Ikko Audio OH10 IEM Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ikko Audio OH10 IEM Review     

 

Introduction:

Ikko Audio is a young Chinese company located in Shenzhen/Guangdong that designs & develops Portable HiFi products such like In-Ear Monitors, DAC/AMP’s and USB DAC Adaptors.

The OH10 which I will now review offers a detachable cable design with 2-Pin connectors and a dual Hybrid Driver Configuration which is based on 1x Knowles (Model 33518) Balanced Armature Driver + 1x 10mm Diameter Dynamic Driver with Titanium Plated Polymer Diaphragm.

 

  

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Ikko Audio for providing me this sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Ikko Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price:

The MSRP price for the Ikko OH10 is 189,00 USD and can be purchased from under the link below:

                                 

  

 

Package and Accessories:

The Ikko OH10 comes in rectangular box in black colour which features a cardboard sleeve that shows some anime characters such like a girl that is on a obsidian stone (obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass) and the white Ikko Fox which is the mascot of the company.

On the top of the main box is the Ikko branding in gold colour, while on the right side from where you open the box is a golden emblem where is written IKKO DESING.

The box contains the following items & accessories;

 

  • 1 pair x Ikko OH10 In-Ear Monitors
  • 1 piece x Detachable Cable with 0.78mm 2 Pin Connector
  • 3 pairs x Vocal Type Silicone Ear tips (size S/M/L)
  • 3 pairs x Balanced Type Silicone Ear tips (size S/M/L)
  • 1 piece x Leather Carry Pouch
  • 1 piece x Ikko Branded Shirt Pin
  • 1 piece x Product Manual/Warranty Card

 

The OH10 came with a rich accessory package such like 6 pairs of silicone ear tips, a leather carry pouch and shirt pin.

The leather carry pouch is in brown colour and has a pretty unique design with well-made stitching on the sides. This pouch even has a guide on the top, which is a little detail but a nice addition.

 

 

Design, Fit/Isolation and Build Quality:

The Ikko OH10 shares the same design langue we have seen with the OH1 while it has some unique features. The monitor shell of the OH10 is made of copper material which explains why the monitors are fairly heavy while it gave me very positive first impression about the build quality.

The surface of the monitor shell has a titanium coating that is used on the outside of the chamber to prevent scratching and to inhibit bacterial growth. The inside of the chamber is coated with platinum that should enhance the sound quality through the special sound resonance of platinum.

The OH10 looks like an obsidian stone which is a naturally occurring volcanic glass. The OH10 has a very comfortable shape that fits perfectly in to my average sized ears and doesn’t hurt my ear concha even after long listening periods. If we look closer to the monitor shell you can see that the monitor housing of the OH10 is made two main parts.

The front part that we do describe as faceplate has a glossy surface with a unique surface pattern that gives the obsidian effect.

Here is the slightly angled sound nozzle which has a fine metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of dust or ear-wax. The nozzle is a bit short but fits relative good to my ears, while this design choice could affect the isolation, if you have an ear anatomy that needs a deeper insertion.

On the top are a second vent and the 0.78mm 2-Pin female connector which is in red on the right monitor and in black colour on the left earpiece.

The overall build quality of the monitors is pretty good, especially compared to other IEM’s at the same price range, while the isolation is on an average level which is sufficient for moderate noisy environments such like bus, metro or train.

 

 

 

The Cable:

The Ikko OH10 comes with a 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin detachable which is made of 5N high purity silver plated OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) wire material. The cable has a braided design and features a black plastic insulation with low microphonics.

The 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin connectors do have metal housing in dark grey colour with a red ring indicator for the right connector. The cable sports on both sides flexible (transparent) ear guides, which do offer extra comfort.

The detachable cable sports also a metal y-splitter in dark grey (gun metal) colour.

The OH10 features a 3.5mm single ended headphone jack with an L-profiled housing that is made of a combination of metal and plastic material.

The overall build quality of the cable is pretty good while it is a bit prone to mixings.

