And the case of the 64 Audio U12t it’s really true. You don’t need me to tell you about them, read any of the numerous reviews online. One of the best non-custom IEMs you can buy, supremely detailed, musical, and easy to enjoy over long listening sessions.
The hype is true (Precog, et. al.), this is a pure, detailed, and still somehow fun tuned iem. I wanted an all BA iem for my collection (I'll be downsizing soon, this is getting ridiculous), and Bloom recommended. I couldn't be happier. Now I toggle btwn. these, the UM MEST MK2, and the Solaris 2020 (and to be honest, I still rotate in my FiiO FH9s and FD7s). I'm primarily a classical music listener: complex and potentially congested symphonies and concerti: the U12t is unfazed, giving each section or instrument its due and spatial location. The tuning, like I said is still pleasing - never clinical. And that bass...how did they do it. I would never have known it was BA bass if I hadn't read it. Like I said, you'll be happy if you get them. And for the record, Bloom Audio is a real pleasure to work with: patient and knowledgeable.
I provided this review on request on Head-Fi and reproduce it here as it provides some context to an assessment of the 64 Audio U12T.
In terms of tangibles, I bought the U12T from Bloom new but at a reduced sale price with my own funds and all my impressions are my own.
The box in which U12T is black with a picture of the U12T on the cover, which opens book-style revealing the IEMs in a piece of protective foam and a cleaning brush and the non-installed M20 and MX apex modules on 1 side in a foam cut-out, with tips and cable in t e hockey puck style leather case on the other . Stock tips (larger silicones) are in fact Spin Fit Cp 145s, which fit me best). Foam tips are (proprietary?) very soft memory foam. I found they were not as isolating as Comply foams , but I don’t tend to use foams much so there you go. The black stock cable is supple with heat-shrink plastic to go over the ears and SE 3.5 mm termination on tbe other end. It works just l fine but I switched it out for. an Eletech Project 8 Fortitude with 2.5 mm balanced termination.
Both IEMs I am comparing were played via 4.4 mm balanced out from Hiby R8 with Turbo=on (my default). U12T had M15 apex module installed. Tracks are Fruhlingsgefuhle by Melokind, Magnetar by Mark Lettieri, Beldiya by Triplego, Twice by Ludovici Einaudi (Reimagined by Mercan Dede) and Lifted by Love by KD Lang. I used Azla Sedna Xelastic tips for the Mk2 and stock Spinfit CP 145s for the U12T - in both cases large size. Comfort was good on both though seal possibly a tiny bit better on the Mk2 as the Xelastics are well worn in. Mk2 has the stock cable, for U12T I use an Eletech Project 8 Fortitude (note well cable believers). I listened to each song alternatively with each set A/B before moving on to the next song.
Bass- Quantity in the sub-bass was good for both, but a bit more in U12T. Microdynamics (max bass to max blackness in between bass drops) was more pronounced on the U12T; having said that it's quite good on the Mk2. Transient attack and decay was a bit quicker on the U12T. When there were several bass instruments playing at the same time, there was more separation on the U12T between them. On the Mk2 there was less distinct separation between the bass lines. Bass did not bleed into mids with either set (both had good coherence between bass and mids). Having said all that, given it’s use of a dynamic driver for bass, I found the Mk2 bass more analog, more "realistic" with better impact across the range of bass instruments - on some tracks, U12T could be a bit "thunderous" i.e. when the large bass drops on "Twice" at about 1 min (this is in fact a good test passage for bass quality).
Mids were quite forward on the Mk2, in Beldiya at about 1:30 min there is a "purr-purr" that sounded like it was right in my ear. Vocals were more set back in the stage on the U12T, but were not less in quantity. On some passages, there seemed to be several different vocal lines - even more 'reverb' on the U12T as a result of the depth of stage.
Treble was much more forward, detailed and the details were more noticeable on the U12T. This was clear across every track. I could hear details on the U12T high up in the treble that were not retrieved at all on the Mk2, and treble quantity was less on the Mk2 as well. For instance, on the Melokind track I could hear some percussion details high up in the treble register that I could not pick out on the Mk2. Treble on the U12T was snappy, not sibliant/harsh and well extended.
In terms of staging and separation, the U12T has it in spades- instrument separation and in both width and depth are much greater than Mk2, and very clear. This was particularly noticeable in the upper mids to the top of the treble. Soundstage for the Mk2 is much more "inside the head" or at best 'helmet-like' but instrument separation was still good- everything is just closer and more intimate. Interestingly the center image is still good for both, just closer to me on the Mk2. Having said all that, there is a smoothness, a musicality, a coherence that is hard to beat on the Mk2. Everything "fits together" so very well. I think the set-back mids (especially on vocals) detracts from this sense of coherence on the U12T on some tracks.
Conclusion: This was a good thing to do. In my mind, I had pegged these 2 IEMs into the same space sonically and they aren't. U12T has much superior detail-retrieval, a wider-deeper sound stage, better instrument separation and great bass "for a BA set". Technically the U12T beats Mk2 by a fair margin (which it should it costs twice the price), but Mk2 comparably sounds very coherent, smooth, "warm" and musical especially for music that more tokens mid and sub bass like EDM (my typical /favoured genre), where the bass has a more natural, analog tone. "Treble-heads" will prefer the U12T every time, as will those more concerned about technicalities and texture vs quantity across the frequency response.’
I have loved my Sure 846’s for 7 years. It was therefore with trepidation that I approached getting a new pair of IEMs. Finally, after much reading, I passed on the Campfire (my initial choice) and went for the U12Ts. They have been a great purchase. I am thrilled every time that I listen to them. The sound is just honey for the ears. I've tried several tips but prefer the fit and sound isolation of the foam tips. My only concern is that the two wire cable connection seems feeble but so far it has not given a problem. Wonderful IEMs. Got the upgrade cable as well which is very nice. Great service from Bloom Audio.
My go to IEM for years has been the Shure SE846. I was originally interested int the Campfire Audio offerings but changed my mind and have been eyeing the u12t for several months. On getting the u12t I hours and hours over two days listening to different kinds of music on the SE846 and the u12t both running off a chord mojo or from a Woo WA7 Tube amp feeding from an RME ADI-2 dac. Here is what I found.
Initially I was taken aback by the stage. The voices on the first few songs I heard were set back. Then later I heard other recordings were the voice was front and center. Then I realized that the u12t was probably giving me a better sense of the imaging that the engineer had intended for the particular recording. I was impressed by the placement, detail and separation. Just beautiful to listen to. Whether folk, or jazz, or alternative rock, classical the effect was impressive. After two days of listening and an extended bout of a few hours with the u12t I felt disappointed going back to the se846. It is still a great little IEM but just does not give the experience. There is almost a previously unnoticed muddiness specially in the bass in the se846 that the u12t just dispels. Ended up switching to spinright tips for ease of use but the foam tips were great. Very happy with my purchase. For the enjoyment they give in such a little package well worth the price.
On a side note the service from Bloom audio was superb. They noticed my browsing patterns on the site, courteously asked if they could help and they solved the problem I needed solved to make the purchase. Delivery was prompt and I even got a chocolate bar out of the deal. Very impressed with their responsiveness and plan purchase from them again.