Review of 64 AUDIO U18 Tzar In-Canal Monitors: How I Heard Everything with the Tsar in his head and a fiery heart in his chest

I have not yet had time to get away from the “parade of planets” remember the review of the well-liked model StereoPravda SPearphone SB-7, which planetary positioned its drivers on one axis? , and I got cool hits from the world-famous brand 64 AUDIO. You listen to these things, and the audio concept in your head immediately becomes a whole other ballpark. And it will become clear that I used to live without a king on the head, but now with a king and even like the legendary Danko – with a fiery heart in his chest … So, the king and queen came to me, that’s how I would call the new world hits from 64 AUDIO: a universal version of in-channel monitors U18 Tzar and one more model – tia Fourte. I can warn you right away, this Tsarina – tia Fourte, has already driven me crazy and I think, will drive you too. But we’ll leave the first appearance to the venerable public for U18 Tzar monitors, built on the basis of 18 armature receivers. In short, your output, “your majesty!

Thanks to 64 AUDIO for the provided sample for the audition

In-canal headphones 64 AUDIO

64 AUDIO In-Canal Headphones

In-channel headphones 64 AUDIO

Technical specs

18 balanced-armature receivers/drivers per channel

(1 Tia High, 1 High-Mid, 8 Mid, 8 Low

Crossover: built-in 4-band passive crossover

Impedance: 9 ohms

Sensitivity: 116 dB/mW

Frequency range: 10Hz – 20kHz

Two APEX modules: M20(-20dB and M15(-15dB

Cable: removable – 1.2m, connectors 2pin , jack-3,5mm

In-channel headphones 64 AUDIO

In-channel headphones 64 AUDIO

Appearance and package

Perhaps the ears with such a logo is good to play chess. As soon as I looked at the packaging, they flashed red, and above them the same checkered logo – 64 AUDIO. Don’t need to read the name of the model. And on the back side there’s detailed technical information: you get into the gist of it and already enjoy it!

From under the thin satin packaging slips a thick box, also with “chess” logo – 64 AUDIO. Very strict, stylish, powerful and royal! And the brand slogan is as capacious and accurate: “hear everything!”Which means “hear everything!”

Inside the box, the eyes immediately self-target the main thing – the shapely outline of the headphones, mysteriously imprinted in the foamy thickness. Next to it there are 6 pairs of nozzles of different sizes: half are silicone, the other half are foam. And the “still life with a set” is completed by a hard plastic case, in which the top ears will sometimes rest after a series of infinite “solo inclusions.

By the way, inside the case was waiting for me a real American Know-How – removable APEX modules, which magically remove the slightest sound distortions. There are two such modules: the first, M20, was silvered untouched in the case. And the second, the M15, is still connected to the headphones at the factory.

We will still talk about this Know-How, but for now by the law of the genre I will list the accompanying service-small things, included in the set: brush to care of the sound tube, clothespin for attaching the cable and drying capsule. If you dig around, you’ll turn up two proprietary 64 stickers and a manual, which also happened to be the warranty card.

I can’t tell you with what breath I took the royal headphones out of the foam! I thought they would burn: the aluminum body burst into orange-red color in my hands… The back insert is made of oxidized copper. The black cable is detachable, pretty, twisted, material – oxygen-free copper, 3.5 mm jack.

The “ears” look incendiary! Well, just fiery red beasts in your ears! They fit very softly. Virtually nothing felt. 64 AUDIO proprietary technology makes comfort incomprehensible, nothing presses on the eardrum, and every sound seems crystal clear… In general, APEX technology is “not only a valuable mech..”!

In-canal headphones 64 AUDIO


Tia receiver. What a guest from out of town?

As I have already encouraged all, the headphones U18 Tzar – the first model in the world, which holds 18 armature drivers. Eight of them grind the middle frequencies, eight more – low, the penultimate is responsible for the upper middle, and the last, tia driver, derived directly into the sound tube and works out the high frequencies.

