64 Audio 2021 IEM Buyer's Guide

64 Audio creates IEMs that bridge the gap between professional and audiophile, with models that are at home in the studio, stage, home, or office. While their custom lineup covers just about the entire range of professional needs from the $499 A4t up to the A18t and A18s at $2999, we’ll focus on their universal IEMs for this guide, starting with the U6t.

64 Audio IEMs

64 Audio Technology

In order to achieve their high level of performance, 64 Audio has a number of proprietary technologies that you can find in a number of their IEMs.

Tia is an acronym for “Tubeless In-Ear Audio.” It’s an open driver balanced armature design that 64 Audio uses in conjunction with acoustic chambers in the IEM to create a smooth natural sound, specifically for the treble.

LID is part of 64 Audio’s circuit design which helps create a consistent sound and performance from a variety of devices regardless of the power output of the device. This means you don’t need to worry about damaging the IEMs from a higher voltage source or getting inconsistent performance from mobile devices.

Apex is a system of modules built into some of 64 Audio IEMs that enable the user to adjust the amount of air which is vented from the drivers. For Apex equipped IEMs, you can swap the modules out to adjust the level of isolation and venting.This can have notable effects on the bass performance and soundstage, as well as the noise isolation of the IEM.

64 Audio U6t - $1299

64 Audio U6t

The 64 Audio U6t is your introduction into the 64 Audio Sound. It starts with a neutral tuning as a base, but then adds a little bit of fun here and there, creating a sound that’s equal parts musical and reference. On the technical side, it’s incredibly resolving with a fast response, strong imaging, and a wide soundstage. 64 Audio does all this with six balanced armature drivers per side, and the full range of 64 Audio’s tech.

While its custom counterpart, the A6t, has been available for quite some time, the U6t is the 64 Audio’s newest universal model. As such it has a number of updates, including an improved stock cable, and a nicer selection of eartips than some of the previous models.

64 Audio Nio - $1699

64 Audio Nio

Nio takes the basics of the 64 Audio sound, and bends it into something that’s a little more fun, with a deep, powerful bass that’s the star of the show. Nio is a nine driver IEM with eight balanced armature drivers and one dynamic. The Nio is based on the N8 custom model which was designed as a bass focused stage IEM for bassists and drummers.

The combination of spectacular resolution and reference level detail coupled with deep, powerful, brain shaking bass performance creates a unique listening experience. If you’re a basshead who’s not satisfied with exaggerated bass tunings that leave out the rest of the detail, the Nio manages to balance it all together.

64 Audio U12t - $1999

64 Audio U12t

The U12t takes everything that the U6t does well and turns it up to 11… or perhaps 12. The soundstage is massive, the imaging holographic, and the resolution absolutely stunning. The tuning is a little bit more fun that the U6t as well, with stronger bass and a little more crafting of the mids and treble to create a technically impressive and addictive sound that you won’t want to stop listening to.

This performance is made possible by twelve balanced armature drivers per side, assembled with 64 Audio’s expertise in tuning and engineering design. While we haven’t reached the true flagship IEMs yet, the incredibly well crafted sound and design of the U12t pushes flagship level performance at a much lower price.

64 Audio Tia Trio - $2299

64 Audio Tia Trio

While all the IEMs up to this point are rooted in 64 Audio Professional Custom IEMs, Trio (along with Fourte) was created as an Audiophile IEM from the ground up. As such, it features a less referenced focused tuning, and has a w-shape, with strong bass, the mids pulled back, and a tight boost in the upper mids for vocals, and another in the treble for air and sparkle. The technical performance is still there, with the massive soundstage and excellent imaging, though it doesn’t have quite the same level of resolution as the U12t.


Tia Trio, unlike the preceding IEMs, doesn’t have a large number of drivers, and instead features only two balanced armature and one dynamic driver.  It’s also the first we’ve listed that doesn’t feature the 64 Audio’s Apex system. However, Tia Trio’s amazing performance proves that it didn’t really need another nine drivers to sound incredible.

64 Audio U18s - $2999

64 Audio U18s

Not content to have one flagship IEM, 64 Audio essentially has three. The U18s, U18Tzar, and Tia Fourte all represent top of the line, flagship performance with a number of differences between them. The U18s takes an 18 driver design, and crafts a tuning and performance that’s reminiscent of the U12t, but just a step up across the board: more soundstage, even more vivid imaging, and remarkable resolution. For listeners who want a balance between a reference monitor and a more musical audiophile sound, the U18s is the pinnacle for 64 Audio.

