IKKO OH10 - Reviews
Pros: Nice thumping bass, wide soundstage and clean mids/highs.
Cons: Heavy shell, short nozzles, strange 2pin sockets. Possible QC control issues.
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When these first launched I saw a hype train forming for the ikko oh10 and was instantly drawn in by the beautiful darker colored shell. After waiting for the hype to calm down(and stock to replenish) I jumped on board and bought a pair. I’ve owned these around 7 ish months and figured now would be a great time to put a review out for them. These are a copper shell iem with a dynamic and single BA to handle the sound. These use the standard .78 pin connector.

Comfort and fit- These fit well into my smaller ears and give off a ciem look and you can lay on your side and a pillow won’t interfere with the fit. They also are really heavy and unless you use foam or a good sealing ear tip they will start to eventually slide out over time from gravity alone. Tips can make a big difference in sound but I tend to switch between the spinfit cp360 or the stock wide bore tips they came with.
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Onto the review of the sound! My personal preference are a dynamic hybrid iem where I get good hitting bass and have a brighter treble with decent mids. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.


Gear used

iPhone X with headphone adapter, FiiO m11, smsl sh8/su8 combo.


Lows-Depending on source these can dig really deep down low end wise. I never had any issues(with amp) when it came to bass leaking into the other ranges. These will provide a nice thump though I wouldn’t call them bass head worthy. A least without EQ.

Mids- I have nothing bad to say. Mids sound great and there is neither sibilance or lack of quality. The quality seems to sound more recessed once you use wider bore tips however. A common trade off IMO for wider soundstage iems.

Highs- Same thing here. These can sound quite clear but not in a analytical way. These don’t provide the same micro details I hear from some of my other iems.

Imaging- Fantastic imaging side to side. No complaints there.

Soundstage- Tip dependent, but wider bored tips give a larger soundstage with a slight recessed feel. Narrow tips give a more intimate experience.

Cable rolling- This was a strange iem to cable roll. It doesn’t seem to change in terms of sound no matter what cable I throw at it. On top on that I had a problem with the right side connector not holding a normal .78 two pin connector well. When I examined the original stock cable with all my 2pin cables I noticed the stock cable pins are a little longer and they have a "click" feel when plugging them in versus my other cables which simply float inside the connector. This resulted in wiggling and loss of sound unless I held it at a certain angle. More than likely this is a possible defect or one off but thought I should mention it. left side connector was fine with all my cables. The stock cable is fine and tangles easily but it feels well made. The stock cable doesn’t have the chin slider like most cables and is fairly thin for a cable as well.I prefer a thiccc cable as they tend to not tangle easily.

Amping- From my iPhone with the headphone adapter these actually sound fairly boring and muddy at times. I wasn’t expecting this as it’s a lower ohm iem. Once plugged into the FiiO m11 it sounded much clearer though the bass didn’t give me quite the kick I heard about. Once it was plugged into the desktop setup it maintained a nice clear sound but I finally got a decent thumping bass that I tend to enjoy. With the SDB setting on the smsl SH-8 turned on It bumped the highs a little and made the bass enter what I would consider good basshead territory. Balanced vs unbalanced I heard no difference. Would recommend amping these for sure.


Overall thoughts

I do enjoy these as a daily pair and will take them on flights or out and about to listen with the FiiO m11. The shells are heavy. So much so I actually can’t listen to these laying down on my back or with any quick head movements as they start to slide out of my ears and require constant adjusting every 10-15min. The nozzles are fairly short as well and this makes my normal go to tips less than ideal. I use the stock tips which work well. The spinfit cp 360 holds decently well but you loose a little of the soundstage you get with the stock wide bore tips. Minus the possibly faulty right connector on the iem I can easily recommend this for anyone looking for a daily iem that leans to the “fun” side. If looking for a more analytical or brighter iem then this won’t fill those needs. I can't think of any iems under $200 that really come close to these overall. Thanks for reading!

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C
Codename john
I agree with you on the price / performance ratio. On the right track the obsidians are amazing. The soundstage is huge in depth and width. Great review!
corgifall
corgifall
Thanks!
Pros: Attractive polished housing
- Versatile, crowd pleasing tuning
- Stylish case and accessories
- Impressive clarity
Cons: Heavy housing with shallow fits can cause IEMs to fall off
- Lackluster and flimsy cable
- No hard protective case
Sound Review by Hoshi星
Disclaimer: Ikko has graciously provided us with this sample unit in exchange for an honest review. The views discussed below are a reflection of Project A3's thoughts surrounding the product. The sample has been run-in for at least 50 hours prior to review in order to achieve an accurate representation of the product.

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Introduction:
Ikko is a company that had entered the scene in the last year or so with the Meteor OH1, a well-received, entry-level offering that was pleasing to pretty much anyone that got their hands on it. Today Ikko is at-bat again this time with a step-up model, the OH10. With similar but upgraded aesthetics, a new configuration and a bump in the price at $189. We will look into the OH10 on the value proposition and performance it offers in today's review.

Specification:
  • BALANCED ARMATURE: KNOWLES 33518
  • DYNAMIC DRIVER: 10MM POLYMER COMPOSITE TITANIUM-PLATED DIAPHRAGM DYNAMIC DRIVER
  • SENSITIVITY:106DB
  • FREQUENCY RANGE:20HZ-40KHZ
  • IMPEDANCE:18OHM
  • CABLE LENGTH:1.2M
  • CONNECTOR;2-PIN 0.78MM
  • CABLE TYPE:4 STRANDS OF 8 HIGH-PURITY OXYGEN-FREE COPPER-PLATED 5N SILVER-PLATED

Gear Used & Tracklist:
Shanling M0 | FiiO Q1 Mk II | Hiby R6 | Zorloo ZuperDAC | Massdrop x Cavalli CTH

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Unboxing:
The OH10 comes in a sturdy box, with anime type art that may not appeal to all audiences but is not something so overt that it would throw off someone who wasn't into that kind of art. It's pleasing and simple and at the very least adds character to the packaging. There was nothing grand about the contents of the box, a cute little Ikko logo pin plus the usual fare that is to be expected at this price point and coupled with it was a nice feeling but unstructured leather pouch which is good for mobility but doesn't do anything for protection.

Scalability:
Primarily designed as a mobile device, the OH10 is easily powered by most devices
and while some higher quality sources seemingly add more control this is very minor and generally, the OH10 doesn't greatly benefit from higher-end amplification. On the flip side, this means that pretty much almost any device can be used to plug the OH10 into and enjoy its full sound.

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Fit:
The fit of the OH10 is something I struggled with, while not uncomfortable in any sense, the shape lends itself to a shallow fit because of the rather shallow nozzle and the wide shell made it so that the fit for me personally was shallower than I would like, thus making me prefer tips that were on the longer side to compensate for it.

