TRN VX - Reviews
Pros: build quality, resolution and detail retrieval, instrument separation
Cons: bright, diffuse treble transients quality, limited soundstage depth, poor imaging
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INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:
The TRN VX is a hybrid (6 BA+1 DD) in-ear monitor (IEM) which retails for around $73. I received the VX and the TRN-T4 upgrade cable directly from TRN.
This review is also available on my blog: https://medium.com/bedrock-reviews/trn-vx-review-b7f8b0e8d16a

SOURCES:
I have used the TRN VX with the following sources:
I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
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The TRN VX comes in a small rectangular white box with a black and white slipcover. Technical specifications for the VX are provided in Chinese and English on the back of the slipcover. The package includes a detachable 2-pin cable, three silicone eartips (small, medium, large), a quality control pass chit, a warranty card, and a user manual. Given the price, I would have liked to have seen a carry case and a greater variety of eartips included.
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN:
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The TRN VX has magnesium alloy housings with a gorgeous but understated emerald green anodized finish. The faceplates are machined with a scalloped pattern. “VX-DDx1BAx6” is printed on the side of each housing in line with the 2-pin connector and the inner faces of the housings are marked with “L” and “R” in white. The inner face of each housing also has two small circular vents. The nozzles are black with silver grilles and have a sizable lip to secure eartips. The 2-pin connectors protrude slightly from the surface of the housing and are compatible with QDC-type cable connections.
The included cable is a simple 4-strand braided design with pre-formed transparent plastic earguides. The Y-split and 3.5mm jack housing hardware is anodized black metal with rubber strain relief below the Y-split and above the jack. The jack hardware is marked with the TRN logo in white. There is no chin-adjustment choker and the cable is moderately tangle-prone. The cable is mildly microphonic. The 2-pin connectors have raised markings to indicate left and right, but the markings are so faint that they require scrutiny to distinguish.
COMFORT / FIT / ISOLATION:
The TRN VX is intended to be worn cable-up only. The earpieces have a shallow-ish insertion depth and are comfortable. Secureness of fit is very good, but isolation is average. The VX does not have driver flex.
MEASUREMENTS:
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My measurements were conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The headphones are driven using my Element, which has an output impedance of no more than 1 ohm. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. The measurements are presented with 1/24th smoothing. There is a resonant peak at 8k. Measurements above 10k are not reliable.
SOUND:
The TRN VX is a bright-sounding IEM.
The TRN VX emphasizes mid-bass over sub-bass. The bass has very good speed and articulation but average texture. There is a good amount of slam and adequate rumble. The bass is surprisingly resolving and there is little in the way of mid-bass bleed.
The lower midrange is slightly recessed compared to the bass and very recessed compared with the frequency response above 1 kHz. Vocal intelligibility is good, although female vocals are significantly forward of male vocals. Clarity is excellent but body is lacking. Though not sibilant, female vocals sound a little overcooked. While free of plasticky BA timbre the midrange sounds cold due to the intense upper-midrange emphasis.
There is a pronounced lower-treble emphasis, which while not fatiguing gives cymbal splashes a diffuse quality. The upper treble is slightly less prominent but is well extended. Detail retrieval is excellent. The width of the soundstage is fair, but its depth is limited. Instrument separation is good, but imaging is poor.
COMPARISONS:
TRN VX vs TRN V90
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The TRN V90 is a hybrid (4BA+1DD) IEM which currently retails around $35. The TRN VX sounds like the TRN V90 with less overwhelming bass, and the overall presentation is undeniably clearer. The V90 has better sub-bass extension and remains the obvious choice for bass heads between the two IEMs. That said, the upper half of the VX’s frequency response remains nearly as most as intense as that of the V90. The two IEMs have similarly sized soundstages. The VX has slightly better imaging and improved instrument separation. The VX does not have driver flex or the V90’s infuriating venting issue.
TRN VX vs KBEAR Diamond
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The KB EAR Diamond, which can be found on AliExpress for as low as $71 at the time of the writing of this review, uses a single diamond-like carbon-coated PET-diaphragm dynamic driver. The Diamond, though quite V-shaped in its sound signature, sounds more balanced than the VX due to the roughly equal prominence of its bass response and top end. The biggest issue with the Diamond is the overly elevated presence region. The Diamond has better imaging and instrument separation and is competitive with the VX in terms of soundstage. The Diamond has a more premium build and a much more generous accessory selection.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The TRN VX can be easily driven to a comfortable listening volume with a competent dongle. I did not notice hiss with any of my sources.
CLOSING WORDS:
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Rather than refining the V90, TRN seems to have shot for a different target altogether with the VX, and the audience that the V90 found may not want to follow along. At this price point, I still recommend the KBEAR Diamond if you are willing to use EQ or to save up for the Moondrop Starfield if you are not.
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Pros: Fast and exciting presentation
Superb level of detail
Excellent layering and separation
Wide soundstage
Well made and good looking
Cons: Very bright in stock form
A little light in the bass
Poor accessories and packaging for a top model
This sample was provided for review by Gina at Senlee, through Amazon UK.

