The Ultra Cheap IEM Thread

Thank you, I find that is the best way for me to describe what I am hearing. Music is so subjective, so it’s nice to see that my message is getting across!

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My review is available also in Spanish (and English) on my blog, and also in Spanish on Youtube, link at the end of this post.

Tianderenhe TD02

I have absolutely no idea who Tiandirenhe is, in fact, I have issues to even remember the name without looking it up, but I came across them while browsing AE and liked the look of these IEMs so I decided to give them a try, I mean, for 15€ they are worth it just for the looks.

I didn’t even know the model name of the IEMs and there was no mention of it anywhere in the listing or on the IEMs I received, so I sent a message to the seller who replied that they are the Tiandirenhe TD02. So I guess I at least know what they are now.

Presentation…

The IEMs were available with or without cable, which seems to be a more common thing lately, and so I opted for the version without cable as I already have more cables that I will ever need.

The IEMs appeared in a padded envelope and were inside a red semi-rigid storage case. Inside the case were the IEMs, a plastic bag containing a selection of sizes of silicone tips along with a small rigid case containing a set of double flanged tips and a set of foam tips (in red and blue).

Build and aesthetics…

I really like the aesthetics of the TD02, with the clear resin body and a tinted part, blue on the left and red on the right, sporting the Tiandirenhe branding in gold. They certainly look like they cost more than 15€.

The IEMs also seem to be well built, as far as simple poured resin IEMs go, with no obvious flaws or sharp edges. They are comfortable to wear and my only complaint would be the MMCX connectors.

My complaint is not because there is an issue with the connectors on this specific IEM, they seem to be of decent quality and the NiceHCK cable I am using fits perfectly, I have just grown wary of MMCX connectors due to issues in the past.

Sound…

I will go straight out and say that I am happily surprised by the sound of the TD02. I didn’t know what to expect but what I got is nothing to complain about at this price.

The IEMs use a single dynamic driver inside a copper chamber. I am not sure if this is something that benefits the driver much but it is really the only thing they promote in their listing, there is no mention of the driver size etc.

In the sub-bass, there is a decent amount of extension, making 30Hz still audible although there is a bit of a roll off under 40Hz. This means that tracks that present a decent amount of sub-bass, such as “Chameleon” by Trentemoller, are not absent in the low end.

In the general bass regions, bass is well presented and is not overly boosted, giving a good presence without feeling bloated. The single dynamic driver also does a decent job of controlling the low hits, allowing music to sound natural in the case of real instruments but also powerful enough for electronic music. I enjoyed the bass on all kinds of music, from Tupacs “Ambitionz az a Ridah” through to “No Sanctuary Here” by Marian Herzog and Chris Jones. It is probably not enough for those heavy bass lovers out there but is plenty for my tastes.

The lower mids have enough warmth for acoustic instruments to sound natural, such as Johnny Cash’s guitar in “Hurt” but does not really suffer from bleeding of the bass. It is not the cleanest transition from bass to lower mids but is not something that stands out as an issue unless I specifically look for it.

The mids do not give the sensation of being recessed, allowing the root notes of voices, both male and female, to be present enough. There is a little bit of a dip in the center of the mids but just like the transition from bass to lower mids, it is really only apparent when looking for it.

Vocals also don’t come across as harsh, making me feel that the slight boost around 3kHz is not overly done. In fact, I think vocals could be a little clearer up top as they do have a bit more smoothness to them than I would personally prefer. This does stop these IEMs from being harsh at all in those regions. Even the harsher voices, such as Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child”, are smoothed to a point where they are not offensive.

When moving up into the higher ranges, there is just a hint of sibilance in tracks such as “Code Cool” or “Hope is a Dangerous Thing”. They don’t completely eliminate sibilance but don’t exaggerate it like so many other IEMs in this range.

If I had to complain, which I don’t but I usually do, it would be in regards to the higher treble and the lack of extension. There is the typical single dynamic driver roll off and it could do with just a little more air in the higher regions but this is again not terribly bad.

As far as detail, these are not overly detailed IEMs but they don’t sound muddy and out of control, even with busy tracks such as “The Room” by Ostura. These aren’t going to present the amount of detail found in higher end IEMs or in decent hybrid offerings but do have enough to allow you enjoy the music.

The width is actually slightly more than most budget IEMs but it is still not much more than average. The image placement inside the soundstage is decent, not quite millimetric but enough to enjoy binaural recordings and appreciate movement in songs like “Bubbles” by Yosi Horikawa.

