Today I'm going to be looking at the TRN VX, a 6 BA 1 DD hybrid IEM that costs about $70 from HiFiGo. TRN is yet another ChiFi company that has popped up in the last couple of years and seemingly puts out new products ever few months or so. I've had the chance to listen to the TRN V80 and the TRN V90 before. I wasn't a big fan of the V80 but thought the V90 was fairly decent relative to other offerings at the $50 mark at the time. With that, let's see how the TRN VX does. Disclaimer: I received the TRN VX from HiFiGo in exchange for this honest review. I have not been or will be compensated in any other way.
What's in the Box?
The unboxing experience is a very barebones affair. You get a minimalist white box that holds the IEM, cable, and tips. You get a generic set of S, M, and L size tips and a black 2-pin TRN cable. I dislike the cable. It is very tangly and has cable memory such that kinks are ever present. I'd probably swap out the cable if I were to daily drive the TRN VX.
The construction of the TRN VX is solid. It's a full metal shell and aesthetically pleasing with a clean look and tasteful chamfer lines. The TRN VX fits over ear and I find it to be quite comfortable thanks to its reasonably sized nozzle. Isolation is poor. You will hear cars as they pass by, if you still go out.
My initial impressions of the TRN VX's sound was favorable. It's a bit of a W-shaped IEM as it has a midbass emphasis, an upper mids forwardness, and a bright tilt. I'd consider it fairly well tuned and overall decently balanced. The bass clearly has that DD heritage while the mids don't suffer badly from BA timbre. Its treble energy may be the make-or-break for those looking at this IEM.
Interestingly, I don't find the TRN VX to be a warm IEM despite the bass bleed into the lower mids that the graph may suggest. And the reason is fairly obvious: the large amount of pinna gain and upper mids around the 2-4 kHz mark offsets the warmth I'd otherwise expect. Speaking of the seeming bass bleed, I don't find that the VX has an issue there at all. The bass transitions into the low mids without fanfare. But back to the upper mids. Some may find the VX shouty; I don't. Though I will admit that I generally have a higher tolerance than others in this regard. Vocals have an obvious forwardness and is presented with plenty of clarity. There is a bit of an edginess to certain "sss" consonants in the vocals, though not to the point of full blown sibilance.
The lower treble around 5-6 kHz is de-emphasized so there isn't too much of the crisp attack from the hats and cymbals. Nor is there harshness in the vocals. But past that is some treble oddities that aren't reflected in the graph (note: the 8 kHz peak is a measurement artifact - take it with a grain of salt). To start, there is a sharpness and some splashiness when it comes to the hats and cymbals. It's not so much the initial attack but the decaying ring that gains a brightness that can be fatiguing to listen to. There's a sense of aggression with the treble, and not in a good way. Generally speaking, I find that most IEMs, regardless of price, struggle to properly render the highly delicate and nuanced sounds of the hats and cymbals. In the case of the VX, this is exacerbated and turns into emphasized incoherence in poorly recorded music. For those sensitive to treble, the VX may not be for you.