Tanchjim Ola

corgifall

500+ Head-Fier
Discomfort with a hint of average sound.
Pros: Neutral tuning. Price.
Cons: Comfort issues(for me), nothing special sound wise, Grainy treble.
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I don’t do many sub $100 IEMs that often but when I want something under $100 I usually recommend the Moondrop Aria and for under $50 the Tin T2 plus was my original recommendation. I knew I needed to find something newer for under $50 since it was a super old IEM at this point in time. I was fortunate enough to receive some entry level IEMs to review and among them was the Tachjim OLA. I’ve yet to try any IEMs from Tanchjim so I jumped at the opportunity to check their stuff out. The OLA is a simple 10mm single DD IEM coming in at $39.99(no mic) or $42.99 with the mic built into the cable.

Many thanks to Shenzhenaudio for sending the OLA out to review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

The OLA can be picked up from Shenzhenaudio below if you really want to give it a shot.

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/tanchjim-ola-dynamic-driver-hifi-in-ear-earphones-with-detachable-cable-dmt4-iems?variant=42438909427955

Onto the review of the OLA! My personal preference is a hybrid/tribrid IEM where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. 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 12 pro with headphone adapter, Khadas Tea, Moondrop, Moon River 2, SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit​

I like the way the OLA looks and it has this hybrid shell design with a plastic nozzle/housing and an aluminum faceplate. It looked good in theory but once I attempted to insert the OLA into my ear, I ran into all the problems. The edges of the faceplate dug into my ear and I couldn’t make a seal with any of the stock tips. I did get some spinfits to fit but the angle of the nozzle caused those trips to dig into my ear canal which made for about 8 min of listening before giving up for a bit. I ended up finding some foam tips that gave me the best comfort I could get out of the OLA for my ears. I don’t believe this will be an issue for everyone but this is the first IEM in forever that I couldn’t get to seal well or be comfy with my ears.
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Isolation and sound leakage​

Isolation is average and since it’s a single DD IEM, it has a vent for the driver. This vent does leak some sound when it's in the ear and it’s a trade off for IEMs that use vents like this. I wouldn’t use this set in super quiet areas or on planes.

Packaging and accessories​

The presentation is pretty nice for the price. Inside is a sleeve that holds the case/pouch, the tips and warranty/quick guide. Under that is the IEMs and finally under that is the cable. I like the layout and looks of the packaging. I don’t care for the mascot(Moondrop waifu or bust) but for those who care, it does have Tanchjim’s mascot on the front.
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Sound(overall)​

These final impressions were done off a mix of the Moondrop Moon River 2, Khadas Tea and the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These are what the OLA sounded like to my ears. This was also using some foam tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The first listen took forever since I had the hardest time getting a seal so most of these impressions were done off foam tips(which I hate). The OLA is a fairly average listening experience for me. On first listen I didn’t feel blown away or super disappointed. It all sounded about average. After on and off listening over the last few weeks I’ve come to a final set of thoughts on the tuning…

The lows are actually decent and they have a nice bit of slam for price. I however don’t think they reach down very far nor do they have much in the way of quality in the lows. The mids are kinda lean with average details in the vocal region. Both male and female vocals just didn’t have any soul when I listened for long sessions. The highs were super lean and grainy at times. I think this was where I was bummed the most. Most instruments just had a harsh tone and rough treble that didn’t do anything for me. I always felt “meh” when listening to the OLA. I thought I was maybe judging the OLA too hard since it’s a sub $100 IEM. Then I would put on the Moondrop Aria and be like “oh ok, the OLA is just not tuned to be anything special”. I’ll get more into that in my comparisons below.

Soundstage/Imaging​

Soundstage is actually above average for the OLA when it comes to IEMs in general. It is wider than I was expecting and there was ok depth. It had a slight sense of space and nothing felt congested. Same thing with imaging, I find the imaging is done well here and I can pick things out in the given stage. I would say this is a decent pic for its price when it comes to staging and imaging.

Sensitivity/Drivability​

The OLA isn’t picky at all for power and I was able to drive it fine off everything from the apple dongle to my desktop amp at lower volumes.

Stock cable​

The stock cable on mine had the mic built in. I didn’t attempt to make any calls but you can use the little button on the mic housing to pause and change tracks. I like that feature for sure. The cable overall is ok, It is a simple cable with no braiding or the common chin slider. I don’t see anything wrong with the cable and I would leave it on the OLA over replacing it with something else.
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Tip rolling gripes​

I love to tip roll but I couldn’t get most tips to make a seal due to the sharp pointed edge of the faceplate being used on the OLA. This won’t be a problem for everyone but I wasn’t able to tip roll and stayed with foam tips for my review.

IEM comparisons​

Fiio JH3​

The Fiio JH3 is also a $40 IEM(Amazon) and it for the most part has a better tuning. The lows and mids are simply more to my taste versus the OLA. The vocals also sound better to my ears on the JH3. The treble is way too intense when compared to the OLA and I would say the OLA goes with a boring and safe tuning when compared to something like the JH3. The OLA has a better soundstage with more depth and width over the JH3. I would say grab the JH3 if you want a more intense listen. Grab the OLA for a just basic tuning that doesn’t do anything good or bad.
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Moondrop Aria​

While I might have some biased love towards the Aria, when I A/B tested it next to the OLA, it sounded way more refined and it was obvious the Aria is simply tuned better. I know the Aria comes in at double the price of the OLA but the Aria is my standard till I can find something that gets at least closer to the performance the Aria offers. The Aria has a more controlled and detailed low end, the mids have more energy and I love the vocals the Aria produces, especially for the price. The treble is the perfect amount of brightness that doesn’t bother me on long listening sessions and while it's not super detailed, it’s detailed enough that I don’t care at the end of the day since the overall tuning is so good. I would recommend the Aria if one is willing to save a little extra money to buy the Aria instead of grabbing the OLA.
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Amping Combinations​


Khadas Tea​

The Tea is a really warm portable DAC/amp. I really like it when I know I need a bluetooth portable for my Iphone. It did give the OLA a little warmth to make the tuning feel a little less lifeless. I would however still say I didn’t feel anything for the OLA but the Tea was the best pairing of the bunch. The harsh and grainy treble was a little softer with this pairing. I would recommend this or another warming source for the OLA
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Moondrop Moon River 2​

The Moon River 2 is new to me but it is a pretty clean and more analytical sounding dongle. It wasn’t much of a good pairing with the OLA. This was mostly due to the treble response the moon river brought out of the OLA. It was a bit bright and grainy at times.
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SMSL SU-9/SP400​

My main desktop setup was the worst pairing for the OLA out of the bunch. It was what I used to write out my sound impressions above. I think a warmer source would be a better pairing for the OLA.
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Overall thoughts​

Over the last two years of reviewing, I haven’t really received anything I wasn’t super into. I’m receiving more and more IEMs as time goes on, which means I’m also starting to get gear that doesn’t quite do anything special for me. The OLA is unfortunately one of the IEMs that I simply don’t feel anything for in terms of engagement. I would still like to check out other Tanchjim IEMs to get a feel of their line up but the OLA is a no go for me personally due to the comfort issues and “meh” tuning. As such, I don’t recommend the OLA. Thanks for reading!
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corgifall
corgifall
If it’s something I like, I usually have an expanded sound impressions section. It’s hard to get to deep into my impressions when I don’t feel attached to an IEM or headphones tuning. I think this will be something I’ll get better at as I get more stuff that doesn’t work well with my preferences.
NymPHONOmaniac
NymPHONOmaniac
@corgifall i feel you mate, this can be a real burden...lets call this the dark part of reviewing lol it did explain why i take a 1years break from audio reviewing too. in fact, i need ''brain burn in'' to enjoy Ola, and i understand it will be a niche IEM. some people dislike HZsound Mirror musicality too, while its my fav sub100$ iem. what is your fav IEM right now?
corgifall
corgifall
I can totally see that! My favorite sub $100 IEM is still the aria hands down. On the hunt to find an updated sub $50 recommendation or even something to compete with the aria. My most used IEM when I’m not at home and at work is the DUNU Falcon pro since it’s the most secure when moving around for me. My guilty pleasure IEM in general is the EA Axiom since I really like it’s warm and lush tuning.

Ace Bee

Headphoneus Supremus
Tanchjim OLA: looks small, Sings BIG
Pros: Open, Vivid, and a quite Exciting sound
Very transparent and clean midrange
Sparkling highs with sufficient extension
Fast and tight midbass slams with just right body
Natural male vocals with just enough body
Captivating female vocals
Notes have very good presence and bite
Brilliant texture reproduction
Masterfully tuned to avoid unnatural peaks
Cons: A bit lean subbass
Fit can be finnicky
Mids can sound a bit dry on occasions
Introduction:
When Tanchjim first anounced OLA, I took an instant liking to it because of its unique shape and small size. In the world of iems, the offerings from Tanchjim are generally held in high regard - Oxygen, Hana 2021. Did not hear much noise regarding the Darling or the Prism, but may be because of the price points. I have experienced the Hana 2021 and took an instant liking to that. However, I did not have much hope for OLA regarding the sound given the rather weak low end response, as seen on various measured graphs. And yet, when @shenzhenaudio reached out to me for a review of OLA, I could not turn it away simply because of my curiosity. Who would have known how I would fall for it...

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Specification:
Sensitivity: 126dB/Vrms
Impedance: 160± 10%
Frequency range: 7-45kHz
THD: < 0.3%
Driver: 10mm dynamic driver
Cable: 1.25M 3.5- 0.78PIN
Technology: DMT 4
Cable Material: Double-Core OFC Core sandwitched with Kevlar fiber
Diaphragm material: polymer graphene

Disclaimer:
I was provided this unit by Shenzhenaudio for free in return of my honest opinions. My opinions recorded here are not influenced by any means and are completely of my own.

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In the Box:
The box of Tanchjim OLA is a compact one with an anime girl photo on top (that seems to be the trend nowadays.) Inside, there are the iems, the stock SPC cable (with mic in my case), a soft cloth carrying pouch, two sets of eartips - one for bass enhancement one for treble enhancepment, or, in simpler words, one narrow bore and one wide bore set.

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Build and Fit:
I have not yet encountered another more lightweight iem. The aerospace grade aluminium looks sleek and premium, without addind almost anything to weight. The PVC shell does not look cheap either, and clear view of the inner DD really improves the aesthetic. The bright silver cable adds to that. Everything together certainly creates an elegant visual impression.

Point to be noted here is, there is a general misconception that the cable is a Silver Plated OFC cable. However, as per the description provided by Tanchjim:
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Which means the cable is essentially a OFC cable, and the outer silver plated OFC wire is just for aesthetic purpose and strengthening of the cable as it "does not participate in electric conduction."

Fit is another story. For my ear, only the L size Narrow Bore tip gave me a somewhat secure seal and somewhat comfortable fit. The nozzle, even though having the impression of being long, because of the unique shape of the shell, does not reach very deap, and hence getting a comfortable fit with secured seal becomes almost difficult. For the other record, my other usual aftermarket tips failed to give a secure fit.

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Source:
Straight out of phone (Samsung Galaxy M31S)
Laptop>L&P W2

Sound:
The whole focus here seems to be on producing a vivid and open sound while preserving as much body as possible in the low end to preserve the naturality at bare minimum satisfaction level. Tanchjim has achieved this with exemplary finesse. Tonality is decidedly neutral, however, still quite pleasing.

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Talking about the Low End, well, the subbass isn't anything to write home about - it's not very well extended, does not have much pressure hence not much tactility. And yet they do not sound lanky and thin. How to say it...I could clearly hear the subbass rumbles, and the note weight was just ok, but I did not feel any aversion to it for sounding thin or unnatural. Yes, I could not feel that pressure, but that was a trade off I readily accepted. The textures are well reproduced though, so props for that. And frankly, while going through my test tracks, I found that while on some tracks the subbass roll-off DID bother me, on other tracks I simply did not notice - which might be the way my brain adapted to the whole sound signature.

I would like to focus on a few tracks here:
Battlestar Galactica Season 2 OST: - Prelude To War In this instrumental track, the bass drums digs deep with long decay and they really need that subbass focus to sound natural and have that body. However, OLA failed to capture that due to the rather limited extension. The drums can be clearly heard, but not felt. That thick body from each note sounds missing. While the slams do not sound that much lean or lanky, they do sound a bit cut short, due to the fast decay. And also, that sheer force behind each slam also sounds rather restrained.

But now I come to Massive Attack - Teardrop, and suddenly, I do not feel that much discontent any more. The electronic bassline is very much enjoyable with very good texture and sufficient body, although the pressure cannot be felt, as it cannot be felt in The Dark Knight OST - Why So Serious?

And then, the bass guitar pluckings in Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah and the bassline in Evanescence - Imaginary and Red Hot Chilli Pepper - Dani California does not sound weak at all, rather they struck a very nice balance between having a nice weight and staying just north of neutral. Sure, they do not touch the inside of your soul, but they move you nonetheless. What's more, you can clearly distinguish the textures because of the clean reproduction.