  

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Balanced Armature    : 1 x Knowles 33518
  • Dynamic driver          : 1 x 10mm diameter Dynamic Driver with titanium-plated diaphragm
  • Sensitivity                   : 106dB
  • Frequency range        : 20-40 kHz
  • Impedance                 : 18ohm
  • Cable length               : 1.2m
  • Connector                  : 2-pin 0.78mm
  • Cable type                  : 4 core silver plated OFC (oxygen-free copper) with 5N purity

 

Drivability:

The Ikko OH10 is a very efficient IEM that is easy to drive from almost any source thanks to the impedance of 18Ω and the sensitivity approx. 106dB. This makes it pretty compatible with relative weak sources like Smartphone or Tablets.

 

Equipment’s used for this review:

IEM’s              : Ikko OH10, Brainwavz B400, Campfire Audio Comet
DAP&DAC’s  : iBasso DX160, FiiO M11 Pro, iBasso DX220, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Andrea Bocelli – Con Te Partirò (Wav 24bit/96kHz)
  • Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone”
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
  • Opeth – Damnation (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory (16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kbps)

 

 

 

The Sound:

The Ikko offers with the OH10 an In-Ear Monitor with a fairly V shaped sound signature that shows a tuning which is focused to the subbass and upper midrange regions. The bass is in general pretty detailed and fast, while the midrange is transparent and musical, followed by a treble presentation that is smooth and pretty airy.

 

 

Bass:

The subbass region is one of the main attractions of the Ikko OH10 that I think is pretty well tuned and entertaining without to sound too overpowered.

The subbass region of the OH10 has good intensity, depth and extension thanks to the 10mm diameter titanium plated dynamic driver that shows also a nice amount of rumble. The subbass rumble was very exiting in songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel”.

The midbass region on the other hand is less pronounced compared to the subbass area. The midbass presentation is in general tight and pretty fast, and doesn’t suffers in terms of speed and control that. A touch more midbass quantity would be welcome while listen to instruments such like acoustic guitars or the contrabass.

The general presentation of the lower frequency region can be described as pretty fast, controlled and entertaining with good level of resolution and layering.

 

Midrange:

The Midrange of the Ikko OH10 sounds a bit recessed compared to the rest of the sound spectrum due to the V shaped sound signature. The midrange tonality is slightly warmer than neutral and shows a nice timbre that I really enjoyed during this review.

 

Vocals:

The lower midrange of the Ikko OH10 shows an average level of depth and intensity. Male vocals are in general fairly musical and detailed, while I would wish a tad more depth.

Female vocals do benefit from the well pronounced and pretty highlighted upper midrange that makes female voices like Diana Krall or Hannah Reid very pleasant to listen to. Female vocals do sound more detailed and emotional compared to male vocals and represented with a good level of transparency.

 

Instruments:

The Ikko OH10 offers a lively and pleasant to listen to sound experience and fairly natural timbre with instruments such like cymbals, snare drums up to pianos electric guitars, thanks to the nicely highlighted upper midrange area. But I would wish a tad more depth and fullness of instruments such like bass drums, violas or acoustic guitars that do sound otherwise pleasant.

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The upper midrange of the Ikko OH10 has a highlighted tuning and shows a good level of extension and resolution. The transition between the upper midrange and the lower treble region are quite controlled and in most situations/songs fairly fatigue free.

The lower treble range shows a slightly roll-off with a focal point around the 7-8 kHz region. The lower treble (presence) area sounds more detailed and has also better extension compared to the upper treble (brilliance) region that shows a smoother tuning and less extension.

This overall treble character makes instruments such like electro/acoustic guitars and tenor vocals such like Andrea Bocelli livelier and detailed, compared to instruments such like hi-hats or soprano voices like Sertap Erener.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The Ikko OH10 is a quite successful in terms of separation between the right and the left channels and positioning of vocals & instruments. The soundstage is decent in terms of wideness, while the depth is on a sufficient level. The stage of the OH10 shows a good amount of air between the instruments.

