TRN VX-Pro – V Sound Done Right
- This unit was sent to me by HiFiGo for review purposes. Check out https://hifigo.com/products/trn-vx-pro
- I never use EQ
- My own VX Pro has undergone close to 300 hours of aging, combination of actual usage 3-4 hours daily and when not used, I left it burning in attached to my spare DAP, playing Synthetic Pink noise on loop.
- My impressions are done purely from subjective standpoint as a user. I am not a pro reviewer. So, I will not have any graphs or measurements to show.
Now, the truth is I am not familiar with TRN. So, when HiFiGo asked if I would be interested to try out the TRN VX Pro, I agreed and I honestly have no idea what to expect. The only other TRN IEM I have ever owned and tested previously was the entry level TRN MT-1. VX Pro is definitely not an entry level IEM. In fact, TRN hailed it as one of their upper tier releases.
TRN VX Pro is a very ambitious Hybrid IEM. Sporting one 10mm Dynamic Driver and 8 Balanced Armatures per side. That’s the most count of drivers in a shell that I have ever had the opportunity to try. Rated at 22 Ohm and 106db of sensitivity, it is indeed and very sensitive and efficient IEM. Super easy to drive.
What I really like with the stock package (despite being quite spartan), proper Foam tips are included on top of the more popular silicone tips. My ears never seem to want to work well with silicones as they gave me comfort issues. Not forgetting the odd resonances with sound frequecies that I normally get from many silicone tips.
However, I must say that I was not happy with the stock cable. For the asking price TRN could have done better to offer something more solid and less flimsy. And inclusion of their own TRN T4 8 Core OCC Single Crystal Copper cable would have been perfect. Alas throughout my 300 hours with the VX-Pro I have swapped out the stock cable for my favorite go to set of Kinera Leyding (Modular OFC Litz 5N) and VE DI Copper Slim Edition (High Purity 5N OFC). Yes, VX Pro does synergize much better with the two copper cables, using SPC on VX Pro seems to have an impact of making it dry sounding. The OFC copper complement VX Pro exceedingly well with overall smoothness and transparency. The entirety of my review is based on using the stock TRN Foam Tips and the two OFC cables.
- LG V50 ThinQ (3.5mm SE and USB Port)
- Sony Xperia X Compact (3.5mm SE and USB Port)
- HiBy Audio Player USB Exclusive Mode with FLAC files
- Questyle M12 3.5mm SE (2 Vrms)
- HiBy FC5 4.4mm BAL (2 Vrms)
- Cayin RU6 4.4mm BAL OS (2 Vrms)
- Lotoo PAW S2 4.4mm BAL (2 Vrms)
- Creative SX-Fi 3.5mm SE (2 Vrms)
- Abigail 3.5mm SE (1 Vrms)
- Avani 3.5mm SE (1 Vrms)
- CEntrance DACport HD 3.5mm SE (4.1 Vrms)
- VE RAP5 3.5mm SE (5 Vrms)
- VE Megatron 4.4mm BAL (4.7 Vrms)
Timbre, Tonality & Dynamics:
TRN VX Pro, in general I would regard the overall tuning as a very matured sounding V IEM. Barely a V sounding unit if that makes any sense. In fact, I am more inclined to regard it as a W curve – or at least a very mild W. The timbre and tonality are admirably free of any hint of metallic tint – not quite organic sounding as some single DD that I am familiar with, but still very pleasing, nonetheless. This largely attributed to the nature of the source, with very analogue sounding partners like the CEntrance DACport HD, Lotoo PAW S2, Creative SX-Fi and Cayin RU6, the output is very smooth yet technically articulate. Pair it with ESS based DAC/Amps like HiBy FC5, LG V50 ThinQ and VE Megatron, it is markedly less organic, focused more on being brighter and crispy edged. What this translates to me, VX Pro is one hell of versatile unit that adapts very transparently to the source signature. It can sound outright V curved, driven from my LG V50 ThinQ or Sony Xperia X Compact, but with my favorite dongles of DACport HD and RU6, the presentation is a lot more naturally balanced with pronounced Mids (hence the W sound curve as noted earlier).
Dynamic Range on VX Pro is quite expansive, those many drivers crammed in there are not just for numbers, they did a great job at emitting sound frequencies assigned to them. From Lows, Mids to Highs, all accounted for with great finesse hence giving a great sense of overall balance which is very close to natural benchmark. I am hard pressed to ascertain if there’s any bias to specific frequencies as it does seem to me that they are moderated well to harmonize with each other – Dynamics coherence.
For something which is generally regarded as a V unit, VX Pro does perform exceedingly well on Mids. It is wholesome sounding as it is rich with textures. There’s enough organic warmth to keep vocals lively and engaging, ample and expertly moderated crispiness to instruments tonality, offering solid yet not overly done attack and decays – realistic. Be it Contralto, Baritone, Soprano, or anything in between, VX Pro is able to project them as how I perceive they should sound like.
Percussions and electronics both sounding quite believable, again with that general theme of wholesomeness and never a moment of getting any boxy or hollow resonances as would be found in some other IEMs.
For stringed instruments, guitars especially, the tone is faithful to the intended presentation. Smooth polished edged when paired with the likes of DACport HD, PAW S2 and RU6, crisp and fast with HiBy FC5 or LG V50. Either way I found it to be quite enjoyable to suit the moods.
