AFUL Performer 8

mochill

Headphoneus Supremus
Neutral with a cup of bass
Pros: Build , sound , fit
Cons: Picky boy , price.
Aful has been a hype train since the performer 5 in USA but they have been out longer in China before heading to USA. They took all their famous iems and retuned them for USA and they were hit. All of the international model has better bass and treble and cost more as well. For me I'd love to have that tuning for USA but be got use what we are giving. And I loved the tuning of the p5 alot when p8 was announced I went about and bought it. It feels more premium and cable looked better. Same tips and case. Priced around $100 more for a more balanced sound the the little brother. Also I noticed it's source dependent so it can sound different with different quality stuff. Such as tips , cable and sources file will sound different.

Sound:

Bass: comparing bass on p8 to p5 I can say p5 was bigger and had rumble and texture and thickness, while p8 is less thick and more tighter and textured with better speed. It feels lighter and more agile I I wish for more bass with every song. P5 was closer to my desired bass craving but still wanting just a bit more.

Midrange/vocal:
The midrange of p5 versus p8 being the p5 having more midrange and more forward vocals made the p5 better to me because it sounds so natural and real while I say the p8 less midrange and vocals are less forward the p5 making the sound less real and thinner . They can sound mushy sometimes and sometimes clear and thin depending on the recording.

Treble :
The treble on p5 versus p8 being p5 was better extended the p8 having better details on the highs and sound clear while p8 sound super smooth and recessed and mushy. Not so clear like p5.

Soundstage:
The soundstage of p5 versus p8 being they are equal but different because the tuning make different tone and quality. The p5 having more bass And treble makes sound more clear and detailed and opening sounding and the p8 sounds smoother but just as open and thicker sounding as well.


Conclusion:

If I had to choose I'd choose p5 as I gravitate towards that tuning more , it has more excitement and p8 being neutral with bass is more monitor tuned which is ok and all for people who wants neutrality and not enjoying themselves. I've bought mine from hifigo.

https://hifigo.com/products/aful-pe...74735&pr_ref_pid=7914921689327&pr_seq=uniform
AFUL Acoustics Performer 8/Performer8 1DD+ 7BA Driver in-Ear Monitors, Masterpieces Hybrid Drivers IEMs in-Ear Earphones with Easy Driveability (Performer 8) https://a.co/d/gWF3bnc

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szore
szore
Surprised you choose the P5... I find the 8 smoother and richer...but I too always want more bass from the P8, the 5 had a nice sub bass rumble, no doubt! :)

abheybir

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Balanced Sound Signature
Tonality and Overall Technicalities
Comfortable for long listening
Cons: Depth felt a little shy
No Balanced/Modular Cable
Introduction:
The AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEM has taken the audio community by storm with its promise of delivering an excellent auditory experience. I had got chance to listen to it at one of my local audiophile meetups.

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Build and Design:
The AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEMs exude a sense of luxury and craftsmanship from the moment you hold them in your hands. The build quality is good, it has an ergonomic design that ensures a comfortable fit even during extended listening sessions. The housing is made of premium materials that not only contribute to their durability but also minimize unwanted resonance, allowing the IEMs to reproduce sound with good clarity.

Sound Quality:
The AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEMs' standout feature is their sound quality. Equipped with eight carefully tuned drivers (7BA+1DD Hybrid Configuration), these IEMs produce a good audio experience. The bass is deep, tight, and controlled, providing a satisfying foundation to the music without overpowering the other frequencies. The mids are rich and articulate, capturing intricate vocal nuances and instrument details with astonishing precision. The highs are crisp, and airy, and extend gracefully, adding a layer of brilliance to the overall sound signature.

AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEMs also have a wide and immersive soundstage. Whether it's a live concert recording or a studio album, these IEMs manage to replicate the spatial characteristics. This makes instruments and vocals positioned precisely within the auditory landscape. The depth on the other hand is average.

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Comfort and Fit:
Comfort is paramount during long listening sessions, and the AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEMs excel in this aspect. The ergonomic design, along with a variety of included ear tips, ensures a snug fit that effectively isolates external noise. I was able to wear them for hours without experiencing any discomfort or fatigue, making them suitable for both casual listening and professional use.

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Conclusion: The AFUL PERFORMER 8 IEMs have undoubtedly raised the bar for in-ear monitors. With good build quality, superior sound reproduction, and a comfortable fit, these IEMs are a must-have for music enthusiasts who demand an overall package. The attention to detail in both design and sound engineering is evident, resulting in a product that offers a truly immersive and captivating listening experience.

rishminder

New Head-Fier
These should get a lot more praise then they are getting
Pros: Bass response
sound signature
fit and comfort
value for money
Cons: treble could have been a bit more extended
there should have bene a balanced cable at this price
I got my hands on these during a meetup thanks to Pulkit Chugh (he is the one who pushed me down the audiophile rabbit hole).