Product link:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Earphones-...hicle=117-1576&replacementKeywords=trn&sr=8-2

Introduction
The VX is the new flagship model from TRN and is their most ambitious design to date. It is a hybrid IEM featuring 7 drivers per channel (1DD + 6BA). It enters a competitive market with CCA's CA16 (1 DD + 7BA) and the CSN from CVJ (1 DD + 5BA) also being recent rivals. The dynamic driver is a dual magnet unit with a 10mm diaphragm. Three 50060 BAs are employed for the midrange and three 30095 armatures cover the treble, with two of these placed within the nozzle.

Description
The VX comes in traditional TRN packaging, a small rectangular box similar to that used by KZ and CCA. There is a red TRN logo and an outline image of the IEMs on the front and specifications on the back. Sliding off the cover reveals the earpieces set in a card cut-out, under which you will find the 2-pin cable, two sets of black silicone eartips with a medium red-coloured bore (the medium size is pre-fitted) and documentation. At $75 this basic presentation was disappointing for a top of the range model and is very similar to that supplied with the $15 ST1. KBEAR's Diamond at approximately the same price as the VX comes in sumptuous packaging and includes a quality case and accessories.

The earpieces are very well made from CNC machined magnesium alloy. They are attractively contoured, with the face featuring three radiating sculpted lines and are somewhat shell-like (pun intended). My particular sample was finished in an attractive dark metallic green and looked very stylish. It is also available in "Knight Black". There are two small vents on the inner surface and the legend "VX DDx1 BAx6" is written on the top edge and there is channel identification on the inner surface. The nozzles are black and have a silver mesh grille.

The cable is a black 4-core braided type with QDC connectors and is similar to that supplied with the BA5 and V90, being terminated by a straight 3.5mm plug bearing a white TRN logo. There is a metal Y-split but no chin slider and the cable is prone to tangling.

First Impressions
The earphones were auditioned using a variety of sources, primarily a Sony NWZ-A15 DAP. I found the sound with my Xduoo X20 unsuitable as its clean and neutral character compounded the bright nature of the VX. I also used a Huawei smartphone and a CD player during testing. After a burn-in period of 100 hours was carried out, I began my evaluation.

In stock form, the sound was bright, both in the mids, which were forward, and in the treble, which was clean and incisive. Along with a tight, fast bass with a cool tonality, this produced an exciting and detailed sound with extreme clarity, but emphased the high frequencies. I am not particularly treble-sensitive and enjoyed the detail and precision on offer, but the overall balance was a little too treble-focused. Changing the tips to KZ Starlines improved the balance with the bass being warmer and deeper and the top end smoothed out a little, without losing the excellent detail and resolution. Having tested the supplied cable with the CCA CA16 I found that too sounded bright so replaced it with a Senlee hybrid cable. This brought things more into balance and this was the configuration used for testing. Used like this, they were light and comfortable to wear and isolation was good. Sensitivity was good on all sources, being far more easily driven than the CCA CA16, for example.

Bass
The VX's bass displayed superb resolution and definition, each note being reproduced with precision and impressive transient attack, and free of overhang. The focus was on the sub-bass with mid-bass more reserved. The general level of the bass was a little light compared to the CA16 and CVJ CSN and could benefit from some augmentation.

