A lot of things need to go right to make a good earphone. At a time where the options are almost unlimited, you need to bring out a truly fascinating product to attract some eyes in your direction. This is what the IKKO OH1 earphone has essentially done, catering to both audiophiles and mainstream music listeners alike.
The interesting part of IKKO OH1 is that it has a dual driver design. It’s not that uncommon for monitor earphones, but it helps give you an earlier insight into the realm of expectation. The more interesting part is that the dynamic driver for IKKO OH1 is made out of titanium. So, what does it translate to in terms of music? Well, at the very least, we can assume that it will take care of the low frequencies. The low frequencies in music are essentially the bass, and being a bass-head myself, that part specifically had me pumped.
Ikko is not a very well-known company, and that is what made me skeptical about the quality that I was expecting from the earphone and I’m presently surprised. The build is very good, featuring a multi-faceted meteor design mostly out of aluminum. The earphone is extremely light, and it matters quite a lot for people who want to put these on for house on end. The only thing that I don’t enjoy is the wire. The wire itself isn’t bad, but it’s not exactly something to brag about getting tangled easily, but, for the most part, it isn’t much of an inconvenience.
The Build Quality
It comes in an ordinary black box and a white slipcover that it inserts into. There is foam for the protection of the product from external forces, and it also holds the two earpieces of the earphone along with several ear tips that are of varying sizes. I like how they provide several sizes for the ear tips, which are also divided into two kinds. One kind of ear tip emphasizes on the vocal aspect of the music, the treble, and the other kind of ear tip that comes with the product emphasizes on the overall balance of the tone.
The box also includes a pouch for your earpiece along with a braided silver-plated OFC cable. The cable is a basic 3.5mm connector. The cable is also detachable, and it utilizes a 2-pin standard connector, so you should be fine even if you lose the cable or choose to replace it later on.
The whole earpiece and all of its components are matched with blue accents. The cable has a Velcro piece attached to it, helping it keep secure when not in use. You will also see an instruction card provided with the box that shows you how to attach the cable and such through illustrations. The instruction card actually even shows you how to wear the earpiece correctly with the wires tucked around your ears, helping it keep securely in place. I’m sure many people end up wearing earpieces like these incorrectly.
Each IEM housing of IKKO OH1 holds a Knowles 33518 Balanced driver.
The balanced armature driver for this earpiece was produced by a company called Knowles which is a company that produces balanced armature drivers for many well-known high-end audio equipment that includes some medical hearing aids and musical devices.
The Sound Quality/ Comparison
The IKKO OH1 In-ear Monitor Earphone uses dual titanium drives, one balanced armature, and the other one is a 10mm driver. It has a sensitivity of 106 decibels, a frequency of 20hz to 40,00hz, and an impudence of 18 ohms which is very commonly seen in-ear monitors like this.
One of the highlighting aspects of the IKKO OH1 is its sound. The sound separation is great; the high frequencies are crisp and bright, the lows are punchy without being muddy, giving it a very specific sound signature with a wide soundstage. It has great bass as a result, but the high frequencies could be brighter, not that they aren’t bright. For people who are sensitive to treble, this might be an ideal choice. Extending on that, it has a more relaxed, laid-back sound signature with a higher emphasis on the bass, the lows while still not cutting corners on the higher frequencies. I would put the IKKO OH1 along the sides of the BGVP DMG and Monndrop Kanas pro.
The price of 139$ puts it in the realms of BGVP DMG and much under the price point when compared to something like Moondrop Kanas Pro that goes for 245$ or more. If you are an audiophile who has owned IEMs at this price point before, you are surely familiar with Moondrop and BGVP DMG, and it’s somewhat funny that the pouch provided with IKKO OH1 is better than that of the Moondrop Kansas Pro, costing almost twice as much. IKKO OH1 is a little bigger in size than the moondrops but weighs much less. I would go as far as to say I prefer IKKO OH1 over the Moondrop.
One of my favorite IEMs is the Fiio FH5. In my opinion, The best IEM for the price, however much more expensive coming at around 260$. But you know what’s not 260$ and costs half as much? IKKO OH1.
IKKO OH1, to my surprise, provides almost 90% of the sound quality of a Fiio FH5. It provides low, punchy bass with a big-wide sound stage without any of the muddiness in the bass of the similarly priced or even more expensive IEMs.
IKKO OH1 provides a strong bargain going head to head with BGVP DMG. It has a blue accent all around it, has an interesting name, an interesting look, and provides you with the option to swap out the wires and the buds while still being lighter than every earphone I mentioned in the article. Soundstage, imaging, clarity, and sound separation are all good enough in IKKO OH1 for me to declare that it is an easy recommendation for anybody looking to get an earphone under 150$ that looks fantastic while sounding great.