Separate names with a comma.
In-Ear item created by HiFiChris, Jan 12, 2017
Pros - Build quality, fit, comfort, overall SQ, fantastic SQ after EQ'd
Cons - Quite bassy
Picture are default 1200 x 800 resolution - click to view larger images.
Its often you see a progression from new audio companies – starting with entry level, then slowly building their range, pushing boundaries, and eventually aiming for for their flagship. We've seen Fidue do it – starting with their A60 series, building to the A70 and A80 series, and culminating with their A91. We've seen Dunu do it with their DN-1k, move to the DN-2K and 2002, and now make inroads with the DK-3001 and (coming) DK-4001. And then there are the other companies – who start really strong, and then build a more affordable range (levering some of their higher value development), and hopefully fill out their entire range (including eventual flagships).
When Oriveti entered the market, it was straight into a USD 299 hybrid triple driver IEM – and it really was a great start – easily holding its own against comparable designs in a similar bracket. Recently they announced a new more budget friendly “Oriveti Basic” IEM at USD 99. When Michael contacted me late in 2016 to see if I'd be interested to take it for a test drive, I was very interested to see what they'd come up with. Could the basic compete with a pretty crowded sub $100 market? Read on for my thoughts.
There isn't a lot known about Oriveti. Last time I covered their Primacy triple hybrid, they were intent on keeping the company both low key and very much off the radar. Not much has really changed – except that now they have a website, a Facebook presence, but again very little is apparent about the company. I know they were founded in 2015, and I know that some of the principles involved have been in the audio industry for more than a decade. I also know from personal experience with the original Primacy that they know how to design, build and tune an IEM.
But perhaps easiest is to allow Oriveti to put it in their own words:
ORIVETI is a new and innovative brand providing HiFi quality audio products for daily use by the most discerning listeners.
Founded in 2015, we started from a position of strength with years of engineering and design experience within the earphone/headphone industry.
In this tough and competitive market we feel there is still room for knowledgeable brands with new ideas to emerge. Because we understand the importance of sound, fit, comfort and reliability, we believe ORIVETI is ready to excite and impress listeners across the world.
The Oriveti Basic that I’m reviewing today was provided to me gratis as a review sample. I have made it clear to Oriveti that I still regard any product they send me as their sole property and available for return any time at their request. But I thank them for the ability to continue use of the Oriveti Basic for follow up comparisons. I do not make any financial gain from this review – it is has been written simply as my way of providing feedback both to the Head-Fi community and also Oriveti themselves.
I have now had the Oriveti Basic since late 2016. The retail price at time of review is USD 99, and can be purchased via their website.
PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
Spoiler: Click here for a summary of my known preferences and bias
I'm a 50 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (mostly now from the FiiO X5iii, X3ii + E17K and iPhone SE) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Sennheiser HD800S, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2 and Adel U6 (although I am spending more and more time with a pair of FiiL Diva lately). A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.
I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 50, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays). My usual listening level is around 65-75 dB.
For the purposes of this review - I used the Oriveti Basic straight from the headphone-out socket of most of my portables. I did not generally further amp them (I did test them with my E17K, A5 and IMS HVA), as IMO they do not benefit greatly from additional amplification (YMMV and it may depend on your source). In the time I have spent with the Oriveti Basic, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in). Time spent now with the Basic would be easily 30+ hours.
This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
Front of the retail box Rear of the retail box
The Oriveti Basic arrived in an approximately” 152mm x 152mm x 63mm retail box and lid with a picture of the Basic on the front cover, and exploded diagram + specifications and package contents on the rear. I love it when companies go out of their way to show the inner workings of the product you’re considering buying, and it is really nice to see how much information Oriveti has given. The retail box is very similar to (but slightly smaller than) the original Primacy box. Once again my only suggestion with the outer print is that the light grey text on black background is not the always easiest to read, and something with a little more contrast (perhaps closer to white) may have been a little better.
The Oriveti Basic nestled safely in the top tray Under this is the carry case and accessories
Removing the lid reveals a felt lined foam cut-out with the Oriveti Basic safely nestled in the provided grooves. Removing the top layer reveals another layer underneath with the storage case, selection of tips, ear-hooks, small carabiner and a “quick-guide”. The selection of accessories is not quite as premium as the more expensive Primacy, but is still very generous for an IEM in the sub $100 bracket.
The tip selection includes 6 sets of silicone single flange tips and 2 sets of dual flange.
The full package Tips, ear guides, case and carabiner
The storage case is a very generous 95mm in diameter and approx 35mm deep. It is circular, zipped, and has an inner pocket and inner band for tidy storage of both earphones and spare accessories. It is semi-rigid with a fine-mesh fabric exterior and provides pretty good protection as well as storage. Because of it's size, its more suited to jacket pocket than pants pocket – but the inclusion of the small caribiner means you can also clip it to jeans or a bag (a nice touch).
All in all, the accessory package seems well thought out for this price point, and the included accessories are pretty good quality.
(From Oriveti's packaging / website)
Approx price$99 USD
TypeSingle Dynamic Driver
Driver1 x 10mm DD
Freq Range20Hz – 20kHz
Sensitivity108 dB +/- 3dB/mW
Cable1.2m, replaceable (MMCX)
Jack3.5mm gold plated straight
Weight15g with default cable
Casing materialAnodised aluminium alloy
The graphs below are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. Ken Ball (ALO/Campfire) graciously provided me with measurement data which I have used to recalibrate my Veritas so that it mimics an IEC 711 measurement standard (Ken uses two separate BK ear simulators, we measured the same set of IEMs, and I built my calibration curve from shared data). I do not claim that this data is 100% accurate, but it is very consistent, and is as close as I can get to the IEC 711 standard on my budget.
The graphs are provided merely as a point of discussion, and later in the review I've included comparisons to other IEMs for similar reference.
Oriveti Basic frequency and channel matchingOriveti Basic vs Oriveti Primacy
My sonic impressions of the Oriveti Basic – written well before I measured:
Bass is elevated (both sub and mid-bass), has good extension, but is definitely emphasised compared to mid-range. There is clearly audible and prominent sub-bass rumble.
Lower mid-range is reasonably linear, but quite recessed compared to mid and low bass. Male vocals are well represented and sound quite natural (unless there is a heavy bass back-beat).
Upper mid-range is only very slightly emphasised, and it is more of a shallow bump than a peak. Female vocals have a hint of euphony, and the bump gives good overall mid-range cohesion.
Lower treble extension is good – but there appears to be some early roll-off above about 7 kHz. Cymbal fundamentals are good – but the decay is slightly truncated (hardly noticeable in most tracks). The upper end is quite crisp overall – without ever slipping into a sense of brittleness or etching
Overall a reasonably well balanced earphone but with a warm and bassy bottom end (which occasionally can overpower or mask the mid-range – depends on the recording)
Channel matching is decent
Internal side of the shell and ventsExternal side of shells
The Oriveti Basic, like its older sibling the Primacy is incredibly well built and finished, and a marvel in ergonomics. The Basic is relatively petite for an ergonomic design. The main body consists of a circular aluminium alloy with matte black finish approx 16mm in diameter. The alloy finish is incredibly well rounded with no hard edges and is well shaped for fit and comfort. On the right hand external side of the earpiece is the name Oriveti, and on the left hand the Oriveti logo. From the body there extends a hard rubber arm which houses the MMCX socket. There is a small R and L indicator on the inside of each earpiece arm but the print is quite hard to see. It doesn't matter though, as the shape always tells you which earpiece is which. The circular body is only about 7-8mm deep and 2 piece (although the seam is virtually unnoticeable).
Nozzles and socketsVery smooth shell and nozzle has great lip
The beginning of the nozzle is actually a flare outward from the body, with the nozzle proper extending beyond that – which gives about 7mm total length. It extends outward perpendicularly, and this is perhaps one small area of improvement (slightly longer length and angled forward slightly would tend to give better fit). The end of the nozzle is 5mm in diameter, has a mesh encased tip, and a generous lip (thank you for this Oriveti – far too many are going lipless nowadays!). On the main body – just below the rise/flare of the nozzle is a small vent /port for the dynamic driver.
MMCX socket and male connector(right) default cable fully connected, (left) CA Tinsel cable
At the top of the arm at the rear of each earpiece is a standard MMCX socket. The male MMCX connector on the cable fits very tightly and securely with a hard rubber encasing. On this are also L/R markings – but the nice almost “hidden” feature is that the left hand male MMCX connector housing has 3 raised dots (the right has none) so its easy to tell which is which.
The cable is the same as the one from the Primacy, and for this price range is one of the best I have seen. It has two pairs of spring twined cables below the Y split separating to single pairs above the Y split. The appearance below the Y actually looks like a braid, but in reality it is just the very tight almost spring loaded twining. This is brilliant design because it means that the pairs are unbroken from Jack to connector (the Y is just a simply bit of heat-shrink), so they would be very easy to convert to fully balanced. There is excellent strain relief at the housings and the jack. The Jack has the Oriveti branding on the outer casing, is straight, gold plated, and very case friendly. To complete the cable there is a piece of clear plastic tube for the cinch – and again this is one of the best implementations I’ve seen. It slides relatively easily, but holds without moving, and it feels solid (unlike some of the other options I’ve seen on some far more expensive earphones).
Y split and cinchCase friendly jack
Overall I can’t fault the build quality nor the design. At this price range you would be hard put to find many IEMs with such a good combination of build, fit, comfort and cable quality.
FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
I'll start with the easy one (isolation), and we can then look at fit and comfort. Isolation is dependent on tip selection, and if you get a good seal, it is actually pretty good (about average for a vented dynamic IMO), but will not ultimately reach the high isolation of sealed BA IEMs. It is still reasonably good for a busy street, or some forms of public transport although it wouldn't be my personal choice for long haul flights or trains.
Shure Olive and SpinfitsSpiral Dots and Ostry tips
Fit and comfort is exemplary. As I said earlier, the rounded chassis, smooth finish, and small size make the Basic simply disappear when worn. Whilst they could be worn cable down, they are really designed to be worn over-ear. Ideally a couple more mm length on the nozzle wouldn't go astray, but that is nitpicking. The fit overall is relatively shallow.