This is what I like the most on this VX Pro. Simply put, this is Treble brightness done right. Treble presentation is decidedly well extended, with great airy decays and mature splashes that does not exhibit any unnatural tonality. Perhaps not as detailed or refined as how I have heard it from the likes of Shure KSE1500, Etymotic ER4SR, Etymotic EVO, Etymotic ER2XR or VE Duke, but if I am not comparing, then I would say VX Pro did an excellent job at keeping Treble texture and details realistic. Not a hint of sibilance observed no matter what source I played it with. Even with very shouty Black Metal Lo-Fi recordings played on YouTube. VX Pro simply just refused to sound harsh.
It must be noted though, that with the stock cable the Treble tend to sound a bit dry and not as better articulated. The OFC of Kinera Leyding and VE DI Copper imparted big role in keeping VX Pro Treble as smooth sounding as it is.
If I want my VX Pro to be more organic in presentation, I will keep it paired with DACport HD, PAW S2, RU6 or SX-Fi, if I prefer it to be crisper and with faster Treble decays, then I will pair my VX Pro with FC5, Avani, LG V50 and Questyle M12. Simply super versatile and adaptable.
What is certain, VX Pro will not appeal to Bassheads. The Mid-Bass is reined in quite a bit. It is still very solid and commanding, but never overpowering. Mid-Bass offers great texture with just about right amount of rumble to keep it engaging. The great thing is, Mid-Bass not as outright flat as would be found on Diffused Field IEMs.
Sub-Bass is decidedly mild, not as pronounced but still very present, the extensions still audible with smooth decays. The overall theme here seems to favor moderately articulated Bass responses that will allow the listener to have long sessions without the risk of Bass fatigue – something which I can appreciate a lot.
VX Pro has very spacious and wide Soundstage for an IEM, the depth being commendable, not exactly stellar but not disappointing either. But what’s more important the Imaging is crisp with great spatial positioning, very holographic – even great for FPS gaming I must say. This I believe attributed much to the multiple drivers doing their job at presenting sound layers properly in harmony. While not as clinically sharp and precise, the separation is clean and smooth (focus on smoothness, less on crispness).
Speed wise, I have nothing to complain here. What I am hearing is a cohesive response from VX Pro as a speedy unit with output that is very resistant to congestion and compressions. Be it multi-instruments and layers or outright speedy stuffs above 200 BPM, VX Pro does it well with the pace. I have not observed any of my favorite songs getting muddy or sluggish. So, this is a huge win in my book.
Details handling on VX Pro, admittedly fell a bit short of the big boys at TOTL level. I get much better Macro and Micro details from the likes of Shure KSE1500, Etymotic ER4SR or Etymotic EVO. But hey this does not mean VX Pro is a slacker, it is amply resolving as it is transparent – especially at this asking price point. So, I would not dwell too much on this.
VX Pro is one hell of versatile IEM. Despite being highly efficient with that 106db of sensitivity and 22 Ohm resistances, I have found VX Pro to scale amazingly well with more power.
Already synergizing great with Abigail/Avani/Sony Xperia X Compact/LG V50 up to 1 Vrms, VX Pro gets better and better as the power goes up, All the way to over 5 Vrms I am hearing marked improvement in headroom allocation and more refined dynamic transients. This is not an easy thing to achieve as many multi drivers IEMs I have tested so far tend to end up sounding outright edgy and shouty as more power are subjected to them, but not VX Pro. Even with the atrociously powerful VE Megatron, VX Pro just seamlessly synergize with that 4.7 Vrms monster that was designed to drive very stubborn stuffs at 600 Ohms. But of course, the usable volume hovers at around 3/100 max, lol. Simply amazing.
All in all, I am truly impressed with this TRN VX Pro. I did not expect it to perform as it is. But yes, I would rather be pleasantly surprised than being smugly disappointed with unrealistic expectations.
The most glaring Cons that I would say about VX Pro is that it needed immense amount of Burn-In to show its true potential. I have observed that the refinements as noted in my sound impressions only started to solidify at the mark of over 150 hours. No, it is not just my ears adjusting to it. I spend no more than 4 hours each session in between Burn-In loops. Checking it periodically to observe if there’s any improvements as the clock ticks. This is much similar to TIN HiFi P1 and Etymotic ER4SR, both of which needed long aging to sound their best. Even my HZSOUND Heart Mirror only started to sound smooth only after 200 hours. So, despite listing it as a Cons, VX Pro burn-in length is not entirely an oddity.
On top that, I already mentioned that I didn’t like the stock cable at all. VX Pro does not sound great with SPC pairing. It will tend to end up sounding dry and less organic with those Silver-Plated Cables. For my own usage, Kinera Leyding did the trick for me. I get lots of smooth articulation while retaining great resolution. If I want a bit more of crisper transparency, then the VE DI Copper Lite stand ready to be swapped in. The idea is, pairing VX Pro with the right copper-based cables will yield great results.
On the aspect of details handling, VX Pro could have done a bit more. But I am not going to complain much on this especially at this price point. It is more than adequate within the price segment.
Last but not least, VX Pro being able to synergize with many types of sources is a huge plus in itself. Be it natively tuned AKM or ESS Sabre based DACs or even Realtek/Conexant, VX Pro seems to have the knack of blending in well to complement the sound signature of the sources.
TRN VX Pro, delivering qualities above the asking price. Totally worth it.