The first 64 Audio IEM I listened to was the Tia Fourte. I was blown away by the quality and concluded that it was worth every damn penny. So, I’m very curious to see if the U18Tzar can provide a similarly transcendental experience. Let’s find out in this 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review.
IN the BOX – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
apex m15 Module
apex m20 Module
64 Audio Personalized Protective Case
FIT – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
These buds are super easy to pop in your ear, mainly because the shells are so small. They fit nicely to the contour of my ear, and with the over-ear memory wire, the earphones felt really secure.
DESIGN – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
I have never tested out an IEM with frequen’ 18 drivers. A. Who knew that was possible? B. How the hell do they fit all these drivers in such a tiny shell? We’ve got 8 low drivers, 8 mid drivers, and the rest are high mid and high.
These buds also have 64 Audio’s trademark “apex” module technology, a little round metal thingy on the outside of the shell. It lets you fiddle around with the sound signature while also relieving air pressure from your ear canal for tireless listening. I didn’t play around with this feature mainly because I wanted to focus on how it sounded out of the box. If you guys get a chance to experiment with it, let us know what you think.
SOUND – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
Balanced, unadulterated gold. Here are the details…
Like all of the U18Tzar’s frequency ranges, the lows have no emphasis. The bass is just restrained enough to be in perfect balance with the rest of the mix. It is neither particularly forward or removed. It’s not too dry, yet I hear almost no resonance. Just a tight sound and an entirely accurate representation of the low frequencies. Listening to just the lows, you can tell this is a headphone for purists. It’s also the neatest bass I’ve ever heard, impeccably separated from the rest of the mix.
A Zen garden. Everything perfectly harmonious and in place. The cleanest, purest sound I’ve heard in recent memory. Very detailed mids. But not very forward. Low mids and high mids are equally distributed. My favorite thing to listen to on these buds is acoustic guitars because you hear an incredible amount of resolve. The U18 also does a killer job at presenting vocals, conveying a super natural performance. You could definitely use these as musician’s monitors. There’s a nice fullness here too, without any added/contrived richness. Indeed, the U18 captures the entire midrange spectrum with zero bias whatsoever.
It’s extremely hard to create a perfect balance between smoothness and profound clarity. The only other headphone that I’ve heard get this right is the Tia Fourte. (But the U18 is a slightly less delicate sound than the Tia Fourte in this range.) Putting the U18Tzar through the Miles Davis test, I heard no piercing brightness, and yet I sensed no roundness whatsoever. You certainly don’t feel like the edges of the high frequencies are being shaved off. Listening to Coltrane, the saxophone was super airy and light. And strings show an incredible amount of detail. Again, a great deal of transparency in this range.
A tremendous sense of width and extremely accurate left to right imaging. Less depth and height than I expected. To me, the soundstage was more impressive on the Tia Fourte. Still, I wasn’t disappointed.
SUMMARY – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
Having this much balance and transparency, the U18Tzar will work with every conceivable genre. The soundstage didn’t blow me away. But besides that, I can’t find anything negative to say about these bad boys. If you’re a mixer, an engineer or just a good ol’ nit-picking audiophile, the U18Tzar will not disappoint.
SPECIFICATIONS – 64 Audio U18Tzar Earphones Review
Transducer configuration: 1 tia high, 1 high-mid, 8 mid, 8 low
Sensitivity: 115 dB/mW
Freq. response: 10Hz – 20kHz
Crossover: Integrated 4-way passive crossover
Noise Isolation: -20dB w/ apex m20 module, -15dB w/ m15 module
Transducer type: Eighteen precision balanced armature drivers
Impedance: 9 ohms @ 1kHz
You can order a pair today at Audio46's online store or get it from our NYC store.