After the hybrid flagship model the BAX, which has two Sonion EST drivers, one balanced armature driver and one dynamic driver, TRN now comes with a new model, the Kirin, which is a planar IEM, a first for TRN. The Kirin has a 14.5mm Planar magnetic driver and has a very competitive price of 129$.
TRN Kirin comes with swappable audio connectors like its brother but this time with all 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm plugs in the package, not just one to choose from like it was with the BAX.
The list doesn’t end yet. The Kirin also comes with 3 different swappable tuning nozzles with different inner diameters and lengths. Add all these specs to an attractive-looking magnesium alloy IEM shell and let’s find out what the first Planar IEM from TRN has to offer sound-wise.
I would like to thank Linsoul for providing me with the review sample of TRN Kirin (no affiliate links). Amazon.
Two shorter tuning nozzles with green (reference) and black (transparency) gaskets graphs are almost identical as you can see. The longest tuning nozzle with the red gasket (atmospheric), on the other hand, is different starting the curve go upper from around 1Khz until 2Khz where it reaches the pinna gain (which I find better), whereas on the other two you see the pinna gain around 2.5Khz. The atmospheric nozzle also dips down more than the other two around 5dB-2dB in the upper mids and treble region which gives the Kirin a more balanced sound along the spectrum compared to the shorter nozzles. I used the atmospheric filter in my review because it fits better to my taste.
The bass presentation of the TRN Kirin is good, even comparable to the dynamic driver-equipped IEMs, with the lows being thick and full-bodied. It has a good impact and punch with a very nice decay and texture.It has a good resolution with a good kick. Bass is full-bodied and has a good texture. It goes low enough, with the sub-bass rumble clearly felt.
Mid-bass is well textured, each thump packs a punch, but with just the right amount. The attack is fast and clean while being very solid and distinct. This is emphasized on fast bass rifts where notes are heard clearly with enough gap between.
The technical performance of the bass is quite impressive for the price.The decay is great and there’s a very good balance in terms of definition in the mid-bass.You don’t have any problems with the transition from bass to mids, as the IEM does that effortlessly, hence you get a great coherency. Lows are presented in a technical approach with TRN Kirin with great quickness, attack, and definition.
The planar magnetic driver makes a difference in the bass area with its speed and control, but what it also does is give great naturality and timbre in mids.The mids in the Kirin are liquid, flowing, and rich.The tonality feels very natural and lifelike.
The timbre with the instruments is very well done and I especially liked the timbre of the violin and guitar.It’s clean, resolving, and a bit forward with great tonality and fullness.The analogue feeling is very present here and it has a heart-touching timbre.Overall the vocals and the instruments are lively with an organic and warm approach.The realism of the instruments is the most impressive feat of the IEM.
The mids are also a bit close and they’re in front of the stage.You get good resolution across the mid-range with lots of detail.Mids also have a good body and they’re full sounding.The Kirin has good musicality with a successful instrument presentation.The mids are also quite dynamic and lively.If you like to have your mid-range with a certain focus and definition, the Kirin is excellent.
TRN Kirin has airy and crisp treble, marginal advantage over most dynamic driver IEMs. It’s neither harsh nor fatiguing. Highs extend well, and presence and brilliance are prominent, with the right sparkle, clarity, and airiness. Treble sounds energetic, with the cymbals a bit splashy with each hit. It has an extended shimmer with realistic decay.
Although Kirin has a bit of a treble uptick, there was no sibilance. Pronunciations are natural-sounding. Plucks on acoustic guitars are also crisp, well-controlled, and well replicated.
Sound-stage is not a strong suit of the Kirin.The presentation is mostly quite forward, and the stage width is a bit small.That results in a congested presentation.The depth is a bit more successful but that’s not too impressive either.So if you’re after a spacious presentation, the Kirin is not the best bet.
The transparency is very good, and the detail level is sufficient.This is a very smooth yet detailed presentation, but the congestion of the Kirin makes you feel a bit trapped and the complex songs become a bit too busy.
Aside from those, be aware that the TRN Kirin loves power to sound best.The planar drivers need more juice than most monitors.So be sure to drive it sufficiently.
The TRN Kirin has good resolution and detail.It also sounds organic and natural.That’s mainly because of its good tonality and instrument timbre, regarding the price. It may not be the cheapest planar on the market after 7Hz Dioko is released for 99$ but Kirin has the swappable audio connectors additionally in the price.