Review: Cayin YB04 – Up in there

Cayin YB04

Fit, Comfort and Isolation


Comfort wise most universal monitors for me are just ok, unless they are very small. That’s the downside of being used to wearing custom molded IEMs all the time. With their average size, the YB04’s fit is just OK to me but your ears might be shaped differently and they might be super awesome for you.

If you can look passed the size or are used the it, the YB04 actually sit very comfortably in the ear and even after longer periods of listening, they don’t hurt or become uncomfortable. Cayin did their job well in this regard.

An extra note of attention goes to the foam tip users. The tips that come supplied with the YB04 don’t have a safety ring which locks the tips on the nozzle. So be careful removing them from your ears as the foam might stay inside.

Isolation-wise it depends on what tips you are using, but for a universal IEM, I actually find these to isolate very well. Even during vacuuming, the YB04 and the silicone tips did an excellent job in isolating out the Dyson’s sound. There also is no friction noise whatsoever from the cable, and I haven’t experienced it picking up any interference from my phone or anything else.

The only thing I don’t really like are the very long memory part pieces as they cover the full length of the ear on the back. For me this feels a bit annoying, yet they do keep the units perfectly in place. You might like that feeling however, it’s very personal. And of course, an aftermarket cable solves all this.

Cayin YB04

Box & Accessories

For this price what you get is really awesome. First of all, the box the YB04 comes in is simple but oh so pretty. And with the magnetic closure it screams high end. It’s a big box and as a result there is plenty of space to perfectly display all the content. Which is:

  • A user manual
  • A brown leather like storage case
  • A cable clip
  • A cleaning brush
  • A cleaning cloth
  • The YB04 monitors
  • The 8-wire earphone cable
  • 12 pairs of ear tips

The leather storage case is really pretty and I really love using it. It’s very nice to just set on your desk and keep your monitors safe in. It isn’t he smallest though, so it’s not one you can carry around in your pocket however.

Cayin supplies 12 sets of tips with the YB04 and that is very luxurious. You get 5 different types of silicone plugs: Vocal tips, Bi-flange tips, Memory Foam tips, Balanced tips and Bass tips. The IEM comes delivered with a set of small white tips, but I’m not sure under what category they fall.

Of course you can use your own, aftermarket tips with the YB04, but Cayin carefully selected these to have the impact on sound they wanted for each type. In this review we stick to the supplied tips, but we’ll cover the characteristics of each.

Cayin YB04

Sound – Intro

In a time where all brands seem to focus on hybrid design IEMs, I am glad to see Cayin opted for a classic full BA construction. The tweeter-woofer combo might surprise some of you as there are no dedicated mid-range drivers, but technology tuning-wise allows you to do a lot nowadays.

According to the Cayin Engineers and marketeers, the YB04 sounds Engaging, powerful and natural. Two of the most important features of the YB04, according to them, are their clarity and musicality.

Cayin also insists to use and review this monitor together with the Cayin N6ii DAP, as the combination apparently has a magical synergy. We’ll describe its performance with a series of different DAPs in the later sections.

I listened to the YB-04 for the first time at the High End Munich show in May and while shows never are the best places to audition gear, I quite liked the YB-04’s tonality and typical character. Even in bad circumstances.

After a first listening experience in a more calm environment here at the HFN HQ, we already confirmed we still like the YB04’s typical tuning. From the preview:

Great stereo imaging, more forward vocals, lovely extension and good depth and layering. From the silicone tips the ones I like the most are the balanced ones. The vocal ones for me push the vocals a little bit too much and the bass ones just sound strange for now. The foam tips actually sound quite nice as well but as the foam is quite thick, the nozzle can’t be inserted as deep. So you get good sound, but the fit and comfort level drop a bit.

Cayin YB04

In the meantime we have spent much more time with the YB04 (almost 2 month) and the YB04 has had a lot of playtime. Did our opinion after this period of brain and IEM burn-in change? Let’s find out!

Sound  General

Without doubt the YB04 is an IEM with a mid-centric tuning and a neutral presentation, no matter the tips used. The YB04 is linear and flat in its execution, not highlighting bass, treble or mids. At the same time, for me anyway, the mids are the part where the YB04 really shines.

Staging and sound stage width are very good, especially at the price this is selling for. Pare it up with a good source and the sound stage depth, layering and natural timbre will impress you. You get a spacious presentation with quite a lot of high-end air and excellent presentation. The YB04 is a lighter sounding IEM as it is lighter in body from top to bottom, mostly noticeable in the low-end and lower mids.

The part on Sound continues on the third page of this article, right HERE

4.9/5 - (59 votes)

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.

1 Comment

  • Reply November 25, 2019


    Any mid-fi DAP you’d recommend? And thanks for reviewing 🙂

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