Davol's "Another Land" from the album "Paradox" begins with deep bass synthesiser. Accompanied by electronic and percussive elements, the reverberant effects were very powerful and effective. The deep string synth parts later in the piece displayed excellent texture.

"In Church" from Viteslav Novak's "Slovak Suite" features a prominent part for organ. The firm and resonant timbre of the pedal notes was very well presented and formed a perfect backdrop for the cascading strings and harp accompaniment by the RLPO under Libor Pesek. A little more depth would have been welcome here to give the organ more weight.

The texture and timbre of the bass guitar in Bob Marley's "One Love" came over very well. This fell just in the VX's sweet spot of the lower bass and sounded perfectly balanced with the drums and vocals. The clarity here once more showed its quality with everything being in sharp focus.

Midrange
The midrange was slightly forward and somewhat brighter than neutral. With an absence of bass bleed, this emphasised the detail and provided a clean and open sound enabling individual instruments to be pinpointed. Occasionally I found myself wishing for a little more warmth.

In Frank Bridge's beautiful tone poem "There is a Willow grows aslant a Brook" the character of each concertante instrument was clearly depicted. Clarinet, cello, flute and bassoon all stood out clearly from the accompaniment thanks to the excellent clarity and separation. The ambience of the recording venue was particularly well-rendered.

ABBA's "Slipping through my fingers" has a lead vocal by Agnetha and the character of her clear voice came over very authentically and was nicely highlighted over the guitar and synth production. The lyrics in the backing vocals were clearly audible. Via the sound of a ticking clock, this track then segues into "Like an Angel passing through my room" which features vocals by Annifrid. The husky quality of her contralto voice was most noticeable in the intimate acoustic and the classical-style synth chords in the middle section sounded beautiful. The different qualities of the girls' voices were well differentiated.

The solo cello in "The Cold Sea's Embrace" from "So flows the Current" by Patrick O'Hearn displayed excellent timbre with just the right amount of "bite". Set against a deep plucked bass, it produced an almost 3-D effect which threw the solo instrument into clear focus with the moody atmosphere of the piece perfectly preserved.

Treble
The treble was somewhat brighter than neutral but at the same time full of detail and energy. Micro-detail was class-leading.
This came to the fore in "Dreams of Fair Women" by Canadian synth duo Exchange. The arpeggiated guitar accompaniment was clean and clear and the high synth accents beautifully etched. The sense of openness was palpable.

Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 performed by the Saar Chamber Orchestra showcased alto recorder with harpsichord and string continuo. The solo instrument was clearly defined with the VX's bright timbre suiting the harpsichord and flute parts very well. The rhythmic nature of the piece was excitingly portrayed.

"I Robot", the title track from the Alan Parsons Project album begins with a bass drone and wordless female vocals. Next comes a sequenced synth bass line and percussion. Guitars and choral effects join in and a resonant cimbalom solo plays over the top. Everything remained clear and separate with the sharp tones of the solo instrument clearly focused above the complex production.

Soundstage
The VX produced a large stage which was oval in shape, being wider than deep and with a decent impression of height. Due to the bright tonality, positioning of instruments within the image was very precise with layering and separation defects very well-defined.

Hamish McCunn's "Land of the Mountain and Flood" is an orchestral evocation of the Scottish landscape. In the version by the BBC Scottish Symphony the orchestra was laid out most convincingly. As horn, oboe and brass quoted parts of the main theme it was easy to discern their various locations within the image.

"Beautiful Attractor" is an electronic piece by Robert Carty from his album "In Neptune's Wake". Swirling electronic effects and crystalline percussive elements populated the stage, while other effects circled around it. The meandering synth lead was supported by a richly-textured bass drone and all was placed within a wonderfully spacious acoustic. This was a perfect piece for the VX, and highlighted its best qualities.

"You Raise me Up" in the original version by Secret Garden features a beautiful violin solo by Fionnula Sherry and an expressive lead vocal by Brian Kennedy. It was clearly reproduced and placed within a resonant acoustic. In the central part he is accompanied by the Irish choir Anuna. Bolstered by full orchestra and Uilleann pipes, the whole effect was breathtaking and filled all the available space in the stage. The conclusion returned to the intimate solo vocal and was full of emotion.

