Some time ago we’ve been reviewing Tanchjim single dynamic driver IEMs with the name that perfectly described its overall design and sound tonality — DARKSIDE. Those were bass-oriented with warm timbre, perfect look and excellent fit.
Recently, Tanchjim has released the new and more advanced model that inherits some of the best features of initial one and targets significantly higher price segment. This new model is called Oxygen and we believe that, again, this name should give us a clue about its design and sound characteristics: light and clear look, airy and transparent sound. By the end of this review we should be able to object or admit this statement. By the way, both models are doing very well in Japan, with lots of Tanchjim fans out there.
Tanchjim Oxygen technical specifications:
- Type: dynamic driver IEMs
- Dynamic driver: High performance dual chamber / dual brake
- Diaphragm: carbon
- Frequency range: 10Hz — 40kHz
- Imdepance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 110dB
- Distortion: <0.2%
- Noise reduction: 37db
- Cable connectors: 2pin, 0.78mm
- Color options: silver, black
- Audio Cable: 1.2m, Sliver-plated OFC
- Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated, straight
- Smartphone cable: 1.2m, with inline mic and remote
- Plug: 3.5mm, straight
Other declared features:
- Driver technique: Carbon nanotube dual-chamber / dual brake dynamic multi-tuning allows Oxygen to expose more details and show beautiful tone rendering
- Process and materials:
- The outer shells are hand-polished (right shell contains unique ID)
- Each pair of headphones is unique due to hand-processing
- 304 grade stainless steel ensures the safety of use and no irritation to skin
- Nano-grade silver ion vacuum plating technology applied to 02 cavity helps to resist bacterial contamination
Tanchjim Oxygen Upgrade Cable: HERE
Packaging, design and materials:
Tanchjim Oxygen come in grey square box with only brand name and logo printed at the front. There is no outer cover as seen in DARKSIDE, neither there is any additional data or picture of the IEMs. Very minimalistic approach.
The innner box compartment is split into 3 layers: box with accessories at the top, soft foam retaining IEMs in the middle and another accesory box along with audio cable compartment at the bottom.
In fact, the contents of the box are quite rich:
- Oxygen IEMs
- audio cable for pure audio sources
- audio cable with inline remote and mic for smartphones
- 7 pairs of silicone eartips
- Aluminum plate with brand name and logo
- storage case
- warranty card
- conterfeit protection card
- short user guide
The most irregular here are 2 cables provided from the factory. We don’t remember reviewing any other IEMs that would give you same options straight out of the box. Of course, this makes Oxygen more universal in terms of usage scenarios but we’d still vote for other cable options or adaptors for different output standards — 2.5mm balanced/3.5mm unbalanced/4.4mm balanced. This would give more freedom to any audio fan and justify higher price tag.
Storage case is another great accessory to have out of the box. It is neat, good looking and has the brand logo empossed at the top.
Oxygen shells are made of two perfectly aligned stainless steel parts: top cover and base. The joint is imperceptible to finger touch and almost invisible. Top cover has the additional grinding across the surface with polished model name (right channel) and brand logo (left channel). Reflections caught by those elements create stunning look of a luxury item.
There are two compensation openings for dynamic driver — one is located on the inner part of the base, close to output nozzle and another one is at the bottom edge.
R|L channel indicators and brand|model name are also located on the inner part of both bases. Those imprint are done by grinding which is much better than using paint which would eventually fade away.
Output nozzles protruding from bases and have special retaining notches for exchangeable eartips.
2pin, 0.78mm connectors don’t show any free play or rattling and have very tight fit for the incoming male pins.
In overall, the design is minimalistic and clean. The quality of crafting and build is nothing more to be desired — everything is as perfect as it should be in IEMs of this price segment. The combination of polished and grinded stainless steel surfaces dedicate much to the attractive look.
Both cables come with straight 3.5mm gold plated audio jack in aluminum housing, springy earguides, aluminum Y-splitters|limiters with brand name imprints, plastic housings of 2pin connectors and channel marks located there as well (red for right and blue for left). Audio cable for smartphones is also equipped with inline remote (volume +|- buttons) and mic. Packed in black silicone braid.
Other cable for pure audio sources is thicker, has the extra quality feel and packed in transparent silicone braid.
Tanchjim Oxygen Upgrade Cable: HERE
As first, you might think that Oxygen should be heavy IEMs due to stainless steel shells. In fact, this choice of material is compensated by smaller size, thinner profile, very natural shape and good earguides. Shape and profile are similar to DARKSIDE model that has the excellent fit. Same here — Oxygen IEMs are easy to get used to and become almost insensible while put on. Another good outcome of this is more than the average noise isolation. No driver flex spotted either.
