TRN VX

General Information

Specifications:
Impedance: 22Ω
Sensitivity: 107dB/mW
Frequency range: 7 - 40000Hz
Connector type: 3.5mm 2 pin
Driver unit: 6BA+1DD hybrid driver unit (Super-sized 10mm Diaphragm + Customized BA)

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Latest reviews

Pros: detailed and transparent
fast and textured bass
crisp mids
good extension
great processing
Cons: slightly biting in the upper mids
the bass lacks assertiveness
too bright and not fatigue-free
focuses more on wow than on naturalness
Rating: 8
Sound: 7.8

Intro
The CHI-FI world seems endless and overwhelming in its diversity and technical progress.
At first glance this may seem so, but if you take a closer look, you quickly start to get behind the connections and agreements. Above all, the variety of brands reduces quite quickly, especially in the budget area.

Products are constantly being redesigned and re-marketed under new names and with praise, without any noticeable sonic progress or technical innovation. Above all, the number of drivers still seems to tempt many consumers to press the buy-butt, as there is often a consensus that many drivers also mean a better sound. This may even be true in the high-end sector, but then there is a completely different development behind it and especially driver implementation (but there are also negative examples, just not in the same proportion).

CCA and KZ (subsidiaries) show with the CCA C12 > KZ ZS10 Pro and countless other examples, how almost identical products can be sold outrageously simply multiple times without the consumer really noticing. It gets even worse when OEM products are sold to several companies and then the exact same product comes 3 or 4 times on the market (CCA A10, KBEAR K10, TRIPOWIN TP10 and so on) and it is not even a really good product.
Every now and then the usual suspects bring out really small Hi-Fi pearls, but the hit rate is very low and the focus is more on mass than on class.
This is impressively demonstrated by the new releases, where some companies release more new products in one month than some "renowned" companies do throughout the year and beyond.

The fact that the customer is deliberately manipulated is also shown by the many distributors on AliExpresss, who are apparently under the same big cover. Under YOOAUDIO, for example, distributors such as AK Audio, ****, or MISS AUDIO and certainly several others gather.

Finally, I don't care where I get a product from, whether paid, borrowed, or freely provided, as I have no personal relationship with the individual companies or distributors and want to remain objective. Furthermore, I am also convinced that many of the in-ears not only have a right to exist, but that they can also put the "big ones" in their place when it comes to the price/performance ratio!
I just want to raise awareness of the fact that the in-ear market in China is more designed to make a quick profit than to produce sustainably. That's fine, but you shouldn't always fall off your chair, because once again a 6, 7, 8-driver hybrid configuration has come out and the price seems too good to be true, at least if you have the patience to wait until reviews are in circulation and also personally want to do a little sustainable business.

Why am I writing all this anyway?! Maybe I just needed to get out...

This flood of IEMs from China is of course also due to the enormous competition between the individual companies. Be it KZ/CCA, KBEAR/TRI, TRN etc. (I would like to assume that these companies are all independent, even though I know that I am lying to myself). If one of them brings out its new wonder-IEM with 7 drivers, the other one has to follow suit. Currently the phenomenon can be observed with TRN VX (1*DD & 6*BA), CCA CA16 (1*DD & 7*BA), or CVJ CSN (1*DD & 5*BA).

I don't want to say that TRN is an exception in the CHI-FI cosmos and of course the focus is on the fast financial profit, but I have the feeling that TRN sometimes takes a risk and produces their in-ears not only according to Scheme-F. Apart from the design, I can say with a clear conscience that with TRN I always had the feeling of holding a different product in my hands, especially when it comes to sound. TRN also looks beyond the horizon and even includes other reviewers in their developments. That doesn't make their products or the VX any better, but you can see the good will to listen to your consumers.

The TRN VX is an IEM, where it will not spark immediately and one must deal with it more urgently, in order to develop something like a relationship with it. This is astonishing, because the VX is the most expensive in-ear of TRN ever released and they still took a certain risk with it, which I find positive. For me, the VX won't be a friendship for life, but for a fun evening in between, it's always there to take your mind off things and readjust your hearing.


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Handling
As with the TRN V90, the new TRN Flagship-In-Ear is not only visually impressive. The workmanship is very successful and has a high-quality feel.

However, when it comes to the cable, one relies on old and proven technology, which is no advantage here. Somewhat fiddly, it deserves the predicate. It serves its purpose.

Knowledge Zenit had once decided to give their more expensive models a more noble look in terms of packaging. TRN does not have this claim, and so the same economy version is used as with many KZ, CCA, KBEAR or whatever products, which brings us back to the introductory topic. Here there is not even the slightest attempt to create an own design, or to please the buyer with a little something in the scope of delivery, like foam tips or something like that. Here you don't even notice that you have just invested 70 €. Cable and silicone tips, that's it!

However, the wearing comfort is really very pleasant (comparable to the V90) and the sound isolation is excellent.

