1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

    Dismiss Notice
  1. B9Scrambler
    TRN V30: KZ Killer?
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Apr 25, 2019
    Pros - V-shaped tune, but quite refined for the price - Impressive ergonomics and isolation
    Cons - Looks and feels cheap - Cable, esp. that y-split placement

    Today we're checking out TRN's newest hybrid, the V30.

    TRN is one of a number of companies that has seen a surge of popularity in the budget iem realm. With well received offerings like the V20 and V80 under their belt, I had high hopes for the V30. It does not disappoint. The V30 doesn't break new ground with its 0.75mm 2-pin cable and hybrid setup of one 10mm dynamic aided by two balanced armatures perched within the nozzles. The shell may look familiar to KZ faithfuls taking some heavy inspiration from the AS series of armature-based models, but get them side-by-side and the differences are quite obvious. While it may seem like just another by-the-numbers release, leaving it at that would be a disservice to the V30. This is a very well-tuned and uncharacteristically refined sounding earphone for something in this price range, one that I have very much enjoyed my time with.

    Let's take a closer look, shall we?


    A big thanks to Lillian with Linsoul Audio/DD-Audio for providing a sample of the V30 for the purposes of this review. The thoughts within are my own subjective opinions based on a month and a half of use. They do not represent Linsoul, TRN, or any other entity. At the time of writing, the V30 was retailing for around 25 USD. You can scoop it up on AliExpress or via Linsoul's external web store;

    Linsoul: https://www.linsoul.com/product-page/trn-v30-IEM

    AliExpress: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...ml?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.4.35b1140aAIHP96


    For mobile use: LG G6, Shanling M0, Periodic Audio Nickel, ZiShan DSD

    For @home use: TEAC HA-501, ASUS FX53V, ZiShan DSD

    V30 does not need amping and is very easy to drive. Doesn't seem to benefit from more power.

    Personal Preferences:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. My preferences for earphone tuning are quite relaxed and as such their is no one signature I look for. The HiFiMAN RE800, Brainwavz B400, and Massdrop x MeeAudio Planamic are examples of earphones with wildly varied signatures that are enjoyable for different reasons. I generally listen at very low volumes, so keep this in mind when perusing my thoughts on how an earphone sounds.

    • Drivers: 1 DD, 2BA per side
    • Impedance: 20ohms
    • Sensitivity: 99dB
    • Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
    • Cable Length: 1.2m
    P1000709.JPG P1000710.JPG P1000712.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The V30's packaging is quite long, or tall depending on how you look at it, with a white color scheme that has been ever so popular the last few years. On the front of the exterior sheath is the usual branding and model info as well as an image of the V30's earpieces with the cable in the midst of being plugged in. Neat way to show off a useful feature. The sides feature more branding while on the back you find location and contact information for TRN. Sliding the sheath off reveals a white, magnetically sealed cardboard box with the TRN logo on the front. Lifting the lid you are greeted to the V30's earpieces set safely within a paper covered foam insert. Lifting that out using the ribbon tab, you find the accessories in individual bags tucked under a cardboard insert. In all you get:
    • V30 earphones
    • 0.75mm 2.pin braided copper cable
    • Single flange silicone tips (s/m/l)
    • Warranty
    • Manual
    • QC card
    Given the size of the packaging I was hoping to see a carrying baggie included, but nope. This is the same basic accessory kit common to the price range; earphones, cable, and tips. Just the basics needed to start listening. I'm not complaining since you can order a decent carrying case for under 1 USD on AliExpress, or for a little more on other sites like Amazon, but seeing them included is always appreciated.

    P1000715.JPG P1000717.JPG P1000721.JPG

    Comfort, Build, and Isolation:

    The V30's shell on first glance looks like the KZ AS06 and AS10, with a half moon style front plate with a crossover visible beneath. Set them side-by-side and turn them over and you quickly see the V30 is it's own beast. Not only is it much smaller, but the inner half of the shell has custom-like protrusions akin to more premium 3D printed products like the Tenhz P4 Pro and FiiO FA1. The small size, ergonomic shape, and extremely light weight makes the V30 an absolute joy to wear, for me at least. These cause zero discomfort and nearly disappear during long listening sessions. TRN did an outstanding job with this shell.

    I'm less enthusiastic about the build quality though. While aspects are fine, like fit and finish, it's the materials and aesthetics that hold it back. The plastics both look and feel quite cheap. The PCB for the crossover is overly thin and the unsanded breakpoints are an eyesore. There is also plenty of glue visible around the drivers and crossover, though it is neatly applied. It just looks like a budget earphone, unlike other models in the TRN lineup.