However, all of the shortcoming stated above are compensated by the brilliant midbass, which has a very nice amount of slam and, most importantly, body, not to feel weak or unnatural. Kickbass hits are just enough full not to sound hollow, while not being overly fat either. Most of all, it does NOT sound like a BA, the goodness of natural DD timbre is very much present throughout this spectrum. Tanchjim truly has tuned the low end incredibly well - while most certainly not given the highest priority, not compensated in the presence either. A masterfully tuned low end that is fast yet impactful, sounds natural, and absolutely stays out of the midrange's way.

My go to track here are Metallica - The Four Horsemen and Red Hot Chilli Pepper - Dani California. The fast kickbass in the former and hard slams in the later sound quite impactful and enjoyable. However, when I played Eluveitie - Inis Mona, I felt the kickdrum hits were may be a wee bit hollow, but it may be the recording.

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Coming to Midrange, well, it's the very definition of neutrality at this price. This is where the whole focus lies. What will make you instantly go WOW is the sheer transparency the midrange boasts. The insanely open and clean presentation is nothing short of cathartic; there's not even a hint of congestion anywhere! The tonality is neither warm nor cold. Guitar, violin, piano, snare drum - everything sounds clean, crisp, natural, well separated, and most of all all of them seem to have an evenly distrubuted emphasis so that there is no infighting going on for grabbing the focus. Notes are crisp and has a certain amount of bite that helps in capturing the attention, and yet there is never any uncomfortable peaks throughout the upper mids and lower treble region. Notes are so cleanly separated that the sense of airiness just takes your breath away. Especially on busy tracks OLA shows its prowess.

For e.g, in the track Poets Of The Fall - The Ballad OF Jeremiah Peacekeeper, the brilliant ensemble of violin, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, snare drum, and backing vocals is rendered so beautifully that it simply made me awed

Male vocals won't certainly make you weak in the knees, and yet doesn't sound lean and pale - just the right amount of fullness is there for the natural tonality. They do not sound lean, just the right amount of fullness, and still have the bite to grab the attention. Female vocals are brilliant and captivating, soaring high with energy. The occasional peaks that are presented in the recording are hinted at, but never emphasised, so they never become uncomfortable.

My staple track for checking the body of male vocal is Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah, and OLA passed that test with flying colours - Leonard Cohen's voice sounds deep and full bodied and very well textured. A very similar experience I had while listening to Poets Of The Fall - The Ballad Of Jeremiah Peacekeeper, Mike Saaresto's voice sounded throaty, textured, and emotional.

For female vocals, I went to Yao Si Ting - Scarborough Fair. Yao Si Ting's already brilliant voice sounds even more ethereal and dreamy, while having a distinct spicy sizzle that might prove to be sibilant on other bright IEMs, but not on OLA, no, OLA reproduced those sizzles and yet kept the sibilance at check. When Amy Lee sings the track Evanescence - Hello, the pain in her voice comes alive through her voice, and as her voice soars upwards goosebumps rises.

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The High range certainly isn't overlooked to focus on the midrange, and yet, to my utmost surprise, it is not unnecessarily boosted to create the sense of airiness either. No, the airiness is already so prevalent that Tanchjim only had to tune the treble in a way to maintain the brilliance at an acceptable degree while making sure not to cross over to the uncomfortable peaky regions - and they passed the test with flying colours. High frequency notes have quite the sparkle - sounds crisp with a tad bit less energy than the midrange (which isn't a deal breaker for me.) The fact that it doesn't compete with midrange to be in focus of the presentation, and yet makes its presence distinctly felt, is what makes it a masterful tuning. Upper treble extension is quite good, while trebleheads might long for a bit more energy there. Lower treble, as stated above, sound crisp and clean, has the right amount of bite and energy, while maintaining a presence slightly behind the midrange.

I played Steely Dan - Do It Again, and the constant background light cymbal hits were brought into notice very nicely by OLA. The crash cymbal rolls also sounded brilliant and extended well with a nice decay.
Red Hot Chilli Pepper - Dani California has some aggressive cymbal and hi-hats at play which sound brilliant but never overbearing.

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Now, let's come to the Technicalities. Regarding the Soundstage, well, I was dumbfounded. The stage is W-I-D-E for its price, if not the widest at this range. A quite out of head experience, it is. While it does not extend that far in the depth region, it still does to some extent. The height is nice, helping to create a quite well rounded soundstage. Most importantly, as the instruments are not fighting with each other to gain focus, a very nice headspace is created with precise imaging. The brilliant Separation between the notes aided into this even more.

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Conclusion
If it's already not very obvious, I'll say it again: I freaking love it! Tanchjim has literally hit it outta the park with OLA. They have my confidence now, and I'll surely follow them closely from now on. Anyone who knows me knows I love my bass, especially subbass that reaches deep and vibrates in the chest, coupled with juicy midbass slams. OLA has none of those traits - the bass is rather on the fast side, with just enough midbass body that the slams do not feel hollow. However, the other aspects have blown my mind so much that I am not missing anything, anything at all! It's at the peak of neutrality and balance under $50, and I just get lost in the music without having to think about the bits and pieces.

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yaps66
yaps66
Great review! Thanks for sharing!
T
triveniprasadnanda
Excellent write-up. This should be a worthy running mate of the Hana 2021, if it sounds anything like it.
NymPHONOmaniac
NymPHONOmaniac
Nice review mate. I love those too!

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -Excellent technicalities
-High resolution and transparency
-Well balanced mature tuning
-Bright and vivid yet not overly agressive
-Appealing female vocal with clean presence
-Tight punchy bass
-Elegant packaging
-High sound benefit
Cons: -Problematic fit due to the design
-sub bass roll off
-thin bright timbre
-fowards sound that lack sparkle-decay
-will lack musicality for some
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TONALITY: 7.8/10
TECHNICALITIES: 8.8/10
CONSTRUCTION-COMFORT: 7/10
SOUND BENEFIT: 8.5/10


TANCHJIM is a well know and very respected earphones company from China, with a serious perfectionnist approach to tuning. Like Moondrop, they get their sound balance inspiration from Harman tuning target but aren’t afraid to try new tonal territories like the IEM I test today proove. The Tanchjim OLA I review here is a single DD budget IEM that use FEM and FEA acoustic analysis software to achieve a crisp balanced sound that is aim for demanding mature audiophile. When I say Tanchjim are serious about their tuning, i’m not joking, so let’s say in this review if it translate into great audio performance and musicality.

CONSTRUCTION-DESIGN​

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Let’s begin by saying Tanchjim deliver incredible packaging presentation even if this is a very budget IEM, the elegant box is a real joy to open and have a lot of care in it’s aesthetic. With Tanchjim, you feel respected as a consumer.
When it come to accessories, generosity is there too. You have a carrying pouch, 6 pairs of silicone eartips and a Silver plated cable with mic of good quality.

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Construction is good for the price, it’s made of half plastic half metal. The look is sober and elegant, and the size is small. BUT and this is a big drawback, the shape design have a very angled and long nozzle that will be problematic for a secure fit ,which was the case for me since the OLA tend to pop up of my ears easily. This can be solve to some extend with ear tips, but let say the shape is far from being organic and ideal and as we know, bad fit can interfer with proper sound rendering too.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS​

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OLA, a mature vivid sounding IEM with crazy technical performance, severe tonality and extreme clarity.

OLA, the polar opposite of Tanya. Anti-coloration, anti bass warmth and rumble, anti-thick timbre.

OLA, in my case, need brain burn in to be fully enjoyed, as well as finding the right ear tips to get a secure fit and open sound.

TONALITY:
Bright neutral with hint of extra mid bass punch, high level of transparency and sharp and textured treble.

TECHNICALITIES:
Extremely good, fast snappy attack, excellent resolution and transparency with rich nuanced texture, imaging with rich layering and crisp positioning. Real mind blow here, i need to compare to HZsound Mirror but these might be in similar league, timbre seem to have more micro details in texture for ex and sound is a bit less flat and more holographic. Again, Resolution is class leading in it’s price range.

TIMBRE:
Even if I praise it, it have a slight metallic edge to it sometime, it’s a bit thin too and brightish-dryish, this isn’t a timbre to charm your ears it their to extract presence of every sound info. Well textured yet keeping it’s transparency, it’s realist in a severe, slightly cold way.

BASS:
This is were the sword hit, it will be hate-love affair, its just a hint boosted in mid bass so kick do have weight and energy, minimal, that permit to keep everything clean. Here the texture work better since it embrace bass roundness. Sub bass is there (once you got the right eartips) and produce minimal rumble, qui similar to HZsound Mirror in that regard, for ex, with track Moonlight from IAMDDB you can feel the sub bass density but it’s articulation is a bit flat, still, it permit to be well separated from the punchy kick. This is what is phenomenal here, how the sub-kick and mids are perfectly articulated and separated. Its a versatile ”unfun” bass, it do well with acoustic bass in jazz trio even if i would love a bit more resonance and body.

MIDS:
Hum, crisp and transparent, light in weight, piano note are fastly rendered, clean and clear but lacking a bit in lead attack and natural resonance, 2 things that can interfer with clarity in busy track so here the OLA deal like a champ. We have more texture than density and warmth. Female vocal are suprisingly full and well rounded though, very beautifull and fowards yet non sibilant or artificial. In fact, it might be the most natural part of sound rendering of OLA: a female vocal lover IEM. But for male vocal, it will be dryer thinner, for woodwind instrument it will have slight metallic sheen to it and lack openess. These aren’t lush romantic mids and more lean analytical with a mature rendering that favorise clarity and instrument separation.

TREBLE:
Fast, energic, between dry and airy and very generous in micro-details even if it doesn’t feel unbalanced or overly an analytical. Sometime it can go a bit hot (especially at high volume) so cymbals splash will sound a bit harsh and shouty. I would have love a bit more brilliance and sparkle, for ex the harpsichord of Pierre Hantai sound a bit dry and lacking in natural decay, but he play so freakin fast that at least the OLA can keep up with it’s performance, never mixing notes in a messy resonant way. But lack of note weight and sparkle make it hit or miss depending of harmonic range he play. So, a hint clinical too is the treble. For a bright IEM, it’s energic but softed in peak, so not particularly agressive unless you listen at very high volume when it can become a hint shouty.

SOUNDSTAGE is deeper and taller than wider, and I highly suggest to use KZ STARLINES eartips to not make it overly intimate.

IMAGING is excellent as stated in technicalities section, since we have both transparency and crisp resolution, the mix of transparent sound layers and static instrument positioning is way above it’s price range here.

COMPARISONS​

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VS HZsound Hearth Mirror (1DD-40$)

Let’s begin by saying the HZ seem bassy compared to the OLA, and even warm…say what? HZ warm? Well, this is due to less pina gain, so we could say it sound less shouty then. As well, bass have more sub bass and mids have more lower range, so male vocal sound thicker fuller here, but less transparent and textured.

When it come to tonality, they are a bit similar in fact, here its more how dynamic balance is deal in amplitude, the OLA have more texture boost and less sub bass warmth, both end doesn’t extend as far as HZ too, so you have less rumble density-resonance and less highs sparkle-brilliance. If it wasn’t for sub bass roll off, i would say bass quality of OLA is better due to extra texture and better separation. Biggest difference to me is in term of TIMBRE here, the HZ is more organic, liquid, polished, breathy-dense while OLA have harsher dryer colder timbre that can be more often displeasant for my ears. Mids have more note weight and upper mids edge with the HZ, while the OLA isn’t as well define in contour and a hint more shouty. Treble is crisper, sharper and cleaner-airier with HZ, it dig greater amount of micro-details too, to my ears, this is where the HZ is notably superior and proove it’s attack speed is better controled and faster and less fuzzy.

All in all, without surprise, HZsound Mirror win again but not by a big margain when it come to technicalities, for tonality i find less fatiguing the HZ and prefer organic cohesion it offer and slight extra bass weight and warmth.


VS TANYA (1DD-25$)

What hit first here is how more natural and appealing is Tanya tonality. As well timbre is denser, warmer, fuller and rounder. After, it’s how the technicalities feel inferior when it come to resolution, attack speed-control and imaging. Bass especially sound very muddy and bleedy. But again, when it come to tone, everything sound so more pleasant and lusher, vocal have an immersive holographic presence that OLA crualy lack, it embrace the listener while OLA put an emotional distance to it and doesn’t trigger the musicality it should deliver. In fact, A-B’ing those two is a bipolar exercice…a big psychoacoustic struggle….OLA is barely enjoyable (with Tei shi-La Linda) after the Tanya and sound shouty, agressive and artificial, which wasn’t the case before the comparison. Mids seem sibilant now, whith dry breathyness to them, but way cleaner and higher in resolution and when you enter a busy track like fast complex math rock (The physic house band-Calypso) it’s now the Tanya that is a messy disaster and unlistenable. The OLA is head and shoulder from another league when it come to anything about technical performance, but not as enjoyable for pop, soul, r&b or anything that need natural warm timbre. Everything is thinner yet sharper and better resolve with OLA, but tonality doesn’t try to charm you like the Tanya and will be hit or miss depending of your music style. Ultra technical vs ultra musical, each having their limit in their own realm.

