This comparison was done using YB04 with a stock 3.5mm cable, balanced eartips, and N6ii and LPGT sources, volume matched in every comparison.
YB04 vs Campfire Audio Andromeda – YB04 soundstage is wider, while both have a similar depth when it comes to positioning of the sound. Another obvious difference is in sound sig, where YB04 is more neutral-balanced in comparison to Andro with more emphasis on low end and lower treble. As a result of that, Andro has more bass impact; the quality of bass has similarities, but not the same quantity since YB04 bass sounds more neutral in comparison. YB04 mids are more forward and have more clarity in lower mids, while Andro mids pulled back in comparison, with brighter upper mids. YB04 treble sounds more natural and less fatigue while Andro has more noticeable lower treble peaks and better extension with more airiness.
YB04 vs iBasso IT04 – I hear more similarities in this comparison. Starting with a soundstage, YB04 has a touch more width and noticeably more depth with the sound being more out of your head while IT04 brings it closer with more depth intimacy. Both have a neutral-balanced sound signature with a very similar rendition of bass, in both quality and quantity where the sound extends down low with a nice level of rumble, but it’s the kind of rumble you hear (not feel). And mid-bass in both IEM has a more neutral punch. Both have similar neutral lower mids, but upper mids do vary. YB04 upper mids are smoother and more natural in tonality while IT04 upper mids are brighter and more revealing. With treble, YB04 sounds more natural and smoother while IT04 has more sparkle and sounds crisper. To my ears, the biggest difference here is in upper mids and lower treble.
YB04 vs Westone W60 – Westone usually tunes their IEMs to sound more natural, thus I thought this is going to be a good comparison, but with their 6 driver W60 (not 4 driver W40 due to tuning difference). Right away you can hear YB04 having a noticeably wider soundstage expansion while both have a similar depth. With bass, both have a very similar level of sub-bass rumble quality, but W60 has a stronger mid-bass punch where in comparison the YB04 sounds more neutral. Both have very similar natural detailed mids, but W60 has lower mids with a thicker body while YB04 have more neutral lower mids. When it comes to upper mids/vocals they are very similar. When it comes to treble, YB04 sounds more controlled and smoother, while W60 lower treble is brighter and crisper.
YB04 has an average impedance and sensitive, thus very efficient and easy to drive from any portable source I tried it with. Since I was using YB04 with its stock cable, I only used single ended output in every pair up.
Lotoo PAW Gold Touch (LPGT) – wide expanded soundstage; neutral bass, more forward detailed mids, crisper airier non-fatigue treble. Overall, the sound is slightly more mid-forward and more revealing, while bass is more on a neutral side.
Cayin N6ii – more holographic expanded soundstage; neutral-balanced sound signature with a more neutral sub-bass rumble and stronger mid-bass impact, natural detailed mids, well defined natural treble which has a little less airiness. In this pair up the sound is more balanced with a more natural detailed tonality. I was using Hiby Music app and N6ii w/A01 default card.
Cayin N5iiS – wide expanded soundstage; more balanced sound sig with a little more mid-forward presentation, bass has more sub-bass rumble and stronger mid-bass punch, mids have a natural detailed warmer tonality, treble is well defined, crisp, and non-fatigue. In this pair up bass goes a little deeper, and overall sound is a little warmer and more organic.
Hiby R5 – above average soundstage expansion, narrower than other sources; neutral-balanced sound sig with a smoother and more neutral presentation of the sound, neutral bass, warmer smoother mids, more natural smoother treble with less airiness. This pair up was warmer and smoother in comparison to others, and YB04 lost a little bit of clarity.
iBasso DX160 – more holographic expanded soundstage; neutral-balanced sound signature with a smoother more natural tonality, deeper rumble with a little more mid-bass punch, more organic natural detailed mids/vocals, well defined crisp non-fatigue treble. This pair up yields a more balanced natural detailed sound.
Shanling M0 – wide soundstage with a little more depth; neutral-balanced sound sig with a smoother more natural tonality, more neutral warmer bass, smooth detailed natural mids, well defined less airy treble. This pair up was smoother, more laidback, more relaxed.
Samsung Galaxy S9 – wide soundstage expansion; neutral-balance sound sig with a smoother more natural tonality, neutral bass with a deeper rumble, detailed natural mids, well defined crisp treble. This pair up reminded me of the one with M0, but the sound has more energy and wasn’t as laidback.
Maybe YB04 is Cayin’s first entry into the IEM market, but it surely felt like a mature release with a well thought out design and tuning. Of course, tuning is a subjective part of the product, and hopefully my review will help you decide if this is your cup of tea based on your sound preference. But one thing for sure, Cayin set a high bar with their first IEM release, everything from a beautiful all metal shell, comfortable fit, a very nice supple cable, more natural, neutral-balanced non-fatigue tuning, and expanded soundstage.