| Knowles Balanced Armature | 8 mm Dynamic Driver |
🎧 We are reviewing the TRN TA1, an ultra-affordable hybrid earphone with a small secret.
The TRN TA1 is part of the budget-friendly line from TRN but despite it’s cheap price, this model is equipped with hybrid drivers, featuring a Knowles balanced armature driver instead of unbranded BA drivers like many other Asian-affordable earphones – besides this BA, the TA1 carries a dual-core 8mm dynamic driver.
Knowles is one of the most famous manufacturers of BA drivers, being used in many mid and high-end earphones that cost up to 20 times more than the TRN TA1 – the specific Knowles model is the 33518.
TRN has been on the market for some years already and has released many superb bang for buck earphones (most of them reviewed by us already), among their latest models you can also find:
- A 30 drivers earphones (15 balanced armature drivers per side)
- A pure gold earphone
- A triple hybrid driver True Wireless earphone
- A True Wireless earphone converter/adapter
The TRN TA1 is fully made of magnesium-alloy, giving a robust and durable build feel that combines with one the strongest connectors options, MMCX connectors.
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TRN TA1 Review
Tests & Scores
The TRN TA1 comes packed with a 4-core silver plated OFC copper cable and 8 pair of eartips, including 4 white colored pairs, 3 black colored pairs and 1 foam eartips.
These eartips are rated by TRN as Balanced eartips (white) and Bass eartips (black)
The packaging of the TRN TA1 is a fairly small rectangular box with a sliding cover – the size is about 1.5 times bigger than older TRN earphones.
TRN TA1 weight in Ounces and TRN TA1 weight in grams.
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Bass on the TRN TA1 can be defined as conservative and probably anemic than bassy.
To be more precise, sub-bass shows a significant roll-off that translates into a more shallow sound than most closed-back headphones.
Similarly to their sub-bass, mid-bass does sound less boosted than average consumer headphones but also lacking the amount of punch needed for many modern and pop genres.
Some users could appreciate the less bloated sound but it is fair to note that it’s bass profile might not match the desire of many others.
An EQ can be applied to boost some of their mid-bass punch but sub-bass will struggle to offer a significant deepening.
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Male vocals have a laid-back and bit distant tuning that, yet, do not suffer from any mid-bass bleeding overstepping them.
Upper mids and female vocals tend to keep a similarly “relaxed” flavor but can show some much crispier and but never hot peaks with very strong upper mid spikes or high-pitched or shouty vocals that fall more into the highs range than the midrange.
Using an EQ, their mids and vocals can be fine tuned and rearranged with excellent results in both their lower and upper extension.
The jewel of the TRN TA1 clearly shows up on their highs and treble with it’s Knowles BA.
Highs exhibit a pleasant balance with sufficient brightness and detail for casual listening with, still, a bit of a relaxed profile.
This highs tuning allows it to offer a less-fatiguing listening experience for long lasting sessions – some sibilance might show up from time to time.
In addition to this, despite not sounding as pristine as reference headphones, their highs will offer a fair compromise between an agreeable but non-drowned sound.
An detailed custom EQ can boost and keep under control the right frequencies as to provide a much more refined sound while being able to conserve an acceptably non-fatiguing nature.
Sound leaking out of the TRN TA1 will perceivable by nearby people, when cranking up the volume.
Nonetheless, it’s leakage falls within average and will rarely disturb anybody standing/sitting in proximity to a TRN TA1 owner – for libraries, this TRN earphone might not be the smartest choice.
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The earpieces are able to fit deep and securely in the ears, yet their passive isolation is less noticeable than most average headphones.
Users should expect partial awareness of their environment and the need of cranking the volume higher than on other in-ears to reach a near-absolute sound isolation.
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With a small form factor and rounded edges, wearing the TRN TA1 results in very comfortable experience with no risks of in-ear pain nor sharp shapes touching the ears.
It is worth reminding that this is a magnesium-alloy earphone, as so it’s metal surface will become cold on cold winter weather.
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|Driver Unit||BA + DD|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
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