There are those brands that don’t rush to release new products, yet always earn good impressions once they do offer. Tome, Oriveti is one of them. Oriveti is a brand established in 2015 and made their debut with the Primacy, their first IEM.
The community, including myself, gained good impressions for its solid sound quality and build. Later followed up by the New Primacy and the Basic, there’s been some gap until they’ve eventually revamped their line-up with the new OH and O series.
Today we’ll be reviewing the OH300 – the successor of the Primacy. Sporting the same 2BA+1DD as the Primacy, the OH300 is overhauled in many ways including the sound quality. The pricing stays the same as the Primacy did before which is $299, approximately half the cost of its bigger brother OH500.
It’s actually been quite a while since OH300 was released, yet there are many wholesome brands and earphones that deserve ongoing attention. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed this earphone, and believe OH300 is worth making a purchase even nowadays. Let’s take a look and see how it performs and compares to the others.
The IEM comes in a neat, moderately-sized packaging with the earphone design rendered in the front and specs written at the back. Other than the earpieces, the OH300 comes with a stock 3.5mm cable, a leather case, 6 pairs of silicone tips, 2 pairs of foam tips, 2 pairs of double tips, a cleaning tool, an AV adapter, and some paperwork.
It’s nice to have a variety of eartips as well as a storage case that is high-quality. The case is made of genuine cowhide with red stitchings around the edges, giving a premium feel and look. The inside is also filled with soft leather paddings to better protect the IEMs from shaking or impact. The size of the case is reasonably compact which allows the stock cable and IEM to be stored without a problem, yet thicker custom cables may not fit in too well.
The OH500 uses a 3BA+1DD hybrid setup, utilizing 2 Knowles BA drivers and an 8mm dynamic driver that is applied with a special coating on the diaphragm. Oriveti has been keeping the iconic bean-shaped design ever since the Primacy, yet as the OH series is released, Oriveti has tweaked the form factor. The new earpiece is now thicker and larger in size yet still comfortable and edgeless.
Another difference in form factor is the material of the casing. The very early models such as the Primacy and Basic used a full metal casing. Yet it appears that Oriveti has shifted towards using resin shells for the newer models including the OH300. Although metal casings are superior in durability, I suppose this change has been made since the earpieces need to get larger to house more drivers and the weight came across as a problem.
I’m a fan of metal-casing IEMs but the OH300 does not disappoint me in terms of build quality. The OH300 has a dark blue, transparent resin shell. The shells are well made without blemishes or bubbles and also seemed to be made with good thickness. Other features include MMCX connectors for the cable and a 2-bore nozzle. The nozzle diameter is about T400 which is compatible with most aftermarket tips such as SpinFits and Spiral Dots.
The included 3.5mm stock cable is made of custom-grade wires and components. The cable is made of 8-braided SPC wires with full metal casings for the connectors. Quite interesting to see the cable appearing brown like a copper cable while it’s actually silver-plated. A chin slider is also installed above the splitter for tightening the cable if necessary. It’s an average-weighted cable that is not too light but not heavy either. An interchangeable connector would’ve been ideal instead of a 3.5mm plug, but Oriveti does offer optional upgrade cables that do have these interchangeable plugs.
Sound impression – Lows
Looking at a larger scope, OH300 draws a mild w-shaped sound signature that gently highlights all three ranges. Let’s start talking about the bass response. Lows are solid and tight with adequate texture grain and reverb involved. The tightness lets the bass feel “al dente” but the bass is still elastic and smooth enough.
The bass quantity is similar to those that are slightly v-shaped; clearly stronger than flat but also lesser than V-shaped. The OH300 achieves good depth and color for the bass, covering the ultra lows without lacking. It has a decently full body that gives sufficient thickness but is still within the neutral range. One characteristic of OH300 I’ve noticed is that despite the high clarity and depth retrieval, the bass presence never overpowers the other ranges. The bass acts more as an assistant that holds up the upper ends and doesn’t try to stand out too strongly. Overall, the bass manages to bring out good details while staying calm and stable.
Sound impression – Mids
Mids take a gentle step forward with a neutral-bright, chic timbre. It’s a type of timbre that has a fresh and crisp vibe going on, giving a BA-based feel to the vocals. It’s enjoyable that the vocal textures are vividly exposed while keeping it smooth and not sounding dry. The transition from lows to mids is natural but the distinction between these two ranges is very clear. I’m guessing this is due to the lows having a warmer, smoother response while mids have a noticeably crispier and cooler tone. Yet somehow, these different characteristics are well fused together to set harmony. The transition is gradual and natural enough.
