Review: Oriolus 4-driver hybrids – ToGo! perfect!

Disclaimer: Musica Acoustics and Oriolus put their heads together to get Headfonia a review sample. I had to travel across town and do a video review at Dimitri’s abattoir and speak a little Spanish and Japanese and eat udon. I think I came away on top. Oriolus goes for 968$ USD at Musica Acoustics.

Trance fans, imagine everything you ever wanted in your State and from your Armin: speed, space, reactive bass, and grounded, wide staging. Throw in full, pristine female vocals for today’s most popular uplifting and progressive. That’s Oriolus. Even for me, for the guy that likes a bit of a midrange suckout, and lean bass, Oriolus is nearly perfect.

When Musica and Oriolus approached me to review these earphones, I wasn’t immediately excited. I wasn’t excited when I got the box in the post. I wasn’t excited when I opened the box. The cables were kind of pretty. But I was like: oh, another hybrid earphone. Yay. After I finished photographing their hulking box, I slipped them out of their tips and into some ortofons.

That’s when the above, the effusive opening paragraph to this review, exploded across my brain. These things sound good. Very good. Full bass and mids flawlessly woven together. I think my first reaction was to email Dimitri a ‘thank you’. I even thought about having a beer with him. I never think that whilst reviewing. After a disappointing run with Kennerton’s top earphones, I was alive again. But Dimitri wasn’t available. The dude doesn’t answer his phone. And Fujiya Avic’s headfone festival was on the horizon. But we connected psychically. Dimitri knew I was smitten. I’m sure that’s why he had me over to talk about Oriolus.

Later, I met a team, one tall, and one thin from Oriolus. Over an iced latte, I told them that the Oriolus was tubby, that its box was a waste of air, that it’s cable should fit firmer in its niche, and that sound-wise, it totally rocked. Then I spent the night in a smokey hotel room before riding an 80 metre tall roller coaster. What a great weekend.

Spec

drivers: balanced armature x 3, dynamic x 1 (per channel)

output level: 114 dB/mW

impedance: 16 Ω

cable: ~1.2m

Fit

Oriolus is huge. Think FitEar ToGo!334, but a bit lighter, and indigo rather than black and clear. If you’re Asian and female, Oriolus won’t fit in. Even if you’re not, you may have to shoehorn it in. It’s got rounded corners that make it easier on medium to small ears. Its short-stuff sound tube is barely more than a grippy flange. Like a Lego top. But it grips today’s most popular tips well enough. As per usual, I’ve ortofon’s tips on it. I think they sound best. They certainly fit best in my ears. SpinFit tips aren’t bad either. There is a small handful of tips, including a pair of grey, squishy Complys. (You know they won’t stay that way long.) The thing is that if you’re a small-eared person spreading your canals with both Oriolus and Comply tips, you’re basically spending a day between triathlons in a super marathon. Wowsers. Stretch. In general though, Oriolus goes in smoothly, and stays secure.

The cable it comes with is great. Strong, lazy, and only mildly prone to microphonic noise. Its three strands weave from plug to y-split, then split into two thick ropes. Its neck cinch probably won’t last that long. It’s about as thick as two ziploc sandwich bags melted together. The memory wire guides aren’t too energetic, and therefore get along decently with glasses. It would be nice if the cable shipped with a wider diameter coaxial plug, though, because Oriolus pops in and out of its countersunk niches pretty easily. Almost every time I listen to Oriolus I have to re-fit the plugs into the earphones. Ho hum.

I should also mention that isolation isn’t all that. At comfortable listening levels, it knocks out my typing, my telephone, and the pleas from my wife to hurry up with the quiche. It works on the no-talkie Japanese train. Comply tips probably bring it up enough to handle New York. Still, you could find better isolation out there without much fuss.

