The last time I checked out anything from Tripowin, it was the inexpensive TC-01 IEM. I was pleasantly surprised by that model, and have been waiting to hear more from their expanding library. I’ve gotten to test another one of their budget earphones, the X HBB Mele, an IEM that goes for only fifty bucks. Is this IEM a gem, or just a cheaper option?
What You Get
- HBB Mele Earphones
- 2-pin 3.5mm detachable cable
- 5 pairs of nozzle filters
- 3 pairs of silicone ear tips
Look and Feel
I’ve seen a couple of different ChiFi brands carry a similar faceplate design, but the body of the Mele is shaped in a unique way. It doesn’t take the ergonomic route for its shell styling and instead goes for a single aluminum housing piece that is more narrow than what you might be used to seeing. It is a pretty design, and I thought it fit my ears well. Having the right ear tips definitely helps, but the cavity itself fits snug in my concha and didn’t show any signs of fatigue throughout my long listening sessions with the Mele.
Inside of the Mele is a dual cavity 10mm dynamic driver with a graphene diaphragm. Its stock cable is a 4-core OCC made from copper.
- Impedance 16ohm
- Rated Power 10mW
- Max Power 30 mW
- Frequency Response Range 10 Hz- 34 kHz
- Sensitivity 109dB
It would be a little ridiculous to expect anything substantial from the soundstage of a fifty-dollar IEM. That’s why the Mele is so reliable as a budget IEM. Its ability to deliver a stereo field that is wide, layered, and dimensional appears completely uncompromised. A little uncomplicated, but it doesn’t need to be in order to give you a spacious image. Instrumentals showcase a fine level of positioning in the left and right channels, displaying linear patterns of accuracy that are still enjoyable. In terms of depth and height, the imaging doesn’t exactly deliver, but it retains a clear presentation of its elements that are easy to localize.
Like a lot of the Mele’s responses, the bass frequencies have a quite simple delivery in the sound signature. The timbre provides the goods in terms of clarity and heft, making for a colorful tone that textures the frequencies with a considerable amount of detail. Bass guitars receive a special highlight, with a booming extension that is more focused so as to not cause muddiness. You can feel the instruments pulsate outward, but it is kept to a tight space that results in a more articulate bass range.
While I don’t believe there to be any recession from the mids, they do lack a bit of drive. This makes for a well-presented but a little too easy-going for my tastes. Although for a fifty-dollar IEM it still feels like the mids are doing more than they should. Listening to the indie rock jams of Pavement’s “Terror Twilight” seemed to set the right tone for the midrange to really flourish. Instrumentals were resolving and pleasantly detailed, offering clean acoustic and electric guitar tones. Vocals also have an intimate resonance to them, helped by a significant lift in the mid-bass that gives male performances more depth.
The treble region mostly takes the midrange’s approach to relaxed but not recessed. It’s actually pretty applicable how the high-end response never seems to dip into dullness, as the frequencies still come off with a balanced tone. They’re mainly flat, in a way that presents evenness across the sound signature. They receive even less gain than the mids, but still, provide good accentuation in some areas.
You really can’t go wrong with a bargain IEM like the X HBB Mele. For only fifty dollars it gives you a clear and consistent sound profile that is so easy to just sit back and enjoy. Some detail may be missing in a few regions, but its response is more than what you pay for. If you’re looking for an IEM on a stricter budget, I think the Mele is one of the safest choices to bet on.
|· Accurate soundstage
· Tight bass
· Clean mids
· Even treble
· Good fit
|· Lacking power in some regions
The Tripowin X HBB Mele is available at Audio46.