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Sound
The TRN VX is an IEM that I put in my ear and immediately have mixed feelings towards it.

The bass is astonishingly well-behaved and tamed for a TRN. For me it's a bit too tame, as the signature generally lacks a bit of warmth and pressure from below. Nevertheless, the bass is really fast, has a good texture and is always on the point. If TRN marketed the VX as a pure BA configuration, I would believe them at first sight, although over time one notices that a dynamic representative is at work here, as the upper bass is usually more pronounced on a BA bass. Really a very good and homogeneous bass, but it should have a bit more gain, but that can be corrected.

I find the mids a bit thin, also due to the lack of bass influence in the lower range, although this makes them appear very transparent and clear. Male voices, however, lack body and natural timbre. They sound brighter and do not have the assertiveness that is the case with female voices. Those can even really convince me, but they also lack some warmth. The mids are given a good presence in the signature, but they are a bit borderline in the upper frequencies. Basically I like to have it a bit more crisp in the mids, so this is partly to my advantage, but here I miss the naturalness, whether in the voices or instruments.

The trebles contribute their part to the fact that the TRN VX has become a rather bright IEM. The sibilants are mostly under control due to a corresponding frequency drop, but the 2kHz peak is a bit too much for me as an intersection between mids and highs. The extension is quite nice, but the high frequency can get a bit tired in the long run. If I wanted to relax, I wouldn't necessarily go for the VX. Even though it can get a bit tinny with cymbals, you really have to praise the VX for its detail reproduction and resolution.
The VX has excellent separation. For me it is almost a bit too sharply separated, as this can look a bit unnatural. The TRN VX also clearly has a plus in terms of spatial representation.

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Outro
Although the VX at TRN not only has the most horsepower under the hood and is also an exclamation mark up in price, it is not the most mature and grown-up of all for me. The VX is actually the exact opposite of the V90. Exciting, cool, sparkling, transparent vs. warm, relaxed, a bit grumpy, musical. I can do something with both, although I can keep the V90 in my ears longer. However, the VX has clear advantages in resolution and definition, which certainly makes it more audiophile, but also more exhausting in the long run.

The VX is basically a bright, rather analytically drifting and not always authentic sounding IEM, with a tight and dotted bass, transparent mids and detailed highs. A little more warmth and calmness would do it quite well.
Nevertheless, I see it as a nice change in the IEM shelf, but the price for it is unfortunately not a no-trainer, it certainly wouldn't have needed 7 drivers for the performance and the VX is also not an absolute all-rounder. The lack of pressure from below and the too bright tuning make a small thwart here, although exactly this can be a strength of the VX in some genres. As I said: The TRN VX will split the tastes!

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Pros: Light and comfortable.
Good build.
Excellent details, clarity, imaging, instrument separation.
Above average soundstage.
Above average timbre for BA timbre.
Fast and accurate bass for a DD bass.
Good subbass and treble extension at both ends.
Easily drivable.
Cons: Upper mids/lower treble harshness - can be tamed (see below).
Mild sibilance.
Average isolation.
Thin note weight, thin lower mids.
Disclaimer 1:
The TRN VX is a review sample provided by the TRN Official Store on Aliexpress. My views are my own.


Disclaimer 2:
The product insert recommends 100 - 150 hours burn in, of which I only complied for the first 20 hours LOL. Maybe the next hypetrain CHIFI would have arrived before the burn in period is completed!

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Specifications:
Driver Type: 1 DD (10 mm) + 6 BA
Frequency Response: 7 Hz - 40000 Hz
Impedance: 22 ohms
Sensitivity: 107 dB/mW
Cable type: Detachable 2 pin


Accessories:
In addition to the IEM, it comes with:
1) Silicone tips (S/M/L).
2) Stock cable and free TRN T4 copper cable provided by this store.

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TRN T4 cable

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Stock cable, meh.

Build/comfort:
The TRN VX is of very good build and is much lighter and smaller than what it looks like in pictures. Quite amazing they can squeeze so many drivers inside with such a small profile.

I've generally disliked MMCX connectors in IEMs due to their shorter lifespan so it is good to see the TRN VX uses 2 pin connectors.

There's no driver flex, and it is very comfortable and well fitting.


Isolation:
I brought the TRN VX for a spin on the subway and bus and isolation is about average.


Drivability:
The TRN VX is pretty drivable from lower powered sources like smartphones, and amping isn't truly mandatory, though there is a slight scaling of dynamics, soundstage and details with good amping.


Soundstage:
The TRN VX's soundstage is above average in width and depth. Height is about average.


Sound and Technicalities:
The TRN VX sports a bright V shaped tuning, with the upper mids/lower treble being rather harsh with default stock cables/tips. So this is a treblehead's dream, but treble sensitive folks or those that have fatigue with boosted upper mids may not appreciate it for longer listening sessions. It seems the VX tuning is catered mostly to their local Asian market, where they prefer boosted upper mids to complement their music, which features a lot of female vocals. They even have a term for it: musical poison 毒音, so the VX really lives up to its namesake of being a poison nerve agent! The upper mids/treble frequencies thankfully can be tamed with EQ, warm sources, foam tips/narrow bore tips, or certain tape mods, +/- copper cables (see below).

