The ThieAudio Oracle is one of my favorites from the brand, and I have been waiting to see if there were going to be any new iterations of it since I reviewed them initially. At last, the new Oracle MKII is here for me to listen to. Even though I enjoy the Oracle quite a bit, there were definitely places where it could improve. Like the Monarch MKII, the Oracle MKII offers an upgraded driver system and design that is destined to create some significant changes in the sound signature. Is the Oracle MKII truly the upgrade some have been hoping for?
What You Get
- Oracle MKII In-Ear Monitors
- 26AWG 5N OCC Silver Plated Litz Cable With Modular System
- 3 Pairs of Silicone Ear-tips
- 3 Pairs of Foam Ear-tips
- Carrying Case
- Warranty Card
Look and Feel
On the outside, the Oracle MKII already makes a case for an upgrade. The housing on the original Oracle has a striking design, but the shell was quite large. Here, the shell has been sized down, giving it a streamlined but ergonomic appearance. Right now there are two variations of the Oracle MKII, both have unique artwork on their front panels. The specific unit that I used for this review is the tiger variation, which features a combination of reds and oranges to form an artful pattern. Its fit will be the main upgrade here though, as it sits so much more comfortably in your ear. Your ears also never feel stretched out wearing them for a significant amount of time.
Like the original, the Oracle MKII is a tribrid system. The MKII adds an additional Knowles balanced armature and a second Sonion electrostatic unit to its configuration. A three-way passive crossover helps minimize distortion and ensures a clear pathway for the signal to achieve its best possible performance.
With the last version of the Oracle, the soundstage had a fine presentation with room for improvement. The MKII makes these improvements, making the new version immediately more valuable. Through the MKII the spatial imaging is displayed in more of a dome but still maintains accurate positioning. You could even describe this soundstage as being in line with the same flat plain as the original Oracle. However, certain enhancements like width and scale play a more integral role this time around.
Instruments are fuller, and vocals are more heightened. The performance is more non-linear, even though the sound environment presented here is just as strictly positioned. Certain elements that lean toward the extreme left and right of the mix are given equal power to those more toward the middle and extend outside the shell. In this space, a more sizable soundstage is achieved and gives your tracks an immersive but realistic listening experience.
You get a ton of depth in this bass, and it is consistently satisfying. Every collection of frequencies that the bass region occupies offers a strong impact. The MKII can crawl down to the sub-bass and provide a generous lift to the tone. It establishes a solid form that acts as a foundation for many bass instruments to express themselves. These vibrating artifacts texture the lows with a smooth rumble. While the bass gives off a colorful timbre it never loses focus. Its mid-bass can offer a concise punch that never bleeds outward, always resonating in the space that gives the sound the most clarity.
These midrange frequencies are big, and they strike hard. Each range is given a gripping level of power that drives each track with an energetic tone. This makes the MKII luscious in its musicality, painting a vivid picture of each instrumental and vocal performance. No notches took away from their timbre, only showcasing the clearest and cleanest sound possible. A large body of frequencies is given a spacious balance that expresses a complexity of tones evenly. Snares have a tight attack while other percussive instruments perform a slick snap. Vocals are articulate with an upper-midrange emphasis that layers each portrayal.
I loved the treble of the Oracle MKII. Its presence is given great character, focusing on providing crispness and sparkle to the mix. It shares many similar qualities with the original Oracle, but on the MKII I think they are given a greater spotlight. Here, you get a lot more from the space, with the tone being slightly airier. Reverbs have clearer tails, and cymbals sizzle and taper off with more color. The MKII never feels overly brightened or harsh, but the feeling of the high frequencies is still just as present. They offer even power to contrast with the bass and mids perfectly.
Suffice it to say I am pretty wowed by the Oracle MKII. I liked the original Oracle a lot, and I knew it had the potential to be great. Now with the MKII, ThieAudio has achieved that greatness. The Oracle MKII has taken the top spot as one of my favorite IEMs from the brand. At its $589 price point, I also consider the Oracle MKII to be a fantastic mid-budget IEM for those looking to make a significant upgrade or jump into something really good that won’t break the bank.