Thieaudio Elixir IEM Review
Thieaudio Elixir IEM Review
Thieaudio was launched in 2019 as a creative endeavour of Linsoul Audio. It offers portable audio products such like planar magnetic headphones like the Phantom as well as the Voyager, Legacy and Signature series In-Ear Monitors (IEM’s).
The Elixir is a Universal IEM that features a so called 3-Dimensional Velocity Transducer Diaphragm Dynamic Driver, which is located inside a premium looking monitor shell made from 3D printed and CNC machined component like aluminium material that precisely handcrafted.
The Thieaudio Elixir Universal IEM was provided to me by Linsoul Audio for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Thieaudio or Linsoul Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price of the Thieaudio Elixir IEM is 209 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The Thieaudio Elixir came inside a relative plain black cardboard box with the Thieaudio branding in silver colour on the top.
This box is including the following contents/accessories;
- 1 x pair of Thieaudio Elixir Universal In-Ear Monitors
- 1 x Detachable Cable with 2-Pin Connectors
- 3 x pairs of Semi Transparent Silicone Ear Tips
- 3 x pairs of Black Foam Ear Tips
- 3 x Filters
- 1 x Storage Case
- 1 x Print Materials (Warranty Card, QC Certificate, Quick Start Guide)
Inside the box of the Elixir are 3 pairs of Semi Transparent Silicone Ear Tips and 3 Pairs of Foam Ear Tips that are in black colour.
The Elixir comes with the same stylish looking leather case in dark blue colour that was also included inside the box of the Legacy 2. This case has a magnetic lead at the rear and the Thieaudio branding on the top.
The Elixir comes also with filter spare parts.
Design & Build Quality:
The Thieaudio Elixir is a pretty looking Universal In-Ear Monitor that is made from 3D printed and CNC machined components that are handcrafted to archive a premium look and great build quality.
Inside the heart of the Elixir is a special designed acoustic chamber that was created for the Single Dynamic Driver, which features a 3-dimensional Velocity Transducer Diaphragm Dynamic Driver. The internal structure of the driver is also novel, utilizing stronger pole magnets and a completely copper voice coil actuator, unlike traditional aluminium ones used in most dynamic driver assemblies.
The Thieaudio Elixir utilizes a beautiful looking faceplate that has been milled from a limited quantity of solid genuine burl wood block, which is coated before being embedded within the aluminium bezel.
At the rear side of the monitor is an angled sound nozzle with a metal mesh on the top, which is on the front to a filter that prevents the insertion of particles such like dust or earwax.
Near the sound nozzle is a small vent to balance the pressure inside the monitor. Here are also the L (Left) & R (Right) markings.
On the top of the monitor housing is a second vent and the 2-Pin female connector that offers a tight and sturdy connection with the male connector on the detachable cable.
At the backside of each monitor is the Thieaudio branding in white colour.
The build quality of the monitors is decent and fulfils my expectations from a product at this price level. It doesn’t shows any visible imperfections such like burr or gaps.
The Elixir comes with 2 Core Detachable Litz Cable made from 92 wires of 0.06mm diameter Single-Crystal Copper and 24 wires of 0.06mm diameter Silver-Plated OCC Copper material. The cable features a brpwn PVC insulation that is thick but pretty soft, which shows only a very low amount of microphonic effect.
The 0.78mm diameter 2-pin connectors do have a stylish metal housing blue (for the left channel) and red (for the right channel) colour indicators. Near the connectors are transparent PVC heat-shrink ear guides that offers extra comfort especially on the go.
The cable comes with a pretty stylish looking y-splitter and chin slider made from metal material.
The detachable cable of the Thieaudio Elixir features a 3.5mm (TRS) Single Ended headphone plug with a straight profiled metal housing that sports the Thieaudio branding on the top.
Fit, Comfort & Isolation:
The Thieaudio Elixir is a pretty lightweight and comfortable to wear IEM with a Universal shape that fits quite comfortably in to my ears with an average ear concha. I didn’t have had any comfort issues even after longer listening periods.
When it comes to the passive noise isolation, I can say that it is on a sufficient level for the use in relative noise environments such like public transportations including bus, metro, or trains.