Conclusion
For some time the Chi-fi multi-driver roost has been ruled by KZ's ZSX and ZS7 and the CCA C12. It has now been supplanted by a new triumvirate of the CCA CA16, the CSN from CVJ and now, the TRN VX. Which is best very much depends on your sound preference. The CSN is the most neutral of the three with a linear bass, slightly forward mids and an extended, clean treble. The tonality is slightly cool. The CA16 is warmer in tone and has a mild U or V shape. The midrange timbre is excellent and the treble is silky and open. Bass is deep and well-resolved from the new 7mm driver.

The VX in stock form is noticeably bright but this can be addressed with a change of tips and cable, and a warm source is recommended. Most of us have some Starline tips and a cable or two knocking about so there need not be too much additional expense.

Thus equipped, the VX delivers an impressive combination of clarity, resolution, speed and detail which is very exciting and entertaining. Although a bit bass-light, I found the VX's sound very addictive and especially effective with electronic music. It is closer to the CVJ CSN in tonality but brighter and with a little less bass, while the CCA CA16 is darker, more natural and more relaxed. Although a little more expensive than its competitors the VX does offer a different presentation and if you value detail, focus and resolution, it represents an interesting alternative and stands out from the host of similar-sounding models on the market. I have dubbed it "The Green Monster" after Art Arfons's land speed record breaking car: fast, powerful and exciting!
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Pros: Incisive presentation
Exciting listen
Great build and comfort
Cons: Sharp and edgy upper midrange and lower highs
TRN has just introduced its latest model to the market and it’s called VX. It comes with whooping 7 drivers and costs around 70 bucks. Ten bucks per driver sounds like a good deal, right? Well, at least in terms of quantity but I was more interested in their quality and skill of producing high fidelity sound. Let’s dig into it and find out.

Build, fit, and cable
TRN VX is made of aluminum and coated with a pint that has a kind of soft-touch feel to it that’s very pleasant. It might not be apparent trough pictures, but there’s a real premium feel to VX. They’re not too chunky as one might expect considering the sheer number of drivers used. Moreover, these are fairly lightweight which definitely helps their ergonomics.

Talking about ergonomics, TRN VX fit great in my ears. Pre-shaped ear-hooks are soft and not too springy, so mounting these is a fuss-free experience. I know that’s a very personal matter but that said and judging by my experience, these deserve high praise for comfort.

Lastly, the cable is a typical braided solution, which means it tangles quite easily but on a positive note it’s not microphonic. It’s detachable too so you can opt for an aftermarket solution if you wish.

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Sound
The first thing that hits you with TRN VX is how sharp and fast they sound. Starting with the baseline, it’s fairly decent in weight but definitely not suited for bass-heads or those who like their bass to lend warmth to the rest of the spectrum. This one is reasonably weighty but very fast and agile in return. Going higher you’ll notice a dip in the lower midrange which rips some body and weight from vocals and other tones. Then comes the empathized part of the upper midrange and a portion of high frequencies.

What this type of tuning means for your music is that TRN VX sounds lean and mean. That emphasis on the upper region is lending all the sharp details and leading edges you’d ever want. Now add to that energy and attack these in-ars posses and we get edges and transients presented in a ruthless and very analytical fashion. This character is sure flashy and exciting but definitely not the last word regarding finesse and musicality.

Other than that, the separation of individual instruments is great and the sound is quite spacious for an in-ear model.

EQ-ing
I found the sound signature of TRN VX to be a bit overzealous for longer listening, so I’ve decided to give EQ-ing a chance. I did it solely by ear and ended up with this:

– 3 dB at 4 kHz
– 3 dB at 8 kHz

The result was taming of those dominant regions just enough so I can listen for a longer period of time and actually enjoy the other qualities VX has to offer.

Conclusion
TRN VX possesses some nice and desirable qualities such as great premium build and comfort. Their sound signature is marked by class-leading speed, clarity, and sharp transients that’ll try to claw and bite their way into your heart. This aggressive approach will sure work for some but it will not suit all, especially the ones looking for a full-bodied and musical approach.


