The selection of eartips is crucial with any universal in-ear monitor and will affect the sound, especially the bass impact depending on the seal and the soundstage depending on insertion depth. Due to a large opening of my earcanals, I usually go for the largest size eartips to get a better seal. In this comparison I was using Nio with N0 module and stock cable. Please, keep in mind, these impressions are subjective and relative to my ear anatomy which affects how I hear the sound.
Spinfit – natural balanced tonality with deeper bass impact, organic mids/vocals, and natural well defined treble.
Final Type E – very similar to Spinfit, except soundstage width shrinks a little, becoming narrower.
AZLA Sedna – very similar to Spinfit, except soundstage depth is a little more out of my head.
stock 64audio Foams – bass impact was softer, slower, and slightly attenuated, and treble was also a bit attenuated; the sound had more focus on mids.
Symbio F – a very balanced sound with mids having more focus and treble gaining extra sparkle, and even soundstage being a little wider and more holographic.
Symbio F and Spinfit were my favorite eartips to use with Nio. During testing and comparison while constantly taking Nio in and out of my ears, I preferred Spinfit since Symbio F is a slower release foam, but during extended listening sessions I switched to Symbio F since I was not in a rush and could wait for it to form its shape inside my ear.
Cable pair up.
I’m aware that some people don’t believe in cables and have very strong opinions about it. It’s not my intention to trigger the argument, and instead I would like to share what I hear during my testing. What makes sense to me, a metal wire is a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, purity, and unique geometry, all of which put together act as a filter between your source and headphones. Variations of these physical properties can affect the conductivity of analog signal, resulting in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level. If the talk about cables upsets you, please skip this section.
stock vs 64audio Silver/Copper hybrid – the changes which I found to be more noticeable in this comparison are the soundstage expansion which becomes more holographic with new Silver hybrid cable. The soundstage with stock cable has a good width and more out of your head depth, but with this cable width now “matches” the depth to create more 3D space effect. Also, mids/vocals are more transparent, with a little leaner body and higher resolution. The tonality is still natural, but I’m hearing less coloring in mids.
stock vs Eletech Socrates (Copper) – in this pair up I hear a slightly different change relative to 64audio Silver/Copper hybrid cable. Starting with soundstage expansion, it is stretching even wider, but the depth is not as much out of your head, bringing sound closer with a little more intimacy, giving soundstage an oval shape. Mids are also leaner and more transparent, more resolving, and I’m also hearing the improvement in treble definition, not brighter, but higher res type of change which is quite noticeable.
stock vs EA Cleopatra (Silver) – an interesting change here as well. While soundstage is closer to stock cable expansion, maybe just a touch wider, the difference here is more in tonality and the signature change. The bass sounds a little bit softer and mids become more revealing, more forward, being a little brighter. Also, treble gains a noticeable amount of sparkle and even some extra airiness. The effect of this pure silver cable is noticeable more in upper mids and treble.
stock vs Linum SuperBax (SPC) – in this cable comparison, soundstage was just a touch wider with SPC. But when it comes to tonality and signature, when switching to SPC sound became warmer, darker, and more L-shaped. The change is quite noticeable where SuperBax attenuates down the sparkle of the treble, and pushes the mids/vocals a little more back, bringing bass more forward. If you want a more balanced sound sig with better mids clarity and more treble airiness, SuperBax is not the best choice. But if you want a big controlled bass slam, this cable packs a strong low end punch.
I tried not to go too crazy with cable rolling in this test, trying not to exceed 1/2 price of the Nio. Within that bracket and for me personally, I really enjoyed pair up with Premium Silver hybrid and Socrates cables.
Page 5 – Comparison, Pair up, and Conclusion.
7 thoughts on “64 Audio Nio”
Will you be reviewing the Da Vinci X from Clear Tune Monitors?
sorry, I probably won’t. Those are older IEMs, I remember listening to them year and a half ago at canjam NYC. They were just OK, but it is an old iem, and manufacturers usually send review samples of their new and upcoming stuff since they are not interested to promote old releases. Also, noticed da vinci x/ix got little attention even when it was released.
I know that you’re not trying to go too crazy with the cable rolling, trying not to exceed 1/2 price of the Nio, but how well does it pair up with the *_PlusSound PPH8_* and how does it compare with the *_Premium Silver hybrid_* and *_Socrates_* cable?
Don’t know how to bold and italic a text in WordPress. XD
I just did it like in the YouTube comments hoping that it will work…
Also… it seems like it can’t be deleted.
WOW, I didn’t even think about trying PPH8 with Nio, and I didn’t expect how well these pair up. Relative to Silver Premium, the soundstage is wider/deeper, literally 3D and you feel like you are in middle of it. Also, mids are a little more forward or maybe bass just a little more attenuated, making mids a little more forward. Of course, keep in mind, this is $2k cable with $1.7k IEM.
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I wish I knew more about the IPX connector you write about. I have broken 2 two prong attachments, one sleeping and one exercising. I didn’t see an option for an IPX when I bought them. Is there a way to connect one with the NIOs I have?
That said, the NIO is the BEST sounding IEM I’ve tried,open, airy, true to voice and instrument. But I’ve had to resort to using Sony IER Z1Rs because they are bulletproof and they don’t usually detach and the one time one did, it did no damage. The Nio is a much better sound for me, but they are so fragile, I’m limited in when I can use them. Any solutions??
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Only custom 64audio iems have the option for IPX, you can’t retrofit Nio with another connector. If you want to read more about IPX, I covered it in details in my UE Live review a few years ago, here https://twister6.com/2018/09/07/ultimate-ears-ue-live/. Not the best tuned iem, but I have lots of info about IPX in that review. Another option is to look into FIR Audio iems, Bogdan (64audio ex-CEO who started fir audio) came up with RCX connector which is a Rigid version of mmcx. I covered it in my M5 review last year, here https://twister6.com/2019/10/10/fir-audio-m5-2/. Maybe contact FIR audio, and ask Bogdan what he can recommend. He is very familiar with 64audio shells and can give you a good customization suggestion.