That coupled with the weight of the OH10 meant that at times falling out of my ear was possible. Those who like their IEMs to fit like this should be rather pleased though and outside of that personal issue, there was nothing else I could think of regarding the fit.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
Green Day - 21 Guns

The OH10 allowed the drum slam on the hook of 21 Guns to give the reverberative impression, providing a full sense of impact on the bass drum hits as well as the bass line, without totally overpowering the guitar riff and vocals. It is impactful without being muddy.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
Kana Hanazawa - Renai Circulation/ RADWIMPS - Sparkle


Using both these songs to contrast the vocals, you can tell the larger emphasis on the higher-pitched voice of female vocals giving them a slight forwardness that is almost reminiscent of something like my Polaris V1, however, there is a slight of dissonance with the mids that I feel could be bridged better. However, the clarity and transparency still shine through on both songs, so I tend to look past it.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
DAOKO - Cinderella Step
This song enters with tizzy cymbal crashes and synths, both highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the treble presentation. The beginning highlights the sparkle and energy of the treble fully showing how it isn't one that is a dark tuning, however, there is just the mildest sibilance at the very end of the cymbal crashes not enough to be disconcerting and splashy treble will be at it's most uncomfortable for treble sensitive folk. But at the same time, you can fully appreciate the air and crispness of the OH10 with the song.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
Depeche Mode - A Question of Lust


In A Question of Lust, the complex and layered instrumentation of the live version shines, as with many live recordings where the bass doesn't endlessly reverberate against itself the OH10 doesn't end up congested and let's the inherent technical capability of the IEM shine, it also isn't prone to the aforementioned con due to the fact that it's a relatively complex but somewhat relaxed song.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine


Here we have a "dirtier" recording a track that has a bunch of different segments from a relatively simpler start but tends to slightly ramp up as the song goes, especially towards the guitar solo portion.

Here as long as volumes are reasonable the Ikko performs well with the guitars and shouty vocals of the song more complementary over fighting over each other while the bass drum and bass line play the sidelines supporting the entire exchange.

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Reference Tracks / Remarks :
Saori Hayami - Orange Mint


Here is a mostly synth fueled J-Pop track the Ikko performs capably and musicality shines and the bass beat serves as the backbone of the song with just enough impact to keep things moving along, and the tuning really shows with the vocals cutting through most of the mids, as shown by the upper mids favored tuning. The tones and chimes that go along aren't lost due to the fact that the Ikko has sufficient clarity to bring to the table, and this allows the fun pop song to shine well.

Comparison Chart
How we compare: We chose other similarly priced earphones or similar offerings from the same brand that Project A3 has reviewed in the past, to ensure that we remain as impartial as possible in our comparisons.
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Conclusion
The Ikko OK10 presents a capable option in the price bracket, if not an outstanding one. It shows good sonic performance in most aspects relative to the price range, without notably achieving the same. But with a cohesive tuning direction, an attractive design, decently premium feel, and mostly solid build, there is the foundation for a good value option that anyone looking for a high-performance do-it-all IEM would be happy to own. There is a lot to like about the OH10, the clarity you get especially stands out, and not a lot to dislike either. And it is only their second offering you understand why Ikko might fill in the rest of their IEM roster in time, but for now, they still execute well and I would have no reservations recommending the OH10 Obsidian to anyone who is looking for what it provides.

Be sure to follow Project A3 on Facebook for more reviews*.

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*All ratings are accurate as of date of publication. Changes in price, newer models may affect Project A3's views on the performance and value of the reviewed product.
Pros: Very transparent and airy sound.
- Resolution and definition capacity.
- The mid zone is close, very detailed and rich in nuances.
- Quality of the sub-bass.
- High separation capacity.
- Excellent design and construction.
Cons: Weight of the capsules.
- The cable has margin for improvement.
- The transport bag, although made of leather, is not very practical.
Introduction

Ikko is a Chinese brand, which became known with its first IEMS, the OH1. Currently they have released several products since then: The Zerda Dongle, the DAC/Amp for mobile ITM05, the present IEMS Obsidian OH10. Then there are a couple of products, whose output will be close: the ArcITB01 Bluetooth headset and the top of the range IEMS Musikv OH7.

The OH10 is, practically, a special edition of the OH1. Its external shape is the same, using other materials and slightly improving the cable. The drivers are the same, but what changes, are the materials used for the capsules and its internal structure. This time, Ikko has used pure copper to manufacture the cavity, which, in turn, is equipped with an iron ring structure. The presentation of the product has also been improved, offering a more careful and exquisite packaging.

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Specifications

  • Drivers type: 1 DD 10mm polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm dynamic driver + 1 BA Knowles 33518
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-40kHZ
  • Sensitivity: 106dB
  • Impedance: 18 Ω
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Jack connector: 3.5mm Gold plated audio
  • Capsule Connection Type: 2-pin 0.78mm
  • Cable type: 4 strands of 8 high-purity oxygen-free copper-plated 5n silver-plated

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Packaging

The packaging of the Ikko OH10 reminds me of a review of "The Little Prince", in a female version. On that occasion, the little princess, sitting on a small obsidian rock, loves music and listens to it with her favorite IEMS, the magic Obsidian OH10, which comes flying from outer space. This mini story is nothing more than a free representation of the existing drawing on the main side of the packaging. On the back, there is an introduction to the features of the OH10, in multiple languages, including Spanish, as well as a photo of the capsules. Following the description of the external box, on one of the sides, the specifications are shown. Finally, the overall dimensions of the box are: 201x134x62mm

After removing the cardboard cover, a completely black box can be seen, with the brand logo inscribed in shiny black, in the upper left corner. The lid opens like a chest and is held in place by two magnets. Inside are the beautiful capsules, embedded in a dense black protective mould. Under it there is a leather case, rolled up; a foam mould, in which are the silicone tips and a pin with the brand logo, in gold on a black background. Finally, there is the cable, attached to a leather pin. The silicone tips are of two kinds, one of white silicone, black the other. In total, 6 pairs, in sizes SxMxL.

The presentation is appreciable, the differentiating style is recognized, with the inclusion of the leather case and the pin. But, on the other hand, the case is not very practical, the pin is merely decorative, the tips, except for the color, are similar and no foam tips are included.

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Construction and Design

The shape of the OH10 is practically the same as that of the OH1, except for the materials used. On this occasion, pure copper has been used for their manufacture. The result is an IEMS that is clearly heavier than its previous counterpart. On the outside, the shape is maintained, reminiscent of the African continent and the classic dents on the outside. The entire surface has been coated with a special resin, to improve the contact with the skin, looking for a better feeling. The interior of the capsules is very smooth and soft, finely polished, as if it were a jewel. The beauty is thus maximized, enhancing the premium character of the capsules. The capsules are not thick. The nozzles are made of the same material and have a metal filter. Their length is not very long. The diameter is 6mm.