If you didn’t get it, let me explain: tia driver is a normal armature driver, but it picks up especially clean notes because it has no whip-tube, through which the normal “armature” mixes up the sound wave with distortion. In such a shortened design the signal pours from the diaphragm directly to the membrane and for this reason is not washed by distortion: tia driver certainly will not “cock” with a false voice…

Now we come close to the main Know-How, which makes the sound in the whole line of 64 AUDIO extraordinary and unattainable. Personally, I’m super interested in digging into proprietary technology, which is ahead of the rest of the world.

Audio Engineering


APEX technology

As you know all ingenious things are simple. APEX technology is also very simple in its essence: these devices bleed air in each ear, which inevitably occurs in a closed channel between the planted headphones and the membrane. And what happens to my ears if I plug in royal headphones? Right, the air pressure on the membrane is blown off, there is a kind of vacuum in which the sound waves are almost immune to distortion. In short, the perception of sound becomes more subtle and accurate. By the way, by adjusting the degree of “vacuum” in the ear canal you can rearrange the sound in one direction or another. So at the same time we got such an acoustic filter…

As far as I know the APEX technology is used in the whole range of 64 AUDIO – except model Tia FOURTE, which has its own non-replaceable APEX module.

It is no coincidence that the U18 Tzar kit includes two APEX modules: M15 – has 15dB sound isolation, and M20 – 20dB isolation. And they too transmit music waves from the source differently: headphones with M15 on top play more smoothly, but with M20 module in the sound appears noticeable bass coloration.

There is one more nuance, which excites the listening public: the “noise” of these tsars, they say – nothing, music lovers are convinced that APEX modules make the sound insulation of in-channel headphones as strait as in that groovy-hole mug – get drunk and do not pour yourself out..

I put on headphones and walked back and forth through a noisy supermarket, rode through the city in a minibus, and listened to music in my own house to a blaring TV and children’s noise-boom… I want to say that I didn’t notice any difference compared to other analogs, which can’t even dream about APEX technology. Yes, peak sounds: speakerphone announcements, harsh honking in traffic or barking in the apartment are heard cutting into the music waves, but these are extreme sounds, which you stop noticing as fast as with the other earplugs..

And that’s not all. Let’s not forget the medical aspect of this Know-How: APEX technology, like Johnson & Johnson, takes care of our health and protects us from hearing loss by reducing sound pressure on the eardrum.

It remains to clarify the following nuance. If you think about ordering a customized version of the “king”, you will have to choose immediately and uniquely for a custom package module APEX: M15 or M20. You can’t swap later. But the universes can work with both APEX variants in turn.

And now let the technology go to hell. Come and listen to the “king”!



Listening was made with MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2, iBasso DX200, Lotoo paw Gold, and iFI micro iDSD Black Lable. The prize for synergy goes to a bundle of 64 AUDIO U18 Tzar with stationary MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2!

The handwriting varied slightly depending on the source, giving the U18 Tzar its unique “highlight. With all other devices headphones played at the appropriate level. No complaints!

The royal ears handle all genres without any problems, having in reserve the possibility of fine-tuning with the APEX modules.

I would describe the sound of the U18 Tzar as neutral, clean, smooth, detailed, with good speed characteristics. The picture is drawn in a contrasting, integral way, with excellent harmonious drawing of micro and macro images, which character is set by APEX module.

With APEX M15 – the headphones sound clean, transparent, with a slight accent in the middle and high frequencies. Bass is very informative, fast and comes out more clear and linear than with the M20 module. On the whole, the musical canvas is drawn very evenly, smoothly and beautifully. It perfectly combines naturalness with beauty and analyticity with musicality. “Virtual space” builds more in width.

With the APEX M20 – the sound gets more weight, with a sensual lift in the lower register. The picture comes out deeper, more whole, in warm tones. Bass is more up-tempo and punchy, but with slightly less speed and control than in the M15. The overall picture becomes more whole, with a little emphasis on the macro. The “virtual space” this time builds more in depth. Overall, the sound takes on a more bodily form, which ultimately leads to a more musical and warmer delivery.

