Over the last three years, our team has reviewed lots of different headphones but today we’re marking a first: with the Tripowin TP10, we’ve officially went hands-on with a ten driver headphone. At only $59.99, they’re also some of the most affordable multi-driver IEMs we’ve come across. With an extended frequency range and balanced armatures each tuned to tight frequency ranges, should the Tripowin TP10s be you next gaming and music headphone? Join us as we find out!
- Current Price: $59.99 (Linsoul Web Store)
- Product Name: TRIPOWIN TP10 In-ear Earphone
- Model: TP10
- Drive unit: 5 Balanced Armatures (each)
- Earphone type: In-ear
- Impedance: 15 Ohm
- Earphone sensitivity: 98dB/mW
- Frequency range: 20-40000Hz
- Plug Interface: 3.5mm Gilded
- Cable Length: 1.25m +/- 3cm
- Cable Length: 1.25m+/-3cm
- Earphone interface: 2PIN 0.75mm interface
- Mic: Optional
- Weight: 31g
Multiple drivers? Here’s why...
One of the most common questions to audio newcomers is why anyone would need more than two speakers. It’s a good question since most of us will only ever use stereo driver headphones - heck, before I started reviewing tech for a living, I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Now, though, I’ve been lucky enough to try many different pairs of multi-driver headphones and can shed some light on why that may or may not be a good thing.
Let’s start with the basics. Sounds is composed of vibrations at different frequencies. When we adjust an EQ for Bass, Mid, and Treble settings, we’re raising or lowering how loud those frequencies are. In a normal stereo headphone, each speaker is responsible for every frequency. Some handle that admirably, others only so-so. In fact, using tools like the Online Tone Generator you can pinpoint exact frequencies that your headphones may struggle to reproduce. It makes sense: a full frequency spectrum on a single speaker; surely there will be peaks and valleys with how it handles so many frequencies.
A multiple driver headphone, like the Tripowin TP10, on the other hand, approaches things a little differently. Rather than put the full frequency spectrum on two speakers, it breaks the frequency burden across multiple drivers, in this case five in each ear. In doing, the engineers at Tripowin allow the drivers to be tightly tuned to just those frequencies. If done well, you have a much clearer signal and better separation between the elements of your music.
The Tripowin TP10
Now we come to the Tripowin TP10. Coming in at only $59.99, it’s the cheapest 10-driver headphone I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first one I came across on Drop.com was nearly $1000, so I was fairly blown away when I actually saw the price tag. After that subsided, I immediately began to wonder why they were so cheap.
If you’ve been in the world of audio for any length of time, then you know after a certain point it’s a world of diminishing returns. Sure, you can spend the the cost of a used car on a pair of cans but will $3000 headphones actually sound $2800 better than the $200 pair? They’ll sound better, but in my experience, it won’t be that much better. Knowing that, I went into this review with an open mind. At $60, they only need to sound good enough and they would still be a good value and bring something unique to the market.
Unboxing them for the first time, I was impressed at how well built built they were. The cable is excellent and oxygen-free, made of a tight copper braid that does a great job of staying tangle-free. The IEMs are also composed of two pieces with an aluminum outer shell and a precision 3D printed inner chamber that stylishly exposes the inner circuitry and balanced armatures.
The use of balanced armatures was a smart one. BAs, often used in hearing aids, often perform at their best when given a defined range the engineers can tune for. They’re also small enough that you can fit five in an IEM without making it inordinately large.
Make no mistake, though: these are large earphones. I didn’t have trouble making them stick in my ears but they’re a far cry from the exercise earbuds you may already be using and wouldn’t stay in my ears if I shook my head too much. There is a wrapped ear hook bent into the wire to help keep them in place, though, which is nice. Still, if you’re looking for small and discrete, these aren’t the headphones for you. They’re made for normal listening which is clear in virtually every aspect of their design.
Taken as a whole, these headphones definitely feel more premium than their price point. The cable is detachable and upgradable, the backs and nozzles are metal, the cable is one of the best I’ve seen for the low cost. There’s also an in-line remote so you can use them for calls. All in all, they’re big but impressive.
How do they sound?
These headphones appear to be targeted and audiophiles and critical listeners and has a sound profile to match. The bass is present but not forward like more energetic headphones like Jaybirds or Jabras. Instead, it’s smooth. Mellow even. The mids on the other hand are quite forward, which brings vocals out in music and dialogue out in games. The treble is quite present, so the sounds of tinkling glass or falling bullet shells really stand out. I like this tuning because it brings out a lot of the fine details and textures that bass heavy headphones tend to miss. If you’re a bass head, though, these will definitely leave you wanting.
What really struck me was the incredible separation between sounds. The largest multi-driver headphone I’d used before the Tripowin TP10 was a quad-driver from 1More that featured two drivers per ear. There, the sounds blended together seamlessly. Here, it was quite an odd sensation because you could actually hear different pieces of the mix stand apart from one another. On the one hand, you can’t hear differences between the speakers themselves but on the other it’s as if you can subtly pick up on the space between the drivers. Obviously, that’s unlikely, but the effect produced by using five drivers per ear is immediately apparent.
I really enjoyed this effect for both music and games. For music, the sound stage and musicality were definitely enhanced. The perceived “space” between instruments is very neat, so when you close you’re eyes it’s as if there are multiple musicians instead of a single PA speaker. For games, it worked wonderfully to pull out the different elements of the mix. I didn’t expect it to be so effective but I actually found I liked these for gaming more than most other IEMs I’ve used.
Likewise, breaking apart the frequencies into five separate driver units definitely made for a crystal clear sound. There was never any distortion of the sense that certain frequencies were stepping on others. Because of this, I would have liked to have seen a more neutral sound profile to really bring out the best but with a little software EQing, I was able to get them to a very pleasant spot. Thankfully, they are very resilient to equalizing after the fact.
Over time, the shape does cause a bit of ear fatigue. I found ears became sore around the edges of the curve and their bulk definitely seemed like more after a couple of hours.
At the end of the day, the Tripowin TP10 IEMs aren’t the most rounded headphone in the world but they sound good and offer a unique character at this price point. I didn’t expect to live them so much for gaming but the way they seem to layer the track is definitely interesting and not something I’ve heard before. For $59, they offer a very good value with their exceptional clarity and sound separation. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them over others for sheer sound but if you’ve ever been curious about multi-driver headphones, this is an affordable way to try it for yourself.
- Five drivers per ear - ten total!
- Affordable price
- Solid build that feels more expensive than it is
- Excellent sound separation
- Bulky and rather heavy
- Light on the bass
- Can sound slightly sharp in treble-heavy music