For the connection of two pins, there is a transparent plastic insert that protects the two holes, both of which are gold-plated. On the left side it is black, on the right side red.

The cable consists of 4 strands covered with black plastic, twisted together. Also, it is extremely similar to the OH1, but slightly improved: the cable is somewhat thicker, the metal cylinders are better finished, very much in line with the material of the capsules. Although, it also lacks a pin for the adjustment under the chin.

The weight and the manufacturing quality of the capsules give it an excellent solidity and appearance. Although the cable could be improved, given the importance that this element is having lately, in the new IEMS models.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

The fit is superficial, but the ergonomics are still excellent. The friction is really pleasant and, although the capsules are heavy, the ease of fitting and inserting with the right tips, guarantees a great fit, firm and long-lasting, with no feeling of detachment. These qualities allow the best sound to be achieved easily, without the need for any readjustment, to improve its quality.

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Sound

Profile


The profile could be described as a balanced and smooth W. That is, emphasis on the sub-bass, the mid-high and the high end.

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Bass

The OH10 repeats excellent linearity in the sub-bass, releasing the mid-bass, as the W-sound canons command. The quantity, is not worthy of the qualification: "suitable for Bass-Heads", but surely they will be able to enjoy without complaint, unless you look for a bloated bass or more emphasized in its middle zone, characteristics that these Ikko do not possess. Extending the power, towards the lower end, guarantees the notable cleanliness that the OH10s demonstrate in the low range, but also limits the greatness of the sensation obtained. But it is still a rule of the game, which Ikko wanted to perpetuate in this new model. Because, the sensations that continue to persist, are the control and the desire to want to remain long sounding in our ears. That's why the bass never feels invasive, nor excessive. Its purpose is to give the listener softness and mystery, desirable oscillations of very low frequency, which strike docilely, without reverberating more than is convenient, generating wide planes of unfathomable depth. With all this, the idea that remains in the environment, is the generation of a sense of presence, against a feeling of quantity or greater power. The bass sounds fast and concentrated, well defined and laminated, minimally rough, just enough to provide the sweet texture it has, as well as a dark color, but cold: that coldness, which characterizes the sound of the OH10, in the rest of the ranges.

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Mids

The midrange enjoys a great sense of openness and clarity. The transition between the lower and mid areas is clean, very surgical and well-defined. The OH10s respect, in a remarkable way, the confluence between both zones, providing light, resolution and definition. In addition, they generate an excellent sensation of width and separation. It is worth noting the enormous transparency in the range, as well as the large amount of air that can be perceived. This favors that the mids are distinguished very delicate, fine, analytical, but also somewhat cold. The level of resolution and definition is similarly remarkable. In such an airy and open atmosphere, it is normal that the sound lacks a rounder body or denser mids: it is something diametrically opposed. But, when I speak of coldness, I do not mean a completely digital sound or one that is devoid of total warmth or naturalness. Rather, I want to refer to its sound as neutral, balanced, with a detailed profile and sharp in nuances. The voices are perceived as close, with a more accentuated feminine voice, with that clear and luminous air that slims down their complexion. His nature turns towards an analytical aspect, but without ever falling into artificiality. If something can be attributed to her, it is hyperrealism, due to their remarkable expressiveness and descriptive capacity. In the same sense, the instrumentation is very detailed, free, rich in nuances, with great distance and separation, but also marked and energetic. The sensation of veil is null, the range never appears weak or pale.

I cannot finish describing the range, without mentioning the emphasis on its upper part, a fact that contributes, together with the tonality produced by its BA driver, to generate a high resolution sound, but somewhat lacking in emotion, not too organic, but more direct and clinical.

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Treble

The upper zone of the OH10, again, offers more quality than quantity. The energy of the treble is quite restrained, but at the same time the expressiveness and definition is very well balanced. These Ikko manage to sound abundant and rich in detail, without being too crisp, too bright or too sharp. In this sense, the idea of wanting to be suitable for long listening is totally evident in the way the high notes are presented.

The perception of the trebles is smooth and quite fine, with notable extension and a great feeling of air. They bring a lot of clarity and never sound excessive or hurtful, due to their delicacy and control.

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Soundstage, Separation

Due to the large amount of air that the OH10 is capable of generating, the scene is built very wide, leaving the depth and height in the background. In this way, the sensation of three-dimensionality is not very great, despite the excellent separation existing in all the ranges. The sound is very atmospheric, very diluted, almost gaseous and volatile, where the most recognizable qualities are transparency, clarity and the enormous width.

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Comparisons

Ikko Meteor OH1


Although this is a recurring comparison, I wanted to give my opinion on the two models. Both share a very similar frequency response, same design, same drivers, but different materials have been used in the construction of the capsules. Is this enough to improve the sound? Well, there's no doubt about it. The OH10 has a more delicate, wide, smooth and transparent sound than the OH1. The previous model offers the same profile, but with less air, a more direct, sharp and penetrating sound, also narrower and flatter.

Comparing the lower zone, the amount and power is practically the same. The Meteor, however, offers a flatter bass, with less layers, a simpler texture and less precise and detailed definition. The Obsidian offers a richer, very descriptive low zone, with a more exact drawing and a wider, longer and deeper development. The OH1 presents a very compact hit, but without much information. The OH10, on the other hand, are capable of recreating the bass with higher resolution, fuller and bigger. The execution is more realistic and is perceived with greater fidelity, during all its development, obtaining a sensation of greater depth, fullness, richness and complexity.

With the midrange it's almost the same: the profile is tremendously similar, but the OH1's are not able to reproduce as much detail, nor the texture as descriptive as the OH10's. The comparison becomes obnoxious: Meteors offer a more direct, sharper, not-so-close sound. While the OH10s are clearer and more present, very diaphanous, clean and explicit, with a level of resolution, precision and detail that is simply higher. It's as if we were in front of the HD copy of the previous model.

The upper zone of the OH1 is sharper, crunchier, but also more crisp and a little more uncomfortable, comparatively speaking. The OH10s recreate more pleasant, smoother, more delicate, softer and more condescending highs. The amount of air is also superior, its sound is more extensive at both ends.

As it could not be otherwise, the scene and the separation, are clearly better in the new version, distinguishing a greater width, greater depth, better instrumental positioning, more accurate and realistic.

Leaving aside the sound and going into other aspects, in the Obsidian, the cable has improved slightly, the capsules are more elegant, being polished and shiny, but its weight has increased dramatically.

