Today we take the Oriolus Monachaa in our hands, a 4DD IEM that sells for $2,000 USD.
Disclaimer: The Oriolus Monachaa was sent to us by Oriolus Japan. Oriolus Japan is not affiliated with Headfonia in any way.
Oriolus is a Japanese brand that focuses on portable audio, with a top priority on audio quality. They are supervised by Hibino Intersound in Tokyo, Japan.
The audiophile community first became acquainted with the brand when they launched their first hybrid IEM model, which had the brand name as its model name. This was around 8 years ago and the “Oriolus” hybrid IEM was an instant hit, establishing the standards and foundation for this niche brand.
We have reviewed the Oriolus products five times before; the first Oriolus IEM, then the Oriolus MK2, a scintillating IEM at the time. We then reviewed the price/performance hybrid, Forsteni, and the entry-level Finschi. Then finally last year we checked out the Szalayi model, as below:
As usual, Oriolus brand continues to use bird species’ names for their products. This time it’s the Ethiopian Oriole, which is called the “Monacha”. The new model features a curious and interesting configuration. There are four dynamic drivers inside the Monachaa, which is a rare feat. Each driver is meticulously crafted from premium materials, including carbon nano, inert material, titanium, and square diaphragm technology.
It has been a while since we last reviewed an Oriolus product. We hope to receive their samples more frequently so we can share their units’ performance with our readers.
You can check out the specs below:
10mm Carbon Nano
10mm Inert Material
5mm Titanium Diaphragm
|Ensembl made by PW Audio
(Order made, Copper)
Upon opening the cardboard box, you will notice that the package content is minimal as is typical with Oriolus. The package features a premium VanNuys case that is made in Japan. In my opinion, this is a fantastic case that is very useful and thoughtful overall. The IEMs are wrapped around a VanNuys round twin-tube and placed inside the case, which is an authentic package design that I greatly appreciated.
In addition, you will find your accessories (a cleaning tool and shirt clip) and ear tips inside a second compartment within the case itself. The divider of the case is removable, so you can manipulate the layout to your preference. While the content is not particularly luxurious, it is practical and has a no-nonsense approach.
Oriolus has teamed up with PWAudio, a reputable aftermarket cable brand in the audiophile community, to create a premium cable. The cable is called “Ensemble” and is designed specifically for the Monachaa, as far as I can tell.
It is a very user-friendly and well-built cable, with a sturdy 4.4mm jack and a sleek black PVC jacket. The y-split and connectors are also well-made and visually appealing. Overall, this premium cable is a perfect match for the Monachaa IEM.
Build Quality and Design
I believe that Oriolus values high build quality standards for all of its products, ranging from the old MK2 to the current flagship Trailli. Over the years, I have observed that the build quality does not necessarily increase proportionally with the price. It is impressive to note that the cheapest-priced products and the most expensive products are of similar quality with Oriolus. This is something that I appreciate about the brand.
The build quality gives me a similar experience with past and present Oriolus offerings. The shell feels quite solid with a unibody design, the closing of the faceplate is seamless and the nozzles are very sturdy. The hand-made shell, sockets and nozzles are quite resistant to daily wear and are very solid and well-settled. Oriolus continues to use the recessed 2-pin sockets with its monitors, which I always like.
The design is open for debate since the face plate is quite splashy, sparkling and vivid this time. The blue colour is glowing, detailed with a luxury vibe with the faceplate design. I think it looks refreshing, but you might prefer a more subdued design language.
The design of the new Monachaa is quite familiar to the former siblings. The overall shape of the shell is round and the inside part is shaped ergonomically to fit most ears. Of course, ear structure varies from person to person. It is certainly not a small IEM. However, the fit has always been on the positive side in Oriolus IEMs for me, and so is Monachaa.
I expected a massive ear shell design because of the 4DD driver configuration, but it came to me relatively compact. Despite that, the fit has not been compromised. So I can’t say anything negative about the fit. But if you prefer smaller IEMs, then it is still a bit bulky, so to each their own.
The isolation I think is at the best possible level considering the bass port. Of course, there is a slight disadvantage because of the air vent, but still, it fits quite well, so you probably won’t feel that small drawback that much.
Page 2: Sound Quality