64 Audio U18s – First Look

64 Audio U18s

Today we take a close look at the all-new 64 Audio U18s – their newest universal flagship IEM, retailing for $2,999 USD.

 

Disclaimer: 64 Audio provided the U18s at no cost, I only had to pay to import them. 64 Audio is not a site advertiser or affiliated with Headfonia. The U18s remains 64 Audio’s property and can be asked back at any time. 

About 64 Audio:

64 Audio is an American brand of universal and custom fit In Ear Monitors seated in Vancouver, Washington. They have been previously known as 1964 Ears before they rebranded themselves to 64 Audio. The company was started by Vitaliy Belonozkho, who is also their chief sound engineer.

Back in 2010 the company was started after Vitaliy was building a monitor for his wife. Now, nine years later, they are one of the driving forces in the field. 64 Audio is one of the brands that continuously pushes the envelope for technologies. They have brought many inventions to the market. With their tia drivers they have introduced a completely new balanced armature driver, of which you can think as a hat-less design where the membranes radiate freely.

64 has also introduced apex modules, which stands for Air Pressure Exchange, these help your eardrums handle the pressure built up by conventional, fully closed CIEMs. Think of it as a secondary eardrum, placed in the audio path before it reaches your human eardrum. Apex relieves pressure and thus makes it easier for your ears to handle the audio waves.

Aside from these two inventions, 64 Audio has also released LID – Linear Impedance Design. This flattens the impedance curve of the monitor, making it more resistant to varying output impedances of many sources. Since 64 Audio is a pro-focussed brand, it only makes sense that they release a monitor that works well with high impedance pro-gear as well as low impedance audiophile electronics.

We checked out quite a few of their products here on Headfonia in the past. If you want to check them out, you can do that right here:

A18tA12tN8Tia FourtéTia TrióFourté Noir

About U18s

The 64 Audio U18s is the universal version of the A18s custom flagship. It’s maybe not what people were hoping for when 64 said there would be a new unit (3 actually), but at the same time it’s a version many of us have been waiting for to get.

Before continuing here, I would advise reading up on the A18s first. You can do so here:

64 Audio A18s Review

What 64 Audio has to say?

“64 Audio revolutionized the IEM industry in 2016 with its world class reference level U18t, the world’s first 18-driver earphone. Now, with the introduction of U18s, 64 Audio has taken the heritage of the 18 driver platform and further pushed the envelope of innovation in sound and design. U18s combines proprietary drivers, LID technology and a new electronic crossover network to deliver a uniquely exceptional listening experience.”

The U18s comes with a total of 18 balanced armature drivers per side and an integrated 4-way passive crossover. Eight low-end drivers are accompanied by eight mid-range drivers, a single high-mid driver and a single tia high driver. The tia driver sits right at the end of the nozzle.

Of course the U18s will also come with 64 Audio’s apex technology. Every set of U18s’s will come with three modules, so you can go from m20 to m15 to mX in just a couple of seconds. The m15 is installed as standard module, while the m20 and mX are sitting on their holder. The U18s comes with a new 8-braid silver cable (8 Conductors, .28ohm Total Impedance, Pure Silver Plated Oxygen-Free Copper Wire, 65 Strands of 44awg Wire)

The U18s has a nominal impedance of just eight ohms, while its sensitivity is rated at 106dB/mW. The drivers are assigned frequencies by a four-way passive crossover. The U18s can be bought either directly from 64 Audio, or one of their global retailers for $2,999 USD. They’re on pre-order now and they will be available and ship on March 31st.

More about the U18s’ sound on the next page!

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

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