CONCLUSION​

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Tanchjim know how to tune reference sounding IEM with mature tonality, high level of resolution and near unseen technical performance for the price. This IEM will impress more the hardcore audiophile than those that search for colored and charming musicality with warm natural timbre or fun soundsig with extra bass. It’s an IEM that can grow on you when you feel like going critical listening, it’s not a boring one, in fact, it can be perhaps fatiguing for some treble sensitive people since its very energic and lively.
Anyhow, this is an audacious tuning choice from Tanchjim that might pay in the long run since there no other IEM with this very tonality wtv price range I try…
These OLA deserve respect, even if the musicality is unforgivably severe.

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PS: I wanna thanks KEEPHIFI for sending me these IEM after I manifest my high curiosity about them. I’m not affiliated to this audio distributor and have zero money compensation for this review. As always, this is my 100% honest subjective sound impressions.
You can buy the Tanchjim Ola for 40$ here:
https://keephifi.com/products/tanchjim-ola
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o0genesis0o

500+ Head-Fier
Exceptional stereo imaging on a budget
Pros: Exceptional stereo imaging: producing a dome of sound rather than a flat plane
Inoffensive tuning: no harsh peak, no random dip, relatively natural timbre
Slightly above average resolution
Cons: Weak and slightly fuzzy percussion rendering
Fit might be dealbreaker for some
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tl;dr: Undeniable stereo imaging prowess. However, the detail retrieval and bass cannot catch up with the exceptional stereo imaging. The fit might also be a dealbreaker for some users.

My review, along with details about methodology, impressions, and ranking database are available at my website.

Preample


- I purchase this unit on my own. I have no affiliation with or financial interest in Tanchjim
- All listening tests were conducted at a comfortable level where the main vocal and instruments are loud and clear
- My music library covers nostalgic pop music, epic orchestral music from Sci-fi shows, classical violin performances, piano, lo-fi beats, and a few rock songs.
- What I look for in IEM, in order of importance: 3D soundstage with a strong sense of depth, detailed across the frequency spectrum, snappy and tactile note attacks in bass and midrange, natural timbre.
- IEMs are rated with a series of A/B tests against a few benchmark IEMs. The total rating is the average of component ratings. EQ is NOT used in these tests. See the methodology for more detail.
- Price is not a factor when comparing IEMs. I want to see where an IEM fits in the "grand scheme" of things rather than in arbitrary buckets such as "budget", "mid-fi", and "flagship".
- This review was done with stock bass tips, Comply foam tips, and DIY foam tips.



Non-sound aspects


I always think of Tanchjim as an unlucky fellow, always playing second fiddle despite having a similar approach to tuning and marketing to a fellow Chi-Fi company. Therefore, when Tanchjim announced a new budget IEM that focuses on stereo imaging, my curiosity got the best of me, and I blind bought it. After weeks of using and testing OLA, I am impressed.

First, let's talk about packaging and accessories.

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In the box, you get:
- Ear pieces
- 3 pairs of bass tips (silicone)
- 3 pairs of treble tips (silicone)
- A cloth bag for carrying
- Paper work

Whilst the amount of provided accessories is not as generous as Dunu or Fiio, the unboxing experience is quite pleasant and thoughtful, making this IEM an exciting gift for beginners.

Build-wise, OLA is very light. It seems sturdy enough, but the moulding and finishing are not as good as one imagines looking at the advertisement material. It is not a resin-filled IEM like Blessing 2 or Dunu SA6.

Fit-wise, Ola is not the easiest nor comfortable one to use. It has a large short nozzle with a thick lip, similar to those warp pipes in Super Mario games. While the nozzle is small enough to go into your ear canal, the included tips might be too thick. Unless you sort this out, you will have a very shallow fit where the IEMs are held by the tip of the ear tips rather than the entire nozzle. Such fit can change frequency response and leak bass. I ended up creating custom foam tips to ensure the best fit.

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Custom tips from foam earplugs



Sound Analysis


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This table shows the results of A/B tests between OLA and the benchmark IEMs. +1 means OLA wins. -1 means OLA loses. 0 means draw. Some tests are too one-sided that conclusions can be reached without further tests.

Stereo Imaging and Layering: 4.5/5


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Soundstage, Panning & Width, Layering & Depth

Stereo Imaging is an IEM's ability to paint an illusion ("image") of a sound field around a listener. This stereo image is achieved by both recording and mixing technique (stereo widening mixing). Given suitable music, movie, or game, IEMs with good stereo imaging allow you to pin point direction of the sound. Exceptional IEMs can recreate a wide and deep image in which instruments and and vocals form layers from closer to further rather than existing on a the same flat plane.

Test tracks:
- We are the world(3:00 onward): This song shows some excellent stereo imaging. Can you hear soloist upfront whilst the choir is pushed further away to the background? Can you hear one choir to the left and further to the back whilst the other to the right and a bit closer to you?
- Eine kleine Nachtmusik - I. Allegro: Listen for the clear direction of each instrument in the string quartet throughout the piece. You should also be able to hear cello locating closer to than the violin 1.
- I vow to thee, my country: This song is an excellent test for layering. Can you hear the boy choir standing in front of the men choir or they are on the same flat plane?

I was very sceptical when reading the marketing material from Tanchjim about how they tune OLA to "HRTF" (i.e., how a person's face and ears modify the sound reaching the eardrums) for accurate stereo imaging. The question was: which or whose HRTF?

It turned out my scepticism was unfounded. Perhaps because my HRTF (male, Asian) matches Tanchjim's target, OLA delivers one of the best stereo imaging performances amongst all IEMs that I have owned or heard.

Before further discussions, I want to remind you that regardless of how impressive these descriptions sound, OLA is still an IEM. The sound still comes from inside or close to your head, never from a virtual "stage" far away from you like how loudspeakers imagine. What OLA provides is a relatively 3D sphere of sound around your head, rather than a wide but flat wall of sounds like many other IEMs and even headphones.

For example, in the chorus of We are the world from 3:00, OLA imagings two choirs furthest from you, one slightly to the left whilst the others to the right. Soloists are upfront and centre, away from the choirs. I vow to thee, my country is another song that showcases OLA's strong performance in layering. You can hear the boy choir separated from the men's choir and located closer to you. OLA also places you in the middle of the string quartet in *Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - I. Allegro*, allowing you to hear the instruments around you, rather than a flat plane that goes from left, through your head, to the right.

The critical limitation of OLA is the lack of bass and lower-mid (i.e., all frequencies below 1khz). This tuning pushes the bass toward the background, reducing the sense of depth and layering that some IEMs like Andromeda and E5000 produce.

Comparison against benchmark IEMs:
- Vs CFA Andromeda 2020 (5/5): OLA is no match due to the lack of lower frequency described above. Andromeda does the depth and layering much better.
- Vs Final Audio A4000 (4/5): Whilst A4000 pushes the image further than OLA, it does not layer elements as well as OLA. In other words, everything is far away on A4000, rather than something closer, something further away at the same time as OLA.
- Vs Moondrop Blessing 2 (3/5): OLA creates a dome of sound, whilst Blessing 2 creates a wide, flat plane. I found OLA more engaging.
- Vs ER2SE (deep insertion) (2/5): OLA creates a larger and more 3D image compared to the narrow and shallow stage of ER2SE. Noted that we are talking about stock ER2SE with the deepest insertion and no EQ.

The benchmarks show that OLA fits between 5/5 and 4/5 levels, so I assign it 4.5/5 for stereo imaging and soundstage. This score puts it behind top-tier performers (Andromeda 2020, Final E5000) but above many peers with wide but flat soundstages like Blessing 2, Aria, Titan S, and similarly tuned IEMs.

Percussion Control: 2/5


Percussion Rendering is about the quality of drum hits, bass guitar, and other percussion instruments, not how loud they are. Exceptional IEMs render bass attacks fast, hard, and maintains precise timing regardless of how busy the bass section becomes. On the other hand, poorly controlled bass is boomy (the bass notes linger too long and blend into others) or mushy (the start of bass notes or drum hits are soft rather than decisive).

Test tracks:
- Finale (William Tell Overture): How rhythmic the whole orchestra sound? Can you follow the drums clearly? How about the rhythm carried by the string and brass section? Can you hear texture and detail in the drum or just mushy thump thump sound?
- Force your way: Is the bass line impactful? Can you hear the melody in the bass or just a series of thump thump sound?
- Clarinet Polka: fun and chaotic polka. Is the drum clean and precise? Is the clarinet on the right well control? How about the accordion on the left?

If the above analysis seems too rosy, then this is where things collapse for OLA. To put it simply, its bass lacks quantity (loudness) and has only mediocre quality, so drums and other rhythmic elements of the music sound dull.

For example, Finale (William Tell Overture) demands snappy attacks of drums, strings, brass, and woodwind section at the same time to deliver its "horse galloping" sensation. OLA does not render attack fast and hard enough, making notes soft and mushed. It does not fare very well with Clarinet Polka for the same reason. Force your way lacks the expected strength. You might be able to hear some details in the bass, but it's not that great.

Comparison against benchmark IEMs:
- Vs Final E5000 (5/5): Far from the same level.
- Vs Final A4000 (4/5): Far from the same level. A4000 might lack the quantity due to its subdued midbass, but its drum hits are fast, clean, and physical due to its sub-bass extension. You feel the impact in your throat.
- Vs Titan S (3/5): A bit closer in terms of performance level, but the quality of drum hits on Titan S is still better: snappier and stronger.
- Vs Blessing 2 (2/5): More or less the same. Bass attacks are a bit soft, like punching a pillow. Noted that we are talking about the stock Blessing 2 without any EQ.

I rank OLA 2/5 for percussion rendering based on the benchmarks. To put this in context, any score below 3/5 is unsatisfying.

Detail Retrieval: 3.5/5


Detail Retrieval reflects an IEM's ability to reveal fine details in a mix. Exceptional IEMs are resolving across the frequency spectrum, not just the midrange: you hear more details in the reverb and decay of sound, you hear texture and pitch in the bass, you hear more nuances in instruments and vocal. You usually wouldn't know that your current IEM lacks detail unless you have heard a more resolving one.

Test tracks:
- Now you believe in you: testing the detail of background element and the treble extension / air
- Hotel California: testing details of the foreground elements from the 12-string guitar.
- My Immortal: testing the detail retrieval across spectrum.

Detail retrieval or "resolution" of OLA is slightly above average. It does a decent job rendering the tail-end reverb and decay of sound in *Now you believe in you*. The reverb fades away naturally rather than dropping abruptly when going below a certain volume. You can hear little vibratos and details there. The background choir is rendered with decent clarity, allowing you to detect its presence.

"Adequate" also describes how OLA renders Hotel California and *My Immortal*. You can hear small details when the guitar pick or fingernails catch the strings or the articulation of the left hand on the fingerboard. The notes are still a bit fuzzy around the edge compared to better performers. Still, there is not much to complain about mid-range details in general.

Treble and bass details are where the gap between OLA and better performers shows more clearly. Because we listen to the whole music rather than just midrange or treble or bass, these weaknesses pull the overall "resolution" of OLA down. In some songs, we can compare OLA's sound to an image that has been overly sharpened rather than taken with good lenses.

Comparison against benchmark IEMs:
- Vs Andromeda 2020 (5/5): The A/B was so lopsided that I did not need to go further after *Now you believe in you*. OLA is no match.
- Vs Blessing 2 (4/5): OLA was close, but not quite Blessing 2 level yet. With OLA, you tell yourself "hmm, not bad, maybe need a bit more, but not bad ...". With Blessing 2, you can immediately tell yourself "yes, that's it. Nice and clean".
- Vs Aria (3/5): This is the A/B I was looking forward to the most. Surprisingly, OLA is just a bit sharper and cleaner than the "average IEM" benchmark. Not hugely, but still better.
- Vs FH3 (2/5): No comparison is necessary. OLA does not have an overly smoothened sound like FH3 (or CFA Satsuma).

Based on the benchmarks, I rate OLA 3.5/5 in terms of detail retrieval, putting it very slightly above average. This score means I would not complain about lack of detail or fuzziness when using OLA.

Separation: 4.5/5


Separation and Layering reflects an IEM's ability to prevent elements of a mix from overlapping and mushing together. Separation can happen by spreading elements of a mix from left to right, layering them closer to further away, or by accurate rendering of the timbre of different instruments. Given a decent mix, exceptional IEMs allow you to follow every element of the mix with minimal difficulty.

Test tracks:
- Bad guy: Can you hear the duplicated vocal line of Billie Eilish on the left? How easy it is for you to follow the words that she sings?
- Finale (William Tell Overture): Can you follow individual sections the orchestra? Can you hear the woodwind playing at the same time with the string section? Can you hear texture and detail in the drum or just mushy thump thump sound?
- And the waltz goes on: How easy it is to separate different sections of the orchestra when the music gets rich and lush from 1:00 onward?

Due to the tuning and the excellent stereo imaging, OLA performs admirably in separation and layering. It separates and renders elements at the fringe of the soundstage, such as duplicated vocals for stereo widening effect in *Bad guy*, as well as Andromeda 2020.