Some Technical Specifications:
- Model : Elixir
- Driver Configuration : 3-Dimensional Velocity Transducer Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
- Frequency Range : 20 Hz – 40 kHz
- Sensitivity : 112dB
- Impedance : 18Ω
- Connector : 0.78mm Dia. 2-Pin
- Cable Specs : 2 Core OCC + OCC-Silver Plated Litz Wire Cable
- Cable length : 1.2m
Pairing & Drivability:
The Thieaudio Elixir is an easy to driver In-Ear Monitor thanks to its pretty low impedance of 14.8Ω and a sensitivity of 112dB, which makes is compatible for sources like Mobile Phones, USB DAC/Amplifier Dongles and Tablets.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : Thieaudio Elixir, Meze Audio RAI Solo, Campfire Audio Honeydew
- DAP&DAC’s : FiiO M11 Plus, iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The Thieaudio Elexir is a pretty balanced sounding In-Ear Monitor with a tad warmer than neutral tonality. The bass is quite fast in terms of response, while the focal point is the subbass area. The midrange offers a decent sense of clarity and resolution thanks to the pronounced upper midrange tuning. The treble range on the other and sounds in general nicely smooth, fatigue free and shows an efficient level of extension.
The Thieaudio Elixir review has been written after a burn-in period of 70 Hours. I have used the Stock Semi Transparent Silicone Ear Tips and the stock cable that are included to the package. My sound impressions below are mainly based on pairings with sources like the FiiO M11 Plus (DAP) and iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon (DAC/AMP).
The Thieaudio Elixir shows a fairly natural and linear bass response, which is mostly concentrated in to the subbass area. The bass is in general fast, clean and detailed, while the extension/expansion is on a moderate level. This mildly emphasized bass character will satisfy most users in many genres such as metal, jazz, blues or acoustic.
The subbass depth and intensity of the Elixir is on a pretty good level, and offers a decent sense of rumble, especially when I listen to songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel” or Lorde’s “Royals”. The decay and control of this area is one of the highlights that fulfils my expectations from an In-Ear Monitors at this price level, especially after some burn-in (50 hours). The subbass performance will satisfy in most genres and many listeners, with exception of bass heads that may want some additional rumble.
The midbass region of the Thieaudio Elixir is less emphasized compared to the subbass area, which stands out otherwise in terms of control, clarity and tightness, when I listen to complex passages like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven” or to Charly Antolini’s “Duwadjuwandadu”. The midbass depth and intensity is on a sufficient level, while it could have slightly more volume & impact when I do listen to genres like EDM or Trance music.
The midrange of the Thieaudio Elixir is the area where it impressed me with its great sense of clarity, airiness and realism, thanks to the pretty highlighted but not overdone upper midrange tuning. Both vocals and instruments are nicely forward and are reproduced in a quite realistic and natural manner.
The lower midrange is the area that is less emphasized, especially compared to the upper midrange. The lower midrange shows a moderate sense of body and depth, when I do listen to male vocals Barry White and Isaac Hayes or to instruments like cellos or violas, while the level of clarity and macro detail retrieval is decent.
The upper midrange is the area where the Thieaudio Elixir truly shines. It is nicely pronounced and detailed, without to create any side effects like sibilance or harshness. Instruments from guitars o pianos, from flutes to violins are reproduced in a pretty transparent, detailed and controlled manner. Female voices like Adel, Sertap Erener, Edith Piaf or Aretha Franklin do sound pretty emotional, clear and fatigue free, even at higher volume levels.
The Thieaudio Elixir has a nicely smooth, mildly bright and moderately extending treble presentation, which generates balanced yet fairly detailed atmosphere in this area, which is free from over sharpness and unnaturalness.
The lower treble region is moderately highlighted and detailed that is concentrated around the 5kHz region. This treble tuning makes the Elixir to a fatigue-free and easy to listen In-Ear Monitor. The sense of clarity and definition produced in this area is on an efficient level when I do listen to instruments like pianos, organs and guitars or to soprano voices like Sertap Erener.
The upper treble region of the Thieaudio Elixir is slightly less pronounced compared to the lower treble region. However sense of airiness and sparkle that is created in this frequency region is sufficient to prevent congestions and muddiness while listen to a wide variety of music genres. Instruments like hi-hats do sound slightly more recessed than in normal, while they show moderate intensity and sufficient sense of extension.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The Thieaudio Elixir impressed me with its pretty natural and airy soundstage atmosphere that creates ideal conditions for a quite precise separation and placement of instrument and vocals. The soundstage of the Elixir shows a natural expansion with decent sense of depth and wideness, which fulfils my expectations from a product an In-Ear Monitor at this price level.
