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The Will to Rule – A Review of the 64Audio tia Fourté

No disclaimer. I bought this f**ker. hehe

64Audio tia Fourté sells for $3,599
10 Ohms @ 1Khz
4-Way Crossover
1x tia High
1X High-Mid
1X tia Mid
1X Dynamic Low
Internal APEX M20

So… Pinky was not searching for a new IEM. I don’t know what I was looking for—maybe nothing—but seeing as I found myself on the Head-Fi Classifieds I imagine a shrink might claim otherwise. The demon was at it again, driving me to the rhythm of insatiable lust. This culminated in a feargasm the likes of which the Earth has never seen when I stumbled upon an ad, selling a B-Stock tia Fourté for $2300.

I knew in my heart I would pay it. Yet dignity demanded that I at least ask for $2000. As I waited for a response, I began the psychological rigmarole of deescalating my hysteria, consoling myself with the reality that these IEMs were almost certainly sold. The price is too good, and Fourté is a goddamn hotcake. No way a deal hasn’t already been struck.

Then I heard back from him. $2000 was too low, but could I do $2200? I hemmed and hawed and said you bet your f**king ass I can!

It turns out I was right; this was a hot-ticket item. Folk were offering him much more than his asking price. But it also turns out he knew me and liked my reviews. Though I suspect what really synched the deal was the most serendipitous aspect of it all: We both live in Kansas City. In fact, we made the hand-off in the parking lot where I work, mere moments after I clocked out for the day.

Words cannot express how unlikely all this is. The Mid-West is a dry-zone for audiophiles. There are no high-end stores in which to audition prospective buys. Indeed, this was the first time ever I got to listen to something before I sent payment.

It took less than five minutes of Fourté in my ears before I said, “F**k yes! I’ll buy it!”

And here we are. I’ve enjoyed tia Fourté for over a month now… maybe two. Hard to keep track. My impressions of it have changed some over that time, but for the most part, it is as I originally knew it. But we mustn’t get into all that just now. Let’s talk about build, first.

You could be forgiven for thinking Fourté is ugly. It looks particularly bad in the photos. In person, I find it less offensive. Part of that is due to the obvious quality of its construction. Solid black aluminum housing, and textured faceplates. Color scheme aside, it’s a fine piece and looks and feels upscale.

The only thing that makes these B-Stock is a subtle double-stamp of the name on the inside shell. And for that, I saved $1,400.

These are fairly large IEMs. Not JHAudio large, but still. They’re certainly bigger than my U12, which is hilarious, considering how many more drivers U12 contains. But I’m not complaining. The acoustic chambers Fourté uses may take up space, but the sound they deliver is well worth the sacrifice. I may not feel that way if they were much bigger. As it stands, these monitors fit rather comfortably, and don’t stick out much. Actually, it’s only on my left side they stick out at all. Nice and flush on the right. They isolate quite well, given the APEX tech and the Dynamic venting port. I’d say they’re about as good at blocking out environmental noise as most universal multi BA IEMs.

tia Fourté showcases two tia drivers. One for the upper frequencies, which 64Audio is calling the tia High Driver, and incorporated into their A18 co-flagship. What the A18 does not have, however, is Fourté’s tia Mid Driver. Just wait till you hear that shit! Fourté is also unique among 64’s lineup due to the Dynamic Driver dedicated to bass response. Then, just for kicks, they threw in a single traditional Balanced Armature for the High-Mid crossover. So let’s recap: That’s a 4-Way driver config, but a 3-Way hybrid. A motherf**king hybrid using three different driver technologies.

This is officially the Frankenstein IEM.

As is my twisted habit, I refused to even look at the included ear tips. JVC Spiral Dots worked great, as always. But it was the MandarinEs Symbio W that won a permanent position on these lordly earphones. They simply stay in better than all others, and make a more lasting, complete seal.

If you’re familiar with the traditional 2-pin stock cable that comes with most high-end IEMs, Fourté’s cable is a step up. It’s sturdier, thicker, and has an altogether nicer feel. But even that wasn’t enough for me. The moment I got home with this baby, off went the stock cable and on went one of my custom jobbies. I have a number of nicer cords terminated for 2.5mm TRRS, so I can use the balanced output on my DAPs. I shall include a cable-pairing section towards the end of the article, to give you some sweet options.

It comes with a carry case and tips, cleaners, and other random accessories, blah, blah, blah… NO ONE CARES! Let’s move on to sound. Next page, please.



Picture of Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


21 Responses

  1. Check out my review of Legend X. That is currently my favorite IEM.

    As for your other question, unless a piece of audio gear has some terrible flaw, I don’t subscribe to the notion they are genre specific. If the tuning pleases you, then it will likely please you for most every type of music. That’s been my experience. Though I am aware some disagree.