Default tipsTrinity Kombi hybrids – my preference this time
I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't seal overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs. Because the Basic has a nice nozzle lip, I had no issues fitting any of my tips, and had great success with Ostry’s blue and black tuning tips, Sony Isolation tips (a tight fit but achievable), Spin-fits, and also Spiral Dots. I could have also used my favoured Shure Olives or Crystal foams – but I found the Sony Isolation tips gave me a fantastic seal, and they are very hard wearing.
Almiost every tip I tried fit the nozzleFit and comfort were excellent
The Oriveti Basics sit nicely flush with my outer ear, and are comfortable to lie down with. I've slept with them a few times now, and have had no discomfort on waking. We know the overall build is brilliant, as is the design, so how do they sound.
The following is what I hear from the Oriveti Basic. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my X3ii + E17K combo, no EQ, and Trinity Kombi tips (same design as Sony Isolation). I used this combo devices simply because paired they give me a very transparent window to the music with low impedance, and more than enough power. There was no EQ engaged.
I used my iPhone SE a lot dailyBut for testing - my trusty FiiO X3ii + E17K
For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the E17K (paired with X3ii) was around 15-16/60 (on low gain) which was giving me an average SPL around 65-75 dB. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
Sub-bass – has extremely good extension and even at my low listening levels is not only audible, but also mildly dominant. There is clearly evident rumble, and bass guitars can be slightly too emphasised for my own personal taste. Overall there is a lot of warmth in the default signature – and the bass response peaks at about 50 Hz according to my measurements
Mid-bass – elevated, but taking a gentle slope downward to the eventual lower mid-range. Because of the initial elevation, it does tend to slightly dominate the lower mid-range, and depending on the recording, there can be occasional masking (otherwise known as bass-bleed). I need to stress though, this is minor.
Lower mid-range – relatively linear but recessed compared to sub and mid-bass. Vocals don't appear overly distant though, and this is pretty good for a bass emphasised earphone. Male vocals have a good amount of body.
Upper mid-range – very slightly elevated compared to lower mid-range, and there is a very gentle rise from 1 kHz to the first peak at 2 kHz. The result is a quite cohesive transition form lower to upper mids, and very slight euphony for female vocals (although some of this can be lost with the bass warmth). There is another rise from 3-5 kHz and this brings some clarity and definition.
Lower treble has a hump between 5-7 kHz (about the same size as the secondary upper mid-range hump). This does attempt to balance out the elevated bass, and I have no doubts some will absolutely love this tuning, however for me the bass still is the dominant frequency range coming through, and can tend (again) to dull some upper end detail. Above 7 kHz there is quite a bit of roll-off which gives a very smooth and non-aggressive upper signature.
Upper treble – continues the overall roll-off of lower treble. Not a lot of noticeable extension.
Resolution / Detail / Clarity
Clarity overall is a mixed bag. You can hear that the dynamic driver has potential, but a lot of minute detail is masked in the warmth from the bass. With Sultans of Swing, I can usually here drumstick clicks but these are muted. Under EQ it is a different story, but we'll get to that later.
Cymbal hits have some clarity and overall presence (as long as its not in a bassy song), but they are subdued compared to what I am used to and the decay is slightly truncated (or perhaps again it is simply the masking).
Those looking for highly detailed monitors won't get it with the Oriveti Basics. But then again, I don't think that is really their target audience.
Directional queues are OK but the bassy nature does tend to diffuse things a little. Its by no means bad, everything is where it should be – just not crystal clear or cleanly defined. Presentation of stage is at the periphery of my head space with binaural tracks – so a decent although not spectacular sense of width and depth.
Somewhat elliptically presented sound-stage – with slightly more L/R than front to back.
With the applause section of “Dante's Prayer”, the Basic shows a good sense of imemrsion (the sound of the audience flowing around me), although again there is more width than depth. “Let it Rain” was my next track and it was pleasant to listen to (some semblance of 3D like experience - the way the track was miked). There was zero sibilance with Amanda's vocals – and it should be there because its in the recording – so again reinforcement of the warm, bassy, and forgiving nature of the Oriveti Basic.
Overall smoothness of the signature.
Reasonable sense of stage and imaging
Good cohesion with lower and upper register vocals
Enough balance mixed with the overall warmth, and lovers of a darker, warmer tonality will enjoy the Basic.
Bass dominance tends to slightly mask other frequencies on bass heavy tracks
Not overly detailed – so not ideal for lower volume listening (I had a tendency to turn them up and regret it later when my tinnitus played up)
Definitely coloured (warm and dark) default sound
The Oriveti basic doesn’t need amplification for overall volume – and because its impedance isn't overly low, any source with an output impedance of less than 2 ohms should pair OK. Even introducing extra impedance did not seem to affect overall tonality. There was no noticeable hiss.
IMS HVA, FiiO A5 and E17KE17K was great for EQ rather than amplification
With my iPhone 5S around 25-30% volume is more than enough with most tracks, and the FiiOs are generally at around 28-30/120. I tried the Basic with the E17K, but also with my A5, and IMS Hybrid Valve and none of them seemed to be adding anything to my listening set-up other than some extra bulk. The IMS valve amp tends to add a little 2nd order harmonioc warmth, and was not a good pairing for my tastes. The E17K (however) was fantastic for a different purpose!
RESPONSE TO EQ?
With my testing, I could tell that the dynamic driver Oriveti were using was extremely capable – but for my tastes, I just needed some of that bass removed. The graph was telling me that the bass peak was centered around 50 Hz and is probably about 6-8dB too much for my tastes.
-6 bass on the E17K – what a differenceAnd how about this compared to the Primacy
I knew that the E17K's bass controls would tend to give me the exact reductions, so I set it to -6 and proceeded to replay many of the test tracks I'd already tried previously. For my preferences, the change was immediate relief, and quiet captivation. The detail was back, but not etched. Bass was still there, but not prominent. This was a smooth signature I could listen to for hours (and indeed I did).
COMPARISON WITH OTHER IEMS
These comparisons were all done with the X3ii + E17K, (no EQ) – and volume matched using a calibrated SPL meter and fixed 1kHz test tone first. I could have used the X5iii but feared that a tonally smooth DAP paired with the warm Oriveti Basic could be simply a little too dark for my personal tastes. I wanted to compare against some reasonably well known IEMs in a similar price bracket – so I chose the Shozy Zero, Dunu Titan 1, Meze 12 Classics, TFZ Series 5, and Brainwavz M100. Hopefully this gives enough insight to anyone interested in this IEM. Here are my very subjective personal thoughts:
Oriveti Basic (~USD 99) vs Shozy Zero (~USD 60)
Oriveti Basic and Shozy ZeroFrequency comparisons
Looking first at build quality, and they are both finished pretty well, but ultimately the Oriveti Basic has better quality materials and a far better cable. I can't really comment on accessories as the Zero is a loaner and I didn't get much with it. The Zero is lightweight and easy to fit, and you hardly know you're wearing them – but even they are trumped by the ergonomics of the Basic. Both are dynamics and isolation is about the same.
Sonically the two are very similar. Both on the warm and bassy side. The zero has a little more upper mid-range and lower treble, but it needs it to balance the slightly heavier bass. The Basic has a little less bass warmth but not as much upper end. So for this match up it really comes down to preference of a slightly flatter (Basic) vs slightly more V shaped (Zero) signature – both undoubtedly on the warm side, and if the better overall build quality is worth another $30-40. Personally I'd shell out the extra – but YMMV.
Oriveti Basic (~USD 99) vs Meze 99 Classic (~USD 79)
Oriveti Basic and Meze 99 ClassicFrequency comparisons
These two are chalk and cheese – but I'm reviewing the Classic shortly – and its in a similar price bracket, so I thought it worthwhile. Like the Zero, the 12 Classic is a cartridge style with a wood body. Build quality is extremely good and because of their size, fit and comfort are very good. But again the Oriveti Basic has the benefit of better materials in the build, and its cable is much better for wearing IMO. Comfort goes again to the Basic (although both are good) and they are about even with isolation.
Sonically they are very different – but this time it is mainly about the bass difference. Both share a similar mid-range, with the Meze being a little more mid-forward, and a lot leaner and cleaner. The Basic is extremely bassy in direct comparison, and ultimately here its down you your personal preference. I like a less bassy and more balanced (even slightly mid-forward signature), so in a direct comparison here, I'd choose the 99 Classic. If I took EQ into account (and used the tone controls with the Basic), then it would likely be a different choice.
Oriveti Basic (~USD 99) vs TFZ Series 5 (~USD 80)
Oriveti Basic and TFZ Series 5Frequency comparisons
Once again, the superior build materials used with the Oriveti Basic trump the moulded plastic design of the TFZ5, but this time the fit and comfort are at a similar level (both have a very comfortable and ergonomic build). I still find the Basic's cable a lot better, and of course it has the added benefit of being replaceable. Accessories go the Oriveti. Isolation is similar.
Sonically the comparison is much akin to the Meze Classic vs Oriveti Basic. The TFZ Series 5 is V shaped, but lower in the mid and sub bass, and has a bigger upper mid-range peak, and more lower treble extension. The Basic is again warmer, darker and less mid-forward, and it again becomes a question of whether I'd be prepared to EQ. Without it, my personal preference would be for the TFZ S5. But with EQ, once again I'd probably lean toward the Basic.
Oriveti Basic (~USD 99) vs Brainwavz M100 (~USD 90)
Oriveti Basic and Brainwavz M100Frequency comparisons
This one surprised me because I simply didn't expect them to sound so similar, and the M100 was one of those earphones that quite a few reviewers panned – ironic when you look at the measurements and the similarity to the Oriveti Basic's frequency response. But I'm getting ahead of myself. For the first time we have an earphone with similar build material quality, but the Oriveti Basic still holds its own in terms of design and ergonomics. Accessories are similar (Brainwavz may even be ahead slightly). The M100 has better isolation, but comes at a cost of driver flex.
Sonically the two are quite similar overall – both bassy and warm, and the only difference is slightly in the way the mid-range and lower treble is presented. The M100 does not have as much extension as the Basic, but has a touch more mid-range presence. Neither's default signature is to my preference – but under the same EQ I find that the Oriveti Basic has that little extra bump in the lower treble I prefer. And if you factor in the overall fit – my preference would be for the Basic.
