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Reviewer at hxosplus
What a resounding debut
Pros: + Casual balanced tuning
+ Deep and impactful bass
+ Great bass technicalities
+ Excellent driver integration
+ Smooth but very resolving treble
+ Engaging and spacious mid-range
+ Natural timbre without artificiality
+ Open soundstage with stellar imaging
+ Great for all-rounder use
+ Attractive and luxurious
+ Very well made
+ Plenty of high quality accessories
+ Modular cable with three plugs
+ Excellent price to performance ratio
Cons: - Rather bulky ear-shells
- Not the most visceral and weighty bass
- Still another V-shaped tuning
I\O Audio Volare

I\O Audio is a new audio brand that debuts with a hybrid in-ear monitor named Volare. A rather unusual debut with a flagship product rather than something more affordable, this is a sign that I\O Audio are aiming high right from the start.

The I\O Volare has a nine driver array that combines one dynamic driver, four balanced armatures and four electrostatic drivers, thus using three different kinds of drivers for their respective frequency bands.

One dynamic driver is responsible for low-frequency and part of vocals, four balanced armature drivers ensure the timbre consistency, and four electrostatic drivers complete the high-frequency reinforcement. A driver configuration that completely covers the bandwidth within human hearing range.


Driver breakdown

The four high-voltage electrostatic drivers are made by the famous Danish brand Sonion and are usually used in much more expensive earphones. They have a unique sound structure and are able to offer a 40kHz upper high frequency extension with a bandwidth far beyond the hearing range.

The brand-new balanced armature drivers are custom made with the aim of reducing the excessive dependence of traditional balanced armature drivers on electronic frequency divider when achieving the target frequency response.

It took more than 1,000 hours for I\O Audio to develop their own, high-specification, 8mm silica gel suspension, birch dome dynamic driver dedicated to low frequencies. A design that successfully half lowers the bass distortion.


The crossover

The Volare adopts a brand-new, dual crossover structure that combines a 3-way physical and a 4-way electronic crossover system.

The strict sound nozzle design and the unique precise physical frequency crossover technology follow the principle of giving priority to the acoustic structure of the Volare. With the advanced micron-scale manufacturing technology, the dependence on electronic frequency crossover is successfully reduced.

The electronic frequency crossover of the Volare adopts a high-specification PCB design, and uses high-precision first-class resistors and capacitors to reduce the loss of sound quality caused by frequency crossover architecture.


Non Audio stuff

The I\O Audio Volare is a universal fit earphone that adopts a custom-like design that ensures a comfortable wearing experience despite the rather bulky ear-shells. The ear-shells are made from medical grade resin with a micron-level 3D printing technology in cooperation with HeyGears.

The manufacturing is of the highest quality, the Volare is a well made and beautiful looking set of earphones. From the faceplate with the creamy silver wavy patterns, to the all-black main body with the tiny silver granules and the gold printed Volare logo, everything looks premium and visually appealing. Passive noise attenuation is also very satisfying despite the venting port.

The Volare offers a tight and stable fit, it is comfortable and lightweight, suitable for extended listening sessions. An easy to wear, premium looking and luxurious set of earphones that has nothing to envy from other much more expensive flagship models by other brands.


Stock Cable

The high quality stock cable is made of 8-strands of mixed braided 6N OFC oxygen-free copper that is silver-plated. The cable is a little thick but soft and flexible while it doesn't induce any microphonic noise. The cable offers good handling and it doesn't get tangled. It uses the 2-pin 0.78mm interface and instead of the usual left and right markings you will find “I” and “O” ones that correspond to the same marks that are printed in each ear-shell. One point of criticism is that it doesn't have strain reliefs at the plugs.

This is a modular cable with interchangeable plugs, 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm options included in the package. The upper main part of the plug has a rather strange design with three elongated edges that protrude and sometimes the cable gets stacked on them. Except for this minor issue, this is a well made stock cable that you will not need to exchange for something else.



