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64 Audio tia Trió IEM Review

Rate this IEM:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 115 58.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 50 25.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 22 11.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 4.6%

  • Total voters
    196
I performed AB tests between the two and did not at all detect such a difference. What I heard was that the Zero sounded so much better without EQ. And was more resolving, cleaner to boot. The zero has much lower distortion which may explain, together with proper balance, why it sounds better.
Ironically even Crinacle himself has pointed out that distortion is lesser relevant in IEM design, however this was years back, to what degree he thinks so still today idk. I do think that the distortion from BA's are what people people consider part of the "Plastic/BA timbre" Its definitively audible thought there are features like out of head staging/imaging which I would say are quite noticeable in higher end IEMs. There's also potential that 64Audio's in house response is relative to some in ear HRTF curves, which are measurements that Harman's published research didn't deal with.
 
Well, if that really may be true, maybe it is a drive type that should not be used?
Its possibly true, but there's some ways to mitigate BA distortion so that it is less prominent. Though the reason why companies use them is because they can get more specific changes to whatever target response they're trying to get. Its much smaller and they could alter the sound more precisely than using larger DD drivers which limits the alterations just due to the size constraints.
No IEM has significant soundstage and and I seriously doubt this one will have.

I have certainly heard many IEM's that are well known for staging. Its not true that IEMs entirely lack staging, some really do have an out of head experience. Notably IEM's like
-Campfire Andromeda (100% going to be high in distortion just from hearing them, but they do have the most "holographic" imaging as the audio memers say)
-Sony IEM-Z1R
-64 Audio U12T

Notably Final Audio claims to have research into immersive staging in their tuning of IEM's like VR3000/A3000/A4000, many have confirmed that they do have much more vast staging than conventional IEMs. Whether or not its due to frequency response is unknown, since all of them measure kinda strange, even though Final knows they could tune them to Harman target.

That is a total myth. The sound of an IEM is (granted a good seal and low enough distortion) purely determined by FR, as no pinna interaction takes place.

No.
I would disagree subjectively though ofc, I have tried all of the Truthear products so far and would say that they are priced appropriately, tonally they are on point, but there are plenty of IEMs that I would say sound much more detailed. Truthear would likely eventually produce more expensive products down the line w/ good tonal responses but more improved detail retrieval as any IEM manufacture does because they know everyone is just trying to chase the next 1%.
Won't show any significant differences between $50 IEMs and these.
I mean they do .... but according to folks like Oratory1990 impulse response is the most important measurement but the information is too difficult to interpret and could lead to misinterpretation if we look at it directly. Whatever information that can determine detail and staging is likely located here, but communally it's uncertain if anything can be derived from it.
 
The chinese IEM "revolution" does make brands like 64 Audio, Campfire, Noble and others, who often have quirky and wonky FR and high distortion, yet are still selling for several thousand dollars, look pathetic.
You can also read up on how Crinacle defined and interpreted IEM technicalities, granted it was written 4 years ago and he is no scientist/researcher, but I'm sure some views may have changed in these last few year since this was written.

Edit* He also had a 2021 writeup
 
You can also read up on how Crinacle defined and interpreted IEM technicalities, granted it was written 4 years ago and he is no scientist/researcher, but I'm sure some views may have changed in these last few year since this was written.

Edit* He also had a 2021 writeup
That's just a fairytale make-believe audiophile-speak nonsense narrative. He even admits as much himself with a disclaimer designed to allow him to spout any old BS he likes:
Do note that whatever I write here is basically pseudoscience in that most of the things here aren’t peer-reviewed or academically researched (or scientifically accurate, for that matter!), more simply being a description of how I personally interpret what I’m hearing and how I assign “markers” to identify how good an IEM is beyond the veil of personal preference and taste.
 
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Just EQ to their FR and you will have it.

For IEMs soundstage can only be achieved through FR, there is simply no other mechanism possible, like is the case for over-ear headphones and speakers.

FR and impulse response are basically the same thing, related through Fourier transform. You can check on the site https://www.hypethesonics.com/iemdbc/ and "J" the impulse respone measurements of various IEMs. There is no sifgnificant different between expensive or cheap ones.
I don't believe it is this simple since its been proven that two products with the same response can still sound significantly different... Its like how IEMs like say the Moondrop Chu/Blessing/Blessing2/Aria/etc. A commonly sited example of this is using a closed back headphones and just EQing it to HD800S and it still won't sound the same, there's actually an active headphone that can do this I forget what the company was, but it was touted as a headphone that can sound like any other headphone. Even on HypeTheSonic's site they state "Headphones with near-identical frequency responses are likely to sound very similar, but there are always nuances and exceptions."

As for the impulse response: As I understand we can't do anything with it alone since it contains all the data, but needs to be combined with other metrics to be interpreted.

The are metrics and insight that companies like Dirac probably have more proprietary information, and can do some algorithmic alterations via DSP to achieve some objective goal. I haven't had the means to try any of them yet, but I'd like to see how those Dirac Virtuo & Opteo proceed products measure and see what can be derived from them.
 
But for IEMs there is only FR determining the sound.
Foam tips sound different from narrow bore tips, which sound different from wide bore tips. Single, double and triple flange tips sound different. Insertion depth and seal affect sound. Anatomical differences of an individual's ears affect sound. All these impact the sound of IEMs every bit as much does speaker's placement and room treatment.
 
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Impossible to argue that whether or not you prefer this product is a matter of purely subjective factors like ear canal anatomy when the distortion is so ridiculously high from 500 to 5k hz. For me that performance is inexcusable in a $25 IEM let alone a $2500 one. Also, this review illustrates the importance of objective measurement. I know this one is in more than a few "S" tiers on some of the subjective rating sites. With its recessed highs, sky high midrange-treble distortion, and poor fittment for some users, it clearly belongs in the "MISS" tier instead.
 
