Tanchjim has tuned Oxygen very well along the lines of Harman Target curve and ensured that the bass goes deep, mids are transparent and treble is sparkly and clear. It has a very clean character with very good amount of details for a single dynamic driver.
Oxygen being a dynamic driver re-creates the bass really well. The sub-bass has good reach and mid-bass is tasteful, but in no way does it dominate the track. It’s very well balanced compared to the rest of the frequency spectrum yet very clear, crisp and impactful. Notes have good authority and are distinguishable even in heavy layered music. You can hear and feel the bass rumble in songs like Porcupine Tree’s ‘The Start of Something Beautiful’ and ‘Halo’. It got me pretty excited about the song and I heard them in loop a couple of times.
If you’re familiar with Harman mids, you know how they look on a graph. Oxygen’s mid dip is very natural and makes lower mids sound very clear. This complements the clarity in the upper mids perfectly. The resolution is extremely good too. As a result, in heavily layered songs, snare body or lower registers of vocals never get shadowed by pads, mid bass or synths.
- Deep vocals in songs like Coldplay’s ‘Another’s Arms’ and ‘Yes’ have good depth, clarity and sound upfront without getting lost in the mix.
- Falsettos and higher range vocals in songs like Gavin James’ ‘Always’ and Maroon 5’s ‘Payphone’ always sound clear and crisp but never piercy.
- Acoustic guitars have good string clarity and presence but never sound sharp.
- Distortion guitars in songs like Breaking Benjamin’s ‘Diary of Jane’, Kanivool’s ‘Simple Boy’ and I Am Giant’s ‘Razor Wire Reality’ sound huge and have very good tonality, definition and clarity.
- Kicks have good attack and snares have good body and depth.
In earphones with Harman style tuning, the treble can tend to sound a bit rolled off but the Oxygen portrays it quite well. Oxygen is not a dark sounding IEM at all. Treble character will probably please most with its naturalness. The treble supports the high mids very well giving guitars a good hint of airiness, snares have good stick attack and orchestral instruments have good sheen. There is no issue of sibilance at all. All in all, the treble is smooth, yet has good sheen, definition and clarity.
Soundstage, Imaging and Separation.
Oxygen’s soundstage has good width and depth. Hard panned guitars sound open and wide, and reverb have good depth to give you a realistic experience. Imaging is on point, with instruments placed accurately throughout the space. Separation for a single dynamic driver is commendable.
Tanchjim Oxygen vs Moondrop KXXS
Oxygen and KXXS are similar in terms of build and the choice of driver but differ more in sound. Both are made up of metal shells. Both are available is shiny silver finish, but Oxygen is also available in Black (the one I have). In terms of sound, Oxygen sounds organic, nicely balanced and earthy (lifelike like listening to the song in a studio), whereas KXXS has similar qualities but sounds a bit more open, airy with a slightly thinner character.
Bass and sub-bass in isolation are very similar. In order to gauge the quantity and quality, I listened to Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard’s ‘Why so serious’ at the 3:26 mark over and over again. After back and forth about 20 times, I’m still unsure which has more sub-bass, ummm….maybe KXXS. Oxygen on the other hand presents slightly more mid-bass in songs like Porcupine Tree’s ‘.3’. Vocals sound earthy in the Oxygen but sparkly in the KXXS. High mids are a bit more present in KXXS so acoustics, hi-hats and orchestral instruments have a bit more presence in tracks. Snares also have slightly more stick attack and smack in KXXS whereas Oxygen again sounds more organic.
Oxygen and KXXS are like brothers. Oxygen is the more mature brother whereas KXXS is the more adventurous and enthusiastic one. As for fit, KXXS fits much better than Oxygen but Oxygen has a lip for ear tips to stay in place.
Tanchjim Oxygen vs Tansio Mirai TSMR-3Pro
Oxygen and 3Pro have different tech inside where Oxygen has a dynamic driver and 3Pro has 3BAs. Oxygen has more bass presence whereas 3Pro has slightly fuller mids in comparison. As a result, 3Pro has more snare slam and sounds a bit warmer, more towards neutral. On the other hand, Oxygen portrays a cleaner mids character because of the Harman dip in the mids. 3Pro has a bit more 3kHz presence and as a result, distortion guitars in bands like Periphery and Lamb of God sound a bit more present in the mix. Treble in both sounds natural and compliments higher mids very well. There is no sibilance in either IEMs.
Tanchjim Oxygen vs LZ A6
A6 with its filters gives you more flexibility in tuning the sound signature. But considering LZ A6 with my favorite Red filter, I prefer Oxygen for its overall tonality, balance and character. A6 is energetically tuned with treble taking the lead whereas Oxygen in comparison sounds much better balanced and refined, targeting the Harman tuning.
Tanchjim deserves a pat on the back for tuning Oxygen. It is an excellent specimen of Harman tuning and is one of best sounding IEMs under $300. The build quality and packaging is great too. If only it had a better fit with shells being slightly bigger and the nozzles a bit longer, it would’ve been a perfect IEM that I would never want to part with ever in my life. Also, even though they include 2 cables in the package (one with mic), I wish they had chosen to include a single better-quality cable instead. Nevertheless, Tanchjim Oxygen is a very good IEM with great sound and I can recommend it for its sound and build quality, wholeheartedly!
Gear used for testing and review.
- Logic Pro X session with hi-res test tracks played through Universal Audio Apollo or Focusrite Clarett Pre X audio interface headphone out.
- Hiby R6 Pro
- Oneplus 7 Pro
Reference Songs list.
- Foo Fighters- The Pretender, Best of you & Everlong
- Coldplay- Paradise, Up in flames & Everglow
- Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
- Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
- John Mayer- Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train & Say
- Gavin James- Always & Hearts on fire
- Switchfoot- Meant to live & Dare you to move
- Linkin Park- Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
- Maroon 5- She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
- Lifehouse- All in all & Come back down
- Karnivool- Simple boy & Goliath
- Dead Letter Circus- Real you
- I Am Giant- Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
- Muse – Panic station
- James Bay – Hold back the river