Like all 64 Audio universal IEMs, Fourté Noir comes in a moderately sized box. Slide away the outer layer and you’ll get to the black, flip open cardboard box in which your Noir will wait.
You’ll get a small selection of silicone and foam ear-tips with Noir, a hard-plastic carrying case, a 64 Audio sticker, a short manual, a cleaning tool and a shirt clip. Attached to the monitor is 64 Audio’s premium cable in an eight-wire configuration. As mentioned before, it comes with a 2.5 mm balanced plug, fitted for DAPs of Astell&Kern, FiiO or others. There’s also a pigtail adapter to a 3.5 mm single ended jack.
I have said it in my previous reviews of 64 universals, there should be more ear-tips included in the accessory set. Other than that I think it’s a good selection of add-ons.
Build Quality and Ergonomics:
Fourté Noir is completely made out of black anodized aluminium. Size-wise it’s identical to the original Fourté, and hence a bit bigger than the average monitor. The acoustic chambers in the shell take up quite some space. Especially the chamber for the high-mids driver is pretty big. It’s the one before the nozzle, that gives Noir some sort of a belly.
The entire build quality of my set is perfect. I can’t spot any residue of glue or visual blemishes anywhere. The face plate and the body are closed with precision and the printing on the bottom looks very good.
The face plate has a Copper inlay, just like the original Fourté. Mine has higher amounts of light green in them, which match the black colour of the shell and face plate very well in my opinion. It makes Noir look absolutely gorgeous and this colour combination fits better than the black/red/copper of the tia Fourté in my opinion.
Fourté Noir uses regular 0.78 mm 2-pin sockets, that stand out just slightly from the shell. There are two holes in the housing, one of which is for pressure relieve of the dynamic driver and the other is for the internal m20 apex module.
The insertation depth is limited by the form-factor of Noir’s physique. Isolation is good with silicone tips, but better with their stock foamies.
The original Fourté is known for its impressive sound stage, layering and structure. Noir being a slightly retuned version of the original, it should bring a similar signature to the table. Before I actually had my sample in hands, 64 Audio has told me the Noir was retuned as the taste of Vitaliy has evolved since he created the hyper-detailed tia Fourté.
Noir has a delicate and rich low end, that has wonderful body and resolution. It has very good punch and kick, which has more body and weight compared to the original Fourté. This is audible especially in bass drums for example, which seem to just have that extra bit of authority. Bass reaches deep with good rumble and texture. Fourté Noir pushes very good amounts of air through its lows. Where I also hear improvements from the original is layering of bass, here Noir does a slightly better job in my opinion.
The lower midrange of Noir is full and has good density, but it doesn’t color the rest of the mids too much. Midrange has very good body and note size. Instruments and vocals sound rich and organic, with a physical and well bodied sound. The original sounds a bit lighter and maybe faster in comparison, but the Noir in my opinion sounds truer and maybe even more realistic in terms of texture and structure of the sound.
Lower pitched sounds really shine on Noir in my opinion, the body and weight of them is very good. Centre-mids and upper-mids have very nice energy and richness in them. There is good air around each instrument for precise separation. However, I find that the original Fourté has sharper separation and also a slightly darker background. In Noir I can detect some warm fuzzy air around the musicians that connects them more, whereas the tia Fourté made each instrument stand out on their own. The upper midrange is richer and not as hard edged on Noir than they can become on the original. Electric Guitar solos however still have exemplary energy in them.
In terms of technical performance Noir is a tough contender. It presents very good resolution, texture and stage size. Where the original outshines the limited edition to me is micro-detailing. The tia Fourté captures more nuanced information and puts it up more audibly. The Noir has very precise and accurate imaging with great left/right separation. The sound stage Noir creates is astonishing in size. It stretches in great dimensions around your head. In direct comparison the original seems to go marginally wider to my ears. Both Fourté’s know incredibly well how to transporting the listener into the scene. With both models you are not just sitting in the audience watching the performers, no, you’re with them, right in the middle of things.
The original Fourté received mixed feelings for its treble section. I can see why some people find it too forward. 64 Audio has listened to their customers, and that’s why the limited edition Fourté Noir features a smoother and calmer top segment. It is still superbly detailed, fast and extends wide, but with certain frequencies it’s just a bit more mainstream if you will. Cymbal crashes on the Noir are less sharp than on the tia Fourté. Highs are crisp and bright, but softer and more laid back than the original. Treble has nice sparkle but can sound a bit dry at times, especially the more you go up in the frequency range. Lower treble to me is richer and wetter than their upper end brothers and sisters.
Fourté Noir has a nicely organic sound, that isn’t overly critical of poorer recordings. It matches superbly well with any genre I’ve listened to. Thankfully Noir has no tendency to sibilance, at least there is none I could detect during the months I’ve had mine.
Read on to find out more about Fourté Noir!
Saw your post on instagram and went to your webpage immediatly! These are so end-game worthy.
You have reviewed some other aftermarket cables since this review( Horus X, Code 51, Eeletech Iliad…).
Could you please tell me which pairing do you prefer and why ?
thanks for your comment.
For the Noir I pretty much always use the Eletech Iliad. It brings out the even more resolution and gives the bass superb texture. I also like what it does to the top end, as it gives highs more pronounciation. The Iliad also stretches the stage noticeably and enhances other technical parameters such as layering, imaging and background darkness.
A cheaper option would be the Clone Silver from DHC. It also gives a darker background, better imaging and resolution. The Clone Silver gives the Noir an immense technical power. It adds texture to the whole scene and controls everything extremely well. It doesn’t stretch as wide or deep as the Iliad sound stage wise, nor does it create the same holographic sense, but it’s also a full 1000 USD less than the Iliad.
Hope that helps.
For people who are looking for a brand new pair i found one here : https://www.hifi-portable.com/en/universal-in-ear-monitors/25-64-audio-fourte-noir.html
That helps a lot 😉
I was interested in the Iliad, and obviously, this should be a good option.
I will consider too the Clone Silver, I do not know this cable.
I will keep you in touch.
Thanks again, I really appreciate what you do on this blog 🙂
happy to help.
The Iliad sure is fantastic and the same goes for the Clone Silver, but be warned DHC has a lead time of up to 12 weeks and I’ve seen people complain about the communication with them. Eletech is much easier to communicate with.
I love the Clone Silver, I have three of them.
febriyanto valentino s
I owned the fourte prototype directly from Vitaliy during Portable Audio Festival Indonesia in March 2017 and i could say that the Noir couldn’t match the analogue sound of the prototype. From depth, layers, and emotion. The prototype soundsig will not affected too much by changing the 3.5 cables. Use the balance cable and it will take the prototype to another level.
To : FEBRIYANTO VALENTINO S
Which cable do you use ?
I cannot believe you use the stock one when I read you…
Anyone looking for a brand new pair (possibly the last)?
Found one: https://reverb.com/item/36248173-64-audio-limited-edition-fourte-noir-new-in-box