I also made a video about it:

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Pros: Light and comfortable
Fast and Tight bass
Clear vocal
Tromendous resolutions
Top notch imaging for the price
Cons: Not for bass head
Stock cable is average
Can be too hot treble
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Specification

Driver : one 10mm dynamic driver and six balance amateur drivers per side.
Three for mid frequency and another three for high frequency . All drivers are specifically customized by trn.
Impedance: 22Ω
Sensitivity: 107dB/mW
Frequency Response: 7Hz – 40000Hz
Connector type: qdc two pins
Cable:
1.25m braided 4-wire with memory ear hook
Earpiece: 5-axis CNC Machined Aerospace-Grade Magnesium Alloy Housing
Weight: 28gms
Available Colors: Dark Green, and Knight Black.

Unboxing and First Impressions

For their flagship In Ear Monitors, the trn VX box is very minimalist. I think trn aim for more shipping friendly. Trn vx shells are made of alliminun so it is very light and strong. My review units come with mate green color with three fin like shapes. I also notice there are two vent holes on both shell, therefore, drivers flex won't be an issue. The iems shell is at the medium small side and feels very comfortable to wear. The stock cable is usable but not quite amazing for this price. Thankfully, trn also offer me their newest cable which is guite good. Trn t4

Sound

Trn vx offers you high end resolution and fun sound signature for this price range and has good coherence for so many drivers , good sound stage and decent quality imaging.

Low frequency

Trn vx low frequency has a sense of quickness and quality. If you look at the frequency graph at 30hz and 60hz, it represents light and fast bass. Listening to a song called Let Me Love You by Justin Bieber, I can feel the vx bass quantity just right, fast and tight. Another song called Hang On To Your Love by Sade, snare drums pounding so fast and enjoyable. Again no lack of quality here from the 10mm dynamic driver.


Mid frequency

The mid frequency range of trn vx has a strong detailes and genetic forward vocals on the aggressive side. For example, the song called If You Wanna Be Good, You Gotta Be Bad by Bryan Adams,I can feel how his fingers play the guitar and listen to a bit more,and his voice sounds like he singing in front me and yet I don't fell congested. Every instrument plays its role beautifully. Guitar left and right, singer in front, and the drummer behind is amazing experience like I am on the stage with him. Another good example, a song called One Million Reasons by Lady Gaga, again her voice is so full of energy in a good way. I can hold my self but to stand to dance with the song.

High frequency

This set is a pure joy for treble head. Therefore, it can be too hot for people who like laid back iems. In my experience after spending more than 200 hours with the VX, I find the high is not so hot as when I just received it.This set is amazing for treble heads.
For instance, with a song called Bring Me To Life by Evanescence, counting every crush cymbals is almost impossible with some iems but trn vx performs with ease. It is a nice experience to hear such a great resolution. But without a warm dac, trn vx treble is a bit too hot with some songs. The easiest solution is to turn down 2k,4k and 8k by 3db.


Sound stage

The sound stage of the vx is quite good. It has more width than depth, so it has oval shape. I can clearly hear every instrument strike from left to right and vice versa, but it has small space.

Detail and Imaging

For this price range, trn vx give an insanely good imaging. From pop to metal rock music, the vx offers my brain of genetic, an urge to dance. As I said before this set is not for laid back or sitting in a arms chair. With this quality imaging and fit, it is for dancing!

Timbre

Timbre is average and on the fast side.
The VX has the balanced amateur driver timbre so it is quite good but is still a bit behind some dd driver iems.

Drivability and synergy

Trn VX is very easy to play with smartphone, bluetooth adapter, or dedicated dap.
When going outside, I use trn vx with trn bt20s. The combo sounds surprisingly good and is not in my way when doing exercises or public commute.
some friends wonder what cable to use pure silver or copper, so why not cableless.
Trn vx pairs very well with warm dap like sony zx300 or bluetooth receiver like earstudio es100 but when pairs with bright dap like my fiio x3 mark ii, I recommend turning down 3db at 2k,4k and 8k in the equalizer. In addition, if you use third music app for your phone, I highly recommend Poweramp music player app. It synergies well with the trn vx.