Oriveti Basic (~USD 99) vs Dunu Titan 1 (~USD 95)
Oriveti Basic and Dunu Titan 1Frequency comparisons
Build materials are evenly matched, as are overall design and even fit. The Oriveti Basic slips slightly ahead on overall ergonomics and also on cable quality (including the fact that its replaceable). Isolation goes to the Basic – the Titan is quite open comparatively.
Sonically the two are chalk and cheese as a whole, but share a similar mid-range. The Titan 1 has very linear bass response (great extension though) and does not have the warmth or darkness of the Basic. Upper mid-range is quite similar, but without the bass warmth, the Titan 1 is a lot cleaner and clearer. But the Titan does have the quite pronounced peak at 7kHz, and people will either like or dislike it. It gives a lot of sharpness and an almost unnatural etch to the upper end. The funny thing is that I've gravitated toward more balanced earphones, I now find too much peak at times annoying – and I never used to. Could I be finally maturing at the ripe old age of 50? Without EQ, I'd probably go with the Titan 1 (but the warmer and darker Basic is appealing in its own way). If I EQ the excess bass out of the Oriveti Basic, it is a signature I could listen to for hours and would be my natural choice.
ORIVETI BASIC – SUMMARY
It always surprises me how little time it takes to get used to an earphone, and brain burn (getting used to a signature) is a very real phenomena. Anyone who knows my tastes will realise the Oriveti Basic simply isn't my ideal signature – but I have to give a grudging respect to Oriveti for what they've done with this earphone. Clearly its aimed at a different (younger) market – perhaps a little more bass oriented.
The Oriveti Basic is beautifully designed and crafted, and the finish, ergonomics and build quality at this price range are best in class. Couple this with a good accessory package, and you're already ½ way toward a winner.
Sonically the Basic is a warm earphone, but it has an excellent mid-range and lower treble – I simply find the excess bass can mask some of the beautiful mid-range (admittedly this is personal taste). If you like a warmer signature which still retains a cohesive mid-range and lower treble, I can think of few better earphones at this price point. And if you're prepared to EQ the bass back a little, the resultant signature is magic.
The RRP at just short of the USD 100 mark puts it in a very competitive price bracket, but the Basic more than holds its own. I really struggled to rate these because if I was marking to my own personal tastes, I'd be thinking around 3.5/5. But that wouldn't be a fair assessment of the overall package. For what they have delivered (for the price), I rank these at a solid 80% and the only deductions really is around the fact that the bass can mask some of that mid-range at times. Even 3-4 dB less sub and mid-bass would have made a world of difference.
I just want to close with thanking Michael for arranging the review sample, and apologise for taking so long with it.
Pros - Excellent form factor and ergonomics, Epic fit, Consumer friendly sound signature, Replaceable MMCX Cable
Cons - Not for those looking for a neutral or linear sound signature, Bass tuning is a bit loose and monotone, No mic/remote option in package (can be purchased separately)
At the time this review was written, the Oriveti Basic was listed for sale on the Oriveti and Amazon website. Here are some links for more information and purchase:
Oriveti doesn’t have a large product line. From what I gather it is a small startup with some key players that have plenty of experience in the game of in-ear monitors.
I was pleasantly caught off guard last year when I was contacted to review their inaugural earphone called the Primacy. Here is a link to the review:
This triple driver earphone was a great entry into the Mid-Fi market. Almost all reviews were positive, and justifiably so. Between the style, build, ergonomics and sound these earphones were easy to recommend. The original Primacy still ranks very high on my list of preferred in-ear monitors.
Fast forward to today, Oriveti has updated the Primacy with a new tuning and also released a more “basic” earphone with a similar form factor to its flagship model. Introducing the Oriveti Basic. This earphone is more budget friendly earphone, coming in at a MSRP under one hundred dollars. The Basic features many build and design similarities to the flagship Primacy, but sports a single dynamic driver and more consumer friendly tuning. Let’s go over the Basic with a comprehensive review.
I was given a free sample of the Primacy in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Oriveti. I would like to take this time to personally thank the reps at Oriveti for the opportunity to experience and review the product.
Basic comes in a small black box with gray accents. A glossy black photo of the product is featured on the front of the box.
The back of the box displays a drawing diagram of the product and also has specifications listed.
Opening the package, I’m greeted by the earphones set in a custom cut piece of foam. Removing the foam reveals a quick guide that describes instructions regarding the cable and fit. Underneath the card is a clamshell case with the Oriveti logo. This case holds the remaining Oriveti accessories.
Specifications and Accessories
Driver: Exclusive Titanium-Coated 10mm Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 - 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 108+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug
Cable: 1.2 m
Earphone body - 1pair
Detachable Cable - 1pc
S, M, L Silicone Tips - 2 pairs per size
Manual - 1pc
Double Flange Tips- 2pairs
Ear Hook - 1pair
The Oriveti housings are mostly metal and have a bean/disc shape. One of Oriveti’s biggest strengths is the ergonomics in which they design their earphone housings. Simply put, Oriveti makes some of the most well designed and best fitting housings on the market. The outside of the housings have different printing on each channel. One side displays the Oriveti name while the other side has the Oriveti “O” logo. This makes it easy to determine which channel is which.
The Basic nozzles are average width and on the shorter side in terms of length. Stock tips worked okay for my ears. If by some chance you can’t find a stock tip that promotes a comfortable fit and dependable seal, tip rolling should be fairly easy to do. One thing to note, because of the shorter nozzle some after market tips might have a tendency to slip off. Although not a big deal, be aware that even stock tips would occasionally slip off when pulling the earphones out of a pocket or bag. As with previous Oriveti offerings, I had a lot of success using RHA tips with these earphones. The inner part of the housing has peculiarly placed driver venting hole. Although I didn’t necessarily care for the placement of this vent, it didn't’ appear to cause any type of problems with the fit/sound when wearing them.
A plastic/rubber piece attaches to the backs of each of the housings and has the MMCX jack that the cable connects to. Overall the build is solid and I don’t foresee owners having many problems with them in terms of durability.
Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
Original Primacy owners will recognize this offering. The Basic comes with a rubber coated black braided cable reminiscent of the original Primacy. It has virtually no memory and minimal spring. The cable is very easy to manage and use, but is vulnerable to the occasional tangle or knot if stuffed into a ball or if they’re not carefully wrapped and stored.
The cable’s Y-Split is a single piece of shrink wrap that splits the four strand braid into to twisted cables that lead to each housing. Basic’s cable has a clear plastic chin/neck slider that works well and helps promote a consistent and comfortable fit. The cable jack is a 3.5mm straight plug with a black metal jacketing. The MMCX connectors of the Basic are high quality and jacketed in a sturdy plastic/rubber material. Strain reliefs are subtle and adequate.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the Basic cable. Although I do think they could have done something more premium for a Y-Split, the cable is easy to use and looks like it will withstand the test of time if handled correctly. I really like the way this cable functions with the intended over the ear fit. I like that they avoided using memory wire up top and also implemented a chin/neck slider.
The cable that comes with the Basic doesn’t have a microphone or remote, making it a plug and play device. However, the MMCX application makes it possible for owners to upgrade to an aftermarket cable with added features.
Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
As with the other Orveti products, the Basic is one of the best fitting in-ears I’ve had the pleasure of wearing. They are designed to be worn over the ear, but can be worn cable down as well (cable down does look a little awkward). Wearing the Basic is a matter of finding a proper sealing tip, popping them in your ears, looping them over the top of your ear, then snugging things into place with chin/neck slider. Isolation is about average for a single dynamic driver earphone. You will block some outside noise, but not all of it. When music is playing external noise is all but eliminated.
I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V10 for smartphone use, and either my Fiio X7 or iBasso DX80 DAP/Bushmaster D14 DAC/Amp for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
“Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
“Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
“Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
“Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
“Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
“The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
“Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
“Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
“One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
“Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
“Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
“And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
“Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to assess and break down the gear’s response.
Coming in at 16 Ohms and 108dB of sensitivity, the Basic is incredibly easy to drive and doesn’t need anything more powerful than your average smartphone to sound good. High Gain and amplified sources is overkill.
Due to the warm and bass forward tuning I preferred matching these earphones with a leaner and airier source. The Basic sounded great with the micro iDSD in its most sensitive setting, and also sounded great with my LG V20, Aune M1S and Fiio X7.
*Graph was made using my Vibro Veritas and Arta software. There is some roll-off after 4 kHz but should give you an idea of the overall tuning.
I consider the Oriveti Basic to be a bass forward earphone that maintains a relatively decent sense of space. Tip selection will dictate your impression of these things. The more narrow the nozzle of the tip you use, the more bassy and warm these earphones will sound. However, even with a wide bore nozzle the Basic still has a warm tilt and bass forward tuning.
Bass is the star of the show this time around. It extends well into sub bass regions and is very dynamic and impactful. It’s a big subwoofer booming type of bass that isn’t necessarily the cleanest thing you will ever hear. Although you will get plenty of low frequency, tone is lacking a bit. You will get thump and rumble but don’t expect it to be ultra responsive or necessarily clean sounding.
During Daft Punk’s “Doin it Right” there was plenty of low end girth, but on a whole it was a bit monotone. I couldn’t always disseminate the difference between the mid-bass and sub bass tones of some bass heavy tracks as they would occasionally blend together. Yes, there was punch and rumble, but it was all encompassing into one booming low end. Although this was the case, it didn’t ruin the sound thanks to the tuning of neighboring frequencies. The Basic bass is obtuse and emphasized. Those who like subwoofer bass will enjoy them for this reason. Those who prefer a more linear, accurate and responsive bass aren’t going to find it with the Oriveti Basic.
Mid-range takes a step down from the low end tuning and has a warm tilt. With modern genres Basic will get a little veiled and bass tones bleed into the mids, causing the overall presentation to have a lack of air (especially at louder volumes). With genres that didn’t use synthesized or heavy bass, the mid-range was honestly great. When large amounts of booming bass aren’t dominating the track, these earphones have a rich and spacious sounding mid section that is rich in tone and fun to listen to.
Singer songwriter, symphony, acoustic, Jazz and acoustic music match well with Oriveti Basic tuning. The warm tilted presence has a liquidity and somewhat creamy sound that many can appreciate. Balance is tilted downward from lifted lower and is far from shouty. Take natural and add a splash of warmth and you have the Basic mid-range tuning in a nutshell.
