TRN as a company is a fairly new player in the earphone market but has already made a total of 4 entry-level offerings in the form of the V10, V20, V60 and the V80 which we have now for the realview. Launching a variety of earphones that targets almost the same market is gaining traction now among entry-level earphone makers and telling them apart is getting rather slim. The TRN V80 sports Dual Composite Neodymium Dynamic (10mm woofer and 6mm twitter) and Dual Composite BA hybrid drivers, 24 Ohm Impedance, 108dB Sensitivity, 7-40000Hz Frequency Response and utilizes the .75mm 2pin connection. I tried checking for any distinct taglines that TRN was using for their V80 IEM and came up empty-handed which clearly leaves the marketing aspect to the reseller and distributors coupled with the fact that they also have no dedicated site as of the moment. Thanks to Lillian of Linsoul for sending a review unit to Audio Realviews in exchange for an honest review, you can get it for yourself for $39 from their site at AliExpress and Amazon.
Packaging and Build Quality
The V80 is clearly on the entry-level despite it being TRN’s flagship IEM starting off with its packaging already showing minimal to no fanfare at all. Packaged in a matte white cardboard box with the V80 outline silhouette and 2 red linings with white font describing the IEM. Opening the box immediately reveals the V80 with a small flap to see the cable and 3 black silicon eartips (S, M, L) with the M being pre-installed. The included cable is a black 4-core round braid OFC cable which is glossy and soft to the touch which led to tangle most of the time despite the braiding. Strain reliefs are there on the necessary places like the lower-part of the Y-split and on the 3.5mm plug. The cable isn’t too microphonic most of the time which doesn’t affect the experience.
The IEM housings are anodized aluminum and as per TRN has 3 layers of enamel coating which is offered in 2 color options, blue and black. It is to be noted that the initial batches of the V80 had a glossy finish while the recent releases are in matte finish. No noticeable glue and kinks are found on the housing which is nice, the TRN logo is in white and doesn’t seem to come off anytime soon. 4 vents can be found on the V80 with 3 on the faceplate and 1 on the stem just before the nozzle, we’ll later see if these vents are a gimmick or if it actually works. The nozzle terminates with a lip which is great for tip rolling although having this is really a must-have, the mesh screening the nozzle is metal and is sturdy. Overall the TRN V80 packaging and its build is downright entry-level.
Not having tried the earlier iterations of TRN IEMs got me interested as to what they have to offer. The V80 realview was done using Spiral Dots eartips which supplements the V80 rather well and is nearly built like the stock tips. We’ll also use the Opus 1 for the V80 with occasional usage of a OnePlus 3T mobile phone, Sony ZX1 DAP and the Sony CAS-1. The v80 has good seal and isolation off the box and finding the appropriate tips for each user only gives a greater result. I chose to pull out Eminem’s latest Kamikaze album in 16/44 FLAC. Playing “The Ringer” already shows the V80 strength which is the low-end, cruising throughout the album and it is further confirmed, the V80 is warm and even on the “Stepping Stone” track which has occasional upper midrange and treble bursts are still moderated by the sub bass decay that lingers on the spectrum.
We would have to guess that the V80 was indeed tuned by its makers to be used in the tropical regions of the world with how the lows are delivered. The sub bass impact and texture on the V80 is full-bodied and borderlines congestion already when turning up the volume. The bass performance however is cleaner than the sub bass and gives an overall pleasing reverb on the V80 signature. This would be respectable for the bass heads and will be a welcome treat for those needing their shot of bass every once in a while.
The midrange performance of the V80 is where it takes a backseat. Vocal clarity is decent at best with the male and female vocals sounding natural. It does however perform fairly better on the male vocals with the air it gives whilst the female vocals are often times sounding a pitch lower than it should be. I would play more of the masculine oriented albums that I have on this rather than forcing my way with acoustic female singers.
TRN V80’s performance on the upper frequencies is totally something to be wary of. The occasional treble peaks of some tracks will sometimes disorient the overall presentation while still being able to hear that mid and sub bass lingering on the background. Sibilance is not observed on the V80 but the aggressive nature of the highs which can also be mistaken for detail retrieval and clarity might shoo some listeners off, good thing the low-end compensates for the excessive highs which will lead you to not really use the V80 on treble heavy tracks.
Soundstage and Imaging
The V80 makes use of 4 vents to supposedly provide a wide soundstage. The right to left and left to right transition of instruments on some busy tracks are distributed on a narrow feel giving an intimate overall, imaging is distinct attributing to the aggressive upper frequency nature of the V80 despite having an overall warm sound. It is however noteworthy that when non-treble-heavy tracks are played, the V80 performs rather well in the soundstage and imaging department with great resolution, just don’t pump out those treble-heavy tracks, please?
The TRN V80 is a flagship In TRN perspective and also in the uber cheap audiophile market and they are indeed in that regard. Make no mistake, they posses no outstanding features and the sound is decent at best yet when factoring TRN’s intended market, they are no question, a recommendation. The build is solid with no rattling or factory blemishes here and there, the sound is on the mellow and soft side of the spectrum with random flares from the upper frequencies gives it a stable overall signature. For all those who just started in this audiophile journey, the TRN V80 is a nice place to take off and for those seasoned enough, a perfect gift that would do justice for your effort or as a daily beater that doesn’t stray from an audiophile standpoint.