- Cowon Plenue P1
- Oriolus Stock Cable
So, what is Oriolus?
Well.. A bird. Yup, a bird. Known as “Genus Oriolus” or “Orioles”
I strongly believe that this particular bird is creator’s muse. Just like this bird, Oriolus mk II is vivid, polite and smooth.
Oriolus’s website is Oriolus.jp and they are the creators of Oriolus. Not mini-audio or ibasso.
First of all, I hope this review of mine aid you with your grand quest of finding the “perfect” IEM. I have listened over 200 earphones to this date, and I am still searching for it. Yup. It is not an easy task to be an audiophile.
I can almost see you scrolling down for sound impressions. Let’s cover few things first!
Build Quality | Fit | Isolation
Oriolus is a well-built acrylic earphone. It has a great finish. It also stays very secure in my ears. I am using Ortofon and Spinfit tips. Both sound and fit great to my ears.
It has a short and wide nozzle 3 sound bore configuration each side.
Isolation is also good. Not InEar Stagediver series vacuum kind of good, but good. On par with K10UA.
It comes with:
- 4 pair silicone tips.
- 1 pair comply tips.
- 1 cable management tool
- 1 cleaning tool
- 1 cable attacher (to prevent microphonics)
- The cable it comes with is fantastic. It’s three strands look strong and well-built. Plus it looks way better than common stock cables. Kudos to creators of Oriolus in this regard.
Let me divide this whole thing into few sections.
Honestly, it’s quite hard to give it a specific label. It is very balanced across the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong it is absolutely not ER4 kind of balanced. It has a great bass response, it has great mid energy and it has delightfully polite highs. It is a great allrounder. Coherency is the key apparently.
Resolution is on par with U12, TG334. (K10UA, SEM9, are 1/2 step ahead of Oriolus in this matter)
Tonality-wise, Oriolus feels like a pretty natural sounding iem. Stringed instruments and brass instruments have quite realistic tone. Percussion instruments are a bit warmer than usual.
Rumblin’ Tumblin’ bass all day long. You feel the dynamic driver’s whack effect very well. Oriolus has a lush, fulfilling bass response. I am not talking about a extreme basshead pleaser here, the kind of bass that would make you tap your toes without being too much.
Long story short, lows of Oriolus hit hard, they can keep up with relatively fast paced genres, they have just the right amount of air in them and they also happen to have a great depth!
All because of the good ol’ DD.
I’ve been disappointed one too many times in this section to be honest. I had IEMs that I absolutely adored highs and lows but not the mids. Mid region has always been the most tricky one. As for Oriolus, I must say I am very impressed.
Whole territory is completely under control with good amount of detail. Mids are vivid, beefy, articulate. Vocals are a bit forward but not intimate like the K10. Upper mid region is again, very controlled and refined. Cymbals and hihats never go sibilant and never gets sharp. I really must congratulate creators of Oriolus about this. Female vocals “shine bright like a diamond”. (pun intended)
Again, like the rest of the spectrum, they are very controlled. No out of blue sibilant shining, no sharp ear hurting forever extending treble.. Just good amount of energy, just good amount of resolution, just good amount of extension.
Simply put, highs are effortless. They’re there. Just when you need them. Crash/Ride Cymbals, Piccolos, Saxs, Snares all very present and very well defined. Highs are gentle and delicate.
Soundstage | Layering | Separation
Soundstage is not extra wide, tall or deep. Just enough to have a great instrument separation and good amount of space between the instruments.
Great instrument separation gives you the impression of 3D staging very well. Of course, cohesiveness across frequencies greatly help Oriolus in this regard. However, stage depth is not great. Don’t get me wrong, it is good but there are better options.
Dynamism | PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing)
Oriolus is not a particularly fast earphone like S-EM9. But It is fast enough. It doesn’t feel congested while listening to fast paced genres like speed metal, thrash metal, fast paced EDM songs.
It can surely keep up and satisfy the demanding audiophile.
vs. Noble K10UA
K10 is more intimate, it’s mids have higher resolution and they’re even more prominent. K10 is emotional whereas Oriolus is distant (not laid back). K10’s upper mid frequencies and high frequencies are definitely wilder and can be a problem at high volumes. Oriolus’ Bass region is similar, both have enough to keep you happy.
vs. Earsonics S-EM9
S-EM9’s treble is refined, detailed, energetic and fast. S-EM9 is dynamically superior, even more energetic and fast. Hell, it is the fastest monitor I’ve ever listened to this date and Oriolus competes with it just fine. As for mids and lows, S-EM9’s bass extends deeper and it is a bit more impactful. Both monitors’ mids are meaty and detailed.
vs. Lear LCM BD4.2
Lear is brighter than Oriolus. Its notes are lighter, more transparent.
Lear’s bass is on par with Oriolus but it feels a lot slower. Listening to Metal and other fast paced genres with Lear is quite tiring due to it’s tuning. Oriolus is much more easy going in this regard because of the tamed upper mids.
Also handles congestion a lot better than Lear.
vs. FitEar TG334
TG334’s presentation is similar. However Oriolus feels airier. Oriolus is even more coherent than TG334. Oriolus’ treble is more refined and detailed compared to TG334.
Low frequencies of Oriolus feels a lot tighter. Oriolus freq regions are living in a complete harmony whereas TG334’s mids can sometimes isolate themselves from rest of the spectrum.
HOWEVER, FitEar’s vocal presentation is more emotional, lifelike, euphoric. I can understand why it has so many fans all over the world.
vs. Earsonics Velvet
Tonality-wise, Velvet feels a bit artificial compared to Oriolus.
Velvet’s bass extends deeper and have greater impact. Oriolus’ mids are meaty whereas Velvet feels flimsy. Treble is similar, resolution is 1-2 steps behind.
Velvet feels airier but it also lacks body.
Oriolus is coherent and versatile. These traits are what makes Oriolus a great all-rounder.
Oriolus sounds a lot better than those just under it in cost, yet compares closely to those that are much more expensive.
Thank you very much for reading!