Ikko OH1 featured image

IKKO Meteor OH1 Review – Incandescence

TESTED AT $139
Our Score

Today we review the Ikko Meteor OH1 a dual hybrid earphone with 1 dynamic driver and 1 balanced armature driver per side. The OH1 has a unique and interesting design with its textured metal alloy faceplates. Will this be a shooting star or mere space debris? Let’s take a closer look.

Ikko Audio is a relative newcomer to the in-ear monitor market and is based in Shenzhen, China. The OH1 was their first product but since then they’ve also released the Obsidian OH10, another dual driver IEM and the Zerda, a portable DAC.

Official website: http://www.ikkoaudio.com/ikko

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

Jack London

This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.

Pros
  • Unique appearance
  • Great build quality and comfort
  • Detachable cable
  • Engaging bass performance
  • Smooth and resolving

Cons
  • Treble is a little subdued

Image courtesy of Ikko Audio.

Package and Accessories

The OH1 box comes in a white sleeve with an image of an earpiece on the front and a list of specifications on the back. The box itself is black with the Ikko logo on the top. Opening up the box, here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • Ikko Meteor OH1 earphones
  • Fabric carry pouch
  • 3 pairs of “balanced” silicone eartips
  • 3 pairs of “vocal” silicone eartips
  • Detachable 2-pin cable
  • User guide/warranty

Build Quality and Design

Inside the OH1 is a titanium-plated diaphragm dynamic driver and 1 Knowles 33518 balanced armature driver. Externally, the earphones have a light texture on the metallic-blue-coloured faceplates, in the form of some subtle dimples. It gives them a visually interesting appearance but the surface is still very smooth.

There is a small vent on the inner side of the shell, near the base of the nozzle. Physically, the shells are narrower than average but the build feels very robust. There is a proper lip on the nozzle that does a good job of holding eartips securely in place.

Comfort and Noise Isolation

For my ears, the OH1 is very comfortable and I can wear them for hours at a time. The shells are lightweight and have a silky smooth texture all over, along with nicely rounded edges. Over time I did not feel any hotspots or discomfort.

Sound isolation is about average for this type of in-ear monitor, meaning it blocks out a good amount of external noise and is suitable for public transport and moderately noisy environments. Similarly, noise leak is minimal as well, so it’s unlikely anyone else will hear what you’re listening too.

Cable

The included 2-pin cable is braided with 4 strands and is dark grey in colour. It handles well, although it is a little prone to tangling and has some minor microphonics but nothing worth worrying over. It has metallic 2-pin connector housings, followed by some flexible pre-formed ear guides.

A cylindrical metal Y-split is next and this is lightweight and unobtrusive. There is no cable cinch present, however. The cable terminates in an L-shaped 3.5mm plug. Overall, I think this is a pretty good stock cable and I particularly like the way that all the components are the same metallic-blue colour as the earpieces.

Sound

Gear used for testing includes the FiiO M6 and Shanling M5s as portable sources. On the desktop, I had the OH1 hooked up to my FiiO K3. The OH1 is reasonably easy to drive, although it does like a bit more power than its specifications would suggest. I found it to perform better with more amplification which tightened up the bass and improved bass extension.

The Ikko Meteor OH1 has a warm sound signature with punchy bass, a smooth midrange and laid back but clear treble. Clarity is moderate, being neither especially clear or muddy. It’s what I would call a musical presentation that is fun and easygoing but at the same time is still detailed and resolving.

Bass

The OH1 has excellent bass extension, as can be seen in its measurements. Its sub-bass has a powerful but smooth rumble that can really be felt. In tracks like Philter’s “The Mountain King“, the rolling synth bass feels deep and intense. However, it never sounds disproportionate or upsets the overall tonal balance.

The mid-bass is smooth and punchy, with a medium speed attack and decay, which gives bass notes a roundness and meaty girth. It’s a fun bass tuning that will get your feet tapping without getting in the way or being too dominant but it’s not particularly fast or defined.

Mids

OH1’s midrange is full-bodied and smooth. Vocals have a nice expression with good articulation and density. Male vocals are rich but clear, the Oh1 gives them a great balance of texture and smoothness. This can be heard in Riverside’s “Caterpillar And The Barbed Wire” where the vocals float out of the mix, in front of the guitars and drums in an effortless manner.

Female vocals sound great too and the OH1 delivers them with vivacity and smoothness. In “Goodbye” (live), Melody Gardot’s vocals sound lifelike and natural, as do the band’s instruments; the OH1 has a great midrange tone that is emotive and captivating.

Treble

The OH1 treble has a safe tuning that steers well clear of any harshness or stridency. Treble notes are crisp and have moderate extension, plus a nice timbre and sheen. Sitting just behind the midrange, the OH1 treble provides air and some lightness to music. It is smooth but it has enough presence and gusto to prevent any darkening of the OH1’s tonality, opting instead to provide subtle detail in a relaxed manner.

Soundstage

The Meteor OH1 has a reasonably large soundstage with equal amounts of width and depth. Its stage is slightly forward and puts the listener close to the action while solid instrument separation keeps a healthy amount of space between instruments and provides sufficient breathing room. Placement and positioning are not laser sharp but beyond acceptable for an IEM in this price bracket.

Ikko OH1 closeup with cable

Comparisons

BGVP DMS

The DMS shares a similar bass in quantity and quality; that is, both IEMs have a thick bass with moderate speed. OH1’s sub-bass is a smidgen more enhanced and the DMS gets the smallest of nudges in the mid-bass.

DMS’ midrange is more prominent, pushing vocals and instruments forward while the OH1 opts to increase its upper midrange more. The result is more prominent and full-bodied vocals on the DMS while the OH1’s are thinner but more articulated.

I’d say these 2 IEMs are close in instrument separation and resolution, while and also share a similar amount of detail retrieval. The stage dimensions of these 2 IEMs are alike as well, with neither outshining the other.

KZ AS16

The AS16 has far less sub and mid-bass presence than the OH1. Its mid-bass is very tidy and snappy, compared to the OH1’s fuller and rounder bass. While the AS16’s midrange is more forward, its upper midrange and lower treble are also pushed forward, making it harsh and shrill, where the OH1 is smoother and has more body, albeit less articulated.

The AS16 has more treble presence too, adding sharpness to its already brittle presentation, while the OH1 has a non-fatiguing and subdued treble. Despite its light bass and bright tonality, the AS16 doesn’t have a great soundstage. It is slightly wider than the OH1 but it’s flat and 2-dimensional with little depth.

Ikko OH1 faceplates with carrying case

Conclusion

The Ikko Meteor OH1 turns out to be an incandescent star after all. It is a well-rounded and capable in-ear monitor from this relatively new brand. For a first effort, they really did a fantastic job, not just with the sound but also with an original design and great build quality. The OH1 is a non-fatiguing, smooth and musical all-rounder and an easy recommendation. I look forward to hearing more products from Ikko in the future.

Specifications
  • Drive Configuration: 1 Balanced Armature (Knowles 33518) + 1 10mm Dynamic
  • Sensitivity: 106db
  • Impedance: 18ohm
  • Frequency Response: 20-40khz
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