Conclusion…

Going back to the fact that these are 15€ IEMs (admittedly without the cable), I am rather impressed by them. They are a warmish sounding set that are not overly boosted in the lows and do lack a little bit of presence in the highs for my preferences, but I find them enjoyable.

I would not choose these IEMs to sit down and dissect a song, however, for general listening purposes, I think they are above a lot of the competition in the sub 50€ category. I wouldn’t place them in competition with some of my sub-50€ favourites, such as the Tin T2+ or even the DQ6 and ZAX (which are now available around the 50€ mark) but I would not complain if I used them daily for some BGM while doing other things.

Again, for 15€, these are without a doubt worth their price.

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Excellent review @SenyorC.

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I have enough of these, but I want those just for the looks…

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That’s the reason I ended up with them :smiley:

On the subject of the TD02, I measured them today (after someone sent me their measurements of a similar model) and they graph as being bass monsters.

I seriously did not hear them to have as much bass as shown on the graph but maybe I am turning into a bass head without realising!

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Care to share your measurements?

I’m afraid I didn’t save them but I can remeasure when I get chance, although it is only on the EARS so only the lower regions are really relevant.

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My latest acquisition is the CCA CST. I received this as a review unit from Denise at IZ POP at Amazon.com. Product link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08N1GLHXC?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

Here are my thoughts:

The CCA CST is a new single dynamic IEM from the sister company of KZ. It features a 10mm driver with a double magnetic circuit. It has a fixed cable and is constructed from wood and metal, and is the first single dynamic model from CCA. The diaphragm material is not specified.

The CST comes packaged in a very small, flat, white rectangular box. There is a colour image of the IEMs on the front and brief specifications on the back. The IEMs are packed in a plastic tray with the documentation and two pairs of Starline tips (S, L). The medium size tips are pre-fitted on the earphones.

The earpieces have a body made of a light-coloured wood. There is a gold-coloured metal trim on each end and a large vented grille on the rear but there is no branding or channel identification. The angled nozzle emerges from a domed cap with a prominent lip to secure the tip and there is a small circular pinhole vent near the base. The IEMs are reminiscent of the VJJB K4S which are also made from wood and metal. They are light in weight and very comfortable. The cable is rubbery and is terminated in a 90° angled plastic 3.5mm plug. There is some cable noise.

Testing was performed using an Xduoo X20 DAP and a burn in period of 100 hours was carried out. The pre-fitted tips were used and although I did not obtain a perfect seal, after experimenting with various other tips the medium Starlines proved to be the best compromise.

First Impressions
The CST displayed a warm, well-balanced U-shaped profile which was very easy to listen to. The lower frequencies were elevated with strong sub-bass, a prominent mid-bass and some bleed into the mids. The mids themselves were a little recessed and warm in the lower region but possessed good timbre. The upper mids were brighter and more forward and this trend continued into the treble which was above the mids in level, but not above the bass and with only a slight trace of harshness. Detail retrieval was good but the transients were a little soft. The soundstage was one of the best features, being wide, deep and spacious with a good impression of height. This was probably due to the vented rear of the earpieces. Overall this relaxed and natural presentation was very impressive at the price.

Bass
The CST’s bass was forward and powerful, warm in tonality and a little soft in attack with the emphasis in the mid bass and a good sense of weight. The sub-bass did roll off somewhat with the lowest frequencies lacking definition. The texture was good and there was a good reproduction of recorded ambience.

Jennifer Galatis’s soundtrack “Io” features an arsenal of keyboards. “Interstellar Voyage” begins with an anthemic theme in synth strings supported by deep sub-bass tones. These displayed good texture on the CST but due to the limited extension, they lacked some impact. Where the mid-bass took centre stage, the effect was very satisfying.

Mark Dwane’s series of albums on mystical themes performed on MIDI guitar are always very well recorded and produced. “Siren’s Song” from “Archives 2” is based on a fast-moving sub-bass riff with wordless female vocals and electronic effects. The bass notes possessed good texture and reasonable impact but did merge together a little with some lack of definition due to the blunted transients. This is a severe test and to be honest, the CST did do fairly well considering the price.

Mids
The midrange was somewhat recessed, but still retained some presence. The lower mids were less prominent than the upper mids which were brighter.

Benny Andersson’s solo album “Piano” features his own compositions. The beautiful “Jag Hor” received a measured performance from the CST. In the quiet passages it sounded great with good clarity and definition but in the more powerful sections the dynamic range was a little squashed and the atmosphere of the recording venue rather flat. Occasionally there was a strident tonality in the climaxes with a thin note quality.