I seldomly care about the package but this one is worth mentioning because it offers a flagship level unboxing experience. The box has three drawers that you pull out to reveal the ear-tips, the cable and the manuals.

The Volare comes with five different types of ear-tips in three sizes each. They are I\O Audio branded and have specific code names. F49 wide-bore foam tips, TW43 wide-bore, ST50 medium-bore with stems, TW45 medium-bore and TT55 small-bore. All of them are single flange and offer the same kind of wearing comfort.


The package also includes a luxurious carrying case that looks like a jewelry presentation box. Don't forget to remove the inner part to make room for storing the Volare with its cable and a small USB DAC.

Power requirements

The Volare is rated at 4.8Ω with a sensitivity of 121dB/Vrms that roughly converts to 98dB/mW, thus making it not that easy to drive as one might think from the low impedance. Moreover the 4.8Ω impedance means that you are going to need a source with very low output impedance and capable of producing plenty of current at this given load without clipping. Not all portable USB DAC dongles can do that, they seldomly can provide much current below 16Ω and will not match well with the Volare. A high quality DAP or a battery powered USB DAC are much better options, not only for providing the necessary power but also because the Volare scales very well. I have mostly used the iBasso DX260 and the FiiO M15S.


Audio stuff

The I\O Audio Volare has a tuning that adheres to the Harman 2019 target curve with some clever and well executed deviations that make for a better tonal balance. The Volare has an elevated low-end with great sub-bass extension, that is not overpowering, slightly recessed but present mid-range and and a rather smooth but very resolving treble. Driver integration is also perfect, the sound is very cohesive and realistic from the bottom to the top of the frequency range, there is no audible timbre variation between the three different kinds of drivers.

The dynamic driver is not one of the largest available but is very effective in producing deep and surprisingly impactful bass that is fast, tight and controlled. It is punchy and quite weighty, not that visceral, thick or imposing but it has excellent definition and a crystalline clarity that helps a lot with layering and separation. The driver is very skilful, this is a textured bass with audiophile level technicallities that is suitable for critical listening.

The truth is that the mid-bass is slightly elevated above neutrality but it doesn't cloud or veil the mid-range, nor does it sound that tonally off. You can experiment with the included ear-tips to fine tune the mid-bass and make it more tonally accurate and a better match for listening to classical music and similar genres. I found the medium-bore ear-tips as the most balanced sounding but you are welcomed to experiment with your favorite ones.

The mid-range might appear as lacking when you browse frequency response measurements but it is actually very present and engaging. What matters the most is that the timbre is natural, the sound is colorful and harmonious, instruments and voices are reproduced with plenty of realism and a lifelike manner. The Volare cleverly avoids an excessive upper mid-range emphasis and as such it sounds fairly controlled without any annoying sibilance or shouting voices.
This is a vibrant, resolving and clean sounding earphone with mildly organic and analog textures, a feeling that is usually reserved for much more expensive earphones that use balanced armature drivers for the mid-range. Maybe this exceptional performance is related to the dynamic driver that handles a small portion of the lower mid-range.

Premium resolution and refinement are the highlights of the airy treble where the EST drivers are miraculous in producing a silky smooth yet vibrant and energetic sound that is open, luminous and transparent. Furthermore the textures are not too dry or lean as usually happens with EST drivers, the timbre is natural without any severe artificiality or metallic sheen. Instruments sound full bodied and weighty with a smooth decay, percussion instruments are reproduced with plenty of weight and not paper thin or light.


The Volare is resolving and refined with good extension and fine detail extraction but it doesn't sound analytical or sterile. The treble is quite natural, it is not bright or sharp, this is a set suitable for extended listening sessions without causing ear piercing fatigue. The Volare doesn't use its EST drivers to command attention on its own, it takes a step back to let the music flow and establish a sentimental contact with the listener.

