First off, I'd like to point out that the 1964-T is my first set of in-ear monitors (iem’s), so I can only compare to the full-size headphones that I own (namely Grado SR-80i and AKG k701). That said I’m fairly confident that I know what sounds good to me, however, if you disagree with my opinion for any reason please leave a comment and I’ll consider your opinion (though I may not agree ). Also, I’m not affiliated with any company; this review is just for fun and information not profit.
Anyway, on to the review...
Who are 1964 Ears?
1964 Ears are a fairly young company that produce custom in-ear monitors (amongst many other products, which can be seen here). They put emphasis on build quality and affordability. Their website is here and their Facebook page is here.
What’s the product?
The 1964-T is a custom fitted; triple driver iem (also offered are single, dual and quad driver versions). They come in a variety of colours (here) and customisation options, such as ambient tubes, custom artwork, etc. Mine are in translucent dragon red and don’t have any extra customisation (because I like ‘em plain. Call me boring). Included in the order is a customised hard case and soft pouch, 6.3mm to 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor, cleaning tool, lubricant and shirt clip.
Build Quality, fit and comfort
I would say that the build quality is excellent. There is not a single bubble anywhere or a scratch. My triples fitted when they arrived and nothing has changed since. The seal is perfect and doesn’t break unless I open my mouth as wide as I possibly can (this breaks the seal and makes me look a fool). They also passed the sensaphonics seal test (here), so no refits for me, thankfully. They are extremely comfortable, since I’ve never used an iem before, they felt a little strange at first, not uncomfortable just strange. Since then I’ve gotten used to them and now I really don’t notice them when I’m listening to them. Needless to say, since this is a custom fit product your experiences may differ.
Finally the important bit. First a few preliminaries;
Foobar 2k -> Arcam rDac (via usb) -> Little Dot mkiii -> 1964-T (obviously)
All music files are lossless FLAC
Overall, I found the 1964-T a pleasure to listen to over a variety of musical styles and genres. I found that the bass was slightly emphasised though not too much and I wouldn’t describe this as a bass heavy earphone. The midrange is very smooth and natural sounding. The highs were a little recessed but music still felt sharp and clear. The sound seemed very punchy and active from the 1964-T, sounds appeared from nowhere and disappeared again the instant they should have. The soundstage is comfortable,it isn’t as wide as I’m used to, though this is compared to the AKG k701 which has a huge soundstage (i.e. not a fair comparison ). The instrument separation was also a little lacking at times(and by that I mean a tiny bit lacking), but this led to a more relaxed and less analytical listening experience.
‘Time’ by ‘Pink Floyd’ from the album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.
The 1964-T handles this track very well. The bass is nicely full, the drums are punchy and it seems like David Gilmour is singing right in front of me. Unfortunately, The guitar does, at times, seem to overpower the rest of the track.
‘Modern Guilt’ by ‘Beck’ from the album ‘Modern Guilt’.
This track burts its’ way into your ears. The slightly emphasised bass of the 1964-T makes the music sound very natural. This natural sound carries through to Becks’ voice. The whole track feels very active and real. Can’t pick out a single bad point.
The album ‘Live in Paris’ by ‘Diana Krall’.
This album always blows me away and makes no exception with the 1964-T. Diana Kralls’ voice seems so smooth but also quite forceful. The bass of the 1964-T brings out the double bass extremely well. The only thing letting the 1964-T down on this album is its’ soundstage. While still a very enjoyable listen, I do wish I could have ‘placed’ the instruments a little more.
‘Granite’ by ‘Pendulum’ from the album ‘In Silico’.
The recessed treble of the 1964-T is a bit more noticeable in this track, but let’s face it; this track is all about speed and bass. In the latter two departments the 1964-T really delivers, handling every bass hit unbelievably, this is an extremely fun track to listen to.
Concerto for Violin and Strings in G minor, Op.8, No.2, R.315 'L'estate' - 3. Presto (Tempo impetuoso d'estate) composed by ‘Anotnio Vivaldi’ and performed by ‘The English Concert’ and composed by ‘Trevor Pinnock’.
The 1964-T handles the speed of the strings in this piece with ease. There is no noticeable loss in the highs. To my ears the 1964-T really brought out the harpsichord in this.
The 1964-T is, in my opinion, an excellent earphone. For the low price, I had expected some faults in the build and sound quality, but I have fortunately not found any. The 1964-T performs exactly as intended.
If I could choose again, I wouldn’t. 1964 Ears have been amazing and this iem is exactly what I wanted it to be; fun.
Edit: tried to make my review of the sound-stage more clear.
Edited by dom1610 - 3/27/11 at 2:57pm