However, OLA's separation crumbles when many things happen in the same region in the soundstage and at similar frequencies. For instance, its separation is worse than Andro in Finale (William Tell Overture)*. Tracks that demand layering like *And the waltz goes on are also the bane of OLA.

Comparison against benchmark IEMs:
- Vs Andromeda 2020 (5/5): OLA falls behind compared to Andromeda when the music gets busy.
- Vs ER2SE (deep insertion) (4/5): OLA pulls ahead slightly thanks to the spacious staging. However, the ability to distinguish different elements in a mix is slightly better on ER2SE.
- Vs Aria (3/5): I found OLA to do a better job than the benchmark due to its staging.
Vs FH3 (2/5): While OLA does not separate exceptionally well when elements are bundled together, it still does better than FH3.

Based on the benchmark, I give OLA between 3.5 and 4.5/5, depending on the songs.

Tonality: 3/5


Tonality reflects the timbre and relative loudness of different elements in a mix. The tuning of an IEM can be measured objectively and presented as a frequency response graph. However, the interpretation of tonality from that tuning is more personal due to differences in anatomy, cultural background, and preferences. Therefore, to reduce bias, we assess IEM's tonality based on how bad they are rather than how good they are. As long as the tuning does not make timbre unrealistic nor reduce technical performance significantly, it is okay.

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Frequency response graph, courtesy of Super* Review at Squig.Link)

I was disappointed when listening to OLA the first time. In my impression, I stated that the contrast between upper mid and lower-mid is relatively high compared to the manufacturer's graph, meaning vocals and instruments are more "in-your-face" but not full-bodied like Final E series, 64 Audio or Andromeda 2020. After weeks of listening and testing, I still have the same opinion.

To be clear, OLA is not a poorly tuned IEM. The instruments and vocals are relatively natural, with no harsh peaks. I believe some would even consider this IEM to be well-tuned, given how perfect it executes the ear gain region.

My issue with OLA is with the area below 1khz. OLA loses richness and details in that region by dipping the fundamental tones. This issue also impacts the soundstage depth. To verify this hypothesis, I use a simple graphical EQ to cut 2.4khz and 4.8khz by 2.5db and boost the lower-mid to match the curve of Final E5000. Lo and behold, the voicing becomes realistic, and depth is created correctly. In this configuration, I have no problem rating OLA's stereo imaging as 5/5, matching my Andromeda 2020.

In summary, OLA is a fashionably tuned IEM that is not bad on its own, but EQ is highly recommended. Thus, I rate it 3/5: average.

Conclusion and Personal Preference: 4/5


Personal preference is my entirely subjective and personal opinion about an IEM, based on multiple factors. This score DOES NOT contribute to the rating of an IEM.

I give OLA 4/5. I appreciate what Tanchjim has done with stereo imaging, and I hope they know how to repeat that success. I also hope that they further improve these drivers and put them in better shells, like a new Hana or a new Oxygen. If Tanchjim also boosts the lower mid, I believe such IEM would be an end-game worthy for many.



Upgrade path


Should you get OLA if ...
- *you have no IEM?*: Yup. It's great, but you need to learn how to wear IEM properly and get ready to explore ear tips.
- *you have a not-so-great budget IEM?*: Yup. Same as above.
- *you already have something decent like Aria?*: If you don't want to EQ, then yes. The famous trio (Aria, Titan S, T3+) does not give you this kind of stereo imaging due to their tuning.
- *you already have Blessing 2 or higher-end IEM?*: Nope. You can use EQ to increase the soundstage depth. Blessing 2 sounds quite 3D with some added lower-mid and reduced ear-gain.
- *you want head-shaking, thick, boomy sound?*: Nope.

Where to go from OLA:
- More clarity? ER2SE/XR, Blessing 2, Andromeda 2020
- More immersive soundstage? Andromeda 2020 or E5000
- More impactful bass? E3000 or E5000
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Ichos
Ichos
Very detailed review, well done!

asifur

100+ Head-Fier
Tanchjim OLA : A Neutral Welcome!
Pros: + Very lightweight & comfortable for longer listening sessions
+ Neutral tuning
+ Great Midrange performance
+ Above average staging & imaging
+ Removable cable of good quality
+ Microphone for gaming & calls
Cons: - Lacking the details in sub-bass
- Mid bass not as prominent
Tanchjim OLA : A Neutral Welcome!

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Summary & Objective:

Tanchjim OLA comes in the very affordable range of below $50 range with stunning new look and detachable cable. It promises great sonic performance while inclusion of microphone makes it ideal for gamers also.

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Introduction:

The Tanchjim OLA is the latest release by Tanchjim Audio in the below $50 price range and promises to deliver great quality sound. It comes with DMT4 architecture dynamic loudspeaker independently developed by Tanchjim. It is very lightweight with aerospace grade aluminum alloy based outer shells and transparent plastic inner shell - giving it a premium look & feel and also making it very lightweight and ideal for longer music or gaming sessions.
The TANCHJIM OLA is priced at $39.99.

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Disclaimer:

This unit was sent by @shenzhenaudio for the purpose of an honest review.
Everything mentioned in this review are purely my own based on my experiences with the IEM.

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Specifications:

The Tanchjim OLA comes with $39.99 price tag and the specifications are as below:

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/...ear-earphones-with-detachable-cable-dmt4-iems

Product information | INFORMATION
Brand | TANCHJIM
Model | OLA
Origin | Dongguan, China
Color | Silver
Sensitivity | 126dB/Vrms
Impedance | 160± 10%
Frequency range | 7-45kHz
THD | < 0.3%
Driver | 10mm dynamic driver
Cable | 1.25M 3.5- 0.78PIN
Technology | DMT 4
Cable Material | Litz crystal copper silver-plating
Diaphragm material | polymer graphene
Cable structure | Litz oxygen-free copper composite coaxial

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NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SOUND....

Items Used for this Review:

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DAC/AMP: Cayin RU6 R2R Dongle
DAP/Source : @Shanling M3X, Cayin N6 Mk2 with R01 motherboard
Streaming Source: QOBUZ
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Ear Tips:
I have tried OLA with many different ear-tips and had found the @SpinFit Eartip CP100+ and FINAL E series Transparent ear-tips to be the most comfortable fit in my case.

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Tracks Used:
The tracks I have used can be found from the below playlist that I have used and generally use for most reviews...


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TANCHJIM OLA Sound Impressions in Short:

The BASS:


The Bass on the OLA is rather lacking and flat. It lacks details from sub-bass region and doesn't come with enough depth in the mid-bass … specially the thump & slams seem rather non-engaging. In tracks like : "Anna R. Chie (Remastered) - Konstantin Wecker" and "Dreams (2001 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac" you can really feel the the lack in bass response in the sub & mid bass regions.

The MIDS:

What it lacks in the bass, it more than makes up in the midrange. The OLA comes with a very clear and open midrange with texture and muscle. The vocals are natural and both male and female vocals come with good amount of details. Instruments sounded natural. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy" and "Ruby Tuesday - Franco Battiato" while you will love the overall midrange specially transients of the guitars, violins etc... instruments and the vocals.

The TREBLE:

Treble is quite enjoyable and non-fatiguing. Cymbals sound natural and tracks like “Chocolate Chip Trip – Tool” sounded great and the track was very enjoyable.
The treble has enough details and texture and is quite commendable for the price.

STAGING & SEPARATION:

The Staging is where it felt like OLA can beat the competition. The staging has good width, height and depth and just felt great in most tracks. Tracks like: “ She Don't Know – Melody Gardot” or “Bohemian Rhapsody (live aid) – Queen” sound good & enjoyable. Separation however seemed average.

Imaging & Timbre:

The OLA also comes with just good sense of positioning and imaging & timbre performances. Tracks like: “Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) - The Beautiful South “or “Paradise Circus - Massive Attack” seemed quite enjoyable with good imaging & natural timbre.

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Comparisons:

Any review of budget range IEMs call for mandatory comparisons. The IEMs in the scene here are Tanchjim Tanya and MOONDROP Quarks. All 3 of them being single Dynamic driver based IEMs with microphones and ranges in below $50 price category.

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TANCHJIM OLA vs TANCHJIM TANYA vs MOONDROP QUARKS :

Build & Comfort:
Though all 3 of the IEMs are very lightweight and comfortable - I would give my dibs to the OLA for being the best looking one. OLA is also the only IEM amongst the 3, that comes with detachable cables.

Bass: Bass is where the Tanchjim Tanya gets an easy win over the other 2 IEMs. both Quarks & OLA have very flat bass performance

Mids: The midrange is where the OLA scores a clear win over the other 2 IEM for being the most detailed and textured and open sounding. the Quarks comes as a #2.

Treble: The Treble performance seemed non-peaky and good in all 3 IEMs. Not much to complain about really.

Soundstage & Separation: While all 3 IEMs seemed to have pretty decent staging & separation the OLA would be ever so marginally better than the others.

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Conclusion :

The TANCHJIM OLA is a great performer given the price range specially for people who appreciate Neutral sound signature. It is quite easy to drive and performs well with just any combination. It's overall good performance makes it easily recommendable for the price range. Highly recommended for Gamers.

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Ichos

Reviewer at hxosplus
A nice surprise
Pros: + Balanced and neutrally tuned
+ Musical and forgiving
+ Good technicalities given the price point
+ Clear and open sounding
+ Ultra lightweight
+ Comfortable fit
+ Good quality detachable cable
+ Two sets of eartips
Cons: - Not the most resolving
- Bass rolls off quite early
- Could use more treble extension
- One dimensional soundstage
- Tight fit might be difficult for larger ears
- Double and triple flange eartips should have been included to help with fit
The review sample was kindly provided by HiFiGo free of charge in exchange for my subjective and honest review.
The selling price is $39.99 and you can buy it using the following, non affiliate link HiFiGo.

Tanchjim, which was founded in 2015, is a pretty well known earphone manufacturer from China, mostly known for their models called Oxygen and Hana 2021.
However this is my first experience with the company.
Their newest model is a budget earphone named OLA.

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Technical highlights

The OLA is a single dynamic driver IEM designed with lightweight and transparent PC cavities.
The cavities have aerospace-grade aluminum covers creating an elegant design experience with the Ola.

Designed for a powerful performance, the Tanchjim OLA houses an in-house developed 4th-gen DMT4 dynamic driver per side.
The driver is tuned and adjusted following FEM analysis and FEA finite element analysis software for a natural and clean sound presentation.
OLA has been tuned following the HRTF(Head-Related Transfer Function) frequency curve. Tanchjim has carefully adjusted the acoustic cavity structure of the pair to achieve this level of professional tuning.
More information regarding the HRTF can be found here.

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Dust & Waterproof

The front cavity in the Tanchjim OLA features a SATTI filter specially imported from Italy.
This filter has nano-coating to protect the IEM from Dust and Water splashes.
You can use the OLA while working out without worrying about sweat or dust damaging the dynamic driver of the pair.

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Cable and accessories

Tanchjim OLA comes with a high-purity stock cable with standard 2-pin 0.78mm connectors and 3.5mm termination. The cable has double-core OFC wire with Kevlar fiber protected with 4N OFC silver-plated cable in a Litz braided structure.
The cable actually is pretty good for the price with good handling, it doesn't get tangled and has low microphonic noise.
A version of the cable with a microphone is also available as an option.
A blue and a red dot mark the left and the right channel respectively.

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The OLA comes with two sets of eartips (S/M/L) that are nicely arranged into two trays.
The one set has a shorter length with wider bores to increase treble extension and the other one is longer with narrower bores to boost the bass.

A velvet carrying pouch completes the package which is nothing spectacular but still good for the price point.

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Build quality and fit

The OLA shells are rounded and quite swallow with a minimalist, industrial look.
The outer part of the shells is made from aerospace-grade aluminum alloy while the other inner half is made from plastic, they might look flimsy but they feel quite sturdy.

The earpieces are ultra lightweight and after a couple of minutes you literally forget that you are wearing them.
Fit is very comfortable but due to the shorter length of the nozzle, users with deeper ear cavities might not get a perfect seal, especially with the shorter eartips.
The rounded shaped shells don't help either because they stop you from pushing the shells deeper into the ear canal but there is a trick to slightly angle the earpieces while trying to fit them into your ear.
I was able to achieve a tight, discreet and very comfortable fit, suitable for long listening sessions and exercise.
With the proper fit, noise isolation is medium good and you can use the OLA in noisy environments.
Good fit is necessary in order to get the best bass response so the following sound impressions are valid given that you are able to get a snug fit as I did.

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Sound impressions

As per usual practice the OLA was left playing music for about 100 hours before listening sessions.

The OLA with an impedance of 16Ω and a high sensitivity of 126dB/Vrms is pretty easy to drive and you can use them straight from your phone socket.
Nonetheless, with all that cheap USB DAC dongles flooding the market I would suggest using one of them as I did.
The Periodic Audio Rhodium, ddHiFi TC35B and Hidizs S3 PRO sounded pretty good with the OLA.

