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Oriolus Finschi Review – Strong Foundations

Pros – 

Excellent bass extension and slam, Natural vocals, Clean high-end, Excellent ergonomics

Cons – 

Slightly slower bass, driver flex

Verdict –

The Finschi is incredibly well-tuned, incorporating the expertise and experience of Oriolus to create a package that is just as friendly on the wallet as the ear.


Introduction –

Japanese manufacturer, Oriolus, carved out a name for themselves with their 4-driver hybrid in-ear and have since expanded their line-up to include a more premium all BA model and more affordable hybrids. All are highly acclaimed and carry a signature sound that has become beloved by many audiophiles. The same methodology can be had at a substantially more affordable price with the Finschi, Oriolus’ new entry-level offering. It produces a similar warm, natural tuning realised through a single 10mm dynamic driver + single Knowles BA setup. The Finschi is available for $185 USD, you can find more details on the Finschi and treat yourself to one here.

 

Disclaimer – 

I would like to thank XTENIK Audio very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the Finschi for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

 

Accessories – 

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The Finschi has an excellent unboxing experience. Especially impressive is the included carrying case; a pelican style hard-case with rubber seal and foam inlet that hugs the earphones while doubling as a cable winder. Also included is a leather cable tie in addition to a medley of silicone ear tips and warranty card. These features culminate to portray a premium first impression that is maintained when handling and listening to the Finschi for the first time.

 

Design –

The Finschi has a design that will be familiar to any Oriolus fan; bearing a similar oblong housing shape to the MKII and Forsteni. It has an entirely plastic construction though a lack of seams, perfectly smooth finish and gold on smoke colour scheme are conducive towards a product that nonetheless looks and feels premium. This impression is reinforced by the presence of separate sound bores for the dynamic driver and a metal bore for the balanced armature, not frequently seen at this price range.

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Dimensions are modest, neither small nor large, the earphones protrude slightly from the ear and have a noticeable port on the outer face, however, wind noise was a non-issue during my testing. The earphones are comfortable due to their ergonomic shaping; with smooth edges that don’t wear on the ear over time and they offer a medium depth fit. They provide a very strong seal and impressive isolation for a hybrid. In return, driver flex is apparent but did not present issue during my months of testing. Their lightweight plastic construction permits excellent stability during more active use.

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A 0.78mm removable cable completes a well-rounded experience. It has silver-plated copper conductors and gold plated connectors on both ends. The cable itself is compliant with a smooth jacket that doesn’t catch on clothing. Pre-moulded ear guides hug the back of the outer ear, enhancing fit stability. The right angle 3.5mm plug is well-relieved and the cable demonstrates both great ergonomic and wearing properties.

 

Sound –

Tonality –

The Finschi sports a warm, W/V-shaped sound formed through a combination of copious deep-bass and crisp lower-treble set to a slight vocal boost. While vocals remain behind instruments, they are never over-shadowed, small or distant as a result. This is set to a clean, dark and laid-back background that prevents intimacy. The earphone also creates a surprisingly natural midrange given its bombastic low-end and level of high-end emphasis, a signature trait of other IEMs from Oriolus. This is a fun earphone first and foremost, however, it doesn’t sacrifice listenability in so doing.

 

Bass –

The first aspect that stands out to the listener, bass impresses immensely with extension that greatly outperforms its price in addition to enhanced note size that draws attention to this quality. Though not a bass-head earphone, the Finschi is emphatic with enlarged bass notes enabled by fairly large sub-bass emphasis that slopes progressively into a recessed lower-midrange that heightens bass/midrange separation. As emphasis sustains into the mid-bass, bass is warm and voluminous yet as upper-bass sits slightly behind, bass doesn’t sound congested. Nonetheless, the Finschi’s low-end has an expansive character.

This is derived from a combination of a sub/mid-bass emphasis combined with natural but not particularly swift decay that grants a smoother texture. As such, definition isn’t outstanding and neither is bass detail retrieval. However, control is very respectable, especially given the size of its low-end which greatly helps to reign in its sub-bass heavy tuning. This permits an impressively tight slam and impact and prevents congestion or muddiness. The Finschi has a very enjoyable low-end delicately yet masterfully combining scale, dynamics and smile factor.