Pachelbel’s famous “Canon in D major” performed by the JF Paillard Orchestra also came over very clearly with the divided string sections well defined and the harpsichord continuo clearly audible. Once more, however, in the more lively passages the timbre of the strings became less natural with a slightly sharp edge and there was some clouding of detail.

Treble
The CST’s treble was largely well defined, especially in less complex tracks and at low volume. In more energetic pieces the separation did suffer a little and the tonality became brighter and less defined. However, detail retrieval was very good in general.

“Pyramid” from “Behind the Gardens” by Andreas Vollenweider showcases his trademark electric harp and complex percussion arrangements. The high notes of the harp were clear and the complex percussion accompaniment bright and well textured. Towards the conclusion there are multiple cymbals playing and there was some splashiness and merging of detail in the loudest sections.

The BBC Philharmonic’s version of Hubert Clifford’s “Kentish Suite” is a fine Chandos recording. Part 5, “Greenwich” brings to bear the full orchestra in a dynamic performance with prominent strings, brass and percussion. There was plenty of verve and attack on the CST and the layout of the orchestra was nicely portrayed. The brass and percussion did tend to dominate, being just a little too bright and forward, affecting the balance and the violins displayed a slightly thin timbre in the loudest passages. The slow movement “Pastoral” on the other hand, was more to the CST’s liking with the woodwind solo floating over the harp and string accompaniment in a most attractive way whilst displaying a more natural tonality.

Soundstage
The CST displayed a large, spacious stage with good imaging, layering and separation. The sense of space was well rendered enabling the ambience of a recording venue to be heard clearly. In dynamic and complex passages the staging became flatter and there was some merging of detail.

Vangelis’s “Elsewhere” from his album “Direct” begins with an electronic percussion elementcircling from left to right which is joined by another from right to left which weave in and out in a figure of eight. This was very well reproduced by the CST. A solo voice high in the centre plays the main theme and the climax was very well handled with the full range of keyboards at Vangelis’s disposal excitingly presented. The CST was very impressive in this piece.

Malcolm Arnold’s wonderful “Cornish Dance No. 3”, in a classic Lyrita recording with the LPO and the composer on the rostrum, produced an expansive staging on the CST with the bass drum foundation, brass fanfares and a bright incisive tambourine cameo all combining to produce a thrilling performance. The ambience of the concert hall was particularly well reproduced. There was just a hint of splashiness in the cymbal crashes in the climax.

Comparisons
I have chosen some dynamic drive IEMs with a fixed cable at a similar price to the CST for comparison.

KZ ED9
At a current price of around £14 the ED9 still holds its own in this sector with its two tuning options. With the gold nozzle it sounds similar to the CST with a powerful bass and a strong V signature but loses out in detail and refinement. The brass nozzle gives a more neutral and transparent sound with better detail and staging which is exceptional at the price. The vented rear endows the stage with a spacious quality.

Cambridge SE1
The SE1 started out with a list price of around £70 but appeared on Amazon recently at a bargain price of £20. It is a bullet-shaped IEM with an 8mm dynamic driver featuring a beryllium plated diaphragm. The earpieces are crafted from aluminium and there is a fixed cable. It has a powerful and punchy bass, smooth well-resolved mids and a clean treble. It improves on the CST with superior transients and better separation. The overall profile is U shaped but mids are more prominent than the CST. Treble is smoother and more refined but with no loss of detail.

Lindy Cromo IEM-75
Another Amazon bargain, this too had an original price of £70 but was reduced to £12.99. It is a dual-drive IEM with a 15mm bass unit and 7mm tweeter, a metal body and again, a fixed cable. Bass from the large driver goes very deep and is effortless. Mids are somewhat less forward than the CST and the treble rolls off earlier so the overall sound is fairly dark producing an L-shape profile, but it is very smooth and engaging. It does lose a little in detail to the CST but does not suffer from compression or splashiness.

Conclusion
On the front of the box the description includes the words “natural sound” and I would not disagree with this. In general the CST presented music in an entertaining, unforced and attractive fashion with the only negatives being a somewhat thin tonality in the treble and a lack of definition in complex or dynamic pieces at loud volumes. It is well made, looks good and has a well balanced sound quality. If you don’t mind a fixed cable and you have a limited budget, it may well be suitable.




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Great review @Nimweth. As always it’s easy to follow and we’ll written.