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The general sound signature is exceptionally balanced without any alarming peaks or deeps.
The timbre is very consistent throughout the whole frequency range and all the acoustic instruments sound pretty close to reality with a well sculpted texture, something of a rarity at this price point where almost everything sounds bright or heavily "V" shaped and most instruments are reproduced out of tune.
The OLA is one of the rare examples at this price point that is perfectly suitable for classical music listening and all other genres with acoustic instruments.
On the other hand there is something to be missed in terms of base quantity and slamming effect when it comes to electronic music and such stuff.
There is a gentle roll off to the lower bass which although it doesn't get too noticed, there are instances where some users might ask for more, the OLA is definitely not a bass head experience nor the most dynamic earphone.

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However the bass is surprisingly well behaved, neutrally tuned with good layering for the price point, it sounds tight and controlled without any traces of mid - bass bloat or clouding the mids.
There is also a good balance regarding the body intensity, not too visceral nor too lean.
The mid range sounds immensely open and expanded, large, clear with good articulation and a natural tone color both in vocals and instruments that get blended together in a very musical way.
The OLA sounds slightly warmish, enjoyable and forgiving, relaxed without shouting voices or piercing treble.
Surely, treble is not the most extended nor does it sound very detailed but then it is smooth and easy to the ear without too much of trade offs
The OLA might be neutrally tuned but it is also very forgiving with poor recordings and recommended for listening to classic rock tunes like Gallagher's "Shadow play".
Treble voicing is not too metallic or thin, high huts and other percussion instruments decay smoothly with good timing and natural reverb.
Listening to Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" album was a real joy, with clear and well articulated voices and lifelike instruments.

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Soundstage is surprisingly good for an entry level IEM, it is quite extended and not claustrophobic with satisfying positioning accuracy and separation.
Don't ask about depth or holography because you are going to be disappointed but I have to admit that the OLA did pretty good even with large scale symphonic works.

In the end

Neutrally tuned and still exceptionally musical, the Tanchjim OLA is a nice surprise, something different, a budget IEM with reference credentials and good technicalities.
Well built, ultra lightweight and very comfortable it gets highly recommended for all the users who are after a balanced sounding IEM at a budget price.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2022.
Last edited:
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Our HRTFs must be very different from each other, given that I hear quite good depth on OLA but you don't, and last time you heard great stage on FA7s and I didn't :)) Great review, btw.
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Ichos
Ichos
Sound works in a mysterious ways 😉

Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
The Sennheiser HD6XX of Budget IEMs
Pros: - Very well-balanced set overall
- Above average imaging
Cons: - Not for listeners desiring rumble
- Some listeners might find the shells slightly awkward
Configuration: 1DD
MSRP: $40
Unit provided for review courtesy of Shenzhen Audio.


It's been a while since I've dropped actual listening impressions, so here we go. The Ola is Tanchjim's latest single-DD IEM targeting the budget segment of the market. I liked their $25 Tanya IEM quite a bit, so I was interested to hear what the Ola's packaging.

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On initial listen, the Ola doesn't really appeal to me. Nowhere to be found is the bass-y and dark tonality of the Tanya. In fact, the Ola is very much the antithesis of its younger sibling. Bass appears to roll-off under ~50Hz, thus slightly emphasizing mid-bass. The quality of the bass itself is about average; there's a certain softness, aloofness, that plagues the Ola's mid-bass attack. That aside, I have to say that I like most things about the Ola's tuning otherwise. The midrange is a welcome departure from the aggressive, 3kHz pinna compensations that have been popularized by the Harman Target hitters (which Tanchjim themselves are no stranger to being). Vocals are pleasant and near-neutral, perhaps akin to the Symphonium Helios' midrange with some added warmth. Like the Helios, the Ola sports an admirably smooth transition from 3-5kHz into the lower-treble. Due to the Ola's limited extension (to be clear, I'm talking 15kHz+), I find myself desiring more stick impact for added presence...but asking for more would be unfair at this price.

When it comes to its transient response, the Ola - to me - sounds like it's packing your average dynamic driver. Decay is seemingly a hair truncated, thus lending to dryness of timbre. Listening to my Moondrop SSR (likely for the first time in a year!), the SSR's driver is perceptively more detailed with added texture to its decay. It also has better control for bass notes despite the IEMs measuring near-identically in the bass. I'd partially attribute this to the SSR's more aggressive upper-midrange and lower-treble which creates more contrast relative to the bass; by extension, perception of control. Both IEMs are above-average performers for imaging that belie their price bracket. Subjectively, the Ola has more 'space' between individual instruments - it has a very open presentation - even if the two IEMs seem to be actually quite close for stage size.

In conclusion, the Ola is a very safe pick. When one examines the current budget forerunners, they almost universally sport aggressive colorations in an effort to make them stand out. Look at the Moondrop SSR and it's ridiculous pinna compensation. The CCA CRA and its excessively bright 15kHz peaks. The Tanchjim Tanya, Tripowin Mele, and BLON BL-O3 and their bass-y, dark tunings. You see where I'm going. The only IEM that comes to mind that shoots for the Ola's niche is the Tin T2 which I did not like. The Ola is more refined for timbre (significantly less grainy) and possesses a smoother treble response than the T2 from memory. In any case, to me, there's a general sense of the Ola being the Sennheiser HD6XX of the budget IEM bracket. Not that they necessarily sound alike or anything, of course. The Ola's just inoffensive and has one rare quirk - its staging to the HD6XX's midrange - for its price to keep listeners entertained.
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OspreyAndy

500+ Head-Fier
TANCHJIM OLA – Personified Crispness
Pros: -
- Neutral sound curve (almost Diffused Field Neutral)
- Great technicalities
- Very transparent and resolving
- Generally crispy and solid sound throughout the dynamic range
Cons: -
- Finicky with source pairing, prefers naturally organic or warm DAC/Amp
- Sub-Bass lacking presence
- Will sound lean, dry and metallic on natively bright sounding sources

TANCHJIM OLA – Personified Crispness

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FOREWORD

  • This unit was provided by HiFiGo for review purposes
  • My TANCHJIM OLA has undergone over 200 hours of playtime
  • I don't do measurements, I just describe what I hear, from my own POV
  • I don't use EQ
  • The entirety of my impressions was done with OLA Silicone tips
  • Ultimately, my reviews are purely subjective and biased to my personal preference in sound
EQUIPMENT USED
  • Ovidius B1
  • Audirect BEAM 3 Plus
  • NotByVE Abigail
  • NotByVE Avani
  • Shanling UA5
  • Earmen Sparrow
  • LG V50 ThinQ
  • iFi ZEN DAC V2 + ZEN Can
  • Sony Xperia X Compact (USB 2.0 host)
  • HiBy Music Player (USB Exclusive Mode)
  • FLAC Lossless Files
The Build
OLA came in somewhat unique shell design that I have never seen before. It has that old Star Trek tech vibe to it. While I am not particularly a fan of this design, I must admit the construction is well conceived. In fact, the whole package of OLA from the box to the IEMs and cable all themed exquisitely in silver/grey that inspire a sense of simplified elegance.

Offering single 10mm dynamic drivers each side, OLA is rated at 16 Ohm with 126db of sensitivity. Looking at the spec alone, one would assume this could be one very sensitive and easy to drive IEMs, yes? Well, read on and find out how true is this.

Being rather petite and lightweight, I find wearing OLA quite easy. It would stay attached to my ears for long periods of time without any risk of getting fatigue. However, I find that the isolation with the stock silicone tips is not that great at suppressing external ambient noises. Changing it to aftermarket foam tips will help improve isolation.
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Sound Impressions

🟢
DYNAMICS, TONE & TIMBRE

The overall tone and timbre signature of OLA is something I would regard as “almost” neutral. Taking Etymotic ER4 series as the benchmark for Diffused Field Neutral, OLA edge very close in matching the sound curve of the Etys – with an exception that the lower frequencies have mild tilt and elevation on Mid-Bass section. Otherwise, I would say that among many ChiFi IEMs that we see flooding the market nowadays, OLA assuredly fall into one of the most neutral sounding unit available. It is amply mature with dynamics vibrancy to not appear unnaturally euphonic. OLA also has pronounced Mids focus with super crisp presentation, where the entire theme of being neutral starts. Except for the mild elevation of lower frequencies, OLA is gracefully free of any coloration.
Dynamic range appeared well staged. OLA offers great extensions on both end of the spectrum. Perhaps being clinical I would say it does seem to fall short on Sub-Bass region.
My only critique on the overall sound characteristics of OLA, it can appear dry and lean especially when paired with natively bright sounding partners – lacking organic touch and smoothness (a little too much on crispness). But then when paired with an already neutral organic sources, OLA will then sound very well balanced and articulate – devoid of any edginess.

🟢
MIDS

The strength of OLA, Mids being very neutral and uncolored. The staging of Mids properly placed to appear well defined with clean and crisp imaging. Tonally faithful to the intended nature of the recordings. I am hearing good amount of texture and details especially for acoustic, percussions and air instruments. There’s polished maturity in the way attack and decays with how the instruments being played.
On vocals, OLA exhibited similarly neutral presentation. I was actually mesmerized by how realistic Diana Krall and Sinne Eeg vocals are as heard with OLA. Properly chesty and deep, no attempt to add any element of warmth. On the other hand, with something a bit peakier like Alison Krauss, OLA faithfully presented her Soprano singing with piercing tone which may appear borderline sibilant. But then that’s the nature of Alison Krauss, she’s known to be one of the sharpest sounding female vocalist to ever exist. I personally find this to be quite acceptable because I get similar results from my Etymotic ER4SR and ER2XR. For male vocals, OLA sounds the best with Baritone type – being very chesty, deep and commanding, Nick Cave and Morrissey sounded realistically lively and engaging. Again, without any hint of added warmth. A matter of saying, for those preferring the Mids being totally neutral, OLA will not disappoint.

🟢
TREBLE

Another strength of OLA. Crisp and clean Treble being the highlight of the upper frequency characteristics. OLA exhibited admirable prowess with Treble micro details. Well controlled to not appear overly bright. Crisp and well-defined edges that manage to avoid peaky spikes. There’s ample sparkle and shimmer to keep things vibrant, nothing overly done. What I do wish OLA could have done better, a bit more of air and smoothness. The focus on crispness seemed to take away some velvety element that I normally prefer for Treble presentation. But it must be noted, that how competent Treble is, largely depends on how good the recording/mastering are with the sources. OLA will reflect on these transparently.

🟢
BASS

Now, what I do know, OLA is not an IEM for Bassheads. Being relatively neutral it also means OLA will appear subdued to those preferring their Bass big. What OLA does offer is richly textured Bass performances especially with Mid-Bass. Generally, the theme is, Mid-Bass being solid and fast, very tidy. Admirable details and texture while at it. There was never a moment the Mid-Bass will attempt to overshadow lower Mids. But I will say that it is still not neutral enough to call it flat. Perhaps the caveat of OLA, Sub-Bass appeared meek and reserved. Very rarely I would be able to feel the presence of Sub-Bass seismic responses. Otherwise, I have nothing else to complain about OLA overall Bass performances.

🟢
TECHNICALITIES

Undoubtedly, OLA scores big on technicalities. For a start, the soundstage is wider than most IEMs that I have tried so far – offering good sense of space and depth – maybe the height not as tall. Precise and very holographic spatial imaging evident no matter what song I threw at it.
Macro and Micro details handling of OLA also being very commendable. Especially when paired with natively technical sources, OLA exhibited very deft articulation of details retrieval.
Speed and resolution being great as well. No matter how complex and fast the tracks are, OLA handled them all gracefully without any hint of congestion or compression. Each layers remained separated, no mucking up of multiple complex composition of instruments. Making it easy to track individual instruments.

🟢
SCALABILITY & SYNERGY

I noted earlier that OLA is a 16 Ohm IEM with 126db of sensitivity. Surprisingly, OLA does not appear to be that sensitive on actual usage. On my LG V50 ThinQ Quad DAC (low gain mode), OLA needed the volume to be cranked at 56/75 to attain proper listening loudness. It must be noted that I am a low volume listener and most of my IEMs needed only 40-50/75 on my LG V50. Despite that, I have observed that OLA does need the volume to be adjusted just about right. Subjecting OLA to higher loudness will result in the output being peaky and shouty. So, it does seem that OLA can be very finicky with loudness adjustment – perhaps due to being 16 Ohm.

Now, this is crucial. The sound impressions that I stated above, reflects what I heard when OLA was paired with Ovidius B1, Audirect BEAM 3 Plus, iFi ZEN Stack and Avani. OLA seems to shine the best with natively organic neutral DAC/Amps – or should I say “warmer” sources. Pairing OLA with bright sounding partners will result in output that can be lean, dry and metallic. For example, with ESS Sabre based LG V50 ThinQ (ES9218P), Shanling UA5 (ES9038Q2M) and Earmen Sparrow (ES9281PRO) – the output sounded digital and lacking organic timbre balance. Yes, they will be super clean and pristine, but they are also borderline sterile. Matching OLA with warmer sources is the key to getting the best of it. So, it does seem that OLA being choosy as to the nature of the pairing partners.

