The coffee break posts will be made of short reviews/impressions of various earphones. It is not meant to be in-depth, unlike the reviews, though some may get a full review in the future.
Simply think of it as a light-hearted read.
All units are demo units unless otherwise stated. I am not requested to write any of these posts in any way.
For the first coffee break, I’ll start off first with my favourite during the session, the ikko OH1.
The OH1 was really pleasing and smooth to listen to, with good detail pickup. The bass has good physicality and decayed fast, keeping mids clear and crisp; highs packed decent energy without turning sharp.
Simply a sound I could keep listening to and not wish to stop, especially since it is simply good all around. Perhaps more body in the upper-mids would make this stellar, though that would be more of a bonus than a necessity.
With its single dynamic driver paired with a single BA in each side, the ikko OH1 really stood out with its tuning. In fact, it was so good, I nearly bought it on the spot; stopped due to realising I spent too much this month.
The newest release from Campfire was available for auditioning. Not something I could miss.
Well, first things first, it definitely looks slick. The red metallic paint with gold screws contrasts well, and the IO feels well-built as expected of Campfire products.
The IO runs two BAs per side. I’ll just get this straight, it felt underwhelming. A murky bass plus odd tonality in the recessed mids. Highs had alright detail pick-up with energy, but the transition from mids to highs was so poor it was simply wasted.
The T.A.E.C supposedly helps to provide and open the top-end extension, but it only makes it worse when the iem lacks the body and support from the mids to start with.
Perhaps it is due to campfire having released many great iems to date, raising the bar for their newer line-ups. But this is honestly inexcusable even for an entry-tier campfire product.
Shozy & AAW Pola
Another recent release here, the Shozy Pola is built around 2 electrostatic drivers and a graphene dynamic driver per side.
Probably the hardest to drive of the bunch, I had to crank up the volume by quite a bit.
The bass was fast with a decent punch but felt kind of shallow. Mids were smooth and good separation, albeit a tad boring to listen to. The electrostatic drivers differentiate themselves best at the highs, giving it a great extension.
It is overall really smooth and detailed, with the mids and highs feeling greater emphasis despite the pretty large 13mm dynamic driver pumping the bass.
My main gripe would be the tacky feel of electrostatic sounds, which makes it feel unnatural despite its smoothness. Oh, and that it is pretty large, so if you have smaller ears + poor matching with the shape, prepare for hot spots.
Acoustune HS1551 CU
Perhaps the most interesting looking of the bunch, it fits better than it looks. The HS1551 CU has great bass texture and quantity. The mids were a weak link for me, lacking sufficient detail pick-up and turning sharp towards the upper end. The highs were good as a whole, packing good energy and extension.
While I did not take a liking to this, it is more of an issue of sound signature preference. The HS1551 CU certainly has its charms which others appreciate, packing good overall technicalities in a mid-tier package.
Oh, and it really looks pretty cool.
Great bass punch with full-bodied mids. If I am not mistaken, a piezoelectric ceramic driver was used to drive the highs. While it grants great clarity and probably one of the best separations I have heard, it feels artificial. Highly subjective and up to personal preferences regarding this.
A highly competent iem. Deep extensions in the bass gives the sound volume. Combined with a full-bodied forward mids and extended highs that never turned harsh, the MKII feels overall balanced in tuning.
For a mid-high tiered iem, the MKII can arguably be one of the best there are available. Oriolus really outdid themselves with this one.
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