Songs that I used

Let Me Love You by Justin Bieber
Hang to Your Love by Sade
If You Wanna Be Good, You Gotta Be Bad by Bryan Adams
A Million Reasons by Lady Gaga
Bring Me to Life by Evanescence

Gear

Sony zx300
Hidisz ap80
Trn bt20s connect with smart phone using Poweramp

To sum up

This Trn newest Flagship, it is quite unique in this competitive market. You can not stand it or you absolutely admire their bold tuning. For friends who refer a more laid back in arm chair iems, looks elsewhere. But if you like resolution or you are one of those treble heard for this price range trn vx is outstanding.
Otto Motor
Otto Motor
Why do you write everything in bold. I got new glasses, thanks.
Pros: Excellent detail resolution; superb build.
Cons: Glassy/attenuated lower midrange; overly boosted upper midrange fatiguing for some; lifted shell design.



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Pros: Incredible rendering of micro-details especially for electronica & vocals
“Live” energetic signature with extended treble
Transparent mid-centric balanced sound signature
Non-muddy, accurate/tight bass/sub-bass
Bright but non-fatiguing for prolonged listening
3D holophonic deep/ wide sound-stage, imaging & layering
Cons: Upper mids unsuitable for treble-sensitive (easily eradicated with micropore tape)
Long burn-in period - plus tip/cable rolling/ pairing required
Thinner note rendition sometimes results in splashy percussion
Below average packaging/accessories, stock cable & tips
Ordering the TRN-VX from the helpful AK Audio store (product link below) was as effortless as usual - the package was swiftly dispatched & arrived in uber quick time.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001050280671.html

I was looking for more compact iems that were close to generating mid-tier performance – in an attempt to emulate my favourite set: Tri-i3....& beloved earbud drivers….DIY PK2 SR2 Pro (16ohm.)

The TRN-VX 6BA+1DD hybrid configuration certainly piqued my interest - to ascertain if they could compete with mid-range sets, whilst I'm waiting for high>mid-end gear to trickle down (without parting with excessive funds.) Out of the box the stock tips & cable are deemed worthless & require instant upgrade to obtain audiophile level results.

It’s a great bonus that with continuing burn-in….they become increasingly nuanced - the sound-stage appearing more & more 3D & spherical as each day passes....imho definitely a pair that are worth investing time in!

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I opted for an 8-core pure copper 2.5mm balanced cable & attached JVC Spiral Dot wide bore tips. These tips were modded & added to a pair of supplied tips - inner column cut off to pad them out – which fortunately results in a better grip & perfect seal, providing above average isolation - there are two vents in the front of the housings, alas they generate minimal leakage once placed in-ear. In a future iteration I’d love to see these vents relocated at the top of the housings – this modification would definitely add extra stage “air” making the set redolent of open back phones.

The TRN have somewhat divided opinion – appearing fairly marmite to some reviewers - inferring that the VX are merely a “wow factor” set - in consideration of their extended highs/mids, they also add that VX produce a less full-bodied / thinner note presentation, which results in instruments being rendered in an artificial way. Whilst I admit that percussion such as cymbals can on occasions appear splashy and thus artificial – I would argue that is can be reduced with the application of nozzle micropore tape & may even be deemed beneficial whilst listening to some genres like binaural soundscapes and electronica.

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They do require cable/tip rolling – to achieve optimum pairing, coupled with a considerable burn-in period - which is imho essential in order to make this set truly shine. In this regard, out of the box they could be viewed as a very marmite pair, if one is too quick to judge them & bypass any pre-requisite adjustments. I was prepared to stick with them - my gut feeling was that eventually the VX would resolve and smooth out any distractions & artefacts, revealing a more balanced signature.

To my ears, after one weeks burn-in the signature is less artificial & at a higher level sonically – presenting crisper micro details, improved imaging & adding an “airy” 3D stage. Mids totally spring to life & become embellished alongside a tighter, better resolved bass.

I’m currently using my set to mix electronica tracks, that combines layering of analogue synthesizers, with VST plugins, sequenced by iPad apps or DAW via laptop – hence the VX enveloping stage, accurate imaging and layering is appreciated, whether one is actively composing tracks or solely for passive listening.
For this set in particular, the copper cable helps to reduce treble & increase bass quantity – whereby any extra added warmth becomes negated - due to the VX’s already warm tuning.

