The Oriveti O400: a metal specialist
Hello all, and welcome back to The Neighborhood! It’s Your Friendly Neighborhood Reviewer with InToit Reviews. Today we’re looking at the Oriveti O400 thanks to the Honest Audiophile and Oriveti, who gave their blessing that Dave could send these on over to me as well. If you’re not familiar we Dave’ channel, he runs a blog style review channel on YouTube as well. Check out his channel and if you haven’t subscribed here or there, make sure you subscribe to both, for two different takes on audiophile gear. We try to share as much gear as possible, so that you guys can get additional input. We also hang out on each other’s discords, and you can reach out to us there with questions.
But let’s get back to why you’ve stopped in. The O400 from Oriveti. I don’t have a lot of previous knowledge about Oriveti , but if first impressions are any indication, I like what I see… and hear with the O400. It seems like Oriveti has done their best here to go the extra mile for the consumer, and give the purchaser a good value from the package here. And, as someone who unboxes a lot of IEMs, I appreciate it. The box is put together in a layered presentation style, and is a pretty cool unboxing experience.
Once inside the box, you are greeted by the IEMs themselves, the drivers of which are housed in a beautiful handcrafted, transparent purple resin shell. The driver configuration here is four balanced armatures, of which 3 are Knowles and a one is a custom designed balanced armature from Oriveti. Going back to the shell, it is a bit on the thicker side, and reminiscent of something like the Moondrop Blessing 2 in terms of size. With the O400 actually maybe having the large of the two housings, but the shorter nozzle between the two. I’d say that the nozzle length of the Oriveti is average for an IEM of this type, and it is nice that the nozzle has a lip on it to hold one’s tips securely.
Beneath the IEMs is a box containing the cable, which is a brown, copper colored, silver-plated wire made from 8 braided cores. It terminates in a straight 3.5mm TRS connection and initiates in a flush 2-pin connection. The cable here is soft, and easy to work with, but it was somewhat prone to kinking out of the box, but I’m sure this would straighten out over time.
Under the cable was 3 smaller boxes containing a variety of additional ear tips, a cleaning brush, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter, and an airplane adapter. Below this layer, the box houses a nice red-stitched, leather carrying case- inside which were more ear tips in the AZLA SednaEarfit XELASTIC variety. So, you get a lot for your money here in terms of the $399 dollar price tag, but does the sound stack up?
Well, the short answer is “yes.” Tonality here is dry and warm, and the treble does roll off at the end in way that some might find it to be dark. But this makes it great for more aggressive genres like death metal. For example, the song “The Boats” by Grey Stag off the “On The Boats” album, was pretty easy to listen to, despite the lead singer screaming, aggressively through the track.
Mids, although not aggressively forward, were always mostly forward enough, and instrumentation like electric guitars were generally the show on the O400. Vocals were also well centered, and generally presented on top of the rest of the track, with good detail smooth articulation to their sound. While, I would say the O400’s clarity is good for its price, on certain tracks, the vocals could become scratchy at times, and the mid-range almost took on a raspy quality to its presentation- coming across rawer to the listener’s ears than a lot of other sets with this type of resolution, driver configuration, and similar cross-over style.
Separation also wasn’t a strength for the O400- as when given space to breathe, sonics were betrayed with good detailing, but on busier tracks the O400 could become muddied-up, wooly, and even confused. Imaging capabilities therefore ranged from slightly above average, to well below average dependent on how busy the track either was or became. For example, imaging was poor on “Bubbles by Yoshi Horikawa, but excellent on “Wandering” by the same artist, off the same album.
But the bass… for BA bass the on the O400 is one of my favorites. It is warm, thumpy, guttural, and I’m going to say “chuggy.” The bass in this set isn’t the quickest resolving for BA bass, and it isn’t extended the deepest either, but its very satisfying. One thing to be aware of is that the sub-bass is more diffuse that upper registries of the bass, and this results in a somewhat wooly quality to the lower bass, but this also gives this earphone a warm enveloping character, and looming, cloud-like rumble at times. For BA bass, impact and macrodyanmics are good, and I actually enjoy the dynamics of the O400 more than some other sets, which may even have dynamic drivers like the Moondrop Blessing 2. By the way, microdynamics increase in their detailing as one moves up the frequency response range, and I really enjoyed the dynamic detailing in crispier sounds like those on the track “Closer To God” by Nine Inch Nails.
And that brings me to my next, and last point, and that is genre pairings. I don’t always cover this area in my reviews in such depth, but the O400 is really musical specialist, and excels at certain genres more so than others. What drew my attention to this is that I was able to generally note that the O400 really enhanced music that relied on thicker, distorted guitar tones. For example, I loved the O400 with grunge music from the 90’s, and almost all forms of metal. In fact, this may be one of my favorite earphones for metal period. This is because, with the Oriveti O400 harsh metal tracks were able to maintain their details, yet were still somewhat soft in their delivery, to the ear. Even so, sonics still retained enough rhythm and impact to sustain both an emotional connection and musicality for the purposes of enjoyment. For example, the song, “The Memory Remains” by Metallica, off of the “Reload” album, was extremely rich and more full sounding than its reproduction from a lot of others sets. I also enjoyed the O400 with electronic music. and a variety of other tracks from, or inspired by the stylings of the 1980’s. By the way, I did most of my listening with the black, wider-bored stock ear tips, and there was limited difference when I switched to the AZLA XELASTEC Ear Tips. I did not prefer the other supplied ear tips with this set, and I did not find any alternative tip that I enjoyed more than either wide-bored stock tips or the XELASTEC Ear Tips.
So, in the end, the Oriveti O400 is a bit of a genre-directed specialist of an IEM in terms of its ability to pair well with certain musical stylings better than others. It is dry, deep, gritty, and warm in both its presentation and particular tones, especially for an all BA-driven set, and this lends it to be utilized in specific use case scenarios- such as being somewhat of a master of the distorted, electric guitar. As a guitar player myself, I very much enjoyed listening to the Oriveti O400 during the time it was in my possession, and I thank, Dave, The Honest Audiophile, for sending this rather unique earphone into the channel for review. I look forward to hearing other offerings from Oriveti in the future.
*Thanks to Dave The Honest Audiophile for sending in the Oriveti o400 for Review!
*Gold Note DS-10 Plus available from Gestalt Audio Design: https://gestalt.audio/
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