REVIEW: Oriveti New Primacy – Triple Hybrid Oriveti Website Specifications Driver: Knowles Dual Armature Driver & 8mm Dynamic Driver Impedance: 8 Ohm Frequency Response: 20 - 20000Hz Sensitivity: 105+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug Cable: 1.2 m Price: U$D 299 Available in 3 colors, Matt Black, Jet Black and Mocha. Package and accessories The New Primacy arrives in an elegant, hassle free box. Everything is well arranged inside and has an air of premium look on it. Of course, it is not something really needed for those who care about the main product inside, but it is a very touch nice, nonetheless. The accessory pack is quite full, with various pairs of eartips: 6 pairs of single silicone tips (3 sizes), 2 pairs of double silicone tips (1 size), and 2 pairs of foam tips (1 size as well). There’s also a sturdy round aluminum metal case, adapters and a pair of removable earguides. Design The Primacy not only looks nice, but it is also very well built. The whole shells are made of strong aluminum material with a very smooth finish. The nozzle is about the standard width and has a metal filter as well. Despite the triple hybrid setup, the shells are rather compact and quite ergonomic. They provide a low profile fit which is highly comfortable and strong in isolation even with silicone eartips. They’re also properly vented so there’s no driver flex effect with them. The cable uses the standard MMCX connection; nothing special but works as should. The cable itself is of good quality and well designed, made of 8 separated wires tightly braided; it has a slight rubbery surface, but still tangle resistant and low in microphonics. The cable is terminated in an angled L-shape plug, well relieved too. The only thing that’d be better would be the y-split which consists of a simple heatshrink tube. Sound The Oriveti Primacy utilizes the popular triple hybrid combination of a dual BA drivers (from Knowles) and a single 8mm dynamic driver. It’s the most common setup nowadays for entry to mid-fi in-ear models that arrive in the universal fit. While the selection and number of drivers doesn’t really mean a better audio performance, it seems there’s an urge for many companies to take a part of the hybrid market. Following the elegant and smooth package and design, the New Primacy offers a very delicate, balanced, smooth and well-rounded sound presentation. The hybrid configuration is very well done, with no signs of drivers’ (in)coherence issues, matching a good speed and natural decay inside the single compact shell. Overall, it is a warm and engaging sound with a fair level of musicality, being more immersive but less detail oriented when compared to other hybrids sets. The 8mm is smaller than the usual diameter found in hybrid or single IEMs at this price range. The bass is full and well-bodied, very warm without being too powerful or overwhelming. Well weighted, with good sub-bass depth and a slight more emphasis towards the mid-bass region, dominant but not taking too much attention from the listener. While it has a smooth texture and good decay, it still lacks a bit in layering and speed for very fast tracks, but on the other hand it is less tiring even after a long listening time. For the midrange we have the dual BA driver that when combined with the warmer from the dynamic low end part bring along a thick, slightly forward and rich sound from lower to upper mids. Bass bleed is minimal thanks to the good control and less abrasive bass end. The whole midrange is full, sweet and very smooth. It has a more relaxed nature so the level of detail is less noticed despite the use of dual balanced drivers. The separation is decent but is missing some air. However, the Primacy stands out when presenting the voices. Either low or upper vocals sound sweet and very engaging, without a sign of sibilance. The treble of the Primacy is quite different from the many triple hybirds I’ve heard during the last years. It is more neutral in quantity keeping the more laid-back signature of the lows and mids with a ‘safer’ or more ‘reserved’ presentation. The extension too, is more limited and while not missing too much sparkle it won’t show much energy if the track doesn’t really ask for it. However, despite the lack of treble emphasis, the Primacy shouldn’t be considered as dark or off sounding, just more inoffensive. The treble detail is good, less obvious but still present in the typical BA accuracy fashion and works very well to cut down the extra harshness or sibilance that on brighter genres. Lastly, the Primacy deviates away from many of the hybrid IEMs of the competition, where a more v-shaped and lively sound would be expected as a result of the BA+DD setup bringing a wider stage and sense of distance. The Primacy is different in this regard. The presentation is less wide and more intimate towards the midrange part giving up on air and sense of space. What it does offer is good coherence and more musicality without being too