Review - Moondrop Chu (sub 50€)

Review - Tanchjim Ola (sub 50€)

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The Tanchjim Ola have been sent to me by HifiGo in exchange for the publication of this review. They have not requested anything other than the inclusion of links to the Ola on their site (which you will find below), therefore, my review will be as sincere and unbiased as possible. Having said that, it is still a good idea to consider the fact that it hasn’t cost me anything to test these IEMs.

Tanchjim Ola on HifiGo: https://hifigo.com/products/tanchjim-ola 

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09SP3XGWV/tanchjim+ola/

(Non-Affiliate links)


Intro…

Tanchjim are a brand that do not need any introduction in the world of IEMs. Personally I have only listened to their budget orientated Tanya (which remain a very good option for their price) but was very interested in trying out the Ola when HifiGo reached out to me.

I haven’t actually seen any information or reviews of the Ola as it is a recent release, therefore it is another case where I have been able to avoid any kind of expectations, even though I do expect something decent from Tanchjim.


Presentation…

The presentation of the Tanchjim Ola is certainly impressive for a set of IEMs that costs just over 35€ at the time of writing this review. Inside a white cardboard sleeve showing an anime girl on the front (which also arrived with a separate anime postcard), we get a simple but elegant grey box, sporting the Tanchjim logo.

As far as contents, we receive the IEMs, the cable, 3 sets of silicone tips labelled as “Bass Enhancing”, another 3 sets labelled as “Treble Enhancing”, a storage bag and plenty of documentation.

It may not seem like a lot but it is more than can be expected at the price and everything is well packaged, giving a fairly premium feel for something that costs less than some sets of ear tips.


Build and aesthetics…

The Ola are a bit of a break from the norm, with a shell that is shaped like a teardrop. The outer half of the shell is some kind of aluminium while the inner half is transparent plastic. This actually gives them a nice and clean look while being very lightweight and rather small.

The nozzle is angled forwards and makes these a set of IEMs that are very comfortable when finding the correct fit. I say “finding the correct fit” as I did have issues getting them to seal with the included “Treble Enhancing” tips, as the fit is so shallow. However, with the “Bass Enhancing” tips I find them to be comfortable and after listening to them, I don’t think I would opt for treble enhancement anyway (more on that under sound).

The included cable is not bad but it is not my favourite style of cable. The positive side is that it doesn’t tangle easily and it is not microphonic. The hardware is also metal and of good quality. 

In general, I would say that the build quality is good and although aesthetics are very personal, I don’t think that many people will find it offensive at all.


Sound…

Let me start off by saying that the Ola are quite mid focused towards the brighter side of things. I actually enjoy the overall sound signature quite a bit but I have found myself activating the XBass on either the Go Blu or Gryphon for certain songs.

Also, while these IEMs are rather lean on the subbass side of things, I feel that these are a set of IEMs that don’t sound like they measure, at least in the lowest frequencies.

Here is my graph of them compared to my personal preference target:

(all my measurements can be seen and compared on achoreviews.squig.link)

Now, as you can see on the graph, the subbass rolls off a lot and is way below my personal target in this area. However, when listening to the IEMs, I don’t get the impression that the graph gives me. Yes, they are lower on subbass than many other alternatives but they are not completely lacking in subbass like the above measurement would suggest.

Putting them through the usual “Chameleon” test, I find that they are obviously not a wall of low end rumble but they still have enough subbass to appreciate the song, especially if engaging the XBass I mentioned above.

Once we are clear of the subbass, the sound signature quickly conforms to my preferences in the midbass and lower mid zones. I would say that the midbass is right on target for me, enough to give some body to the low ends of guitars and basses, while not coming across as too warm. 

Listening to more electronic music, such as “Sun Is Shining”, I feel that the majority of people might like a little more bass presence, the same will probably apply to those who listen to a lot of hip-hop. I did find myself listening to things like “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” with bass boost once again activated.

One thing that is certain is that the bass is very clean and articulate, with absolutely no sign of bleeding into the lower mids. This makes complex bass playing very easy to appreciate, such as “Elephants On Ice Skates” or the fretless playing on “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes”.

As we move through the mids, I have absolutely no complaints, everything is clean and nicely balanced. There is nice presence in the upper mids, making vocals sound forwards and again very clean. This is at the expense of some of the more harsh voices coming across as exactly that, harsh. 

Moving into the higher frequencies, there is a slight hint of sibilance which can be more or less prominent depending on the recording. Paul Simon, in “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes” I already mentioned, was a little too “hot” for me on occasions, as were some of the higher percussion notes on things like “Still D.R.E”.

There seems to be plenty of extension in the higher treble and I have no complaints about the sense of air or clarity. Seriously, my only complaint in these ranges is due to certain songs that coincide with that extra bit of harshness and sibilance, but is it far from being on the majority of music.

Soundstage is around average for a set of IEMs, maybe towards the higher end of average, but I do feel that the space has been well used. The placement of images and layers helps give a bit more of an “open” sensation and while it is by no means spacious, the Ola never feel too closed in.


Conclusion…

As I said at the beginning, I didn’t know anything about the Ola but I did have some expectations from Tanchjim and I feel that they have been met and exceeded at this price range.

Obviously I am going to enjoy something that resembles my preferences more than someone who is more into elevated bass, but even if we just ignore sound for a second, the overall package of the Ola is very impressive for 35€.

As far as sound, I feel that they have come up a little short in subbass quantity and could possibly have even given the midbass a little more presence, in order to meet the preferences of more people. However, while I do find myself using Xbass with some tracks as mentioned, I am a fan of the overall sound of these IEMs. I feel that they are IEMs that allow you to focus on the details of the music and the detail that they achieve at their price point is rather impressive.

Yes, they can be improved upon, just a little more in the lowest notes and make that upper harshness/sibilance go away by just a touch, and it would fit my overall preferences almost to a tea. 

In all fairness, I am actually looking for negatives to point out. For the price of these IEMs and what we get in exchange, I really don’t think they deserve any complaints.