The wide soundstage has stellar imaging and stereo separation on the horizontal plane. This is a very open sounding set of earphones but it is mildly lacking in depth layering and dimensionality. Still you can listen to the most demanding material without feeling congestion or missing ambient information.

The overall tonal balance and the great technical performance of the I\O Audio Volare make it a good all-rounder set. You can listen to all kinds of music and while it may not shine with some of them, it is also not going to disappoint either.



What a success for I\O Audio, these guys came from nowhere and they have managed to steer the market with their first born earphones. The I\O Volare is a flagship level debut, a magnificent set of earphones with a rather balanced tuning and great technicalities that pairs well with all kinds of music and is going to satisfy the majority of the users out there.

Comfortable, very well made, premium looking and with one of the most inclusive accessory packs, the I/O Audio Volare ticks all the boxes and offers outstanding value for money. This is easily one of the best earphones in the sub $1K category and it earns my strongest recommendation with flying colors. With such a tremendous debut, I\O Audio has established the basis for a very promising future.

The review sample was kindly provided free of charge. The price of the I\O Audio Volare is $599 and you can buy it from SHENZHENAUDIO.COM
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1000+ Head-Fier
Familiar Yet Magical Vibes
Pros: Refined and detailed V-shape tuning. Wonderful cable. Bunch of accessories.
Cons: Looks(maybe). Case is way too big.

As a huge fan of the Moondrop Variations and older THIEAUDIO Clairvoyance/Monarch MK2, I have a specific love for refined slightly V-shaped tuned IEMs. I’ve been out of the reviewing game for quite a few months due to dealing with our old apartment flooding and destroying mostly everything we owned so I’ve been excited to review something new since most of my gear is in storage. I was offered a chance to check out the new VOLARE from a new brand called I/O Audio. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I have to admit I was a huge fan on first listen which prompted me to dig out a few old IEMs since the VOLARE sounded familiar in a way. The VOLARE is a Tribrid IEM consisting of one Dynamic Driver, 4 Balanced Armatures and 4 Electrostatic Drivers. The VOLARE comes in at $599.00.

Quick shoutout to my friends over at @shenzhenaudio for sending a demo unit to check out and review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers or dealers, it never affects the rating of my reviews.

The I/O VOLARE can be pickup below:

Onto the review of the I/O VOLARE! My personal preference is a hybrid/tribrid IEM where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.

Gear Used​

IPhone 14 Pro Max with headphone adapter, iPad Pro M4 w/ Moondrop Moonriver 2 Ti, Moondrop Variations, THIEAUDIO Monarch MKII, Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400 desktop stack via Audirvana.

Looks and fit​

The shell has a unique design. I have a love-hate relationship with the shell since I really like the face plate but I’m not a fan of the shell color design. The shell has a really nice dark grey/black color that turns to a sparkling grey/white color when you look directly at a part of the shell. If it didn’t have the sparkle, I think I would like the shell more. On the flip side, it’s not a boring black shell so it gets a pass for being different. I think I would prefer a light grey flake or some type of other design in place of the sparkle. The faceplate reminds me of a grey leaf or something along those lines. It looks fancy and they put an I on the left side and O on the right side. When it comes to fitment, the shell is about medium sized with a 30-40 degree angle on the nozzle stem from the shell. I tend to have issues with nozzle angles like this and none of the provided tips quite held a seal in my ear for longer listening sessions. I swapped in some Spinfit W1 tips and that solved my issues for fitment. It’s lightweight and comfy for long sessions as long as I use my preferred tips.

Isolation and sound leakage​

Passive isolation is decent given the slightly bigger venting hole near the connector. I would say it will lower outside noise a bit but it still allows louder noises to come through. The sound leakage is noticeable at louder volumes and if you’re within a few feet of the IEMs in a quiet area but I would use these somewhere quiet without much worry. I would probably recommend just lowering the volume a bit in quiet areas.

