Tripowin x HBB's Olina SE Review
The OG Olina garnered a lot of attention and hype due to it being a collaboration with HBB (Hawaiian Bad Boy), it also received a lot of positive feedback as well. Sadly, I do not have the chance to try out the OG Olina, only a very brief moment with it and I find it a little peaky in terms of the highs and slight sub bass roll off.
In terms of Olina SE’s build, the shell size remain unchanged, what changed is that it is now full matte black with a logo that is a reflective of HBB’s hawaiian root, a new CNT driver that’s tuned to have a slight boost on the sub bass and also tame down the peaky high.
The shell size is small and very comfortable to wear and listen to for long hours without feeling fatigue. Nothing to shout out on the packaging, rather minimal yet good enough for the asking price. The included storage case is very solid and looks premium.
Gears used for this review
Topping DX1 + iFi Zen Air Can
Hidizs S9 Pro
Hidizs XO Dongle
iPod Touch 2G
Macbook Air M2’s 3.5mm port
My review is solely based on what I hear via my equipment and I never consider my reviews to be objective in any way rather a subjective approach. Do take into consideration that everyone’s ear anatomy is not the same, so the psychoacoustics perception might be different as well, but i believe it will not stray too far
Olina SE to my ears has a very fun sounding signature, this is my 2nd IEM that’s a collab between HBB. The 1st IEM that I tried that has HBB’s collab is TRI’s Kai. Despite both being a collaboration with HBB, the tuning for both is totally different. The Olina SE triumphs in terms of technicalities and overall tonality. The timbre on Olina SE sounds natural to my ears and they have good note weight and body to it
The sub bass on the Olina SE is slightly lifted compared to the OG Olina as many people feedback that the OG Olina does have some roll off in the sub bass
Bass is punchy and has good slam to it, exhibited good control and speed is pretty good, it handled EDM and also Metal very well, i wouldn’t say they’re basshead IEM but they’re very fun to listen to
MId bass packs enough and a satisfying punch to it
The bass doesn’t bleed into the mids and the instruments in this range has a good note weight to it
The mids are a little forward so are the vocals, i like how the vocals are being portrayed
Male and Female vocals has got good texture, female vocal does stand out a little due to the lift in the upper mids, but never harsh
The treble is slightly lifted to my ears, but it is never harsh nor sibilant
The extension is very good and the overall treble presentation has a very airy kind of feel to it, hence the contribution of a slightly bigger than usual soundstage, never dark sounding to begin with
Very engaging to listen to, detail retrieval is also very good for the price point, you don’t need to pay very good attention to hear the micro details, it is just there effortlessly and it do so in a non offensive way
The soundstage on Olina SE to my ears certainly sounded 3D (out of your head), it has good width and depth, and also height to it, very impressive for the asking price
Imaging is also another strong point in Olina SE, instruments can be pinpointed easily and even on busy track like Slipknot’s People = Shit, all the instruments are being layered properly and the vocal takes the front stage while the instruments play their own roles without clumping in together causing the track to sound muddy
Olina SE is easy to drive and you will be able to get decent volume output even from your regular smartphone’s 3.5mm jack. However, if you feed it with a better source, it will definitely reward you with better performance. This is not to say that Olina SE sounds bad right off the bat, it's just the performance of Olina SE is being limited by less powerful sources. Amplification is not necessary but it does help to tighten the bass a little and also present it with a bigger soundstage, but then again. Fret not if you don’t have an amp, you are not losing out alot.
With so many IEM being released on a monthly basis, a certain IEM will quickly be overshadowed by the new release. My personal thought is that Olina SE should remain on the spotlight as it is genuinely good, i have had a brief listening moment with the OG Olina, and it’s safe to say that Olina SE is definitely an improvement over the OG Olina in terms of more bass punch and also slightly tamer highs.
I also had the opportunity to test out Tanchjim’s Oxygen and i did a comparison between Oxygen and Olina SE, it’s safe to say they are very very similar, 90% i would say, of course in terms of technicalities, Oxygen is still leading a little, but if you decide to purchase Olina SE, you will not miss out a lot, Safe to say, Olina SE is highly recommended if you are in the lookout for a good single dynamic driver IEM that will not break the bank.
*Olina SE is sent over by Linsoul in exchange for this review. I am not under any influence nor do I receive any monetary compensation.
Head over to Linsoul’s store if you are interested in getting a pair
Tripowin Olina SE - Non Affiliated