IKKO OH1 REVIEW: Soft yet muscular, smooth yet impactfull

IKKO OH1 REVIEW :

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SOUND: 8.5/10
CONSTRUCTION: 9.5/10
DESIGN: 9/10
VALUE: 8.5/10

INTRO :

IKKO is a newcomer in Chi-fi world, and a mysterious one, we don’t know exactly where they came from and what there audio engineer team is, but we can guess it’s from Shenzhen as most of iem companies. One thing sure, the first product they lauch will not stay a mystery.

An hybrid earphones with a high quality 10mm polymer titanium dynamic driver and the use of excellent Knowels 33518 balanced armature make this OH1 stand appart in term of drivers implementation at budget price.

But that’s not all, the built quality too stand appart, with sumptuous blue alloy metal housing sculpted like a precious stone, the OH1 will sure make turns head on the street and win lot of iem beauties contest whatever the price range.

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As i’m not that sensible to the look of an earphones but more about its comfort and especially sound rendering, did the OH1 is just a looker without the soul or a real audio enthusiast luxury at a very competitive price?

With a really talented dynamic driver for the low and excellently articulated balanced armature for mids and highs, I can say without a doubt that we have here a very capable and well tuned contender.

I will try to explain in next review the multiple reasons that confirm IKKO company have a promising futur.

You can buy the IKKO OH1 for 140$ at XTENIK Store HERE.

SPECS & INFO :

PRICE: 140$usd

ikko OH1 1BA + 1 Dynamic Driver 2-Way Hybrid 2Pin 0.78mm Detachable HiFi In-ear Earphone

Description

Lightweight all metal cavity

  • Ergonomic design based on auricle big data
  • Only 6 grams on one side, creating a unique sense of comfort

Dual titanium driver

  • Knowles 33518 supply comfortable high frequency and ultra high frequency
  • 10mm polymer titanium diaphragm dynamic to create the transient and dynamic

High purity OFC silver-plated cable

  • 2-pin 0.78mm detachable design
  • High purity OFC silver-plated cable, both high frequency extension and low frequency strength

Seamless design

  • Quiet and flexible, wide and comfortable
  • Compatible with the sense of hearing of OH1
  • Deep and ethereal special blue
  • Crafted with a Meteorite carved metal shell

Aviation grade alloy acoustic cavity

  • It is made of advanced lightweight alloy to ensure the hardness of the cavity and better control the weight of the earphone. Combined with the acoustic driver design of the dual titanium driver, the internal harmonic resonance distortion is reduced, and the sound is more delicate and natural.

1BA+1DD Hybrid

  • Knowles 33518 balanced armature and 10mm polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm dynamic such as piano black and white double-key like a heavenly match, so that the sound shows a natural dynamic, low-frequency fullness without loss of elasticity, high-frequency transparent natural, sound delicate and elegant .

Ergonomic wearing design

  • Based on rigorous ergonomic design principles and massive simulation of wearing test data, ikko finally designs the best cavity shape for the ear canal and even the entire auricle, while weighing only 6 grams on one side, making it comfortable to wear and External noise isolation is at the leading level in the industry.

Specification

  • Balanced Armature: Knowles 33518
  • Dynamic driver: 10mm polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm dynamic driver
  • Sensitivity:106dB
  • Frequency range:20-40kHZ
  • Imdepance:18ohm
  • Cable length:1.2m
  • Connector;2-pin 0.78mm
  • Cable type:4 strands of 8 high-purity oxygen-free copper-plated 5n silver-plated

Package

  • ikko OH1 earphone
  • Pouch
  • 6 pairs of slicone Eartip

CONSTRUCTION, DESIGN & ACCESSORIES :

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UNBOXING is a very delectable experience, wich inaugurate a generous amount of accessories. All here is about quality. The black box show the IKKO OH1 housing like a jewellery presentoir, and just looking at them watered your mouth. Eartips are presented nicely too. And when you pull over this, you discover a nice carrying pouch with a glorious twisted 2pin cable with blue and dark grey color that match perfectly cobalt color housing. Yep, this is the kind of unboxing experience that make you think you invest your money in a wisely choosen product.

