tracks as well.
  • Not the most resolving set.
  • timbre could be better and depending on the song, could have slight sibilance.
  • Not the best instrument separation. Instruments can sound "glued" together, especially with busy tracks.
  • Bass texture and treble extension could be better. But honestly, at this price point, I am asking for too much.


In conclusion,

The TRN MT1 is now my daily beaters. For $10usd, the MT1 is an absolute no-brainer. TRN hit a jackpot here with the MT1 as this IEM is tuned amazingly well. Most of the complaints I have about the MT1 can be easily overlooked as those are not things that you expect to get from a $10usd IEM. Heck, even some of the more expensive IEMs have the same misses too.

Sure, these will not replace my $300usd IEMs, but if I am forced to use only the MT1 for months on end, I honestly wouldn't mind.

What I'm trying to say is, the TRN MT1 is the best IEM money can buy at the moment. Yes, they are not perfect, but for $8usd, you can't get any better.

So... You do not own the TRN MT1. May I know why?



New Head-Fier
Hi, I'm Ah Hui. Thanks to my Singapore friend Larry who arranged the TRN MT1 review unit for me.

Packaging :

It is classic TRN bundle, which consists of a few eartips, warranty card and operating manual.

Build :
It's quite substantial. Made of plastic but doesn't look cheap.

MT1 fits me well.
I am able to listen through long sessions without fatigue. I suggest replacing the stock eartips for better comfort.

Sound :

My first impression is the soundstage is open. Mids are crisp with vocals slightly laid back. When listening to Diana Krall, I could detect good image positions. Bass is fast.
Sub-bass is textured and well-layered. I could hear the micro details in songs.
Expresses the charisma of Sabia Angel's alluring voice.

My source is Shanling UA2. Earphone tested with stock cable and eartips.

For just $10, I feel it is well-worth a try. I am sure you will enjoy it.


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New Head-Fier
The differentiated TRN
Pros: Mild Sibilance
better than other TRN on hand
Cons: lacks clarity andtreble extension
too much bass
Here is my First Review in HeadFi, so sorry if i did something wrong with my review....

ive been fond of TRN's product since their my first company that lured me in to the whole iem and audio hobby, I have the st1 and m10, now the mt1 is my 3rd TRN product

Packaging and IEM itself:


The packaging is like any typical packaging from the likes of KZ, CCA... just a box with pictures on the from with specs on the back, and in the box is the iem itself the cables with your typical eartips(im using kz starline tips in the images btw) small and large with midium ones is pre installed in the iem, all in all for the price it ain't bad...

the included cable of the MT1 is your average 4 core TRN black rubberish wire with qdc connectors(the KZ type) and terminates in a L-shape3.5mm plug.

with the included eartips it fits my ear quite nicely and the shape of the iem helps with the fit of my weird ear, thast all

ok this part will be all in my personal opinion and im not really good at explaining sound so take this at a grain of salt.

The bass ahs warmt in them with a good punch and speed is "average" they bleed in to the mids a tiny bit but for the price it doesnt matter, so they are good for listeing to bass heavy music like edm, pop, etc...

for me its kind of a love of hate kind, since im transitioning to iems with neutral tuning and this is kinda throwing me off becasue of that, at the same time reminding me the good feeling with that nice bass.

i would say bass on this is OK, i guess.

dont have much to say here in this area, the mids is slightly recessed for my ears so i dont have much to complain here, their not that hollow as the st1, which is good, i would say TRN did a good job in the midrange here at this price point

this were im midly dissapointed on them, but first lets talk with the pros the treble here are non fatiguing with mild harshness due to the elivated lower treble,they did a good job making a somewhat harsh free treble.

now the con of them....... their clarity, they sound really dull like theres literally no treble extension, their almost sound muffled but luckily their not, they casn be improved wen EQed so no worries about heir

im using poweramp equalizer as my equing app.... they repond to EQ quite well, increasing the frequency from 6k to 8k with abit of elivation to the 1k seem to open up the sound quite alot which a good thing.

TRN did something amazing, creating an iem for the lowest price possible, with the sound that could appeal many... more power to you TRN!
Try kz edx