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Build/Fit:
The VX build quality is amazing, sporting an uber stylish shell-like design which is extremely aesthetically pleasing – the emerald green version is especially gorgeous! There is some housing protrusion – but however the circular, conch-like design form is very svelte in-ear, perfectly ergonomically-shaped, as it slots into an exact fit of the ears' tragus. I find that fitting & removing this set to be the easiest, most comfortable set of iems I’ve tried up to now. :)

Tuning / Sound Signature:
The VX have a very bright, musical, energetic presentation, which is very transparent, maintaining an audiophile refinement. It has been stated that TRN's tuner has overcooked the high upper mids & treble, despite this the current tuning works seamlessly - in consideration of my personal listening preferences!
The 6BA+1DD hybrid configuration is transparent & revealing - not too cold & analytical, managing to retain a warm analogue tonality.
@baskingshark makes a good point: "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."

Soundstage:
The VX generates a 3D holophonic stage - in terms of width and depth not just limited to height…. whilst not as deep as it is wide (some rear placement can also be perceived) which results in an all-encompassing sound spectrum. However, the height is not as extensive as it could be. In a way; one gets the feeling that the highs & mids are situated on top off of the rest of the track – especially during instances of virtuoso playing. On an experiential level the multi BA frequency separation can result in making the most complex tracks not overly busy, congested or myopically intimate – sounding akin to “live” binaural recordings!

Highs:
Treble extension is pushed to the forefront right from the first listen. This is eventually smoother post burn-in. The upper frequency BA driver configuration doing an incredible job of eking out micro details, previously not perceived in tracks. Initial reviews posted state the set succumb to being too “shouty”: however any transient peaks can be alleviated using micropore tape on the nozzles - once attached I find them totally non-fatiguing with absolutely zero post-listen ear-ringing.

Mids:
The real show-stopper are the sublime mids – I think the VX are distinguished by having the mids placement, sitting atop of all other frequencies – this allows for virtuoso instrumentation and vocals to rise above the accompaniments of the track. The overall signature, whilst admittedly not totally full-bodied, is particularly appealing when listening to synthesiser/electronic genres of music….result!
This presentation provides an addictive sound signature, specifically for fans of mid-centric iems, whereby the stage, instrument/image separation; placement & layering all combine impressively.

Bass:
A good seal is always easily achieved as the fit is so good….the dynamic driver generating enough quantity of bass/sub-bass underpins the mids, sitting nicely / not too forward in the mix.
Maybe the inclusion of an extra planar driver might emphasise the mid bass - giving it more energy? – helping to boost bass & render percussion more effectively. This would result in improved note weight, portraying a punchier signature without overshadowing the mids & definitely help to improve the authenticity of instruments.
The upgraded 8-core pure copper 2.5mm balanced cable, perceptibly improves bass accuracy & tightness emphasising low end rumble, & helps to reduce susceptibility to “splashy” percussion.

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EQ response:
The VX responds well to EQ application using laptop programs or via Ear-Studio ES100 iPad app.
Using Behringer’s Midas pre-amp soundcard as a source whilst running specialist software: Ashampoo Soundstage: different EQ settings can be tweaked / experimented with - in order to enhance the VX signature & boosting frequency responses across all bandwidths.

Amp Scalability:
Brilliant scalability allows them to be amped effectively - no distortion above and beyond the hi-fi “sweet- spot” at greater volume levels - they handle warm/cold sources equally efficiently.

Sources:
The VX work great with two-way Bluetooth devices. FLAC files via balanced output of Sony NW-ZX300a produces sublime “air” & good DAP synergy. With BT receiver mode switched on the vinyl processor, adds extra “analogue” warmth- enabling balanced output from Dell gaming laptop.
SE output: Behringer UMC404HD / iPad Air3 / Cayin N3 & NX4 DAC - gain switch increases all frequencies plus quantity of bass & rumble of sub-bass allows for “sweet spot” volume levels over halfway with no distortion.
Bluetooth mobility is provided by the (Radsone) Ear-Studio ES100 with added EQ via iPad app. Pairing with Xiaomi Mi 9T smartphone & Max Volume Booster also sounds remarkably good.