The Basic treble avoids sibilance and still has a nice sparkle. Pronunciations of the letters S and T were somewhat subdued and distant, adding to the overall smooth feel of the Basic sound. Treble for the most part was subdued with the exception of some nice sparkle from instruments like hi-hats and cymbals. These type of instruments/sounds had a nice resolving presence and kept me from complaining and saying that the Basic was rolled off or dull. On a whole, the Basic treble presence vibes nicely with the midrange tuning and carries on with the downward descent from the emphasized lowest registers of sound.
Soundstage and Imaging
This criteria is entirely dependent on what genre of music you’re using the primacy with. With bassy modern genres the Basic soundstage was very enclosed and small to my ears. With acoustic and more eclectic genres these earphones had a nice warm tone and sounded somewhat large to my ears. Depending on what kind of music (and volume) you listen to/at will determine your impression. More bass = less soundstage. Less bass = more soundstage.
VSONIC GR07BE ($75-$100 USD on many sites)
The GR07BE is a legendary earphone that has held up over the years. Although two years ago these were some of the best in-ears on the planet that had a price tag twice as high as they currently sell for, technology and an ever evolving earphone market has knocked them down from the top of the mountain. Still, they are no slouch and are held in high regard to many earphone enthusiasts.
Comparing the two, the Basic is definitely the smoother and more mellow sounding of the two. Bass on the basic is slightly more forward, rumbling monotone. The GR07BE has a more responsive and natural bass performance. Midrange goes to the Basic, as the overall impression of them is somewhat smoother and flowing to my ears than the drier and more technical GR07BE mids. Treble is a toss up that will depend on your preference, and because of that I give them a tie in this area. If you want a smoother and less fatiguing response, go with the Basic. If you want a crisper and more extended top end (that is occasionally fatiguing and revealing of sibilance) go with the GR07BE.
In terms of design, build and accessories, Basic gets the edge. The housings are more ergonomic, their MMCX cables are removeable/replaceable, and the clamshell case is an improvement over the leather case offered with the GR07BE.
Monster Gratitude ($75(used) to $150(new) USD on many sites)
The Gratitude was released a long while back by Monster when they were in their heyday of in-ear monitors. Considered by some to be Monster’s best work in terms of tuning, the Gratitude was an earphone that used to sell at a very high price tag. It was designed by rock and roll hall of fame inductees, Earth Wind & Fire.
Comparing the two, Bass quantity is equal on both earphones with the Gratitude being more responsive and holding slightly better tone. Mid-range is somewhat similar, with the Gratitude being slightly drier and airier. I found the Basic mid-range to be more for my liking. Treble on the Gratitude is more crisp and extended, while the Basic is smoother and less fatiguing. All in all, I give a slight edge to the Gratitude in terms of sound quality thanks to the improved bass fidelity.
Design and ergonomics goes to the Basic by a longshot. The Gratitude is awkward fitting, and possibly the worst looking earphone I’ve ever seen (IMHO). The Gratitude has an under ear fit, attached cable and quite a bit of microphonics. Accessories goes to Gratitude, but Basic gets points with its mesh clamshell case.
The Basic is a solid portable option for those who prefer a bassy and warm tilted sound signature. This earphone will not appeal to those who want a linear and airy sounding earphone. In fact, those who do like a leaner sound signature might find these earphones to be bloated, veiled and unresolving.They have their pros and cons for various genres of music, but at the end of the day they play just about anything you throw at them decently. Add the fact that they have a great over the ear fit and replaceable MMCX cable (leaving the option open for a mic/remote), I can see someone using these for their daily walk or commute. They sound okay, but I find their most valuable asset to be their great ergonomics and universal fit.
When rating a product I have to take all criteria into account (including price). The Basic gets five stars for ergonomics, build and design, three and a half stars for sound, and four stars for accessories. All in all the Primacy gets four stars. They’re a direct upgrade to most stock earphones that come equipped with smartphones, and come in at a price that many people won’t be reluctant to pay.
Thanks for reading and happy listening!
Pros - ergonomics of the design, warm clear sound with a noticeable bass tilt, premium 4-conductor cable, accessories.
Cons - might be too much bass for some, though playing with eartips gets low end under control.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion. The review was originally posted on my blog, and now I would like to share it with all my readers on Head-fi.
Manufacturer website: Oriveti.
* click on images to expand.
It’s always a risk for an audio company to start with a flagship and than follow it up with an entry level model. This scenario could easily turn anticlimactic, unless a company knows what they are doing without cutting too many corners. In my opinion, Oriveti pulled that off without a problem. Right from the start Oriveti got everyone’s attention with Primacy release, a brand-new 3way hybrid from an unknown company. Then, while introducing an updated version under NEW Primacy name, they launched an entry level single dynamic model, cleverly named Basic.
While you can say that Oriveti went back to “basics” by taking out dual Balanced Armature drivers and cutting down on some of the accessories, they also kept a lot of the premium elements of the design, including all metal housing, removable premium cable, compact shell, and more. You would expect to see a lot less considering 1/3 of Primacy price, but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. Obviously, they couldn’t keep the same sound signature, so let’s take a closer look at how BASIC turned out.
It’s a common sense for any company to distinguish their entry level products from flagship models, and often you can clearly see that during unboxing of either one. Here, I felt like I was dealing with another premium Oriveti model. You are still greeted with a gift box quality sturdy cardboard enclosure with a bold glossy 3D image of Basic which pops out from the cover. In this image, you can see a different shape of the shell, more round in comparison to Primacy, and can also notice the hint of a removable cable as illustrated in the picture.
The back of the box had a detailed Specification and Content of the box, listing all the included accessories. While glancing at the spec, I noticed right away they switched to 10mm dynamic driver, up from the New Primacy 8mm DD, which suggested that Basic could have an enhanced bass. Above the specs, Oriveti still features a CAD drawing of the IEM guts. This design diagram provides details of the metal shell material, placement of dynamic driver, and confirmation of detachable cable.
With a top cover off the box, you still have an identical to Primacy presentation with a jewelry box setting of small metal Basic shells inside of a heart shaped cutout and the cable snaking around it. Just like with their flagship, when you lift the top foam insert, you will realize that it’s designed like a spool for cable storage. Underneath this foam insert, you will find a detailed Quick Guide page, and below it a storage case with all the accessories. True, you no longer have every eartip and other accessories on a display in their individual cutouts, but I still found the overall unboxing experience to be rewarding and premium in nature.
Despite “basic” status, you still get plenty of accessories, including double set of every eartip pair. Here you will find two sets of S/M/L silicone eartips and two sets of double flange eartips. It’s a plus to have spares if you end up losing one piece. You also get a set of rubbery earhooks to enhance wire-up fit. Either if you use it or not, some people might appreciate it.
While Primacy accessories collection was enhanced with an aluminum puck-shaped case, it looked great but wasn’t as practical on the go. Basic includes a large round clam-shell zippered case which is bigger and higher quality than your typical cheap eBay round cases. It's easier to carry this case in your bag or in your pocket, and it has plenty of extra room for eartips, extra cable, and maybe a small DAP like PAW Pico or Sansa Clip+. Also, included was a carabiner clip to attach to the case.
Though you are dealing with less accessories in comparison to Primacy, these are still all essential quality pieces.
I always treat removable cable as another accessory. Here we have a premium Silver Plated Copper (SPC) cable, soft, pliable, and with a very good build quality. Yes, it still has a rather generic looking braided design with a tight black shielding, but if you look closer – this is the same 4 conductor cable used with original Primacy. You will find two separate twisted conductors attached to rubbery housing of each standard MMCX connector, going down to shrink wrapped y-splitter and continuing as 4 separate inner-twisted conductors to a straight slim metal shell connector with TRS gold plated termination and a short strain relief. There was also a clear plastic rubbery chin-slider, oval shaped to provide a better friction when sliding along twisted wires.
Multi-conductor cables, especially when the wires are kept separately down to a headphone connector, are just asking for a balanced 2.5mm termination instead of a typical 3.5mm, but the beauty of the replaceable cable is that you can always switch it later. Also, just like in the original Primacy cable, mmcx connectors are labeled with R on the right side and triple-dots for a blind id on the left side. Furthermore, cable is soft enough for a comfortable fit over your ears, the preferred way to wear Basic, there is hardly any microphonics, and it’s very easy to manage for storage and when you take it out – there is no memory effect.
The shell construction is all metal, CNC machined using aluminum with anodized black finish. Everything from a build quality and a seamless joint of halves, to a slick ergonomic shape is an example of a fine craftsmanship. The design is smaller than Primacy because Basic only uses a single dynamic driver and no BAs. This all metal aluminum shell design is very comfortable, almost like a shape of M&M with a rubber boot around mmcx connector. Nozzle is a bit on a shorter side, thus some might need to choose eartips with a longer core/stem. But with over-ear wire fit, it felt very secure even when I used smaller eartips.
Upon a closer look, you will find dynamic driver port on the inner side of the shell, while outer shell has “Oriveti” on the right earpiece and “O” logo symbol on the left earpiece. The rubber boot part of the shell has L/R marking to distinguish the sides, though they are a bit hard to see. You can try wearing shells with a wire down, but it left the driver vent/port more open, and thus reduced the impact of the bass. But either way, there was no driver flex. In terms of the comfort, they are light and nearly disappear in your ears. There is no sound leakage, and with a right selection of eartips – sound isolation is good. And as I mentioned before, with a stock cable I didn’t sense any microphonics.
After 100hrs of burn in to make sure the dynamic driver reached its full potential, here is how I hear the Basic iem.
Basic has a unique sound characteristics where controlling earcanal seal using different size eartips will noticeably alter the sound. While I use Large silicone eartips with majority of other IEMs, here it yielded a tremendous bass slam, making sound very L-shaped with a warm detailed tonality. Switching to a Medium size eartips changed the sound significantly by lowering the bass impact and raising the upper mids presence, making sound more V-shaped, still with elevated bass, more neutral lower mids and elevated upper mids. After that, I decided not to go back to the extreme bass slam, but it's very important to know that you can adjust the sound signature and the tonality just with a simple switch of eartips.
