The IEMs just keep on coming, with Tripowin getting a good spotlight in the recent weeks. Their output has been pretty strong in the past, and also very affordable. One example is the Olina, another IEM that features a collaboration with HBB. I recently reviewed the Mele which was also a collaborative effort that used the HBB name. This IEM is only fifty dollars more than that model costing $99, which is still a budget-friendly earphone. Can it still impress?
What You Get
- Olina Earphones
- 2-Pin 0.78mm to 3.5mm 1.2 meter Cable
- Replacement Filters
- 6 Pairs of Eartips
- Warranty Information
- Storage Case
Look and Feel
Tripowin’s main shell design from the Mele is ported over to the Olina but with different artwork for its front plate. This time, the aluminum housing sports a faceplate with mixed blues and greys in a marble-like pattern. The body style worked for me on the Mele so it is bound to work for the Olina both in terms of design and comfort. Its fit feels completely natural, and the housing shape never gets in your way. The earpiece sits in your concha and is supported fairly well, secure enough so as to not move around too much.
The Olina uses a 10mm dynamic driver with a carbon nanotube diaphragm. Its stock cable is made from silver-plated oxygen-free copper and has 2 pin connectors.
- Impedance 32ohm
- Sensitivity 110dB/mW @1KHz
- Frequency response range 10-43KHz
- THD＜ 0.2%@1KHz
I’ve heard some great IEM soundstages in this price range, and the Olina is now one of them. It is not only fantastically wide but also layered and accurate. You really get the sense of natural open space with these IEMs, as they perform each track with airy separation and outward positioning. It does an especially good job at presenting sound elements with their proper height, displaying instruments and vocals in more of a floaty image that wraps around you for increased immersion.
You can expect a fine helping of thick bass from the Olina. It disperses textured emphasis in the sub-bass and mid-bass regions and knows when to pull back on its resonance. This way the Olina can satisfy your bass-head needs while maintaining a respectable amount of control for superior clarity. The frequencies are also evenly spaced throughout the timbre, offering greater depth to the sound signature than what is expected at the price.
The midrange shed a spotlight on the fundamental and upper-frequency bands, presenting them in an expressive manner. Some instruments in the lower mids have issues cutting through clearly, but still, retain some sense of balance with the rest of the frequency spectrum. Their spacious nature highlights performances quite nicely, but the Olina can be a tad picky with what spectral elements it chooses to showcase. For instance, instruments in the upper midrange will pop more aggressively over the rest of the frequency response, causing some noticeable crispness. While aspects of lower-midrange instrumentals and vocals don’t quite hit as hard, they still effectively support the fantastic sonic environment this IEM is creating.
When I hit the first track to test the Olina I was greeted with a heavy treble presence. However, this isn’t an overly bright or piercing treble, but a clean and resolving one that is granted a significant amount of gain. With this power comes a semi-sharp sheen to the high frequencies that can be troublesome for sensitive listeners, but when it comes to its technical fidelity, the detail is impressive for the price.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Olina. The way it was priced I wasn’t expecting a huge upgrade from the Mele, but I was really shocked by how spacious and clear it was. These are a more treble-focused IEM, but it is tuned in a way that feels controlled without sacrificing any considerable detail. For $99 the Olina can feel like a steal, especially for treble heads and soundstage enjoyers.
The Tripowin X HBB Olina is available at Audio46.