No, we’re not 64 Audio. And we didn’t steal the brand name and put it back to front. It’s just an unfortunate coincidence. And yes, we do get people calling asking us to fix their 64 Audio IEMs. Glad that’s out of the way. We’ve had a few customers writing in to ask about the difference between 64 Audio’s U12t and U18t. Much has been written about both of these models. So, this review is designed for those who are already familiar with at least one of these IEMs but need a comparison before taking the big plunge. Which sound signature will better suit your ears and preferred genres? Let’s find out in this 64 Audio U12t vs U18t Comparison Review.
U12t vs U18t IEM Comparison Review
No difference here. The shells and stems are exactly the same shape and size.
As the names suggest, the U12t sports 12 drivers, and here’s the breakdown: 4 low, 6 mid, 1 high-mid and 1 high. The U18t employs a whopping 18 drivers: 8 low, 8 mid, 1 high-mid, and 1 high. So, the amount of low drivers on the U18t is double that of the U12t, while the midrange is also given extra attention. And we’ll see how this translates to sound below.
The U18t is also a little easier to drive, with an impedance of 9 ohms and a sensitivity of 11dB. In contrast, the impedance and sensitivity of the U12t is 12.6 ohms and 108dB respectively.
You’ll get a little more bass presence from the U18t. The bass on the U18t also sound thicker or more absolute in its presentation than it does on the U12t. And you may also notice a little more sub-bass oomph on the U18t when listening to hip-hop. In terms of detail, it’s unsurprising that the U18t offers more nuance. This becomes especially apparent when listening to string instruments in this range. Cellos in the low frequencies, for example, had slightly more resolve, and the subtle contacts between the bow and strings were more audible. Furthermore, the U18t gave the instrument more “wholeness”, conveying more color and richness overall than the U12t.
The most apparent difference in this range lies in the balance. You’ll probably notice more present low-mids on the U18t. Listening to big rock and pop-rock tracks, the U18t showed a little more body and warmth, while on the U12t the vocals had a touch more emphasis. So here, it becomes a matter of taste. Personally, I’m a sucker for that massive, expansive feel offered by the U18t. But some may prefer the slightly more dynamic sound of the U12t where vocals have some extra shine in the mix.
The level of detail is fantastic on both IEMs. But again, you’ll get a little more color from the U18t in this range. Listening to violin solos, for example, the U18t displayed just a touch more vibrancy. It’s certainly not a vast difference. But if you’re a nitpicking critical listener, you’ll probably prefer the more flavorful of the U18t.
I wouldn’t base your decision on this department. The differences in soundstage are pretty nominal. Both headphones offer a similar amount of height and depth, for example. That being said, because the U18t offers more richness, the more distant instruments in the mix have better definition, thus creating an added sense of dimension. Trippy.
If you’re looking for something neutral and analytical, the U12t will certainly get the job done. But if you want a touch more personality and color in your tracks, the more vivid sounding U18t will be a better time.
You can find both of these IEMs here: