A lot of different monitors have seen the light of day this past year, and many are in a similar price category as the Jomo. I understand that customers seeking for a new toy can get overwhelmed by the current market situation. Hopefully this section will help some gals and gents during the deciding period. The comparisons are also here to help you understand how the Quatre sounds, especially if you already know one of the below mentioned competitors.
All comparisons were done using the stock cable and the black filter installed. Mentioned prices are for the custom fit versions and in US Dollars and are correct at the time of writing.
Empire Ears – Phantom (5BA, 1799$)
The Phantom is a monitor that has received a lot of hype and love around the globe. It has a very special tuning that speaks to a broad audience. The Jomo and the Empire Ears monitors are similar in a few ways, however have their distinctive qualities.
Phantom is also a warmer monitor like Quatre. The Empire quint-driver has a much thicker presentation and a deeper going bass response. The bass and lower mids of the Phantom are quite something. They have a prominent placement in the signature, it however isn’t just quantity, but also very high quality. The resolution of the Phantom’s bass is higher and it has a more visceral sound. The Phantom is generally known as a very organic monitor, which is true. The Quatre’s midrange has nicer texture and an airier presentation, where vocals especially can be more holographic, as to where the Phantom’s are denser and heavier.
Quatre’s sound stage stretches wider and deeper to my ears. On some occasions, Phantom is also a bit veiled in the upper mids and treble. Both of which, doesn’t apply to the Quatre which is clean as a whistle. Phantom’s treble is more linear and partly has a tinny sound, especially when paired with the wrong cable. Quatre has a more balanced and neutral top end.
JH Audio – Lola (2DD/6BA, 1745$)
Lola’s bass is set to 2PM on the dial. Jerry Harvey’s hybrid is clearly more congested. Quatre’s sound stage is wider, deeper and higher. Lola has one of the nicest midranges for instrumental music ever. It’s loaded with heaps of emotions. The JH is definitely the darker of the two. Jomo’s bass is more controlled and dynamic. When it comes to treble, my preference goes to the Quatre again, which is more agile and sparklier. The Jomo to me is also higher resolved and has better layering and imaging.
Lola however is a monitor that craves some power. Hook her up to a decent amplifier and you’ll be rewarded with better sound, where the midrange especially is more resolved.
Noble Audio – Kaiser Encore (10BA, 2099$)
The Noble has a higher focus on upper mids and treble compared to the Quatre. Quatre has a more pumping bass with deeper extension. Its bass is also airier and more organic in comparison. Both have a wide staging, but the Kaiser definitely comes out on top here. Imaging and instrumental separation is also better achieved on the Encore. However, the Quatre has a more natural midrange with much higher emotions and nicer body. The Encore’s treble is more forward and richer, but the Quatre’s probably is the one with the safer tuning. Where more people might have problems with the Encore’s top end, they will most likely be free of pain with the Quatre.
64 Audio – N8 (1DD/8BA, 1699$)
The N8 is 64’s only custom hybrid monitor, made in cooperation with Nathan East. The N8’s bass is faster and more forward. Both have a wonderful low end tuning in my opinion, but the N8 bests the Quatre in terms of resolution. The N8 as well as Quatre have a smooth bass response, very similar to each other. The Quatre maybe is a bit airier in bass, but the N8 throws a meaner punch.
The N8’s mids are definitely heavier and fuller compared to the nimble-feet midrange of Quatre. Vocals on the 64 are denser and don’t flow as easy as on the Quatre. Jomo’s hybrid has a higher resolved midrange, but falls short when it comes to richness of upper mids and treble. Highs is something unique with the tia loaded monitors of 64 Audio. Treble is fast, clear and crisp with incredible extension.
Sound stage wise, this might be a close call, as both seem to be having very similar dimensions. The same goes for imaging. Instrumental separation to me goes to Quatre, same for layering.
I have always been interested in Jomo’s products. Their designs are outstanding and their reputation is very good. Joseph seems to be a very nice and modest, down to earth kinda guy. Which isn’t always the case in this business.
The package Jomo’s customers get with the Quatre is very nice. The case seems indestructible and the Ares II cable is a more than welcome addition in my books. It’s great seeing manufacturers care so much about their customers.
The interchangeable filter system of the Quatre makes it a very versatile product. Depending on your preference you can get a mildly V shaped, balanced sounding IEM, or you can tune up that bass to earthquake levels. Your choice. My only wish is for them to replace the current filters with Torx headed ones.
Jomo has created a very competitive product for a price segment that is filled with products, but they proudly can take up any fight in there. I really enjoyed my time with the Quatre, as the emotions really can grab you. My filter of choice would be the silver (Musical) one, as the added low end and boosted lower mids give it a higher enjoyment factor to just kick back and relax with your favourite tunes.
A recommended CIEM? Absolutely.