What follows are my initial impressions rather than a comprehensive review. I had hoped to spend more time with this pair, but unfortunately, I haven't been able to manage that. Without further delay, here are my initial impressions:

I paired these earphones with the IFI GO Bar and Fiio KA5 and used Apple Music on my S22 Ultra as the source.

Upon listening, I found these IEMs to be well-suited to my personal preferences. Right away, I noticed that they delivered the sound I had been anticipating from the Blessing 2. The bass response and overall sound signature appealed to me, and I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort despite the presence of multiple drivers in each earpiece. Had I come across these before investing heavily in the UM MEST MK2, I would likely have chosen these instead. As the title of my review suggests, I'm puzzled as to why these earphones aren't receiving more recognition.

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Zeeya

New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 8 – The Bass King
Pros: • Very powerful bass
• Juicy mids and vocals
• Balanced sound signature
• Rich highs and no sibilance
Cons: • Slightly lacks the treble extension of BA setup
• Too soft to my taste and lacks airiness
• No balanced cable provided in the box for the price
INTRODUCTION

First of all I would like to thank @gadgetgod @hifigo for considering me as a part of this review tour in India. The views here are purely in my perspective.

BUILD & COMFORT

AFUL Performer 8 consists of 8 drivers in all, 1 Dynamic Driver and 7 Balanced Armature setup. The shells are lightweight and has ergonomic shape which makes it ideal for long listening hours. The faceplates look very elegant and are eye catching with nice unique texture and color.

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IN THE BOX

AFUL Performer 8 comes with standard 3.5mm termination High-Purity Monocrystalline Copper Silver-Plated Cable with 2 pin connectors and nice round shaped carry case and few ear tips.

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SOUND

Bass


The low end on AFUL Performer 8 is well rounded, the punch and slam are notable in every genre of music.

Midrange

This set has very juicy and meaty vocals. Overall, it has warm tonality to the mids with great energy. I feel this is the strength of AFUL Performer 8.

Treble

AFUL Performer 8 has well extended highs and it is not harsh or sibilant in anyway, but it lacks the shine and extension that BA IEMs are usually produce and slightly lacks that extra energy in the high frequency range and I would say.

SOUNDSTAGE

The soundstage produced by AFUL Performer 8 is not very wide or deep but expansive & spacious enough for the casual listening. The imaging is accurate and instruments are well separated.

GEAR USED

FiiO M11 Plus LTD, Xduoo XD-05 BAL, SMSL SU-9, Topping A90.

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CONCLUSION

AFUL Performer 8 is very well built, ergonomic, light weight IEMs which can be used on the go. The sound produced by this set is well rounded and not harsh at all.

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vineetkrshukla95

New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 8 IEM - A Powerful Balanced Sound with added BassBoost
Pros: Balanced Sound with Enhanced Clarity and Soundstage added Bassboost
If balanced cable used, it has amazing soundstage
Cons: Bassboost
Introduction:
I would like to extend my gratitude to Pulkit Chugh for giving me the opportunity to experience the AFUL Performer 8 in-ear monitors (IEMs). As an avid audiophile, I was eagerly anticipating the chance to audition these IEMs and put them through their paces. In this review, I'll dive into the design, fit, technical performance, and make some interesting comparisons to other popular models.

Design and Fit:
The AFUL Performer 8 impresses with its exceptional design and lightweight build. The IEMs sit comfortably in the ears, allowing for extended listening sessions without any discomfort. The ergonomic design ensures a secure fit, making them suitable for active use as well.

Technical Performance:
The AFUL Performer 8 offers a balanced sound with a well-executed bass boost. The resulting audio is clear, crisp, and highly enjoyable. Comparing it to its predecessor, the Performer 5, the P8 showcases greater clarity and a more expansive soundstage. Additionally, when paired with a 4.4mm balanced cable, the bass is better controlled, and the soundstage opens up even further, elevating the listening experience.

Setup 1: m15:
With the m15 player, the AFUL Performer 8 delivers an impressive soundstage expansion and tighter bass control. The added clarity enhances the overall listening experience, making it a delightful setup for audiophiles seeking an immersive musical journey.

