ThieAudio Oracle MKII Review

ThieAudio Oracle MKII – Sound

Let’s start with the signature. The Oracle MKII has a pretty well-balanced presentation with a slight emphasis on the bass region and the upper midrange. The technical capability of the pair has managed to impress me right out of the box. Tonal balance and overall tonality are impressive. However, I would not label its sound ‘reference’. Let’s go into detail.

Bass

The Oracle MKII has plenty of bass, thanks to the 10mm LCP diaphragm dynamic driver. It can dish out a serious amount of sub-bass without muddying up the midrange. The subs are impactful and plenty, in quantity, compared to the mid-bass. The mid-bass is not as pronounced as the subbass and bass region. Overall, Oracle MKII has a colored bass region but it is well done, thanks to the superior technical performance of the new driver. It is surprisingly fast for a DD, almost resembling big quad BA woofer configurations. I believe this specific bass tuning has successfully increased the versatility of the Oracle MKII and allowed it to provide a more enjoyable presentation with a wide number of genres.

Midrange

As I mentioned above, the mid-bass of the MKII is surprisingly linear. And so are the midrange. The Oracle MKII utilizes midrange drivers of the Monarch MKII, which is, in my opinion, ThieAudio’s best IEM to date. The Oracle MKII has a similar, neutral and balanced midrange with great resolution, articulacy, and detail retrieval. The instruments are breathy, clean, and natural. The strings are clear and precise. Due to the enhanced subs, vibrations are a delight to follow. However, things do get complicated around the upper midrange region. The Oracle MKII offers a lot of energy right around here, and the instruments that feed directly from this region – hi-hats, cymbals, crashes – take up a bit more space on stage than I would like. This ultimately hurts the staging and layering, especially as the number of instruments on stage increases. So to all metalheads, rock aficionados out there, make sure you select a good source to pair with the Oracle MKII. My recommendation would be a Mojo 2 or a Topping G5. Avoid analytical sources to achieve the best tonal balance, imo. 

Treble

The lower treble follow the same upper midrange recipe as I have already described above. With some well-mastered quality tracks this can be a blessing, with some poor recordings a curse. It all comes down to genres and sources at the end of the day. As for treble and upper treble, the extension is excellent. ESTs do a great job here with clean, resolving and controlled treble to the top octave. They offer plenty of air and increase the sense of spaciousness. The presentation gets a huge boost from here and I can see why more manufacturers are shifting towards ESTs. 

Technical Capability

Oracle MKII is a technically accomplished set of IEMs. It offers a an impressive performance and a pleasant presentation in a wide range of genres such as jazz, classical music, R&B and pop. One of the key points that surprised me the most was that the new dynamic driver developed by ThieAudio has such an impressive sub response and yet is fast and agile at the same time. The Oracle MKII also impressed me with its stage width. The monitor performs well in terms of imaging, with a stage that is both wide and adequately deep. I believe that the EST drivers and the tuning of the upper and lower mids have played a crucial part in this achievement. 

Comparison

vs. XENNS Mangird Top ($530 USD)

The Mangird Top utilizes a 8BA+1DD configuration and is a direct competitor to the Oracle MKII. XENNS is not a new company and have established products like Tea, Tea 2 that have many fans worldwide. The Top is their latest creation. The Top shares a similar form and factor to the Oracle and they are almost identical in size. Mangird’s ability to shove 9 drivers inside of this compact shell is truly impressive and for some unknown reason, The Top feels more comfortable in my ears. It’s inner shell curvature is slightly lower than Oracle MKII and I suspect that may be the reason behind this. Mangird Top offers a similar package and accessories. Further details will be posted on here, when the article is ready so stay tuned!

In terms of sound, the most obvious and easily perceptible difference between the two is tonality. The Mangird Top has slightly more upper treble and treble extension and feels more expansive. Both have similar, energetic upper midranges, but the Mangird Top offers superior control and handles congestion better than the Oracle MKII. Both monitors offer similar, slightly emphasised bass ranges. The Mangird Top surprised me in this regard, offering an excellent low end that almost matches the Oracle MKII in quantity. The quality is also surprisingly good. The most important difference between the Oracle MKII and the Mangird Top is that the Mangird has slightly less mid-bass. This leads to a slightly thinner note weight, resulting in a less-than-ideal instrument body. Stay tuned for the complete review!

vs. Monarch MKII ($999 USD)

The Monarch MKII is, in my book, ThieAudio’s most successful IEM to date. It won my favour with its balanced tonality and superior technical performance above rivals of its price bracket. Compared to the Oracle MKII, Monarch MKII comes with four extra balanced armature drivers. Other than that, the fit, finish, build quality and packaging are almost completely similar.

In terms of sound, I think the biggest difference between the two products is that the Monarch MKII has a much more refined presentation. In the stereo hobby, this can be equated to moving from a mid-range bookshelf speaker to a high-end floor standing speaker. The Monarch MKII has a more effortless overall presentation, a more realistic treble reproduction and better technical performance. Due to the price difference, it would not be fair to say that the Monarch MKII is a direct competitor of the Oracle MKII. For audiophiles who want to upgrade the Oracle MKII or discover a better soundalike, I have included the Monarch MKII here.

Last Words

ThieAudio’s line-up is getting more and more crowded every day. You have to admire that they’re still making better and better earphones and that is not an easy feat. The Oracle MKII will satisfy most audiophiles with its aesthetically pleasing and comfortable resin body, carefully selected accessories and performance that justifies its price tag.

For anyone who wants an impressive bass response in quantity as well as good tonal balance, the Oracle MKII is a good recommendation. Due to its versatility and great performance across different genres, I would consider the Oracle MKII to be a well-tuned all-rounder.

Pro’s

  • Luscious & agile bass
  • Engaging presentation
  • Fairly balanced tuning
  • Good cable with interchangeable plugs

Cons

  • Upper midrange may be too forward for some

 

Page 1: ThieAudio, Oracle MKII, Packaging & Accessories , Build Quality & Design

Page 2: Sound, Low, Mid, High, Technical Capability, Comparisons, Last Words

4.5/5 - (254 votes)
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Long time Tech Enthusiast, an ambitious petrol-head, Yagiz likes his gadgets and always finds new ways into the tinkerer's world. He tries to improve anything and everything he gets his hands onto. Loves an occasional shine on the rocks.

1 Comment

  • Reply January 23, 2023

    mhd

    is it a good pick for metal genre despite the elevated upper mids? what is your recommendations for technical metal under 600$?

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