Picture Sunday – 64 Audio N8

64 Audio N8

Disclaimer: The star of this weeks’ picture Sunday is the 64 Audio N8. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series.

Just four days ago 64 Audio has officially launched their signature monitor – the N8. This was created in collaboration with Nathan East, a very successful musician. N8 – N eight – Nate, get it? We do see more and more collaborations happening in the custom IEM scene lately, and I think it’s great that manufacturers reach out to the pros for feedback on their tuning.

64 Audio N8

64 Audio N8

The N8 has been known to happen for a few months already, I think it started at NAMM in early spring this year. It was also then when 64 Audio has asked me to be part of the selected reviewers who they want to work with. Of course I couldn’t resist to accept that offer.

A tiny bit on specifications: The N8 is a hybrid IEM that uses a nine Millimeter dynamic driver for bass, six balanced armatures for mids, one for upper mids and a single TIA high driver for treble. The TIA driver is a 64 Audio proprietary hat-less balanced armature that delivers exceptional sonics. Unlike most of their IEMs, the N8 comes exclusively in a custom form. There are also no plans to offer it as a universal.

If you have read my recent reviews of 64 Audio products, you know that I am very impressed by their sound and also the fact that they do things a little different. I admire people who think outside the box and redefine the possible. With the N8, 64 Audio has done it once again. Unlike any other manufacturer, to my knowledge, they are not using a tube to bring the sound of the dynamic driver to your eardrum, but rather they use the shell as tube-alternative.

64 Audio N8

64 Audio N8

I have had the N8 for the better part of a week now, and while it is still running-in the dynamic driver, I can already say that it is pretty different to all my other 64 Audio monitors. It is the warmest and smoothest of my collection and to me it’s clear that it was tuned in conjunction with a bass player. Don’t take that as a bad thing, the bass might be more forward, but that doesn’t stop the rest of the audio bands to sound really good. What I especially noticed, is that even though the bass takes the most prominent place in the signature, the treble does not have any difficulty to sound clear and clean at all. The beauty of the TIA driver. I won’t say too much now, as I don’t do detailed early impressions, as they to me don’t reflect a 100% solid opinion. Also I don’t want to waste your appetite for the full length review. 😉

Speaking of which, of course it will contain comparisons to its siblings of the 64 Audio family as well as some interesting competitors. All will happen in a timely manner, just keep your eyes on Headfonia.

64 Audio N8

64 Audio N8

Picture Sunday – 64 Audio N8
4.6 (92.5%) 72 votes

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

19 Comments

  • Reply June 29, 2018

    Naveed

    I am waiting for your review mate.. as holding my buying decision, as am tossing between A12t, A6T and N8.

    • Reply June 29, 2018

      Linus

      Hi Naveed,

      the review will still take a bit, but I’ll of course include a comparison to the A12t, can’t say much about the A6t though as I don’t have it. Sorry.

      • Reply July 10, 2018

        Naveed

        Thanks Linus, comparison with A12t would be good enough. Can’t wait!

        I just read your other comments, by the looks of it N8 got smoother bass, which is alright, though I prefer something with more impact. and at the same time, I don’t like my 7 years old Shure SE-535 highs as it can easily get too shrill, and sometime very annoying to listen to a female singer and some instruments, over those instances I even prefer my entery level Shure SE-215 over it.

        Is it possible to get both problems solved in one CIEM. i,e harder bass and softer highs? and at the same time good resolution and clarity? The reason why I stick to Audio 64 is their APEX technology, as I tend to get fatigue very quickly with my IEMs.

        • Reply July 10, 2018

          Linus

          Hi Naveed,

          there sure will be a comparison to the A12t.
          The N8 has a more organic bass compared to the A12t’s which is more advanced on a technical level. Both have good impact, but if it’s only that what you desire, the A12t goes out as the winner in my opinion. What you will also gain with the A12t is the option of both APEX modules, M15 and M20 while the N8 only comes with the M15. I have not yet tried the N8 with the M20 module, but generally this one adds more punch and boosts bass response.

          I don’t find the treble on any 64 to be too shrill. that being said, I also enjoy the Fourté, which many people don’t like because of the forward treble tuning.
          Both the N8 as well as the A12t have a wonderful treble tuning in my opinion, but the N8’s is richer, while the A12t’s is brighter and more energetic.

          Both are truly wonderful monitors and I doubt you could go wrong with either, it all comes down to what you like. Smooth and warm or balanced and technically advanced (while also smooth mids)…

          • Reply July 10, 2018

            Naveed

            NAVEED
            Thanks Linus, this helps a lot!
            I have booked a demo session with my local retailer here in England, and will try out both of them in couple of weeks time and hopefully will get your review out by then 🙂
            As from your response, I like both of them right now and if the treble is not too shrill like my SE-535 I don’t mind it bit energetic on A12t, and if it’s not completely lost on N8 like many other bass-head IEMs then A8 sounds an equally good option too.
            One last thing, how you compare the sound stage if it’s noticeably different? and is it all due to number of drivers 9 vs 12?

  • Reply July 1, 2018

    glenn

    Hello,

    Does the N8 has like a speaker sound like the CA Vega?
    Im looking for a hybrid monitor that has a bass slam like a true DD.

    thanks!

