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ORIVETI NEW PRIMACY: Nicht nur eine kleine Modellpflege - [Review] 🇬🇧

Vorwort:

Den ORIVETI NEW PRIMACY In-Ear hätte ich eigentlich schon vor ein paar Monaten rezensieren sollen, hatte mein Rezensions-Kontingent jedoch heruntergefahren, mich auf das Schreiben von Reviews in nur einer Sprache (nun lediglich auf Deutsch oder Englisch) umorientiert und mir eine kleine Pause gegönnt, die jedoch eher im Verborgenen blieb.
Nun habe ich mir aber die Zeit genommen und dem Nachfolger des ORIVETI PRIMACY, dem ich vor etwas weniger als zwei Jahren ein ausführliches Review gewidmet habe, ebenfalls eine Rezension mit Vergleichen zum Vorgänger und zwei anderen hybriden In-Ears spendiert.

"Low Key" und "High Key" Fotos des NEW PRIMACY existieren en masse in den Weiten des Internets - ich breche damit und habe ein "Car Key" Foto des In-Ears aufgenommen. #cheesyjoke

Im Gegensatz zum Trend vieler Firmen, das Nachfolgemodell häufig mit einem meist nicht unerheblichen Preiszuschlag anzubieten, obwohl es nur geringfügige Änderungen gab, bleibt ORIVETI beim NEW PRIMACY diesem Trend übrigens zum Glück fern und bieten den technisch und optisch veränderten hybriden Triple-Driver zum gleichen Preis wie das nun nicht mehr hergestellte „alte“ Modell an.

Was der asiatische Triple-Driver klanglich und sonst zu bieten hat, habe ich in dieser englischsprachigen Rezension zusammengefasst.


Erhältlich ist der NEW PRIMACY mittlerweile übrigens auch bei Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2vkRpvu


Introduction:

Founded just less than two years ago, in 2015, ORIVETI (http://www.oriveti.com/) is still a rather new company on the market that is however not new to the audio business, having members in their team that are successfully working in the audio industry for more than 10 years, according to their own information – therefore it was not much surprising for me that the hybrid triple-driver PRIMACY in-ears turned out to be pretty good products at their respective price point and a great discovery of the year before the last when I reviewed them in detail.

A bit more than one year has passed now and ORIVETI is back with two other in-ears. One is their more affordable single dynamic driver model “BASIC”, which I covered in this review in German language, whereas the other one is the “NEW PRIMACY” that is the direct successor/facelift of the “old” one that is now discontinued. According to ORIVETI’s website, it doesn’t only feature a different cable than the first generation, but also a different internal construction along with a new sound tuning.
Despite the changes, the price remains the same, which is a nice thing to see in a modern audio world where the successors of headphones are often priced with an upcharge from the previous generation despite not having undergone massive changes but only slight adjustments.

How the NEW PRIMACY performs, how it compares to the original and now discontinued PRIMACY and how it compares to other hybrid in-ears is due to found out in the course of this review.


Full disclosure:
Before I go on, I would like to take the time to personally thank ORIVETI’s Michael for sending me a sample of the NEW PRIMACY in-ears free of charge for the purpose of an entirely honest, unbiased review.


Technical Specifications:

Price: $299
Driver: Knowles Dual Armature Driver & 8mm Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 8 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20 - 20000Hz
Sensitivity: 105+-3dB/mW, 1000Hz
Distortion: <1%
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug
Cable: 1.2 m


Delivery Content:

ORIVETI’s dedication to small details and a premium presentation doesn’t stop with the NEW PRIMACY that also arrives in a very nicely designed, squared black cardboard box with an exploded drawing of the in-ears on its back, next to the technical specifications.


Taking off the lid, one can directly see the in-ears, safely cushioned in a block of black foam, with the cable being wrapped around the sides.


Taking off that layer, one can find a large manual with photos on it that show how to use and clean the in-ears – something that seems to be definitely made with some love.


