The TRN V60 shares a lot in common with MDK-ESS ASE, but also improves it. Despite the similar design, the V60 offer beefier bass response and crispier treble. Even the overall loudness seems to be higher on the V60. If that's not enough, the V60 are using the common 0.75mm 2-pin connectors, rather than the esoteric IM-style connectors.
Despite all that, just like MDK-ESS ASE, the V60 aren't the most precise-sounding pairs out there. Tonally they sound a bit harsh and an upper-treble pierce is quite evident, but doesn't add much to the overall clarity and delicacy of the sound, but rather makes it less bearable for prolonged listening sessions.
Not one of the best earphones in that price category, but still better than V10, and also better and much cheaper than the MDK-ESS ASE.
NOTE: This review discusses a fully-functional and properly-tuned pair, not a defective one from the notorious first batch, which was recalled and replaced by TRN.
Although oddly shaped, the unique shape is actually quite comfortable, at least for me, and thanks to the wonderful cable that has pre-shaped ear loops, getting a firm fit is extremely easy.
Lows / Bass
The lows are extremely potent and clearly more pronounced than on MDK-ESS ASE. With that been said, the mid-bass is too boomy for my taste and it also affects other aspects of the sound signature, like male vocals being unnaturally warm, even a bit nasal. Kicks are very impactful, and might be too powerful for some listeners. What's impressive about these earphones is their performance on the bass shaker test: while I could clearly hear some rattling on the ASE, the V60 had a clean bass reproduction.
Mids / Vocals
The mids are not all that different from MDK-ESS ASE's mids, given the similar hardware. They are, however, slightly more detailed and crisp thanks to the sharper and overall better-tuned treble. Despite all that, the mids are still on the unnatural side, even somewhat harsh-sounding. Male vocals are slightly bloated by the mid-bass bump, which makes certain recordings even nasal.
Highs / Treble
Either due to a different tuning or a different balanced armature, the treble was noticeably improved over MDK-ESS ASE. It's crispier and more detail can be heard, but tonally still harsh, darkish and detail is clearly missing. Perhaps it is due to the huge roll-off between 4kHz-10kHz?