Also, switching from wire up (over the ear) to wire down helped to relax the seal more which resulted in sub-bass being more rolled off and reduction in treble, making sound signature more neutral. For my testing, I preferred a more relaxed seal with included Medium silicone eartips while wearing BASIC wire up.
In more details, I hear a nicely textured deep sub-bass extension with a decent rumble which is moderately elevated in quantity, but not exaggerated. Mid-bass has a nice punch, medium speed attack and decay, very typical of dynamic driver, but under control and with a minimum spillage into lower mids. Lower mids are neutral, adding a nice body to the sound without muddying it up, and upper mids have a nice upfront presence with a good level of clarity and details. They sound smooth and natural, not very revealing or layered, but still very clear. Treble is not too extended, but it's not rolled off either, has a nice clarity and definition. Again, keep in mind, with Large eartips and a tighter seal, the sound was L-shaped with a dominating low end slam; switching to Medium eartips (or for others, just stepping down in one size) yielded sound results mentioned above.
Soundstage is wide, above average, and has a nice elliptical shape spreading around and in front of you. For a single dynamic driver, the separation and layering is not bad at all, nothing is congested and can be easily distinguished. With a selection of smaller eartips to relax the seal and with mids going up in quantity (not just a perception, but becoming louder with bass out of the way), it helped a lot to prevent the congestion, which I hear more when using Larger eartips.
Imaging and positioning is also not bad. Not the most accurate where you can pin point every detail, but it's convincing and sounds natural.
Comparison was done using Basic w/Medium eartips (bass is not as intense), and volume matching every pair by ear.
Basic vs VSC3S - both have a very similar soundstage in terms of width/depth. VSC3S sub-bass rumble is more intense and elevated in comparison to Basic where sub-bass sounds leaner and cleaner. Both have a punchy, fast mid-bass, but VSC3S decay is longer which spills into lower mids, making them fuller and adding a little bit of muddiness. Basic lower mids are more neutral and cleaner. Basic upper mids have more presence and more clarity while VSC3S are a little duller and warmer in comparison. Both have a very similar treble extension and sparkle.
Basic vs IM50 - both have a very similar soundstage expansion in width/depth. Also, both sub-bass is under control, adding a nice extension with a textured rumble. IM50 mid-bass is stronger with more impact, but still under control. Lower mids in Basic are more neutral and cleaner, while IM50 lower mids are elevated which adds more body and warmth to the sound and at the same time takes some clarity away. Upper mids in Basic are more upfront, while IM50 pushed back just a little bit, but the biggest difference here is clarity and tonality where Basic has more revealing detailed sound while IM50 tonality is a little darker and more laid back. Also, even so both have a similar extension, I hear Basic having a little more sparkle.
Basic vs Pnew (NEW Primacy) - of course, not a fair comparison, but I felt like Basic was Pnew's sidekick. Pnew soundstage is wider, bass is more controlled and not as elevated with Large eartips, lower mids are more neutral, and upper mids have more details and higher resolution. Also more sparkle in the upper mids. Obviously, Pnew cost 3x as much and it's a more refined and premium tuned IEM. But, if you are on sub $100 budget, Basic is one great IEM to consider. Also, keep in mind 8mm DD (Pnew) vs 10mm DD (Basic).
BASIC next to NEW Primacy.
With 16 ohm impedance and 108dB sensitivity, Basic is very easy to drive. Below is how I hear it pairs up with various sources.
LPG - warm, smooth, detailed, expanded sound with a great low end impact. Vocals are clear and detailed, bass is deep and hits with authority, treble has a nice definition. Overall nice smooth v-shaped signature.
PM2 - warm, smooth, clear sound. Bass is more analog, typical dynamic performance. Vocals and upper mids are not as upfront, making overall sound more L-shaped, but still clear.
i5 - warm, smooth, detailed, expanded sound with fast low-end punch. Vocals are clear and detailed, bass is tighter and more controlled, treble has a nice sparkle. More balanced sound sig.
Opus#1 - warm, smooth, clear sound. Bass is deep, smooth, not as fast. Vocals are clear and smooth, very organic. Treble has a nice definition. Signature is somewhere between L-shaped and V-shaped, probably reversed J-shaped.
X7 w/AM2 - darker, smooth, clear sound. Bass is analog, smooth, slower. Mids/Vocals are smooth but not as detailed and pushed a little back. Treble is smooth and a little rolled off. Soundstage is surprisingly wide. Signature is more reversed J-shaped.
Opus#2 - warm, smooth, detailed, resolving sound. Bass goes deep, nicely textured, mid-bass has a fast punch, well controlled. Mids/Vocals are clear, detailed, smooth, organic. Treble has a nice sparkle. Sound is more v-shaped.
Note 4 - warm, smooth, clear sound. Not as resolving, a little congested, but not muddy. Bass has a typical analog dynamic driver performance with a nice impact but not so much speed. Mids/vocals are clear, smooth, organic. Treble has good definition, but I still consider sound to be leaning more toward L-shaped signature.
I know that many people will enjoy and appreciate the look and the build quality of Basic, but I want to mention it again - don't jump into the conclusion about its sound until you try different eartips, where relaxing the seal made a big difference to my ears. I was very impressed by how much the sound quality improved once I switched from large to medium size tips. Also, don't let its price (under $100) fool you because this is not some cheap budget IEMs. We are talking about a high quality aluminum shell with a premium detachable cable and a nice selection of accessories. Perhaps this is not TOTL flagship iem, but if you want something durable and lightweight with a comfortable fit and flexibility of replaceable cable, Basic with its fun sound signature is a perfect candidate for this task, either if you are at the gym, or somewhere outdoors, or just relaxing at home! And now after the release of NEW Primacy and Basic, I think we are ready to see the next flagship from Oriveti
Pros - Great consumer-friendly sound, extremely coherent, non-fatiguing listen, detachable cables & overall build quality, cable
Cons - Possibly too dark for many, laid-back upper midrange not good for female vocals, slight boominess to the bass, nozzles maybe too small
The Oriveti BASIC: A dark and inviting entry-level offering into higher level audio
BASIC was provided to me free of charge in exchange for feedback and review -- I am in no way affiliated with Oriveti. I would like to thank Marco for providing me with the opportunity, as it is greatly appreciated. Generally, with my reviews I've gravitated towards writing shorter reviews that have no fluff or unnecessary BS -- I am not going to be using fancy audiophile synonyms to describe the same thing in multiple ways, and will be honest and unbiased in my review.
BASICThe Oriveti BASIC is a $99 IEM flaunting features usually found in more expensive earphones, such as MMCX detachable cables, a robust aluminum build, and supposedly audiophile-level sound quality. At its price, these features are already impressive to those who may be looking for higher quality earphones at an affordable price. But of course, above all features, an IEM is not worth buying if it doesn't sound great. In this review, I will cover the following:
- Packaging / Accessories
- Design / Build Quality
- Sound Signature / Quality
PACKAGING / ACCESSORIES
The Oriveti BASIC is packaged very nicely, in a matte box with a lustrous print of the IEMs themselves. It definitely exudes quality, and looks surprisingly premium for a $99 IEM. Though it was a bit difficult to slide the cover out (due to pressure, I'm guessing..), the IEMs are securely held by a foam cutout that also serves as a cable wrap. This is reminiscent of Oriveti's more expensive offering, the PRIMACY.
One thing I noticed while removing the IEMs from the foam is that the tips sort of 'fell off' and stayed inside the foam cutout without much effort. After a little bit of examining, I noticed that the tips were not the most secure on the nozzle. This will be discussed further in the design section.
The BASIC comes with a seemingly neoprene-coated semi hard case, in what I believe is the perfect size for a case. wrapping the IEMs around your hand and placing them in the case is a breeze, and there is an additional pocket in the case that can be used to carry an additional cable or accessory. I really do like the look of the case; it feels nice in the hand and the materials are seemingly high quality. The zipper is a vibrant red, embossed with the ORIVETI logo -- it zips smoothly and consistently, with very few (if any) catches. Inside the case, there are plenty of tips to select from as well as a set of ear hooks. Unfortunately, all of the tips have the same bore size.
Accessories that come with the basic are pretty much everything you'd expect, but the quality of the case is above average and it looks great. I cannot think of anything else I'd want in the accessories package other than a set of wide bore tips.
DESIGN / BUILD QUALITY
The design of the BASIC does not appear to be anything special -- it looks like a black skittle with detachable cables, though the stem for the connector does feel a bit lengthy. Thankfully, due to this simple and ergonomic design, the BASIC is very comfortable to wear. The insertion is rather shallow, which some may like or dislike. It is very easy to attain a seal with the included tips.
However, one of the immediate issues I noticed when it came to the design was the smaller-than-average nozzle diameter. Even with the included tips, taking the BASIC out of my ear would sometimes dislodge the tip and have it either fall on the ground or stay on the edge of my ear. This happened rarely though, so I don't think it's a very big issue.
The cable on the BASIC is very snug. For the first week of having them, I gave up on taking out the cable because it was a bit of a struggle (I guess I'm weak). This is a good thing, as it is detachable but very secure -- they should not become disconnected accidentally in any case. Oriveti should definitely be commended for the quality of the stock cable. I really think it is one of the better cables that come with IEMs. Many (more expensive) IEMs I've had in the past come with cables that either look cheap, feel cheap, or flat out suck.
The Oriveti cable is none of those: it is a matte textured cable in black rubber, having a bit of grippiness but in no way is it too sticky. It should not be sticking to your clothes or anything too often, though it is a bit more rubbery than other cables which have a smoother and more plasticky surface. For this reason, this 4-core cable does look a bit unique with its matte black braided jacket (a bit more premium in my eyes). On the other hand, the y-split is a simply black shrink-wrap with a black tube as a chin slider. I prefer this over solid plastic splitters as a larger splitter can sometimes get in the way (and cause pain!). Additionally, the Oriveti cable retains VERY little memory. It will straighten with ease, and doesn't tangle very readily. It is supple, soft, and workable without any undesired springiness. A+ in this regard, especially at its price range.