 

 

Some Comparisons:

Ikko OH10 versus Brainwavz B400:

The Ikko OH10 shows more subbass depth, rumble and extension compared to the Brainwavz B400, which shows a noticeable roll-off in this area. This tuning makes the OH10 more successful in terms of subbass detail, intensity and extension with instruments like kick drums or bass guitars.

The midbass area of the Brainwavz B400 is more pronounced than its subbass region while both are pretty equal in terms of midbass impact, depth and intensity. The midbass tuning makes the OH10 more detailed with instruments like acoustic guitars and pianos, while the B400 is more successful with snare drums, due to the slightly faster and tighter midbass character.

The midrange of the Brainwavz B400 sounds fuller than those of the Ikko OH10 which shows less lower midrange depth but is superior in terms of overall clarity and detail in this area.

The B400 has the upper hand in terms of lower midrange depth and extension that makes it more successful with male vocals. The Ikko OH10 on the other hand is more pronounced, detailed and has better level of extension in the upper midrange region that makes it superior with female vocals and instruments like cymbals.

Both the lower and upper treble range of the Ikko OH10 is superior in terms of detail and extension. The OH10 is also more successful when it comes to overall clarity and definition in this area. The B400 is slightly more controlled in the treble range due to the roll-off that smooth’s this area and makes it less detailed but very fatigue-free.

The soundstage of the Ikko OH10 is superior in terms of wideness while both do perform pretty close in terms of soundstage depth.

 

 

 

Ikko OH10 versus Campfire Audio Comet:

The Campfire Audio Comet shows a more linear lower frequency response compared to the Ikko OH10 which has a stronger but pretty controlled bass reproduction. The Single Full Range Balanced Armature Driver of the Comet can’t hold up with the 10mm dynamic driver of the OH10 which is responsible for a more natural and entertaining bass response. No wonder that the Ikko OH10 has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth, rumble and extension. The midbass region of the Campfire Audio Comet has less impact and extension than those of the OH10, while it is slightly better in terms of speed and control and is also on par with it in terms of overall bass detail.

The midrange of the Ikko OH10 sounds more transparent and lively compared to the Campfire Audio Comet. The lower midrange of the Comet has more body and extension compared to the OH10. The male vocals of the Comet do sound a bit more emotional and do have more depth and fullness. The Ikko OH10 on the other hand is superior when it comes to the upper midrange that is more pronounced, detailed and has better level of extension. This makes the OH10 more successful with female vocals who do sound more transparent and lively.

The lower treble region of the Ikko OH10 is more accented and has also a higher level of extension compared to the Campfire Audio Comet which has a fairly noticeable roll-off in this area. The OH10 shows also a higher amount of clarity and detail retrieval thanks to this lower treble tuning. The center or so called middle treble of the Comet has a slightly peak that gives it a slightly boost in terms of airiness, while the OH10 sounds in general more airy and with more sparkle.

The soundstage of the Ikko OH10 is more successful in terms of depth and wideness.

 

 

Conclusion:

The Ikko OH10 or the so called “Obsidian IEM” that I have reviewed for you has an outstanding performance for its price in terms sound and build quality. It offers an impressive bass response with some entertaining subbass rumble and good level of resolution. The midrange on the other hand shows a nice timbre with high level of transparency, while the treble response adds a good level of clarity and definition to the overall presentation. This sound comes from beautiful looking monitors made of cooper with a robust appearance.

 

Pros & Cons:
  • + Bass Control, Resolution and Subbass Depth
  • + Midrange Clarity and Timbre
  • + Upper Midrange/Lower Treble Detail & Extension
  • + Soundstage (Airiness, Width & Depth)
  • + Build Quality & Design
  • – Upper Treble Roll-Off
  • – Sound nozzle is a little bit short for a deeper insertion
  • – The monitor housing is on the heavy side due to the use of copper material (subjective)

 

 

 

 

 

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