Oriolus Traillii

Sound Analysis.

I analyzed Traillii paired up with LPGT while playing a variety of test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.

To my ears, Traillii has a big open sound typical of full-size dynamic driver headphones with nearly a holographic soundstage expansion.  The soundstage and the imaging are the first things that stands out when you start listening, feeling like you are right in the middle surrounded by the sound, able to pin-point and “touch” every single element in space due to a rather accurate and realistic placement of instruments and vocals. And thanks to a very good layering and separation of the elements in 3D space, every sound, every nuance is easy to distinguish and to focus on.

I usually don’t start my sound analysis with soundstage description or the talk about layering and separation.  But since I did, some could probably assume that Traillii might have a more reference quality analytical sound.  After getting over the initial soundstage impression, you realize the tonality is very natural, with a full body organic sound which at the same time has a rather good level of detail retrieval approaching nearly a micro-detail level, not a typical combination for IEMs which don’t have analytical tuning.  We are talking about a natural tuning with a balanced W-shaped signature where the bass, mids, and highs stand out in their own domain and blend in a coherent harmony.

To break it down further, each bass note is weighted with a deep textured sub-bass rumble and tighter dynamic-driver quality mid-bass punch.  During my listening sessions, quite a few times my brain got tricked into thinking I’m listening to a dynamic driver bass performance even though Traillii has 2BAs to cover low end.  The bass was so visceral and hitting with such well-articulated authority that for a second, I felt like I was listening to a powerful dynamic driver.  But at the same time, while bass is powerful and elevated, it is not overwhelming to a point where it overpowers the mix.  The bass is there, it hits hard with authority and control, and it does feel like DD performance with a little slower attack and longer decay but without spilling into lower mids.  This is not L-shaped tuning, it is W-shaped, though I still think it will satisfy equally bassheads and audiophiles with a basshead fetish, but stay clear if you want a more neutral bass.

Mids are very natural, soulful, organic, and at the same time quite detailed and layered.  Lower mids are above neutral, giving a fuller body to the sound and also helping bass to blend in more naturally with upper mids.  It has just the right amount of quantity and tuning quality to make sure the overall sound is not muddy or veiled considering the organic nature of the tuning.  Upper mids are very detailed, I rare combination of being close to micro-detailed level without being cold and analytical.  Vocals sound very natural and realistic as well, regardless if it is male or female.  And again, after the extended listening I almost forgot that these are BA drivers because of the organic texture of the sound which is more typical of DD performance.

Treble has a very natural balance of clarity and airiness, excellent extension, and a well control sparkle without a hint of harshness.  It was hard to believe there are 4xEST drivers because the tonality of the treble was so natural, so well defined and well controlled without any harshness or sibilance, and yet fine-tuned to be extended, super clear, and well balanced with the rest of the frequency spectrum.  For me personally, Traillii treble tuning really hit the sweet spot because I’m really picky about the treble and harsh upper frequencies drive me nuts.

The two things that really stood out for me was a natural holographic soundstage and the coherency of the 12-driver hybrid tuning where BA-bass, BA-mids, and EST-treble were in a perfect harmony, sounding like full size open headphones with one large dynamic driver.  And also, I was impressed how well the sound tuning scaled up at low and high levels of volume.  With some IEMs raising the volume up brings mids more forward, or while listening at lower volume pushes mids back and brings up bass more forward.  Here, the relative tuning balance stayed intact as I was varying the volume up and down.

oriolus-traillii-25

Eartips selection.

The selection of eartips is crucial with any universal in-ear monitor and will affect the sound, especially the bass impact depending on the seal and the soundstage depending on insertion depth.  Due to a large opening of my earcanals, I usually go for the largest size eartips to get a better seal.  Please, keep in mind, these impressions are subjective and relative to my ear anatomy which affects how I hear the sound.

Stock silicone tips – gives sound the best balance between lows, mids, treble; my baseline natural detailed tonality.

AZLA Sedna – adds more sub-bass rumble and lifts mid-bass higher, great if you want even more bass impact.

JVC Spiral dot (original) – these shrink the soundstage a little bit; soundstage is still wide but not as wide which loses the holographic effect.

Final Type E – the narrow bore opening here messed up the sound, vocals became congested and a bit muddy and soundstage was narrow.

Symbio F – was surprised how well these fit Traillii thick nozzle; and found a very interesting effect of bass being a little attenuated, especially sub-bass, while mids/vocals being a little brighter, more forward, and more transparent.

SpinFit – similar to Symbio F, bass has a little less sub-bass, bringing more focus to mid-bass, and vocals are a little brighter, more forward, and more transparent.

After I shipped out Traillii, I realized that I forgot to take pictures with various eartips.

Page 3 – Comparison, Source pair up, and Conclusion.