The overall body of the IEM feels very durable. The entire body is shaped from aluminum, with rubber stems branching out towards the MMCX jacks. I feel as if this IEM can take a serious beating! The entry-level price, solid build, as well as soon-to-be-discussed sound signature feel extremely fitting towards a daily-driver type IEM. You can use the BASIC for heavy tasks without the worry of any serious damage (though this is yet to be determined).
Of course, what would an IEM be without a great sounding signature. The Oriveti BASIC's signature is clearly on the darker side of the spectrum. I've concluded that the signature is a gentle downwards slope until the low to mid-treble, in which the FR begins rolling off rather sharply. In terms of quantity, I would say: LOWS >= MIDS > HIGHS. This would definitely be a pleasing (and improved) signature for those coming from consumer earphones such as Beats / Bose / cheaper JVC ergofit IEMs.
The bass on the Oriveti BASIC could be described as the type you could feel -- visceral, and quite musical. It seems to have a slightly loose nature, rumbling very nicely but decaying slowly as well. Now, though it's a bit loose, the bass notes feel clean and very discernible among each other. The sub-bass reaches deep: while the sub bass sounds textured, there is a little wooliness to the sound. The mid bass is elevated slightly, and while not the punchiest, it definitely can deliver an impact depending on your listening volume.
The overall low-frequencies presentation does not exude top-dollar technical capabilities, as one would expect at the price. However, it's a ton of fun -- the BASIC's bass is the type that makes you want to turn up the volume even higher ... higher, and higher. Be careful with them!
Vocals follow suite trailing after the midbass. Due to the loose presentation of the midbass, there is a little bit of bleed into the lower vocal range. It definitely sounds like the lower midrange is a tad pushed forward, while the upper midrange is laid back -- male vocals sound great on the BASIC, while female vocals suffer a bit in exchange. There have been several times and songs where I have debated whether the bass or mids were more forward in the mix, as they seem to be cut pretty close together.
Now, I personally prefer upper mid emphasis. But the result of the BASIC's midrange tuning is so relaxing and non-fatiguing, it is easy to listen to and lets you melt into the music. It has a sort of organic, musical feel. After listening for quite some time, it just sounded so natural and effortless that I could listen for hours on end.
This tends to be a difficult spot for many entry-level IEMs. Treble is definitely one of the more sensitive areas when it comes to preferences between each listener. The BASIC's treble tuning is definitely laid back, making the overall sound on the darker side, I could definitely say that this would be the divisive point for many -- some will dislike the sound signature due to the treble being a tad dark and rolling off early. It is not a detail monster and is not the most technically proficient and producing air / sparkle. It doesn't feel as if I am missing too much from the rolled highs, however.
What I would have liked is the inclusion of a wide-bore tip set. All of the included tips have relatively small bore diameters. I used the BASIC with a set of Campfire tips, which have very wide canals -- this improved the treble by a tad bit, opening it up a little and giving a bit of needed sparkle without being harsh.
Sound Conclusion + bonus STAGING
On the bright (or not so bright) side, the pushed back treble presentation compliments the bass and midrange. I have found myself turning the volume up and up, just listening to the music and feeling the low notes pummel my eardrums, while rich and inviting vocals sing. It's really a lot of fun, which is why I find the BASIC to be a great transition from consumer signatures. It's a lot cleaner than most popular IEMs on the market aimed towards everyday users. It doesn't really do anything wrong, and there are no major errors or mishaps in the frequency response.
Additionally, the BASIC has a very interesting stage presentation. Though the soundstage isn't very wide or deep, the best way I can describe listening to the BASIC is it feels like I'm at a concert or festival, somewhere in a giant room. There's some sort of reverb to the music that feels huge, while the tactile bass and relaxed highs feel to be coming from far away but reaching over long distances. It's hard to describe, but it's a very enjoyable sound.
VALUE / CONCLUSION
At $99, I think the BASIC is one of the better offerings in its price range. Not many IEMs can claim the features that Oriveti does, with its detachable cables, robust build, and safe consumer-friendly sound. Many times I've thought of how great of a gift the BASIC would be to a friend or family member who has been using cheap and bassy IEMs for a majority of their music listening. The reassuring design and build quality work great for this purpose as well -- the BASIC is simply a great daily driver with a fun, easygoing sound signature.
Build Quality: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.35 / 5
Edit: after trying a few more options in the same price range, the Basic actually deserves a bit more recognition for how little error it has at its price. Nothing is 'wrong' with the sound per se, no crazy peaks or dips that drive me crazy. I wish I could give it a 4.5, but new head-fi doesn't allow half stars.
Tl;dr: Solid overall IEM for the $99 asking price. Build quality is substantial and reassuring -- body is metal/rubber, and cable quality is fantastic. Accessories are good, but would be nice to include wide-bore tips. Sound is dark and laid back with emphasis on bass and lower mids -- very easy to turn up and enjoy bass-heavy music. With its price tag, build quality, and sound signature, this would be a really nice gift for someone looking to upgrade from low-quality consumer alternatives.
Pros - End to end extension, Sub-bass, Clean mids, Soundstage Width, Metal Build, Removable cable, Isolation, Comfort
Cons - Rubbery cable with no remote/mic, Bass can get muddy, Mediocre Imaging, Upper mids too laid-back for some
Oriveti is a very new manufacturer that you might not have heard of. Nevertheless, they deserve as much attention as any other brand, having produced two fantastic offerings in what are probably the two most active price brackets on the market. They made a huge entry with their first earphone, the Primacy, a triple driver hybrid whose audio performance, superb build and ergonomic fitment all well exceeded its meagre $350 AUD asking price. This was followed by the incredibly impressive New Primacy, which retained the same ergonomic design and price as its predecessor but brought a new level of balance and refinement to the sound. But even that $350 figure is unattainable to most buyers and Oriveti’s new BASIC has come to occupy that lower, budget sweet spot around $99 USD or $150 AUD.
This review will be somewhat of a comparison to the current market (not performance) leader, the Shure SE215 and another popular choice, the Westone UM 10 Pro, both models that have mostly sold unimpeded due to their great fit/isolation in addition to the allure of a removable cable. While there are plenty of other earphones around $100 that handily best both In technical audio ability, the Hifiman RE-400 and Dunu Titan’s probably being the most notable examples, barely any of them, if any at all, are as full-featured and acoustically inviting, making them these models more or less the go-to options for most buyers just getting into the hobby.
The BASIC holds many parallels to these models; namely it carries exactly the same price as the Se215 here in Australia ($150), is sold and can be demoed in retail stores (Jaben), employs the same over-ear fitment with removable cable and also pursues a sort of darker, fuller sound. But while the SE215 remains very much a consumer-geared earphone to my ears, the BASIC provides a more nuanced and balanced experience that represents a step closer to the Audiophile standards pursued by Westone’s UM Pro earphones. Let’s see if the BASIC has what it takes to bring down the current budget champs.
I would like to give Marco from Oriveti the biggest thanks for providing me with a BASIC for the purpose of review. There is no monetary incentive for a positive review and despite receiving the product free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation. All words in this review are my own.
About Me – Some background, Gear of choice, Preferences and Biases
I generally prefer a slight v-shape to my sound, but still closer to neutral. I like a lot of detail and clarity, but can appreciate a smooth, laid back sound such as that on the X10`s. I prefer a more neutral midrange within a relatively tight tolerance, but I`m probably more forgiving of brightness over darkness. I`m not particularly treble sensitive and can tolerate large amounts without fatigue, though too much ruins the enjoyment. If I use a different eartip/pad/cover during the review I will note that and describe the sound changes.
Both of Oriveti’s higher end Primacy earphones had gorgeous unboxing experiences, so it’s great to see that the BASIC has retained the majority of that premium feel at such a reduced price.
The BASIC comes packaged within a similar matte black box with renders up front and specs with a nice exploded vector on the rear.
Upon removing the top cover, the buyer is presented with that same cable winder/foam inlet as included with the Primacy earphones. Again, I’m a big fan of this packaging as it prevents the cables from becoming overly coiled during storage, they straighten out much quicker than most tightly packaged earphones.
Underneath the inlet lies a double sided Oriveti card brandishing the logo on top and basic instructions on the back. Unfortunately, we don’t see the same comprehensive accessory suite as included with the Primacy earphones, simply a hard EVA case with Oriveti print peeking through a cutout in the cardboard above.
The case contains the rest of the accessories within plastic bags, a set of silicon ear guides, S, M, L ear tips and two sets of dual flange tips. Oriveti don’t include any foam tips with this set, but if you want to purchase a set aftermarket, they employ a ~T200 size bore. All standard tips such as Spinfit, CP200’s and Sony Hybrids fit comfortably onto the BASIC’s, I will have some tip suggestions in the sound section of the review. Of note, the case itself is very large, large enough to be somewhat impractical in daily use. It’s easily large enough to contain a small player such as an iPod Nano in addition to the BASICs and accessories.
BASIC – PRIMACY
Compounding upon the premium unboxing experience, the earphone’s themselves carry quite a sumptuous look and feel. With the same smooth satin black aluminium build as the Primacy’s, the BASICs immediately stand out from the plastic monitors that are so common at this price. The level of finish is also a step above other similarly priced metal earphones like the re-400 with laser etched logos and very ergonomic sculpting. All surfaces are very smooth and the seam that runs along the perimeter of the M&M shaped housings is undetectable in the ear.
Of note, the inner face of the housings has a slightly smoother texture than the outer face that is easier to clean (since the black does inevitably pick up some smudging from skin oils). It’s a nice little touch that indicates the level of thought and design that went into these earphones.
A rubber support cradles the rear of the housings, gently contouring to the MMCX connector that feels tight and even in tension on both sides. The earphones do have a small vent just beneath the nozzle though I found it to have minimal effect on isolation. Still, for those who like to use their earphones for sport (a seminal reason why people buy over-ear earphones), the exposed vent does pose some concerns. But taking the earphones for a handful of HIIT sessions I experienced no issues with water/sweat ingress and the earphones have held up exceptionally well during my fortnight of vigorous testing. In addition, I experienced no driver flex, an issue that strangely affected the New Primacy so I would expect these earphones to age well with daily usage.
In terms of fit, comfort is the name of the game and the overall design of the BASIC is immediately reminiscent of the Primacy/Phonak PFE line of earphones. I would consider that a huge positive, given that those are some of the most universally comfortable earphones around; I owned both the Primacy and New Primacy in addition to the Phonak PFE 122 and 232 so I can personally vouch for the comfort of them all.
