oBravo Clio Review featured image

oBravo Clio Review

In this feature, Thomas reviews the oBravo Clio, which is a new high-end hybrid single 9mm NDD dynamic and 6mm AMT driver universal IEM priced at £1,799.00

Disclaimer: This sample was sent to me in exchange for my honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or services. I thank the team at oBravo UK for their support.

Click here to read more about the oBravo products we have previously reviewed on Headfonics.

Note that this review follows our current scoring guidelines which you can read in more detail here.

oBravo Clio Review featured image
oBravo Clio Review
Overall, the oBravo Clio is a very performant earphone with some minor shortcomings, most of which could be easily rectified with a revision, or even a sequel to address everything. If you can deal with that, you’ll find something special in this high-end hybrid dynamic and AMT driver IEM.
Sound Quality
Comfort & Isolation
Slide here to add your score on the gear!53 Votes
Outstanding detail and clarity through mids and treble
Lightning-quick AMT transient response
Modular cable design
Accessory kit lacking variety
Proprietary oB-MMCX connectors
Lengthy break-in period for the AMT
Award Score

oBravo’s AMT drivers are a staple technology for the brand, having developed and patented various iterations over the years such as the EAMT-2C and their headline Ra.

The AMT driver in their latest high-end IEM, the Clio, is their smallest, coming in at my favorite driver size, 6mm.

Paired with this teensy wonder is a 9mm NDD (neodymium dynamic driver) making the Clio a dual-driver hybrid IEM with an unusual configuration, at least compared to the competition. oBravo loyalists will be familiar with this configuration from the EAMT-3w.

Being named after the Muse Kleio (Clio), the goddess of song and dance, who later became the Muse of History, means the £1777.99 SRP Clio has high expectations to live up to.

oBravo Clio shells on black cloth


Inside the Clio is the world’s smallest AMT tweeter. While the 6mm size is a marvel of engineering, the extreme rapidity and control sell it as a worthy addition to this hybrid setup.

Supporting the AMT is a larger 9mm dynamic with powerful neodymium magnets. This choice helps ensure the dynamic driver provides deep, textured, but more importantly, well-controlled bass that feels appropriate alongside the rapid pace the AMT can achieve.

The shells are brass, much like many instruments. Brass is durable and long-lasting, resistant to corrosion, and has natural antibacterial qualities making it the perfect material for a portable audio product that will be exposed to the rigors of everyday life.

Also featured on the Clio are oBravo’s proprietary oB-MMCX connectors. While this means you can’t attach any old MMCX cable to the Clio thanks to the keyed design, it also means the plugs stay rigidly in place, improving longevity and ensuring a secure, reliable connection.


If the Clio looks familiar it might be because the Cupid, released prior, shares the same brass shell design.

Setting the two apart is Clio’s move to the flush-mounted MMCX design, although it looks like the Cupid’s shell has been updated to match based on images from oBravo’s website.

While this keyed, proprietary design named oB-MMCX, limits the Clio’s compatibility with third-party cables, it has some benefits. It ensures the cable cannot rotate in place, helping with longevity and maintaining a cut-free connection.

The shells themselves have a small, ovular design with rounded edges inside and out, and are made from brass. This simple design combined with a lack of defining features beyond the inset, body-colored logo, leaves the Clio looking oddly non-descript for a premium product.

It is certainly pleasing to the eye, especially in the reflective blue colorway oBravo selected, but it’s unlikely to attract much attention from those around you. Depending on how keen you are to show off your nearly 2,000-pound earphones, this could be either a positive or negative.

Overall fit and finish are good with the Clio avoiding excess glue and misaligned components, like the nozzle mesh and shell components. The seams between the two halves of each shell are tight and even, although on the right earpiece up near the oB-MMCX stalk, the gap is slightly more prominent.

I can’t see Clio winning any visual design awards, but in terms of quality and functionality, it is well-engineered and doesn’t raise any red flags.

oBravo Clio shell nozzles on black cloth

Comfort & Isolation

At 8.7g (one earpiece, no tip), the Clio is lighter than I expected given the use of brass for the earpieces. This combined with the smooth, compact, low-profile design makes for a product that can be comfortably worn for extended periods.

The rounded shape tucks in nicely to the concha, and since there are no sharp edges or abrupt corners, the Clio does not cause any hot spots. Despite being quite small, the shells are long enough and MMCX stalks extended to ensure the Clio fills the outer ear to avoid shifting during movement.

The cable-up design also aids with stability, helping to evenly spread the weight of the earpieces. The built-in chin cinch can also be used for further stability if needed.

Keep in mind that if you don’t like wearing the cable up, you can use the Clio like a more traditional barrel-shaped iem and hang the cable down. It doesn’t look too odd wearing them this way, and you still get a reliable seal and plenty of comfort.

Isolation is average for a product of this design. While the pinpoint vents are extremely small, their existence combined with a shallow fit and compact size allows outside sounds to enter.

This isn’t an earphone I’m willing to take with me to the warehouse I work at for fear of them getting damaged, but they’re fine for trips to the local coffee house. In that environment, a bump in volume is needed to drown out the chatter of people and the clatter of dishes.

