Current testing methodology is v1.2
February 28, 2020
Price not available
4 x 2.9 x 1.3 in
I was in the market looking to grab my first pair of V-shaped IEMs and stumbled upon the TRN ST1 during my search.
Since they came at a reasonably low price of under $20 (I managed to grab mine for under $12), I decided to buy myself a pair.
I was surprised to get so much quality per dollar from the TRN ST1, and since it’s my first pair of IEMs with a V-shaped sound signature, I was in for a treat.
An inexpensive hybrid pair of IEMs with good sound quality.
TRN offers the ST1 as an inexpensive pair of IEMs with a V-shaped tuning.
One of the main highlights of these IEMs is their hybrid drivers consisting of a 10mm Dynamic Driver for the low-end and the 30095 Balanced Armature Driver for treble or highs.
Many say that it goes toe-to-toe with KZ’s V-shaped IEM offering, the ZSN Pro, which is another pair of IEMs highly regarded in the market.
In the week that I’ve been testing them out, I was genuinely surprised with how well they performed. I’d recommend them to those who are looking for relatively cheap IEMs with a V-shaped sound signature.
- Driver: 10mm DD + 30095 BA hybrid driver
- Pin Type: 0.78mm dual-pin
- Frequency: 10Hz-40000Hz
- Impedance: 22Ω
- Sensitivity: 108dB
What’s in the Box?
- TRN ST1 earphones
- 3x pair silicone ear tips
- Braided detachable cable (with/without mic options available)
Stuff I like
- Great build quality
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Affordable price
- Great soundstage
- Clarity on the highs
Stuff I like less
- Mids are lacking in clarity
- Sibilance at certain frequencies
- Harsh treble frequencies at high volumes
The TRN ST1 comes in a type of packaging that’s similar to other Chi-fi brands such as KZ, QKZ, and many more.
Upon opening the box, I was pleased with the overall aesthetics of these IEMs. The photos online don’t give them justice and for me, they look much better in person.
I like the design that TRN incorporated with the ST1, which is a surprise for this price range, as they look unique but not too gimmicky with the little vents in the middle and all.
I just love it. It may be one of the reasons why it caught my attention in the first place.
I’ve had a bad experience with TRN, specifically with their cables, as I’ve encountered issues regarding their durability.
The cable on my TRN MT1 was the first to break but considering that I’ve been heavily using it for almost a year, it was pretty much a solid pair of IEMs for its price.
I hope the updated cable on my ST1 will last longer than expected.
Even if the cables last long, upgrading them is one of the things I’d recommend doing if you’re looking to purchase these IEMs, and the same goes for other models coming from TRN.
The TRN ST1 comes in a familiar shape for IEMs. It’s comparable to the shape of my TRN MT1, with the only difference being that they’re slightly wider in size.
With that in mind, they’re comfortable, and I didn’t have any problems with how they fit in my ears. The included silicone ear tips came in 3 different sizes, allowing you to find the best fit for your ears.
I hope TRN will improve the ear hooks, as they were slightly uncomfortable. Other than that, the brand did a great job with the ST1 in terms of overall comfort.
Since this is my first pair of IEMs with a V-shaped sound signature, I still didn’t know what to expect before trying them out.
Upon initial testing of the TRN ST1, I immediately noticed the punchy low-ends in these IEMs. It also has some shimmer in the highs, and the sound imaging and clarity are remarkable, considering its price.
The bass in the TRN ST1 is substantial in a mix, but I wouldn’t consider them bass-heavy IEMs.
Compared to actual bass-heavy models, the TRN ST1 has a more relaxed low-end that isn’t too overpowering while maintaining its presence in a mix. The tuning on these IEMs makes the bass sound more forward in a mix, and it accomplished that.
I also noticed that the sub-bass extension was very prominent in a mix upon listening to EDM and dark hip-hop beats.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the mids of the TRN ST1.
The mids are recessed in a mix, and there are times when they sound amazing but there are also times when they suffer the loss of clarity caused by a bass bleed.
Generally, the pros outweigh the cons. And most of the time, these IEMs sound phenomenal to me with the genres I frequently listen to, such as hip-hop and RNB.
The tuning in the treble for the TRN ST1 is very impressive.
For me, it’s the highlight of these IEMs, and it dramatically factors in the amount of clarity and detail that the ST1 can maintain.
The thing I liked most in the treble section of the ST1 is that it allows high frequencies, such as female vocals and hi-hats, to shimmer and be more present in a mix unlike with other IEMs, which makes it sound thin and lack body.
Although the TRN ST1 also experiences issues with harsh frequencies and sibilance in some instances, it’s not too much that it gets unpleasant and fatiguing to listen to.
TRN incorporated a vented design for the ST1. Due to this design, these IEMs achieved a more open and expansive sound. This results in a bigger soundstage.
Combined with its V-shaped sound signature and pronounced bass response and clarity of the highs, the TRN ST1 provided a fun listening experience for me.
It was also able to present good audio separation, which contributes a whole lot to providing clarity and definition on different instruments in a mix.
Overall, I was satisfied with the soundstage of these IEMs and was blown away by how they performed.
Music Listening Experience
I liked how these IEMs sounded when I listened to some hip-hop, RNB, and vocal-driven tracks.
The emphasis on the low end makes for a lively and fun listening experience for hip-hop tracks. The tuning of the TRN ST1 on the treble and mids gives character to the vocals and lead instruments.
I’d recommend these IEMs for genres like RNB, hip-hop, and funk, mainly with prominent bass instruments.
Sound imaging is essential when playing video games, primarily first-person shooters. And the TRN ST1 nails it.
Its sound imaging and clarity give an accurate presentation of where a sound is coming from, which is vital in games such as Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: GO, and Valorant, among many others.
Great design, comfort, and sound quality – the TRN ST1 has it all.
It has a lot to offer and I was surprised with how it performed considering its price. For me, purchasing this was just a no-brainer.
It looks good and feels comfortable in the ears, and its sound signature makes it a great pair of IEMs, not just for music listening but also for gaming.
For what it’s worth, it measures up well compared to other IEM models, such as the ZSN Pro, QKZ VK4, and the CCA CA4.
I’d recommend the ST1 for those who are looking for V-shaped IEMs with excellent sound imaging and clarity without being overly bass-heavy.
This thing is definitely a bang for the buck. The TRN ST1 opened a new door for me, and I look forward to checking out more IEMs with the same V-shaped sound signature.
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 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.