In this review, I’m looking at the OEAudio Tita single balanced armature IEM which retails for $129. The Tita comes with 3 tuning filters and a crossover-free design.
OEAudio is a company that manufactures high-quality audio components and in-ear monitors. They even provide cable components to some of the big brand names such as Effect Audio, Fitear, Mogami and Moondrop. It turns out that OEAudio also makes their own earphones and in today’s review, I’m checking out the OEAudio Tita earphone.
OEAudio website: https://www.oeaudio.net/
Disclaimer: 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.
- Small footprint
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Excellent cable
- Liquid, resolving midrange
- Great bass for a BA driver
- Not for trebleheads
- Fiddly tuning system
- Driver: Single Sonion balanced armature driver
- Impedance: 6Ω
- Sensitivity: 106dBSPL
- Frequency response: 20-16000Hz
Packaging & Accessories
The Tita comes in a small rectangular cardboard box. On the front there’s a silhouette of an earpiece and on the back of the box is a frequency response graph and some specifications. Here’s what you get inside the box:
- OEAudio Tita earphones
- 3 sets of tuning filters (copper, stainless steel, aluminium)
- 6 replaceable dampers
- 3 pairs of silicone eartips
- Screwdriver (for installing dampers)
- Leather carrying pouch
Although the Tita shells look simple, in reality, they’re heavily engineered. Inside the shells is a single Sonion full-range balanced armature driver. The main body of the shells is made from transparent plastic but the nozzles are titanium.
Titanium was used for its acoustic properties in addition to the horn shape of the nozzle mouth that is designed to enhance the sound energy and treble extension. The OEAudio Tita has a crossover-free design and instead, relies on the acoustic cavity and nozzle horn to shape the sound.
Then there are, of course, the 3 different tuning filters that attach to the rear of the shells. While swapping out the actual filters is a relatively simple task, dealing with the minuscule dampers is an intensely frustrating and ultimately pointless exercise. It feels like something that was designed by engineers to demonstrate how clever they are instead of thinking about practicality and the end-user experience.
As is generally always the case with bullet-shaped earphones, they are very comfortable to wear. The only part that comes into contact with your ears is the eartips so it almost feels like there’s nothing there.
The earphones can be worn cable down or over-ear. I prefer to wear them cable down when sitting for ease of use and over-ear when I’m moving about as it makes them more secure and at the same time eliminates most of the cable noise.
Noise isolation is better than you might expect from such a small IEM but it’s highly dependent on having a good fit and seal using the right eartips.
*Tita can be bought bundled with the 2DualOFC cable and the 2DualCPS cable is available for purchase separately.
The 2DualOFC cable uses high-purity imported OFC copper with Teflon insulation and a transparent TPU sheath. There are no pre-formed ear hooks so the cable can be worn down or over-ear. The MMCX connectors (also available with 2-pin) are gold-plated and have transparent plastic housings.
The CNC carved straight plug is polished aluminium and is available with 3.5mm single-ended, 2.5mm balanced and 4.4mm balanced termination. You can even get it with a USB Type-C or Lightning plug termination which makes it very versatile.
In terms of handling, the 2DualOFC is great to use. It’s supple, lightweight and drapes well. On top of everything else, it’s a very handsome cable with a premium look and feels.
The 2DualCPS cable utilizes OCC (Ohno Continuous Casting) Concentric-lay Purified Silver. It has polished aluminium connector housings and Y-split compared to the plastic ones on the 2DualOFC. The 2DualCPS is slightly thicker compared to the OFC cable but it looks and feels more premium in comparison.
Gear used for testing includes:
- Shanling M5s
- Soundaware M2Pro
- iPhone with Hiby FC3
For my testing, I used a mix of low-cost dongle DAC, mid-tier DAP and a high-end DAP. The Tita does not need much power or extra amplification but feeding it from a quality source yields surprising results.
Tita’s tonality is a touch on the warm side of neutral with an emphasis on the mid-bass and the midrange. Single BA units often make sacrifices in either the treble or the bass, as they tend to struggle to cover the entire sound spectrum. Fortunately, there seems to be little compromise with the Tita as it does a good job of covering the lows, mids and highs.
Clarity is good but not overdone as the Tita maintains an organic warmth that sounds analogue rather than analytical. It has a wide soundstage and a good level of detail retrieval and strong overall technical performance.
Tuning filter system
Adding a tuning system is a sure way to intrigue audiophiles with the promise of sound customization options. The copper cap is my preferred of the three as to my ears it has the most natural tone and opens up the soundstage.
The stainless steel and aluminium filters are closer to each other in terms of sound. Compared to the copper cap, the other two sound slightly sharper with faster transients. But the change is small and I doubt anyone would bother swapping the filters on a regular basis (especially if it involves inserting those infuriatingly Lilliputian dampers).
The Tita has one of the best bass responses I’ve heard from a single balanced armature driver. Even the sub-bass delivers a pretty satisfying rumble. The mid-bass is punchy and well-defined. Listening to The Pineapple Thief’s “Versions of the Truth”, the Tita’s bass is full-bodied and textured. It has a clean leading edge with good impact and natural decay.
As you’d expect from a BA driver, the bass is controlled and fast enough to keep up with all types of music. Kick drums actually give you physical feedback and I was constantly being surprised by their solidity.
The midrange is the main highlight of the Tita. It’s clean and detailed yet very natural and organic. It’s a midrange that sounds good with all music genres, instruments and vocals. The mids are slightly forward, very expressive, warm yet clear.
Tracks like Tacoma Narrow Bridge Disaster’s “Wake” are a treat with the OEAudio Tita. The electric guitars have loads of crunch, instrument separation is great and the vocals (albeit sparse) are clear and forward in the mix.
As we get up into the highs, the Tita’s treble takes a somewhat laid back approach but still sounds crisp and airy. It provides ample detail and a peak at 8kHz provides clarity and definition. There’s absolutely no sibilance or sharpness to be heard: a focus on the lower treble and steady roll-off keeps things very smooth up top.
Treble notes are slightly rounded and have a hint of warmth to them. It’s not the most precise or accurate treble but is one that stays out of the way and enhances the luscious midrange. Although it’s a little lacking in extension, it serves its purpose well and stays fatigue-free.
The soundstage is wide but a little shallow in terms of depth. Despite the forward stage position, imaging and positioning of instruments are surprisingly good. This is a result of Tita’s fast transients and instrument separation. Overall, the stage feels a bit intimate but well organized and natural, especially with the copper tuning filter.
The OEAudio Tita is a well-rounded earphone that delivers an organic, full-bodied sound. It has great bass for a single BA IEM. Tita has a gorgeous midrange tone that I found works especially well with vocals and electric guitars but is versatile enough for any music genre. My only real gripe is the tuning filter system which I think could be implemented in a more user-friendly manner.