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I got the green TD08 and they have great sub bass too! And the look of the resin is amazing! And they are 2 pins :slight_smile:

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I recently received the CVJ CSE for review. This unit was provided by Denise of IZ POP at Amazon.com. Product link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08MWPF3HJ?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

This is my opinion:

The CVJ CSE is a new 1DD + 1BA hybrid IEM from the company. Like the previous CSA, it is an affordable model. It employs a silicon crystal composite biological diaphragm dynamic driver 10mm in diameter covering the bass and a customised 30095 BA, placed within the nozzle, for the treble region.

In a departure from their previous packaging, the CSE comes in a small black rectangular box with a sleeve featuring a colour image of the IEMs on the front and the specifications printed on the back. The box has a gold CVJ logo and, inside, the earpieces are presented in a card cutout along with the spare eartips (the medium size being pre-fitted to the IEMs). Below this are stored the suede effect pouch, the detachable cable and the documentation.

The faceplates are fashioned from a clear green resin with a wave-like embossed surface and there is a clear amber body through which the components can be seen. There is a small circular vent on the inner surface for the dynamic driver and a gold nozzle with a silver grille. The 2-pin socket for the detachable cable is set flush.

The cable is a black tightly braided 4-core type with a straight metal 3.5mm plug and angled connectors and is similar to those supplied by TRN. There is no chin slider. The earhooks are quite stiff and could usefully be more supple for a better fit.

The CSE was tested principally using an Xduoo X20 DAP. A smartphone and a CD player were also used. The earphones were subjected to a burn in time of 100 hours to settle down the components. The stock cable and tips were used and a good seal and isolation were obtained.

First Impressions
CVJ’s earphones, starting with the CSA, have established a “house sound” which is refreshingly different from the sea of V-shaped offerings from the majority of Chi-fi companies, being more neutral/bright and displaying a more mature tuning. The CSN and CS8 followed this philosophy but the CSE is a little more V-shaped and a touch warmer in tonality. The bass was well textured and deep with good impact, the mids were mildly recessed but had good timbre and the treble was generally smooth with good levels of detail. There was adequate volume even from lower-powered devices and no need for additional amplification.

Bass
The bass was elevated with the emphasis between the sub and mid bass. The tonality was warm and engaging with good impact and reasonable speed. There was a small amount of bleed into the mids and the bass did dominate on certain material.

Jeff Wayne’s superb production in David Essex’s “Rock On” showcases double tracked bass guitars which effortlessly plumb the nether regions of the frequency spectrum. Partnered by staccato string elements, the bass remained clean and incisive and created a powerful and weighty foundation.

The characterful bass line in “Hazard” by Richard Marx displayed excellent depth and texture and was clearly defined against the accompanying bass drum. This rhythm section drove the piece along in great style, providing a solid basis for the instruments and vocals.

Mids
The CSE’s mids were somewhat recessed but due to the clarity and detail on offer, still showed good presence. Timbre generally was quite natural. The upper mids were slightly cooler in tone and perhaps a little less convincing.

Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” received a wonderful reading from Ikuyo Nakamichi in a superb 20 bit K2 recording. The CSE gave a very good reproduction of the solo piano with an accurate and realistic portrayal of the decay, undertones and harmonics which create a natural timbre. In the climaxes the tonality was clean and crisp with fast transients and good separation in the rapid arpeggios and with only a moderate increase in sharpness in the high notes.

“I know a Rose Tree” by Secret Garden is based on a melody by the mediaeval German composer Michael Praetorius. Fionnula Sherry’s violin solos and the Irish choir Anuna, supported by orchestral accompaniment, delivered a beautiful and sensitive rendition of this work and the CSE produced a well defined picture of it, with nicely layered vocals and harmonies and the diction preserved well.

Treble
The treble was largely clean and free from peaks. There was an emphasis in the lower treble and a further elevated region in the upper treble which added detail and sparkle, only occasionally resulting in sharpness or less natural tonality.

Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor performed by Helmut Walcha in a vintage 1960s recording, sounded great. Very different from the Gothic and Romantic French and British instruments, the clarity and brightness of the Silbermann organ was excitingly and dramatically portrayed with immediacy and impact. The details in the faster passages retained their separation and the tonality was generally clean, with only the more energetic sections sometimes a little over-bright or edgy.