Tested with Hidizs AP80, xDuoo X3 DAPs
Lows and midbass:
Perhaps, the best sound characteristics of Tanchjim Oxygen IEMs is the ability to accurately resolve and gently deliver the lower range. If DARKSIDE were kind of bass-heavy IEMs that built their nature upon this range, Oxygen is very delicate in this respect. Bass extension is still very good but more important is that its texturing and clarity is at much higher level. Bass can reach the lowest registers, maintains great clarity and not interferening or mixing with mids and treble. This range is not accented at all but always present and stays obvious to enrich the sound and widen the stage. Speed of decay is reasonably fast, contours are clearly defined. Great implementation and tuning for those who search for balanced lower range delivery.
Midbass section is at the same high level — fast, powerful and tight. No shortage of air or articulation to reproduce drum sections naturally. In contrary to hybrid types of IEMs, the influence of treble is not as prominent resulting in more weight added to lower reverbs rather than higher ringing. This also defines Oxygen IEMs as tending towards darker tonality.
Mids and vocals:
The most of the resolution and accent is located at the mid section. Vocals are sounding rich, thick and take the leading role in the entire picture. No significant skeweness noticed between female and male voice gains. Both sound natural, lively and exposed, both have a touch of warmth. Of course, female vocals are bit more influenced by the lower treble but since it is coming from the dynamic driver — no excessive brightness or harsh sounds are present. Good resolution is observed on vocals and instruments of this range. Despite that some instruments are bit laid back in comparison to vocals — there are still plenty of details that actually reminds of some armature rivals with delicate tuning of mids. Sound of electric guitars as well as other instruments is full bodied with lots of natural harmonics. Another good characteristic is the impressive instrument separation that also adds much to the significant stage depth.
Treble is perceived as clear and balanced to mids, sounding a bit more pronounced than lows. Extension, resolution and micro dynamics are outstanding for single dynamic driver IEMs but not as sparkling and vivid in comparison to armature models. The most presence and detalization is gathered in lower treble which adds the feel of transparency to the sound. This range is perfectly controlled, accurate and totally enough to balance bass or accented mids without puting much stress on your ears and allowing to have have long listening sessions. Of course, no piercing sounds, no extra sharpness produced by treble and no problems with hisses or sibilances as a result.
As already mentioned — very capable IEMs concerning the the size of imaginary stage. Not afraid to say that Oxygen are leading now in this respect among all other dynamic models that ever got to our hands. Good instrument separation with significant spread in their position together with quite a wide space produced by lows and treble, plus the voices that are brought to front — all create a good feel of wide and deep stage.
Sound in overall:
Tanchjim Oxygen sound can be described as moderately dark and balanced, with slight accent on mids and vocals, great texturing of lows, good overall resolution, clear and natural voices and slightly warm timbre. Surprisingly good for any genre, including heavy metal and rap. Not the best choice for bass heads due to accurate and weighted delivery of this range instead of simply overemphasizing it.
Compared to Earnine EN2J:
The only IEMs that we’ve examined so far with the similar price tag — Earnine EN2J from South Korea. Many similarities between the two: shells made of stainless steel, small size, great fit. The main deifference is that Earnine EN2J belong to pure armature type of IEMs with better extenson of treble, more resolution in overall and better micro-dynamics. On the other hand — lacks in bass and midbass reproduction in comparison to Oxygen. EN2J does also sound quite warm, thanks to treble driver tuning, but still cannot compete in the extension of lows and richness of midbass range. Therefore, good opportunity to get the right model choosing from those two — either the more resolving and appealing lower end of Oxygen or better extension and higher clarity of treble of EN2J. But both sound pretty balanced when are not directly compared to each other.
Two main definitions followed us while we were examining Tanchjim Oxigen IEMs and writing this review: accurate and clean. This addresses both — overall design and sound. There is nothing much to talk about or to admire in Oxygen appearance but at the same time such minimalistic approach, perfect crafting, clean look and natural profile represent the maturity of this model instead of incorporating screaming design to hide some drawbacks behind its exteriors. Sound quality and tuning spreads this idea further — accurate and weighted delivery of all frequency ranges resulting in balanced sound with slightly warmer tonality and wide soundstage. This is much better than having severe accents on either range to identify that IEMs are capable of only few genres. All in all, Tanchjim Oxygen do create a feel of fundamental and mature model regarding every single aspect and really impress with most of its sound characteristics. It would be hard to find any other match if the dynamic driver model is preferred.
Tanchjim Oxygen Upgrade Cable: HERE