Detail probably can be toe to toe with er2 series but o2 has vastly better imaging, staging and even layering. Technicality wise, oxygen is much ahead than er2! Come on Turii. I'm planning to get one within a few months, for now o2 is quite great. Just not enough body for the vocals. It's quite neutral mids, no coloration, can be a bit less emotional but the DD timbre kept me loving it still.Tanchjim Oxygen Impressions
As Tanchjim’s claim to fame, the Oxygen is often touted as being a Moondrop KXXS (one of my favorite single-DD IEMs) on steroids. So you can imagine that I’ve had my eye on the Oxygen for quite some time. Here, I’d like to give a shoutout to @luisdent & @MRSallee for finally making it possible.
Bass on the Oxygen curves satisfyingly, striking a tad more into the mid-bass than the KXXS and lending it to more warmth. This Oxygen, in particular, appears to measure with more bass than some other units, so take that for what you will. Gone is the overt-softness to slam the KXXS exhibits down-low, although make no mistake the Oxygen’s bass is still soft by DD standards. It’s mostly just okay, so let’s examine the midrange. Some listeners I know have, ironically, called the Oxygen’s midrange asphyxiating. I’d have to disagree. It’s upper-midrange tilted to be sure, but tonally, it doesn’t trigger any alarm bells. Maybe my ears have just been burned-in from hearing so many Moondrop IEMs at this point, who knows? I do hear this choking characteristic on the Hana, though. Treble on the Oxygen is a good deal more incisive than on the KXXS. Gone is the soft, wispy decay of the KXXS, replaced by more of a mid-treble tilt with pleasing amounts of impact and sparkle. Extension is not superb, but adequate. I do find myself enjoying this treble response. As a whole, I think the Oxygen hits that sweet spot tonally that the Hana and Darling (both overly shouty and with wonky treble responses) just didn't do for me.
The Oxygen is decently technical. Detail is about par with the ER2XR; however, the Oxygen leans smoother and more timbrally pleasing in decay like the KXXS. I think what would stand out most is the Oxygen’s macrodynamic punch. It pushes into dynamic swings harder than the FDX1, ER2XR, KXXS, and a lot of the other single-DD IEMs I’ve heard. The Zen and Luna surpass it in this department, but needless to say those IEM have other issues. I'm just left wanting by the milquetoast bass response; I think that would've aided greatly in perception of this characteristic. The Oxygen also has good imaging. It’s not holographic and it’s still lacking in center image diffusion, mind you, but I hear excellent left-right channel distinction and staging is slightly out-of-head.
Of course, you’ll want an assessment of value. The Oxygen takes a lot of what I like about the KXXS and turns it up a notch. Another close competitor would be the JVC FDX1. Blargh. Sure, the Oxygen’s not quite as technical, but the Oxygen has the FDX1 beat by a mile in timbre and treble response. Then you have the single-DD “bogeyman,” the Etymotic ER2XR. I don’t think the Oxygen is strictly better, but it’s in the same playing field and foils the ER2XR’s narrow staging and darker treble. Furthermore, when one considers that these are all IEMs at the top of their price bracket, well, that certainly does put things into perspective, doesn’t it?
It’s safe to say that the Oxygen is still a very solid IEM even if it’s not nearly as relevant these days with Moondrop breaking into sub-$100 territory with their single DDs. I'd really be hard-pressed to choose between my ER2XR and the Oxygen, as we all know the Etymotic fit is a pretty big barrier to entry. Along these lines, something unexpected is just how tiny the Oxygen is; it’s probably the first IEM I’ve worn where I can lay on my side comfortably in bed. Isolation kind of sucks, but all told? I just might have to pick one of these up for myself.
Oh yes, there is a rumor about Tanchjim Prism