TRN Azure Dragon Review

TRN Azure Dragon review featured

In this article, I’m reviewing the new TRN Azure Dragon IEMs. Azure Dragon features large 14.6mm planar magnetic drivers and a unique dragon-inspired aesthetic. It’s priced at $210.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Shenzhen Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.

TRN Azure Dragon Review
Verdict
The TRN Azure Dragon's competent audio quality and unique aesthetic make it a compelling option.
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Pros
Tight, precise bass
Spacious sound and large soundstage
Articulate midrange
Unique and beautiful design
Quality modular cable
Cons
Could use some extra warmth for naturalness
Not for bassheads
4
Our Score

TRN Azure Dragon

Table of Contents
Specifications

Driver: 14.6mm planar magnetic driver
Impedance: 32Ω
Sensitivity: 108dB
Frequency response: 7Hz-40kHz
Jack type: 2.5mm + 3.5mm + 4.4mm
Price: $210

What's in the box
In the Box
  • TRN Azure Dragon IEMs
  • Modular 2-pin SPC + OFC cable
  • 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm connectors
  • Storage case
  • 3x pairs of tuning filters
  • 6x pairs of silicone eartips
  • 2x pairs of foam eartips
TRN Azure Dragon design

Design

The shells, inspired by the head of the Azure Dragon, symbolize the awakening of the mythical creature. These shells are stunningly beautiful and distinct. The housings of the Azure Dragon are made from an aluminium alloy, featuring a sleek matte finish. The faceplates depict the enigmatic and regal contour of a dragon’s neck. I think it’s safe to assert that no other IEM on the market shares this unique appearance.

Fortunately for end-users, the allure extends beyond the surface. The Azure Dragon earbuds sit comfortably in the ears, making them suitable for long listening periods. They feature a single vent near the base, and the semi-open design of the shells ensures there’s no issue with pressure build-up.

Azure Dragon comes with a 4-core silver-plated copper wound and oxygen-free copper braided cable. It’s quite a lovely cable with good handling and no noticeable microphonics. In addition, this cable is modular, allowing you to switch freely between the included 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm terminations.

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the Cayin RU6, HiBy R3 II and SMSL DO300EX. Azure Dragon is easy to drive and does not require a powerful source. However, due to its scaling capabilities, it’s worth pairing it with a good dongle or desktop DAC.

The IEMs come with three tuning filters: Atmospheric, Reference, and Transparent. The Reference and Transparent filters share similarities, with both enhancing the upper midrange and treble areas. They amplify instrument and vocal harmonics, improve clarity and articulation, and add shimmer and airiness.

Alternatively, the Atmospheric filters deliver a warmer, earthier tone that is more suited for those who are sensitive to the upper midrange and treble frequencies. I found the Atmospheric filters worked best for my preferences when on the go but in a quiet, controlled environment, I appreciate the openness and detail that the other 2 filter sets provide.

Bass

Indifferent to recent vogues, Azure Dragon goes for a mid-bass focus in the low frequencies. The result is a highly controlled and nimble bass with a lovely tone. It could be considered an ‘audiophile’ bass – one that doesn’t have any bleeding or overpowering qualities. Yet, at the same time, it doesn’t make for the most captivating bass experience, as it can fall short in terms of extension and impact. However, those who prefer quality over quantity will appreciate the Azure Dragon’s low frequencies.

Midrange

AD’s mids are a tasty delight, characterized by articulation, clarity and spaciousness. Instruments and vocals have a neutral note size and natural density, giving them just enough richness while leaving plentiful air in between. Vocals are placed in the centre of the stage and while they’re not the most forward, they have good solidity with an organic blend of expression and body.

Treble

The Azure Dragon’s treble is somewhat upfront and presented with abundant definition and clarity. The black and green filters produce airier treble notes with more upper harmonics but at the cost of a slightly more abrasive sound. Conversely, the red filters offer a more laid-back treble while sacrificing some sparkle. Either way, AD’s treble has good extension and can reveal the finer details without sounding brittle or sibilant.

Soundstage & Technicalities

The TRN Azure Dragon’s soundstage is large and spacious with good width and depth. It has good imaging and layering, enhanced by crisp transients and a black background. The instrument separation is impressive, making it easy to identify the position of each instrument within the stage.

Comparisons

Hidizs MP145 ($199)

The Hidizs MP145 has a warmer sound signature and greater note density – a result of its enhanced bass and attenuated upper treble. Despite its extra warmth, the MP145 has slightly better resolution and a similar level of detail retrieval but a slightly smaller soundstage.

The MP145’s bass delivers more physical impact, particularly in the sub-bass region, and it sounds slightly more natural. Additionally, the MP145’s midrange is warmer, though not as clear, and produces thicker notes. The vocals are denser, giving them a more tangible and lifelike quality. The treble is more laid-back and organic while the Azure Dragon is more articulate and energetic.

NiceHCK F1 Pro ($99)

The NiceHCK F1 Pro has an enhanced bass, creating warmer undertones and thicker notes. It has greater bass extension, particularly in the sub-bass, giving it more physicality.

F1 Pro’s midrange has a similar note size and articulation but more forwardness. The result is a more intimate and denser vocal presentation but with less soundstage depth. The core treble area is more boosted on the F1 Pro, making it less forgiving of sibilant recordings. At the same time, that lift between 6kHz to 8kHz gives the F1 Pro an edge in detail retrieval except in bass-heavy music.

Azure Dragon with storage case

Verdict

The battle of the entry-to-mid-level planar IEMs continues to heat up and the TRN Azure Dragon finds itself right in the fray. It offers a crisp and dynamic spacious sound with good tonal balance and technical performance. Although it sounds good, it doesn’t necessarily outperform some of the cheaper alternatives in overall audio quality. Nonetheless, the Azure Dragon stands out with three distinct sound profiles and a premium modular cable. Overall, I think it does enough to justify its price and will be hard to resist for anyone who appreciates its unique aesthetic.

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