64 Audio U18t - $2999

64 Audio U18t

Stylized as the “U18 Tzar,” the U18t is the king of reference IEMs. Where the U18s takes the U12t’s tuning and upgrades the technical performance, U18t provides those same upgrades, but this time with a tuning that brings it back towards a true reference sound. While it lacks the musical tone of other 64 Audio IEMs, it brings seemingly impossible levels of detail, speed, and resolution that feels like it’s putting you in the studio as the performance happens.

It’s probably not your first choice for kicking back and relaxing, but it’s hard to find a better IEM for critical listening applications. It’s higher level of neutrality helps it stand out in the 64 Audio lineup and makes it one of the most exquisitely detailed, spatially expansive reference monitors on the market.

64 Audio Tia Fourte - $3599

64 Audio Tia Fourte

While the U6t through U18Tzar all have some level of pro-audio DNA and reference tuning at their roots, the Trio and Fourte on the other hand are 100% built and tuned for audiophile sensibilities. Like Trio, Fourte has a w-shaped sound signature, but the Fourte leans more into classic and instrumental music, with reduced bass, and a broader boost in the upper mids that provides a world class level of detail and texture with acoustic instruments. While the driver count is lower, the Fourte still manages to deliver the excellent sense of space and imaging as the other top end 64 Audio IEMs.

64 Audio Customs

64 Audio offers a large range of custom IEMs. In fact, as we mentioned before, the majority of their universal IEMs are based on sound signatures and designs that originated in custom IEMs. Whether you’re looking for professional and stage use, or just to have the absolute best possible fit and performance, 64 Audio’s custom IEMs take the sound to the next level. There are also a number of cosmetic customization options that will look great whether you’re on the stage or on your couch.

If you’re interested in custom IEMs, check out our guide to custom IEMs and reach out to our team if you have any questions.

64 Audio Customs

Which 64 Audio IEM is right for me?

To some degree, 64 Audio’s lineup has a clear delineation based on price, and each upgrade provides an appropriate improvement in performance and overall sound quality for the price, but there’s a bit of nuance in there. While the U6t to U12t is a clear evolution and improvement in sound, the U18s and U18t offer differing paths. Do you want a true neutral reference flagship IEM in the U18t or one with a balance of accuracy and musicality in the U18s?

The Nio, Trio, and Fourte also offer some additional options. While it’s still more in line with 64 Audio’s reference sound, the Nio provides a blend of exceptional low-end performance with a balanced sound that doesn’t have a clear “upgrade” elsewhere in the lineup. And while Fourte offers technical improvements over Trio, the differences in the tuning are large enough that many listeners might choose Trio for its tuning, which plays better with most rock, electronic, and pop music rather than Fourte which provides a tuning more suited to classical and acoustic instruments.


Driver Setup

Tuning

Features

Highlights

Price

U6t

6 BA

Balanced

Tia, Apex, LID

Amazing resolution and performance for the price

$1299

Nio

8 BA, 1 Dynamic

Neutral, bass-boosted

Tia, Apex, LID

Unique balance between reference quality and bass performance

$1699

U12t

12 BA

Balanced

Tia, Apex, LID

Incredible all around performance with technical capabilities and musicality

$1999

Tia Trio

2 BA, 1 Dynamic

W-Shaped

Tia, LID

Strong technical performance combined with fun, engaging tuning

$2299

U18s

18 BA

Balanced

Tia, Apex, LID

Like the U12t but turned up even more

$2999

U18t

18 BA

True Neutral

Tia, Apex, LID

One of the the most detailed, technical proficient reference IEMs out there

$2999

Tia Fourte

3 BA, 1 Dynamic

W-Shaped

Tia, LID

Truly top of the line technical performance and deep, rich instrumental detail

$3599


The Bottom Line

64 Audio offers a lineup of IEMs that provide amazing detail and clarity. While each of those IEMs provide accuracy mixed with engagement, each one also offers a different mix of those characteristics that might be the best pick for you or your music tastes. From the value of the U6t to the incredible balance of the U12t and the out of this world detail of the Fourte, there’s a lot to choose from, and a lot to love.