For those unfamiliar with those models, the earphones have a more teardrop-shaped housing as opposed to the regular pod shaped monitor. They are shorter in length and also quite slim in profile (one could easily sleep in any of these earphones, BASIC included), occupying more vertical space instead. As a result, only the silicone tips contact your ear, leaving the housings suspended, thereby avoiding any hotspots or long-term comfort issues.
Fit stability is retained through a deep insertion depth (they have the slimmer nozzles of the New Primacy vs the blockier Primacy), a strong seal and of course, an over-ear fitment; staying put during a 5km hill sprint session. Isolation is very good, better than the RE-400 and semi-open Dunu Titans despite having a small vent. I also didn’t notice any leak and isolation was easily sufficient for public transport and use in loud areas. The SE215’s are considerably larger and do isolate a little better by filling more of the outer ear, but the vast majority of buyers will no doubt prefer the more comfortable BASICs.
8-Core New Primacy Cable – 4-Core BASIC Cable
The BASICs employ the same 4-core braided cable as the original Primacy, not the 8-core unit included with the New Primacy unfortunately. That being said, it is one of the nicer cables included with a $150 earphone, similar to that included with the UE900 but with different connectors and a slightly less tacky texture. For instance, the stock Shure cable is considerably thicker, heavier and more cumbersome, preventing making any form of activity without a shirt clip. The cable on the BASIC is far lighter, more compliant and even without any form of ear guides, the cable wasn’t prone to flicking over my outer ear. I still prefer the smoother Westone EPIC cable, but Westone employs a proprietary form of the MMCX connector that is slightly shorter than the norm meaning that any replacements will be loose within the sockets and prone to intermittency (From personal experience with the W30’s).
The gold-plated MMCX connectors are nice and tight, effectively resisting unwanted swivelling and any intermittency during my 3 weeks of testing, something I can’t say about the looser fitting Shure’s (though newer batches may have addressed this as with Westone’s latest earphones).
The Y-split is a bit rudimentary as is the chin slider which consists of what appears to be heat shrink and some plastic tubing. It’s not flashy, but is light and doesn’t snag on clothes which will prevent damage further down the line. Many earphones terminate the lower cable and divide each channel to each earpiece via a small PCB making the Y-split a common point of failure while the BASICs cable is continuous all the way through, negating these issues.
Moving further down, the BASIC’s are terminated with a straight gold-plated 3.5mm plug with the Oriveti logo and serial number laser etched into the surface. There is some basic strain-relief, not enough for my liking, but I never experienced any issues with either the BASIC or the Original Primacy. Of course, a right angle plug is ideal for portable usage, but the installed plug is slim and relatively short; it fits comfortably within snug cases and won’t protrude too much in your pocket.
Of note, Oriveti have omitted any form of remote/mic denoting the BASIC’s more audio related focus though I would argue that such inclusions are vital at this price point since most buyers will be driving them from IOS or Android devices during commute or activity. Still, the standard SE215 and UM 10 Pro both lack a remote cable and aftermarket options are easily available online due to the use of the widely adopted MMCX connector.
Ultimately, build is a big part of any buyer’s purchase; it doesn’t matter how great your earphones sound if they cease functioning a few months after purchase. Oriveti clearly actualise this premise through the BASICs that are easily one of the best-built and best fitting earphones around this price. Other comparable earphones such as the Dunu Titan/Fiio EX1 lack the removable cable and level of isolation offered by the BASIC while the Um 10 Pro’s and SE215’s both have much cheaper feeling housings.
From first listen, the 10mm titanium membrane dynamic driver BASIC’s are clearly not as linear and balanced as the hybrid New Primacy’s. On the contrary, they were far more neutral than the thicker, warmer SE215’s but also a little more v-shaped than the more midrange focussed Westone UM 10 Pro’s. As stated in the introduction, the BASIC rather sits in between with a full low-end combined with a clear midrange and relatively crisp high-end. While the mild bass boost will be no surprise to many, the midrange and high-frequency tuning of the BASIC are impressive at this price point. So what we have here are three earphones at roughly the same price, each utilising different driver technologies; The BASIC representing the “basic” dynamic driver, the SE215 employing a micro-driver and the UM 10 Pro sticking to a single balanced armature unit. Of note, I will add little comparisons to the New Primacy in this review for buyers looking to upgrade, I feel that the NP is the logical step up.
The BASIC is like a Primacy for the masses, so where the New Primacy and Primacy were quite neutral earphones, the BASIC is rather a slightly v-shaped one with a particular emphasis on bass. The midrange is clear all the way through and perhaps more full-bodied like the New Primacy while the treble response is crisp if slightly rolled-off at the top. Bass is a bit uneven for my tastes but is well considered for the price and target audience, evidently, the same consumers looking into earphones like the SE215.
By comparison, the Shure SE215’s have a notably more forward lower midrange, a darker treble response and also have more of a mid/upper bass focus, granting them with a warmer sound. The slightly more expensive UM 10 Pro’s ($180) were more neutral than either to my ears with a leaner, more linear bass response though they maintained perhaps a slightly darker midrange tone. They had a similar treble tone to the BASIC’s, with both being much more extended than the SE215 which was the darkest of the bunch.
Tip Selection –
The Hybrids are quite a staple in the tip rolling community for good reason. They were immediately a little more comfortable than the stock tips while maintaining a similar level of seal and isolation. They are usually quite a warm tip though here I feel that they actually clear up the midrange a little. The stock tips provide a slightly brighter high-end and also a tighter bass response while the Hybrids have more sub-bass slam, a little more midrange clarity and are slightly more relaxed in the highs. In the end, I did prefer the stock tips since they were already comfortable enough already and I prefer a brighter sound.
The TS200’s, in particular, are more transparent than the regular T200’s but still impact the sound. Isolation is considerably improved as expected and, being a foam tip, fitment was superb. If you have fit difficulties with the stock tips, these should alleviate those issues. Bass is slightly looser and the high end received similar withdrawal as with the Sony Hybrids. I wouldn’t use them for daily usage but they are fantastic during any sort of long travel. I don’t feel that the vent on the BASICs is limiting isolation in any way though the SE215’s and Westones do still isolate slightly more when they too are equipped with foams.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –
The BASICs have a commendable soundstage for the price. They are ovular in presentation, focussing more on width over depth at the cost of a somewhat diffuse centre image. Soundstage space is great at this price, clearly superior to the other sealed units I have on hand, the Shure SE215 ($150), Westone Um 10 Pro ($190)/Alpha ($180) and Klipsch X10 ($120). They are also a little better than the Meze 11 Neo’s and 12 Classics, both earphones that did soundstage particularly well at $80 and $100 respectively. Separation is also one of the best I’ve heard around this price due to the BASICs clear, open midrange tuning and wide presentation. Vocals and instruments are given plenty of breathing room but the low-end can get a bit overwhelmed at times due to their slightly muddy sub-bass tuning. The more forward SE215’s did sound a little overbearing in the upper-bass/lower midrange and also quite blunted in the high-end, compromising any form of separation. Imaging was above average but not as outstanding as I had hoped for. Listening to The Cure’s “Close to Me” revealed somewhat ambiguous placement of vocal and atmospheric effects. The similarly priced Westone’s and Shure’s both image slightly better, the Westone’s in particular, with better placement and a stronger centre image (though I’m sure their more intimate sound contributes to such placement precision).
Soundstage is always a fine balanced between space and precision, very rarely does a headphone do both well. Personally, I would take the larger space and separation of the BASIC over the presentation of the Shure’s and Westone’s, but I can definitely see some users preferring a more intimate presentation with more accurate imaging.
The BASIC’s are very easy to drive with great sensitivity (108+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz) and a low, but not overly picky impedance of 16 ohms. They are very slightly less sensitive than the Shures and are appreciably more sensitive than the UM 10 Pro. I wouldn’t say that they are particularly sensitive to hiss, they pick up a small amount from my Oppo HA-2 and iPod Nano 7G but none from my HTC 10 or iPod Touch 6G. By comparison, the Klipsch X10’s and New Primacy’s generate a clearly audible hiss on the HA-2.
They don’t scale awfully well with a better source (though the 10 is already a very good source for iems), but they do get a little benefit from my HA-2. As always, soundstage space improves slightly and the low end sounds a little more articulate. They also aren’t too source dependent, sounding similar from all of the sources I have on hand. They are clearly intended for portable smartphone usage and have been designed for such. With great sensitivity, they do not require any form of amplification to reach dangerous volumes and, using a single dynamic driver, they have minimal swing with different output impedances.
The low end was where the New Primacy especially impressed me and I’m glad that performance has mostly translated over to the BASIC. The BASIC possess a boosted but very engaging bass response with fantastic sub-bass extension that is very uncommon from an in-ear, especially one that costs $150. I generally do prefer the sub-bass presentation of dynamics over other driver types. For instance, neither the single BA UM 10 Pro or micro-driver SE215 were able to reproduce sub-bass nearly as well as the BASIC. I hate to generalise, but sub-bass is a general weakness of those technologies with only very expensive products such as the ie800 and SE846 (both employing proprietary technologies) achieving such rumble and slam.
That is not to say that every Dynamic driver earphone has a great bass response, the vast majority of consumer earphones have huge tuning issues resulting in considerable quality loss, the BASICs simply capitalise on this strength with a hearty sub-bass boost that is just shy of muddiness but still provides dollops of slam and rumble. They have a punchy mid-bass response and a little dip in the upper-bass that prevents the sound from becoming too thick or bloated. Despite the moderate sub-bass emphasis, the BASICs have quite a textured bass response overall, not nearly as textured as the much tighter New Primacy, but much more so than the bloat prone SE215. When listening to The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s “Soul to Squeeze”, the BASIC reproduced the bassline with convincing texture and weight where the SE215 glossed over these finer nuances and bass drums lacked convincing slam. The UM 10 Pro sounded a little more textured and tight but at the cost of extension and bass body; which is superior will really depend more on your personal preferences here. Booting up Radiohead’s “No Surprises” and the BASIC did a good job avoiding the bass drone that affected the SE215 while providing more insight into the lower bass notes that the UM 10 Pro significantly rolled off.