I performed AB tests between the two and did not at all detect such a difference. What I heard was that the Zero sounded so much better without EQ. And was more resolving, cleaner to boot. The zero has much lower distortion which may explain, together with proper balance, why it sounds better.
Anytime someone asserts superiority of one product over another on the basis of a "secret sauce", it inevitably turns out that sauce has a snake oil base.
 
I had to give these IEM's the lowest vote, and it was largely because of the massive $2300 price tag. Fitment can vary from person to person, so I didn't really mark them down for that, but frequency response was just ok rather than good or perfect, and the distortion measurements were just ok rather than good or excellent, but when you combine it with the price tag it just gets silly!
 
Amir, is it possible to you to create a special episode where you invite non-audiophiles to your setting and have them try various speakers/iems/headphones from cheap to expensive and ask them which one(s) do they like most?

of course, they shouldn't know the price of each product beforehand, and if possible the listening sessions should be level-matched/blinded.
 
I had to give these IEM's the lowest vote, and it was largely because of the massive $2300 price tag. Fitment can vary from person to person, so I didn't really mark them down for that, but frequency response was just ok rather than good or perfect, and the distortion measurements were just ok rather than good or excellent, but when you combine it with the price tag it just gets silly!
This is a good post.

It's okay in frequency response and okay in distortion. Fitment is not an issue since it uses the industry standard diameter for nozzles, and $2 tips can solve the fitment problem. But, currently, it's very easy to find IEMs at a fraction of the price that can equal or out perform these.

US companies (and 64 Audio is a 15 minute drive from where I live, so I wish them luck) can't keep up with the pace of IEM advancements being made by Chinese manufacturers in the last three or four two years. It's much less expensive to bring something to market in China, for a short manufacturing run, then in the US. Thus they are able to do a lot of trial-and-error runs. I suspect that 5 years from now, the $1,000+ IEM market will be a much smaller segment then it is now, if not non-existent.
 
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Amir, is it possible to you to create a special episode where you invite non-audiophiles to your setting and have them try various speakers/iems/headphones from cheap to expensive and ask them which one(s) do they like most?

of course, they shouldn't know the price of each product beforehand, and if possible the listening sessions should be level-matched/blinded.
Amir has stated that he does want to do that. But then Covid hit, and even now if it isn’t Covid it’s some flu.

What also matters is repeatability. Matthew Poes told me he is working with some researchers doing listening tests, and when they have the same testees do another round on a later date, their results/scoring sometimes are decently different.
 
Truthear x Crinacle Zero's to my ears has the cleanest bass I have heard amidst all the headphones I have owned. I don't know why and I'm guessing it is low distortion.

Again another thanks to Amir for pointing me in the right direction.
 
Amir, is it possible to you to create a special episode where you invite non-audiophiles to your setting and have them try various speakers/iems/headphones from cheap to expensive and ask them which one(s) do they like most?
It is a tough thing to do with headphones and IEMs as the feel is different so the test will never be properly blind. A lot of research keeps one surrogate headphone the same and then implements EQ to emulate different headphones. That of course has its own issues (whether the frequency response measurement was accurate enough and what to do about distortion).

As noted, I did plan to do this with speakers but it has not been practical for the last few years.
 
A lot of research keeps one surrogate headphone the same and then implements EQ to emulate different headphones. That of course has its own issues
I don't think many people understand that this is/was done. They think that the Harman Target was derived from people listening to different headphones and IEMs.
 
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this level of distortion is normal for Balanced Armature standards.
The real problem with BA drivers is that they’re highly vulnerable to shock damage. Most of the development done at Knowles has been around ways to mitigate this through measures like ferrofluid damping. But this can only go partway to solving the problem. The net result is that a BA driver fresh off the production line may test fine, but results will be very different when testing one that’s been used and knocked around a bit.
 
Why hasn't he aligned the measurement at a low frequency with target? Standard is around 500 Hz (I use 425) He has is lined up at 2 kHz which doesn't make sense as that point can be highly variable. If he did align it at 500 Hz, then it would look very close to mine. Bass would come down and show the same deficiency as I do.
Isn't his tool let you normalize at any Hz you want?
Crinacle-Tool-Normalize.png
 
The real problem with BA drivers is that they’re highly vulnerable to shock damage. Most of the development done at Knowles has been around ways to mitigate this through measures like ferrofluid damping. But this can only go partway to solving the problem. The net result is that a BA driver fresh off the production line may test fine, but results will be very different when testing one that’s been used and knocked around a bit.
Yup def one of the concerns for putting them in TWS actually. I talked w/ an engineer friend a while back about why they weren't integrated in TWS designs yet since the price of the technology was so affordable now compared to a decade ago and the main concern for manufactures was that they didn't want to deal with repairing products that could potentially have high failure rates regardless of how good they sounded since they would be at a loss if they had to warranty all of them.

TWS products are considered generally non-repairable because of how small they are and if sold in bulk volumes to consumers companies wouldn't be able to tank the losses if the failure rates were too high. I've had friends break several $500+ higher end multi BA chifi iems on multiple occasions from just sleeping with them on, while I used the same single DD driver $100 IEM for a beater for years. I've whipped them on tables, ran over them with my car & dragged them down the road a few blocks, accidentally run them in my washing machine at least 3 times before I started hearing any significant mechanical failure. Companies typically just end up heavily gluing down BA drivers to prevent any mechanical failures from happening, but they're still prone to damage.
 
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