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❤
Final Thoughts

With so many ChiFi IEMs out there within this price bracket being tuned towards Harman-ish, and V curved sound, TANCHJIM OLA offers something refreshing. Something that is very close to being Diffused Field Neutral. What I like about OLA, is how transparent and technically competent it is at sound presentation. I will not hesitate to say that the sort of technical performances normally expected of IEMs double the asking price.

The weakness of OLA, it is a bit finicky with pairing selection. Perhaps because OLA has that source transparency traits that will reveal the true nature of the sources. Pairing it with bright sounding DAC/Amp is not something I would do for OLA. It needed something more neutrally and naturally organic partners to sound the best. Or what most people would say it, warm sounding sources.

Comparatively, I would say that OLA definitely scored better on technicalities than most other competition in this price segment. Undoubtedly more technically competent than the likes of HZSOUND Heart Mirror, TIN HiFi T3+, Moondrop Aria etc.

Ultimately the appeal of OLA, being very close to being neutral and uncolored. But it does have some minor cons that otherwise negligible – just a matter of pairing it right.

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SenyorC

100+ Head-Fier
More than I expected
Pros: Good overall package for their price
Cons: Lack of subbass, occasional peaks in the high ranges.
AVvXsEhSnk58Y6xB1oUX89kVZljWEB_JnbanFftn3eV9mBpCWCct_96OJDapDhkfkkrGeWZy9RieWfYGLBnNp_6B3SXhWKCPXA5-LnhbFtbSWUG9vpikGXcQcTQTLbJ-hodUSIstkQ8E6806IlR0_ynJqlrGRU2Ak3L8UbCkF4TEibfohlMRvekEdJT8JjkF=w640-h426


The Tanchjim Ola have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not requested anything other than the inclusion of links to the Ola on their site (which you will find below), therefore, my review will be as sincere and unbiased as possible. Having said that, it is still a good idea to consider the fact that it hasn’t cost me anything to test these IEMs.

You can find links to the Tanchjim Ola by visiting the version of this review published on my blog (here).

Intro…

Tanchjim are a brand that do not need any introduction in the world of IEMs. Personally I have only listened to their budget orientated Tanya (which remain a very good option for their price) but was very interested in trying out the Ola when HifiGo reached out to me.

I haven’t actually seen any information or reviews of the Ola as it is a recent release, therefore it is another case where I have been able to avoid any kind of expectations, even though I do expect something decent from Tanchjim.

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Presentation…

The presentation of the Tanchjim Ola is certainly impressive for a set of IEMs that costs just over 35€ at the time of writing this review. Inside a white cardboard sleeve showing an anime girl on the front (which also arrived with a separate anime postcard), we get a simple but elegant grey box, sporting the Tanchjim logo.

As far as contents, we receive the IEMs, the cable, 3 sets of silicone tips labelled as “Bass Enhancing”, another 3 sets labelled as “Treble Enhancing”, a storage bag and plenty of documentation.

It may not seem like a lot but it is more than can be expected at the price and everything is well packaged, giving a fairly premium feel for something that costs less than some sets of ear tips.

AVvXsEg30_Bsm6DOAQqePkcYx-EygAzoB5r6pqFY_p7x1RUH1Y4IkYHXedHdS-bE6TihO5qd6OX0HDxQKPiY99zm3JcQg2F4RYwKqnv0lw8hE-beS-01p6M_vZnlDrRNuv4Aio2i6MdUVZM6MWjiDIq3jw0LW9WtwOVD3OhNM_MayNULVILcqFLf5wV1Tjy6=w640-h426


Build and aesthetics…

The Ola are a bit of a break from the norm, with a shell that is shaped like a teardrop. The outer half of the shell is some kind of aluminium while the inner half is transparent plastic. This actually gives them a nice and clean look while being very lightweight and rather small.

The nozzle is angled forwards and makes these a set of IEMs that are very comfortable when finding the correct fit. I say “finding the correct fit” as I did have issues getting them to seal with the included “Treble Enhancing” tips, as the fit is so shallow. However, with the “Bass Enhancing” tips I find them to be comfortable and after listening to them, I don’t think I would opt for treble enhancement anyway (more on that under sound).

The included cable is not bad but it is not my favourite style of cable. The positive side is that it doesn’t tangle easily and it is not microphonic. The hardware is also metal and of good quality.

In general, I would say that the build quality is good and although aesthetics are very personal, I don’t think that many people will find it offensive at all.

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Sound…

Let me start off by saying that the Ola are quite mid focused towards the brighter side of things. I actually enjoy the overall sound signature quite a bit but I have found myself activating the XBass on either the Go Blu or Gryphon for certain songs.

Also, while these IEMs are rather lean on the subbass side of things, I feel that these are a set of IEMs that don’t sound like they measure, at least in the lowest frequencies.

Here is my graph of them compared to my personal preference target:

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(all my measurements can be seen and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)

Now, as you can see on the graph, the subbass rolls off a lot and is way below my personal target in this area. However, when listening to the IEMs, I don’t get the impression that the graph gives me. Yes, they are lower on subbass than many other alternatives but they are not completely lacking in subbass like the above measurement would suggest.

Putting them through the usual “Chameleon” test, I find that they are obviously not a wall of low end rumble but they still have enough subbass to appreciate the song, especially if engaging the XBass I mentioned above.

Once we are clear of the subbass, the sound signature quickly conforms to my preferences in the midbass and lower mid zones. I would say that the midbass is right on target for me, enough to give some body to the low ends of guitars and basses, while not coming across as too warm.

Listening to more electronic music, such as “Sun Is Shining”, I feel that the majority of people might like a little more bass presence, the same will probably apply to those who listen to a lot of hip-hop. I did find myself listening to things like “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” with bass boost once again activated.

One thing that is certain is that the bass is very clean and articulate, with absolutely no sign of bleeding into the lower mids. This makes complex bass playing very easy to appreciate, such as “Elephants On Ice Skates” or the fretless playing on “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes”.

As we move through the mids, I have absolutely no complaints, everything is clean and nicely balanced. There is nice presence in the upper mids, making vocals sound forwards and again very clean. This is at the expense of some of the more harsh voices coming across as exactly that, harsh.

Moving into the higher frequencies, there is a slight hint of sibilance which can be more or less prominent depending on the recording. Paul Simon, in “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” I already mentioned, was a little too “hot” for me on occasions, as were some of the higher percussion notes on things like “Still D.R.E”.

There seems to be plenty of extension in the higher treble and I have no complaints about the sense of air or clarity. Seriously, my only complaint in these ranges is due to certain songs that coincide with that extra bit of harshness and sibilance, but is it far from being on the majority of music.

Soundstage is around average for a set of IEMs, maybe towards the higher end of average, but I do feel that the space has been well used. The placement of images and layers helps give a bit more of an “open” sensation and while it is by no means spacious, the Ola never feel too closed in.

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Conclusion…

As I said at the beginning, I didn’t know anything about the Ola but I did have some expectations from Tanchjim and I feel that they have been met and exceeded at this price range.

Obviously I am going to enjoy something that resembles my preferences more than someone who is more into elevated bass, but even if we just ignore sound for a second, the overall package of the Ola is very impressive for 35€.

As far as sound, I feel that they have come up a little short in subbass quantity and could possibly have even given the midbass a little more presence, in order to meet the preferences of more people. However, while I do find myself using Xbass with some tracks as mentioned, I am a fan of the overall sound of these IEMs. I feel that they are IEMs that allow you to focus on the details of the music and the detail that they achieve at their price point is rather impressive.

Yes, they can be improved upon, just a little more in the lowest notes and make that upper harshness/sibilance go away by just a touch, and it would fit my overall preferences almost to a tea.

In all fairness, I am actually looking for negatives to point out. For the price of these IEMs and what we get in exchange, I really don’t think they deserve any complaints.

As always, this review is also available in Spanish both on my blog (here) and on YouTube (here)
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GojiFi

New Head-Fier
𝐓𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐣𝐢𝐦 𝐎𝐥𝐚: Crystalline Achievement
Pros: - The best neutral/reference signature you can find in the price range
- incredible imaging/soundstage
- packaging and unboxing is a delight
Cons: - comfort and fit might not be for everyone
Greetings!
💨
🦖


This is a review of the TANCHJIM Ola, that of which Tanchjim themselves (through SHENZHENAUDIO) have provided me to review.

(The same review can also be found on my Facebook page, on which I regularly post my unboxings, first impressions, and additional content. https://www.facebook.com/gojifireviews)

DISCLAIMER: I WAS PROVIDED THE UNIT IN EXCHANGE FOR A NO-FRILLS, UNBIASED REVIEW. I AM NEITHER PAID NOR COMMISSIONED TO PROVIDE A SKEWED REVIEW.

The Ola is Tanchjim's first foray into the sub-$50 range, a surprising yet welcome move from a company that is known to produce mid ranged products from a price standpoint. They have a reputation as makers of reference/neutral IEMs, which they have gained from making the now-legendary Oxygen. Tanchjim has promised that the Ola will bring their mark of quality and sophistication without burning through the audiophile's wallet. This statement was definitely achieved by the Ola, and even surpassed what was expected of it. In its best moments, I can easily say that Ola is the best sub-$50 IEM choice when you're looking for a balanced, reference-grade sound.