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NS Audio NS5MKII Bass Enhanced Version


The new NS5 are one of my favorite IEMS, I love their technical ability and balance throughout the range. Maybe I miss a little more emphasis on the low end, but then, maybe they would lose neutrality and the goodness of their sound. The OH10's have a less balanced, livelier and more fun profile. The comparison is going to be tough...

In the lower zone, the Ikko show their greater depth and power in the sub-bass zone. Their lower zone is darker and rougher, with a complex and descriptive structure. The NS5 basses are a little simpler, their route does not leave so much sediment and it is perceived as lighter and with a little less information, which is a sign of neutrality. Even so, the bass are more linear and extend more towards the midrange, without ever being invasive. Its hitting is tighter and more compact, very dry. Meanwhile, in the OH10, the hit expands more, especially towards the deep side, being more protagonist and enjoying a larger and bulky body. In this section, the good lover of the low area, would be inclined towards the OH10.

The middle zone of the NS5 is even colder than in the Ikko, and the latter even sounds warm, comparatively speaking. Something that can be appreciated in the male voices. They, however, have a very prominent approach in the NS5, sounding very isolated from the rest, receiving a treatment that focuses on and positions them at a higher height and centering them in the scene, showing almost zenith. In the OH10, this treatment is not so exquisite and favorable, they place the male voices in a more distant area and without as much height. But, on the other hand, it widens their presence, slightly blurring it and giving it a point of warmth and softness, recreating a bit sweeter. With the female voices, the above mentioned is repeated, but the distance is no longer so great and the Ikko improve their performance, getting closer to the treatment that the NS5 propose. If we talk about instrumentation, that certain warmth that the Ikko have, provides a more dynamic and fun, with a little more body in the lower midrange. The NS5 are more complete and linear, but cooler, although more detailed, if possible, both in the lower and upper part of this central range. Its interpretation is more direct, defined and fine, following that pattern of greater focus. The OH10, on the other hand, tend to widen the scene, but showing themselves somewhat flatter, with less three-dimensional projection.

The high zone of the NS5 is difficult to beat, since they have a large extension, along with a very high delicacy and finesse, without losing the naturalness. Its power of definition, detail, description, complexity and precision is almost excellent. The OH10 is also good in this range, but the level of resolution and the ability to reveal micro details is surpassed by the NS5. In addition, their highs have more sparkle and a very, very sharp, but also more penetrating crunch... In contrast, the OH10s end up being quieter in this respect and softer in the long run.

The scene is perceived differently in both, the width of the Ikko is greater, but its recreation is flatter and lower. The NS5 has a more surround representation, with more height, its sound is able to travel back and forth and up and down: it is more three-dimensional and spherical, although narrower.

The NS5 are very small, light and comfortable, the closest thing to having nothing on. The OH10 has a weight that you can feel in your ears, but it does not displease, its ergonomic shape helps a lot in this aspect. But perhaps people with the smallest hole will appreciate the tiny size of the NS5.

The presentation is very careful in both, but without going beyond the remarkable neither of them. The NS have more tips and a much more useful box. The cable, of similar thickness in both, 4 strands, silver plated, with transparent coating for the NS, black for the OH10.

Hard to choose between both IEMS. One has to be clear about what one is looking for and what one likes about the sound, when it comes to choosing one or the other. It's true that they both offer some different things, one from the other, but I wouldn't say they are complementary profiles, because they also have similarities, especially in the midrange instrumentation and in the pre-treble area.

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Conclusion

Ikko has created something special: he has started from the same base, which he knows is very good and still has potential for improvement, and has iterated the sound, making small but wise optimizations. The result is irrefutable: the OH10 has grown in all technical aspects, producing a qualitatively superior sound, very refined, highly transparent, wide, deep, delicate, soft, rich and with a higher resolution. In this way, the Obsidian has become an IEMS very suitable for long listening, also based on its great ergonomics and ease of adjustment. For all this, these new Ikko, deserve an "Ohhhh" of "10".

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Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Burson Audio Playmate
  • JWD JWM-115
  • Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
  • ACMEE MF-01

Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 92
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 91
  • Accessories: 70
  • Bass: 88
  • Mids: 89
  • Treble: 87
  • Separation: 90
  • Soundstage: 87
  • Quality/Price: 86

Purchase Link

https://penonaudio.com/ikko-oh10.html

You can read the full review in Spanish here:

https://hiendportable.com/2020/02/22/ikko-obsidian-oh10-review/
iBo0m
iBo0m
You definitely put some great work to the review :). The box is just "funny" for the IEMs, like a present for 3-years old... the sound is taken more seriously though, which is important :)
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Pros: Vivid Agile Sound with perfectly balanced W shape signature, Controled and clear bass, fast lively mid range, Brilliant treble, Accurate imaging, Great technicalities, All arounder, Excellent construction, Nice packaging and accessories
Cons: Still have rather thin and bright mid range timbre (typical of this BA model), very similar sound than OH1, Quite heavy housing
IKKO OBSIDIAN OH10 REVIEW:
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SOUND: 8.5/10
CONSTRUCTION: 9.5/10
DESIGN: 8.5/10
ACCESSORIES: 9/10
VALUE: 8.5/10


INTRO:

IKKO is a rather young audio company from Shenzhen, China.

They were unknow until they lauch their first earphones model call IKKO OH1. The big success that follow make them quite know among curious audiophile, but they gain popularity on Amazon too were OH1 sell very well and receive overwhelming positive feedback.


Inspired by the succes of OH1, IKKO decide to upgrade a near perfect iem to achieve and even more balanced sound. There come the OH10, wich look like to use same hybrid drivers implementation, but tuned slightly differently and using a very unique alloy-copper housing, slightly bigger but notably heavier than allo housing of OH1.

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As IKKO stated themself, the choice of copper-allow housing isn’t anecdotal, it is use for its damping property that permit to control resonance wich can create distortion and/or frequencies imbalance.

Priced 190$, the OH10 cost 50$ more than the excellent OH1. Did it worth the extra money in term of sound value?

Let’s check this out in this review.

You can buy the IKKO OH10 at very same 190$ price on Amazon or if your not in USA, i suggest you to buy it from Xtenik HERE cause of free shipping and better consumer service.

DISCLAIMER: I wanna thanks IKKO for sending me this free review sample. As always, I’m not affiliated to anybody and personally choose the product I review. As a fan of OH1, I feel i Must test the OH10 too.


