Although both IEMs come from the ST line, they have distinct characteristics that cater to different palates, making this an interesting comparison.
Both IEMs have already been reviewed separately on this website. You can check them out for more detailed and in-depth reviews which will be linked to this post.
TRN ST1 vs. TRN ST2: Sound Signature
The TRN ST1 has a V-shaped sound signature so the bass and treble are elevated, with the vocals sitting behind the energetic beats as the mids are recessed.
Its V-shaped signature makes it great for genres like hip-hop, EDM, and modern rock, as it boosts the highs and lows of the song, elevating the listening experience of the user.
The TRN ST1 is for you if:
- You like a colored sound signature.
- You like bright and pleasing audio.
- You like an IEM that’s great for listening to songs with fun beats.
The sound signature of the TRN ST2 is similar to its predecessor. It also has a V-shaped sound.
However, it’s flat and has a harsher treble than the ST1. Its brighter and harsher treble can be unpleasant to listeners who are sensitive to treble peaks, so this is something to look out for.
The aggressiveness of the sound signature can be overwhelming, especially for those who prefer a chill and warm sound when listening to mixes.
The TRN ST2 is for you if:
- You like a very bright sound signature.
- You like a sound that highlights the treble over the other components in a mix.
- You like a well-extended treble.
TRN ST1 vs. TRN ST2: Sound Quality
One of the remarkable things about the TRN ST1 is its sound imaging.
Since the brand integrated a vented design for the ST1, it creates a more open and expansive sound, maximizing the space it has for the audio output and quality.
The soundstage, combined with the V-shaped sound signature, further elevates and uses the space to create a fun experience for the user.
For its price, the ST1 also has good audio separation, providing clarity and definition to the various instruments used in a mix.
The bass in this IEM is substantial and is enough to make its presence known but not enough to be considered bass-heavy. In fact, it has a more relaxed and non-overpowering bass.
The mids are recessed in the mix. However, although they’re usually great to listen to, there are also times when the mids suffer from the bass bleed. This compromises the clarity and definition of the different instruments and the audio output itself.
However, the treble proves to be worth it and impressive, especially at its price point. The treble allows high frequencies to shimmer and is more present.
This characteristic elevates female vocals and hi-hats, making its presence known. Though it can sometimes cause sibilance, this rarely happens and isn’t generally fatiguing to listen to.
The TRN ST1 is for you if:
- You like a wide, open, and more prominent soundstage and sound imaging.
- You like a substantial bass that’s not overpowering or too heavy.
- You like a treble that’s present and clear while emphasizing high frequencies.
On the other hand, the sound quality of the TRN ST2 is quite nice, with a crystal clear midrange and a wide soundstage. It also has good imaging for its price.
Nonetheless, something to look out for is that this IEM has a metallic timbre. Since it highlights the treble over the rest of the spectrum, it can be uncomfortable for those sensitive to bright sounds.
The bass of the ST2 has a good amount of detail, texture, definition, and clarity for its price. It’s clean and tight but it lacks an overall presence in the mix.
It can be a pro for those who prefer less bass in the mixes. Unfortunately, this characteristic of the bass can also cause the sound to appear thin.
As for its mids, it’s crystal clear with details above average. In contrast to its bright sound signature, the mids have a bit of warmth elevating the sound but this can create a weird overall tuning.
This can make you wonder why they mixed a warm-sounding mid with an extremely bright and aggressive treble sound.
Lastly, as mentioned before, its treble is very harsh to the ear. It’s fatiguing to listen to as it’s aggressive, shouty, and bright. Nonetheless, it had a significant amount of clarity.
The TRN ST2 is for you if:
- You like a bright and aggressive treble.
- You like an IEM with textured bass, great details, and a wide soundstage.
- You like a clear and warm midrange.
TRN ST1 vs. TRN ST2: Caveats
Although it’s generally decent for its price, the mids of the TRN ST1 need more clarity.
Even though the lack of clarity is usually caused by the bass bleed, it ultimately compromises the listening experience because the individuality of the instruments is lost.
Another problem is that the harsh treble frequencies appear at high volumes, causing sibilance at certain moments while using.
Nonetheless, the pros outweigh the cons since the sibilance rarely happens, and the harsh frequencies are manageable to listen to.
Meanwhile, one recurring problem with the TRN ST2 is that it is too fatiguing to listen to. The harshness and aggressiveness of the treble won’t sit right with people sensitive to extremely bright sounds.
Furthermore, it inevitably compromises the other parts of the spectrum as the sound ends up extremely peaky and shouty. The bass can also be lacking, though present.
The choice in the characteristics of the mids is also questionable because the mixture of a warm mid with a highly bright treble makes an overall weird sound and tuning, affecting the user’s listening experience.
The TRN ST1 and the TRn ST2 both feature a V-shaped sound signature.
However, some sound characteristics are more prominent, like how the TRN ST1 has a more noticeable bass and the TRN ST2 has a brighter and more aggressive treble frequency.
I prefer the tuning of the TRN ST1 as it has a more entertaining sound with its more elevated bass and a safe V-shaped tuning.
Although I enjoyed the clarity and definition of the TRN ST2, its harsh and aggressive tuning doesn’t quite cut it for me since I’m treble-sensitive.
Overall, both IEMs are great and as always, it all boils down to preference.
If you’re looking for a more familiar and entertaining V-shape sound, the TRN ST1 is a no-brainer.
If you are leaning towards a more aggressive, clear, and detail-focused tuning with ample bass, the TRN ST2 is the way to go.
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.