Let us now have a clear look into the crystalline achievement that is the Ola.
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𝙋𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙜
- Presentation
Following the waifu craze that has been spreading throughout the audiophile community for these past years, we are primarily greeted by a grey-haired anime girl at the front of the Ola's packaging. She dons a T-shaped hairpiece, which I am sure is an allusion for the company name's first letter. Her primary color scheme follows that of the Ola, which is a monochrome palette of greys and whites. Beside her, we see a sticker indicating that the IEM is tuned in collaboration with Asano Tanch, a person whom I have no idea of despite my constant Google search time. If you know who he/she is, let me know in the comments. We also see an indication in the lower right portion that the driver used (I can only assume it is a 4th generation DMT), is state-of-the-art and top quality. Over at the back of the box, we see the beautiful HRTF-targeted frequency response that the Ola has, which really hypes you up on how it will sound once you experience it first hand. The front cover is a slip-on paperback that reveals the inner box that contains all the goodies of the Tanchjim Ola. I must say, said inner box exudes so much quality. It has an embossed pattern printed all over it, and it feels like a box that we could've gotten with high-end jewelry purchases like Rolexes and Cartiers.
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- Product
Upon opening the box, we are greeted with a first-time experience here at our page. The IEM isn't what we see first, but instead a separate fold-out cardboard contraption that contains all the Ola's particulars. We will get to that on the next segment. Upon removal of the layer of particulars, the Ola shines in full display. I'm not gonna lie, I thought it looked MUCH smaller than what I was anticipating based on the promotional pictures. The Ola shines bright with its brushed aluminum top, with no additional paint that can be prone to chipping. The word "Ola" is embossed on the left side, while "Tanchjim" can be found in the right side. The back of the IEM is made from a transparent plastic material that allows one to see the dynamic driver powering it. It is hugged by the same velvet-y styrofoam material that we see on IEM packagings to protect them during shipping, but it is added with an extra-layer of fancy through a minimalist printing of the Ola's logo+reminders and a flap that makes the unboxing more convenient. Under the IEM, we see the complimentary cable that really fits with the clean, minimalist aesthetic of the IEM.
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- Particulars
Going back to the particulars, it is jam-packed with bits and pieces that really bumps up the price:value ratio of the entire purchase. It can be split into 3 main parts: (1) the paperwork that consists of the warranty card, a quick start guide, and a manual; (2) two sets of eartips consisting of a narrow and short bore with varied sizes, and; (3) a small grey pouch with "Tanchjim" embossed to it to keep the IEM clean and safe. They are all packaged in a neat and convenient way, almost to a level that I feel like I am unboxing an Apple product i.e. iPhone, iPad, iMac, etc.
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𝘽𝙪𝙞𝙡𝙙 𝙌𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 & 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩
The build quality of the Ola is just outstanding. The brushed aluminum finish of the faceplate commands one's eyes to look at it sternly, yet it doesn't overload the senses with bright colors and obnoxious figures. It is simple yet effective, which can really bolster the durability of both the looks and its functionality over the long run. It also has a sturdy and hefty tactile feel once you get a nice hold of the IEM, which really makes you think if you're holding a $40 IEM. Same philosophy can be applied with the cable, for all the materials are just a delight to see and handle. Gone are the sometimes-flimsy braided cables and in with the straight-edged ones, that of which really lessens the possibility of the entire package tangling up when stored in your pocket/case. Two specific caveats that I see (which can really be attributed to my preferences) are (1) that the jack isn't an L-typed one, which can really decrease its life upon my regular handling and, (2) the clear plastic that is used in the IEM can really showcase the unorganized wires inside.
All my praises on the Ola takes a slight turn when it comes to its comfort. I found the IEM a tad too small for my ears to be properly positioned in, and the weird angle that the nozzle has makes it worse. Based upon seeing the promotional material that the Ola had, the nozzle seemed to be specifically engineered for acoustic purposes. The size of the IEM and its nozzle's angle might fit for other ears, but in mine, it doesn't. The turn gets deeper as I delved into the stock tips, as every single one of them slipped right through my ears. In all honesty, I was frustrated in the first few hours of having the Ola as it kept on slipping from my ears. May it be the wide-bore one or the narrow-bore one, all the sizes weren't doing it for me. The mold of the "mouth" of the nozzle was a big problem too, as it is slightly bigger than the standard one we see in IEMs. It made tip rolling a hell of a time, and not the good one. I finally settled in for the stock KBEar tips I had lying around, as I found them to be the best fitting for my ears. I made a way to jam the tip in by using a pin to act as a leverage for the ear tip to be inserted into the nozzle, a process of which it took me around 30 minutes to be done for the both sides. I really, REALLY wish that not everyone had the same experience that I had in having the best comfort and fit for the Ola.
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𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙
𝘔𝘜𝘚𝘐𝘊 𝘜𝘚𝘌𝘋:
𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘦𝘭 𝘑𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘴𝘰𝘯 - 𝘏𝘐𝘚𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘌𝘢𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘴 - 𝘏𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘭 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢-𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘛𝘝,1994 (𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘊𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘤𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯)
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘝𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 - 𝘈 𝘚𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘢𝘧𝘵 𝘗𝘶𝘯𝘬 - 𝘙𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘮 𝘈𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘖𝘧 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘔𝘦𝘯 - 𝘔𝘺 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘐𝘴 𝘈𝘯 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘦 - 𝘉𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘙𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘦 - 𝘈𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘦𝘦 - 𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘈𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴 - 𝘔𝘛𝘝 𝘜𝘯𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩 - 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘚𝘯𝘰𝘵 - 𝘎𝘦𝘵 𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
𝘎𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘵 - 𝘐𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢 (𝘢𝘭𝘣𝘶𝘮)
- Signature
As evident in the namesake of this review, the Tanchjim Ola is indeed a crystalline achievement. Upon my first hearing of the IEM, it felt like I was drinking the cleanest water through the a crystal glass: it was GREATLY refreshing and it cleansed my ears from any habits it had from listening to v-shaped signatures. Indeed, the Ola didn't fail to reach Tanchjim's notoriety as producers of reference IEMs. The tuning on the Ola is incredibly neutral and balanced, that of which quickly rises up in my own personal list as the top reference IEM, beating the CRN.
> The bass on the Ola is probably its Achilles' Heel. It lacks any form of kick nor thump to any song I throw at it, even those who have a notoriety of being bass-heavy. It does have some sub-bass extension that provides some aural information on how the bass carries the rhythm and groove of the song, but it severely lacks if you want to bob your head with it. It definitely carries the flag of the Ola as a lean sounding IEM, which taps your ear with its bass instead of rumbling your entire ear canal. Add the difficulty I had with the tips, the bass definitely isn't the star of this IEM. so if you're a basshead looking to quench your thirst, prepare to either be disappointed with the Ola or buy a competent EQ to really amp those bass frequencies up.
> As for the mids, I can safely say that the Ola is not only a vocals king, but a GOD. May it be male or female, harsh or clean, Peter Steele or Tobias Forge, the vocals is rendered in GRANDIOSE proportions. I haven't had the opportunity to test out vocal-centric IEMs (Yume V1, etc.), but I am pretty sure that the Ola can engage and compete with them directly. Albeit having a brighter tilt rather than a natural one in terms of timbre, this IEM can really bring out the range and nuances that a singer does in his/her song. Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains are two of my most favorite vocalists of all time, and their harmonies are just pure heaven when combined together. The Ola beautifully renders their MTV Unplugged performance, which almost brought me to a tear due to how it nicely showcased Staley's devastating yet amazing performance at that show. Other instruments residing in the mids are also brought up to the same level as the vocals, which really shows how good Ola's response is in the midrange.
> The treble on the Ola shines bright like a diamond (pun intended). Every glitter and glamour of cymbals and higher pitched instruments pops in your ears with great confidence, especially on tracks where the minor nuances of instrument-playing are highlighted (acoustic guitars, stick attack on drums, breath control on wind instruments, etc.). One criticism I have for it is its lack of body, which can result in said scenarios decaying quicker than what I expect. It can sometimes sound thin to the uninitiated ear. Nonetheless, it has enough air extension to really elevate the treble into wider and better territories.
- Soundstage
Despite all the shilling I gave the Ola previously, I have only come to the part where it really shines the best: its soundstage and imaging. Oh boy, it is ABSOLUTELY IMMACULATE. It is almost hand-on-hand with the Autumn on how well it transmits the image and how wide it renders it in, that of which is an absolute marvel at the price range. The engineering they did for the body cavity and nozzle paid off in this aspect, which really compliments the vision they had in tuning this IEM. As I have mentioned in my first impressions, it sometimes fools me that I'm only wearing an IEM, not an open-back headphone. Instruments are nicely separated with one another, forming a nice cohesion without them being too far apart with one another.

Get your own Tanchjim Ola at the link below (non-commissioned link):
https://shenzhenaudio.com/.../tanchjim-ola-dynamic-driver...

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VERDICT:
Packaging:
💨
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖

Build Quality & Comfort:
💨
💨
💨
🦖

Sound:
💨
💨
💨
💨
💨
🦖


𝗚𝗼𝗷𝗶-𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝗘𝗤 𝗦𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀:
(I didn't want to dabble with how the Ola sounded and its reference/neutral flavor, so I just added a dabble of sub-bass to add some weight/kick to the lower frequencies)
Pre-amp: +1.0
+2.5db at 100 (1.17 Q) - Low Shelf
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Funny pictures. Great review too.

Btw, why do you add 1db to pre-amp? Shouldn't you reduce it by 2.5db to avoid clipping instead?
GojiFi
GojiFi
@o0genesis0o I added +1db to the preamp because it had times that it lacked the power to push some frequencies forward, most especially the bass frequencies. I made sure that it was only a little bit of addition to avoid said clipping. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the review! 😁

ywheng89

100+ Head-Fier
Tanchjim OLA's Review
Pros: Very well tuned HRTF Curve (Good imaging and soundstage)
Good technicalities
Big Soundstage
Cons: Fit dependent
Other than fit, nothing else to me
Tanchjim OLA's Review

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Intro
I don’t think anybody needs an introduction of who Tanchjim is. Their infamous Oxygen is a highly touted model in the audiophile community and reviewers. Tanchjim is back again however they are targeting the “budget friendly” range with OLA, featuring DMT4 Dynamic Driver and tuned by Asano Tanch

Packaging
Tanchjim’s packaging shares similar packaging styles across their models. From TWS Echo, to Hana and OLA, they are quite similar and share similar unboxing experience. Overall I liked the packaging style, very premium looking. Two sets of eartips (Bass and Treble) and also a storage pouch is included for storing OLA. The bundled cable is not bad in my opinion for a stock cable.


Build/Comfort
The shell cover of OLA is made from aluminium and the shell itself i believe is made of plastic. It does look a little cheap, however, it is very light and once you are wearing it, you won’t feel like there’s anything on your ear.

However, the tricky part is to get the fit right, to do so, i’ve decided to cut off the earhook on the cable, and it is so much better and fit very well with stock tips

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Source
Win 10 Foobar2k -> ifi iDSD Nano Black Label(IEMatch) -> Tanchjim OLA
Ibasso DX160 -> Tanchjim OLA
Iphone 12 Mini -> Apple’s Lightning Dongle -> Tanchjim OLA
iPod Touch 4th Gen -> Tanchjim OLA


Sound
I would describe the sound signature of OLA as neutral and slightly bright. OLA is extremely sensitive to fitting, in fact it can make or break the sound that you’re hearing from it. Poor fit results in lean/non-existence sub bass rumble, good fit exhibits good bass control and sufficient rumble from sub bass when it’s called for. Being neutral and leaning towards the brighter end of the spectrum, it’s best to pair OLA with a slightly warm source for a good musical experience or neutral source if you prefer it uncolored.

The timbre sounded natural to my ears and I would say they are quite source sensitive as well due to it sounding fairly neutral, so any sorts of coloration from the source can be picked up easily. So, just to reiterate, my impressions written here are solely based on my setup, and so your mileage might vary depending on your very own setup. I will try my best to describe the sound from OLA as accurately as I can.


Bass (Fit and Seal is very important)
  • As I mentioned in the header, it is very crucial to get a good seal and fit in order to get the intended bass response, poor seal and loose fit will results in what most people would describe it as lean bass/no sub bass rumble
  • Once a proper seal and fit has been established, the bass is actually very good and the sub bass does rumble when its called for
  • Bass is tight and fast, quite punchy with good slams
  • Doesn’t bleed into the mids
  • Not bloated and has got good texture to it, however, i would prefer it to sound a little warmer just so it will make the note feels thicker


Mids
  • Vocals are forward but not intimidating in any away
  • Female vocal is the star of the show here, very full sounding and pleasant to listen to, for example, Lady Gaga’s Shallow, Adele’s To be Loved
  • Male vocal sounded a little crisp to my ears and not as full as female’s vocal, a track that i listened to exhibited this trait, King Gnu’s Ichizu
  • Lower to upper mids transition is good as there isn’t any specific peak that i can pick up


Treble
  • It can get a little hot for some who’s sensitive to treble when the volume is cranked
  • Detail retrieval is excellent for its price point without sounding overly analytical
  • The cymbal splash feels a little highlighted but its not fatiguing
  • To my ears, i find the OLA to have a good amount of air
  • The treble response is slightly emphasised, however it is not fatiguing(at least for me, some folks who are sensitive to treble might find it a bit too hot)
  • This frequency range is my fav part of OLA (Subjective)


Soundstage/Imaging
  • Being tuned following the HRTF curve, the soundstage is one would expect from, big soundstage and very holographic sounding, not overly done to the point where it feels artificial
  • Good width and depth
  • Good layering between instruments,it doesn’t feel like one is trying to drown/over-power the other instruments
  • Imaging is very good especially at this price point, instruments can be pinpointed easily and left right channel transition is very clear
  • Instruments separation is also excellent


Driveability
  • Easy to drive, you can easily get a listenable volume level straight out of a phone’s jack
  • Doesn’t need amping to sound good, but scales very well with it
Final Thoughts
Prior to receiving my unit and having seen some graphs published by other reviewers, I was afraid I might not like it as the treble seemed hot, but when I received them and gave them a go, it was actually not bad and not harsh at all. At 39.99$ at the time of writing, I personally think that it has got a high price performance ratio.

Very good technicalities for its price point and i have not heard other IEM at such price point that offers similar technicalities, i have seen some comparing it against HZ’s Sound Mirror, i have not heard that before so i can’t comment, from what i had in my stash, it is very good.
An easy 4/5 stars from me
(Do take into consideration that what i mentioned in this review is based on how i hear it via my own setup,YMMV
However, rest assured that you will still be getting a good sound out of Ola even if you don’t share the same source as i have)

*A big thanks to ShenzenAudio as always for sending over the unit in exchange for this review. My thoughts are not influenced by them in any way despite receiving the unit f.o.c

If you are interested in getting one, head over to their site via the link below:
Tanchjim OLA *Non-affiliated

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trippleed

New Head-Fier
Tanchjim Ola. HRTF Neutral on a budget
Pros: Midcentric IEM with a good neutral slightly bright tuning
Spacious soundstage and precise imaging
Nice extension treble without any excessive peaks
Small quantity bass with good detail and texture on its mid bass
Good technical beater for its price range
Nice boosted clarity and airiness that retain its safe tuning
Cons: Tricky fitting
Not the best stock cable from its price range
Lack of sub bass extension
With its stock condition sometimes it's a bit fatigue esp on Metal songs
Thin and dry timbre with its stock cable
Intro: The packaging is surprisingly satisfying, especially for a wibu. A picture of waifu and a postcard (if lucky) adorn the front cover of the box. Inside, we are also treated to a typical tanchjim packaging with its logo. In the sales package, we get 3 pairs of narrow bore bass eartips and 3 pairs of wide bore treble eartips. We also have a quite big pouch as a softcase for the IEM. The cable has the same material like Lea cable, but feels more flexible and less stiff, with the same sound quality. It is highly recommended to change the cable to a warm cable to make it sounds more refine, for example like the Nicehck Eagle. The eartips quality are good. The texture is the same like on final e clear tips. The housing is made of metal on the front, while the back is made of transparent plastic which has a quite good quality. The fitting is one of the weakness points of Tanchjim Ola. If the fitting doesn't fit properly, the sound can feel like the bass will be bleeding into other instruments, with the mids and trebles piled up with the bass. If you have some problems with a few unique IEM's housing, you should reconsider Ola before you afford it. The nozzle is a bit long and on the back of the housing there is a big round bulge which makes the fitting tricky. My ears can only fit by using the default eartips which are medium-sized narrow bore bass.
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Bass: Continuing to the sound, the bass itself has a small quantity, more dominant in the mid bass, with a nice punch and good texture. The sub bass feels just a little, not too much and not really deep to dig until the bottom. Obviously the sub bass is classified as a roll off with a not so good extension. Overall, the bass character is tight and not boomy, with a fast controlled speed and can devour some of my double pedal playlists

Mid: The mid itself has a weight that tends to be thin with a slightly dry timbre and tends to be bright. So this mid is more suitable for female vocals than male vocals. The mid presentation is closer to CRA and HZM compared to Lea and Aria which feel thicker and wet. Fortunately, the weight feels a bit thicker than CRA and HZM, with a quality that is more refined, smooth, and sweet compared to them. So, Ola's mid is still more enjoyable for jpop and kpop playlists than both. Due to the minimal emphasis in 3 to 4k, the vocal have a slightly backward position compared to the instruments in the bass, mids and trebles. In my opinion, Ola's vocal presentation is more ushape than Lea, since the latter feel more upfront in term of the position. That mentioned thing makes Ola's vocal safer, has minimal peaks and sibilance compared to hzm and cra. Clarity in the mids is pretty good and helps to make vocal and instruments in the mids feel more lively and natural. Such as in an acoustic song, the guitar strumming and percussion feel natural without a lot of annoying peaks.

