As far as ChiFi brands go, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s out there. Almost every day I hear about a new brand that has some talk behind it, and I’m immediately excited to get my hands on it. One of those brands is TRN, which I mainly know for their cables, but have never tried their IEMs. The BAX is the latest IEM I’ll be checking out, a flagship hybrid earphone with a semi-open design for $312.88. There are a good amount of IEMs in that price range I’d call great, does the TRN BAX stand with them?
What You Get
- Aluminum storage case
- Ear tips
- Balanced ear tips 3 pairs (SML)
- Bass ear tips 3 pairs (SML)
- Memory foam ear tips 1 pair
- 6.5mm adapter
Look and Feel
On the outside, the BAX has a great look. I personally love a silver aluminum build and the BAX, as it gives the earphones some nice durability and stylistic flourish. The TRN logo is also engraved into the side of the housing, which is a nice touch. The semi-open grill patterns can go easily missed, but the slits are a nice aesthetic choice as well. In terms of the fit, I had some issues getting the right earphone specifically to stay in my ear. The ear cavity and housing are big but never feel like its stretching out my ear, at least when it stays sturdy. Its ear loop for the cable seems to come undone sometimes, which causes trouble for the earphone’s comfort and security.
The BAX uses a semi-open design, but it doesn’t let too much sound leak out from its shell. Not only is this design used to expand the soundstage, but it also reduces air pressure and helps eliminate noise. Inside of its housing is a triple hybrid design, using a Knowles balanced armature, a single dynamic driver, and two electrostatic. These drivers work in unison to help analyze sonic detail and perform them with clarity.
In this mid-fi area sometimes you can hit a sweet spot in terms of a sound signature that gives you everything you’d want. Fortunately, the BAX is one of those rare IEMs that accomplishes that, delivering a rich and spacious output that forms an engrossing collective image. Its width spans a good distance between the left and right channels, giving panned sound elements the right amount of room to effectively maneuver around the soundstage with precision. Positioning is accurate yet floaty with the amount of air and headroom is on display. The space between its various layers gives off a ton of depth, creating a dimensional soundstage that heightens immersion. With the BAX, the imaging always feels like it’s coming at you from a specific origin rather than from a driver. The stereo field exists in a semi-holographic aura that exceeds past the shell of the housing. For this price, the BAX showcases one of the best soundstages in its range, offering its listener a flavorful dynamic of potential gratifying spaciousness.
The bass frequencies here are exceptionally smooth and textured. They have an excellent dynamic response that knows when to hold back, so when a track goes for that crescendo, the lows can support the sound signature with a powerful resonance. It kicks with a ton of drive, while also being smooth in tone as to not overload the sound signature with booming bass. The mid-bass supplied a tight grip, while the sub-bass timbre provides an enjoyable rumble that will satisfy bass-heads. With these lows, the BAX definitely operates best at a fun level, and not really one with critical details. Although the BAX does provide a respectable amount of clarity and articulation in its response.
You get an unrecessed smoothness in the mids that carries over from the low-end. The midrange content is supplied with a good sense of fullness and is presented with a forward momentum that gives room to highlight instruments, effects, and vocals in a firmly present manner. There’s a power and drive to the frequency content that provides the perfect amount of energy to the sound signature while displaying the instruments with transparency and texture.
The treble region has a perfect amount of balance and liveliness in its timbre that is digestible no matter what kind of sound profile you prefer. It never sounds harsh, but it also doesn’t shy away from showing a bit of coloration in the highs. Sparkly instruments are dispersed throughout the frequency response, with certain elements appearing with a more delicate tone rather than one with a high level of gain. With its style of timbre, you feel like the sound signature can propagate in a complete manner, maintaining a crisp, satisfying tail to your music.
I had some sort of high expectations for the TRN BAX, and it has blown most of them out of the water. The fit is the one main detriment to its quality, otherwise, I would be struggling to find any major criticisms. Its sound signature is so detailed and smooth, and I never tired of its timbre. For $312, this is one of the best IEMs that I’ve come across in its range, and I’m glad to have tried it out.
The TRN BAX is available from Linsoul.