Pros: Versatile Tuning and Sound Signature, Build Quality, Gorgeous Aesthetics
Cons: Value, Technical Performance and Detail Retrieval
Driver Setup: 10mm CNT Diaphragm
Disclaimer: The TKZK Ouranos was provided to us at no charge courtesy of Linsoul. However, this was done in understanding I was to give my honest thoughts and opinions of the Ouranos. The TKZK Ouranos is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in a pair, or feel free to use your own links.
It has been a while since I have tried an IEM from TKZK, and the previous one, which I believe was the brand’s first IEM, was the Wave. While I liked the Wave and its value as an IEM, it was rough around the edges and seemed almost experimental. However, TKZK is no stranger to the IEM business as a sub-brand of the more well-known TinHiFi. The Ouranos piqued my interest with its polished design and build, and developed high hopes for its sound.
Accessories (Score: 6.5/10)
As a more budget-friendly IEM, the Ouranos comes with simple packaging with minimal accessories. It comes with a felt pouch and your typical stock silicone tips. Nothing impressive but everything you need to get started.
The included cable is a simple 2-pin cable that is quite soft and coils very easily. It is rather sturdy and well-built and fits the overall aesthetic of the IEM, which is a plus.
Build Quality and Fit (Score: 8.5/10)
One of the more impressive things about the Ouranos is its design and aesthetics. It’s a little reminiscent of the first Mangird Tea in build quality and faceplate. The very well-shaped resin-like shell sits comfortably in the ear.
Sound (Score: 7.0/10)
Frequency Response Graph of the TKZK Ouranos
- Lotoo Paw S2
- Fiio BTR7
Music listened to
- BORNS – Blue Madonna
- Kanye West
- The Killers – Day & Age
- ABBA – Arrival
- Michael Buble
- Kygo – Golden Hour
- James Taylor – Greatest Hits Vol. 1
- The Lumineers
- Sam Fischer
The bass was one of the weakest links in the sound of the TKZK Ouranos. It suffers from a muddied yet bloated mid-bass, with a rolled-off sub-bass. This made it sound a little lacking in some of the genres I tested it with, like Pop, Rock, and EDM.
That said, I liked that the bass wasn’t overly boosted or emphasised, and the balance made the Ouranos still enjoyable for certain genres, especially acoustic and vocal tracks.
Continuing from the Ouranos’ performance on acoustic and vocal tracks, this is where the Ouranos shines. Vocals have a very nice warm and smooth presentation to them. The tuning is rather well done. Despite its midrange emphasis in the tuning, it never comes across as shouty. Overall very pleasant and enjoyable, especially on my male vocal tracks. Vocals on the Ouranos remain very engaging and textured, and not too one-dimensional, which many budget offerings tend to be.
The treble is rather tame, however, it rolls off rather quickly, significantly affecting the timbre of cymbals and drums, as well as instrumental harmonics.
The rolled-off upper treble, together with a bit of the upper mids reveal the weaknesses of the Ouranos in its resolution and detail retrieval. While acceptable for a budget offering, this is where it stops Ouranos from competing with IEMs above its price range.
The Ouranos has a slightly interesting twist to its sound, with an unusually thrown-back presentation. This gives it a wider breadth of soundstage, which I appreciated as a breath of fresh air from the more common intimate and vocal-forward tunings. What the Ouranos could have further expanded on was its treble extension to give the sound more headroom which would certainly elevate its overall sound. Tonality is a little off and would like it to be a little more accurate, especially instrumental-wise. It is a little coloured at the moment, though this is a personal preference.
Once again, TKZK Ouranos, like the Wave, exhibits flashes of potential, only to be held back by a few flaws, setting it back against its more polished competitors on the market currently. However, it definitely does seem to be on the right track, and with some persistence, I believe that TKZK has what it takes to become a powerhouse in the budget category. The Ouranos’ tuning seems to be rather tastefully done and with half the battle won, it can only go up from here.
As it stands, I love the Ouranos for its design, aesthetics, comfort, and mid-range performance. However, its value proposition is not really there in the price bracket it is currently competing in for me to outrightly recommend it to everyone.
Overall Grade: B-
Click HERE for our grading list for earphones