I’d like to thank 64 Audio for sending us Volür for review. Our sample was purchased at a discounted rate in order to make this review possible, without any conditions or expectations from 64 Audio in exchange.
On the flipside, with some of the best-loved and most widely used models on the market, you could argue it’s not easy to one-up what they’d already created. Still, the clamour for ‘new blood’ from one of the industry trendsetters has been steadily growing louder, and it seems that call has finally been answered.
Volür is a new high-end multi-driver IEM that’s positioned as the spiritual successor to 64 Audio’s first high driver count universal IEM, Nio, which debuted all the way back in 2020. It follows Nio’s tuning blueprint – a warmer, fuller, more romantic and musical sound – but infuses it with technical performance reminiscent of some of the company’s most accomplished monitors.
Whether or not it hits the same highs as 64 Audio’s benchmark IEMs like Fourté, Trio and U12t is just one of the questions I’ll be answering in this review. I’ll also be putting Volür’s new twin dynamic driver isobaric setup to the test, which admittedly was one of the first and most exciting aspects I wanted to explore as a bass-first listener.
Last but not least, you’ll get to read some in-depth comparisons between Volür and a selection of some of the best bass performers in the business, with a view to hearing just how close 64 Audio has come to bass nirvana.
When it comes to new 64 Audio releases, one of the first things I look for is new technology. This is a company that’s built its reputation on innovation, having essentially pioneered the modern multi-driver IEM (though I won’t get into the politics of that history in this review).
Volür includes some significant new tech, the most important of which I’ve already hinted at above. But it bears repeating that it also includes some tech that continues to make 64 Audio IEMs so impressive, even in the face of arguably superior competition in recent years.
But first, here’s a breakdown of Volür’s driver configuration and technical specs:
- 10-driver hybrid design: 2 dynamic drivers in an isobaric array for lows, 6 midrange balanced armature drivers, 1 upper-midrange balanced armature driver, and 1 tia open balanced armature tweeter for highs, integrated 4-way passive crossover.
- Rated frequency response: 5Hz – 22KHz
- Sensitivity: 103 dB/mW @ 1kHz @ 1mW (94mV)
- Impedance: 6.3Ω @1kHz
Volür is 64 Audio’s first dual dynamic driver IEM, and highest driver count hybrid IEM. It also packs some nifty tech inside, most of which is proprietary to 64 Audio. This includes:
- Tia (Tubeless In-Ear Audio) is 64 Audio’s patented three-part system designed to ‘reduce unwanted resonance and distortion’ in modern IEMs. Volür includes two of the three Tia components: an open balanced armature treble driver, and a single-bore design. It lacks the third, open acoustic chambers, which remains limited to the company’s flagship Fourté variants.
- LID (Linear Impedance Design) is another patented 64 Audio technology that ‘corrects electrical resistance’ from different sources such as phones, desktop amplifiers and DAPs, ensuring there’s no variance in impedance – and resulting tonal differences – regardless of what you’ve got Volür plugged into.
- Apex (Air Pressure Exchange), a third patented technology, is also what I consider the most important reason to own a 64 Audio IEM outside of sound performance. Apex modules release air pressure trapped inside the ear canal, easing the stress on the inner ear and promoting better ear health for longer listening sessions. If you suffer from hearing issues like tinnitus, or are concerned with the effect of prolonged pressure on the eardrum, Apex is arguably mandatory, over and above the common ‘bass vents’ that only serve to equalise the internal pressure of IEMs with dynamic drivers.
- True isobaric dynamic drivers, the fourth and newest addition to 64 Audio’s technology portfolio, is also the headline technology for Volür, promising to elevate bass performance beyond anything the company has achieved to date. The isobaric setup in Volür consists of two 9mm dynamic drivers, with one active driver pushing air into a second, sealed driver via a connecting tube. According to 64 Audio, “this complex application results in better damping, lower distortion, twice the power handling (because there are two coils and two motor structures), and extended LF response”.
Despite the new tech, the external design remains comfortingly familiar. If you’ve used any of 64 Audio’s IEMs before, you’ll feel right at home with Volür, which is based on a similar shape and structure to Nio. It sports a newly-chamfered exterior, a matt black anodised aluminium finish in place of Nio’s shiny chrome bling, and an understated but impressively classy-looking faceplate made of purple-hued, responsibly-farmed New Zealand Paua abalone shell.
All these elements come together in what I consider to be 64 Audio’s best-looking IEM to date. Ergonomically it feels easy on the ear, with a narrow nozzle that’s comfortable when worn. For some reason, the designers have persisted with their stubborn refusal to put a tip-lip on the nozzle, so expect to go fishing for tips that slip off and stay in your ears after use.
The mesh cover on each nozzle also looks similar to previous efforts, so be very careful when you clean them because they’re prone to puncture, and sometimes even fall off when prodded.
Minor cosmetic concerns aside, Volür’s proven design makes it one of the better-fitting IEMs for long listening sessions that I’ve used. Despite their metallic build the earpieces are very light, and quite a bit smaller than some of today’s fat multi-driver tribids and quadbrids. With a good set of tips, Volür can be every bit as comfortable as a custom IEM, as far as that is possible anyway.
Packaging and accessories
Shipped in an oversized box with a silkscreened slip-on cover, Volür’s packaging and accompanying accessories are more or less on par with what I expect from 64 Audio, which is to say, basic, but well-made and functional.
Opening the box reveals a message from 64 Audio co-founder Vitaliy Belonozhko on the underside of the lid, along with a taped-on card that mentions a limited-time inclusion of a fourth Apex module (more on this later). On the right side of the box, two foam cutouts hold open the lid and base of the round leather puck case, a clever way of showing off the contents without taking up extra space in the box.
The top section (lid) of the case is fitted with a plastic accessory that holds the different stock tips: three pairs of foam tips and three silicone tips in different sizes. The bottom section has a neat cutout for the two Volür earpieces, looking like two pieces of matching jewelry with their resplendent purple faceplates.
Beneath the tip holder you’ll find three more accessories: a cleaning tool, short clip, and the stock low-impendence silver-plated 26 AWG OCC copper wire. It actually looks, feels and sounds quite decent, but annoyingly is terminated in a 3.5mm plug.
I think you’ll agree most enthusiasts buying into this level of IEM generally opt for 4.4mm balanced cables to go with their balanced sources. Many of today’s higher-end IEMs either ship with a 4.4mm cable as standard, or offer some sort of plug-switching system. Some even come with multiple cables. I would have no issue using this cable were it terminated with a balanced plug, and so it’s a bit disappointing that you don’t even get the option.
A more useful set of accessories is the Apex modules, which you’ll find in a holder beneath the ‘Hear. Feel. Create.’ cardboard cutout adjacent to the earpieces. As mentioned, you get a fourth, new module (M12) with Volür, along with Mx, M15 (installed as standard), and M20. I’ll cover the sonic qualities of Apex later in the review, but aside from what I’ve described above, that’s the full list of accessories.
Continue to sound impressions…