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Over the years, I’ve had a bit of a… complicated relationship… with the 64 Audio N8.
About three years ago, I was absolutely smitten with the N8 after testing out the universal demo unit. At the time it was everything I wanted in a hybrid IEM: a neutral-with-bass-boost signature that was controlled towards the sub-bass, and very close to the ideal midrange tonality that I was striving for.
Long story short, the custom N8 was not the same as the universal N8 demo, a fact that many would probably be tired of me rambling about after one big technical breakdown post and another less serious YouTube video getting it off my chest.
Now 64 Audio has come out with the Nio, a hybrid IEM with the exact same specs as the original N8 though with a different facelift. My curiosity is piqued and so I find myself in the odd territory between excitement and cautiousness; excitement in that this could finally be the N8 that I wanted but never got, but cautiousness in that this Nio could be the N8’s custom tuning in universal form instead.
Let’s see which side of the coin this lands.
Product page: https://www.64audio.com/products/nio
Driver configuration: 8BA + 1DD hybrid
This Nio was kindly provided by 64 Audio.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Hard case
- APEX modules
- x2 m15
- x2 m20
- x2 mX
Cable: 4-wire cable in round-braid configuration. Rough texturing, extremely kinky, just an all-around not-great stock cable.
Connection: flush 2-pin. Not the most secure available.
Build: full metal build with no outward weak points as far as I can see. Standard 64 Audio universal shell.
Fit: shallow fit, doesn’t hug the contours of my pinna at all. Not the most comfortable shell out there.
Isolation: average/below average with m15/20 modules, poor isolation with mX modules.
- Good sub-bass texture, average mid-bass transients.
- Arguably a very bassy IEM (with m15 and m20 modules), but far better controlled with less bleed and bloat than, say, a Legend X.
- The mX module is the interesting dark horse, turning the Nio into a sort of reference-y neutral sound signature that still has plenty of kick and impact in the bass regions.
- Simply put, it’s the N8 universal demo. The N8 I’ve always wanted but never got.