While they are ultimately a little unevenly tuned in the grand scheme of things, the BASIC is a really nice performer in this price class. They carry a considerable sub and, to a lesser extent lower-bass boost, but also present notes with nice resolution and texture. For those curious, the New Primacy has considerably less sub-bass but maintains similar extension with much more texture. They are far more linear and articulate and bass sounds better integrated into the rest of the sound.
The midrange on the BASICs is on the darker side, but female vocals remain clear and retain a nice sense of clarity. The midrange is slightly recessed compared to the overall bass response, but with quite a clear tone, vocals never become overshadowed even on tracks that already have a recessed vocal line. Lower mids, in particular, are natural and quite clean on the BASICs, matching the UM 10 Pro. The SE215’s sounded a bit over-forward in the lower midrange and also granular while the BASICs sounded more balanced and considerably smoother. Female vocals on the Basic also have a nice sense of clarity and midrange details are well present if not aggressively forward. That being said, I do feel that their upper midrange is focussed more on smoothness than clarity. This becomes clear during comparison to the UM 10 Pro which also has a really nice midrange presentation for the price. The Westone’s are more balanced than the more upper midrange recessed BASICs and SE215’s, making them a really great choice for any kind of vocals, especially female vocals that these darker earphones tend to draw attention from. While the Westones do have the least end to end extension, the midrange performance does do a lot to redeem them and vocals have the most clarity and detail, they simply produce a very pleasant midrange. The BASICs are, once again, smoother than the Westone’s and gloss over a little extra detail as a result, female vocals also have less clarity than the UM 10 Pro with a less apparent sense of layering (I suspect the more precise imaging of the Um 10 Pro is helping here too).
So the BASIC is a strong performer in the midrange but not necessarily class-leading. They are quite clean sounding and also have a nice sense of clarity. The Westone’s do hold an overall performance advantage, especially within the upper midrange, but depending on individual preference, some may prefer the smoother, more laid-back Oriveti’s. If you are prone to brightness, the smooth BASICs are a really nice option while retaining plenty of detail and enough clarity to avoid sounding dull.
As expected, the New Primacy holds a considerable performance advantage here too, with a more balanced midrange that has a lot more upper midrange presence and clarity. Despite that, vocals are more full-bodied with a lot more layering and separation between each instrument/voice. Imaging is also a lot more accurate which contributes to more three-dimensional sound. Details are also far more present on the New Primacy without sounding forward and aggressive, it is a very refined sound that I have grown to greatly appreciate.
Treble performance is also really impressive when compared to these similarly priced models. When listening to Elton’s John’s “Honky Chateau”, the BASIC was easily my favourite presentation between the SE215 and UM 10 Pro, both in tonality and quality. Extension immediately stood out within this price range; while it does roll off at the top, it did so to a lesser extent than the UM 10 Pro and SE215. High-hats were a little recessed but still maintained texture and detail while cymbals had nice body and shimmer. Treble detail and resolution are all impressive on the BASIC and quantity is very well judged; they are definitely not overly forward despite being so aggressively detailed but avoid sounding closed-off too. Lower treble is slightly emphasised and has nice separation from the slightly recessed upper midrange with higher notes gently decreasing in emphasis as the frequencies get higher. This translates to a treble response that is pretty neutral in quantity overall while retaining crispness and body.
The Um 10 Pro’s were darker and more laid-back in the highs, cymbals sounded more recessed than the BASIC and higher notes were regularly glazed over, sounding a little woolly. The SE215’s sounded quite blunted in the high end with most truncated sounding high-frequency presentation in this trio. Cymbals sounded distant and dull, lacking a lot of shimmer and texture while higher notes were often absent altogether. Furthermore, the BASICs are actually a less fatiguing listen than the SE215’s due to their more balanced midrange and textured bass performance, they sound less aggressive and smoother in general. Comparison to the New Primacy reveals similar findings as before, a more linear, detailed and extended treble response. This contributes to their more open sound and sense of detail/micro-detail. The New Primacy is naturally a great step up from the BASIC as naming scheme wouls suggest. It does have similar sound qualities, such as an emphasis on bass texture, midrange smoothness and lower treble, but it is ultimately an evolution of that sound.
Comparison to the New Primacy reveals similar findings as before, a more linear, detailed and extended treble response. This contributes to their more open sound and sense of detail/micro-detail. The New Primacy is naturally a great step up from the BASIC as naming scheme wouls suggest. It does have similar sound qualities, such as an emphasis on bass texture, midrange smoothness and lower treble, but it is ultimately an evolution of that sound.
I applaud Oriveti for once again providing us with a really well thought out in-ear. While the SE215 has served as a staple in the audio market, that earphone is rapidly approaching almost 6 years of age. We no longer live in such a concrete world where one earphone defines a price range, but the BASIC is a very logical purchase for those searching for an earphone with a removable cable, over-ear fitment and dynamic sound. Due to the nature of their tuning, the BASIC’s full low-end is suitable for audiophiles and bass craving consumers alike while their clear midrange and detailed high-end will provide new levels of insight to those upgrading from a cheaper/older earphone. There are few options out there at this price that best the BASIC when purely considering sound, and any sonic advantages those earphones hold easily pale in comparison to the Oriveti’s comfort, fit and durability which is a pretty common weakness among all budget-minded earphones.
Accessories – 8/10, Nice accessory suite, would be great to include some foam ear tips for travel and I would personally prefer a smaller, more portable case. Included tips, ear guides and case are of nice quality.
Design – 9.5/10, Really no issue with the design. The aluminium housings are very well finished and ergonomically moulded with perfect long-term comfort in my uses. Isolation could be very slightly improved when compared to sealed monitor style earphones but remains perfectly usable even during air travel. Fit stability is great and they work well for activity if you don’t mind the exposed vent. Nice cable for the price, but the texture is a little rubbery and may catch on clothes. No remote/mic.
Bass – 8/10, Really nice bass performance, well extended with great sub-bass slam. Surprisingly textured given the emphasis and slightly more uneven nature. Does well to avoid bloat and bloom.
Mids – 7.75/10, Relatively even but slightly dark. Lower mids are clear and have nice presence. Upper mids are smoother rather than clearer but mids sound clean on a whole.
Highs – 7.75/10, Very good detail retrieval and extension with roll-off at the very top. Nice texture and body to treble notes, not splashy, thin or fatiguing. I didn’t notice obvious sibilance issues during my listening.
Soundstage, Imaging & Separation – 7.25/10, Plenty of space with a lot of width and pleasing depth. Separation is better than the more mid-forward competitors but imaging and centre image are both a little vague.
Verdict – 9/10, The SE215 is so embedded in the iem market that it becomes difficult to even consider alternatives but the BASIC definitely has what it takes to become a new recommendation around this price. I suppose, bass could be a little more linear, mids could be slightly more balanced with more clarity and the cable could be smoother with a right angle jack, but the BASICs are ultimately a very well-rounded earphone within a price range riddled with compromises.
*As an added note on marketing, with a name like the “BASIC”, Oriveti is clearly pushing consumers towards the higher end “New Primacy”. But I reason that Oriveti’s budget option should stand on its own in name as it differentiates from the competition in performance (since it should ultimately sell in higher volumes). Perhaps the Oriveti Classic would be a better fit given that the dynamic driver is a becoming a sort of precious relic with hybrids, armatures and micro-driver earphones all occupying the majority of the $100-150 audiophile market. Regardless, I’m personally not a fan of the any name that denotes the product’s status as anything lesser, it should rather be a cheaper alternative.
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Pros - nicely coherent and smooth down-slope from the lows to the highs, solid sound for the price, great cable, fit and build quality
Cons - bass a bit loose, slow and soft quality-wise
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.
Driver: Exclusive 10mm Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 - 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 108+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug
Cable: 1.2 m
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.
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.
My main source devices for listening were the Cowon Plenue M2 and my iBasso DX90.
I used the largest included silicone tips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pros - Sound, comfort, really impressive bas
Cons - Can not find any at this moment worth to mentioned
I received Basic from Oriveti free of charge in exchange of my honest opinion.
Basic are second model of company Oriveti and complete their line after previous model Primacy, which was recently updated. Basic have single dynamic driver configuration. Shell reminds a bit M&M candy with added cable terminal with MMCX termination. Cable connection is firm and earphones are not rotating on cable. Shell is made from aluminum alloy and thanks its size and weight will ear swallow it and fit is very comfortable. Isolation is slightly above average, but it very depend on chosen tips. Cable is four braded and is very flexible. General quality is very high. Basic are packed in black paper box, where you can find apart of earphones and cable – set of tips, textile carry case, ear hooks and carbine. On box are printed technical information about earphones and manual how to wear them.
From just one driver per side configuration it seem to be, that Basic are behind their bigger made Primacy. Well they have different tuning, but I would not say, that Basic are in shadow of Primacy at all. General tuning is a bit on dark side with strong and deep bas as you can expect from dynamic driver. But that is not all. Mids are clear and vivid, highs do not miss sparkle and airiness. Although bas is star of the show here it not overshadow rest of spectrum. It is like listen to speakers in 2.1 configuration. Bas is there where you would expect, where is belong and gives to music body and space, but sound has clarity and sparkle. Only with some fast Heavy Metal tracks Basic loos a bit of their resolution, which is expect able on one driver earphones. But generally these small candy performs extremely well.
I really like Basic tuning and my opinion is, that Basic is ideal for those who like to get better sound from their phones, for those who are looking for every day go to earphones with good quality sound for still reasonable money. Basic with their friendly non aggressive tuning are great for long all day listening in office or elsewhere.
Basic are not source demanding and you can enjoy them with iPhone only. Of course Mojo will kick them on higher level, but even with phone is sound juicy and full of energy. With my xDuoo X10 Basic become mature. All frequencies are more in line and sound is on neutral side. Still deep bass where should be, but it´s a bit tamed and civilized. Good news is that there is no hiss at all.
Basic are relatively versatile on music genres, but according to me their biggest strength is classical music perform by big orchestra, acoustic music and specially string instruments. I have Korn Unplugged album for MTV and this is pure joy to listen. Throw Me Away drum solo is exquisite.
So according to my believe are 99USD spent on Oriveti Basic very wise investment. Happy listening to all.