I applaud Oriveti for once again providing us with a really well thought out in-ear. While the SE215 has served as a staple in the audio market, that earphone is rapidly approaching almost 6 years of age. We no longer live in such a concrete world where one earphone defines a price range, but the BASIC is a very logical purchase for those searching for an earphone with a removable cable, over-ear fitment and dynamic sound. Due to the nature of their tuning, the BASIC’s full low-end is suitable for audiophiles and bass craving consumers alike while their clear midrange and detailed high-end will provide new levels of insight to those upgrading from a cheaper/older earphone. There are few options out there at this price that best the BASIC when purely considering sound, and any sonic advantages those earphones hold easily pale in comparison to the Oriveti’s comfort, fit and durability which is a pretty common weakness among all budget-minded earphones.
Accessories – 8/10, Nice accessory suite, would be great to include some foam ear tips for travel and I would personally prefer a smaller, more portable case. Included tips, ear guides and case are of nice quality.
Design – 9.5/10, Really no issue with the design. The aluminium housings are very well finished and ergonomically moulded with perfect long-term comfort in my uses. Isolation could be very slightly improved when compared to sealed monitor style earphones but remains perfectly usable even during air travel. Fit stability is great and they work well for activity if you don’t mind the exposed vent. Nice cable for the price, but the texture is a little rubbery and may catch on clothes. No remote/mic.
Bass – 8/10, Really nice bass performance, well extended with great sub-bass slam. Surprisingly textured given the emphasis and slightly more uneven nature. Does well to avoid bloat and bloom.
Mids – 7.75/10, Relatively even but slightly dark. Lower mids are clear and have nice presence. Upper mids are smoother rather than clearer but mids sound clean on a whole.
Highs – 7.75/10, Very good detail retrieval and extension with roll-off at the very top. Nice texture and body to treble notes, not splashy, thin or fatiguing. I didn’t notice obvious sibilance issues during my listening.
Soundstage, Imaging & Separation – 7.25/10, Plenty of space with a lot of width and pleasing depth. Separation is better than the more mid-forward competitors but imaging and centre image are both a little vague.
Verdict – 9/10, The SE215 is so embedded in the iem market that it becomes difficult to even consider alternatives but the BASIC definitely has what it takes to become a new recommendation around this price. I suppose, bass could be a little more linear, mids could be slightly more balanced with more clarity and the cable could be smoother with a right angle jack, but the BASICs are ultimately a very well-rounded earphone within a price range riddled with compromises.
*As an added note on marketing, with a name like the “BASIC”, Oriveti is clearly pushing consumers towards the higher end “New Primacy”. But I reason that Oriveti’s budget option should stand on its own in name as it differentiates from the competition in performance (since it should ultimately sell in higher volumes). Perhaps the Oriveti Classic would be a better fit given that the dynamic driver is a becoming a sort of precious relic with hybrids, armatures and micro-driver earphones all occupying the majority of the $100-150 audiophile market. Regardless, I’m personally not a fan of a name that denotes a product’s status as anything lesser, it should rather be a cheaper alternative.