Below, one can find another block of black foam that holds a very ample amount of accessories: a large cylindrical storage/carrying box that is made of metal, an airplane adapter, a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter, silicone ear guides, four pairs of small silicone tips, four pairs of medium silicone tips, four pairs of large silicone tips, four pairs of double-flange silicone tips (uniform size) and four pairs of foam tips (uniform size).
So the delivery content is similar to the now discontinued PRIMACY’s, with the exception that the NEW PRIMACY has got black instead of white silicone tips and that the earwax cleaning tool has been scrapped.


Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

The included carrying/storage case looks and feels really nice and premium, as it is made of anodised black metal, just like the in-ears, and has got white ORIVETI lettering. It is the same that was used for the original PRIMACY.
Although it is very sturdy, it is a bit more “show and shine” than fulfilling a practical portable purpose – the lid isn’t threaded but instead it is slid over the bottom part (the lid contains four tiny air passages integrated to the sides, slowly breaking the tight air seal that holds the case together, hence little force has to be applied for opening and closing it for pressure equalisation).
Although it shouldn’t open unintentionally, it could accidentally happen when held in one hand – personally, I would have definitely preferred threads at the bottom instead of the air cushion seal (although it admittedly looks and feels very nice and special when opening and closing it).


Inside, the case is covered with soft felt on the bottom and the lid, however not on the sides. Therefore the in-ears can still collect scratches over time when touching the case’s walls, which would be quite sad.

The in-ears are made of black, anodised metal, with the pictographic ORIVETI logo on the left and the written ORIVETI logo on the right shell. Build quality is very good and the in-ears look and feel like premium products.
While the NEW PRIMACY’s shells look very similar to the old model at first glimpse, they are not: not only do they vary in shape (although just barely), they also feature a completely redesigned nozzle/sound bore and are now vented, compared to the original PRIMACY that had closed shells.


What’s new as well is the cable. It is still braided, however it has now got 8 conductors and therefore also a different braiding pattern.
Even though the new cable has got 8 conductors, it still remains very compact and is not thick because the used conductors are rather thin.
This new cable is really soft and flexible, with a nicely thin y-splitter and a flat but easy to operate chin-slider.
Compared to the older PRIMACY, the 3.5 mm connector is angled instead of straight and its strain relief is very good.


The NEW PRIMACY’s silicone ear tips are now black instead of clear/white and a bit smaller in terms of size (tip diameter).




Comfort, Isolation:

In contrast to the more popular ~ 45° angle used by many in-ears, ORIVETI’s NEW PRIMACY is still using a nozzle that is angled by 90°. Whether you will find this to work better or worse will totally depend on your individual ear anatomy – I personally find the 90° angle to be very comfortable, but the same goes for the more common ~ 45° angle.


Even though the NEW PRIMACY’s ear tips are smaller than the PRIMACY’s, I can still get a good fit and ideal seal in my large ear canals although I need to push the in-ears in a little deeper and with a slight angle.

The NEW PRIMACY, just as the old one, can be worn either with the cables down or around the ears, with the latter method being the more preferable due to the increase in fit and security. This also reduces microphonics compared to the “cable down” style.
Speaking of cable noise: due to the soft and flexible cable, there are pretty much no microphonics when wearing the NEW PRIMACY with the cables around the ears. The flat chin-slider can also help with that.


Noise isolation is about average for vented in-ears, maybe slightly better, but audibly lesser compared to the now discontinued PRIMACY that had got closed shells compared to the NEW PRIMACY whose shells are now vented and therefore let somewhat more noise from the outside in.


Sound:

My main sources for listening were the iBasso DX200 (AMP1 module), Cowon Plenue 2 and HiFime 9018d (the latter just for sine sweeps since it is a bit too hissy for the sensitive NEW PRIMACY).
I primarily used the largest single-flange silicone tips that came included with the NEW PRIMACY.

Tonality:

The NEW PRIMACY takes a somewhat different tonal approach compared to the “old” PRIMACY that clearly is different enough to make it a completely new in-ear and not just a slight sonic update.