Listening preferences:
The VX excel especially with tracks that combine a live band sound with studio overdub mixing, multi-layering, for example:

Velvet Universe - Voyager LP (Full) (1981.)


Why? - Ermhoi


Black Boboi - Red Mind


D.A.N. - SSWB


“Shard of Glass” - Fenella


Fuku-Ura


Monochrome Echo


Testing the Binaural capabilities of this set was auditioned with tracks: “Jettison Mind Hatch” by Tipper, “Y Dydd Olaf” by Gwenno. Ambient Internet Radio (NTS) / Soundscapes / Live Gigs, Vocals / Jazz & Classical / Electronica / FLAC LP’s Soundtracks: Andy Dragazis - Afterimages ( - Engaging atmospheres appear visceral, airy and binaural, placing you at the centre of the music, the timbre of strings is wonderful & otherworldly - underpinned by moody, suspenseful cello.)

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Comparisons:
Tri-i3: A/B’ing with the VX reveals that the tuning of the 6BA+1DD configuration can compete with the triple hybrid driver configuration of the i3. Alas, Tri- i3 remains unsurpassed at rendering Classical/Electronica - being much better at resolving percussion & timbres of instruments – generating a more authentic, thicker note signature. However, the multi BA configuration of the VX, once fully burned in, oozes excitement & energy by over emphasising the mids.

KBEAR Diamond: The VX’s forward mids complement the full bodied bass-centric signature of the KBEAR’s DLC driver. I found the VX fit much more comfortable, seemingly providing a more secure seal.

Blon BL-05: The Blon in comparison appears to have more smoothed out treble which is less extended & rolls off sharply, and is coupled with similar levels of amp scalability, energy and excitement.

NX7: The VX has similar levels of excitement & energy to the three-way hybrid configuration of NX7 - the piezoelectric of boosting bass, treble & detail retrieval. However they do suffer from transient peaks, generating inauthentic instrument timbres - making percussion seem plastic. The VX matches their energy easily, negating any transients, & adding a more refined 3D stage, plus mid-centric presentation.

Conclusion:

Having no experience of any previous releases by TRN, I’m now a TOTL fan of the TRN-VX. Arguably, they do/don’t compete at the authentic sonic level of high/mid-tier sets....despite this however; imho they still represent a remarkable bargain at their price point! They're an iem that require prolongued burn-in, alas the results can be extremely rewarding!

The caveat is that the VX present a very individual tuning - fortunately this signature really does suit my listening preferences, subjectively speaking. I’ve not heard another set that produces a similar tonality, so kudos goes out to TRN on this occasion for sticking to their guns during the tuning process! Being unable to discover what the letters TRN actually mean?....I'll apply my own interpretation of the acronym:
They Redefine Nuanced !

I really look forward to their next iteration which utilises a similar 6BA+1DD configuration - maybe tuned with less treble extension? By implementing a hybrid configuration adding, for example, a planar driver with correct crossover circuitry - could possibly increase the 3D spherical stage. In turn, such a modification could generate a more full bodied, hence thicker note signature, whilst potentially improving upon the imaging and authenticity of instruments in the mix!


Ratings:

Build: 90

Fit: 90

Bass: 85

Mids: 90

Treble: 85

Soundstage: 85

Imaging/Layering: 90

Accessories: 70

Price: 90 :)



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Attachments

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activatorfly
activatorfly
Thanks a lot for the compliment! :)......LP releases by: Andy Dragazis / Colin Stetson / Max Richter & Nils Frahm etc....collectively help you to appreciate the sound signature of an iem...especially in consideration of a sets ability to render classical timbres!
Vannak
Vannak
Wow so nice review
scottsays
scottsays
Great review--enjoying my VX. Also my first TRN IEM. I liked it so much I picked up the V80 on Amazon for a ridiculously low $ 35---which has way more bass---VX is perfect for classical--90 more for rock and pop. TRN has really impressed me---bargain prices but really quality sound and super comfortable high quality build--really cannot go wrong for the price--very enjoyable.
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-brainer, 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.

TRN VX graph.jpg

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.
TRN VX micropore.jpg

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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