“I Robot” by the Alan Parsons Project is the title track from the album of the same name. Following an introduction with a sequenced synth riff and electric guitars, the distinctive metallic sound of the Cimbalon enters and it was reproduced cleanly and brightly, with good rhythmic integrity and clarity. The layering of the different elements was very precise. This was perfect material for the CSE and was very enjoyable.

Soundstage
The CVJ presented a spacious image with good width and height but a little less depth. There was a good sense of natural ambience. Imaging was good and separation and layering competent. This was a very good performance at the price.

The “Benedictus” from “The Armed Man” by Karl Jenkins sounded very believable. The solo violin set against the string accompaniment, the divided female vocals and their positioning were all depicted authentically within an airy acoustic space. The climax “Hosanna in Excelsis” with bass drum and full choir was handled very well.

The bright tones of Catrin Finch’s harp in “Clear Sky” from the album “Tides” were precisely placed high in the centre of the image with the orchestral accompaniment occupying the rest of the stage. When the more dynamic passages were playing and the full orchestra was present, the stage did become crowded leading to a reduction in separation and the tonality became brighter and sharper.

Comparisons
I have compared the CSE with dual hybrids in the same price range.

KBEAR KS2
The KS2 is a classic V-shaped IEM with an appealing dynamic and exciting character. It has a powerful bass approaching basshead levels and an expansive soundstage. However, the mids are recessed, there is some bass bleed and the treble lacks refinement compared to the CSE, occasionally being a bit harsh in the lower treble region. The CSE is better balanced and does not have such a deep V signature.

CVJ CSA
CVJ’s debut product offers something different and is neutral/bright with a solid well-textured bass, slightly forward mids, and a clean treble with good extension and detail. The sound is immediate and more balanced than expected and is a mature tuning not normally found at this price level. The CSE has a more V-shaped profile with a more elevated bass and is not as bright in the treble, and the mids are just a little more recessed but still posess good presence and a very natural timbre.

TRN M10
The M10 employs an 8mm micro driver for the bass and the familiar 30095 treble BA unit. The overall sound is mildly V or W-shaped but still retains good balance. The bullet-shaped earpieces, which are nicely crafted from metal, are worn cable down and are very comfortable. The lower region goes very deep and is warm like the CSE but just a little looser and the mids are a little bit more recessed. The treble is not as extended or as smooth as the CSE, and the soundstage is not as large.

Conclusion
The CSE diverges somewhat from the CVJ “house sound” by being more V-shaped than neutral as seen in their previous IEMs. It does retain some of the qualities of the earlier models but adds to this a more prominent bass and treble, in a compromise between their usual tuning and the popular sound profile normally found in this price sector. It is a solid performer and does most things well but lacks the individuality of the CSA which offers something different with its more mature neutral presentation. Even so, the CSE is still a very good choice and should be on your shortlist.






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Great review. Thanks! :+1:

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Another fantastic review @Nimweth. Thank you. For an enjoyable read.

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Not exactly ultra-cheap but still well below $100, has Anyone tried the Moondrop Aria 2 yet? From some places I’ve heard it’s sounds as good as Starfield.

Review - TRN TA1

As always, this review is available also in Spanish both on my blog and on YouTube, links at the end of this post.

The TRN TA1 were sent to me with a discount by LuckLZ Audio Store. As always, I will be as sincere and unbiased as possible but I like to be clear on the origin of the items I review. To see the link to both the LuckLZ sore and the TA1, please visit the review on my blog here: Review - TRN TA1

Intro…

The TA1 are the latest TRN release, as far as I am aware, and feature a Knowles 33518 BA driver and an 8mm dual core dynamic driver. They are currently available for around 30€ which is well inside the sub 50€ bracket I set on the blog.

There is a lot of competition in this price bracket lately but the TA1 seem to offer good specs, at least on paper, with the Knowles driver that should assist in avoiding some of that high end roll off that is present on a lot of the similar priced offerings, most of which are single DD.

Presentation…

The IEMs are delivered in a simple box with an image of the product on the cover of the cardboard sleeve, the model number and not much else on the outside. Personally I have received what seems to be classed as the Japanese version, which seems to only differ in the design on the IEM shell, sporting a anime face rather than the TRN logo.

Inside the box we get the IEMs, a more than acceptable cable, various sets of silicone tips and a set of very soft memory foam tips. I tried the various tips included, along with a few more, and came to the conclusion that I really like the included foam tips.