The OH300 has a neutral thickness for the vocals, being ideal for both male and female vocals – but I found the sound a bit more pleasing when matched with female vocals. Alongside, vocals flow steadily and consistently throughout the range, both in tone and brightness. Sibilance or peaks cannot be found. Thanks to the mildly cool and bright tone constantly being carried throughout the mid-range, OH300 provides thorough airiness and transparency without making the upper ends particularly aggressive.
Sound impressions – Highs, etc.
Highs hold a similar position with mids in terms of positioning. Perhaps right behind mids. Crisp and airy texture sway gently, giving refreshment to the trebles while staying fatigue-free. The layering of the treble strands is quite impressive considering the gentle attitude the trebles show. As I’ve been mentioning, the balance of presence is key from OH300. Brighter than the bass yet dimmer than the vocals, OH300’s trebles show distinctive presence and details all while not getting overpowered.
Soundstage is fairly large, wisely using its reverbs and depth response. It offers decent headroom size yet is not particularly grand, however. More like a wide enough studio room. The steady flow continuing all the way from lows to highs, plus the pleasing layering and separation details, all play a role in offering OH300 a spatial sound.
Compared to Kinera Freya
The biggest difference between these two IEMs is their target purpose. The OH300 bases its tuning on keeping all three frequencies equally prominent and harmonic, whereas Freya clearly sets the vocal as the star of the show while other ranges aid support. Because of this, upper-end airiness and transparency are superior to Freya. Vocals are also noticeably stronger in their presence. On the other hand, the bass from OH300 is clearly better-bodied, thicker, and heavier. The bass grooves and ultra-low extension are also superior on OH300. Separation and treble details for both IEMs are similar in performance, yet the upper ends from OH300 are better organized, and also easier to pick up the details by the ears (as mentioned about Freya’s tuning).
Both IEMs have a similar timbre. The vocals on Freya are a bit more shouty while OH300 is mildly sweeter and smoother on the vocals. The difference is noticeable yet isn’t day and night. I’d say OH300 has a more natural tone overall, however. If the up-close vocal presence and details are your first priority, Freya shall serve you well. If you enjoy all three ranges similarly or want a thoroughly balanced sound, OH300 would be ideal.
The OH500 is the older brother of the OH300 as well as a flagship within Oriveti’s hybrid line-up. Sporting a 4BA+1DD driver setup, the OH500 is priced at $499 which is nearly double the price of the OH300. Yet, of course, OH500 is set as a premium model for good reasons. Although it isn’t too ideal to compare these two in performance since OH500 is clearly a higher-end earphone, I suppose those interested in OH500 may wonder how OH300 performs – and vice versa.
Both earphones share similar characteristics for the bass response, yet the difference gets more obvious when it heads toward the upper ends. While OH300 has a mild w-shaped sound, OH500 creates a more vivid, grand W-shaped sound. Lows and mids are significantly thicker in body and quantity. OH300 is more revealing in vocal texture with closer to neutral thickness but has less full and rich. Another noticeable difference is the timbre – OH500 has a dynamic driver-based sound whereas OH300 is closer to a full-BA sound. Because of this, OH500’s vocal timbre is relatively more neutral and smoother.
What’s interesting is that the preference difference matters more than the performance between these two – if you’re into a more balanced, neutral, and cleaner sound, OH300 would be no less satisfying than the OH500. The same applies to those who want the sound signature of the old Primacy series. If you want a full of richness and wider extension of sound, OH500 sure is the way to go.
Meeting OH300 again in 2023 is a reminder that newer IEMs aren’t always better than the pre-existing ones. It really is one of those earphones that are very well made in many ways yet did not get the level of attention that it deserves. Along with it being clearly better than the Primacy, the tuning of OH300 speaks quality that is even possible to match up with OH500 as well as other higher-end IEMs. Along with more than decent performance, the highly-balanced and enjoyable sound signature makes this model enjoyable without the need to consider much about your preferences. If you’re entering the audiophile hobby or simply looking to upgrade to a better earphone, the OH300 would be a hard-to-go-wrong choice within the sub $300 range. Oh, and in case you’re a former/current fan of the Primacy, I suppose now you already know what should be your next move.