Setup 2: Tempotec V6:
When connected to the Tempotec V6, the AFUL Performer 8 exhibits smooth bass performance, creating a pleasant musical presentation that captivates the listener. The pairing proves to be an excellent choice for extended listening sessions, allowing you to enjoy your favorite tunes for hours on end.

Comparison: AFUL Performer 8 vs. Blessing 2:
Drawing a comparison to the Blessing 2, another popular IEM, reveals some interesting insights. While both models impress with their clarity and tuning, the AFUL Performer 8 stands out with its enhanced bass presence. The Blessing 2 may have a tighter bass response and superb clarity, making it ideal for specific tunings. However, if you enjoy a little more low-end emphasis without compromising clarity, the AFUL Performer 8 could be your perfect companion.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the AFUL Performer 8 IEMs showcase a balanced and powerful sound with a delightful bass boost. The design and lightweight build ensure a comfortable fit, while the enhanced clarity and soundstage make for an immersive listening experience. Whether paired with the m15 or Tempotec V6, the AFUL Performer 8 performs exceptionally well, meeting the demands of audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike. For those who appreciate a tad more bass presence than the Blessing 2 offers, the AFUL Performer 8 stands as an excellent choice, taking your musical journey to new heights. Once again, my thanks to Pulkit Chugh for this enriching experience.

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hokagoteatimereviews
hokagoteatimereviews
Great review. I like what aful is doing, I personally would have liked to see an interchangeable plugs.

ShabtabQ

100+ Head-Fier
The Daily Performer
Pros: Tonality is natural and organic, smooth listening experience, no fatigue whatsoever
Mids are organic and feels just right
Bass is rumbly and punchy (A tad more control would have been perfect for me)
Comfort (good nozzle size unlike B2)
Imaging (great with sound accuracy in games)
Cons: Soundstage (Feels slightly intimate)
Highs (Lacks airiness)
Introduction
I recently had the pleasure of trying out the Aful Performer 8 (Thanks to Hifigo and @gadgetgod), and I must say, these in-ear monitors (IEMs) have exceeded my expectations in every aspect. Aful has truly crafted a masterpiece with the Performer 8, catering to the discerning audiophile and professional musician alike. I wish to state clearly at first that, as a participant in this, I was not persuaded to have any sort of biases towards the review, therefore, all opinions are solely my own.

Setup:
Hiby RS2 (Warm Source):
The Hiby RS2, whose warm tone is renowned, may alter how the Aful Performer 8 presents sound in general. Combining the IEMs with a warm source like the RS2 boosts the lower frequencies, giving the music additional warmth and body since the IEMs already have a balanced sound profile. This combination may be quite attractive for individuals who prefer a more relaxed and seamless listening experience. Vocals and instruments sound more full-bodied due to the additional richness the midrange may acquire.
E1DA 9038D (Lean Source): In comparison, the E1DA 9038D might offer some contrasting qualities to the Aful Performer 8 due to its lean sound signature. The leaner source highlights greater clarity and detail in the middle and treble frequencies since the IEMs already have a balanced sound. This might provide a clearer, more analytical sound that is perfect for audiophiles who value precision and clarity in their listening experiences. A tighter and more regulated bass response may arise from the lows not being as prominent.
Overall the impact from these two sources was minor, without any major change in sound characteristics, and one may not even notice if not A/B'd instantly.

Build and Comfort:
Starting with the build quality, the Aful Performer 8 impresses with its sturdy construction and attention to detail. The IEMs feel premium in hand and have a reliable, tangle-free cable. The ergonomic design fits comfortably in the ears, providing an excellent seal that isolates outside noise effectively. Even during prolonged listening sessions, I experienced no discomfort or fatigue, making them perfect for extended use, Although I would like if there were different faceplate options, maybe full blackout.

Sound:
The real magic of the Aful Performer 8 lies in its sound signature. The eight-driver configuration delivers an astonishingly clear, detailed, and balanced sound that delights the senses.
Lows: are tight and punchy, providing a solid foundation to the music without overpowering other frequencies, the sub-bass has good rumble, and the bass is overall great but could be overwhelming in some music for me; I would prefer a bit more control; but it's pretty enjoyable, and will not offend anyone.
Mids: are wonderfully warm and rich, offering an engaging experience for vocals and instruments; this is where this IEM shines the most.
Highs: are well-extended, adding brilliance without harshness or sibilance. Still, I would add that the IEM lacks some airiness and the incisiveness of fast instruments; overall, I would not say that the IEM lacks details. Still, details are overall smoother; nonetheless, this type of tuning allows the IEM to be enjoyable for a long period of time without any fatigue.