  2. To pinky powers, I read your whole review of the tia fourte very well written there, but apart from the tia fourte what other iems would you say have impressed you over your audiophile days and also what would be the greatest postive about the tia fourte and also a negative of the tia fourte. and lastly what genres would suit the tia fourte the best , would vocals, rnb, pop, hippop be a good match and also have had a chance to listen to trio the younger brother of the fourte, thanks (sorry for the long question)

  3. as an audiophile, “Nirvana” is multi faceted and ever evolving. lol always looking for the NEXT mind blower and breakthrough in audiology. Coming from amateur status running Shure 535SE and then onto 2 pairs of the 845 (due to losing the first set :() Believe it or not, I still miss the 845s and feel they were a good 4 driver….thanx to those i was off into dreamland when reading of 14+ BA set ups, but when i got my hands on the Zeus XR, I was left missing the Sub Bass/Bass and soon realized this game was not ONLY about having the most drivers but also the acoustics and the drivers themselves….hence the decision to pick up the Fourte. I listen to just about all genres out there with an emphasis on Electronic and Hip Hop. Hoping to eventually post reviews for others’ benefit. Always trying to recruit as well. lol will be nice to have a set of Universal IEMs so i can show others’ what they’ve been missing. The over ears are good but i love an AWESOME IEM.

  4. Just managed to purchase a set of Tia Fourte and am more than excited to give these a whirl. Currently an EE fan and have the Zeus XR w/ Adel for my Reference Purposes while using my Legend X for the bangers. Tend to let the cables do the fine tuning (acting as my EQ for balancing out the sound signatures pending the source and genre of music). Like you i tend to pair GPS cables with brighter IEMs while using the Silver Litz cables for the Warmer sounding IEM and therefore have ended up leaving my Horus 8 for the Zeus XR while primarily leaning on my Leonidas 8 for pairing with the Legend X. I run these combos direct from the SP1000 and like to switch it up with the Janus Basso on the Zeus XR and Janus Dynamic on the Legend X, when running a warmer sounding DAC like my desktop Sony TA or running a non Hi-Res Sourced from the Sony PHA-3. From the reviews i’ve read through on the Fourte thus far, it looks like i will have even greater flexibility….which ultimately is what this audiophile NEEDS….options options and more options. Music is my life and reproducing it the way it is meant to sound is priority so i must have the proper tools to dial in frequencies pre/post EQ if even using an EQ. Only IEM I’ll need to get in my ears next will be the UE Live. overall at this juncture, I have to agree with the OP…Legend X is my new favorite and go to….we’ll have to see what the Fourte holds.

  5. Fourté remains the best IEM I’ve ever heard, in terms of technical prowess. But I sold it a few months back.

    Why? Needed the money. Bad. Yet somehow, I’m not heartbroken. Because while I would call Fourté the superior IEM, the Legend X by Empire Ears suites my personal tastes even better.

    This not to discourage you over tia Fourté. When you hear it, you’ll probably want it. And indeed, you won’t find a clearer, more detailed, or higher-res monitor.

  6. Hello,
    Really enjoyed your review. It was done in a different way than usually. I appreciate it. I had u12 and U18T for a week last week. I agree with you on the u12 100%. I should get a demo Forte this week, can’t wait. I have astell&Kern ak300. I hope it will not be too bright for them. I do believe I like exactly what you like in sound ( reading your words) so I hope I will end my quest for music 🙂

  7. Hey Pinky! Great review! I am considering an upgrade for the FLC8s. I’ve been using the red grey gold combination for the last two years, mainly for J pop and instrumental tracks. Do you think that the tia Fourte would be a reasonable choice?

  8. To my great sadness, I have still never heard Tzar, so I cannot give you a breakdown.

    However! Look up Twister6 reviews. He has a blog. Find his Fourté review. He does an extensive comparison between these two flagships. And I trust his impressions without reservation.

  9. I’m hesitating between the A18 Tzar and tia Fourté. Considering the price, I need to hear from a reviewer that had the opportunity to listen to both flagships extensively to give a comparison.
    This comparison is essential. I can’t believe that no reviewer did it before!

  10. Looks like you’ll be in a better position to know than I will. I would love to get my hands on the U12t, but so far, no word on that.

  11. hmm… I ordered an a12t a week ago… wonder how it stands between the a12 and the fourte. I’ve auditioned both but the a12t is a leap of faith.

  12. very nice review, i have a Fourté myself, pairs up with pw 1960s 4 wires (gives slightly more extension to treble, transparency, full body mid and a little more power to low) ; beat audio billow 8 wires (extension to treble, most importantly musicality and “feeling of the singers”) love this most; I’m waiting for my Mars4 + leonidas 4 bespoke and see how it can shapes my Fourté into!

  13. Thanks, Steve.

    I got out of retail and definitely don’t wish to move into sales. But I appreciate the vote of confidence. 😀

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