 

Mids –

Not the most prominent aspect of the Finschi, the midrange is not neglected, delivering warm notes of ample size and intimacy. Vocals, in particular, stand out with a wide-band centre-midrange emphasis creating greater vocal/instrument parity. Both male and female vocals are similarly forward. Both are also full-bodied and warmer than neutral, they are also impressively natural and devoid of sibilance or over-articulation on behalf of a small 3-4KHz trough that aids density.

As the trough is small and the midrange, smoothly sculpted and pleasantly linear through the centre, vocals avoid truncation with impressive female vocal extension. Vocal clarity is enhanced, though in lieu of the earphone’s warmth and enhanced body, midrange clarity is not outstanding. Rather, the Finschi provides a lightly warm and smooth midrange that is musical, natural and rather euphoric while never wearing on the ear.

 

Highs –

The high-end is quite typical of V-shaped in-ears, sporting a modest 6-KHz emphasis that enhances the presence of foreground details. The Finschi is crisp with copious attack. Instrumentation is slightly thin, though treble instrumentation has pleasing texture. It excels particularly with strings that are well defined and separated while cymbals lack a touch of body with truncated shimmer. Nonetheless, detail retrieval is outstanding within this price range. With a darker background, the Finschi also offers a well-layered presentation and its sound remains composed and focussed despite its emphasized foreground.

Extension is modest, you don’t get the same level of micro-detail as more expensive earphones, nor would one expect it. Instead, the Finschi offers a touch of upper-treble emphasis to imbue sparkle that opens up its presentation without the need for a fatiguing middle-treble boost. Resolution is good, with ample micro and background detail retrieval. The Finschi impresses with its tuning that mates a tastefully crisp and well-detailed foreground to a clean, composed background with a touch of additional energy up top. This is an excellent example of a W-shaped tuning on a budget.

 

Soundstage –

The Finschi offers a large soundstage, especially width, while depth is more intimate due to their centre-midrange boost that brings vocals forward. Meanwhile, a laid-back background enhances width, and the earphone has is resolving enough to prevent background details from becoming overshadowed, effectively crafting immersive space and atmosphere. Separation is quite impressive, especially when considering their emphasized low-end. Though bass definition isn’t outstanding, vocals are very well separated and the earphone possesses a sound with distinct layers. Imaging is also quite impressive, with a strong centre image and sharp directional cues.

 

Driveability –

The Finschi has a high 122dB sensitivity mated to a lower 18ohm impedance. This makes it very efficient, reaching high volumes from portable sources and smartphones. Another notable strength, despite being a hybrid with a low-impedance, the Finschi isn’t overly sensitive to output impedance. That said, the Finschi thrives off of a powerful source. From Shozy’s overpowered Alien+, the Finschi’s low-end gains extension and noticeably greater control when compared to the smaller Shanling M0. It’s high-end also gains a touch of bite, with more detail and greater dynamics throughout. The Finschi is a fine choice for smartphone users, however, it scales very well with amplification.

 

Comparisons –

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TFZ King Pro ($170): The King Pro is a similarly V-shaped earphone but with a noticeably brighter upper-midrange. The Finschi is slightly bassier overall with larger bass notes on behalf of greater sub and mid-bass quantity. Bass depth also slightly better on the Finschi, possessing greater kick and rumble. Meanwhile, the TFZ King Pro has slightly more control, with a touch more definition through the mid-bass and its tone is closer to neutral, where the Finschi is fairly warm. This characteristic continues through the midrange where both offer similar vocal presence but with opposing tonality.

Where the Finschi offers a full-bodied, lightly warm and natural vocal reconstruction, the King Pro, with its more substantial lower-midrange dip and upper-midrange hump, offers vastly more vocal clarity and a neutral tone. It is also considerably thinner and more biased towards female over male vocals. To compensate, the King Pro has a much smoother lower-treble and a subsequent rise in the middle treble. The Finschi is rather the inverse, it has more present foreground details and a cleaner background but also sounds less open and clear. The King Pro has slightly more treble body, though the Finschi is more detailed and has slightly better extension. The King Pro has a slightly wider soundstage, but its imaging isn’t as accurate.

