ikko Audio OH1 - Reviews
Review - ikko Audio OH1

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Website - ikko Audio

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The box is compact with the earpieces nicely arranged with a selection of 6 silicone ear tips. Below there is a small soft pouch holding the 2-pin 0.78mm cable.

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The ikko OH1 has a very unique shape finished in very nice metallic dark blue color. The shells are made of aluminum alloy and consist of two pieces that are very well attached. The material looks of good quality with a smooth finish. The shape is rather large for just the dual hybrid driver inside but supposed to provide a more natural and ergonomic fit. In fact, the housings have some custom-like contour on them, and fill most of the outer ear area. The fit might be hit or miss and those with small ears may not apply. The nozzle is not too long and has a shallow fit, and isolation is a bit above average having two vents on the shells.

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The company opted for the standard 2-pin 0.78mm connectors, instead the more popular MMCX options usually found at this price, and it's a good option as 2-pin are usually more durable. The connection is good, not as tight as with higher IEM/CIEM sets, but still needs a little of effort to detach them. The cable is made of fours strands softly twisted and the inner wire is silver-plated copper. The plug is angled with extra metal ring on it; y-split and 2-pin plugs have also the metal cover. There are fixed earguides and each side has a thin ring to differentiate it, red and blue. Cable noise is very low and holds very low weight too.

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Sound Quality

The driver tech inside the OH1 is the most basic hybrid setup of 1 Dynamic + 1 Balanced Armature. However, the lower numbers of drivers doesn't imply less sonic capabilities. The dynamic driver is a titanium-coated 10mm diaphragm that provides a very full low end response, while the single armature driver is an original Knowles 33518 unit that has a rich and articulated midrange. [If not wrong, this 33518 Knowles is also found on the FH1 IEM, but I haven't tried that one to compare; however, the dynamic driver was supposedly design and tuned by ikko Audio.]

The overall sound of the OH1 is very warm and rich, with strong bass and forward midrange with good resolution but a smooth and rolled-off upper treble. The two different ear tips included do have some effect on the frequency response, though not major; their "balanced" or "vocal" labeling is a bit misleading, the main differences are like v-shaped sound vs. darker, thicker sound.

The bass has very powerful impact with more elevation on the mid-bass region that continues to the lower mids. It is very forward but still has good control and layering. Sub-bass is less abrasive, lacks a little in extension though has good depth and strong rumble too. Speed is normal, around average attack, but slower in decay. It is not overwhelming, and wouldn't call it a first option for heavy-bass genres, but very immersive and enjoyable.

Despite the strong bass emphasis, the midrange is very favorable on the OH1. It is forward, very full and musical. It has the common single balanced armature characteristics being accurate, fast and resolving, and if it wasn't for the bass, this would classify as mid-centered sound. Lower mids are quite thick with lot of weight on lower instruments and emphasis on male vocals. The bass bleed is low but present and lacks some air on it. Upper midrange is cleaner; mostly smooth and very rich. Female vocals are very forward but there is no sibilance (or at least very little to notice), but sometimes sound a bit over-emphasized.

Highs are smooth, well controlled and mainly focused on the lower treble. While it doesn't sound dark it does roll-off a bit early on the upper region, thus missing in extension. It could have a bit more sparkle and energy and still wouldn't be too bright. Soundstage is about average in width but shows a nice depth, but the overall forward signature results in more intimate sound, lacking in air and openness. The imaging is still good and for a dual hybrid it is quite coherent and precise.

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Short comparisons

VS iBasso IT01 (link)
The iBasso IT01 goes a bit cheaper than the ikko OH1, and has only a single 10mm dynamic graphene driver. Build quality is good on both, the IT01 with a solid plastic shells and stainless nozzle, while the OH1 is all metal. Cable quality goes to the iBasso as the OH1 has a more standard cable option. The fit is good on both, but the IT01 is more compact while the OH1 gives tighter fit but lower profile; similar level of isolation (around above average).

In terms of sound quality, the IT01 has a v-shaped signature with more balanced low end in sub and mid-bass, while the OH1 is thicker in mid-bass and less sub-bass focused. Midrange is very different, more distant with the IT01 and leaner, but gives more priority to instruments, whereas the OH1 is forward and sweeter, and makes a better match for vocals oriented genres. Treble is more energetic on the IT01 and sometimes sharper but offers more natural extension, while the OH1 is smoother and limited.

VS BGVP DMG (link)
Like the iBasso IT01, the DMG became quite popular very quickly. Priced the same as the OH1, the DMG counts a 6 hybrid drivers setup per side, but not original Knowles armature drivers like OH1 or the own higher DM6 model. The build quality is very similar, both having metal alloy for their shells and fixed over-ear fit and each with its unique shape.

Sound wise, the more relevant comparison would be with the DMG gold nozzles as they provide the warmest and smoother sound, similar to what the OH1 offers. Bass impact is greater on the DMG, with a bit more separation and layering, while the OH1 is more reserved and not as aggressive. Midrange is very similar in texture, though the DMG is more neutral and linear, and the OH1 still sweeter and more forward on the upper region. Soundstage is a win for the DMG as still one of the widest for this price range, though not always as coherent as the OH1.

Main gears used:
iBasso IT01 & IT01s, BGVP DMG, final E4000.
iBasso DX120, Fiio M3K & M6, Shanling M0, Lotoo Pico.