Picture Sunday – Cayin YB-04

Build Quality & Comfort

 

The YB-04 has all smooth edges and a nicely soft finish. It basically exists out of four main parts: The face plate, the top body, the lower body and the nozzle. You can see the different parts but you can’t really feel them and that’s what they mean with the joint-less structure.

The curved inside of the body was based on an ear study, but everyone is doing that nowadays. The shell is supposed to give you optimal comfort together with a natural feel and maximum isolation. In reality the inner shell is fairly shapeless, it does fit quite ok, but the German Inear universals fit a whole lot better. In reality the YB-04 size-wise is medium, which means it’s not as small as the Meze Audio Rai Penta, but not as big as the Noble Khan. Because of the size, they also stick out of your ears somewhat. I personally don’t like that but most people who tend to use universal IEMs are used to that or they just don’t care. When you are used to using perfectly fitting custom IEMs, it’s a different story.

Comfort wise these for me are just OK. Your ears might be shaped differently and they might be super awesome for you though. An extra note of attention goes to the foam tip users. The tips that come supplied with the YB-04 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.

The cable that comes with the YB-04 is an 8-wire one but it’s rather small and light. I personally am not a fan of the dual tone sleeving, but who am I. The cable termination and the 2-pin socket on the IEM have a perfect finish however and the plug and cable-splitter might be the sexiest ones ever. Sound-wise it performs well.

First impressions

According to Cayin’s designers and marketeers, the YB-04 delivers outstanding clarity and musicality across the complete frequency band. The YB-04 is supposed to deliver subtle and intimate emotion from every note.

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 for sure find out in the full review if that is the case.

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

From a first listening experience in a more calm environment here at the HFN HQ, we can confirm we still like the YB-04’s typical tuning.

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.

It seems I have mixed feelings about the YB-04 at this stage, so let’s hope it sound-wise can convince me when I have spent a lot more time with it.

Soon, on Headfonia! But first a well-deserved holiday. See you in October!

 

Picture Sunday – Cayin YB-04
4.5 (90.56%) 142 vote[s]

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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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