ThieAudio Elixir Review
It’s obvious to audiophiles that ThieAudio, a creative offshoot of Linsoul, has rightfully earned its reputation for being one of the best IEM manufacturers in the world. Today we’ll be taking a look at a fairly recent release, the ThieAudio Elixir. At $209, the Elixir is significantly more affordable than many of the IEMs offered by ThieAudio. Let’s see how it competes at its price point, and take a look at its unique 3-Dimensional Velocity Transducer Diaphragm Dynamic Driver.
What’s In the Box?
-1.2 meter Litz detachable cable with 3.5 mm jack.
-Leather carrying case
-3 pairs of foam ear tips (S, M, L)
-3 pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
Look and Feel
It wouldn’t be ThieAudio if it didn’t look cool and classy; the Elixir buds have a black body with a bronze-colored band that matches the color of the cable. The back of the buds are glossy and resemble black marble with tan and subtle-white swirls. The leather carrying case is a firm yet semi-soft leather with a soft velvet texture lining the inside and magnetic clasp, reminiscent of a glasses case.
While the buds needed a bit of adjusting at first to fit comfortably, they were good to go for a long time once I had them in my ears right. I found the isolation to be surprisingly effective, to the point where I left them in my ears with no music playing just to enjoy some of the additional quiet they provided.
The cable was suspiciously thin and perhaps susceptible to wear and tear after a long enough period of time, but these concerns were balanced out by the cable’s braided design which certainly gave it some extra reinforcement.
ThieAudio Elixir operates on a special 3-Dimensional Velocity Transducer Diaphragm Dynamic Driver, which is made of beryllium-coated interweaving layers of multi-walled carbon nanotube sheets. This engineering design results in a tense, rigid membrane that is conducive to high responsiveness.
-Impedance: 18 Ohm
-Sensitivity: 112 dB
-Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
As expected and as advertised, the ThieAudio Elixir is all about creating a powerful and natural sound that is honest to whatever mix you’re listening to. The lows come through forcefully without any masking, and are balanced by the surprisingly squeaky highs that the Elixir is capable of producing. The imaging is fast and responsive, taking pans and reverbs and swirling them in your head like water in a glass. If I am forced to give a criticism of the overall tone of the Elixir, it is a minor one: the sound stage has a subtle mid scoop, which may have been a calculated sacrifice to make room for a little something extra at the far ends of the frequency band. Though the general timbre of the Elixir was balanced, it swung slightly bright the longer I listened.
Bass tones come through warm and beefy. Frequently IEMs that lean too far into the lows can result in an imprecise and swollen timbre, which I’m glad to say the Elixir avoids. My only issue was a slight lack of rumble: that specific, elusive sensation of feeling the subs move the air in my ears. This might be asking too much of IEMs that cost $209, and I’m probably just spoiled from having recently reviewed the Linsoul ThieAudio V16 Divinity IEMs.
The mids didn’t reveal a particularly distinct character, which is in line with the Elixir’s mission to stay as true to the mix as possible. Though mostly flat, I sensed a little spice in the high mids which added a nice brightness to snare drums and hand claps. Generally speaking, the mids remained slightly restrained but allowed the high’s to shine.
My favorite quality of the Elixir’s sound stage was the fizzly highs it was capable of producing. In a time where many people are looking for a listening experience that bass-blasts them in the face, I have a lot of respect for a pair of IEMs that aren’t afraid to whistle. Cymbals, shakers and tambourines were expressed with bright transients that sounded extra airy and chime-y. What’s more, the Elixir was capable of producing shrill sounds so long as they were present in the mix. I find the semi-bright tone refreshing in a time when many headphones, IEM or otherwise, go for warmth and bass boosts over shine.
Linsoul’s ThieAudio Elixir is an excellent all around IEM with a semi-sweet-yet-realistic balance, solid isolation, and a fairly comfortable fit. I was impressed to hear for myself that it was genuinely comparable to much more expensive and cutting edge products from ThieAudio, and certainly better than many other IEMs available at this price. $210 is an absolute bargain and a half for in-ear-monitors that can elevate your listening experience as much as Linsoul’s ThieAudio Elixir.
You can buy the Linsoul ThieAudio Elixir at Audio46