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CONSTRUCTION is simply jaw dropping, A+, Faultless. The housing is on the big (and slim) side but have a unique diamond like shape, or more like a quartz flint. In hand, you find yourself polishing the pleasant texture it have. It look rock solid, and should stand test of time easily as im not worry about its physical durability. Only the 2pin plastic connector feel it should be of better quality.
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Twisted 2pin Cable, again, is really nice and the fact that its color fit perfectly the housing is a big plus. I think cable color is blue-grey, and the L shape jack is of extreme quality. Yep, construction of OH1 really stand appart in this price range.

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DESIGN is excellent because even if housing is quite big, its flat as well and fit comfortably my ears. In fact, I feel like wearing precious elegant jewellery for the first time, yep, I feel coquettish walking on the street with my OH1 (no need of stylish high heels then). Sound isolation is above average and sound leakage extremely minimal.

SOUND :

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OVERALL impressions is a big wow effect hearing the sub bass control and speed and big applause when you discover how clear and present are the mids. This isn’t your normal bassy earphones and you know something special happen when you begin being immerse by balanced lushness of the muscular musicality and discover how vast and airy is the soundstage. Too good to be true? If your into ultra analytical and neutral approach, perhaps, but if you always find lower bass to be too thin or not enough resolved in term of attack, your in for a very rewarding listen. Thick, agile, well defined bass that I rarely or ever listen, fowards well textured mids that do not create sibilance, and soft natural treble that offer excellent imaging : this is what you get.

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SOUNDSIGNATURE is U shape leaning towards W shape because of extra mids fowardness. Emphasis is on lower end and do not bleed on mids bass or lower mids. Mids are slightly dry but sit well on bass and feel very clear. Treble is emphased on low and mids region and isn’t analytical but have good snap to it.

SOUNDSTAGE is average wide, but have good tallnest and deepnest wich enrich spacial articulation.

IMAGING is above average and offer transparent layering that are fowarded to you and unfolding in deep spaciality.

BASS is star of the show here and we do not talk about boomy or uncontroled one, its sure pretty pumped up in sub region but in a very impressive way that give extra definition to bass line and feel full bodied as I rarely heard. SUB line have there own life to them, they are ultra weighty and rich sounding, have excellent attack and tigh decay, this is a WOW effect guarantee that isn’t really thinked for basshead that need big foward slam but more for audio enthusiast that wanna have extra resolution in lower region, but not in a bright way, in a livier and more articulate way. Timbre is quite smooth in fact, all is about weight and presence here, with great tonality but soft timbre, the 20hz to 150hz is the more bumped frequency range, wich help extension and presence of bass but not kick body, still, kick attack needing good mid range, it have great snap to it, and great extension, mid bass is just not as full bodied as lower bass but offer faster attack.

MIDS are pushed foward and have brighter timbre than bass, its well detailed and very extended giving emphased presence and lively presentation. Female vocal particularly shine with these, due to 2khz to 8khz fowardness, and strangely, we barely have any sibilance, so no harsh peaks even if mids range is quite coloured. Male vocal have a little less body due to mid bass roll off, but this cancel any bass bleed as well and help overall clarity and instrument separation of this range. Timbre is rather smooth but more textured than bass and while it isn’t the best for violin or piano attack and grip, resolution compensate the dryness.

TREBLE is on the soft side as it begin to drop before 15khz. It do not struggle to reveal details and even have some extra presence in lower treble that give cripsness to percussion, but this isn’t the type of treble that give sparkling highs or extra rich timbre. Soft, natural and accurate, this is how I hear it and the highs never sound harsh, metallic or agressive, wich is a very refreshing approach for a chi-fi iem. It sound well balanced and transparent, giving extra visibility to numerous sound layers instead of opaque texture that will cause congestion in the sound more fastly. Light and agile, treble do not sound dark, but plucked instrument like classical guitar will perhaps lack brilliance and decay for some, as well, electric guitar will lack teeth.

AMPING isn’t needed for these, as they are very easy to drive and will even perhaps sound too bassy if amped with too powerfull amp or DAP at high gain.

