HIGH-CLASS
IN-EAR

BA8

TRN

Rating

Price

8.3

120 €

Review published:

10/2020

Driver

8

per Side

0

Dynamic

8

Balanced

Impedance

20 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

0

Sound

8

Bass

8

Mids

8.5

Trebles

Sensitivity

100 dB

8.2

Handling

9

Haptic

B

Value

0

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 20000 Hz

Intro

TRN brings out its first IEM over 100 € with the BA8. Since the past models were respectively are always extremely competitive in their price range, the BA8 can arouse quite justified expectations. Somewhat sobering is the design and the choice of drivers (not their number). I don't want to say that the BA drivers from TRN, or KZ are bad, but they are usually highly bred and are not always able to reproduce this technically. Or better said, correctly filtered and integrated into a potent crossover, they could certainly sound much more natural and harmonic. Of course this is a matter of taste and my listening preferences certainly do not correspond 1 to 1 with the Asian market.

Handling

To be honest, I am not really aware that I am holding the TRN flagship in my hands because of the way it is presented. The packaging gives more hope externally than the sobering content confirms. I have a cardboard box, the size of which is much too exaggerated for the sparse content.

The cable (4-core, copper, 0.75mm 2-pin) is not really worth the price and is also used in TRN's budget models. But it works of course. Otherwise the small round transport box and the set of silicone tips won't tear me off my stool.
I could do without all the accessories if I had the feeling that the IEM itself would be worth over 100 €, but I have my doubts and so I expect at least a generous, or more qualitative supplement.

The design of the BA8 is very similar to the VX, or even the new V90s. The robust and pure metal construction looks compact and solid. Here the BA8 can hardly be reproached for anything. The wearing comfort is always quite subjective, but for me it is very pleasant. Also the isolation works very well.

Sound

On the internet I had seen some measurements before the review, which made my hair stand on end. My measurements are more or less identical to these, but here it is once again more than clear that frequency curves alone are not always meaningful. I would have expected a damn shrill mid-range and treble peaks with strong sibilant emphasis. All the more I was surprised by the sound in the listening test, even though the graph does not completely lie, of course.

The BA bass is really good. Even though the midrange and especially the upper bass are in the foreground, it has an appealing bass for a BA representative and also good dynamics. The natural pressure of a dynamic driver is a bit missing and the bass could be more balanced, but I'm quite satisfied with the quality. In addition, the bass can have texture and is far from a one-note bass. For me the quantity is on a real level. Compared to the B5 the bass is firmer and not as bloated, but still the upper bass is too accentuated for me, which is not too good for the mids.

The ratio of 200 Hz and 1 kHz is certainly not the most natural and for me a weakness of the BA8. The mids can sometimes sound a bit dry and hollow, but not imposed. The hole is audible because the highs and the bass have more assertiveness in comparison. We're talking about a good 10dB difference from the bass to 1 kHz and again to the highs. The upper mids show the most playfulness and pass on to the highs at a high level.
Even if the graph doesn't really look optimal at first glance, subjectively the BA8 sounds a bit different and better than on paper, especially when it comes to the ups and downs of the mids. I miss a bit of character in female voices, but instruments sound quite natural and credible, with slight limitations.

For me, the BA8 creates something remarkable in the high frequencies. Although it has the most energy here, sibilants are almost not an issue and it gets uncomfortable even if only very rarely. One always has the feeling that the BA8 knows the limits of what is reasonable, but also uses this to the limit without going too far. Well played TRN. Here I must say that for the first time I hear a hint of justification of the price. The BA8 effortlessly uncovers even fine details in the high frequencies and creates an open and spatial listening experience. The BA8 still sounds a bit metallic, but I find the high frequencies more differentiated and somewhat more pleasant than the BA5, despite the emphasis.

When it comes to imaging, the BA8 can then show off. The separation is a great strength and the arrangement of the instruments is finely structured. Above all, the space of the spacious stage is well used, even in depth, which allows the BA8 to produce an orderly 3D image.

Outro

Phew, 120 € is an announcement. Especially if you are aware that the BA8 basically has very similar technical features (driver models), like 50 € models from the company, or competing products from KZ etc. Unlike its predecessor (BA5), the BA8 is brighter, more detailed and more transparent. Also the imaging and the stage extension have improved. However, the warm and more natural basic tone is somewhat lost. Technically, the BA8 is definitely superior to the BA5. The jump in price is too high for me, even compared to the VX. In this price segment I would also expect a different presentation in terms of accessories and cable quality. At least there is a storage box included, but it only costs $3 when you buy it. If you prefer pure BA models for your IEM selection and you like it a bit more sparkling and lively, you can risk an ear. I don't really recommend a blind purchase in this price range, even though the BA8 is the best TRN so far from a technical point of view and independent of the price. The tuning is certainly a matter of taste and for me a bit too bright and slightly unbalanced in the middles. With a little fine tuning you can get a lot out of the BA8, because the BA8 is a little border crosser in both ends without exceeding them. TRN is also much more versatile and experimental in its variety of signatures, which I appreciate a lot in contrast to KZ.

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

BA5

V60

H1

V80

V10

V90

V20

VX

BA8

Second Opinion:

Contact:

chi-fier@gmx.de

CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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