In this Tripowin Leá review, I’m looking at a recent budget earphone from Tripowin. The Leá has a single 10mm Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) driver and metal shells. It is priced at $25.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Linsoul for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
- Sensitivity: 105+_3db
- Impedance: 32 ohm
- Cable: Silver Plated Cable in 1.2m
- Driver Config: 10mm LCP Dynamic Driver
- Frequency Response: 20-20000Hz
- Price: $25
Package and Accessories
Both the Leá box and accessories are sparse. Leá comes in a black box with a transparent plastic cover. Inside the box, we find the Tripowin Leá IEMs, a detachable silver-plated copper (SPC) cable, 3x pairs of silicone eartips and 1 pair of silicone ear hooks.
Like its packaging, Leá has a minimalist aesthetic. The shells are small and made from robust aluminium alloy. They have some nice heft without feeling heavy and they have a smooth black finish.
The only embellishment is a Tripowin logo etched on the faceplates. At the top sit some 078mm 2-pin sockets. The nozzle is quite long and thin but tapers out at the end with a good lip that easily accommodates standard third-party eartips.
Considering the price, these earphones have great build quality and design. They’re kind of like a baby version of the Earsonics ONYX and feel extremely durable.
Leá comes with a detachable silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable. The cable has a right-angled 3.5mm plug and it plus the Y-split and chin slider are rubberized plastic. The 2-pin connector housings are polished aluminium.
While I don’t question the quality of the cable, it handles terribly. It’s stiff and bouncy plus it suffers from microphonics, although using the chin slider reduces the cable noise significantly. I think it’s acceptable at this price point though and hey, you can always replace it if it bothers you (Tripowin makes some nice upgrade cables).
In terms of comfort, the Leá feels pretty good in my ears. The shells are small but their long nozzles make it easy to get a good fit and seal. After a while, I get some discomfort from the sharp edges of the faceplates but a quick readjustment takes care of that without much fuss.
Gear used for testing includes the iFi Micro iDSD Signature, Earmen Colibri and Shanling M5s.
The Tripowin Leá has a reasonably balanced presentation with a lifted upper midrange and subdued upper treble. The overall clarity and resolution are satisfactory for a budget IEM. Leá comes across as a bit dry, as though tuned for technicalities in favour of a more musical expression.
With a strong focus on the sub-bass, Lea’s low-frequency extension is pretty impressive. It will rumble when you need it to and is present but not dominant. Due to the emphasis on sub-bass and scooped out mid-bass, kick drums sometimes sound thumpy rather than punchy.
I hear decent texture in the bass guitar on Wheel’s “Hyperion” but the kick drum thumps and sounds heavy while lacking slam. The attenuated mid-bass creates a drier sound that is clean but lacks richness.
Lea’s mids are fairly neutral, even leaning a little towards thin due to the lessened upper bass. While the clarity is good the midrange comes across as cool and somewhat analytical. Female voices are upfront but male vocals lack power and richness. At higher volume, the upper midrange tends to get shouty.
At the beginning of Scent of the Old Ocean by “Those Who Ride With Giants”, the violins are overshadowed by the guitars. They’re all strings without body. They lack the gravity and emotional response that I normally expect from the song. Having said that, the guitars are crisp although the overall resolution is nothing to write home about.
The treble is perhaps Lea’s biggest weakness. It lacks presence in some areas and is splashy in others. It falls off heavily after 8kHz and then peaks again in the upper region. The end result is a treble that sounds a little off-timbre.
Certain crash cymbals sound thin like breaking glass. Furthermore, treble notes are truncated and get cut short as though they’re in a room with a low ceiling. It’s not all bad – the tonal balance is about right and the level of detail retrieval is good.
The soundstage has average dimensions and has more width than depth. Spatial imaging is mediocre due to Lea’s moderate resolution and instrument separation. The stage position is neutral so vocals and instruments are neither too intimate nor distant. The attenuated mid-bass allows room to breathe so the stage isn’t congested even if it’s not especially tidy.
The Tripowin Leá is a decent budget IEM with a mature tuning. It has above-average build quality and I am a fan of its low-key design. Although it doesn’t really excel in any particular area sonically, it’s a decent performer for a $25 earphone.