I tried the Hifi-m8 at the Tokyo portable Headphone show today and met Michael.
The show was very populated with many booths, people and oodles! of gear.
Michael was as nice in person as he has been on these forums.
I was accompanied by my two year old son so could only listen for a short time so my impressions are rather superficial.
The unit was connected to a laptop and I used my ATH-ESW9, their balanced LCD(2?/3?) and some balanced beyerdynamic cans I believe.
The sound was as expected nice and clear, I could get enough power switching between the gains for each headphone to dive them enough. I could hear the subtle differences between 1ohm and 10ohm headphone output impedance by using the switch.
The bass and treble settings are very gentle and are not huge jumps which at first i found hard to notice, but after playing with them I could hear they hit the sweet spot. The bass doesn`t go into thumping bass overload the kids like on the highest setting, it also doesnt distort or get muddy. It is enough to give color and bass where needed.
The treble switch is nice and gentle also in its increments, it doesnt screech on the highest setting.
I did find myself turning up the volume quite far to get my preferred volume, I do like using low gain as a preference though. With the bigger cans I used more gain and it was enough power to reach a satisfactory volume.
Michael also asked for my feedback, i couldnt give anything definite due to being slightly distracted by my two year old, but I couldnt really pick out anything wrong.
My Fostex hp_p1 is warm sounding, burned in and also at 10ohms or HOI. The Hifi-M8 seems more clear and less colored, not to the point of sterile at all, just seems `true` sounding.
I wish I could have had more time to trial the unit but fatherhood called. Hopefully my brief impressions will be enough to satisfy my fellow headfiers. :)
Here is a picture of my Fostex hp_p1, the hifi-m8, my ATH-ESW9 and my sons deluxe version Anpanman toy.
The hifi-M8 is not as big as I thought it might be.
Edited by ExpatinJapan - 2/9/13 at 5:59am