TRN ST5 IEM Review




TRN ST5 IEM Review 



TRN (Dongguan Zuodu Acoustics Technology Co., Ltd.) is a Chinese Hi-Fi brand that is located in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province in Mainland China that is specialized in portable audio products such like earphones, Bluetooth products, cables and modules.

The ST5 is the latest Hybrid IEM of the company that is equipped with 1x 10mm dia. Beryllium-Coated Dual-Magnet Dynamic Driver + 4x Balanced Armature Drivers (2x 50060 BA for midrange & 2x 30095 for the Highs) with a Three-Way Frequency Crossover.




I would like to thank HiFiGO and TRN for providing me the ST5 Hybrid In-Ear Monitor as review sample. I am not affiliated with HiFiGO and TRN or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.



Price & Availability:

The actual price for the TRN ST5 Hybrid IEM is 59.80 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;




Package and Accessories:

The TRN ST5 came inside a relative small cardboard box with the illustration of the product on the top and some product related technical details at the bottom.


This box includes the following contents;

  • 1 pair x TRN ST5 Hybrid In-Ear Monitors
  • 1x 8-core Silver Plated Cooper Cable with Modular Plug Design
  • 3x Modular Adapters (1x 4.4mm Balanced, 1x 2.5mm Balanced, 1x 3.5mm SE)
  • 3x pairs of Semi Transparent Silicone Ear Tips
  • 3x pairs of Black Silicone Ear Tips
  • 2x pairs of Foam Ear Tips
  • 1x Print Material (Quick Start Guide, User Manual, etc.)





Design & Build Quality:

The TRN ST5 looks like a very well made In-Ear Monitor especially for a product with such an aggressive pricing. It’s a Hybrid IEM with a 4x BA + 1DD driver configuration that is located inside an aerospace-grade magnesium alloy material in silver surface milled with a 5-axis CNC machine. The size of the monitors is surprisingly small for a 5 driver Hybrid earphone that has a comfortable shape.

On the front of the monitor are round dashed line patterns and the TRN brand logo that is located on a small elevated area.

The inner surface of the monitor shell is the slightly angled sound nozzle and a small pressure relief opening.

The sound nozzle is in gold color and features a filter in metallic silver on the top in order to prevent the insertion small particles such like dust and ear-wax that could damage the earphone internals over time.

On the top of the monitors are the QDC type 2-Pin female connectors that do offer a save and pretty tight fit. Near the 2-Pin connetors are L (Left) and R (Right) markings.

At the bottom of the monitor shell is a second pressure relive valve with a special design that helps equalize the internal chamber pressure.

The TRN ST5 comes with an 8core Silver Plated Oxygen Free Copper cable that features a pretty soft transparent plastic insulation.

The QDC Type 0.78mm diameter 2Pin connectors do have transparent plastic housing with a ring near the bottom that is in sliver color.

Each connector sports L (left) and R (right) markings that are not quite visible, which is my only complaint about the cable.

The cable features also flexible heat shrink ear guides on both sides, which offers extra comfort, especially on the go.

The detachable cable has a metal chin slider with the TRN brand logo on the top, and comes with a transparent plastic chin slider with a fancy shape rounded shape.

Another interesting feature is the modular headphone plug design that comes with three different type of headphone adapters, which are 1x 4.4mm Balanced, 1x 2.5mm Balanced and 1x 3.5mm Single Ended plug.

Its really surprising to see an In-Ear Monitor with such an competitive price that comes with a modular cable design, 4BA+1DD hybrid driver configuration a monitor shell with a decent build quality that doesn’t looks cheap.



Comfort & Isolation:

The TRN ST5 is pretty small IEM especially for one with a 4BA +1DD hybrid driver configuration, which has also a comfortable shape that fit perfectly in to my ears with an average sized ear concha. The passive noise isolation performance of the ST5 is on a pretty efficient level, good enough to isolate you in fairly noisy environments like bus, metro, train, etc.



Technical Specifications:

  • Driver Configuration   : 4x BA + 1x 10mm dia. Beryllium Coated Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz-20 kHz
  • Sensitivity                   : 114dB
  • Impedance                  : 22Ω
  • Cable Material            : 8core Silver Plated Copper Material
  • Connector Type         : 2-pin (QDC Type)
  • Plug Size                    : 2.5mm gold-plated
  • Core length                 : 1.2m





Drivability & Pairing:

The TRN ST5 is a pretty easy to drive In-Ear Monitor thanks to it’s impedance of 22 ohms and a sensitivity of 114dB. My tests with several devices do show that the ST5 can be used with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets or Dongles.



Sources used for this review: 

  • IEM                 : TRN ST5, Ikko OH2
  • DAP/DAC       : FiiO M11 Plus, iFi Audio Gryphon, iBasso DC06





Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
  • Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)






The Sound:

The TRN ST5 is a very lively, spacious, clean and quite entertaining sounding IEM with a close to V shaped sound signature. The general tonality is a bit warmer than neutral and doesn’t tend to any sense of dryness. The bass of the ST5 sounds punchy, is pretty fast in terms of response and has an above average clarity. The midrange on the other hand is vivid, transparent and pretty detailed for a product at this price range, while the treble range is slightly bright and shows a good grade of extension.

This review has been written after a burn-in period of approx. 50 hours. I have used the stock semi-transparent silicone ear tips and the stock 8-core Silver Plate Cooper (SPC) cable that are included in the standard package.


Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage:

The subbass region of the TRN ST5 has a good grade of depth and rumble that was satisfying while listen to songs Lorde’s “Royals” or like Massive Attack’s “Angel”. The general tonality of this area mildly warm, while the sense of clarity and resolution is pretty darn good especially for an IEM below the 100 -150 US$ price tag. The midbass region of the TRN ST5 shows an efficient level of body and impact. The sense of clarity and resolution is again stellar for an IEM at this price range. Instruments like bass guitars or trumpets are nicely pronounced, soft and mildly warm in terms of tonality, while percussions such like cross or snare drums have a good grade of emphasis.

The midrange of the TRN ST5 shows a mildly warm tonality, a very lively and highly transparent tuning and a pretty spacious atmosphere that will surprise you with its performance when you remember that it cost less than 60 US$. The sense of transparency and airiness in this area is quite good. It doesn’t show any remarkable negative conditions such as sibilance or harshness. The TRN ST5 is a quite successful IEM in terms of vocal and instrument separation. It shows a good amount of space between even in complex passages with lots of instruments, thanks to its airy and spacious midrange atmosphere.

The lower midrange of the ST5 has an above average depth, warmth and fullness, which is an advantage you do listen to the male voices or to instruments such like a contrabass, viola or to trumpets. The upper midrange is one of the highlights of the TRN ST5, which is produced with a decent sense of intensity, control and extension. Female voices such like Adel, Aretha Franklin or Sertap Erener are reproduced in a pretty lively, clean and musical manner that surpassed my expectation with respect of its price. Instruments like pianos are presented with a bright, accented and vivid tonality, while cellos and violins do sound fairly bright yet fatigue-free.

The transitions from the upper midrange towards the lower treble region are in general smooth, without to show any remarkable sibilance or harshness. The ST5 offers a remarkable performance when it comes to the treble range. Instruments from pianos to strings, cymbals to snare drums are reproduced in a relative detailed and controlled manner, along with an efficient grade of airiness and space.

The TRN ST5 has a fairly airy and spacious soundstage atmosphere that shows a sufficient performance in terms separation and positioning of both instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the ST5 has a moderate level of depth and wideness that fulfills my expectations from an IEM at this price level.




TRN ST5 versus Ikko OH2:

The Ikko OH2 is a single dynamic driver IEM that is sold for around 79.00 US$, which is higher compared to those of the TRN ST5 that is available for 59.80 US$. The ST5 comes with aerospace grade magnesium ally housing, while shell of the OH2 is made from polycarbonate and some metal parts. Both do have a relative small and compact monitor design that fits perfectly in to my ears, while the passive noise isolation is pretty similar.

The Ikko OH2 comes with a High Purity Single Crystal Copper Cable that has a Silver Plated magnetic core, the ST5 on the other offers a High Purity Silver Plated OFC wire cable with modular pug design, which is a remarkable addition that the OH2 not has.

The Ikko OH2 has a more neutral and somewhat dryer tonality compared to the TRN ST5, which shows slightly warmer tonality and a fuller, more musical overall presentation. The ST5 has a more pronounced and dynamic subbass & midbass tuning, where it shows a higher grade level body and depth. The subbass region of the ST5 sounds deeper and has a better sense of rumble, while both are pretty identical when it comes to the speed and control in this area. The Ikko OH2 has a more linear midbass tuning with less body and impact, while it has the slightly edge when it comes to the clarity and resolution in this area.

The midrange of the TRN ST5 shows a warmer tonality and offers a higher sense of musicality, while the Ikko OH2 is the IEM with the more neutral oriented midrange tonality, which sounds also a bit dry in this area. The lower midrange of the ST5 shows more body and depth, which is an advantage over the OH2, when I do listen to male voices or to instruments such like acoustic guitars or violas. The upper midrange of both IEM’s does offer a decent level of clarity and resolution for their price, while I do prefer the ST5, which sounds more musical and emotional when I do listen to female vocals or to instruments such like a piano, flute or cello.

The treble region of TRN ST5 shows a more energetic character with slightly higher brightness levels. The general treble tuning of the ST5 create a higher sense of airiness and sparkle. The ST5 is also more successful in terms of lower and upper treble extension and overall detail retrieval in this area that was quite audible in songs like Charly Antolini’s “Duwadjuwandadu”. The Ikko OH2 shows a smoother and more relaxed general treble response and has the slightly edge when it comes to the control in this area.

Both IEM’s do offer a pretty spacious and airy soundstage atmosphere. The TRN ST5 has the upper hand when it comes to the depth of the stage, while the difference in terms of wideness is quite low.





The TRN ST5 was a real surprise for me because of the very high value for its price. It comes with a good cable with modular plug design, has a pretty well integrated 4BA+1DD hybrid driver configuration that is located inside a monitor shell with a decent build quality and pretty comfortable fit. However, the best part is undoubtedly the overall sound performance, which is lively, spacious and quite entertaining thanks to its well-adjusted V shaped sound signature.




Pros & Cons:

  • + Well Adjusted V shaped Sound Signature
  • + Clean, Lively & Entertaining Presentation
  • + Airy Soundstage Atmosphere with excellent sense of depth
  • + Good Build Quality
  • + Modular Cable Design
  • + Ultra High Value for your Money


  • – No carry Case included to the package
  • – Hard to find any other remarkable cons for such a well-priced product


Thank you for the Read!



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