[Sorry this is wall of text-y but the question is really hard and outside my area]
One of the most pressing philosophical problems at the end of the 19th century was to explain how to reconcile the passivity of the senses with the activity of the mind. If our knowledge is going to be about the world, then somehow the world is going to have to ``push back'' and we are going to have to receive information from it. However, at the same time our minds clearly organize and shape that experience in terms of concepts to make it meaningful.
Here's an analogy to help explain the problem. Suppose you are wearing red glasses, so everything looks red to you. You are having a certain set of sensory experiences, but those experiences are being conditioned by the colored glass. The concepts that our minds actively create are like these colored lenses. We have concepts in our minds like time, identity, change, object, etc. That condition all our experiences. Think about what you really experience. You don't see meaningless fields of color, you see the book on the shelf. You don't hear pure frequencies, you hear the car going by in the street. That is to say that everything you experience is interpreted, and the concepts your mind creates are part of that interpretation.
Now here's the problem: If you want to ask whether everything is really red or not, all you have to do take the glasses off and look. However you can't "take off" your conceptual lenses to see if the set of concepts you are using accurately organize the sensory information you have received or not. Ask yourself: Does time really exist? You could say, well, look, I see things changing around me all the time. Of course you do, your mind is using the "time" concept and applying it to sensation--the question is whether your mind is doing it right or not? Is there something objective in reality itself that your concept of time corresponds to? That question looks really deep and hard.
At the very beginning of the 19th century, Kant tried to answer questions like these with the transcendental turn. Kant's idea was that his predecessors had been thinking about this question in the wrong way. Kant argues that it is not possible for us to have experience at all without time: the mind's activity and the senses' passivity are simultaneous. Hence, just by describing how the concept of time in our minds work, we discover everything there is about the world that could ever be empirically discovered through the senses too! The objective validity of our concept of time, in other words, can be demonstrated by the fact that it would not be possible for us to have the kind of experience we do at all without time. Notice that it is very important for Kant's view that the concept of time is something universal, so every rational subject would have to have the exact same conception of time for his solution to work. Kant thought this kind of maneuver--investigating the conditions of the possibility of experience--would solve a whole range of problems like this about the nature of space, time, selfhood, and other stuff.
By the end of the 19th century, a number of huge problems had arisen. Here's a famous one from mathematics. Kant argues that our concept of space is euclidean--and that we know that this conception of space is objectively valid because there isn't any other way that it is possible to think of space that would allow us to have the kind of experiences we do. But Gauss and Riemann and host of others had shown that it was certainly conceptually possible to make non-euclidean geometries and by the time of Einstein, it appears that the geometry of actual space-time because an empirical rather than conceptual question. Further, there were a number of philosophers, most notably Hegel, who took issue with Kant's idea that every rational mind must have the exact same set of concepts. These philosophers pointed to the importance of history and culture--concepts seem to change over time and mutate in different ways in different cultures.
Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, is attempting to respond to issues like this. Like Kant, Husserl thinks we need a transcendental project--we must investigate what makes it possible for us to have the kind of experiences we do. However, Husserl thinks that one important kind of experience we have is when the things we think we know turn out to be different than we expected. We have the experience of being brought up short, having our expectations dashed, or fulfilled and so forth. What this shows us is that the world pushes back even harder than Kant thought. It isn't that our mind is "making up" features of reality that everything most conform to--rather it is that the objects in the world are themselves already have some kind of structure or unity or cohesion and these objective meaningful features of the things are disclosed to us in our experience by means of the interpretations we can give them. So, our minds are active--they create interpretations of our experience that construe such information in meaningful ways, but there is already something meaningful in the object itself which can provide confirmation or disconfirmation of that interpretation. Further, the process is dynamic: new aspects of familiar objects get disclosed to me through new experiences all the time. Investigating how these meaning-revealing experiences work is the project of transcendental phenomenology.
There are other kinds of phenomenology too. Some phenomenologists are interested in investigating things like how I get the sense I have of my body in space. In that sense, phenomenology is something more like a set of methods or research questions about how some particular kinds of experiences work. One could think those methods are valuable while thinking that Husserl's particular transcendental answer to the very deep philosophical problem I've outline above didn't work. Such a person would be a non-transcendental phenomenologist.