A few weeks ago I sold my M8. Since I was using it with only CIEM's, I was kind of regretting the choice of 4pin XLR out (really should have gone with RSA). I figured I'd part with it and go back to my 5g iPod touch or DIY imod plus portable amp for awhile.
My portable amp (Pico Power) is fantastic, and sounds outstanding with my CIEM's when fed from my desktop converter and DAC. The iDevice alone (and the modded one) feeding the Pico Power/CIEM's doesn't sound bad, by any means, but absolutely falls flat on it's face compared to the M8.
What a step backwards. Ouch! So I'll say this- the M8 is outstanding. I had absolutely no complaints about the sound. Paired with my CIEM's, I continually noticed the inner clarity, sound stage, and punchy, clean bass. Just nothing lacking, really. For my preferences and expectations of a portable product, the M8 just gets it done.
Count in the flexibility (usb > optical converter, usb DAC, tone shaping) and it's a package you may not fully appreciate until it's gone!
I haven't written a review of the M8 yet, so consider this my review. Glowing? Yes. Appreciate the beauty and flexibility of this unit, folks.
All that said, I've just ordered a replacement M8. RSA out and low gain mod. Optimized for CIEM's. Again, the wait will begin. March I believe for more to begin shipping? I waited much longer for the first one. This will be a walk in the park.
And thanks Michael for the personal service. Top notch.
Now you need to figure out how to mini digital cables. Good luck with that....