Shortly summarized, I would say that the NEW PRIMACY has got a mostly well implemented u/v-shaped tonality with mainly the far parts of the frequency response, the lower midbass as well as sub-bass, and upper treble being emphasised. While the NEW PRIMACY does definitely carry some slam in the deep lows and sparkle in the high treble, it does not have an overdone signature unlike many inexpensive hybrid in-ears in the two-digit price range.

The sub-bass and lower midbass carry some slam and weight but stay nicely away from the midrange and even lower root – the main reason for this is because the bass emphasis was implemented pretty well, starting to climb around 500 Hz, then gradually climbing all the way down to about 45 Hz where its climax is set. It then stays at this level down to about 30 Hz and slightly loses presence below, in the very low sub-bass.
Not many in-ears have got a sub-bass emphasis that is this well implemented, and the NEW PRIMACY therefore somewhat reminds me of the iBasso IT03, FLC Technology FLC8s (with the exception that the FLC is more “only subbass-focussed” even when using the strongest sub-bass and bass filters), Shure SE846, Zero Audio Carbo Tenore (sans the quantity that is higher on the Carbo Tenore) and Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 (Mahogany) (sans the upper bass that is a bit more prominent on the Fostex) in the lows.
Compared to a diffuse-field flat in-ear in the lows, such as the Etymotic ER-4S/ER-4SR, the NEW PRIMACY has got an emphasis of around 9 dB in the low midbass and sub-bass, therefore also having some strong slam, impact and authority when the recording digs down rather low.
The firm upper bass carries some weight, kick and authority too, however a bit less (not much less though).

Nicely enough, the bass stays pretty much completely out of the midrange and upper root, wherefore vocals are not carrying any real added warmth, thickness or fullness despite the bass emphasis. Therefore, some acoustic music that does not extend as low doesn’t have much richness or added oomph.

The midrange is neither forward nor really recessed and tonally relatively correct, without tilting too much to the darker or brighter side – it is just very slightly pulled towards to brighter/”airier” side by a broad emphasis in the upper treble that elevates the midrange’s and therefore voices’ overtones.

The area between 2 and 4 kHz is a bit in the background, making the presentation less intimate and less “in your face”, but the NEW PRIMACY lacks the 5 kHz dip that was clearly present on the now discontinued PRIMACY, wherefore its middle treble is not as relaxed anymore and doesn’t “sugar-coat” the midrange either.

Right after the middle treble, one can spot a broad upper treble emphasis that is located between 6.5 and about 10.5 kHz when doing sine sweeps. Super treble extension is good up to about 14 kHz.
This upper treble emphasis/peak adds a good bit of brightness to the overall sound, and, along with the less subdued 5 kHz range, is the reason for why the NEW PRIMACY sounds brighter than the old one (that had an upper treble peak as well, however since it was very narrow, it only became really noticeable when a note hit that exact spot).
This upper treble emphasis might be a just little too pronounced/”crisp” for treble-sensitive people, and even though I am personally none of those, I have to say that I also wouldn’t mind if it was sometimes between 2 and 3 dB less present, since it can occasionally become close to carrying a bit of harshness/sharpness and being somewhat metallic with fast, energetic and hard tracks.
While it is clearly not overdone in terms of level (measurements and comparative sine sweeps with EQ don’t show an elevation of more than 4 or 5 dB), it is probably a bit too broad and affects a slightly too wide portion of the upper treble, especially for more energetic electronic music that does not always work too well with the NEW PRIMACY even though its bass would be almost ideally implemented for that genre.
With most genres and recordings though, the treble boost is not even close to being bothersome and doesn’t become annoying, unpleasant or too unnatural, however even with rock, pop, acoustic recordings and classical music, the upper treble, while not harsh unless there is added brightness on the track, does not necessarily strike with the most realistic or natural rendering of cymbals and makes them appear a bit more metallic and a bit as if they were played with brushes instead of drum sticks (not entirely, but you get the idea).

