Review: Oriolus Forsteni | Not Just a Baby

HIGHS

The Oriolus Forsteni has very very clear highs. I think if I could’ve had a blind test, I would have said this IEM could cost over 500USD. Great sense of air, very good seperation and articulation, and very good control at the same time. When I think about the trebles, that is the expression I would make. It’s almost shocking to have this kind of quality in a IEM that costs below 500USD in treble region. The accuracy is so right and feels so natural. The only complain that I can bring forward is that, it can’t compete with IEMs extension-wise, the IEMs that can rob your bank account. So I can’t consider that like a shortcoming, that would be unfair.

With this crisp approach, this IEM can reveal many details and information in the range. If you have a detailed and highly technical source and pair it with Forsteni, you can understand what I mean. This is the area that it shines through and impresses every time. In addition, it never sounds aggressive. They simply managed to get a perfect balance on that.

TECHNICAL SKILLS

When I look upon the Oriolus Forsteni in a technical point of view, it continues to impress for the cost. The background is dark enough to serve instruments and cymbals very well. Maybe vocals are not that in front but they still have a nice seperation. Sound stage is not wide like Oriolus which leaves a little dent for positioning, but thanks to the nice air and seperation, you can still point out all the elements of the song. Staging is a little narrow but it doesn’t feel in your face in terms of depth, so that’s a plus.

Resolution is wonderful. I just can’t criticize it and I would object the people if they ever criticize it for resolution. I mean, you can’t get better than this for below 500USD. How many times you faced a IEM that can give a resolution which is damn close to the flagship offering that costs triple the price? That’s not often.

Oriolus V2 has a better and weightier tonality when compared, but Forsteni has more air in it, and that can be a deciding factor for people who listen Classical or Jazz.

You can use many sources with Forsteni but keep in mind, it’s not versatile and it can’t do it all like the flagship. In that case, you can choose a warmish source that can give good amount of mid presence and bass. Forsteni can handle the upper parts, no matter what you prefer.

It has a 111 dB sensitivty and 24 ohms impedance. It’s just a notch harder to drive than Oriolus V2, nothing that can be scared of. Quite easy to drive.

COMPARISONS

I don’t feel the need for comparing Oriolus Forsteni with the Oriolus V2 in this topic, as I talked about that in the entire text.

vs. LZ-A4: LZ has a bold sound with the bass, more amount and more boom. Forsteni stays more controlled and toned down. Still, the special bass of LZ is something to keep in mind. Mids and trebles are simply better with Forsteni, also fit and isolation surpasses the LZ.

vs. Earsonics ES-3: ES-3 is the closest IEM I can think of. It also has a good bass, nice detailed mids and very good treble response. The difference is that Forsteni has better bass, and better treble control. Otherwise they’re very close to me.

vs. Noble Savanna: Savanna can get nowhere near the Forsteni in terms of bass punch, but it has closer and more revealing mid presentation that can be great for suitable genres. Forsteni has better staging and better control of harshness. Fit is much better for me too.

vs. Heir Audio HISO: Heir has a midbass intenstiy, and the big BA’s bass can’t compete with the DD of Forsteni to be honest. Otherwise, Heir has a much darker and warmer tone and weight in it, Forsteni stays crisper and articulated. Overall Forsteni takes it hands down.

SUMMARY

I don’t see Oriolus Forsteni as a cheaper alternative to Oriolus V2. Instead, I think this an alternative to people who prefer a flatter, brighter and detailed sound presentation; instead of bold, full and warm character.

I’m getting more and more confident that Oriolus will a big player in portable audio. I like their style and sound, and I like the way that they only target the audio side of things. Maybe that approach brings a negative effect in terms of marketing and publicity, but from what I see, they will improve on that aspect as well.

A true audiophile will not give much credit to show business anyway. Sound is what matters. And for sure, Oriolus knows how to nail it.

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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews is the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

17 Comments

  • Reply May 18, 2017

    Sergey

    Hi! Great Review, how would You compare Forsteni to Ibasso it03? Thank You)

    • Reply May 18, 2017

      Berkhan

      Unfortunately we had problems about the shipping of it03, so I still couldn’t listen to it. The review of it03 should’ve been posted long ago, but we never received the package…

      Thank you.

  • Reply May 31, 2017

    Moonstar

    Hi Berkhan! Excellent review.

    Can you please compare it with the Noble K10 UA.

    Thanks!

    • Reply May 31, 2017

      Berkhan

      Thanks mate.

      Well, K10 is of course on another world in terms of seperation, resolution and coherence overall.

      But if you want to know the sound character, they’re not opposites. K10 gives more midbass, Forsteni gives more subbass instead, and that’s a consequence of the dynamic driver. But overall bass quantity is close.

      K10 has more mids with much better resolution but with thicker and darker tonality. Trebles are identical, they can both give articulated response with good air but Forsteni is just a little brighter.

      Soundstage is a little narrow on both of them. But K10 has a darker background with much better and sharper seperation.

  • Reply September 3, 2017

    Juan Luis

    How compared with Oriveti New Primacy??

    • Reply September 3, 2017

      Berkhan

      I have no idea. Never listened the Oriveti.

  • Reply December 15, 2017

    John Johnson

    374USD, yeah i’ll pass.

    • Reply December 16, 2017

      Lieven

      Fair price!

      • Reply January 14, 2018

        Juan Luis

        Hi Lieven,

        How compared with New Primacy in terms of technical abilities?

        • Reply January 14, 2018

          Berkhan

          Lieven did not listen to the Forsteni unfortunately.

  • Reply March 2, 2018

    Loïc

    What kind of connection is used for the cable? mmcx or 2 pin?

    Thank you

  • Reply March 27, 2018

    thestranger

    Well, I just fell in love with its looks. They are really one of the most beautiful IEMs that I’ve seen.
    But question is – could you (or anyone else on the site) compare them to the FLC8S? Especially on red/grey/green filters or red/grey/gold at least…
    Because I’ve just bought the FLC8s and from what I can read they sound very similar to the Forsteni…

  • Reply February 16, 2020

    Gordon Shen

    Love your review 🙂
    How does it go compare to oriveti oh300?
    Thank you

    • Reply February 17, 2020

      Berkhan

      Thank you.

      They’re extremely close. There are some differences though. The OH300 has better mids and slightly better separation.

      The Forsteni has a wider stage but the difference is small. It overall has a bit better balance. It also fits better than the OH300 to me.

      Both can make you very happy for the price.

  • Reply June 4, 2020

    Maarten

    Hi Berkhan,

    how do the compare to Cupid and FH7?

    thank you for the review 🙂

  • Reply June 4, 2020

    Maarten

    OH500 would also be nice for a comparison, sorry i forgot about that one in my first post.

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