SPECS:

Type: In-Ear Monitor (IEM)

Drivers: Dynamic driver : 10mm Dynamic driver with titanium-plated Polymer membrane

Balanced Armature: Knowles 33518

Sensitivity: 106dB

Frequency range: 20Hz-40kHZ

Imdepance: 18ohm

Cable length: 1.2m

Connector: 2-pin 0.78mm

Cable type: 4 strands of 8 high-purity oxygen-free copper-plated 5n silver-plated

Package

1x Ikko OH10
1x Storage case
6x Pairs of silicone tips


IN THE BOX:

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Here, IKKO give lot of effort to offer a pristine unboxing experience. Compared to OH1, we are granted with a very artistic presentation wich is real candy for the eyes. It’s even more creative than Moondrop presentation, as its not mass manga imagery but real unique surreal art piece. Cat flying on comets? I love that! But that’s not all. The boxing is sumptuous and you open it as a treasure chest to discover meticulously presented accessories that include unique leather rollable pouch, generous amount of eartps, and a fancy IKKO pin (!). To me, this little details tell us how much IKKO respect it’s consumers and indeed it put a big smile on my face.

CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN:

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While design is very similar to the OH1, the construction isn’t. You see it but feel it too once in your hand because the OH10 are most likely the heaviest earphones I ever have. About 2 times heavier than OH1, no joke. One would think it will fatigue the ears canal, fall of your ears or be atrociously uncomfortable but this isn’t the case at all. It’s as comfy that the OH1 and even have the property to not get as cold as fast wich make it more practical for winter season. But, unlike the OH1, you are now obligated to use a cable with earhook, otherwise it can tend to slide out of your ears a little, not poping out, but the OH10 do not seat in your ears. Anyway, i never encounter discomfort with OH10, even after hours and hours of intense listening. Cable is very same of OH1, wich is okay but not impressing....i would have love an upgraded cable.

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ISOLATION is good and cut most of outside noise with music at medium volume, especially if using memory foam tips. Sound leakage is extremely low as it do not have venting hole in the back, so if you fit them tighly and deeply, you will never annoy anybody with your OH10 music even at high volume.

DRIVEABILITY is rather easy and versatile. This isn’t capricious iem, neither super sensitive to audio output impedance or amping power. At 18ohm impedance and 106db sensitivity the OH10 will be drived proper with any source including your phone.


SOUND:

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OVERALL SOUND APPRECIATION is highly positive and the perfect step up from OH1. Even if I must admit the sound difference is in little nuance, the use of upgraded copper housing sure offer a more controled and balanced low end extension, making the OH10 less boomy and U shape than it’s little brother as well as offering clearer more refined mid range and treble. Sub bass is less emphased and more resolve in mid bass, it move a little lessair wich was slightly bleeding on lower mids with OH1. Mid range have great technicalities and articulation, it well resolve even if timbre is on the thin side. Tonality is right. You don’t have as much upper mids sibilance and male vocalaren’t as beefy with OH10. Transient response is excellent, attack is fast and snappy, yes, the OH10 is both more balanced and neutral evenif it keep it’s energic bass within its W shape soundsignature.

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SOUNDSTAGE have great deepness to it, make spaciality just enough holographic and around your head, it’s not super wide and tall but still far frombeing intimate.

IMAGING is excellent, thanks to its highly resolved sound, instrument separation have good air between them even if not enourmous space. It’s realist and accurate and the layering is well done from low to highs.

TONAL balance is very good too, with a fast organic transient response that do not make the sound of 2 different drivers differently coloured. Dynamic driver bass and mids and highs of balanced armature mix togheter naturaly as if coming from same sound family.

TIMBRE is slightly bright and transparent, but not dry as it’s well rounded and gently textured.

CLARITY is high without feeling exagerated or cold sounding, I would not call the OH10 analytical, just very well resolve and delicate. Definition is not pushed fowards, it’s still rather smooth.

BASS is both punchy and rumbly, the slam is fast and well rounded. Extension is natural and transparent. Bass line of both slap bass and synth bass sound clear and agile without sounding too thick, resolution is quite high as we can heard any type of bass instrument beautifully layered. Low end do not bleed on midrange, tough it could have add body and warmth to vocal, it would have been less accurate in it’s presentation too. Tough texture of bass is rather smooth, it do not affect it’s definition because of the nice weight and snappy attack it have.

MID RANGE have more presence in mid and highs mids and follow its climb in treble without any harsh peaks. Vocal do not feel particularly recessed even if timbre is on the thin side with hint of breathyness. Female vocal sound fuller than male vocal wich would have benefit of extramid bass or lower mids. Slightly bright, the mids offer high level of clarity and fast attack, it have a vivid presentation that miraculously avoid to sound agressive or shouty. Tonality is excellent, very realist, wich is even more evident with piano, cello or violin than vocal. The whole mid range is sharply articulate and lively, oppositve of laid back or mellow. This type of mids is very versatile because bass and highs too are energic in attack. Only die hard critical listener obsess by vocal presence, timbre and naturalness would find the OH10 somewhat imperfect, but I’m myself obess by vocal and while my favorite singer do not blow my mind, they sound clear and non sibilant so I’m very satisfy because the OH10 offer tremendous agility for jazz, classical and electronic too.

TREBLE is delicate and super snappy, it offer high level of details with good brilliance and effortless decay. Should it be piano in high register, violin or percussions, everything sound sharply resolve. Attack speed is mind blowing for the price as well as control. When a percussion is suppose to be thigh like hit hat it is, when it should have decay like cymbals it have it without sounding splashy or too forward. We aren’t in crunchy territory here, and its more about brilliance than texture. What impress too is how well balanced with whole spectrum the highs are, they do not jump at you, yet they are extremely clear. I think both treble head and treble sensitive people can enjoy OH10, wich is quite a ‘’tour de force’’.

SUB BASS: 8.5/10
MID BASS: 8/10
MID RANGE: 8.5/10
TREBLE: 9/10
TIMBRE: 8/10
TONALITY: 8.5/10
SOUNDSTAGE: 8/10
IMAGING: 8.5/10
ATTACK-DECAY: 9/10





COMPARISONS:


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VS IKKO OH1 (140$):

So, if you aren’t a critical listener like me, firstly, your lucky cause it can be nightmare, but secondly, perhaps you will not even hear sound difference of OH10, wich is about nuance, but fondamental one from my point of view.

SOUNDSTAGE is very similar, but you have a hint more deepness and tallness with OH10, wich is a little more airy. IMAGING is slightly more precise, and tend to mix less togher, should it be in lower mids or upper mids and treble. CLARITY is a little improved, as if the sound was cleaned and resonance free. BASS is more controled, slightly clearer and tigher, with sub bass and mid bass being betetr balanced with OH10. MIDS is about the same but slightly more detailed and more natural in timbre, vocal is less harsh and smoother, no more OH1 sibilance. TREBLE is more extended, offering more brilliance in highs as well as more airy presentation.