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To wrap it up, the NEW PRIMACY is an overall well-tuned in-ear but the upper treble can be a little too crisp with some recordings using the single-flange silicone tips.
Using the foam tips the NEW PRIMACY came with, the upper treble is still bright but slightly less sharp. The bass becomes a bit softer though when using the foam tips.
The upper treble is even more tamed using the stock double-flange tips that, to my ears, take away a good bit of the brightness, and don’t let the treble appear as crisp and somewhat unnatural anymore while it still doesn’t convey the perfect sense of realism.

Resolution:

Being based on the original PRIMACY, the NEW PRIMACY takes an overall quite similar approach to resolution, with a conveniently quick and tight dynamic driver bass coupled with a detailed midrange and treble.

Just as the PRIMACY’s, the NEW PRIMACY’s dynamic bass driver is definitely among the faster dynamic woofers, if not even among the fastest in hybrid in-ear monitors I know. Its bass is well-articulated, tight and fast, almost protruding into Balanced Armature territory with just an extra bit of weight and impact to its general appearance/character and somewhat more texture.
Yes, in terms of speed and tightness, the NEW PRIMACY’s bottom-end could be almost compared to that of an in-ear with a softer back-vented BA woofer implementation for the low frequencies – a really good sign, since I personally feared that the now vented shells and increased bottom-end emphasis could soften the bass, which fortunately did not happen at all.

Although the NEW PRIMACY’s distribution of resolution is overall very even, its bottom-end slightly lacks behind the midrange, sounding a little blunt, wherefore I would be definitely not too surprised if the exact same dynamic driver were used since I also had this slight criticism about the original PRIMACY.

The NEW PRIMACY’s midrange and treble carry plenty of details and are well separated, and due to the clearly less recessed 5 kHz range compared to the old PRIMACY, its successor is immediately perceived as being an in-ear with a good midrange detail retrieval and air upon first listen compared to the older model where this dip made the midrange appear subjectively a bit dry and not much detailed upon first listen which is because it tames some of the midrange’s overtone and could therefore become a bit overly smoothing at times – not so the NEW PRIMACY that, while it is ultimately overall quite similarly detailed, is less smooth and more direct sounding here.

Differentiation in the highs is quite good and single notes can be easily told apart from each other while cymbals don’t convey the last bit of realism.

Soundstage:

An area where the now discontinued PRIMACY had some room left for improvement was the soundstage that, while certainly not bad for the price, was just about average in terms of width and depth and could not compete with some other hybrid in-ears when it came to size and extension.

This area is where the NEW PRIMACY has improved, now sporting a soundstage that is, while not really large or huge to begin with, definitely a bit larger than average, with an overall quite circular appearance.
Instrument layering and separation have also improved a bit compared to the original ORIVETI PRIMACY that was already average in this regard.

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In Comparison with other In-Ears:

ORIVETI PRIMACY:

Both in-ears are different on the technical side and don’t only have just slight differences – the NEW
PRIMACY, in contrast to the older one, has got vented shells that are also very slightly different in terms of dimensions, and the nozzle, ear tips, cable and sound are different as well. The NEW PRIMACY is also more sensitive than the now discontinued PRIMACY.

The NEW PRIMACY has got the more pronounced midbass and sub-bass while its midrange is less bright and a little less forward (the “old” PRIMACY had an upper midrange hump that made vocals become leaner).
While the old PRIMACY had a dip around 5 kHz that made it sound more laid-back and relaxed but also added some “sugar-coating” to vocals, the NEW PRIMACY’s middle treble is less recessed and its upper treble also carries a broader emphasis wherefore it is the overall brighter in-ear in the treble. The NEW PRIMACY’s presentation is therefore airier and less “laid-back” sounding.

