Oriolus Forsteni has a different flavour in terms of general character and it’s distinctive. Don’t expect this to be a baby-Oriolus. Maybe the configuration is very close and they have some similarities, but the sound trait is quite different.
Oriolus Forsteni gives a rather brighter sound overall but manages to stay in line, and it’s capable of giving a performance that exceeds the price range in the market. It sounds articulate, has a focus on trebles and bass but mid range isn’t lacking to me. At the same time it has that Oriolus-touch in it, giving a nice bass range on all genres so it has a small amount of warmness at the low region. Applauds to Dynamic Driver. The sound is very close to neutral, only lows are getting in the way of being flat across the spectrum.
2 Balanced Armatures and 1 Dynamic Driver is the setup here. My guess is that it has a 2-way configuration but there’s no confirmation on the spec sheet.
Being a hybrid IEM, Forsteni of course has some rumble and punch, giving a nice body to the sound. The difference is, Forsteni doesn’t have the power like the original, instead it’s a little toned down in terms of quantity. That opens an opportunity to have a sound that is more open and airy. Oriolus on the other hand feels bassier when switched, but it’s bass still amazes me.
I suppose it’s the same dynamic driver, only tuned differently. Because it feels familiar in terms of midbass. Subbass is not amazing like it’s bigger brother and that’s the obvious difference when I listened to it. Oriolus’ bass feels fuller when compared, Forsteni is a little closer to BA IEMs. Not completely though, as it has a natural feeling in terms of air and layering, which I’m accustomed to from hybrid IEMs. Sure thing is, don’t expect a rumble and punch like the Oriolus. It’s not that definitive. Oriolus have more weight in bass notes, which makes the sound more organic and warm.
Quality is great for the asking price. It’s not blazingly fast like top tier BA IEMs, but still much better than competition around the price range. Being a little less in quantity helps to have a good recovery and speed. If you like your bass in a more flatter and neutral way, Forsteni can satisfy you more than the flagship I should say.
PW Audio No.5 cable is supplied in the package, which helps to extract the warmth from the IEM. I liked this cable very much with the Oriolus, and it’s the same story this time as well. If you want a reference and flatter type of sound though, you can always choose a silver cable
Mids have great positioning and resolution but they’re not in front. If you want to imagine a FR graph of Forsteni, you can think about a V letter, but position that bottom point a little upper, close to flat. That’s it in a nutshell. Mids take a small step back in the spectrum and I personally think it’s because of lows and highs, which are quite present.
Mids are a little dry, not that rich like the original, so that way they pave the way for highs to shine. Upper mids and vocals have a great sense of air, despite not dominating the sound. This way they managed to create an open and more seperated sound, with the support of articulated highs which I’m going to tell about shortly. If you really liked the V2’s weightier tone and flavour, you can find Forsteni’s mid presentation a little dull, On the other hand if you like the other way around with a sound that feels more spacious, this might be your cup of tea.
Maybe they’re not that in your face, but mids still have great detail. You won’t miss Melody Gardot’s breathing between her lines, or the micro details in Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. It’s all yours. Forsteni proves itself in that regard. Upper mids gets so close to being a little pointy, but they manage to stop right at the top, when you crank up the volume.
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