Last night I had a dream about meeting Jim Morrison in a desert. He told me if I planned to review the Tia Fourte today, it would arrive on my review desk before noon. Now with a solid listening session behind me and a keyboard in front of me, I can delve into this impressive little earphone. But at $3599, does the sound live up to the cost?
Coming in your standard 64 Audio box with six pairs of eartips, a rugged plastic carrying case, a shirt clip, and a cleaning tool, the Tia Fourte packs little in the way of accessories.
Like other designs from 64 Audio, the Tia Fourte utilizes a 2-prong connection, and the simple braided removable cable feels robust enough. At 48 inches, the cable is a little longer than most, complimented by the snazzy shirt clip.
The earpieces themselves use a machined aluminum housing, with a copper patina inlay on the faceplate.
Under the hood, this earphone might seem a little less intricate than other 64 Audio designs – the Tia Fourte packs only four drivers (compared to 12 drivers in the U12t and 18 drivers in the U18t).
That being said, there’s still some impressive sound going on here.
Frequency Response: 5-22,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 10 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 114 dB
As you can see from these specifications, the frequency range seems fairly standard, but with a little more emphasis on the low end. The super-low impedance of just 10 ohms means the Fourte will work fine with nearly any low-output device. Finally, where volume is concerned, this earphone packs a decent 114 decibel sound pressure level. So, hearing at adequate volume shouldn’t be an issue.
Substantial but natural, the low end of the Fourte is characterized by a clean, organic sound. There’s decent impact, but no honking big bass. Instead, the bass response is more refined, and may seem overshadowed by the forward-leaning mids.
Clean and accurate with excellent fidelity, the mids on the Fourte offer crystal clear presentation. There’s equal emphasis on vocals and instrumentation, leading to well-tempered midrange. Slightly forward-leaning, the sound seems present but never oppressive.
The Tia Fourte’s high end sparkles with detail and a high level of clarity. The effect resulting from this mix is nothing short of beautiful, with superb contrast and separation leading to a sound so resolving as to almost sound frail. This fantastic sense of detail will draw you into a new world of musical appreciation.
Just a fantastic sound, the Tia Fourte does just about everything right. With beautiful highs, present mids, and a rock-solid bass, there’s really no weak point to the sound.
Naysayers may miss bassy lows, but fans of classical, acoustic, pop, and pop rock will LOVE this sound.
The highs are probably the biggest selling point for the Tia Fourte. Not that any other part of the frequency range performs less admirably, but the high end in particular just sounds incredibly well-crafted. Listening to violins on this earphone was similar to hearing them for the first time.
For those seeking present mids and impeccable highs, there really is no substitute for the 64 Audio Tia Fourte. For those who are more price-conscious, the U18t might offer a close alternative to this sound, though with more drivers, and at a $2999 price point.
At $3599, the 64 Audio Tia Fourte commands a premium price. However, the sound its packing is more than commensurate, offering solid lows, forward mids, pristine highs. For the highest quality sound, audiophiles need look no further.
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