In terms of resolution, the NEW PRIMACY’s midrange appears a bit more resolving due to the “lifted” 5 kHz range on first glance while both are actually quite comparably well resolving in the mids and treble.
The NEW PRIMACY’s dynamic bass driver is still very fast and tight, just as the “old” PRIMACY’s. Both seem to be a little blunt in the lows compared to the mids and treble though.

The NEW PRIMACY’s soundstage is a bit larger in both directions and has also improved in terms of separation and layering.

DUNU DN-2002:

The DUNU has got the fuller and warmer root and lower midrange while the NEW PRIMACY carries more level in the (lower) midbass and sub-bass. The NEW PRIMACY’s midrange is slightly brighter. The DN-2002’s middle treble is more relaxed and its upper treble is not as bright either. The DUNU’s highs are a bit more natural/realistic.

Concerning detail retrieval, both are very close in the midrange (with one being slightly more resolving in the lower mids and the other sounding slightly more detailed in the upper midrange) while the DN-2002 renders high notes with the somewhat better separation.
The ORIVETI’s bass is tighter and a bit faster while control is about comparable.

Soundstage width and depth are quite similar to my ears with just a slight advantage for the DUNU in terms of layering but equally precise separation and placement of instruments.

iBasso IT03:

Both have got a pretty similar curve in the bass, with the exception that the IT03 has got a little more perceived weight in the sub-bass and that the ORIVETI’s upper bass sounds as if it had a little more slam and firmness.
The iBasso’s midrange is a bit brighter and female-vocal-friendly, whereas the NEW PRIMACY has got the more pronounced and splashier upper treble that can however also sometimes be a bit too crisp.

In terms of bass, both in-ears have got a pretty comparable tightness and speed with the IT03 being just slightly tighter. Both also have in common that the dynamic woofer sounds a little less detailed/blunter than the BA midrange driver. Directly comparing the two, the iBasso’s lows appear a little more detailed though.
Both in-ears are comparably resolving in the midrange with the IT03 just having a minor advantage in the upper mids where the NEW PRIMACY only sounds ever so slightly grainier in direct comparison.
Treble details are quite similar with the ORIVETI probably having a slight advantage but sounding a little less natural.

The IT03 has got a bit more spatial width to my ears while the NEW PRIMACY has got a little more depth. In terms of placement, layering and separation, both perform about equally well.

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And last but not least, as a bonus, here is a comparative frequency response measurement chart of the ORIVETI PRIMACY, ORIVETI NEW PRIMACY and iBasso IT03:


Please note that this is what I recorded with my pseudo-diffuse-field-compensated-calibrated Vibro Veritas coupler (you can read more about the graphs and process of how they are taken and the inaccuracy in my measurements following this external link: frequency-response.blogspot.com/p/about-measurement-graphs.html).

It is not ideal yet but should give a rather good idea of what the in-ears sound like when mentally adding some level around 3 kHz as well as 6 kHz where my calibration is rather off.

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Conclusion:

The original ORIVETI PRIMACY has been replaced by the NEW PRIMACY, so it would not make too much sense to talk about it in the conclusion, would it? Well, yes and no – you clearly cannot mention the NEW PRIMACY without thinking about the original model if you have ever heard it, even though both in-ears are tonally different enough to be definitely considered as (clearly) different in-ears (or different generations, which they certainly are); and the NEW PRIMACY has definitely received some improvements in various areas.


It is nice to see that, even though ORIVETI have definitely put much more effort into the new model than just a few cosmetic updates, the price has remained the same.
You still get all of the premium you once got with the original PRIMACY, however now with a brighter and airier presentation, along with a stronger slam and impact in the lower midbass and sub-bass without affecting the midrange that is now flatter (more neutral) and not as laid-back because the NEW PRIMACY’s 5 kHz range was increased by a few decibels compared to the old PRIMACY where this area was quite recessed and responsible for a lot of the smoothness. What you also get with the NEW PRIMACY is a larger soundstage with slightly improved imaging.
Its only flaw is that the upper treble can sound a bit too crisp at times and could also use a slightly higher realism of cymbal reproduction.