All in all, the upgrade are small but vital, we have a more refined and balanced sound with improved technicalities over the already great OH1.
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VS Obravo Cupid Basic(180$):


SOUNDSTAGE is similar in wideness but taller and notably deeper with the OH10. IMAGING is superior in every way with OH10, offering more precise and clearer instrument placement making it less prompt to congestion like the Obravo.
BASS is thicker and more boomy with the Obravo, lacking in transparency and natural extension and tending to muffled overall sound in bassy track, while OH10 have tigher more balanced bass with better extension and better control. MID RANGE have better tonal balance and accuracy with OH10, timbre is more natural and transparent as well, here the Obravo tend to shout mid range quite agressively with a lack of proper articulation and rather opaque grainy timbre that affect definiton. Whie vocal can sound thinner with the OH10, it’s very positive compared to overly opaque and grainy vocal of Obravo that have more sibilance and rough texture to it. TREBLE is more delicate and sparkly with OH10, offering natural decay the Obravo lack, it’s smoother tough more brilliant and revealing thant harsher thicker highs or Obravo.
TONALY the Obravo is brighter, colder and unbalanced due to strange transient response between dynamic and planar drivers, the OH10 sound more refined and musical with a more organic tonal balance.
All in all, the IKKO OH10 sound more balanced, revealing, transparent and tonaly accurate while the Obravo is agressive and tonaly ackward.

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VS BQEYZ Spring1 (140$):

The OH10 is an excellent 1DD+1 knowles BA hybrid earphones while Spring1 is a triple hybrid drive with dual Piezo-DD and BA. Construction is more eye appealing than the Spring1, but both share thick metal housing, one being alloy while OH10 is heavy copper that feel supremely robust. OH10 is notably larger while Spring1 is thicker, offering about both same level of comfort, but as the nozzle is less long and tichk than Spring1, i can use long silicone eartips with the OH1.
SOUNDSTAGE is wider, taller and more holographic with the Spring1 while the OH1 have a little more deepnest to it.
IMAGING is more intimate with the OH1, as if the bass and highs are better separated and mid range is opaque and drier and lack space between instrument, here the Spring1 have near the opposite imaging approach, where whole mid range is extremely well articulated and separeted and the bass and highs stay layered in the back.
BASS is more controled and agile with the OH1 and have better separated sub bass wich extend naturally, is clear and very well define but make the mid bass punch a little less punchy, the Spring1 have less rumble in sub bass, wich is thick, dry and opaque but quite fast, the mid bass have more weight and texure and is more agressively thumping.
MID RANGE is brighter, thinner and less textured with the OH10, this is really where the sword hit, because Spring1 mid range is richer and more accurate, it cover full 1khz-8khz range without notable dip and offer better instrument separation too. OH10 can be hot in upper mids, but little less than the Spring1 but the biggest difference is in timbre and weight, as we can hear with piano.
TREBLE is similar with those too, but again, i find the Spring1 more natural and fuller sounding, percussions have more weight while the OH10 is more about cripsness, brilliance and offer longer decay that sound more lively in upper treble.
All in all, the OH10 is like a more bassy Spring1 with more extended treble and less rich textured timbre.

CONCLUSION:

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IKKO OH10 remake OH1 might not be what i would call a completely different earphones, but it sure improve enough in both construction and packaging to justify the price jump.

When it come to sound, only die hard audiophile will applause the sligth sound improvment like I do, because we don’t talk about night and day difference here but about very same sound signature that have been more polish and extended to offer a more mature nuanced sound. Sure, the bass is improved, the mids are more balanced and treble gain in sharpness, but its mostly due to the use of different housing size and material, wich cancel unwanted resonance and distortion that was making OH1 sound more metallic and artificial in mid range and treble.

If you already have the OH1, there no need to buy the OH10. But if you don’t have it, I will enthusiastly suggest you to bypass OH1 and take the OH10 wich offer better controlled technicalities and a vivid, extremely well balanced sound experience.

The IKKO OBSIDIAN OH10 is among the best all arounder in sub-200$ iem market.

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Pros: Well-balanced, smooth yet crisp sound
-Exquisite design and build
-Quality accessories
-Thorough upgrade from Meteor OH1
Cons: Slightly weighty earpieces
-Nozzle insertion depth is a tad light
-Could include a hard case
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IKKO Obsidian OH10 Review: Subtle yet big

With the well-praised Meteor OH1 that came out of the blue, IKKO is one of the fastest-growing brands in the IEM market. Perhaps I can't really say that they've come out of nowhere since they are known to be doing R&D businesses for a while now.

Meteor OH1 was previously reviewed here in About Audio and that IEM left me very good impressions for its high-quality build and sound with an affordable price tag of $139. Obsidian OH10 is their second product that continues that trend with a price of $189, yet with some bold upgrades. Along with some comparisons with the original Meteor OH1 (Meteor in short), let's take a close look at the key features and sound from the Obsidian OH10 (Obsidian in short).




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Packaging

Obsidian comes in with a nice packaging with sensual design and accessories. Other than the earpieces, it includes a 3.5mm stock cable, a leather pouch, 3 pairs of black eartips, 3 pairs of white eartips, a shirt pin, and a warranty card. It would be better to see a hard case for better protection (especially since these are 2pin earphones), but the included leather pouch is high in quality and convenience. Two different types of silicone tips pose slightly different signatures, the darker one with more energetic and denser sound and the lighter one with a more opened and relaxed sound.



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Earpieces

Obsidian sports a 1BA+1DD hybrid design by using 10mm titanium-plated polymer composite diaphragm with a Knowles 33518 BA driver. It might have been unexpected for Obsidian to have the same driver configuration as the Meteor, but always gotta remember driver numbers don't matter in sound. Obsidian is worn over-ear and has an ergonomic, hassle-free design. The nozzles are on the shorter side but provide a proper seal and insertion. The diameter of the nozzles is around T400-500 which makes it compatible with most aftermarket eartips. The connectors are terminated in non-recessed 0.78mm CIEM 2pins.


The overall shape is identical to the Meteor but different in housing material - Meteor uses metal alloy while Obsidian uses pure copper coated with a thin layer of resin. Using a copper housing definitely increases the weight, though the earpieces are quite thin and compactly sized in the first place, ending up on just about the right weight that makes the IEM feel "premium". Plus, the glossy finish throughout the surface and the rough-looking faceplate design is another part that makes the IEM cherishable.



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Cable

The included stock cable is a 4-braided 5N silver-plated OFC and appears to have slightly thicker cores than the one from Meteor. The color on the connectors matches with the earpiece color, giving a nice universal look. I usually don’t expect much on the stock cables from this price range but this one seems to be pretty decent in quality, working well with the sound. Feels very light and flexible, not causing any microphonics.



Eartips / Cable selection

The stock cable already achieves enough performance and I can see IKKO paid good attention to this. If you’re still looking to get a custom cable, pure copper or SPC from Satin Audio would be a good choice.


