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

As promised, here are some cable options to pair with tia Fourté.

plusSound X-Series GPC Litz: The most naked, transparent cable I’ve found. This is what I use when I am comparing IEMs, as it gives what I consider to be the truest, most natural tone. There’s a touch of warmth and a little extra body. The treble is warmed ever so slightly, which is very nice for the likes of Encore and Fourté.

Effect Audio Thor Silver II: The unusual silver. This one smoothes out the highs and attenuates them to some extent. It creates a bizarre liquidity, flowing around you in a dizzying three-dimensional display. The power of Fourté only amplifies this, taking you into Wonderland territory. When you finally gain your feet, it’s like listening to whole new gear. Fourté seems to mimic the traits of the LCD-2 with this cable.

Effect Audio Leonidas: Take the liquidity and 3D holographic qualities of Thor II, increase transparency and treble clarity, thicken the bass and warm the mids, and you’ll have some idea what Leo is about. But you won’t be prepared for the apocalyptic musicality. If Fourté is a fantasy, Leonidas twists it into a fever dream. This is my favorite way to listen to these earphones.

Ordinarily I would suggest pairing a brighter monitor with a warmer source. And I guess I still do. But I’ll be honest with you, nothing I’ve thrown at Fourté has sounded bad. On the contrary, it’s all sounded so very, very good.

My main DAP is the Opus#2 by theBit ($1,149, Review HERE). With neutral-warm tuning, immense soundstage, and the ability to resolve at the highest level, Opus reveals the truth of the transducer like none other. Fourté is at its most transparent and realistic here. Dimensionality deepens, and layers become more observable. Notes take on extra weight, feeling properly tangible, and the background is pitch black. No hissing whatsoever. In simple terms, Opus#2 pushes tia Fourté to its limits.

I’ve been testing out a preproduction unit of Cayin’s soon-to-be-released N5 2nd Gen, the N5II. This player sounds so good with everything, and Fourté is no exception. It’s maybe a little less warm than the Opus#2, but still organic and musical. Clarity and resolution is top shelf, and soundstage is quite big. The N5II is dynamic, vivid, and refined to a fabulous degree. Even though it nudges Fourté a little more into the bright category, it remains free of all harshness or fatiguing elements. This device also gives off no audible hiss. After many days of sessions that lasted hours, I can say the N5II>tia Fourté is sonically flawless and a system anyone should feel proud to own.

If you’re looking for something a little closer to the budget-range—and after buying these IEMs, I can understand why—I can recommend the Shanling M3s. Tuning wise, it’s more like the N5II than the Opus#2. A slightly brighter sound, though not really bright per say, and definitely not cold. The M3s has leaner notes than the others and a slightly smaller soundstage. Like the N5II, it is clean and astonishingly smooth. Compared to the other DAPs, Fourté lacks just the barest amount of depth and resolution on the M3s, but the final result is like supreme honey on the ears.



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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