forwarded or aggressive. Comparisons 1) VS. iBasso IT03 Like the Primacy, the IT03 hybrid IEM from iBasso uses a triple driver configuration of dual BA and single dynamic. Apart from the same standard MMCX option and good quality cables of both models, the rest of the design is completely different, having the IT03 a very unique housing shape made of solid acrylic, whereas the Primacy is all metal and more traditional in its over-ear shape. It’s also worth mentioning that in terms of drivability, the IT03 is much more sensitive with a not uncommon low impedance found on many hybrid IEMs, while the Primacy asks for a bit more volume to reach a comfortable listening level. As for the sound quality they could score a similar rating and both may be classified as warm and full for their overall signatures. However, they differ a lot in the way the sound is presented. With a 13mm dynamic driver for lows, the IT03 is much more powerful from the mid and up bass regions and down to the sub-bass part with more serious impact, rumble and depth. The bass is more intrusive when reaching the lower midrange frequencies but still not bloated or really overwhelming. The Primacy, on the other hand, is more reserved, still full but smoother sounding with a more relaxed bass boost. Mids are also sweeter but less energetic and aggressive than the IT03. Treble is also quite different; the IT03 has a more lively presentation, not too bright but quite energetic next to the more laid-back neutral treble from the Primacy. Stage dimensions goes for the IT03 while the Primacy is more intimate and sweeter. 2) VS. Dunu DN2000 & 2002 The second hybrid model from Dunu, the DN-2000, released a few years ago (and also with a retail price around the U$300 mark), was a great addition to the universal-fit hybrid and IEM market in general. A superb build quality and accessory pack, but for many users with a big flaw in the large design lacking in ergonomics and comfort issues. The sound, however, is impressive with a very powerful presentation, wide stage, detailed midrange and excellent control in the treble dept. A unique sound that’s still not easy to replace. The Primacy may not be as tough as the Dunu’s offer in build quality but it is very close nonetheless. The design is a total win for the Oriveti team as well. In terms of sound quality, the New Primacy is obviously not as large or powerful as the DN-2000, but can show more control and higher coherence when referring to the hybrid dynamic-armature usual mismatches. As for the next Dunu model, the quad hybrid DN-2002 (dual BA + double Dynamic), it has the toughest quality from the company (and personally, noticeable improvements in fit/comfort). In terms of sound, the DN-2002 already differs from its triple sibling, and also offers a different presentation than the Primacy. The 2002 is more balanced, with more detail through the mids and highs and faster in bass. It also has a more natural tonality. The Primacy is still warmer, not as the DN-2000, but yet darker than the quad 2002 and more laid-back and less extended in the upper treble part. 3) VS. LZ A4 This is an interesting comparison. The last hybrid LZ A4 with its multiple and very well achieved tuning options can offer various signatures and overall balance, adding or taking the emphasis on the bass and/or mids/highs. Comparing the sound presentation is less relevant as the A4 can reach a very similar tuning thanks to the filters system. However, the differences are more noticed in tonality and timbre, being the Primacy a bit more natural in the midrange, and while neither of these two models has the best resolution, the LZ A4 can show further extension when the more vented filers are used, reaching larger stage dimensions. If anything, the LZ A4 has better focus for instruments and the Primacy nicer texture for voices. 4) VS. Shockwave III The Shockwave III, top model from the DIY Chinese manufacturer MusicMaker/ToneKing, is a 5-driver hybrid model, using two dual BA units for highs and mids (Knowles TWFK it seems) and an 11mm dynamic drivers, and sells just below the Primacy retail price. Next to the New Primacy, the Shockwave brings much more the energy and forwardness on the sound, with a very wide V-shaped sound, strong in bass, transparent in mids, and noticeable hotter in the treble. Stage is among the widest among IEMs at the price, but cannot do the sweetness nor smoothness of the Primacy. Fit might be challenging as well with the Shockwave with its large shells and odd cable exit, whereas the fit is so much easier on the Primacy. Conclusion All in all, the New Primacy arrives in a very premium presentation, from the unboxing to its build quality and overall design. Sound wise, it differs from many of the hybrid type IEM models on the market, but when compared to more traditional multi-BA or single dynamic sets from the bigger companies, Oriveti is bringing a very solid option to the universal IEM. Update: Here's a pic on the new cable.