Speaking of eartip selections, the included vocal eartips would slightly reduce the lows and pull the mids closer with more air. This one would be a good choice for those looking for extra density and hardness on the lows. If not, the included balanced eartips provide a bit slower and smooth sound if you want a more relaxed signature. Though my favorite eartip matching would actually be JVC Spiral Dots. This one seems to be achieving the widest headroom while showing good strength on both lower and upper frequencies and I’d suggest others to try as well.



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Sound impression - Overall signature, Lows

Obsidian presents a mild w-shaped sound signature, allowing a good amount of dynamics while keeping things balanced and gently tightened. The bass from the Obsidian focuses more on the "presence" of the bass than the amount, meaning the bass is vividly displayed without pumping up the quantity.

The bass quantity from the mid-lows is similar to slightly v-shaped IEMs - or possibly a tiny bit lesser. It still manages to deliver a weighty, large bass strikes with a spatial atmosphere. At this point, things may appear as if the bass from the Obsidian is passive or weak, but that's not the case. The bass is very prominent and dynamic but just without getting the upper mids stuffy or bloated. Plus, the emphasis is more on the ultra lows, keeping the overall sound reasonably flat but really bringing out those deep, detailed, and rich depth at the same time. This is the type of gentle, quality bass that I much enjoy.



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Sound impression - Mids, Atmosphere

Mids take a very slight step forward from the lows which sounds natural and transparent - almost "raw" or "unaltered". It has a water-like tonality with a neutral thickness, presenting a very stable and consistent vocal performance on various genres as well as suiting well with both male and female vocals. Mids feel rich and thick while respecting the airy atmosphere. It's quite interesting because the mids don't particularly feel to be popped out, thick in size, yet they still don't get overpowered by the other frequencies. Obsidian sports very neutral (or original) thickness and reverbs on the mids with high density, prominence, and texture.


Some IEMs have very full sounding vocals where the entire mid-range feels to be completely packed with vocal presence, though the drawback of that is the upper-mids won't have any "empty spaces" for generating a natural, airy presentation. Obsidian paid close attention to respecting these empty spaces for not only the mids but also the lows and highs, resulting in an airy and set-free sound signature. The vocals provide an appropriate amount of crisp but not rigid or stiff - it tilts more on the softer side. Overall mids flow with good stability without any noticeable spikes, sibilance, or dips throughout the range.



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Sound impression - Highs, etc.

Highs take a small step back from the other frequencies and also lesser in quantity, but doesn't fall behind in delivering the needed details. It serves more like an enrichment for the overall sound with its super creamy texture. Highs here sound very comfy and organic which keeps itself thoroughly harmonic with the other frequencies without busting out from the crowd. It's surely not meant for upper-frequency enthusiasts who enjoy vibrantly flourishing trebles, but Obsidian will have no problem bringing satisfaction with its comfort-friendly, clear and crisp treble presentation.

Along with that, as mentioned above, highs also keep those "empty spaces" for a natural, airy atmosphere which really helps the sound to feel open-field without actually pouring in lots of brightness and vibrancy. The highs overall take after the DD characteristics and the layering is quite detailed. The headroom is on a quite larger size with a spatial, deep, and wide presentation.



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Compared to Meteor OH1

Obsidian takes a more premium, classy approach to the sound. Visibly clearer, closer mids with more freshness, brightness, and air. The overall sound just feels to be higher in resolution, cleaner, and more concentrated with purity. The background and separation are improved as well.

Aside from the performance, the signatures of these have some similarities yet with Obsidian being more vibrant and engaging. Although Obsidian is technically superior to Meteor, those who prefer a comfortable, smooth signature for fatigue-free experience would more likely prefer Meteor. So although I stand behind Obsidian, each of them pretty much has their own league.




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Verdicts

IKKO Obsidian OH10 took the very appropriate upgrade by taking a step further from their favored Meteor OH1 in sonic performance, materials, packaging, and accessories. It's good to see that they've stuck with the original design structure and trying to perfect it, rather than throwing away and moving on with different designs. By IKKO bringing this big of improvement while using the exact same drivers, I would also say Obsidian is the phase where IKKO advanced themselves to the next level with their tuning skills. If you're looking for a quality all-rounder IEM with a clean, rich sound, things will be hard to go wrong with Obsidian OH10. And what about Meteor OH1 users? That goes without saying.



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Thanks to IKKO for providing Obsidian OH10 for an honest feedback/review.
I am not affiliated with IKKO and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
Pros: very engaging signature, with above average texture and detail
Cons: not a neutral signature, can get a bit loose at high volume.


IKKO Obsidian OH-10

After reviewing the IKKO OH1 that Patrick sent for review, I was interested in their newest release the OH10. I bought the OH10 outright so no disclaimer is needed. If you have an interest in IKKO products, please visit their website, or facebook. IKKO products can be purchased from Amazon




Unboxing / Packaging:

The packaging of the OH-10 shows IKKO’s style with the anime character on the front, and the details on reverse. Even the sides of the box are adorned with either product photos or specs. (My understanding is the misspelling of hybrid has since been corrected). Removing the slip-cover reveals a black book fold box with the earpieces resting in a velvet covered foam tray. Lifting the tab at top reveals a second compartment with tips held nicely in their own foam block, a leather mat to prevent scratching the earpieces, and an IKKO Lapel pin nestled in foam padding. The cable and carrying pouch are hidden inside the leather mat. Overall, the kit is what I would expect from a build at this price point as we are approaching the $200 mark. Some models at this price provide a hard shell case and if you prefer one, you’ll want to add that at checkout as only the soft case is provided. The soft case is thought out well with 2 pockets to allow separating the earpieces to prevent scratches while in transit. Two sets of tips are provided (neutral and bass enhanced although no documentation of such). The block the tips are stored in is a nice touch, but would be appreciated more if it fit in the travel case perhaps.






Build/Fit:

The first two pictures below were gratiously provided by patrick of the copper alloy shell before final plating. This is one of the hallmarks of the OH-10, so I wanted to show it off. Due to some proprietary techniques and design of the internal cavity, I won’t be able to share the inside of the cavity. The Shells are nearly exactly the same shape and size as that of the OH-1 but heft is dramatically different. The OH-10 weighs in at a bit over double that of the OH-1. The .78mm bi-pin connector is slightly elevated above the shell but is not the hooded type that has become popular of late. Vents exist on the inner surface behind the nozzle and on the upper surface near the mid-point of the shell. Nozzles exit the front of the earpiece with an upward rake and a pronounced lip to hold tips in place (standard T400 tips). The seam between faceplate and shell is not hidden, but polish is very good with no crisp edges anywhere on the unit and mirror finish throughout.






