Obravo Audio ERIB-7 Planar Hybrid IEM

General Information

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World’s First Hybrid Planar Magnetic / Dynamic Earphone Advanced Wide-Bandwidth Coaxial Drivers Low Impedance for Smartphone, Tablet and Media Player Compatibility.

Specification:
Frequency Response Range: 30Hz~35KHz
Tweeter: 8mm PMD Tweeter
Woofer: 7mm Dynamic Neodymium Driver
Impedance: 16Ω
Sensitivity: 105dB
Cable Length : 1.2m with mic
Plug Type : Φ3.5mm

Latest reviews

Pros: Musicality, Warmth, Clarity, Value
Cons: Understated Bass presence, Vocal inconsistencies, Lack of upper-treble
The Obravo ERIB-7
By Crashtest33
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The world’s first planar-magnetic hybrid IEM

Why?

Spend enough time exploring this glorious hobby and you will come to know the incredibly open, expansive and fresh sound of planar-magnetic headphones. This technology is usually exclusive to open-backed, large over-ear cans but not any more! Imagine the technology in a small IEM unit!


Who?


My name's Nick. I live in Cambridge, UK and I've been a music nut my entire life. The son of a music teacher and formidable pianist and singer, I've been exposed to music of all genres for as long as I can remember. I first dabbled in hifi in my late teens ending up with a Monitor Audio and Denon-based system which was featured in 'Home Cinema Choice' magazine.
A semi-detached home purchase put an end to music listening on loudspeakers so my good friend Kevin from 'Sevenoaks', Cambridge suggested I try listening to some headphones. I owned an iPod 5.5g but required some more fidelity. I spent a modest amount and built my first rig consisting of a CF modded iPod 7G, an iBasso amp and a pair of AKG K450s. The rest is history.


What?

Obravo of Taiwan have created a range of dynamic/planar-magnetic hybrid, universal-fit IEM's. As soon as I discovered this, I bombarded poor Phil of 'Audio Concierge' with emails requesting a demo. Phil obliged and sent me the 7, the middle size of the three available. It comprises of a 7mm dynamic driver and the all important planar-magnetic tweeter.
Have they succeeded? Let's find out.


Test Equipment:

Hiby R3 DAP.

Balanced, SE & LO 3.5mm. Digital micro-USB Out. Single ES9028Q2M DAC (THD+N = 116db)

Chord Mojo FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) DAC

Vorzüge Pure II+ Headphone Amp
3.5mm SE Output (SNR = 110db, 320mW x2 into 32 Ohm)

Obravo ERIB-7 Courtesy of Audio Concierge, UK.
https://www.audioconcierge.co.uk/


Unboxing - 4/5


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The earphones are presented in a soft, fabric pouch. It is felt-lined and is heavily textured which provides some protection from abrasion. A heavier blow will result in damage to the units though. I would be happy to store the earphones in this pouch in a pocket or top of a bag.



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Once you open the pouch, you are presented with the IEM's and cable. The cable is non-removable.


Build Quality - 5/5


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A great quality, anodised grey 3.5mm straight jack plug terminates the fabric braided cable.

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The IEM bodies are made from anodised, polished aluminium and finished in a very smart looking cobalt gunmetal grey.

Fit & feel - 4/5


Microphonics!! Yes, the braided cable is a tad prone to a bit of rustling. This was alleviated by running the cable over the ear however I would recommend a rubber ear loop for this. None was provided with my sample pair.
Tip-rolling will become a new hobby with these IEM's. Not necessarily a bad thing as getting it right greatly improves the sound. I usually use foams on my universal fit IEM's but they absorbed too much of the sound. I switched to a soft rubber/foam filled custom tip I made and that seemed to get the best seal and sound I could find.


Sound - 3.5/5

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Signature

The ERIB-7 is unlike any IEM you've heard before. It definitely has the voicing of a planar-magnetic headphone. The spacing is wide in the upper register. Vocals are clear and smooth as silk.
The really interesting character of this IEM came in it’s ‘M’ shaped signature.

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Bass

Sub-Bass is definitely understated. It's there somewhere, in the background, just going about it business. Possible having a tea party 3 miles away with the high-hats (which we'll get to). It's controlled and precise but isn't gonna blow any windows out. Then, as the frequency increases, it climbs slowly out of the nether regions and presents itself to the listener with a sort of 'sorry I'm late' kind of vibe. 'Clean Bandits' 24 Hours provides a perfect example of this.

Mids/Vocals

Right in the middle of vocals ranging from Baritone to Tenor is a fair sized hump. If you're listening to predominantly Bass/Baritone vocalists like Louis Armstrong, Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits, the vocals are good if a little muddy. They bleach ever so slightly with the upper bass instrumentals and loose clarity causing a bit of incohesion.
Luckily, Tenor/Soprano vocalists are presented beautifully. 'Passenger's' David is refined, clear and rich. It’s in this vocal range where the Planar-Magnetic tweeter starts to blend with the 7mm dynamic driver and the two work in harmony giving a resolved and very musical, warm rendition.
The only real issue comes with vocalists who span the frequency 'mound'. Sting, John Mayer and George Ezra cause the ERIB-7 some issues. The dynamic difference is clear and slightly irritating after a while. This is a bit of a shame. Most 'great' singers have a huge vocal range and the 'hump' sits right in the middle of it. Frank Sinatra, Beth Hart and Freddie Mercury are also harder to enjoy because this.
Now, before you panic, it may be very possible to alleviate this with more in-depth tip rolling, but during a moderately short demo I struggled to find a comfortable solution.

Treble

The treble follows a reversed pattern of the Bass. Soprano vocals and high-pitched instrumentals really make use of the planar-magnetic technology. They are expansive, extremely clear and bright without a hint of harshness. Then as we go higher, the volume drops and the treble disappears into the distance like a bird migration in an autumn sky.

Overall


The Obravo ERIB-7’s are warm, expansive and extremely musical. They’re easy to listen to with the right track selection and are extremely good value for money.
They make interesting use of the planar-magnetic technology but would benefit from further development and refinement to flatten the frequency curve and provide a more balanced and versatile listening experience.

Massive thanks to Phil @ Audio Concierge!
Get it contact via the web or on Facebook.

Nick.
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