Packaging and accessories​

The VOLARE comes in a big ol box that has a flip top and three drawers. While I really prefer a smaller package to save on paper waste or for storage purposes, I give the VOLARE a pass since this is I/O Audio’s first IEM which is also a flagship for them. Inside the top area of the box we get the IEMs inside the extremely oversized carrying case. Which I felt dumb as I had a hard time getting the top foam stuff inside the case out and almost thought it was meant to be there(it’s not). I would have preferred something smaller as I’m not able to fit the carrying case in my pockets or even my everyday sling bag I use for work. Next is the top drawer which houses the wonderful cable and three plugs for different source outputs. The second drawer had the tips inside and I’m happy they include 7 different tip sets. This allows for a good way to try and get a comfortable seal and possibly a deeper fitment(more on that in the sound section). Finally we have a drawer that has the quarter inch to 3.5mm adapter and a little sleeve with the warranty cards and user as well as a cleaning cloth and a “ownership VIP card” which has the serial number printed on it. I do like the design of the card which has an I on the front and O on the back(a common theme). I like that they include a good chunk of accessories and this was a very nice unboxing experience.



These final impressions were done off the Eversolo DAC-Z8 connected to the SMSL SP400. This desktop stack is what I use for the main sound impressions for all my reviews. I use this in combination with Audirvana and Roon. The SMSL SP400 has been in use since 01/2021 and the DAC-Z8 since 04/2023. These impressions are what the VOLARE sounded like to my ears. This was also using the Spinfit W1 tips. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The VOLARE has a V-ish shaped sound but it does sound very refined and well tuned. So much so that I assume the I/O brand must have a few industry people on the design team that knew what they were doing. The bass has a nice strong presence and thumps pretty well without overloading the lower mids. Sub-bass provides strong impact that sounds detailed and the mid-bass doesn’t sound muddy. Mids sounds pretty detailed but do sound a hair thicker which makes these sound a little warmer throughout the lower frequencies. The Vocals do come in clear and sound natural enough. I can hear a tiny bit of softness to female vocals on just a few tracks but it’s not common enough that It affects the vocal performance overall. The upper mids are pretty strong here and I found tip depth made quite the difference in how strong the sibilance can get. In my case, running Spinfit W1 tips at a deeper fit, caused the upper mid sibilance to disappear. With some of the stock tips at a further out fitment, I got quite a lot of sibilance which I wasn’t a fan of. When the sibilance is under control, I do find the details in instruments to be pretty good. The treble has some good bite and speed but it doesn’t sound much stronger than the upper mids which does make it sound a little better balanced to my ears. The resolution and detail retrieval in general are great in the upper frequencies so I found the overall sound to be quite resolving and fun.


Staging is slightly above average in width/depth. There is a good balance between width and depth which gives the sense of a normal soundstage to my ears. I found imaging stellar and even with the strong bass hits, I could still pick out specific placements of sounds in busy tracks. While not anything special, staging and imaging get a thumbs up.


The VOLARE isn’t hard to drive but does like a little power. It hovered around 27-30(out of 99) volume on my headphone amp via the balanced output which is a little above average in power required to get a volume I like compared to other IEMs. Like most modern hybrids, the VOLARE isn’t sensitive and shows no floor noise on any source gear I tried it with.

Stock cable​

The stock cable has a black matte finish and the cables have a rubber feel that doesn’t reflect much light which makes it feel higher quality compared to other cables that go for a 8-weave black rubber look. The 2 pin connectors have an I and O listed on their respective left/right sides. The plug end is a QD system and uses a rather fancy black “crown-like” design that makes screwing and unscrewing easier. The gold accents on the plug inner housing doesn’t quite match the IEM shells but I’ll give it a pass for looking good. The cable is pretty lightweight for a 8-weave and I found the soft rubber ear guides very comfortable for longer listening sessions. I would leave the cable alone unless you have a preference for a different cable design.

