Oriolus Finschi: Seeking wisdom from within…
Written by ngoshawk
Published 2 minutes ago
Pros – Good fit.
Affordable entry into Oriolus.
Separation is above average for this price.
Layering is also above average for this price range.
Cons – Cable seemed to cut out (promptly taken care of by Steve.
Too bassy for some.
Looks? But I like understated.
Oriolus Finschi ($180): Seeking wisdom from within…
One aspect of reviewing is the number of times you are contacted and have to turn down opportunities. I personally find this sad that I cannot accommodate every request (I know tough problem, but I am being sincere) and do have to either turn companies down or ask them to come back at a later time. Sometimes the company will send the goods anyway and give me an approximate timeframe in return.
I found out from others that Steve from XTenix had contacted them regarding a couple of review items as well. I initially said no but contacted him again when I noticed he had the brand Oriolus, a Japanese IEM company (https://www.en.oriolus.jp/). In reading about Oriolus I found they are a company with great passion. Their higher-end model (mid-fi), the Mk2 came highly acclaimed, and certain early reviews said the same about the others in the line. Steve told me he would send the Finschi to start. Upon arrival, and after reading a few reviews, I anticipated good things.
I thank Steve and Xtenix for the opportunity to review one of the wares they have in stock. It is the unwritten assumption that the unit may be returned at any time without question. Until then the unit in question is mine to keep.
- Driver: Knowles balanced armature + 10mm dynamic driver
- Sensitivity: 112db
- Impedance: 18Ω
- Frequency response: 10Hz-40KHz
- Pin: 2pin 0.78mm
- Line length: 120cm
- Oriolus Finschi
- Owner’s manual
All prices in USD, unless noted otherwise:
LZ A6 mini ($180)
TFZ Secret Garden ($199)
Thebit Opus #2
XDuoo x10t ii/iFi Pro iDSD
MBP/Burson Fun w/ V6 Vivid single OpAmps
Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:
Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
twenty one pilots-Trees
twenty one pilots-Car Radio
twenty one pilots-Heathens
Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado
The new twenty one pilots album, Trench
The new Mark Knopfler album, Down The Road Wherever
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Finschi comes in a Pelican-like case, replete with foam insert to protect the IEM during travel. Upon arrival, I took the foam out, but saved it in the box form transport. The case is also large enough to accommodate a small DAP inside, so you do not have to carry multiple items, something I greatly appreciate.
Also included are the obligatory many tips of various sizes, including double tips; a cleaning brush, and an innovative shirt clip with a “slot” system. Pinch the ends together, insert the cable anywhere along its length and then clip to your shirt. The clip gently holds the cable without pinching. An interesting take on a problem many didn’t know existed.
Straightforward, simplistic and elegant. Fitting coming from the Japanese way of thinking. Nothing is done without purpose, and much appreciated.
The black acrylic housings fit gently and snuggly in my average sized ear. Using the included foam tip, I attained a good seal, but not like some. I actually like a bit of breathing as some in the past have given me the sense of being in a vacuum. Not a pleasant experience. The shape fit well, too. Not too big, not too small. Almost Goldilocks-like in fit, I found myself with a craving for porridge…
My initial impression upon hearing the Finschi was one of a refined sense of place. Each note of each instrument seemed to be placed well and within the realm of where it should be. On the slightly warmer side (to my ears), the Finschi came across as muscular, but not world class weightlifter, confident and full. Capable would be another good descriptor. This was a good first impression.
After further listening (after my standard burn in time of 50-100hrs), the sound did open up a bit, but I will be honest and note I could not tell much difference. I have another more expensive unit on hand right now, and I must admit that I reach for the Finschi more. The sound draws me in with the solid, fairly deep reaching bass. Not much rumble mind you, but confident in its ability. It is a pleasantly comfortable amount of bass, which is thoroughly satisfying when you look at the overall signature of the Finschi. That said, Fake You Out comes across as intended. When they go into chorus for the first time, it sounds deep with good rumble. So the bass is song dependent. Decay is relatively fast, but do not expect the speed of something such as the LZ A6 mini or TFZ Secret Garden, but that is OK for the Finschi matches its sound with the character presented.
The mids are presented confidently as well. Not shouty,
not laid back, just right would be an apt description. Think Goldilocks
again and you are getting a sense that the Finschi has some guts to it. I
mean who else would come into someone’s house, eat their food, take a
nap in their bed, then get scared when the owner comes home?! Maybe not
that blatant, but one where the Finschi asks your permission to come in
and does not disappoint in providing company as a result. That would be
the mids. Present, assured, but not overbearing.
One might think that with the others setting the groundwork, that this would be a set up for the treble. One would be wrong. The treble presents just enough sparkle to keep you happy without (again) being shouty or sibilant. I like this presentation, as it hits the high notes with conviction, but not overexuberantly. There isn’t much air between the notes, no. Do not expect this to be light and airy. Again, that weightlifter/Goldilocks impression holds court.
Don’t expect an outwardly large sound stage either. It is good, presenting a full-sized box, but not overly large. Quite adequate and I might be picking bones from the just finished Thanksgiving turkey, but I note this anyway.
This is an impressive sound package for an entry level product.