Thieaudio Elixir versus Meze Audio RAI Solo:
Both IEM’s do come with a Single Dynamic Driver configuration that are located in a premium looking monitor shell. The fit and comfort is pretty identical on both products, while the Elixir shows a slightly better performs in terms of passive isolation.
The Meze Audio RAI Solo has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the Thieaudio Elixir, which has a closer to neutral. The RAI Solo is slightly more energetic on both ends, while the Elixir is the one with a more balanced and natural presentation.
The Thieaudio Elixir has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth, intensity and offers also a slightly faster grade of decay in this area. When it comes to the midbass presentation, I can say that the Meze Audio RAI Solo is more highlighted in this area. The RAI Solo shows more midbass depth and intensity, while the Elixir has the slightly edge when it comes to the clarity and resolution in this area.
The midrange of the Thieaudio Elixir shows a slightly more neutral tonality and offers also a better sense of transparency and airiness. The Meze Audio RAI Solo has a more highlighted lower midrange response that was audible when I have listen to male voices or to instruments like acoustic guitars or violas, while the Elixir offers slightly better sense of clarity in this area. The upper midrange of the Thieaudio Elixir is more emphasized, detailed and offers a better grade of extension.
The lower treble range of the Meze Audio RAI Solo has an audible peak around the 5kHz region that helps to create an energetic and detailed presentation compared to the Thieaudio Elixir in this area. However, the Elixir offers a more natural and easy going tuning. The upper treble region of the Elixir is more detailed and shows a better sense of airiness and extension, when I do listen to hi-hats, cymbals or soprano voices.
When it comes to the soundstage performance, I can say that the Thieaudio Elixir has the upper hand in terms of airiness and separation of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the Elixir is slightly wider, while the depth of the stage is pretty similar on both IEM’s.
Thieaudio Elixir versus Campfire Audio Honeydew:
Both In-Ear Monitors do feature a single Full-Range Dynamic Driver and do offer a comfortable fit. The Elixir offers a more premium look and feel, while both are pretty equal in terms of fit and comfort.
The Campfire Audio Honeydew is the IEM with the warmer tonality, which shows also fuller and dynamic presentation, especially in the lower frequency region. The Thieaudio Elixir on the other hand offers a much more natural presentation from the lows to the highs, which makes it more ideal for a wide variety of genres.
The subbass region of the Campfire Audio Honeydew shows more depth, intensity and rumble, while the Thieaudio Elixir is superior when it comes to the decay and control in this area. The midbass area of the Honeydew is more pronounced, impactful and full-bodied, which makes it more suitable for genres such like Trance, EDM, Dubstep or Bassline.
The midrange of the Thieaudio Elixir has a closer to natural tonality and offers a better sense of transparency, airiness and resolution. The lower midrange of the Campfire Audio Honeydew shows more depth and body, while it sounds a bit muddy compared to the Elixir that shows a better grade of clarity. The Thieaudio Elixir is superior in terms of upper midrange response since it sounds more pronounced, detailed and extended, when I do listen to instruments and female vocals.
The lower treble range of the Campfire Audio Honeydew is more highlighted and energetic compared to the Thieaudio Elixir, which sounds smoother and more controlled in this area. The upper treble of the Honeydew is slightly more highlighted and detailed than those of the Thieaudio Elixir.
The Thieaudio Elixir offers a more natural and expansive soundstage atmosphere, with higher sense of airiness. This creates better conditions for a precise separation of instruments. The soundstage of the Honeydew is slightly deeper, while the Elixir has the upper hand when it comes to the wideness of the stage.
The Thieaudio Elixir is a great looking and sounding In-Ear Monitor that impressed me with its natural, smooth and mature sound tuning that I can listen for hours without to feel tired. It offers a decent level clartity and resolution from the lows up to the highs, which fulfils my expectation from a product at this price range. Moreover, it comes with a premium looking storage case and a good detachable Litz cable.
Pros & Cons:
- + Decent Sense of Clarity from the Lows up to the Highs
- + Subbass Response (Depth, Control & Decay)
- + Transparent & Pretty detailed Midrange Presentation
- + Smooth and Fatigue-Free Treble Tuning
- + Natural Soundstage Expansion with Good Level of Separation
- + Premium Build Quality
- + Good Fit with the right Ear Tips
- – A tad more Midbass and Lower Midrange Depth would be welcome
- – Not Ideal for Bass-Heads
- – Minimalist Packaging
Thank you for the Read!