Hot on the heels of our CCA CRA+ review comes yet another single dynamic driver IEM, the Tripowin Leá. Featuring a 10mm Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) driver with an affordable $26 (about RM115) price tag, the Leá is said to have a balanced tuning as well.
While this is…somewhat true, the tuning of the Leá can also be described as “boring.” Of course, whether or not that would be the case for you comes down to personal preference, though I do think the Leá has more of a “laid-back” tonality, making it easy to listen to for long periods of time.
What It Is
Bundled along with the Leá are three pairs of silicone ear tips, a silver-plated oxygen-free copper cable, and a pair of earhooks. The metal shells of the IEM also have a good heft to them, giving the impression of a higher quality, more expensive product.
Despite the heft of the metal shells, the Leá doesn’t feel too heavy at all in my ears. In fact, it’s actually quite comfortable. The ear tips, while pretty standard-looking, fit well in my ears with a good level of isolation for (essentially) improved audio quality.
The included 2-pin cable of the Leá, on the other hand, isn’t particularly great. Not only does it have an off-putting rubbery texture, it is also prone to microphonics, not to mention the fact that it does not hook over the ears nicely.
Even though the provided earhooks do mitigate this issue to an extent, it doesn’t help that the earhooks themselves sometimes slip off the cable. Basically, it can be a little tricky to get the Leá to comfortably sit on my ears. Of course, your mileage may vary.
How Does It Sound
As mentioned, the Leá is said to have a balanced tuning, though I don’t particularly agree with this. To me, it has more of a warm-neutral tonality with an emphasis in the upper mid-range, so vocals sounds more intimate. Essentially, this IEM has a laid-back tuning, and it’s just on the cusp of being a little…boring.
Anyway, let’s break down the sound characteristics of the Leá below for a better look at its tonality.
The mid-bass of the Leá is sufficient; it’s not too much or too little. There is, however, a notable lack in sub-bass extension and dynamics. The decay of some bass notes also tend to sound slow on some tracks, so this isn’t the most technically-accomplished IEM.
Then again, this is also a very affordable IEM with a single dynamic driver, so it’s not surprising it doesn’t excel in the technicality department.
Vocals on the Leá are forward and engaging. This is especially evident with female vocals situated along the upper mid-range. Vocals also have a lean texture to them, possibly a result from the elevated mid-bass, but there isn’t nearly enough airiness, unfortunately enough.
The highs of the Leá suffer from early roll off, which is really a typical characteristic of dynamic drivers. This, in turn, results in a lack of both speed and sparkle. To better describe this, instruments like cymbals are crystal clear, but there is a longing for more details and treble extension.
In this regard, the Leá’s soundstage has decent width and instrument separation, even if it’s lacking in vertical depth. While this translates to a good sense of the left and right side of the stage, the same cannot be said for sounds and instruments in front of you.
Resolution and detail retrieval of the Leá is just average as well, with the aforementioned rolled-off treble of the IEM being the Achilles’ heel of the latter.
Is It Worth It?
Overall, the Tripowin Leá is a solid performer with above average build quality, especially at this price point. Retailing at only $26, you can actually get it for only $20.79 (about RM90) right now on Linsoul, one of the most reputable online stores for ChiFi IEMs.
On top of that, the mid-neutral tuning of the Leá is easy to get into, and it’s laid-back enough for longer listening sessions. Yes, it’s not the most resolving IEM, but the Leá is also very, very affordable; it’s unrealistic to expect so much from a technical standpoint in this price range.
All in all, whether you’re just dipping your toes into the world of ChiFi IEMs, or you’re an enthusiast of ultra-budget single dynamic driver IEMs, the Tripowin Leá is a triple win in its build quality, tonality, and sheer value for money.
Excuse the pun.