Overall tonality: Neutral. Slight midrange tilt.
Fit: These fit very nicely. Great size and ergonomics
Comfort: Really comfortable. Only gripe is the longish stem, though that may work better for you
Cable: Yucky. Probably one of the worst cables I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s $26 so I’m just nitpicking at that point.
Isolation: Quite isolating. Would gladly take these out for a walk or in a coffee shop.
Bass: The bass on the Lea is what I would call slightly north of neutral. That said, it is relatively inoffensive and should not be a problem for those looking for a neutral set. Bass hits are rather solid, and pleasant enough. These won’t slam or rock your head, but it does provide clean bass lines and distinction from the midrange and treble regions.
Mids: The midrange is where I would say things start to get hazy. While generally skewed on the sterile side of the spectrum, there’s a rather noticeable elevation around the pinna gain. This leads to vocals sounding “nasally” and a bit unnatural One could even call it a haziness, heh. Male vocals seem to take the bigger hit though. Female vocals sound quite natural, if not a little forward. Instruments tend to have a slight edge to them but don’t sound unnatural and often sounding correct.
Highs: The higher frequencies continue this trend. While never sharp or piercing, the treble sounds like there’s an “edge” to it. Nothing sibilant or unbearable, just lacking refinement. Hi-hats strike without ever being fatiguing and or obnoxious. Pianos and trumpets are fairly inoffensive and are rather clear.
Soundstage: Eh. Nothing noteworthy
Imaging: Same as soundstage. Instruments kind of get lost in busy tracks
Resolution: Decent-good resolvability. I’m more than content with its performance in this area.
Complete opposites at similar prices. The 03 is for the bassheads out there while the Lea is for the neutralheads. The timbre and tuning on the 03 is to my preference. Resolvability on the Lea, however, takes the win. Midrange is warmer on the 03 while the Lea is more forward. Treble is more extended on the 03 with more details on the Lea. Not much else to say. If isolation is a deciding factor, go with the Lea. If comfort is your priority, the 03 may be what you want.
Tripowin x HBB Mele
The Tripowin siblings if you will. Starting with the bass, the Mele pulls ahead by offering a stronger sub/midbass presence at the cost of being a tad softer and mushier. The Lea offers a more neutral, less fun bass experience while sounding rather tame in its quality. The midrange is where the Mele has the upper hand. It’s warmer in comparison and doesn’t have that edge or shout mentioned earlier. The Lea sounds sterile and just a bit shouty. Treble is a bit fuzzy/hazy on both, though the Lea isn’t as forward. Imaging and soundstage are fine for both, nothing noteworthy. Comfort wins for the Mele while isolation wins for the Lea, though the Lea is comfortable.
This may seem like a weird comparison but hear me out. The Lea sounds like a baby ER3SE to me. Same tonality and similar strengths. The ER3SE has significantly better technical performance at the cost of being triple the price. Bass lines have more of that DD feel on the Lea, though cleaner on the ER3SE. The ER3SE doesn’t exhibit the shout or fuzziness that the Lea does, nor that edginess in the treble. Soundstage and imaging on the ER3SE aren’t generally highly regarded but beats out the Lea, though not by much. Detail retrieval handily go to the ER3SE. Fit easily goes to the Lea. Isolation easily go to the ER3SE.
It’s no perfect IEM by any means, but gosh darn it it’s only $26. It has its flaws, like most sets out there, but really sets itself apart from the sea of V-Shaped tunings and meh resolvability/technical performers. A solid neutral signature, pretty great technical performance, and a fit that most ears will have no trouble with (looking at BLON). It has my recommendation even with its shortcomings. Great job Tripowin, looking forward to more from you!