Tripowin LEA

Tripowin LEA

19 May 2022 0 By Petros Laskis

Entry level reference

Pros: + Natural timbre
+ Musical and engaging
+ Smooth and forgiving
+ Mid range consistency
+ Good bass technicalities
+ Removable cable
+ Comfortable and not bulky
+ Good passive noise attenuation

Cons: – Slightly behind in sub bass extension
– Lacking in brilliance
– Not that resolving nor the most detailed
– Average soundstage
– Passable appearance
– Thick and heavy cable
– Only one set of ear tips
– No carrying pouch

The review sample was kindly provided by Linsoul in exchange for my honest and subjective evaluation.
The price is $25.99 and you can order it by Linsoul, using the following non affiliate link Linsoul.

Tripowin

Tripowin, which was established in 2019, is essentially a Linsoul in-house brand.
Reading at their website we learn that “At Tripowin, we use the latest and most advanced driver technologies in order to deliver incredible audio performance at a budget price. By focusing on uncompromising driver quality and engineering experience, we have created numerous audio solutions that have garnered international praise. Partnering closely with the audiophile community, we are always striving to create the best that sound beyond their price. It’s great audio that doesn’t cost an arm.”

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Leá

The Leȧ is a budget friendly earphone that utilizes the latest generation of liquid crystal polymer (LCP) diaphragm driver to produce outstanding tonal balance and audio resolution.
This is the same 10mm driver used by several extremely popular models from other manufacturers, but they have further enhanced its performance by creating an acoustic chamber rather than a standard sound tube.
By eliminating the sound tube, they are able to reduce unwanted harmonic resonance while creating a more life-like soundstage and depth. Compared to previous generations of 10mm dynamic drivers, this LCP diaphragm has tighter surface tension and resistance, allowing for much quicker response and audible improvements in sound quality.

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Build quality, appearance and fit

The compact and lightweight ear shells, which are made from metal, have an anatomically shaped design that follows the natural curves of the ear.
The sound tube is quite extended so the ear shell can be flushed quite deep in the ear cavity, ensuring a stable, tight fit and good passive noise attenuation.
The Leá feels comfortable and offers a stress free using experience, even after long listening sessions.
That is, if you are happy and comfortable with the three only pairs of ear tips that are included inside the package.

The design is rather uninspiring and dull, the black painted shells have a barely visible “Tripowin” logo engraved on them and they make a non attractive visual contrast with the shiny silver cable connectors.
An all black cable should be a better match.

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Cable

The Leȧ comes standard with an upgraded silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable.
Using a 2-pin connector, the cable is interchangeable, allowing the user to mix and match the cable, as well as ensuring the longevity of the IEM.
The cable is thick and heavy with a bulky and ugly, plastic, splitter while the 3.5mm plug is not gold-plated but otherwise is well made, it seems durable and has low microphonic noise.
The 2-pin connectors seem to be fragile and frequent plugging and unplugging should be rather avoided.

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Accessories

The Leá comes in a simple package with three pairs of eartips and two extra, removable ear-hooks to assist with the fit.
A carrying pouch is not included.

Listening impressions

As per usual practice I left Leá playing music for 150 hours before listening.
The Leá is easy to drive and most of the listening was done with the FiiO KA1, Periodic Audio Rhodium and ddHiFi TC35B.

As uninspiring and humble the Leá might look the opposite is to be said of the sound which in contrast is inspiring and musically attractive.
The sound performance comes as a real surprise with a well balanced tuning that has decent technicalities for such a low cost earphone.
The Leá sounds coherent, smooth and slightly laid back with a natural and lifelike timbre, something rare at this price point where most earphones are heavily V-shaped or too bassy.

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The bass is well extended without too much of a roll off, then gently downsloping to the lower mid-range keeping things clear and well defined without intruding into the mids.
The Leá is not a bass cannon but nonetheless a satisfying performer with modern music while the bass stays tight and controlled enough with plenty of clarity and well organized layering as to sound great with most demanding genres like classical music.
It is not too fast but you can’t call it sluggish either, decay is quite relaxed and natural while the presentation can become powerful enough when it is needed without any severe boominess or loss of control.
The texture is full bodied and all instruments sound intense and weighty, not lean and fake.

The mid range is balanced and natural with a touch of upper mid-range emphasis that aids with clarity and vividness but thankfully you are not going to hear any shouting females or anything else annoyingly forward.
Voices and instruments sound very engaging with a harmoniously intense expression, realistic timbre and weighty texture.
The Leá is great for listening to vocal and choral music of all kinds like Antonio Vivaldi’s sacred oratorio “Juditha Triumphans”

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Treble is smooth and subdued but not too much as to sound muted and blunt.
The Leá is warm and slightly laid back but you can’t say that it is lacking in vividness however it is not that sparkling and agile.
This is not a brilliant sounding earphone nor the most extended and analytical one but on the other hand it is fairly easy to the ear and forgiving of poor quality.
What mostly stands out about the Leá are the naturalness of the timbre, the tonal accuracy and the realistic timing of the decay.
The soundstage is decently wide and spacious with a pretty much accurate imaging and it can convincingly reproduce the ambience and the scale of the music.

Compared to the Jade Audio (FiiO) JD3 ($20)

The JD3 is more luxurious and beautiful looking with a bullet shaped design and a finish of higher quality.
It is less bulky and more lightweight but the Leá is equally comfortable thanks to the anatomical shape.
The cable on the JD3 has an inline microphone and is permanently attached to the ear shells but it is of high quality and certainly more lightweight and thinner than the Leá cable.
The JD3 is cheaper but it comes with a simple carrying pouch and four pairs of ear tips.

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Sound-wise the JD3 tuning is more mainstream than the Leá with a “V” shaped sound signature.
Sub-bass reaches deeper while there is an extra bass / mid-bass emphasis but not at the expense of mid range clarity.
On the other hand, the Leá is more neutrally tuned in the bass region with better overall clarity, deeper layering and increased control however it is not as impactful and fun sounding.
Then the Leá is more forward in the upper-mids followed by a subdued treble whereas the JD3 is exactly the opposite.
The Leá has better mid range consistency with a natural timbre while the JD3 sounds less intense, more distant and slightly more artificial.
In contrast though, the JD3 is more brilliant sounding, faster and agile with extra clarity, better extension and deeper detail retrieval.
Both are definitely good for the asking price, with strong personalities that differentiate them from the crowd.
The JD3 is the party animal where the Leá is the more sophisticated classical music companion.

In the end

The Leá is a $25 earphone with a good price to performance ratio and a surprisingly mature tuning which will appeal to people who mostly appreciate natural timbre and tonal accuracy.
A nice addition to a well saturated market where everything sounds more or less the same, the Leá can be rightfully considered as your first reference sounding earphone.

Test playlist

Copyright – Petros Laskis 2022.