20 thoughts on “Oriolus Traillii

    1. Hey I’ve been following your reviews for a while. It has really helped me decide what TOTL IEM I should get for my next purchase. So thank you so much! I really do appreciate the effort and level of detail and the comparisons made. I have bought the Final A8000 and have had it for almost a year. There was nothing wrong with it but when I compared it to the Sony Z1R I found I preferred the bass on the sony. The Z1R also had a similar sized soundstage but not as much clarity, especially in the mids.

      Because my top 2 priorities are bass and soundstage I preferred the Z1R. Alex I was wondering if even by memory, you could give me a comparison between the A8000 and the MMR Thummin in the areas of sounstage and dynamics of the bass?

      Thank You Very Much in advanced!
      Thanks for your effort and your time.
      Cheers.

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      1. It’s hard to recall soundstage by memory, and tbh, unlike some other people I didn’t find Thummim soundstage to be that big. Maybe it is because of its thicker warmer sound tuning which to my ears has the effect of more intimate rather than 3D holographic space. The more revealing airy nature of A8k gives its soundstage more width, but like I said, all could be a matter of perception. Regarding bass, it is literally NIGHT and DAY, Thummim is almost bass-head tuned IEMs while A8k has nearly flat bass in a relative comparison. A8k bass is about accuracy, about articulation, about speed and precision, while Thummim bass is BIG and BOLD with a deep thick sub-bass rumble and big mid-bass impact, and slower attach and shorter decay of bass notes. I’m going by memory, but that was the impression it left me with. Two completely different IEMs. Another one, Odin is fantastic, and will have more bass impact (than A8k), big soundstage (like A8k or maybe bigger), and similar clarity (like A8k), but Traillii and Erlkonig have more bass impact than Odin and better bass control than Thummim.

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    1. It’s hard to compare to one IEM, Bobby. In general, Trailli is what Thummim should have been, combined with likes of Elysium, Odin, and A18s. Keep in mind, I spent less than a week with Trailli and haven’t heard Erl yet, but it strikes me as the signature where I can’t think of changing anything. Of course, we will be kidding ourselves by calling any IEM “the endgame”, but this one is special for sure.

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  1. Why do your “comparison” and “pair up” sections always look almost identical, like it’s the same block of text that you copy-paste with only couple of words changed?

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    1. I have a slightly different approach to Comparison and Pair up. From audiophile perspective, the sound is split into sub-bass/bass/lower-mids/upper-mids-vocals/treble and has characteristics of soundstage, imaging, layering, separation, and dynamics. After every review I get a ton of questions from my readers asking how their IEM compares to the one I’m reviewing, will it have more sub-bass or stronger mid-bass impact, does it have thicker/fuller body or will the vocals be brighter or darker or more forward, and if treble is crisper or more extended or sibilant, etc. The same with soundstage, which one sounds wider/deeper, or which one has better separation of sounds. Thus, Comparison section is focused around a short format where I do a very brief comparison of these parameters, so people can decide how different the IEM under the review will sound relative to their IEMs. With Pair Up, again, I’m more into portable setup, and majority of these DAPs slightly vary in output impedance, output power, or just a slight variation in tonality. All these variables not going to change the sound significantly, but some will yield a stronger bass or wider soundstage or brighter vocals. Again, as part of my review format, I take quick notes to capture these slight variations. Perhaps, it’s not exactly a traditional comparison of going into details like I would describe in Sound analysis section, but it’s more of a quick rapid comparison so my readers can determine if IEM I’m reviewing will be an upgrade or a side-grade or just something different relative to what they already have. Hope this explains, and I probably should mention this review approach in About section of my site, so it will be more clear.

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    1. Someone mentioned to me they will finally have a universal demo version. So, maybe I will ping them in a near future, too overloaded with work and other reviews in my queue now. Otherwise, I’m not familiar with their sound/tuning and only heard about them being discussed in Nic’s thread on head-fi and nowhere else.

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    1. Both are great IEMs, unfortunately Erl is discontinued and sold out. The intent of the updated comparison was because many Erl owners asked me about it. For me personally, if I would to choose one, I would go with Traillii because of a bigger soundstage and less colored mids. Also, Erl silver shells are heavy, and after extended listening period I lose the seal since they start fall out of my ears.

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    1. If I would to revisit my personal Top3, Traillii and Odin are still at the top. They are tuned differently and serve a different purpose, Traillii for listening to the music and Odin for analyzing the music/gear when I’m reviewing. I like Erlkonig and A18s (but not custom, rather universal demo version of A18s I have with me now because due to a fit it sounds better to my ears), but they both in a similar tuning category as Traillii where Traillii edges them out per my personal preference. Thus, I would add Ely to my personal Top3 since its mids are truly special, not so much bass, but the mids and with the right cable like Code 51 or Leo II 8wire their EST treble sounds more natural, not as rough as I hear it with stock cable.

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  2. Thanks, considering an Ely. I have Traillii already. Odin design does not work for me. Your opinion here really helps. On HeadFi a couple are really ecstatic about the M8/Ely combo. Have a P6 Pro and M8 so if I do get one I can hear for myself. Seems not many have the Traillii but if they did they would probably really like it as well.

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