Signature Acoustics O-16 Quick Review
Thanks to Signature Acoustics for the sample.
Brief: A pleasantly lovely IEM from India
Price: 4000 Rupee’s or about £42 or about US$64
Specification: MODEL: Elements O-16 Live, Type: Open back, Driver: 8 mm (CCAW), Impedance: 17 Ohms @ 1Khz, Frequency: 12 to 22 Khz, Sensitivity: 102 dB, Total length: 1.2 mts (split length 28 cms), Channel Balance: < 2.5% dB @ 1 Khz, Connector: 3.5mm Gold Plated Stereo Pin
Accessories: Silicon Ear Tips (S,M,L), Earphone Filters, Shirt Clip, Leather Case
Build Quality: Seems allrighty. Buds are rather light but look nicely finished. The cable feels sturdy but has quite a bit of cable memory.
Isolation: Rather so so. It’s got a big back vent that’s rather big and so these really are not big isolators at all. Better than buds, sure but low by IEM standards. Not one for flights or horrible commutes unless you like to be able to keep an ear out for things. With music playing, you might hear that bus coming up behind you but maybe you won’t. Eyes people!
Comfort/Fit: Pretty nice. I could wear them up or down effortlessly and was a simple shove in and done. Which is how I like it to be.
Aesthetics: Hmm I find the dark greyish offset with a bright coppery metallic right quite nice. A little hint of flair but nothing too ostentatious.
Sound: Nice. Nice and pleasant are the key words for the O-16. They are a highly unassuming and polite IEM. They have no V shaped drama going on at all. They are actually a hint middy, their lows and highs are both the height of polite reticence. I found they really were at their best on soothing tune’s, Bach’s choral works were eminently lovely. Something I could happily slap on and let just melt away. In fact any music of this nature I found made for a lovely pairing. If you make them get a little bit more poppy and aggressive it will do as you ask but it still kept a faint air of politeness. It was highly credible but then Diana Ross appears on them and they felt like they had come home. The treble is missing a bit off the top and if forced to become abundant can get a little bit hard edged. The bass if pushed becomes rather expansive but again its extension misses out a little. Mids are pretty good, wide and air filled presentation. Actually its sound staging is one of it best features, being so open they sound super open too and so very wide. It’s really all quite lovely.
Value: It price puts it head to head with the GR06. The O-16 has such a grown up lovely sound but the 6 is the more versatile beast. Much like its aural qualities, the O-16 is nicely pleasant value.
Pro’s: Ever so grown up. Polite. Wonderful soundscape.
Con’s: Cable memory. Meh isolation. Not particularly exciting.