Tripowin may be a new name in the IEM game, but the design and technology behind its products probably not so much.
If you are a fan of KZ IEMs, you will recognize the packaging, inserts, and accessories of the Tripowin earphones bear more than just a passing resemblance to KZ products.
Hence most people who follow this stuff conclude the Tripowin line is a spin-off of some sort. But there are enough differences between the products to give Tripowin a closer look.
Build And Features
Tripowin sent over the $69 Tripowin TP10, a 5 Balanced Armature per side in-Ear Earphone in exchange for an honest review, and that is what follows.
After looking at the KZ line, I find the TP10 is most closely aligned with the KZ AS10, another IEM with 5 BA per side, and pretty much the same design.
The TP10 can be looked at as a refinement of the AS10 with it’s Aluminum faceplate, which has been textured to be both scratch and slip-resistant, as opposed to the all-plastic AS10.
Refinements also reach over to the 2-pin detachable cable, which is quite similar to the one included with most KZ IEMs, but it’s gold-plated instead of copper-plated.
It also has QDC connectors which feature protective sleeves over the 2-pin connection (something also on the most recent KZ models), and a straight 3.5mm plug instead of the right-angle plug KZ uses.
The five driver complement of the TP10 is similar to the AS10 except for the two midrange drivers, which are different.
The transparent plastic shell (which provides visibility of the interior components) of the TP10 comes in two colors, blue and black (which looks more like a charcoal grey). The included cable is also available with or without an inline mic/remote; the mic-less version is $1 cheaper at $68.99.
Comfort is okay. The earpiece housings are a little on the large side, so those with smaller ears may feel some pressure inside the inner ear. The housings also felt a little heavy at first, but I got used to the feeling after a while.
Fit is very stable, the pre-formed ear hooks on the cable coupled with the elongated nozzle and star ear tips keep the earphones from moving around a whole lot.
The accessory pack is pretty sparse. You get three sets of silicone ear tips (S, M, L), one pre-installed, the detachable cable, and a set of instruction/warranty cards.
Like I usually say with KZ products, a bag or case of some sort would be nice, but then again, there aren’t too many 5 BA earphones out there for under $100. The warranty is 12 months by the way.
Tripowin also sent along the $29.99 C8 8-Core Silver/Copper Foil Braided Upgrade Cable, which can be purchased with a choice of the 3.5mm single-ended plug or 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced plugs.
The one they sent me had QDC connectors for the TP10, (also works for KZ ZS10 Pro and the like) but you can also get it with MMCX connectors for Tin HiFi earphones, or with a standard 2-pin connector for the older KZ IEMs.
I used the C8 exclusively for my listening tests, and it’s a beautiful cable. It reminds me a lot of the cable that comes with the Tin HiFi T3, with its carbon fiber accents on the Y-Split and the plug. It also has a similar transparent marble chin slider. It’s much thicker though, and it’s color matches perfectly with the TP10. I would love to get a couple more for my other IEMs.
The TP10 has an impedance of 15 ohms, so it’s pretty easy to drive. Any portable music player should do. I used my LG V40 with the ESS Sabre Quad DAC, and I also used it with an iFi nano iDSD LE Headphone Amp/DAC (Burr-Brown chip) connected to my HP Envy Laptop. Tidal was the source in both cases.
Overall, I would describe the sound as bright and u-shaped. That means the music is elevated at the extremes of the audio spectrum (lows and highs) and the mids are slightly recessed into the background.
Treble is definitely aggressive here, so if you are sensitive, then you may get fatigued from bright recordings. But they also add some detail and sparkle to the sound. For example, when listening to Shelby Lynne’s “Just A Little Loving,” the cymbals came in hot, but they were resolved well, sounding like actual metal instead of a simple “tick.”
Mids were recessed, but not overly so. Shelby Lynne’s vocal along with the string work was very clear and well-rounded, even if they were not the focal point of the presentation.
Bass was elevated but not super deep. I would describe it as taut and well-controlled, with decent articulation. It added some nice weight to Shelby Lynne’s song without being overbearing.
When listening to a pair of IEMs with this many drivers, I expect some extra spatiality, and the spaciousness of the TP10s presentation is probably its strong point. On electronic tracks, the openness added an extra dimension to the music that I really liked.
Listening to “Touch” by Daft Punk, the TP10 gave me a decent sized soundscape where the width was just outside of my headspace. It gave me a nice atmospheric vibe.
Compared to the TinHifi T3, which is currently my favorite earphone around $69 bucks, the T3 sounds a little flatter, meaning it doesn’t have the same sense of space the TP10 had.
But the treble on the T3 is more subdued and smoother to me, making it easier to listen to for long periods of time. It also seemed to have a tad bit more detail.
However, the TP10 has a lot more weight in the low end, so those who like extended bass will probably like it more than the T3.
If you can deal with the aggressive treble, the Tripowin TP10 has a spacious presentation, decent detail, and articulate, deep, well-controlled bass. To me, they have a fun sound that works best with Electronic music, but it also fared well with pop and classic rock.