Build and aesthetics…

The IEMs use a metal shell, in a shiny silver finish , which they state is a Magnesium-Alloy housing. The shape of these IEMs reminds me of the original Tin T2. The IEMs can be worn cable up or down, however, the included cable is shaped to wear cable up. I mention this because, for some reason, the anime face on the IEMs is orientated for cable down, meaning that it is upside down when used with the included cable. This is something that I really don’t care about but thought it was strange.

The IEMs do portray themselves as well built, looking quite good also. I was a fan of the T2 and this is sort of a shiny version of it.

As far as comfort, they are very comfortable IEMs, although the cables do seem to stick out further from the ear than usual.

Sound…

The interesting part is obviously the sound and I am a fan of DD for bass with BA for the highs, depending obviously on how much of that metallic “BA tone” is present.

Starting off, as is usual, with the subbass, there is a decent amount of presence down into the lower rumbling areas. The bass is also very well controlled and doesn’t give me a sensation of being bloated or overly boosted. Songs like “Way Down Deep” by Jennifer Warnes or “Royals” by Lorde have a nice and smooth subbass, with everything being present but without being in your face.

In the general bass frequencies, there is again a nice smoothness and control to the bass lines and hits, even if there is a bit of a boost to them. The IEMs have a clear V shape tuning to them but the driver does a good job of keeping the bass in check, not becoming overly present, at least in my opinion. The timbre of the bass is also decent, with instruments sounding realistic in their lower ranges. Songs such as “No Sanctuary Here” by Marian Herzon feat. Chris Jones sounds very well laid out and the bass, which can become easily overpowering, doesn’t get in the way of other instruments of the track.

Moving into the mid range, for a V shaped tuning, these actually deal with the transition pretty well, however, the large dip around 1k does take some of the presence away in the center mids. This results in a midrange that is also very smooth, with no harshness introduced in the higher mids. Depending on the choice of music, the mids can be a little too absent for my liking and while acoustic guitars can sound decent, there are songs on which they are missing a little too much around that 1k mark. As an example, the guitar in “Billie Jean” by The Civil Wars is missing some presence in the center of the mids to be considered natural, it has more of an emphasis on the lower end of the guitar. This is by no means a terrible sound signature in the mids, it is very smooth and relaxing, I just would not consider it to be natural.

Although the mids can lack a little presence, it is nice to see that the boosted low end doesn’t interfere too much and doesn’t overshadow the mids. There are times, with other IEMs, where the mids sound ok until we get to a bass heavy track that just overpowers everything, I don’t find it to be the case with the TRN TA1. I keep repeating the word “smooth” but it really is the best word to describe these IEMs all the way from the lowest frequencies up until we start to reach into the treble area.

Speaking of treble, here is where the TA1 aren’t quite what I expected. Due to them being a hybrid set, I expected the BA driver to be a little clearer and more extended in the higher ranges. However, it is the treble that is not quite right on the TA1. The roll off in the treble happens earlier than I would like and at the same time, the treble is not open and clean. This adds more to the effect of the smoothness I keep referring to, as there really isn’t much brightness in the treble range. This also creates a sensation where the treble seems to be slightly veiled and details are not as present as they are in the lower and mid ranges.

I am not saying that these have terrible treble, they are certainly not harsh and uncomfortable, I just feel that more openness and better clarity would turn these IEMs into something that is great rather than decent.

The detail overall is good, except for in the higher regions, and the DD driver does a great job of controlling the low end, without getting stressed under pressure. If only it had that bit of extra clarity up top.

As far as soundstage, the width is around average, certainly not above average, but inside the width they work with, the location and placement of images is well done. Songs like “Letter” and “Bubbles”, both by Yosi Horikawa, are a fun listen and the location of the images in the latter is fun, there are just not quite as many details as I would usually hope for.

Conclusion…

When I first started listening to the TRN TA1, I found them very enjoyable and, to be honest, I still do. I really like the lows and the mids, they are presented in a smooth way that never becomes overpowering. The treble is the part that lets it down a little, making it seem like there is much less detail than there is.

As a BGM earphone, they do a good job and I have enjoyed using them for general listening purposes, just hitting play on Tidal or Spotify and letting random songs play. It is when I sit down to analyze the sound that I start to see the issues.

To be totally frank, if you are looking for a set of IEMs that look good and present music in a nice and relaxed fashion, then I think that the TA1 are a very worthy option, it is only if you sit down to dissect the music that you will start to notice that high end roll off and lack of clarity.

For 30€, there are many options at the moment and none of them are perfect, I think all of the IEMs I have reviewed at this price point have one issue or another, it is just a case of choosing the sound signature that suits you.

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