Build

Oriolus has that modern car thing going on: no lines anywhere. It’s a basic anamorphic blob. At its nadir is a small sound port. Behind it is its crinkly dynamic driver. Oriolus’s serial number and logo are printed below a layer of acrylic. They aren’t finished that well. But they won’t rub away. I should mention that all-told, Oriolus has a bit of a polished garage project air about it. It’s tasteful, but not beautiful.

The cable is strong, the y-split flexes perfectly for portable use, and the cable isn’t too loud. I’d love if its straight plug was L-shaped. Oh well, straight plugs are getting more and more popular every year.

Oriolus’s sound ports are narrow, and a bit misshapen, but you do get three of them. Yay. Honestly, there’s nothing exciting about Oriolus’s materials, its looks, or its finish. New socks for Christmas. But damn, these new socks sure do their thing.

Sound impressions after the jump or the click HERE:

Review: Oriolus 4-driver hybrids – ToGo! perfect!
4.3 (86.36%) 22 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

16 Comments

  • Reply November 11, 2015

    aras87

    Thanks for the review Nathan! How do these compare to Velvets in warm mode? Especially the bass and the highs

    • Reply November 11, 2015

      ohm image

      Oriolus: More contrasty, not as warm. Think big midrange rather than ‘warm’. Velvet is warmer for sure. This earphone sounds and feels faster. It is perfect.

      • Reply November 16, 2015

        soundblast

        Hows it next to Dita, pick a winner:)?
        Depeche??

        • Reply November 26, 2015

          ohm image

          Oriolus.

          • Reply February 9, 2016

            Coll. IEm

            will you take Aether or Oriolus ?

  • Reply November 12, 2015

    Barun C

    Please elaborate the following:-
    1. Juicy Midrange and bass
    2. Wide Mids
    3. Bass isn’t as spacey
    4. Good to very good upward extension
    5. Too contrasty for small ensemble jazz

    Thanks

    • Reply November 26, 2015

      ohm image

      1. The midrange and upper bass are not perfectly neutral. They are a bit warmer or wetter than neutral. But it’s a close call. They sound great, but are minorly accented.

      2. The mids are thrust forward and have a lot of sound pressure behind them. Loads of detail.

      3. You don’t get a load of 3D detail in the bass.

      4. The extend far up in the highs.

      5. Not the smoothest for small ensemble rooms that rely generally on flatter acoustics.

  • Reply November 12, 2015

    Akascha

    Thank you for the Review. I can’t await getting my ordered Oriolus even more. As for pairing, is my Fiio X5 first gen sufficient to get the best out of it? Any advice for perfect match, maybe L&Ppro or X7 or a decent Amp with X5, e.g. Vorzüge Pure II+?

    • Reply November 26, 2015

      ohm image

      I’m sorry this is late.

      The X5 should be just fine.

  • Reply December 13, 2015

    Hieu Trung Tran

    It’s big, and not finished with the same quality a FitEar is

    What is it that it falls behind? Can’t tell much from the picture.

    Also next to the TG334 which one do you prefer?

    Thanks for the review.

    • Reply December 30, 2015

      ohm image

      Basically every part that can be smoothly finished isn’t as smoothly finished. It sounds lovely. Sound-wise, I’m squarely behind Oriolus.

  • Reply January 7, 2016

    Tay Victor

    Hi,

    Can you do a comparison of this with the 64audio A/U12? Currently using the U12 and want to know how the Oriolus fair against the U12.

    Thanks

    • Reply March 24, 2016

      ohm image

      I’m sorry, I don’t have those earphones.

  • Reply August 31, 2016

    Jason Chan

    this review is oriolus mk1 or mk2? Actually any difference between mk1 and mk2?

  • Reply September 5, 2016

    MAJIDMUTE

    hi
    Can you do a comparison of this with the earsonic S-EM9?

  • Reply September 22, 2016

    Bernie

    This review is on MK1. MK2 is even better. Better seperation, tighter bass, less recessed but still never strident highs, more neutral but still a similar sound signature. I have and will keep MK1, but MK2 is a bit better.

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