Technicalities like details, clarity, imaging and instrument placement are very good at the sub $100 range. The TRN VX borders on the analytical side, and is a good budget set for critical listening.

Timbre is good and accurate for BA timbre, but not as realistic as some dedicated DD sets (eg BLON BL-03, KBEAR Diamond) in the timbre for acoustic instruments, though it trumps these DD sets in the technicalities department. Note weight is on the thinner side, especially for the lower mids.

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TRN VX graph, courtesy of KopiOKaya from Audioreviews (IEC711 compliant coupler). 8 kHZ area is probably a resonance peak.


Bass:
Bass quantity on the TRN VX is north of neutral, but not at basshead levels. It more or less is a linear bass from the midbass to the subbass. The bass on the VX is one of the speedier DD type bass, yet having a decay and subbass extension typical of DD.

Mids:
Lower mids on the TRN VX are recessed, with a boosted upper mids that may be fatiguing for longer listening sessions. Note weight is on the leaner side.

Treble:
This is a bright and airy set with slight sibilance. It has plenty of detail and clarity to suit trebleheads, but may be fatiguing for longer sessions at the lower treble region, especially with female vocals/horns/trumpets. Cymbals and high hats occasionally sound splashy.

I'm treble and upper mids sensitive, so I think others who aren't may like the default tuning just fine. Thankfully, I found a few ways to tame the upper mids/lower treble, and the TRN VX sounds very good with these methods:
1) Foam tips/narrow bore tips -> different folks have different ear anatomies and the TRN VX is tip sensitive, so u gotta try it to see what works for you.
2) Warm source with the VX helps
3) EQ - specifically to lower the 2, 4 and 8 kHz areas by around 3 dB helps.
4) Micropore mod -> stick a 2.5 mm x 2.5 mm 3M brand Micropore over the centre of the nozzle mesh. Lowers the upper mids. Don't cover entire mesh if not it will sound muffled!
5) Perhaps if u believe in copper cables taming treble (and ain't a cable skeptic), u can try that too, as the stock cable of the VX isn't the best. But I would think that cable changes to sound signature would be very subtle compared to the above methods. YMMV.

My personal favourites to tame the upper mids is via EQ or micropore mod.
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Courtesy of KopiOKaya from Audioreviews, graph comparing stock form of TRN VX to micropore modded VX.


Conclusion:
The TRN VX is a technically proficient set, with great build and fit and above average soundstage. It has speedy bass for a DD bass, and has great extension at both ends of the FR.

The upper mids of the set makes it harsh for typical Westernized tuning OOTB, though I would think their own domestic Chinese market that likes boosted upper mids/treble and trebleheads will dig this. But it is actually a good set if u can put in a bit of work with some mods to lower the upper mids region, much like the infamous BLON BL-03 needed a bit of work OOTB for the fit (so the 4/5 stars for the TRN VX is with mods, without mods I would have rated it 3/5).

I would be happy if TRN could release a "pro" version with some tamed upper mids, perhaps with a detachable nozzle or something.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the music!
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Comments

@scocth the KBEAR Diamond and TRN VX are polar opposites.

TRN VX is much better in technicalities (imaging, soundstage, clarity, details, instrument separation), whereas the KBEAR Diamond is much smoother, with poorer technicalities but better tonality and timbre. So depends what u prefer in your music.

TRN VX though, is pretty bright on the treble/upper mids area, so not the best for treble sensitive folks unless u wanna EQ or do some mods (see review). KBEAR Diamond is much more non fatiguing and better for chill sessions.
 
@baskingshark thank you so much, appreciate for your explanation. i have kbear diamond i'm listening house pop techno music (digital synth) with it. but i 'm looking alternative iem for metal, rock jazz (rich analog instrumental music, bright treble and instrument seperation needed music). i have rock it r50 for these genre. but i'm looking iem better than rock-it r50. ( my rock it r50 was 8 years old and i feeling that sound quality weakened over time, I can't get the taste I got at the beginning)

i have two alternative trn ba5 and trn vx. but ba5 is 38 dollar, trn vx 72 is dollar. 34 dollar is quite. do you think 34 dollar worth it?
or do you have any recommendation alternative these?
 
@scocth I don't have the BA5, but it has very good reviews so far on headfi.

If u look at this post, there's a comparison of graphs between BA5 and VX: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/trn-impressions-thread.881761/page-146#post-15638167

Most of my friends that use the BA5 said its bass is very fast and is suited for metal, though I haven't heard that to verify. There's a new CCA (parent company is KZ), called CCA CA16 that also just came out, it is a multi driver set like the TRN VX, but appears to be maybe $20 cheaper, u can check out some reviews on that too.
 
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