HIGH-CLASS
IN-EAR

CUPID

OBRAVO

Rating

Price

5.3

195 €

Review published:

05/2020

Driver

2

per Side

1

Dynamic

0

Balanced

Impedance

16 Ohm

PZ/ES/PL

1

Sound

6

Bass

4.5

Mids

4

Trebles

Sensitivity

105 dB

4.8

Handling

9

Haptic

C

Value

-

Daily Life

Frequency

20 - 40000 Hz

Intro

The company oBravo was founded in 2006 and has made a name for itself especially with its own patented driver developments (AMT - Air Motion Transformer & PMD - Planar Magnetic Driver). Originally these were developed for over-ears (40mm) and have been available in in-ear format for several years now. With the materials and technologies used, oBravo rather appeals to the high-end class, which is also clearly reflected in the prices called up in some cases.
The CUPID is an exception here and is "already" available in the entry-level version for under 200 €. The Cupid aims to unite the two worlds of a dynamic and planar magnetic driver.

This made me sit up and take notice, because as much as I love the TIN HIFI P1 (planar magnetic driver), I miss the dynamic bass and some body in the midrange. I was very much looking forward to the first listening impression of the CUPID, I thought that I might get a more advanced P1 here, but the joy should not last long.

http://www.obravoaudio.com/en/our-story/

Handling

There are three versions of the CUPID (CUPID BASIC 195 €, CUPID - 280 €, CUPID ULTIMATE - 340 €). I have kindly received the CUPID ULTIMATE from oBravo for the review. But don't worry, only the scope of delivery changes, because the in-ear is always the same.

In the ULTIMATE version we get an OCC MMCX cable with a 2.5mm connection. In addition we receive a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter and one to get to 4.4mm. There are also 3 sizes of Comply-Foam-Tips and Twisted-Silicon-Tips, as well as a cable velcro and a stretch bag, which is only for the in-ears for protection. The cable cannot be stowed away in it.

The CUPID is made of metal and has a very precise and high-quality finish. However, the MMCX connection bothers me, because it has been modified. Although the connector is theoretically compatible with other MMCX cables, but oBravo has added an additional lock, so the connector is deeper and third party cables can no longer be used. However, the cable from oBravo can also be used for other MMCX in-ears, which of course makes this interesting due to the 2.5mm connection.

There is nothing wrong with the wearing comfort, even if some might wish for a stiffening on the cable to ensure a more secure hold over the ear. The insulation is highly dependent on the tips you choose, but with the Comply tips it is excellent.

Sound

Help, if you want to enter a long-term relationship with the CUPID, you need nerves of steel. What happens between 2 and 5 kHz is really extreme and has no relation to the rest of the frequency response. I have to admit that I first expected a defective unit, because I like to get an overview of what other reviewers write about their experiences. The CUPID comes off very positively for the most part and I don't want to undermine these opinions in any way, because everyone has their own personal preferences and listening habits. It's really hard to describe the sound of the CUPID, but I try my best - there are a few things that are really hard for me to tolerate. So first of all: To each his own, the CUPID is not mine! ...but first things first.

The bass is taken over by the dynamic driver (same thing I would say about the mids). It's not very dominant, but it still manages to overlay the mids and sounds a bit sterile at the same time. Strange combination. The bass doesn't seem to know what it wants and this affects the listening experience. Listening to music with the CUPID is really a stress factor, because nothing seems to be as it should be. The bass is rather dry and has little body, at least not a full body, because it sounds rather hollow and lifeless. But depending on the music it's quite okay. I would say that the Cupid is most suitable for electronic music without vocals, because you don't have the comparison to real instruments or voices.

The mids sound muffled, distant and shrill at the same time. Again a very unusual mixture. I would say that it was simply not possible to get the two driver technologies into a harmonic balance. The transition from the mids to the highs is like a slap in the face. The mids are strongly reduced and there's not much music that you can hear through. We're not talking about specific genres here, but really individual tracks only.Billie Eilish is here with her album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? for example an exception, without saying that the CUPID sounds right here, but bearable.

The highs are probably the real dealbreaker of the CUPID. Actually, one hopes to combine different techniques of sound production to get the positive qualities of these. I have the feeling that with the CUPID the exact opposite happened. If you take only the bass and mids alone, I have heard much better dynamic drivers.If you now add the planar driver for the treble, you could get an impression of what would be possible in the high frequencies using the TIN HIFI P1. With the CUPID neither the potential of the technology is exhausted, nor is an audible result achieved at all. Excessively sharp, tonally absolutely unnatural and simply far too much as far as the lower and mid treble is concerned. This bears no relation to the rest of the signature and makes it disharmonious in all possible ways. If we now talk about detail reproduction, then the CUPID can certainly be credited with this, but not "real" details, but rather an amplification of the unnatural sound reproduction. So it doesn't make sense to go into analysis.

Concerning the stage and separation, the overall impression is once again confirmed. The stage is difficult to grasp. Sometimes very intimate, sometimes strangely widened. The separation is quite good.
To emphasize it once again. There is no reversal of polarity on my CUPID, which would explain a shifted stage and especially the instrument / voice arrangement.

Outro

While I'm writing reviews, I always have the respective in-ear in my ear and my favorite playlist running. Not because I don't rely on my previous listening impressions, but because it is a kind of tradition and relaxes me at work.
I was glad when the end of this review came. Because it was anything but a relaxation for me, but ended in a disturbing listening impression and headache. Okey, I admit that I didn't quite make it through.

I really tried to rule out everything that could have been done that might have affected a defect in the in-ear. Measurement, polarity, research. But since there are some graphs on the internet that show a very similar frequency response of the CUPID as I got, I assume that this is really the final product. I don't want to criticize anybody for his work, especially if it is done with a lot of dedication and love for detail, which seems to be more or less the case with oBravo. Here it is less about mass but class.
Nevertheless, a review should not be guided by such background information, but should remain objective as far as possible with the sound of in-ears. According to these criteria the CUPID fails. Unnatural, harsh, not coherent. The CUPID sounds really unusual and not in a positive sense, so it doesn't matter how comprehensive the scope of delivery is.
How can I benefit from the CUPID? Wearing comfort and maybe some effect songs without a lot of treble, where you have no idea what it might sound like, because there is no natural comparison.

https://www.audioconcierge.co.uk/portfolio/obravo-cupid-ultimate-planar-earphones/

Legend

Haptic:

Here the processing plays a role and the usability of the scope of supply. Additionally the appearance, wearing comfort and robustness.


Value:
Here I evaluate for me subjectively the price/performance ratio - does not flow into the evaluation!

Z: No Brainer

A: money well spent

B: all right, you can do

C: gives better for less money

D: overpriced

E: collector's price

Daily life:
Here, I focus on the long-term audibility and whether I can hear it well out of the box. This is of course very subjective and therefore only a minimal deduction or bonus. 

(-0.1, 0, +0.1)

BL-03.jpg

Rating in Letters

S: 9.5 - 10

A: 9.0 - 9.4​

B: 8.0 - 8.9​

C: 7.0 - 7.9

D: 6.0 - 6.9​
E: 5.0 - 5.9​

F: 0.0 - 4.9​

1/5

CUPID

Second Opinion:

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn

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