Review: 64 Audio A18 t – 18 BA Orchestra!

Disclaimer: The 64 Audio A18 t was provided free of charge for this review. I paid for my impressions, shipping them to the US and for importing the finished product. The model will not go back. Many thanks! 64 Audio is not a site advertiser.

About 64 Audio

64 Audio is a US based company that specializes in making custom and universal in ear monitors, but has recently dipped their toes into making studio/live belt packs. As you can find out in the interview we did with them a few months back, 64 Audio started out as 1964 Ears and has renamed themselves a little over two years ago. Their core of employees is the Belonozhko brothers who all manage different departments. They have been around for a little over seven years already, and have started out because of a project their CEO, Vitaliy, has been working on – an in-ear monitor for his wife. This project later on became what we know today as 64 Audio.

They are also one of the few companies that develop new technologies in order to give their customers the best and safest listening experience. They have introduced TIA (Tubeless In-ear Audio) and APEX (Air-Pressure EXchange), both of which can be found in their custom in ear flagship, the A18t. You can consider TIA as some sort of hat-less balanced armature driver that fulfills its job in a special sound-chamber and doesn’t put out sound via a regular tube and dampener system. This way the treble frequency response is more extended and the resonances of the tubes are eliminated, giving a more enjoyable listening experience.

APEX is an interchangeable system that drastically reduces the pneumatic pressure on the eardrum, which can be found on regular custom IEM designs, and therefore enhances the safety of your hearing.

64 Audio also is one of the very few companies that 3D prints your custom IEMs. It works like this: you take your regular impressions at your trusted audiologist, send them to 64 Audio, they scan them with their hardware, edit the scan to make it printable as a custom in ear and then 3D print them. The entire process took close to three weeks for them to finalize my A18t.

64 Audio also closely works with many professional musicians, artist such as Alessia Cara, Seal, Bon Jovi or Beyoncé are known as their clientele. This definitely says a lot about their reputation.

If you’re keen to know more about the chronological history of 64 Audio, you can find out here

About A18t

The A18t (or A18 Tzar) is considered 64 Audio’s flagship of custom in ear monitors, there only is one other model ranked higher, the Tia Fourté. Which only comes in a universal form factor though. Both models can be considered as co-flagships. We’ve seen quite a number of companies doing the same recently, positioning not only one but two different models at their top of the line. I think it is a nice thing to offer your customers two outstanding choices.

The A18t, as its name already spoils, is constructed with non-less than 18 balanced armature drivers per side. Eight bass drivers, eight mid drivers, one high-mid driver and a single TIA high driver can be found in its impressive driver count. Especially the TIA high driver does an outstanding job, but more on that a little later.

The A18t also comes in an universal reincarnation in form of the U18t, but since I’m a big sucker for customs, I am happy to review the custom-built version of it.

The review continues on Page 2!

Review: 64 Audio A18 t – 18 BA Orchestra!
4.8 (95.48%) 31 votes


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.


    • Reply December 14, 2017


      Hi Linus,

      Did you managed to compare for JH Layla and also use WM1Z DAP?
      I am curious to read for your findings. 🙂


      • Reply December 14, 2017


        Hi Thurein,
        I don’t have a Layla yet to compare, sorry. I also don’t have the WM 1Z. Would love to compare, but for now it’s impossible for me…

    • Reply March 3, 2018

      Julian Robasto

      Thanks you for the enjoyable in-depth review, Linus.

      Yet I’m left with one standing question: How effective is the Apex technology? I’m considering either A18t or A12t, partly due to Apex, which purportedly mitigates ear fatigue, protects the eardrum and allows playing a lower volumes. Any substance in those claims?

      Would you spend the extra $1,000 to move up from the A12t to the A18t? I know, it’s very subjective and the rule of diminishing return comes down to bear. Still I’d love your opinion.

      Best wishes!

      • Reply March 4, 2018


        Hi Julian,

        thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

        Apex is supposed to prevent ear fatigue and give a healthier listening experience due to removed pneumatic pressure. As for the lower volumes, you have to consider they block out ambient noise by 20 respectively 15 dB. Non-apex iems lower noise by 26db…

        As for A12t to A18t, I can’t say much for now, as my 12’s haven’t arrived yet, but I will make sure to compare these two to each other as well as some other monitors in the upcoming review. That will not see the light for some more weeks though. From what I’ve heard so far, the 12 is noticeably darker, take that with a good grain of salt though, as said I’ve not heard it yet… 🙂

        As always, best is to audition side by side with your own gear and favourite music. You are the only one that can make the final call.

        Hope that helps.

        All the best,

    • Reply April 19, 2018


      Which of the two 64 Audio flagships has a more open sound and greater headroom, A18 Tzar or Tia Fourte?

      • Reply April 19, 2018


        Tough question, but I’d say Fourté is a tad ahead.

    • Reply May 8, 2018

      Brian Kang

      Thank you for your review. You have convinced me to buy a pair for myself and they are on the way. How would you compare the leonidas and tmetal for the a18s? Im stuck having to choose between them. Might even consider going for a mix of leonidas and mars or tmetal and tricopper to tame the highs.(heard the highs might get fatiguing with these cables)

      • Reply September 28, 2018


        Hi Brian,

        sorry, it seems I have overlooked your post. My deepest apologies for the late reply.

        In the end that heavily depends on how well you’re managing treble. In the recent past I have been enjoying the Leonidas x A18t pairing a lot. Especially with the M20 module, which is less treble forward.

        Hope you like the A18t as much as I do. They’re special.

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