Treble and technicals: I think the main star on this iem. The extension is good, although it rolls off a bit at the upper end. The cymbal's body feels thick and the cymbal splash feels natural without creating an excessive peak effect. Although, I would say it's a bit fatiguing for me despite of its safer treble than its competitor due to its bright signature and uncomfort fitting.
The airiness and clarity level is one of the best in its class. This boost in clarity doesn't make the treble in Ola peaky and rough. The details, resolution, and micro details in Ola seem great on its class. For the resolution, it's not yet equivalent to HZM, but for the details and micro details, it's already able to compete with HZM. Imo Ola's technicallities are slightly better than aria, t2 plus, ssr, and etc. The differences are on detail & micro detail retrieval, staging, imaging, transient, separation, and etc. The transient speed is enough to amaze me because this is the first time there is an IEM under a 100$ that is able to match the speed of HZM. For resolution, you could say it's still in the same class as those mentioned IEMs except HZM. What I like about Ola is its well balanced soundstage, getting everything from wide, height and depth precisely. This makes the instrument imaging can be separated properly on all sides. So, Ola is definitely matched for gaming and movie need though.

Comparison:
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Vs Lea: Actually, these two IEMs play in the different segments, and you could say they complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Ola is more technically focused with a pretty good tonality. Meanwhile, Lea is more focused on tonality with a pretty good technicals. Both have the same default cable, but Ola has better eartips and packaging than Lea. For their voice signature, Lea is more of a warm DF with emphasis on its vocal. Meanwhile, Ola is HRTF bright which tends to focus in the mid, especially instruments in the mid. Lea's tonal weight feels thicker and warmer. Lea has more bass quantity with more linear and balanced sub bass and mid bass, so the sub bass extension is better on Lea, but the texture and quality of Ola is better. Lea's vocal are thicker, sweeter, and more upfront on its position than Ola's. The mid instrument in Ola itself is more dominant than the mid instrument in Lea. Because the sub bass extension and quantity are minimal, at one of my playlist (Dere-Kota), I can feel the bass guitar more in Lea than Ola. For the treble itself, Ola is fuller than Lea. It's a different class here, because the treble presentation at Lea is smoother with a thinner body (a bit hollow) and has a pretty good extension. Meanwhile, Ola has a fuller treble with a better extension too. Technically, Ola is absolutely one step ahead of Lea. From staging, imaging, transient response, detail, micro detail, resolution, separation, and etc.
Overall, Lea has a smoother sound presentation and less peaks than Ola with a timbre that feels more organic and warm. But Ola is miraculously able to give analytical presentations without going too far, something that should also be appreciated for Ola's tuning.
👍


My source and playlist:
DAC Avani dan apple dongle
Hiby music+tidal hifi+file lagu hires 24 bit
Playlist lagu:
Manjushage
Bohemian rhapsody - Queen
Killer queen - Queen
Kota - Dere
Mendung tanpo udan - Ndarboy genk
Kettou - Penguin Research
No doubt - Official Hige Dandism
Aku & Bintang - Noah (Taman Langit album)
Bad Guy - Billie Eilish
Knock me out - Afgan
Kirana - Dewa 19 ft Virzha
Who I am - Milet
Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran
Beauty and the beast - Ariana Grande & John Legend
Come fly with me - Michael Bubble
Omokage - Milet, Aimer, dan Rira Ikuta
Zankyosanka - Aimer
Last edited:

zenki

500+ Head-Fier
Tanchjim Ola – This ain't no chi-fi
Pros: - Bass
- Mids
- Soundstage
- Imaging
Cons: - Fit issues
- Treble
TL;DR
What do you know?

Package
IEM, Tips, MMCX cable, pouch, warranty card, etc2

Build
Plastic resin + metal hybrid. Tiny size.

Cable
Decent looking cable.

First thought/What to expect
Bought T-APB, was impressed. So got Ola, first Tanchjim set.

SOUND
Bass
It's just good. Despite what the graph shows, the quantity is actually sufficient. No bloat, no boomy none of the sorts. No issues whatsoever. Quality though, is really good for the price. You won't need to worry about speed because it's one of its strength and it has impact too.

Mids
One of the star of the show. For this kinda price, the vocals are really good. I'm not sure you can get a better vocals + mids in this price range. It's clean, it's fast and you can here vocal details that you've never heard before. Yep. vocal details. No issues such peakyness, harshness etc2x either. Instruments sounds like the way they should be.

Treble
The weakness of the set. Safe tuning + limited driver impaired this region. Don't mistake it for being incompetent. The treble is actually fine, but it may lack a little bit of bite. The energy, sparkle is there but not quite as much. It also kinda struggles in busy tracks.

Techs
The star of the show. The soundstage is wide, like real wide and it's really tall. Sounds can go over you head and there is some kind of depth too. That's crazy. You don't get this kind of performance at this price. It is really well done. Imaging is also really good. Instruments placement, separation are easy to identify. Did I mention that this set actually has traces of 360 audio. Unreal right for this price?

Itsy Bitsy Tips
Stock tips don't work.

FR
Later or never.

Comparison
vs BQEYZ KB1.
KB1 rules the treble. Other than that it's all OLA's.

vs. ISN EST50. Cost about 10x more, has EST drivers. OLA wins in the bass quality, imaging and soundstage. EST50 takes the treble + microdetails.

vs. Intime Miyabi. Swallowed by Miyabi but I do believe they use the same, if not similar DD.


Closing thought
What do you know? Tanchjim has a winner. It'll be even better if they can fix the fit issue but can't ask for too much from this price bracket.

Verdict
10/10

P.S Looking forward to next Tanchjim.
J
jmwant
Damn! Just ordered the Heartmirror. Now I'll probably order these too.

darmanastartes

500+ Head-Fier
Simpler is Better
Pros: good bass dynamics, texture, and note weight, midrange clarity, vocal intelligibility, overall midrange tuning, safe treble, good instrument separation
Cons: weird fit, some percussion compression, poor sub-bass extension, midrange on thin/dry side
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INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:​

The Tanchjim Ola is an in-ear monitor (IEM) which uses a single 10mm dynamic driver with a graphene polymer diaphragm. The Ola was provided to me by Shenzhen Audio in exchange for my evaluation. The Ola retails for $39.99.

SOURCES:​

I have used the Tanchjim Ola with the following sources:
  • Qudelix 5K
  • Hidizs S9
I have tested the Tanchjim Ola with local lossless audio files and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to:
XenosBroodLord’s Library | Last.fm

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:​

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The Tanchjim Ola comes in a square grey box with a white slipcover. An illustration of Asano Tanch, Tanchjim’s anime mascot, is featured on the front of the slipcover. Technical specifications for the Ola are provided on the rear of the slipcover in Mandarin Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean. A frequency response graph is also provided on the rear of the slipcover.
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In addition to the IEMs and the removable 2-pin cable, the Ola includes a grey cloth drawstring pouch similar to the one included with the Tanya. The pouch is faintly embossed with the Tanchjim logo. The Ola includes six pairs of translucent white silicone eartips. These eartips come in two varieties, one conventional-shaped set and one smaller, shorter set. Each set of earpieces comes on a semi-mounting tray, which is considerate inclusion and makes eartip storage more efficient and convenient. In terms of documentation, a warranty card, a quality control chit, a quick start guide, and a full user manual are included with the Ola.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:​

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The Tanchjim Ola S has PVC shells with aluminum alloy faceplates. The faceplates have a water droplet-shaped cross-section rotated 45 degrees forward. “OLA” is printed in white text on the top half of the left earpiece’s faceplate, and “Tanchjim” is printed in the same location on the right earpiece’s faceplate. The 2-pin connection is located on the forward-facing side of the faceplate at the top of the leading edge. The 2-pin connectors are slightly recessed. The nozzles are forward swept and have dustproof mesh covers and lips to secure eartips. The nozzles are fairly wide in terms of diameter, which could limit their use with third-party eartips. There is a single pinprick vent above the dynamic driver on each inner shell.
Note: My unit came with a mic’d cable. I cannot comment on the non-mic’d cable.
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The included 2-pin cable is jacketed in a clear sheath. The cable hardware is made from the same aluminum as the Ola’s faceplate. There is strain relief above the 3.5mm jack. “Tanchjim” is printed in white on the straight 3.5mm jack housing, and “OLA” is printed on the Y-split hardware in the same fonts as on the faceplates. The mic unit is located on the right side about halfway up from the Y-split to the 2-pin connector. The mic unit has a single white plastic button control. The cable uses preformed earguides without memory wire. The 2-pin connector offsets are marked with dabs of blue and red paint to indicate side and polarity.

COMFORT, FIT, AND ISOLATION:​

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The Tanchjim Ola is intended to be worn cable up. The nozzles have a shallow insertion depth and getting a good seal can be tricky. In addition, the Ola’s rounded earpiece cross-section combined with the nearly flush fit with the surface of the ear create some hot spots. Secureness of fit is below average, but isolation is better than expected.

MEASUREMENTS:​

Measurements of the Tanchjim Ola can be found on my expanding squig.link database: Tanchjim Ola — Squiglink by Bedrock Reviews
My measurements are conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. There is a resonant peak around 8k. Measurements above 10 kHz are not reliable.

SOUND:​

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Note: The following sound impressions were taken with Misodiko foam eartips.
The Tanchjim Ola has a nearly neutral tuning.
The Ola’s bass tuning has a bass tuning that is close to textbook neutrality, with a hint of elevation in the mid-bass. Sub-bass extension is poor. That said, the dynamic driver used in the Ola is very capable and gives the Ola a sense of impact and physicality that would not be predicted just from looking at the Ola’s frequency response measurement. There is ample note weight and a not-insignificant amount of slam when called for. The bass is also surprisingly textured for an IEM of this price with such a restrained bass tuning. Bass articulation is passable but not especially speedy.
There is no mid-bass bleed into the lower midrange, but neither is there much warmth. Male vocal intelligibility is good, but male vocals are rendered dryly and lack body. Female vocals are slightly further forward than male vocals and have a bit more color. Midrange clarity is excellent without unduly emphasizing the presence region. Timbre is a tad dry, and there are hints of compression with some recordings of physical, non-synthesized drum kits.
The treble response is very smooth and safe without being rolled off. The lower treble is very even, without any noticeable peaks. Upper treble extension is quite good for such an inexpensive IEM, and there is a fair amount of air. I would have personally preferred a more exciting treble presentation with more mid-treble sparkle. Treble transient delivery is natural-sounding, and detail retrieval is excellent. Soundstage size and imaging are average, but instrument separation is excellent for the price.

COMPARISON WITH THE MOONDROP SSP:​

Note: The Moondrop SSR is probably a more relevant comparison, but I was unable to locate my SSR.
Moondrop SSP, Tanchjim Ola — Squiglink by Bedrock Reviews
The SSP is considerably more bass-heavy than the Ola. The SSP has more responsive bass articulation and better sub-bass extension than the Ola.
The SSP has a more vocal-focused midrange tuning than the Ola, which can underemphasize underlying midrange instrumentation like distorted electric guitars. Distorted electric guitars also stray closer to buzzsaw territory on the SSP than the Ola. The SSP renders male vocals with more body than the Ola. Male vocals sound much thinner on the Ola but enjoy better intelligibility. The Ola has better overall midrange clarity than the SSP. The SSP does not exhibit percussion compression to the same degree as the Ola.
The Ola’s treble region sounds much more even and natural than the SSPs. Treble transients on the SSP have a hazy, tinsel-like quality to them, likely due to an overabundance of upper treble. the Ola has superior instrument separation. The SSP sounds much more closed-in than the Ola, which sounds very open in comparison, even though the soundstages are similar in absolute terms. The Ola does have a slightly larger soundstage.
The SSP is harder to drive than the Ola.
The SSP has a more premium-feeling build than the Ola and a nicer drawstring pouch. The SSP has a much deeper and more secure fit than the Ola. I find the SSP to be more comfortable.

SOURCE PAIRING:​

The Tanchjim Ola is harder to drive than most other IEMs I have evaluated recently and deserves a competent source. I did not notice any hiss during my listening on either of my source devices.

CLOSING WORDS:​

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All budget IEMs come with compromises, but the Tanchjim Ola makes fewer than most. If you’re looking for a neutral IEM with excellent technical performance for the sub-$50 price point, look no further.
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