Comparo (all prices USD unless noted otherwise):
Oriolus Finschi ($180) v LZ A6 mini ($180):
On par with the Finschi with regards to ease of driving, the mini could not be more different in sound. With that forward mid (using the red bass-oriented filter), the character is one of a bit flatter response. Less height imbues, but you do not seem to miss it, for the bass while not deep is very clean, and the treble while subdued, shows a bit of sparkle up top. Not often, but it is there on some songs. The A6 mini is an interesting critter, fitting below the A6, trying to garner a bit of that sub-$200 market. I do like it, and after acclimating back to it, enjoy its virtues. With a changeable filter system, you can definitely tailor to your desires. The treble filter was too much for me, but some may like that. In this case, the mini is simply another way to spend your money at the sub-$200 price and is worth a look. That said, I enjoy the Finschi sound more overall.
Oriolus Finschi ($180) v TFZ Secret Garden ($199):
The TFZ SG was a unit I was drawn to by the favorable reviews. Many espoused the pleasant sound emanating from the unit, which at the time was drawn as the TOTL from TFZ. Based now upon my own experiences I can concur with those findings. I thoroughly enjoy the SG. It has excellent reach of bass, mids, which even to me are robust without being tiring. And that bit of sparkle up top, which can allow one to fully experience the overall signature. Running through the iFi Pro iDSD/XDuoo x10t ii combo the sound is wrought with quality. A bit too much up top for me (more than the Finschi), that is almost the only fault I can find.
The treble can become tedious on some songs, such as Semi-Automatic from twenty one pilots. Their music is fantastic by which to judge, and a staple in my listening. I did find myself turning the volume down when switching between the Finschi and SG though. That is also a take on how easy the SG is to drive, for it is easy. Very little power will drive it to ear-splitting levels.
The Finschi has a warmer signature to me, and one I value. The SG is a bit more energetic in sound and can be heard as that fun-sounding IEM, which can help you through a noisy commute, as the isolation using foams is excellent. Fit and finish and look are similar in quality, right down to the cable. The two are definitely in the same place price-wise and sound-wise. Tough indeed. So, there isn’t a clear winner here, just one of choice.
Using the Shanling M5s the majority of the time gave me good insight into how the Finschi worked in true portable sense. Combining the slightly warmer sound of the M5s with the slightly warmer sound of the Finschi did not make for a too-dark sound. No, indeed the two complimented each other well. This would make for an excellent commuting pair, especially with foam tips as this would make isolation on commuting would make for a good listening session. Plus, with the all-black look of the Finschi, not too much attention is drawn. A plus in my book.
Bass was represented well, and a good sound stage persisted with the pairing. Not too much treble, with clear representation of female vocals. Male vocals suffered a bit due to the deeper nature of most that I listened to. Of course, “suffered a bit” would be like having to suffer through a 60-degree day on South Beach as opposed to an 80-degree day. Ya, different, but so be it.
Hooking the Finschi to my current favorite pairing of the XDuoo x10t ii/iFi Pro iDSD pair produced stunning results. The XDuoo simply sent crystal clear music to the iFi and lets the Pro do its magic. This pair is a superb matching pair. One would not think that a $200ish “Turntable” would produce results on par with DAP’s costing several times more, but in my mind it did. I am amazed. Throwing on the Finschi allowed me to truly see the capability of the IEM with a mid/high-fi set up. It did not disappoint. Running the Pro on full tube set up, the bass was a bit richer in developing, while the mids stood out as sublime. The Finschi showed its true mettle here, giving a deep insight into the Oriolus sound of higher level. And one (me) could thoroughly anticipate what the Mk2 would bring to the set up.
A late favorite was my MacBook Pro/Burson Fun w/ single V6 Vivid OpAmps (Tidal Premium) set up. An already bassy sound was added to by more bass from the Fun. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Susan Tedeschi sing in the Tedeschi Trucks band she and her husband Derek Trucks have. A fantastic large group band, with multiple sounds, the Finschi represented itself well. A bit more bass than I would like on some songs, nonetheless, the sound was intoxicatingly pleasant. A good IEM enhanced with a good affordable amp.
So, after all of these musings, what are we left with? Well, you are left with a very impressive sound package for less than the cost of $200. There is a richness that pervades the overall signature, which I find intoxicating and full. The more I listen, the more I like the Finschi. This is not a matter of “it’s free, therefore I like,” either. This is a genuinely good product from my perspective. Of course, your opinion and whether you like it or not is entirely up to you. If you like signatures that are a bit darker (the foams do have a bit to do with that), but pull you into the sound, such as on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Boot Hill, then you get it. You understand the spell from which the Finschi may very well put you under. Follow that with Alison Krauss and her song Faraway Land, and you just want to grab that single malt, go out on the back porch, sit in your favorite rocker and enjoy the view of the hills, valleys and mountains of yonder. This reminds me of the 64Audio lineup. You start with the “lower” offerings, and end with the u18t. The Oriolus line up seems to scale much the same. This is a contemplative sound, which leads me to think about one’s place in society and the earth. And after all, isn’t that the sign of what good music is supposed to do for us? Me thinks it is.
I thank Steve for the wonderful opportunity to try a new brand. I fast became a fan of Oriolus, and understand the talk given to the mk2, for based upon the Finschi, it is well deserved.