For example David Bowie’s “Soul Love”


Composition is as neutral, detailed and smooth as possible. A perfect harmony of subtle nuances and solid musical foundation. Very natural sounding timbres… Acoustic guitar strings vibrate like a real one and carve sound with a plectrum in the left channel. On the right, closer to the center, Mick Ronson’s solo rolls out, on the left the saxophone comes into play, that intoxicating saxophone…

Bowie’s unmistakable maestro voice has a slight accent that gives it a bit of punch. The bass part sounds measured, gradually increasing the suspense of the composition and interacting with the drums, clearly supporting the basic rhythmic texture of the music piece. Composition is presented easily and melodically, with a sense of “three-dimensionality.


Sound becomes more solid and solid. The percussion becomes much more powerful, and the bass part comes to the forefront, where you start to feel it with all your mortal body. The musician plays the nervous strings right in front of you…

The bass isn’t too much, I’d say it becomes more resilient without losing its enchanting rolliness. I like this moment very much. The vocal softens a little, it is presented less brightly, but at the same time it remains in the central place, without losing the emotional coloring of the composition… At this point the space deepens, its structure becomes almost domed, and the sounds get farther in depth.

And, amazingly, this “tube” coloring does not lose detail! Everything’s there, just the accents are set a little differently.

Listening to U18 Tzar you have an impression of sitting in a chair wearing cool open earphones. And you forget you’ve got something in your ears. The images start to move in and out of your head like vivid ones. What a beauty! Lepo-ah-ah!

I still haven’t decided which module I like the sound of U18 Tzar better. And the “queen” Tia Fourte is waiting for you not far off…

I’ll tell you one more thing. The headphones are very critical to the quality of recording and mixing. Where there are “shoals” and rustle, the “ears” are clearly marking the irregularities. But where it’s decent, it’s over the top. But in any case, even quite a bad recording they let you listen to without disgust. I think this is also the merit of APEX module.

Just now I switched to The Sisters of Mercy’s “Ribbons” and I just marveled at how they play this thing! What a stunning detail, speed, smoothness and saturation of the picture.. “Ears” play every nuance of the song without a single complaint. The middle part is gripping and carries away… a true celebration of darkness and gothic. Ugh, I have goosebumps! And that’s even though I now have an APEX M20 module screwed into my ears. And with the M15 module it looks like it’s going to take my body out and bring it back in to listen to it…


Bottom line

The tweeters are slightly different depending on the module: clean, very detailed, with a small very accurate “spark”, which adds airiness M15 and naturalness M20 to the composition.

The midrange is very detailed, smooth, with good microdynamics, localization of musical images in the soundstage. There is a small accent on the upper middle which adds a bit of expression to the sound and makes the vocal parts more emotional M15 . But the ears work out this slight lift very carefully, “on the edge” so to speak, but not over the line of irritation and not leading to sibilants. It’s a very effective listen. In the case of M20 the sound in this episode gets more bodily basis.

The bass is focused, precise, fast. Quantitatively, there is exactly as much as necessary. With the M15, the bass is nicely textured and flush with the rest of the frequency range. With M20 module more bass is added, the kick becomes more massive, the bass gets more muscular and elastic. No problems in this register. Everything comes through clearly, without hum and smudges. All in all, cool!


Very cool model. I honestly did not even expect to like the royal so much.

And the point here, of course, is not in the number of drivers, but in the competent technological approach and quality implementation. It’s clear at once that the professionals deal with professional sound. I once had a passing acquaintance with one of the 64 AUDIO brand models: it seems to be based on four armature receivers.

I do not remember why, but it just did not happen, they did not fall in my heart… But now I’m ready to reconsider my attitude to this brand and I’m full of desire to listen and write reviews of most of their monitors, if not all of them. And of course, there will be a review of 64 AUDIO Know-How, which will sink into anyone’s heart..

True, there is one more, serious point. The royal ears are royal in everything – and in price, too: how do you like $2,900 for 64 AUDIO U18 Tzar? Impressive? However, if you have a white boat, without the slightest hesitation I recommend this model. Listen and get high – for yourself and for that guy..

SOUND, kit, build quality and materials.


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