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SUB BASS : 9.5/10
MID BASS : 8/10
MIDS : 8/10
TREBLE : 8/10
TIMBRE : 7.5/10
SOUNDSTAGE : 8.5/10
IMAGING: 8.5/10
ATTACK : 7.5/10

 

COMPARAISONS :

VS Alpha & Delta KS3 (150$) :

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SOUNDISGNATURE of OH1 is a well done U shape with warm lower mids and bright upper mids and upper treble, while KS3 sound more neutral and mid centric.

BASS of OH1 is more powerfull and impactfull especially in sub department, where the note feel better resolve, thicker and with better controled attack than the struggling sub part of KS3, this give a moe energic approach to IKKO without sacrifiing to much. Mid bass is similar to KS3 but again its more full bodied.

MIDS of OH1 feel slightly artificial in treble and too warmed up in lower mids, wich give more body to low mids and some sibilance and light harshness to upper mids, KS3 again is more balanced with a smooth push in mids that give extra clarity to vocal but do not feel in front row, more well centered in midde, still, OH1 sound more dynamic and energic, giving extra separation to mid section, where KS3 linear approach and soft timbre make it lack in overall attack.

TREBLE of OH1 is quite extended but not always constant, as it colour more ranges than more neutraly balanced KS3, anyway, this give more sparkle and air, wich give more sens of space and layering, and decay and brillance…so, yes, KS3 lack some treble sharpness comapred to OH1.

SOUNDSTAGE is about same widness, but OH1 here feel deeper and airier.

VS FINAL AUDIO E4000 (130$):

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SOUNDSTAGE is a little wider with E4000 but feel taller and deeper with OH1.

BASS have way more sub presence and body with OH1, but timbre is less detailed, mid bass is more punchy and fuller sounding with E4000 and again have more detail. Overall bass is more muscular with OH1 while it have more speed, finesse and balance with E4000.

MIDS feel richer and more balanced with E4000, but less airy and spacious, OH1 vocal are more foward and clear but have dryer timbre. OH1 mids are less detailed but feel greatly centered in a more vast soundstage giving them better separation in some region.

TREBLE of both this earphones is roll off in upper region, but I think E4000 can extract more diversity of details and (especially) timbre even if highs are less crips than OH1. Percussion feel more fowards and coloured with the OH1, wich make them less naturaly balanced than E4000.

AMPING isn’t needed for OH1, while its more than suggested for E4000.

Construction of OH1 feel more fancy and is more eye appealing than low profile E4000 one, for price value in term of construction the award go to OH1 without a doubt.

All in all, OH1 give a muscular more bassy and spacious sound while E4000 feel lusher, more punchy and balanced.

VS NiceHCK M6-BGVP DMG (110$) :

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Soundstage is more wide and panoramic with M6, but less deep and around your head than OH1.

BASS is less sub emphased with the M6, have more punch and is brighter, lower end have less rumble and extension, OH1 lower end is more controled and resolve than M6.

MIDS are brighter with M6, and have sharper upper mids than can be (very rarely) sibilant, OH1 feel little more recessed in this department but with a more natural and appealing timbre.

TREBLE is more extended with M6, and it crave more micro details, M6 feel analytical compared to more relaxed OH1.

AMPING isn’t needed for both.

CONSTRUCTION is incredible with both, but the stock cable of OH1 is better quality.

All in all, M6 feel like a more energic, analytical and punchy earphones while OH1 feel bassier, airier and more natural sounding.

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CONCLUSION :

IKKO will sure put K.O lot of earphones in its price range, and not only for great construction and look, because sound its the number one aspect that impress.

The fact it can give extra life to your favorite bass line will justify you spent more than 100$ on these, but the great low bass articulation and weight isn’t it’s only quality as it feel pretty well balanced as a whole too with its clear mids and mellow treble.

Perhaps if you search bright analytical or very energic sounding earphones, the OH1 isn’t made for you, but if you search for a great all arounder that offer phenomenal bass, clear accurate mids and smooth but agile treble, i’m confident these are among the best you can get.

IKKO is a talented audio company to keep a serious eye one, and they take some risk going into this price range for a first iem model, but this risk will pay in they end when a justified hype will begin.

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