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Most of you would already be familiar with the ThieAudio brand: Linsoul’s entry into the headphone and IEM game starting with the Phantom planar headphone, and then branching out into the Legacy and Voyager series of IEMs.
In case you aren’t aware, I’ve actually reviewed the whole ThieAudio IEM lineup prior to their newest releases, the links for which are listed below:
- ThieAudio Legacy 3
- ThieAudio Voyager 3
- ThieAudio Legacy 5
- ThieAudio Legacy 9
- ThieAudio Voyager 14
- ThieAudio Clairvoyance
- ThieAudio Monarch
In general ThieAudio isn’t inconsistent per se, but it would be accurate to say that they’re been rather hit-or-miss when it comes to performance under IEF metrics. Sure, when they hit they hit it big (Monarch and Clairvoyance being the prime examples) and when they miss they aren’t completely stumbling, but so far it’s been rather 50/50 on whether or not I’d like ThieAudio’s newest release, whatever it may be.
Seeking to recapture the proverbial lightning in the bottle that was the original tribrid twins, ThieAudio now releases a new pair of tribrid twins just slightly cheaper than their predecessors: the $530 Excalibur and the $540 Oracle. And given that they’ve recycled almost everything from the shell shape, cable, and even faceplate… it’s hard to tell which is which anymore.
Regardless, IEF is here to answer the burning question you’re all asking: how good is the Oracle actually?
Product page: https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-oracle
Driver configuration: 2EST + 2BA + 1DD
This Oracle was kindly provided by Linsoul.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Hard case
- 2.5mm balanced to 4.4mm balanced adapter
- 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm SE adapter
Cable: 4-wire configuration in a twist braid. Very soft, pliable and superb skinfeel (one of my favourite stock cables, I think), though somewhat tacky to the touch.
Connection: flush 2-pin. C’mon, it’s
2020 2021; if you’re going with 2-pin, make it either recessed or extruded. Flush is a thing of the past.
Build: pretty standard resin/plastic build with a metal nozzle. No obvious seams. Just like newer Monarchs and Clairvoyances, the nozzle now has a lip for better tip security.
Fit: pseudo-custom. Nothing out of the ordinary for my ears.
Isolation: above average, suitable for public transportation (though just barely).
- … I think the Oracle just made the Clairvoyance obsolete.
- I don’t think the Oracle is strictly better than the Clairvoyance and similar problems still exist between the two, but in general the $200 premium (almost 40%) of the Clairvoyance over the Oracle is really hard to justify.
- The Oracle is a bit less resolving… but not by much. Notable differences would be the extra bloom in the bass and slightly more blunted notes, but makes up for it with snappier treble and a slightly more pleasant tonality, at least in my opinion.
- For the ~$500 market the Oracle positions itself as the IEM to beat. Probably the closest off the top of my head would be the recent Softears RSV, but even that’s $200 extra with arguably worse treble.
- All that’s really left now is for ThieAudio to tighten up their QC. Don’t disappoint me now.