    • Reply July 3, 2018

      Linus

      Hi Glenn,

      thanks for your comment.
      I wouldn’t call the Vega speaker like sounding. I still have it somewhere, but personally I find the bass way too prominent and uncontrolled. Yes, it hits hard (harder than the N8) but that’s not all for me. Also I find its treble to be particularly sharp and sibilant.
      The N8 in comparison is smoother down low, better controlled but also has good impact. It can hit hard if needed.

      If you’re looking for hard hitting monitors you might want to check out the A/U12t or Legend X from Empire Ears.
      What budget do you have available? That could help deciding.

      Cheers,
      L

    • Reply July 10, 2018

      Naveed

      Thanks Linus, this helps a lot!
      I have booked a demo session with my local retailer here in England, and will try out both of them in couple of weeks time and hopefully will get your review out by then 🙂
      As from your response, I like both of them right now and if the treble is not too shrill like my SE-535 I don’t mind it bit energetic on A12t, and if it’s not completely lost on N8 like many other bass-head IEMs then A8 sounds an equally good option too.
      One last thing, how you compare the sound stage if it’s noticeably different? and is it all due to number of drivers 9 vs 12?

      • Reply July 10, 2018

        Naveed

        Sorry above got repeated!

      • Reply July 11, 2018

        Linus

        Glad to be of service 🙂

        Oh I am sure you’ll have a good time auditioning them, just make sure the N8 has the M15 (gray) module in it, as this is stock.

        Sound stage wise I would give the nod to the A12t, especially for width. To me the A12t creates a more open stage compared to the slightly narrower N8. But the N8 still has precise imaging and great layering.
        I wouldn’t say sound stage is due to the number of drivers. Take the Fourté for example, it only has four drivers, but creates the biggest stage of all my monitors. It’s all about tuning and how you manage to make the drivers interact.

        • Reply July 19, 2018

          Naveed

          Thank you,

          Everything you described helped me massively

          I am having finally booked my session on 24th, will give you my update.

          So if A12t comes with both M15 and M20, while N8 only with M15? Is it because M20 would make already warm N8 tooo warm?
          Do you think M20 on A12t repond similar to N8 with M15?

          Also, have you tested their response with an Equilizer? Is it possible to make A12t behave with some tweaks, like N8?

          • Reply July 19, 2018

            Linus

            Hi Naveed,

            no problem. Always happy to help. Let me know how your audition went on the 24th.

            A12t comes with both modules, yes. The N8 only comes with one. 64 Audio has recently made the M20 also available for the N8.

            I don’t think the M20 changes the N8 too much, it is not as sensitive to module change as the A12t. When going from 15 to 20 the sound changes are more subtle, but there is a slightly harder hit and more bass presence overall, less transparency and richness in upper mids and treble than with M15. I myself prefer the M15 module with the N8.

            I have not tested an EQ with neither model. Also doubt it’s possible to EQ the A12t to sound like the N8, they are pretty different in my opinion. You’ll read about that in a few days 😉

            • Reply July 20, 2018

              Naveed

              Once again, thanks a lot for your prompt reply mate.

              Naveed.

  • Reply July 3, 2018

    Tom

    Can’t wait for the review! I’m torn between getting the N8 and the A12t.

    I listen to a variety of different genres but I like my bass in EDM and hiphop. I generally like warmer headphones like the Beyer DT770. I also had an LCD-2 for a while and absolutely loved that. I never had custom IEMS so this is a plunge in the dark for me. Just wondering if the extra price for the A12t is worth it. I feel like the N8 might be right up my alley in terms of sound signature for the comments I heard on it, but the A12t seems to have that nice bass impact that I like as well.

    Really looking forward to the comparison between these two! Keep up the good work.

    • Reply July 3, 2018

      Linus

      Hi Tom,

      thanks for your comment.
      If it’s warmth you’re after, then the N8 might suit you well. However, you are right, the A12t hits with more power. The A12t is also performing on a higher technical level to me. Wider sound stage, higher resolution. The bass to me also is faster on the A12t.

      I also listen to a lot of EDM and Hip Hop, both the N8 and A12t handle these Genres very well, but to me the A12t is a tick better for EDM, simply because of the incredible rendering abilities. The N8 to me is more suited to acoustic Genres (doesn’t mean the A12t can’t handle them well though).

      I’ll go into more detail when the full length review comes out. 🙂

    • Reply July 4, 2018

      glenn

      im looking for a hybrid monitor custom or universal. around $1,000 to $1,500. i prefer DD low end. have you heard the meze Rai penta?

      • Reply July 4, 2018

        Linus

        Hi Glenn,

        that helps, thanks.
        If it’s slam and authority you’re after I’d suggest to check out the Empire Ears hybrid models. Though I only heard the Legend X, I think the Weapon IX drivers might deliver what you’re looking for.
        The N8’s bass is smoother and softer compared to the Legend’s.

        I did indeed listen to the Rai Penta a few months back, but those were prototypes. I don’t know which signature Meze went in the end, but it might be for you. It sure is a monitor to watch, what I heard back then was very nice.

        • Reply July 4, 2018

          glenn

          thanks a lot linus! LX is out of my range… while N8 is top of my list right now.
          I might also consider ibasso and fiio new iems. still looking for your n8 review.

          thanks again!

          • Reply July 4, 2018

            Linus

            No worries Glenn.
            While the Legend might be out of reach, if possible give the Vantage and Nemesis a try. They also sport the Weapon IX drivers and might be what you’re looking for.
            I think Berkhan is doing both the iBasso and FiiO IEMs. So he would be best to consult then. 🙂

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