Internals:

The OH-10 is powered by a pair of drivers, one. 10mm dynamic and one balanced armature. The dynamic is a dual diaphragm titanium coated polymer model, while the balanced armature used is a Knowles 33518. Worth noting is the copper alloy shell was designed with an acoustic chamber specifically for this 10mm driver so a lot of work went into reducing harmonics and producing the best sound possible from the drivers. I note this as I think the same driver in a different shell might not show the same level of refinement as a lot of work went into the pairing of materials. Nominal impedance is listed as 18Ω with a sensitivity of 106dB/mW. I found the OH-10 to be reasonably well driven with a phone or a tablet, but it does scale well and detail improves considerably with a better source. This is a case of scaling in quality rather than quantity as a phone is capable of powering it fully.



Cable:

The provided cable is a standard length (1.2m) made with 4 strands of 5N oxygen free silver-plated copper with a black outer coating. From the 90º Jack, the cable exits through a proper strain relief as a double twist pattern (two wires paired, then the pairs wrapped). The splitter is a metal barrel that matches the earpieces closely. Cables exit as twisted pair but not as tightly as below the splitter. Pre-formed earhooks are provided without memory wire and terminations are metal encased (again matching the earpieces) .78mm bi-pin connectors. The right connector has a red ring around it for quick identification. The earpieces themselves do not identify R/L but only fit one way so matching them up is a pretty straight forward proposition. The cable has a leather cable tie provided that matches the protective mat. Again, a nice touch to make all the cable parts closely match the earpieces and accessory kit.



Tips:

There are 2 sets of 3 sizes of tips provided (SML). They are all silicone, but of two different designs. I found the narrower bore to be a bit nearer to neutral (not that the OH-10 is ever that) while the wider bore enhanced bass response mildly. The OH-10 has plenty of bass for my tastes with the standard tips so I stuck with the narrower tips for my sound notes and testing. Again your views may vary based on tip selection.



Sound:



Bass:

The OH-10 starts off with a mildly emphasized and well extended sub-bass which gives it a satisfying rumble. If you have used the OH-1, the OH-10 has the same level of control over the bass, with added umph. Lower mid-bass is mildly emphasized and falls as it moves toward the mids. Again control is very good and texture is above average. The OH-10 is best used at lower volumes as the control over the bass seems to lessen as volumes increase and if listening at above about 80dB some congestion can appear in more complex tracks. Backing off the volume a bit restores control and the congestion disappears again. Some mild-mid bass bleed occurs and while it does not obscure the mids, it does provide a bit of warmth to the signature.



Mids:

Lower mids are the mildly recessed but not lacking in detail. As we move up, the mids move forward and female vocals present in front of their male counterparts as a result. Timbre of electric guitar is realistic with good growl which makes the OH-10 a fun listen for rock and classic rock. I found the clarity of the mids to be probably the most impressive thing about the OH-10. That doesn’t mean I found the mids to be accentuated the most, just that despite starting out slightly recessed, the definition and textures are very clean and precise. If anything, if you could retain the quality of the mids and push the lower mids just slightly forward it would be near perfect for jazz as well.



Treble:

Lower treble is emphasized but drops fairly rapidly as you move further up creating a signature that has good clarity while avoiding any tendency to get strident. The bright tilt makes high hats and snare with brushes sound particularly clear and realistic which is no easy task, while cymbals fall just a hair short of sounding lifelike. The roll-off of the upper treble probably limits the cymbals a bit, but does also make the OH-10 less fatiguing than many with more high end emphasis. The most treble sensitive among us may find the OH-10 to be fatiguing, but for the rest of us, the detail, clarity, and air this provides will outweigh any aversion to bright signatures (yes, its that good).



Soundstage / Imaging:

Stage is good sized with a touch more width than depth. I found the stage was large enough that orchestral pieces were seated properly with nothing behind that should be next to or vice versa. Imaging is very good with directional cues and movements being well represented as well. Layering is good with the caveat that the bass gets a touch loose as volumes increase and the OH-10 is best listened to at moderate volumes. I suspect as easy as the OH-10 is to drive, it may well be overwhelmed by too much power.



Comparisons:

IKKO OH-1 – of course this is the expected comparison. The OH-10 departs from the OH-1 significantly. While the OH-1 can be described as mildly mid-centric, the OH-10 is a bigger V shape with more detail throughout the signature. The OH-1 is a bit more laidback, while the OH-10 is a bit more aggressive in both attack and decay and the resultant sound is a bit cleaner and sharper edged as a result. Shells are almost exactly the same size wise but the materials used on the OH-10 make it much more solid feeling without feeling heavy or uncomfortable.

Magaosi K5 – The mid-centric K5 vs the V shaped OH-10. Both are built very well, cable prefrence goes to the OH-10, and choice of model is going to be dependent on prefered signature as the two have very little in common sonically. Extension is better on the low end on the OH-10, but the K5 has better mids and arguably better treble extension. Other than price point, these two have little in common.

Moondrop KP – The KP is well established and liked at this price point and with both sporting polished metal shells, it again is a natural comparison. Signatures are completely different as the eKP attempts to be more neutral than the OH-10. The OH-10 has better low end extension as well as considerably more sub-bass than the KP brings to the table. The KP has slightly more forward mids. Both have lively upper mids and lower treble and both roll-off above that and are rather polite. This is a tough call which speaks well for both models.

Brainwavz b400 – The b400 is way closer to neutral than the OH-10, but the OH-10 is much more engaging and fun to listen to. Build quality is night and day different as the 3d printed shell on the b400 is prone to cracking while the shell on the OH-10 looks like it could take a direct hit from a howitzer with only minimal damage.

IBasso IT-01S – These two again are similar signatures with different builds. Both have good bass depth and an emphasized bass and upper-mid/lower treble region. I find the OH-10 has better control at lower volumes but yields to the IT-01s at higher volumes as the OH-10 becomes slightly loose and the IT-01s comes out of its shadow. The OH-10 sounds a bit cleaner at normal listening levels when compared to the IT-01s and has a bit better detail resolution. The IT-01s is slightly smaller which may be a consideration for some and both are well constructed and polished although the material used on the 01s is lighter and less durable.



Thoughts / Conclusion:

Having enjoyed the signature of the OH-1, it probably comes as little surprise that I really like the OH-10. The tonality is intoxicating and the detail and texture are very good. It isn’t the best for those listening at above average volume, but for those that listen at average or lower volumes, it competes very well with most things in its price class. It is not as neutral as some, but is much more engaging than most. Even with higher end models available, I find myself reaching for the OH-10 when I just want to relax and listen. So far Ikko has two models and two solid offerings, that’s not an easy thing to do and shows the level of effort and dedication they are putting into their products. I can heartily recommend both the OH-1 I previously reviewed and the OH-10 as both are very solid values. I will also admit to having IKKO’s facebook page bookmarked so I won’t miss their next release.
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