    The cable will be familiar to TRN faithfuls since it has appeared on a number of other models. The black, braided sheath is a little plasticy and while fine in warm weather, gets somewhat stiff in cooler weather. The hardware is nice though with a compact metal straight jack, a durable metal y-split with some strain relief out the bottom, and handy preformed ear guides that keep the cable held neatly in place behind the ear. Those who are flustered with KZ and the placement of the y-split way down on the cable are going to lost their minds with this cable, as the y-split is only about 3 inches above the mid way point of the cable. This is a VERY low y-split which makes the top half of the cable very susceptible to tangling. It wouldn't be so bad if TRN included a chin cinch, but that was omitted so you'll have to make one yourself. Twist ties work well. Some also find that small dental elastic bands work well.

    How well does the V30 block out external noise? Pretty darn well actually. Certainly better than most hybrids, likely thanks to the shapely, low profile design. Without music playing I can barely hear cars passing by on the busy street outside my window. When typing, key strokes are reduced to a slight clatter. In the local coffee shop, I can still hear my surroundings by they are dulled to a reasonable murmur. Once you bring music into the mix things get even better. Foam tips improve things even further. I can see the V30 being a good option as an everyday carry for those that ride transit on the regular.


    The V30 has a pretty standard light v-shaped signature, but it's one that has been done with a level of effortlessness and refinement generally reserved for more expensive products.

    Despite the balanced armatures being mounted in the top of the nozzle with no damping, the V30's treble is smooth. Only at very high volumes where notes can be somewhat strident does this placement hinder the presentation. Otherwise, at more realistic and safe volumes it is much more refined that I'm used to from products in the 25 USD price range. It is controlled and clear with any congestion or extreme peaks. Very nice.

    The midrange is set back behind the treble and bass, but isn't drowned out in any way. Vocals cut through and remain coherent and viable, even on very busy tracks. Guitars have a nice bite and satisfying attack to them. Timbre is a strong point with the V30 lacking qualities generally found in these budget earphones; too dry, too light, metallic, etc. It's fairly natural through and through. Note weight is satisfying as well with vocals and instruments having the right amount of body and heft to them. Nothing is too lean or dense and as a result clarity is excellent.

    Bass is tight and well controlled with great extension. The balance of mid- and sub-bass is pretty much spot on with the mid-bass seeing a small hump that at very high volumes sees it get a bit bloomy and lose definition. Otherwise, it's rightly punchy and textured with a very head-bobbingly satisfying presentation. I also noticed that, like the V80, the dynamic driver increases in volume faster than the BAs making the presentation between low and high volumes inconsistent. It's fun, sure, but at the expense of accuracy.

    While the V30s sound stage is fairly average in terms of width and depth, imaging is excellent with effects sweeping from channel to channel with aplomb. Transitions are smooth and free of dead zones or vague areas. Layering and separation are also handled well keeping the V30 from muddying up on busy tracks, unless of course you're listening at unsafe volumes.

    P1000722.JPG P1000724.JPG P1000734.JPG

    Select Comparisons:

    KZ ZSN Pro: The V30's treble is better balanced between brilliance and presence regions. ZSN Pro lacks upper treble making it sound a touch flat. V30 is slightly more detailed too. Mids on the ZSN Pro are a touch more forward, thicker, and warmer, but with similar levels of detail. V30 sounds a bit more natural with more accurate timbre, though the differences are minimal. Bass on the ZSN Pro is heavier and more aggressive with a strong mid-bass region that makes it sound slightly bloated at times; especially noticeable on chugging guitar riffs. V30 is more textured too. ZSN Pro has a wider, deeper sound stage with more precise imaging. Layering and separation seems to be about on par with neither muddying up on busy tracks. Personally, I prefer the V30. The ZSN Pro's low end is too mid-bassy and distracting for my tastes, and the somewhat dull treble leaves me wanting.

    TRN V80: The V80 has much more prominent treble than the V30, particularly in the upper regions. V30 sounds just as detailed but is better controlled, not as strident, and not as lean. Mids on the V30 are more forward and thicker with a touch less detail. I find male and female vocals through the V30 a more even in terms of emphasis. Bass on the V30 doesn't dig as deep, isn't quite as punchy, nor is it as textured. V80 has some amazing bass for the price so no surprise there. Sound stage on the V80 is larger but not quite as precise in terms of imaging quality. Layering and separation is equally good on both. Imo the V30 is the better earphone. Nicer treble, more forward mids.