IEM comparisons​

Moondrop Variations​

Both the Variations and VOLARE have a somewhat familiar tuning. Though I would consider the VOLARE the more detailed of the two. The bass is thicker sounding on the Variations while the VOLARE keeps things a little more tamed which overall sounds a little better balanced for a strong bass presentation. The mids on both are clear with the VOLARE coming in just a little meatier than the Variations. I think both sound fine here and when it comes to vocals, I think the VOLARE tends to sound a little clearer than the Variations which has a slight haziness to the vocals. The upper mids are strong on both and while neither one causes me any fatiguing issues with my preferred tips, I still find the VOLARE has a little sharper sibilance on some tracks. The treble is noticeably stronger on the VOLARE and I think it also pulls in better details. The speed and sharpness sound a little artificial on the Variations but this could be due to the older but still decent quality EST drives being used in the Variations. Both do sound stage well but I think the Variations do sound a little wider.


When you run the two IEMs back to back, I find they sound quite different in tuning but they do sound about the same in terms of detail retrieval and overall resolution. Which is quite the compliment to the VOLARE seeing as it comes in $400 bucks less. These two however have tunings for different listeners. The bass is substantially stronger and fuller sounding on the VOLARE where the Monarch has a respectable but more tame bass response. Both do bass well but the VOLARE really lets you know that it’s ready to party on tracks with focused added bass. The mids are clearer and more detailed on the Monarch MK II and vocals also sound more detailed and natural on the Monarch MK II. The upper mids are better balanced on the Monarch as well. The treble sounds about the same between the two but both manage to pull in details really well with the Monarch pulling in little micro details a bit better. I always forget how great the Monarch MK II sounds as I can only listen to it for a bit before the nozzle angles cause too much fatigue in my ears. I think fans of neutral-bright tunings will find the Monarch MK II and probably the MK III a better option. For the every day and every genre listener who likes a little more bass, the VOLARE sounds so much more forgiving and brings way more smiles to my face whenever I listen to both.

Amping Combinations​

Moondrop MoonRiver 2 Ti​

The little Moondriver 2 Ti is my daily on the go dongle when I’m at work or in the living room relaxing. The MR2 Ti has a slightly warm tuning which compliments the VOLARE quite well IMO. The bass sounds slightly warmer without adding any extra bass impact. The mids are detailed but just a hair softer in presentation and vocals still retain their mostly natural sound. The upper mids are still strong but with a little better control. The treble is well maintained but does sound a little stronger here compared to the upper mids with this pairing which makes the perceived detail a little better. Staging is pretty balanced still though I feel it sounds a little wider than my desktop setup which I tend to notice with the MR2 Ti in general. A great pairing and I enjoy using this pairing away from my desktop.

Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400​

As mentioned in my sound impressions, this is the main stack I used for my overall impressions of the VOLARE. While I found I got the best performance from this setup for the VOLARE, I was also very happy with the performance the portable MR2 Ti was able to provide. I don’t think a big desktop unit is needed but if you already have a nice desktop setup, I think a good desktop stack will give a little extra performance to the VOLARE.

Overall thoughts​

I really like the VOLARE and I think most people will enjoy these IEMs with little to no complaints. This set manages to be detailed and yet fun sounding in terms of tuning. I do believe these are worth a recommendation and they’re worth a listen if given the chance to check them out! This falls into line with some of my favorite IEMs and I find myself constantly listening to the VOLARE as my daily IEM over my more expensive IEMs. Great job to the team at I/O for a first IEM that is a real treat to listen to! I’m very interested in seeing what they bring out next! Thanks for reading!!
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Nice, detailed and polite review.
Thank you !
I recently tried a set belonging to a friend. I also found this to be an excellent set. Nice review!
Just to chime in, listening to EDM on these is pretty surreal. The effects are crystal clear and pop all around your head, the bass is tight and punch and sounds like a night club. The midrange is also sweet and detailed so everything comes across clear and natural. If you have these listen to Bad Memories by MEDUZA (David Guetta Remix) & Sickness or Fable by Retrika. :darthsmile:


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