Review: Cayin YB04 – Up in there

Cayin YB04

Sound – Conclusion


Cayin made a very specific choice of signature but they have managed to make the YB04 excel. When it comes to technicalities the YB04 is very strong but it’s more than that as it is musical, engaging and addictive at the same time. The more you listen to it the more you discover how good it really is, making it hard to go back to other less strong IEMs with more body and warmth.


I’m pretty sure the Cayin YB04 performs well with a whole number of sources and because of it’s transparency, the source used will for sure have an impact on how you hear the sound.

The Luxury&Precision LP6 is famous for it‘s detail retrieval, high technical level and its musicality and it to me is the perfect partner for the YB04. It allows the YB04 to perform at its highest possible level, adding a touch of body and smoothness to make it extra musical. The only downside – or maybe for you upside, is that is also slightly softens down the treble region. But it’s never doing overly so.

The Astell&Kern SP1000 is famous for its precise and detailed presentation and neutral tuning. In that regard it perfectly matches the YB04 and as a result you get a very precise, technically strong combo. The YB04 sounds spacious, detailed and has a very impressive sound stage depth and with. The layering, decay and timbre is exemplary and it for me together with the LP6 is the best possible source for the YB04.

Cayin YB04

According to Cayin their latest N6ii DAP is the recommended source for the YB04 and if you can read between the lines you understand the YB04 has been tuned with the N6ii as source. Depending on the module used in the N6ii you get a different signature from the YB01.

The A01 module (the standard one) is a full sounding one with bigger body. It’s probably not the strongest one looking at technicalities, but the advantage here is that the YB04 has heaps of it. As a result you get the best of both worlds. The combo sounds strong and musical and it’s hard not to like this setup. At the same time it isn’t as performant as the LP6 & YB04 combo, but the LP6 is in an entirely different price category as well.

The T01 module is lighter but more precise sounding. The T01 and YB04 combo is very spacious and has excellent separation. It’s fast but it’s lighter in body compared to the A01 motherboard, so the bass and lower mids become more neutral. Voices are soft and natural but spot on. The mids are airy, the timbre excellent. It’s more like the YB04 pairing with the SP1000, but again at a lower level as the N6II and SP1000 aren’t playing in the same league.   

I tend to have a sempiternal love/hate relationship with the Chord Electronics Mojo. Well, hate is a bit strong, but I have mixed feelings. It’s always nice coming back to the Mojo, but very often IEMS just perform better when using a source which is not the Mojo. With the YB04, you get a fast, tight, neutral and detailed sound but it sounds rather boring and dull to me. It just doesn’t have the same magic as the other sources have with the YB04. So personally it’s not a combo I would recommend.

Cayin YB04


Cayin surprised us with their first IEM, in a positive way. The package, build quality and comfort are top-notch and the sound quality simply is very good. Looking at the price it’s going for ‘impressive” is a better word.

Cayin opted for a classic 4-BA driven IEM with a neutral yet musical sound signature, but they tuned it in such a way that it sounds exceptionally good. If you’re a fan of this kind of sound and love a technically strong performance, then the Cayin YB04 is a steal at only $/€499. Partner it up with a top-level DAP and you’ll be impressed.

This is one for on your Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping list.

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 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.