TRN TA1 Max

TRN TA1 Max

12 August 2022 0 By Petros Laskis

Maxed sound – budget price

Pros: + Massive bass while retaining great midrange and treble presence
+ Visceral and impactful
+ Natural timbre
+ Spacious soundstage with precise imaging
+ Easy to drive
+ Very comfortable and discreet
+ Good quality cable and plenty of accessories
+ Competitively priced

Cons: – Bass is somewhat resonant and not that well defined
– Mid-bass clarity is not the best
– Low end is not so tonally correct
– Flat soundtage
– Moderate passive noise attenuation

The review sample was kindly provided by Linsoul free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
I didn’t receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the TRN TA1 Max is $46 and you can order it from Linsoul

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TRN TA1 Max

The TRN TA1 Max is the successor to the TA1 bringing several new improvements and a more refined tuning.
It is a hybrid earphone that combines one beryllium plated 10mm dual magnetic circuit dynamic driver with one TRN custom Knowles 33518 balanced armature driver.
The design of the balanced armature unit placed on the sound nozzle reduces the loss of high-frequency sound wave propagation resulting in a better higher frequency response.
The TRN TA1 Max has a semi-open balanced pressure relief cover to effectively solve the dynamic balance of the air pressure in the cavity.
That improves the performance of the earphone unit, makes the sound cleaner, and reduces distortion.
The pressure is eliminated on the eardrum and achieves the effect of comfortable listening.

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Design and fit

The lightweight and very compact ear-shells are made from aluminium alloy with excellent build quality and finish for the category.
Wearing comfort is absolutely great and the earphones disappear in the ear while they stay secure and stable, offering a stress free user experience even after a prolonged time of use.
Unfortunately the semi open-design doesn’t offer the best noise isolation so they are not the best for use in extremely noisy places.

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Cable and accessories

The TA1 Max has a 2-pin detachable cable which is made from high-purity silver-plated OFC copper.
The cable quality is actually very good with low microphonic noise while it doesn’t get tangled.
The 2-pin connectors are reversed for better longevity and more secure fit.
The TRN TA1 Max comes with a black colored aluminum storage case and six different ear-tips.
Balanced (SML) and bass (SML).

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Listening impressions

The TRN TA1 Max was burned for 50 hours before listening tests.
Rated impedance is 22Ω and with a sensitivity of 118dBb, the TA1 Max is very easy to drive so I have mostly used entry level USB DAC dongles like the FiiO KA1, iBasso DC05 and ddHiFi TC35 Pro.

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The TA1 Max, true to its name, is maxed both in the sub-bass which has great extension and physical impact, and the bass which is boosted above neutral but not that much as too sound out of tune when it handles acoustic instruments.
Bass texture is somewhat boomy and resonant but not lacking in overall control and firmness.
The texture is amazingly visceral and weighty, the low end is impactful and dynamic but you can’t fail to notice the lack of some clarity and layering, especially in the mid-bass, something that affects instrument definition and results in a mild masking effect.
The bass might be the undeniable star of the show but thankfully it doesn’t cloud the mid-range nor take over the rest of the frequencies.
The TA1 Max has great coherency, mid-range clarity and presence are just excellent, you can hear every last note, vocalists and instruments sound well defined and articulated even in the most busy and bass heavy tracks.
The same applies to the treble which is sparkling, luminous and shiny, fast and agile without a hint of brightness or harshness.
The timbre is quite natural and realistic even when listening to classical music, not that accurate but still convincing, this is a bassy headphone but not to the expense of overall accuracy.
Clarity still remains impressive even in the higher frequencies, the TA1 Max is resolving and detailed, more than you can imagine, while it is smooth and forgiving without lacking in transparency.
The TA1 Max was enjoyable with all kinds of music even with classical music where I didn’t mind giving up some tonal accuracy and technicalities for the scale of the presentation and the organic character.

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Upon first time listening to the TRN TA1 Max you are not going to believe how expansive and open the soundstage is with a surprisingly precise imaging for the category.
Depth layering is rather mediocre but the overall size of the soundstage is pretty amazing.

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In the end

The TRN TA1 Max is really “Maxed out” when it comes to sound quality with plenty of good quality bass and excellent overall clarity.
Musical and enjoyable is the perfect everyday companion while it is not afraid to become more critical when needed, a truly great earphone with a budget price tag.

Test playlist

Copyright – Petros Laskis 2022.