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ORIVETI BASIC: Evolved from the Darkness - [Review] 🇬🇧

Prolog:

Meine deutschsprachige Review-Fassung kann hier gefunden werden: http://kopfhoerer-lounge.blogspot.com/2017/01/ORIVETI-BASIC.html


Preamble:

Founded just last year in 2015, ORIVETI (http://www.oriveti.com/) is still a new company on the market that is however not new to the audio business, having members in their team that are successfully working in the audio industry for more than 10 years, according to their own information – therefore it was not much surprising for me that the hybrid triple-driver PRIMACY in-ears turned out to be very good products and a great discovery of the last year when I reviewed them in detail.



Circa one year has passed and ORIVETI is back with another in-ear. Instead of a hybrid product, this new creation is a single dynamic driver in-ear with one newly developed dynamic driver in each of the two ear-pieces that are made of CNC-milled aluminium and feature removable MMCX connectors.

How did these more affordable in-ears called “BASIC” turn out and what do they have in common with the PRIMACY? This is what is to be found out during the course of this review.


Before I go on, I would like to take the time to personally thank ORIVETI’s Michael for sending me a sample of the BASIC in-ears free of charge for the purpose of an entirely honest, unbiased review.


Technical Specifications:

Price: $99
Driver: Exclusive 10mm Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 - 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 108+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz
Distortion: <1%
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug
Cable: 1.2 m


Delivery Content:

The BASIC’s package greatly resembles the PRIMACY’s but is smaller overall. It’s got the same nice exploded drawing of the in-ear on the back and also presents the ear pieces wrapped around a layer of foam upon taking off the lid.



Inside, one will find two pairs of double-flange silicone tips in one size, two pairs of large (single-flange) silicone tips, two pairs of small silicone tips and two pairs of medium silicone tips, along with two silicone ear guides and a brief instruction sheet. A protective carrying pouch isn’t missing either and is nicely spacious and softly bolstered on the inside.





Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

The PRIMACY’s high standards regarding build quality have been transferred into the BASIC that really offers black coated, CNC-milled housings that are rather on the smaller and especially flatter side.




The cable seems to be the same model that was found on the PRIMACY and is definitely sublime – it is comparable to the braided/twisted type found on most higher-end in-ears, really flexible and carries good strain relief along with an unobtrusive chin-slider above the y-split. This great cable is connected to the in-ear bodies using nicely tight fitting MMCX connectors, so in case that the cable breaks, it can be replaced, which is definitely no standard for the majority of in-ears below $100 and nice to see.






Comfort, Isolation:

The in-ears should also fit into smaller ears really well, and they do so in my large ears. Due to the flat shape, the BASIC is also sitting quite unobtrusively in one’s ears.
Comfort is good for me and due to the over-the-ear fit where the cables are guided around the ears, along with the high-quality cable, microphonics are non-existing.



Although there is a tiny vent hole in each in-ear’s body, isolation is really good and only topped by entirely vent-free in-ears.


Sound:

My main source devices for listening were the Cowon Plenue M2 and my iBasso DX90.

I used the largest included silicone tips.

Tonality:

The BASIC offers what I would call an overall quite well-made laid-back, smooth, dark, bassy and warm sound signature, something that could also be said to be an “inviting” and easy-going, inoffensive sound tuning.

The bass starts rising around the 630 Hz mark and then evenly climbs its way up, down to about 45 Hz, where its climax is set that will be kept upright to below 20 Hz with the highest quantity being around 12-13 dB north of a flat in-ear like the Etymotic ER•4S in the sub-bass to my ears, with a slowly decreasing emphasis when going up the frequency ladder. So basically, it shows an even down-slope from the sub-bass into the lower midrange with a midbass and lower root that doesn’t overshadow the present midrange that one can find playing on the warmer and darker side as well, without being affected by the bass that nicely recedes into the midrange.
Level will decrease towards 3 kHz, wherefore female vocals lack any edginess but could also use a little more air and room to breathe at times.
The level around 5 kHz is almost neutral again in my ears and takes a backseat again afterwards, taking cymbals the sharpness without muffling them. Extension past 15 kHz is good but subtle as the treble is tuned for smoothness.

To me, the BASIC overall really presents what the Brainwavz M100 wanted to achieve but quite failed to deliver, ending up in an overly warm, dark and woolly sounding tonal character.
The ORIVETI on the other hand will give you a smooth, laid-back and bassy signature with an impactful sub-bass without having muffled or woolly mids and a treble that is smooth and dark however not overly gentle.
The only thing that I think would make the tonality close to delivering perfect smoothness would be a bit more level around 2 and 3 kHz to give vocals a little more room to breathe, as this area, while it is not sucked-out, shows a recession when performing sine sweeps, so it makes vocals become a touch too dark at times. Otherwise, it is almost perfect for what it aims for.

Resolution:

If you are wondering whether or not the BASIC is worth the price of $99, while it will of course be a subjective judgement, I would say yes, it is, based on the overall sonic performance. It is no prime example in the same price bucket either though – it just fits in right as an overall solid performer and delivers just what I would expect from an in-ear that is neither underwhelming nor especially outstanding in its price range.

Nonetheless, its bass lacks some tightness and speed compared to some of the better dynamic driver performers in about the same price range, however it also doesn’t fall into the category of the muddy and boomy sounding in-ears of which can still be found not-so-rarely for around the same price. Those who want a rather soft sounding bottom-end will likely enjoy the bass, while those who are used to more speed and tightness should probably not consider this in-ear when they intend to use the BASIC with faster and more bass-orientated recordings that require control, tightness and separation in quicker parts.

