64Audio U3 In-ear Earphone Review

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Design –

The U3’s are a well-formed earphone with several fascinating features that exemplify 64Audio’s experience with custom designs. Like a lot of manufacturers, the majority of 64Audio’s universals employ just a handful of housing designs with the U3 being of the smallest variety and models like the U12 occupying larger shells. The U3 isn’t particularly compact considering the number of drivers they house but they still achieve high levels of comfort due to some smart design.

The housings themselves are predominately constructed from a hypoallergenic acrylic though they are devoid of creaks and flex. They are also extremely smooth with a complete lack of seams. The U3’s pursue a very minimal design language with only the 64Audio logo adorning their outer faces with the model number printed on the sound tubes. I still don’t find them as solid in the hand as the 3D printed Plussound earphones or the Metal Dunu’s and Campfire’s, though they are similar to the Westone UM Pro and Shure SE earphones.

While their outer faces have quite an angular design their inner faces are very smoothed off. And when combined with their size, the U3’s really maximise fit depth and their occupation of space in the outer ear. This grants them with fantastic stability when moving; they were rock solid during a few hill sprints. They are also a comfortable earphone, not flawless like the AF1120, I had some slight discomfort in the concha of my ear after a few hours of listening, though discomfort never reached levels where I had to stop listening. I did also prefer the U3’s long-term comfort to the DK-3001. Part of this can be attributed to their perfectly angled nozzles which slant slightly upwards and forwards placing the large housings at just the right angle in the ear. The nozzles are also very long, achieving a deep fit and their 4 individual sound tubes help to separate frequencies and reduce phase issues.

Isolation with the included Comply foam ear tips was fantastic, not quite as flawless as fully-sealed earphones like the Campfire’s and Plussound’s due to their slight venting, but easily enough for public transport and air travel. The U3’s offered the perfect amount of isolation for commute, allowing me to retain some awareness of my surroundings whilst sufficiently drowning out traffic noise.

The U3 is topped off with a delightfully ergonomic 2-pin cable. The connectors are nice and tight, I actually prefer the 2-pin interface to MMCX as it a simpler connector and thus more reliable in general. The cable uses memory wire ear guides that held their position well during my usage, they are one of the better memory wire systems I have used.

Otherwise, the cable is very supple and compliant, not quite Campfire Litz supple, but the cable had no issue coiling tightly for storage. In addition, 64Audio’s cable has no memory and a smooth texture that easily routes through clothing. They have a pocket-friendly right angled plug with fabulous strain relief and a low-profile y-split outfit with a plastic chin slider that holds its place well. The cable has a looser braid that produces minimal microphonics during wear. All in all, the U3’s cable is a pleasure to use, it’s light, comfortable and doesn’t tangle. Replacement cables from 64Audio are also quite modestly priced compared to competitors.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

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