Current testing methodology is v1.2
September 1, 2022
4.02 x 2.83 x 1.38 in
I purchased it out of curiosity and with no idea about what to expect since it was my first pair of flathead earphones.
It costs $20 which makes it a budget earphone. With many other models at this price point, how did the TRN EMA perform? You’ll find out in this review.
Flathead earphones great for vocal-centric tracks.
The TRN EMA features a bit less mainstream flathead earphone design. It also has a 14.2 mm Dynamic Driver, an aluminum alloy cavity design, and a 2-pin detachable cable.
Since it was my first pair of flathead earphones, I didn’t know what to expect from them but I was blown away by the clarity and details that they brought to the table. They’re great for vocal-dominated tracks but the bass is lacking, so I wouldn’t recommend them for bass heads.
For around $20, the TRN EMA is definitely worth a try.
- Driver: 14.2mm Dynamic Driver
- Cable: 3.5mm plug / 0.75mm pin
- Frequency: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 124db
- Weight: 6g+12g (single earphone + cable)
What’s in the Box?
- TRN EMA earphones
- 3 x pairs of foam ear muffs
- 2-pin detachable cable
- Instruction Manual
Stuff I like
- Clean and detailed vocal presentation
- Crystal clear mids
- Surprisingly comfortable design
- Sleek look
Stuff I like less
- A bit lacking on the bass
- Sound isolation isn’t that great
- Sound leak due to its design
- Treble peaks
The TRN EMA comes in standard TRN packaging, with an image of the product on the front and the specifications and other details on the back. The packaging is nothing special.
Out of the box, I thought that the earphones looked quite sleek. The TRN EMA has a nice aluminum alloy cavity paired with a detachable cable designed explicitly for this type of earphone.
It comes with basic accessories such as a detachable cable. It also comes with foam ear muffs for added comfort.
The TRN EMA has a robust and well-built aluminum alloy construction. It looks durable and could probably withstand heavy use. Even though it has an aluminum alloy shell, it’s pretty lightweight.
The included cable is also well-built and shares a lot of similarities with the more updated TRN cables included with newer products.
The only difference is with the connectors, as it features a different look that’s specifically designed to fit flathead earphones and those with a more bullet-style design like the M10.
Fit and Comfort
Even though the shape of these IEMs is quite new to me, I found the TRN EMA surprisingly comfortable.
They’re lightweight and don’t add much strain to the ears, unlike other IEMs. The foam ear muffs also added more comfort but I did experience a bit of fatigue during extended listening sessions.
After hearing the first sample track on the TRN EMA, I was immediately blown away by its overall presentation.
As marketed, the mids and treble regions have detailed and crystal-clear presentations, translating well into the vocals and other instruments in these frequencies.
On the other hand, the bass is noticeably lacking due to the EMA’s design, as flatheads are notorious for having an insufficient bass presence.
The bass is absent in the presentation due to the flathead design. Even though these IEMs have a good amount of texture and detail, it’s more than just as punchy or as boomy.
Since the TRN EMA only offers a little bass, I wouldn’t recommend this to bass heads or those looking for a bassy presentation.
The mids have a ton of details and clarity.
Both male and female vocals are well presented in the mix, although there are times when I find myself tweaking the volume on my PC depending on the track that I’m listening to.
The TRN EMA has a nice treble extension. What it lacks in the bass presence, it makes up for in the treble presentation.
The treble sounded full and could blend well with the mix without getting drowned out.
I’ve tested the TRN EMA on different music genres to understand how they sound and here are my findings.
- Rock – The guitars have great detail and clarity, although they sounded far behind the mix than usual. On the other hand, vocals are placed in front of the mix, and the TRN EMA also presented them with outstanding clarity and tonality. Tracks used: Mississippi Queen (Mountain), Blackhole Sun (Soundgarden), Even Flow (Pearl Jam)
- Pop – The TRN EMA worked flawlessly with more vocal-dominant tracks, a common theme among the pop and K-pop genres. Tracks used: Bad Boy (Red Velvet), OMG (NewJeans), Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
- Hip-hop – For the hip-hop genre, the TRN EMA’s performance was underwhelming due to the overall lack of bass. These IEMs aren’t built for hip-hop listening. Tracks used: Amen (Shanti Dope and Pricetagg), Cash In Cash Out (Pharell Williams ft 21 Savage & Tyler the Creator)
- Indie – These IEMs presented a decent amount of sound stage and depth, which is impressive, especially for flathead earphones. The vocals yet again shined the most as these IEMs effortlessly captured the details and clarity in the test tracks. Tracks used: Show Me How (Men I Trust), Space Song (Beach House), Queen of Disaster (Lana Del Rey)
- R&B / Soul – The R&B and soul genre worked the best with the TRN EMA. Every significant aspect of these IEMs was able to shine in this genre. The vocals sounded great, packing a hefty amount of detail and clarity. The instruments were smooth in presentation, and the drum beats blended well with the guitars and vocals. Tracks used: Devil in the Details (Mac Ayres), Get You (Daniel Ceasar), Telepatia (Kali Uchis)
The TRN EMA’s tonal quality and tuning sets it apart from other IEMs in my collection. Since purchasing them, it has become my go-to pair when listening to more vocal-focused genres.
Because the TRN EMA has a performance bias on more vocal-dominated tracks, its lack of versatility can be a massive disadvantage for others. Still, the EMA is the way to go if you enjoy vocals.
The TRN EMA is a great option if you’re for entry-level flathead earbuds. I’d recommend them if you’re looking to get started on flathead-style earphones.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.
This post was last updated on 2023-12-02 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.