Be sure to use the included Comply tips if you need as much isolation as possible. They do a great job of adding a noticeable level of passive isolation back to the Clio.

oBravo Clio beside ear tips and connectors

Ear Tips

oBravo includes single-flange whirlwind-style silicone tips in three sizes with the Clio. While I know these tips have their fans, I’m unfortunately not one of them.

I haven’t found an earphone that pairs with them to provide a reliable seal, including the Clio. As such, I dipped into my collection of third-party alternatives to find some good pairings.

First up is ADV’s Eartune Fidelity U. With their unique tapered, ovular, wide-bore design they’re a personal favorite to use with the Clio.

Compared to the other tips here, they provide the most balanced sound. The sub-bass is better extended giving the listening experience a more visceral quality, and the upper treble is smoother.

Sennheiser wide-bore bi-flange tips provide similar qualities as the Fidelity U, but with better isolation and a more secure fit. The dual-flange setup makes my ears itchy after 30 to 45 minutes or so though, necessitating a break and adjustments.

SpinFits CP145 is usually one of my go-to options, but they’re not a great match with the Clio. While they offer a deeper insertion and even more secure fit, I find the mid-range loses fidelity, and the mid-bass steps forward more than I’d like, leading to a hollow quality on some hits.

Given how important tips are to the experience, expanding the accessory kit to include more variety would be welcome.

Medium and wide bore tips pair best so including various styles (ex. Whirlwind, standard wide bore, bi-flange, tri-flange, etc.) would help ensure a buyer can find something that works out of the box, without having to spend extra on third-party options and dealing with the inconvenience that goes with that process.

At £1,799.00, the included tip selection should cater to various ear types and preferences, providing everything needed to enjoy the earphones in that initial purchase.

oBravo Clio stock cable

Stock Cable

Included with the Clio is a single-crystal, oxygen-free copper Litz cable utilizing gold and silver plating.

The clear sheath shows off the tightly wound strands within. While the sheath is dense and durable, it remains flexible and tangle-resistant, though cable noise and memory of bends and kinks are present.

The hardware used is of good quality. Starting with the proprietary oB-MMCX connectors, we have a smooth metal surround with clear left and right markers via colored plastic inserts.

Dropping further down to the y-split we find the same metal material. Above the split is a metal chin cinch.

While the cinch works well most of the time, it tends to slide out of place if pressure is reduced. It also did little to reduce cable noise.

At the jack we find a locking mechanism that allows users to swap between the included jacks; 3.5mm single-ended, and 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced options. The design is keyed with clear markings, hard to see in poor lighting, showing what orientation the plugs enter.

The locking mechanism is smooth and easy to modulate but holds tight. This is one of the better implementations of a modular cable design I’ve used.

Strain relief is minimal, only present at the jack. Its absence at the y-split is only a small concern given routine, sharp bends are uncommon in that location.

Up near the MMCX ports is where I suspect the cable will fail long-term. A single cm of heat shrink would provide adequate protection, though preformed ear guides would be my preference.

Since oBravo shared that they found preformed ear guides unideal, including a pair of removable silicone ear hooks as part of the accessories might be worth looking into. I found they improved comfort, protected the cable in that area, and reduced cable noise.

oBravo Clio accessories

Packaging & Accessories

Our review sample of the Clio shipped with accessories, but not the retail packaging. We received the following items:

  • oBravo Clio earphones
  • Single crystal oxygen-free copper cable with 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm connectors
  • Semi-hard carrying case
  • Silicone tips s/m/l
  • Comply T500 foam tips s/m/l
  • Micro-fiber earpiece bag
  • Micro-fiber cleaning cloth
  • ¼” adapter

Positives are the Comply tips, earpiece bag, and cleaning cloth. Comply tips are of good quality, and the bag/cloth helps manage scratches and smudges on the glossy shells.

Negatives are the case and silicone ear tips. It could have been due to shipping, but the bottom of the case was unglued and falling off on arrival which did not leave a good first impression.

I like the overall design and materials used, and the case is very functional, but the construction quality is unacceptable in this price range. Sourcing a case from a brand like ddHiFi would provide a product with similar aesthetics, usability, and far superior build quality worthy of the Clio.

I understand the included “whirlwind” style silicone tips are an oBravo staple. Unfortunately, any earphones I’ve paired them with, including the Clio, have been unable to secure a reliable seal rendering them unusable.

Including only one style of ear tip with an earphone is risky. A good seal is everything when it comes to making an iem sound correct, and if a buyer can’t achieve this with what is included, they might think the worst.

It is not uncommon for brands to include a variety of tips, such as bi-flange, tri-flange, wide-bore, small-bore, etc. ensuring the buyer can find something that works for them, out of the box.

DUNU, HIFIMAN, I/O Audio, and a few other brands pull this off brilliantly, leaving the option of buying higher-quality tips as an option, not a requirement.

Click on page 2 below for my sound impressions and recommended pairings.

Click on page 3 below for my selected comparisons.

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