    Final Thoughts:

    To my ears the V30 is the best earphone to come out of TRN at this time, and one of the best options currently available for under 30 USD, at least out of what I've heard. I love the comfortable, highly ergonomic and well isolating shell design. While the signature follows a fairly traditional v-shaped tune, it is exceptionally well done with a level of refinement and smoothness generally reserved for products closer to that 100 USD mark.

    The cable is typical TRN and for me that means it's not amazing (esp. due to that extra low y-split). The quality of the plastics seem pretty mediocre though they don't feel fragile. Other than that, I can find little to complain about and applaud TRN for such a solid release. These are well worth checking out if you are in the market for a new, budget friendly earphone.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****​

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)
    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
      DocHoliday likes this.
  2. Wiljen
    TRN V30, an improved v20
    Written by Wiljen
    Published Apr 26, 2019
    Pros - Very well tuned and polite iem for popular genres.
    Cons - Lower mids very recessed, lack of bass detail

    Disclaimer: Kinboofi provided the TRN V30 for review based on my previous conversation surrounding the TRN v20 with their rep. Worth noting, Kinboofi lists a 12 month warranty if purchased through their Amazon store. If interested, the v30 can be purchased here.

    Unboxing / Packaging:

    The TRN v30 arrived packaged in a slip-cover with a book-fold style box inside. Specs on the outside of the box are a more western style package and would seem at home on a shelf at best buy or the typical electronics store. The earpieces themselves rest in a foam tray with all the other goodies hiding underneath. The kit is fairly basic with 3 sets of tips, the cable, and various cards and instructions.

    TRN_V30-box-front.jpg TRN_V30-box-inside.jpg TRN_V30-inner-box.jpg


    The cable outwardly appears to be identical to the V20 version. It is 4 core oxygen free copper in a twist pattern of two cores twisted together and then the two pairs twisted together from the straight 3.5mm jack to the semi dumbell shaped splitter. Coating is pvc and feels a bit like plastic but resists tangles well if not the most pliable option available. Above the split, twisted pairs run to pre-formed earhooks (sans memory wire) and then to black plastic .75mm bi-pin connector housings. Overall, TRN has done a good job with cables and the one included with the V30 is a solid effort even if I would prefer the 90º jack and a chin slider.

    TRN_V30-bi-pin.jpg TRN_V30-jack.jpg TRN_V30-splitter.jpg


    Build quality on the V30 is a mixed bag. Shells are transparent smoked plastic and are well put together with no slop at the seams. Some will immediately liken the v30 to the AS06 or AS10 shape but it is smaller in most dimensions especially in thickness which I find makes it sit in the ear more comfortably. As good as the shell construction is, they are not without problems. They ship with mid sized tips and in exchanging them for the large size I usually use, one of the grills fell off the nozzle. Within a week, the second grill had fallen off even with a tip in place to hold it on. Nozzles do not have a true lip but do have a series of raised studs around the rim to hold tips in place (these can be felt with a fingernail more easily than seen due to the shell color - see red arrows). I will say that when the first thing you see is the dual BAs aimed straight at your eardrum with no form of damping or filtering. I was a bit apprehensive about what these might sound like.

    TRN_V30-BAs.jpg TRN_V30-earpieces.jpg TRN_V30-earpiece-top.jpg TRN_V30-nozzles.jpg TRN_V30-thickness.jpg


    A single 10mm polymer dynamic driver sits behind two balanced armatures that TRN lists as being an inhouse built improvement on the Knowles 30017. The layout has the two BA drivers in the nozzle with the dynamic immediately behind them. (The upside of the grills falling of is clearer photos of the BAs). Nominal impedance is listed as 20Ω with a sensitivity of 99dB. I do have to call TRN out on the marketing material though, why post an FR chart and then note that it is not representative of the product? TRN also advertises holding the earpieces to within a 2dB tolerance they claim in 50% higher than the industry standard. My pair does indeed show good matching between the earpieces when tested.

    TRN_V30-BAs.jpg TRN_V30-notches.jpg TRN_V30-grill.jpg


    Defining the sound signature of the v30 is difficult in that none of the typical V, W, U designations are accurate. Sub-bass and mid-bass are elevated, lower mids are recessed, upper mids are mildly elevated, lower treble is lifted yet further, and then treble and upper treble falls back to a much more polite level. Probably the closest one can come to defining the signature shape would be a w with the right most leg removed. (Here i use the lower case for a reason as while some ranges are definitely ahead of others, none is so glaring so that it deserves the capital designation).