Campfire Audio Comet ($200): The Comet has a similar tone and presentation, being lightly warm and naturally voiced, but it is more balanced overall. Chiefly, the Comet has a more reserved low-end. It remains natural with a light mid and upper-bass emphasis, however, the Finschi has considerably more sub-bass presence, reinforced by better extension. The Comet is faster and more controlled, being punchier and more defined where the Finschi has a smoother low-end with greater rumble and slam. Mids are similarly toned, both are slightly full-bodied and warm, however, the Comet has more presence. It also has an upper-midrange dip that the Finschi lacks, so it sounds denser. The Comet has greater midrange clarity due to a more present upper-midrange preceding the aforementioned dip.

The Comet makes a rebound into the lower-treble with a modest 5-kHz peak. Its lower-treble is more emphasized than the Finschi and, as it has more contrast to the upper-midrange, instruments have less texture and body than the Finschi. The Comet has a slightly more open middle-treble that aids air. Meanwhile, the Finschi is cleaner here with more defined layers and a more focussed foreground, it achieves headroom with its greater extension and sparkle. In turn, the Finschi has a slightly larger soundstage while the more balanced Comet has better separation, both image well.

Dunu Falcon-C ($200): The Falcon-C is a personal favourite with excellent technicals and an incredibly linear tuning, it would be spot-on for me if not for its sharp 6KHz emphasis. Both earphones extend very well, the Finschi offering a touch more depth. The Falcon-C has a more balanced bass, it has a sub-bass emphasis but it isn’t nearly as warm through the mid-bass. It is a faster earphone with a more aggressive texture. It is more defined and detailed where the Finschi has more body, volume and slam. Through the midrange, the Falcon-C transitions smoothly into a slightly recessed vocal range. Nonetheless, it is more linear than the Finschi, with a touch more male vocal presence and a more neutral tone. It has more vocal clarity but sounds a touch over-articulated and metallic due to its large lower-treble spike.

Meanwhile, the Finschi sounds more natural and its greater body creates a more luscious sound. It also lacks any over-articulation or raspiness. Within the treble, the Falcon-C is the brighter earphone throughout. Its lower-treble is thinner and cooler, it has a hair more detail and separation here nonetheless, but its timbre is not as accurate and it is more sibilant. The Falcon-C has a touch more middle-treble, sounding slightly more open here while the Finschi sounds darker and cleaner. The Finschi has clearer layers while the Falcon-C has a more rounded stage. Both image well, the Falcon-C has better separation due to its faster, more balanced sound.

Hyla CE-5 ($940): A comparison of curiosity, the Hyla is not nearly in the same price class, but is the product of the same minds at Cyrus and bears a similar, V-shaped sound. The CE-5 has greater bass depth. It is a lot more controlled and defined despite having buckets of sub-bass and a reasonably full-bodied mid-bass. The Finschi is more bloated, warmer and also smoother, it is slower and glosses over a lot of details by comparison. The CE-5 has a more neutrally toned midrange on behalf of its more present upper-midrange and slightly more recessed upper-bass/lower-midrange. The Finschi is warmer and more natural where the CE-5 sounds slightly thinner in return for considerably greater vocal clarity and greater presence.

Neither earphone are sibilant or over-articulated. The CE-5 has greater lower-treble presence, centred around 5KHz. It is immediately a lot more detailed in addition to being slightly brighter. And beyond the superficials, extended listening reveals that the CE-5, that also has a clean, dark background, has a lot more resolution and background detail. The CE-5 has more sparkle and its layers are more clearly defined. The soundstage is significantly more expanded and it images better with more defined positioning. This is not a fair comparison, however, though the Finschi doesn’t offer nearly the same level of technical excellence, it is clearly cut from the same cloth; offering almost as much bass extension and a similarly engaging signature at a significantly lower price.

 

Verdict –

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So what we have here is not a dilution of former Oriolus products, but a revisualisation within budget constraints. This is a product that stands on its own with excellent ergonomics and a remarkably refined tuning. The F in Finschi stands for fun so if you’re looking for balance and neutrality, look away – this earphone delivers copious amounts of it. Rich, extended bass lays the foundation for a midrange that is natural, rich and smooth. Meanwhile, highs roll off gently into a dark, clean background with a focussed foreground of ample detail and accuracy. You don’t come across this kind of sound frequently around this price, or perhaps in general. The Finschi is incredibly well-tuned, incorporating the expertise and experience of Oriolus to create a package that is just as friendly on the wallet as the ear.

The Finschi can be purchased from XTENIK Audio for $185 USD. I am not affiliated with XTENIK or Oriolus and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.

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