Coherency is really good and the transition from the bass into the midrange and from the midrange into the treble works out wonderfully harmonious.

The treble is well-separated, natural and clean without any harshness or peakiness. Single elements, instruments and notes in the higher frequencies are very nicely distinguishable from each other.

The midrange is neither the most detailed nor does it sound muffled, flat (in terms of details) or woolly. A greater part of this can be addressed to the laid-back lower treble tuning along with the elevated lower mids, however the last bit of details is still somewhat hidden in vocals after equalizing the midrange.

Soundstage:

While ORIVETI’s PRIMACY had a rather small to average soundstage, the BASIC takes spatiality to a more open appearance with a quite spherical and three-dimensional reproduction.
Presentation is pushed a little more to the background, which gives the listener the impression of sitting in the second or third row in a concert hall instead of being fully involved and “in your face”. This also gives the BASIC a good fatigue-free long-term listening quality that fits really well to the tonality.

While the expansion to the sides and depth are nice, instrument separation and placement aren’t razor-sharp but rather about average.

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In Comparison with other In-Ears:

Let’s see how the BASIC compares to the PRIMACY and some of the best dynamic driver in-ears at the same price point.




ORIVETI PRIMACY:
The PRIMACY is also leading into a smooth direction, however it is tonally more balanced and more heading into a neutral-ish direction in comparison, with a dark-ish character and an evenly emphasised bass.
The BASIC has got quite a bit more bass presence overall and also sounds warmer. The PRIMACY has got more level in the upper midrange than the BASIC that is more laid-back here. At 5 kHz though, the PRIMACY has got a smoothness-promoting dip that adds a little “sugar-coating” to vocals, whereas the BASIC shows more presence here. In the upper highs around 9 kHz, the PRIMACY shows a very narrow peak that is not present more than 90% of the time but becomes audible when a note hits exactly that frequency. The BASIC is more laid-back here.
In terms of detail retrieval, not much surprisingly, the PRIMACY is on a totally different, higher level with the finer micro details and a faster, tighter and better controlled bass.
The BASIC’s soundstage is larger in all directions whereas the PRIMACY’s is more precise.

AAW Nebula One:
The Nebula has got a little more bass than the BASIC, however distributes it more to the upper bass (kick-bass) that can sound a bit too kicking, almost hammering, at times and depending on preferences. Both have got comparable warmth in the lower vocals while the BASIC appears a bit smoother and laid-back due to its recession around 2 and 3 kHz. The Nebula One has got a little more level in this area and gives vocals a bit more air and breath while still being on the darker side of neutral. The AAW has got more quantity in the rest of the treble than the ORIVETI but is still heading a bit into the darker and smoother direction.
The AAW’s bass is faster, tighter and better controlled than the ORIVETI’s. I also hear a slight advantage for the Nebula One in the midrange and treble.
The BASIC’s soundstage is a bit larger and more open sounding while separation is about comparable.

Fidue A65:
The Fidue is in some ways related to the ORIVETI but differs in others. What it has in common with the BASIC is that it heads more into a darker, smoother and somewhat warmer direction, however the A65 is more on the balanced side of this tuning whereas the ORIVETI is on the bassier and warmer side of it.
The BASIC therefore has got noticeably more bass quantity and is also somewhat warmer in the midrange, along with being a bit darker in the upper treble.
The Fidue’s bass is tighter, faster and better controlled. The A65’s midrange is a bit more detailed as well, however the ORIVETI’s treble shows the slightly cleaner and better separation.
The BASIC’s soundstage appears to be much larger, expansive and open compared to the Fidue’s quite small stage. The A65, while having the less present spatiality, has however got the cleaner instrument separation.

DUNU Titan 5:
The DUNU has got less bass quantity that extends just as well into the sub-bass while maintaining a less forward presentation. The DUNU has got quite a bit less warmth and doesn’t have a dark upper vocal range unlike the ORIVETI. The Titan 5 has got the brighter middle and upper treble.
The BASIC is a bit more even in the highs compared to the Titan that can sound a little edgy sometimes (however far from showing an unpleasant amount, at least for me), while the DUNU offers the somewhat higher detail retrieval in the midrange and treble. The Titan’s bass is also faster and more precise.
The ORIVETI has got the larger and more involving soundstage whereas the DUNU’s is a little better separated.


Conclusion:


The ORIVETI BASIC is a great choice for all those who are looking for a smooth, warm, laid-back, inoffensive and bassy sound signature. The bass blends evenly and nicely into the midrange and so does the treble that doesn’t sound muted but will also never be offensive.
The BASIC also delivers the expected performance at its price point while it doesn’t surpass the best in-ears in its class.



It doesn’t contribute to my final conclusion as it is subjective preference, but even though I usually and mainly prefer a less bassy and more direct, less smooth sound, I can definitely say that I really enjoyed its easy-going and very coherent tone.
Both on the objective and subjective side though, its bass could and should be a bit faster and especially tighter, as it can sound somewhat loose and uncontrolled at times. Apart from this, the BASIC is a really nice in-ear.


With my usual 70% sound/price-performance-ratio (70) to 30% build/fit/comfort weighting (99), I come to a final conclusion of 3.935 out of 5 possible stars.