    Sub-bass rumble is good with roll-off becoming evident in the mid 40Hz range. Mid-bass is pushed forward mildly at around 100Hz and then drops as you move into the lower mids. While I found bass quantity to be very good, I found quality to be somewhat lacking in that the driver is a bit slow and lacked the ability to resolve details. This gives the v30 a bit of a one note bass at times as it didn't have the ability to create good separation between tones in the lower ranges. Orchestral pieces with a lot of low-end (Mussorgsky anyone?) suffered the most here while rock and pop that usually have a fairly uncomplicated bass sound considerably better.


    Mixed impressions here. Lower mids are recessed considerably and lack the kind of detail I would have liked to see. As you climb, they begin to move forward and by the upper mids, a considerable amount of detail is added and they have moved forward quite a bit. Still not to the level of the mid-bass but enough to be much more acceptable in my eyes. This creates a dichotomy as lower range vocals do not have much texture while upper range vocals are much more lifelike and engaging. The lack of lower mids also created similar problems for strings as they sounded thin and unnatural at times.


    Treble is tuned with a forward lower treble followed by a fairly steep roll-off. This removes any tendency toward sibilance or stridency, but also limits air at the top end and makes snare and cymbals sound a bit dull. Detail in the treble is quite good (as one might expect with twin BAs immediately inside your ear) and clarity in the upper ranges is surprisingly good. TRN's claim to have improved the Knowles 30017 seems founded when looking at the treble alone (if not so much the mids). The one drawback is they do exhibit some of the characteristic BA sound signature and are a bit dry and thinner than perfect. (This is hardly a knock at the price point, just more of an observation).

    Soundstage / Imaging:

    Soundstage is more wide than deep and feels confined without feeling congested. They do have some sense of height, but it is fairly limited and as such these feel like the music is mostly in your head rather than out in front of you. Imaging is good, but not great as instrument separation suffers as tracks get busier. This is particularly true when a fast complex bass-line is introduced as the dynamic driver is a bit slower on both attack and decay than the BA drivers and tends to "gum up" more quickly.

    Thoughts / Conclusion:

    If you got the feeling that I am somewhat confused when it comes to the v30 you'd be right. It does a lot well and the tuning will appeal to many. It would be easy to say it is the Tin Audio T2 with slightly more bass and a bit more polite treble but then the lack of lower mids sneak in and ruin the thought. Next song, wow these are better than the ZsN easily and then lack of detail in the bass becomes evident. Finally I start comparing to KB-100 and again the V30 does a lot equally well or better but then you get a lack of dynamics where the Kb-100 takes over and the v30 struggles. Overall, is the TRN v30 an improvement over the previous generation v20? Yes, very much so. Is it an improvement over the v80? Again for me yes, gone is 90% of the grain in the treble that killed the v80 for me. Is it perfect? It was $27 were you honestly expecting that? Bottom line, well tuned, very polite, good bass depth, and enjoyable with popular genres that don't get excessively busy or rely on lower mids too heavily.


    1. TRN_V30-feature2.jpg
      DocHoliday and B9Scrambler like this.
  3. antdroid
    TRN V30
    Written by antdroid
    Published Apr 26, 2019
    Pros - Good detail for this price
    Cons - Bright/Harsh
    Plasticky build quality
    The TRN V30 is one of the latest budget IEMs on the market and priced at around $20. It's just below the price point of the TRN V20, which I disliked, and half the price of the TRN V80, which I enjoyed. This new one was provided to me by Linsoul for review.

    The TRN V30 comes with a similar package to their other units -- a basic box, with a nice black braided cable and, in this case, a basic mic. There is also a small selection of tips. The V30 itself has clear plastic shells with a circuit board look to it that is reminiscent of KZ's latest set of IEMs like the AS10 and ZS10. The plastic shell looks rather cheap and you can see the mold and shell lines pretty easily and overall looks a little tacky and something that looks like a freebie. It is also extremely lightweight.

    In actual listen, I found the V30 to be very bright. It's a single dynamic driver with two balanced armatures -- triple driver at $20. That's pretty incredible really, but it sounds quite mediocre. The bass is actually pretty clean and generally lean, which is nice to hear in this price range where many earphones are very bass heavy. The mids are recessed a little bit but aren't really a problem. The problem lies in the extra boost in treble, which I found very harsh and sibilant in some cases.

    The accentuated treble makes the V30 have more clarity and brings some upper end details out but it makes it a tough listen for any long period of time.

    For the same $20, the KZ ZSN, Focal Spark, and even the new KZ ZSN Pro are better buys. All three of them are more balanced, and despite all having boosted treble, they are more listenable than the V30 overall due to a more well-rounded profile. The ZSN Pro will be reviewed in the near future, and is a brighter, and perhaps more detailed ZSN but some may not like it's brighter signature either.
      DocHoliday likes this.