Back to BASSics!
PROS: ergonomics of the design, warm clear sound with a noticeable bass tilt, premium 4-conductor cable, accessories.
CONS: might be too much bass for some, though playing with eartips gets low end under control.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
It’s always a risk for an audio company to start with a flagship and than follow it up with an entry level model. This scenario could easily turn anticlimactic, unless a company knows what they are doing without cutting too many corners. In my opinion, Oriveti pulled that off without a problem. Right from the start Oriveti got everyone’s attention with Primacy release, a brand-new 3way hybrid from an unknown company. Then, while introducing an updated version under NEW Primacy name, they launched an entry level single dynamic model, cleverly named Basic.
While you can say that Oriveti went back to “basics” by taking out dual Balanced Armature drivers and cutting down on some of the accessories, they also kept a lot of the premium elements of the design, including all metal housing, removable premium cable, compact shell, and more. You would expect to see a lot less considering 1/3 of Primacy price, but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. Obviously, they couldn’t keep the same sound signature, so let’s take a closer look at how BASIC turned out.
It’s a common sense for any company to distinguish their entry level products from flagship models, and often you can clearly see that during unboxing of either one. Here, I felt like I was dealing with another premium Oriveti model. You are still greeted with a gift box quality sturdy cardboard enclosure with a bold glossy 3D image of Basic which pops out from the cover. In this image, you can see a different shape of the shell, more round in comparison to Primacy, and can also notice the hint of a removable cable as illustrated in the picture.
The back of the box had a detailed Specification and Content of the box, listing all the included accessories. While glancing at the spec, I noticed right away they switched to 10mm dynamic driver, up from the New Primacy 8mm DD, which suggested that Basic could have an enhanced bass. Above the specs, Oriveti still features a CAD drawing of the IEM guts. This design diagram provides details of the metal shell material, placement of dynamic driver, and confirmation of detachable cable.
With a top cover off the box, you still have an identical to Primacy presentation with a jewelry box setting of small metal Basic shells inside of a heart shaped cutout and the cable snaking around it. Just like with their flagship, when you lift the top foam insert, you will realize that it’s designed like a spool for cable storage. Underneath this foam insert, you will find a detailed Quick Guide page, and below it a storage case with all the accessories. True, you no longer have every eartip and other accessories on a display in their individual cutouts, but I still found the overall unboxing experience to be rewarding and premium in nature.
Despite “basic” status, you still get plenty of accessories, including double set of every eartip pair. Here you will find two sets of S/M/L silicone eartips and two sets of double flange eartips. It’s a plus to have spares if you end up losing one piece. You also get a set of rubbery earhooks to enhance wire-up fit. Either if you use it or not, some people might appreciate it.
While Primacy accessories collection was enhanced with an aluminum puck-shaped case, it looked great but wasn’t as practical on the go. Basic includes a large round clam-shell zippered case which is bigger and higher quality than your typical cheap eBay round cases. It’s easier to carry this case in your bag or in your pocket, and it has plenty of extra room for eartips, extra cable, and maybe a small DAP like PAW Pico or Sansa Clip+. Also, included was a carabiner clip to attach to the case.
Though you are dealing with less accessories in comparison to Primacy, these are still all essential quality pieces.
I always treat removable cable as another accessory. Here we have a premium Silver Plated Copper (SPC) cable, soft, pliable, and with a very good build quality. Yes, it still has a rather generic looking braided design with a tight black shielding, but if you look closer – this is the same 4 conductor cable used with original Primacy. You will find two separate twisted conductors attached to rubbery housing of each standard MMCX connector, going down to shrink wrapped y-splitter and continuing as 4 separate inner-twisted conductors to a straight slim metal shell connector with TRS gold plated termination and a short strain relief. There was also a clear plastic rubbery chin-slider, oval shaped to provide a better friction when sliding along twisted wires.
Multi-conductor cables, especially when the wires are kept separately down to a headphone connector, are just asking for a balanced 2.5mm termination instead of a typical 3.5mm, but the beauty of the replaceable cable is that you can always switch it later. Also, just like in the original Primacy cable, mmcx connectors are labeled with R on the right side and triple-dots for a blind id on the left side. Furthermore, cable is soft enough for a comfortable fit over your ears, the preferred way to wear Basic, there is hardly any microphonics, and it’s very easy to manage for storage and when you take it out – there is no memory effect.
The shell construction is all metal, CNC machined using aluminum with anodized black finish. Everything from a build quality and a seamless joint of halves, to a slick ergonomic shape is an example of a fine craftsmanship. The design is smaller than Primacy because Basic only uses a single dynamic driver and no BAs. This all metal aluminum shell design is very comfortable, almost like a shape of M&M with a rubber boot around mmcx connector. Nozzle is a bit on a shorter side, thus some might need to choose eartips with a longer core/stem. But with over-ear wire fit, it felt very secure even when I used smaller eartips.
Upon a closer look, you will find dynamic driver port on the inner side of the shell, while outer shell has “Oriveti” on the right earpiece and “O” logo symbol on the left earpiece. The rubber boot part of the shell has L/R marking to distinguish the sides, though they are a bit hard to see. You can try wearing shells with a wire down, but it left the driver vent/port more open, and thus reduced the impact of the bass. But either way, there was no driver flex. In terms of the comfort, they are light and nearly disappear in your ears. There is no sound leakage, and with a right selection of eartips – sound isolation is good. And as I mentioned before, with a stock cable I didn’t sense any microphonics.