Tripowin is responsible for many great IEMs that are perfect if you’re on a budget. One of their most recent successes is the Olina, a collaboration between the brand and Hawaiian Bad Boy from “Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews. Its $99 price point made it a perfect option for audiophiles that aren’t ready to dish out big money on high-end IEMs. Now, Tripowin has released a special edition of the Olina, with new tuning adjustments and design. Just how different is the new Olina SE?
What You Get
- Olina SE IEMs
- 2-pin 3.5mm cable
- Storage case
- Extra filters
- Six pairs of silicone ear tips
- Warranty Card
Look and Feel
The original Olina had a cool design. It has a nice blueish marble pattern that is interesting to look at. With the SE version, Tripowin gives you something more simple. You get a sleek, all-black aluminum shell that offers improved protection and is also scratch resistant. You can expect the same size and shape from the original Olina though. If you thought the Olina was already the perfect shape and sized earpiece, then the SE version should be no different in terms of comfort.
Updates have been made to the Olina’s driver design. The SE edition utilizes carbon nanotubes in its 10mm dynamic unit, with a reinforced diaphragm that significantly improves its suspension. This is meant to quicken the Olina’s transient response for increased precision.
- Impedance: 32ohm
- Sensitivity: 109dB/mW @1KHz
- Frequency response range: 10-43KHz
When I first put the Olina SE in my ears and hit play on “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon, the soundstage made the first major impression on me. Its width was immediately clear and expansive. The acoustic guitars coming from the left and right channels spread out to the length of my shoulders. The placement was impressive for ninety-nine dollars, but it comes with a more linear display. In the imaging, the body of the signature can appear thin, like a straight line of sound extending in a stereo field. Some good height is added for increased spaciousness but it lacks a deeper end. A surface-level soundstage isn’t always a bad thing though. With the Olina SE, Tripowin actually does a great job making the best out of its linearity. The placement of instruments and vocals still creates an immersive space in a stereo image. Separation is also a major factor for the Olina’s presentation, as it does a fantastic job giving each position of the mix its own identity. You can easily point to wear each element is coming from.
Most of the low frequencies will have a surface-level presentation, but they hit hard. The Olina can slam down with significant impact, particularly in the mid-bass. Here, the ton takes on a tight and commanding grip on the sound signature, jumping at you with great energy. The detail in the bass is not as consistent, as the Olina SE isn’t exactly an IEM with a to of sub-bass depth. However, its timbre can be equally satisfying for bass heads on a budget. It excites in the right places to add drive to certain music genres, particularly selections with a heavier nature.
Around the midrange, the tone becomes nice and smooth, contrasting well with the energy of the mid-bass. There’s a good body of frequency content here that keeps the main profile of the Olina SE engaging. Instruments have somewhat of a solid weight behind them, notably synth rhythms and distorted guitars. Not as much full-on power is showcased, but their performances still appear clear and defined. It is female vocal ranges where the mids start to become a lot more transparent than I was expecting. The upper mids are considerably more emphasized over the rest of the frequency response. It highlights female vocals in a way that gives them the most life-like portrayal out of the whole sound signature. They’re expressive and stand out considerably in the staging.
The treble region does a lot to increase the Olina’s spatial presence. Its height and airiness are well extended and brighten up the sound signature for those who can handle it. Listeners that are more sensitive to overt brightness might have an issue with the Olina SE, but I found it quite engaging. It is like there is a coat of gloss covering the high frequencies, and it colors them enough that the harshness of the tone can be controlled. The timbre shines more than it sizzles, but it is still a response that works well will the profile of the sound signature.
I find the special edition of the Olina to be an improvement over its former iteration in more ways than one. Not all will be satisfied with some of its changes, like the stronger high-end. However, I found the Olina SE to be well organized and maintained in its soundstage and bass output, and the new fully aluminum housing is well worth the upgrade to me.
The Tripowin X HBB Olina SE is available at Linsoul.