I wasn’t familiar with TRN before trying their new flagship In-Ear Monitors, the Bax. The Bax run for $320 a pair which, while relatively low for IEMs, is still far from an inconsequential amount of money to spend. IEMs in this price range tend to have varied results, with some amazing and some disappointing. Today I’m going to see where the Bax falls on that spectrum.
What’s in the Box
- Aluminum storage case
- Ear tips
- Balanced ear tips 3 pairs (SML)
- Bass ear tips 3 pairs (SML)
- Memory foam ear tips 1 pair
- 5mm adapter
Look and Feel
The Stainless Steel housing and angular design give these a sleek, futuristic feel. The cable moves effortlessly but still stays firmly in place when needed. As for comfort, TRN clearly had longevity in mind and made these feel really good for extended listening sessions. After wearing them for hours, I still haven’t felt any discomfort. The overall design is durable, good-looking, and functional.
Even with its semi-open design, the Bax still has a surprising amount of noise cancellation. The Bax utilizes a triple hybrid design that allows for better isolation of the frequency bands. These drivers include a Knowles balanced armature, a single dynamic driver, and two electrostatic drivers.
The TRN Bax has a frequency response of 7 Hz – 40 kHz and an impedance of 22 Ohms.
The Bax has a fairly good soundstage for its price range. I could feel when the mix expanded and quiet dynamics came through clearly. That being said, there were times when the stereo field would feel somewhat narrow and elements of the mix would feel crowded as a result, especially when I really pushed the volume. The Bax does pack a lot of power and can deliver loud volumes with no trouble, as well as sporting above-average outside noise cancellation. IEMs in this price range can be a coin toss when it comes to soundstage, but the Bax definitely delivers a solid presence.
There’s no question that there’s a fair amount of low boost on these headphones. This adds a lot of punch to lows and can satisfy your need for heavy bass. That being said, at times the lows can crowd out the other frequencies, though not often. I rarely heard distortion on these and I was impressed by how much I could feel the subs in such small headphones. Overall, the lows are accentuated but this can add its own unique and interesting texture to the mix.
The Bax sported fairly flat and clear mids. While there were some noticeable resonances, it does a good job of mitigating them and adds some interesting grit to the sound, especially to the lows, which the mids compliment very well. This grit brings out lead parts in the mix well and adds an overall brightness to the sound.
The highs tend to take a more subtle role in Bax’s overall sound character. Like the mids, the highs tend on the brighter side, but in a way that adds serious depth and clarity to the overall feel of the sound. Elements like subtle white noise and small reverb tails add a pristine shine to the overall sound character of the Bax. While the highs are sometimes pushed into a harsh range, they serve the mix in a very unique way.
The TRN Bax has an interesting sound character. While not a perfect representation of the mix, it has its own special kind of gritty warmth that can enhance whatever you listen to. For this price point, the Bax surprised me with how much I enjoyed the experience and would be a fantastic addition to anybody’s collection.
You can buy the TRN Bax at Audio46