Soundstage:
Although the Aful Performer 8's soundstage is nice, I must admit that it falls short of being spectacular. The soundstage is wide and deep enough, but it doesn't have the expansiveness that some other high-end IEMs have. Even yet, the imagery is precise, enabling us to recognise various instruments and their positioning within the aural environment.

Versatility:
The Aful Performer 8 excels in various musical genres, giving it a flexible choice for artists and audiophiles alike. Regardless of your musical preferences—rock, jazz, classical, electronic, hip-hop, instrumental, vocals, or pop—these IEMs provide a satisfying and well-balanced listening experience. Basically, this IEM is an all-rounder, a perfect IEM for daily usage.
My listening tracks were mainly Yosi Horikawa, Soweto (Don Toliver), Flowers (Miley Cyrus), People (Libianca), HipHop by Akon, Eminem and Divine. Bili Eilish (Happier than Ever album), and a few Bollywood tracks like Masakali, Kehna hi kya etc...

Comparison:
Blessing 2:
A relatively very old IEM, yet still one of the best I have ever heard. So in quick comparison, the primary difference lies in the Bass and Treble region; while the mids are somewhat similar, the B2 mids are spacious, and the soundstage in comparison is quite wide. P8 vocals are more in the face kind of, and B2 places the vocals at a distance, however, both of them have equally impressive texture on mids so one can go with either and not get disappointed. Bass is very different on both of these; B2 bass is mostly concentrated on its upper register while it lacks a good sub-bass rumble and mid-bass thump I would consider it more of a studio-like bass, in comparison the P8 has fuller rumbling and punchy bass, the bass on P8 is more theatrical and enjoyable. Coming to the highs, I would say that I am more impressed with the treble coming from B2 only because of that airiness and openness, the separation feels more clear and the instruments are more incisive, However P8 by no means has bad treble it is equally good as B2, but with a different taste, they both share an equal amount of detail and technical definition, P8 being more smoothed out thus making it more enjoyable for longer and comfortable listening.

Conclusion:
The Aful Performer 8 is an impressive pair of IEMs with remarkable sound quality and comfort. While the soundstage might not be as expansive as some competitors, it compensates with its well-balanced sound signature and accurate imaging. The Performer 8 is definitely worth considering. Its premium build, comfort, and overall sound performance make it a solid choice for those seeking a high-quality audio experience without breaking the bank.

Rating Scores:
Sound Quality:

Low Frequency (Bass): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4.5/5) (I would prefer a tad bit more control)
Mid Frequency: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)
High Frequency (Treble): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) (I would prefer more airiness and incisiveness)

Comfort:
Fit and Ergonomics: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)
Prolonged Wear Comfort: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Soundstage and Imaging:
Soundstage Width: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)
Soundstage Depth: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)
Imaging Accuracy: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) (An excellent choice for gamers, I did some testing in Valorant and BGMI, and it had pinpoint accuracy)

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)
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hokagoteatimereviews
hokagoteatimereviews
Great review! brief and good!

sarkar1990

New Head-Fier
Solid Performer!
Pros: Sub-bass is great
On point imaging
Lush and rich sound signature
Well-extended, non-sibilant highs
Cons: Male vocals could carry some more weight/warmth
Touch of BA timbre (more on this later)
First of all, I would like to thank Hifigo for sponsoring the review tour in India. I would also like to extend my gratitude to @gadgetgod for his assistance in facilitating my participation in this review tour. As a participant in this tour, I want to acknowledge that I have not been influenced in expressing my honest opinion.


LOOK AND FEEL:


The IEMs are 1DD and 7BA on each side. However, the size is quite small considering all the tech inside. They fit very well and I could listen to them for extended sessions without any discomfort or fatigue. The cable is of great quality and I feel it suits the IEM and its signature very well.

The IEM comes with a round faux leather case that has a soft lining on the inside.

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SOUND:


Overall: Balance sound, tonality is natural, timbre has the hint of BA harshness (you will get used to it quickly). Overall sound signature is lush and rich, but I would have enjoyed a tad bit more warmth and weight in the male vocals. The bass is both punchy and rumbly (sub and midbass are great), and does not muddy the mids and vocals. The treble is well extended, and the cymbals sound sparkly. Also, it is smooth and not sibilant or hissy.

I don't think one can go wrong with this IEM. It's a very safe tuning that won't offend anyone.

Details and resolution are on-point. The slight breaths in between songs (like 2:15 of Cradled in Love) come out very subtly. Same with fingers sliding on guitar strings.

The stage is average, nothing spectacular or out-of-the-head experience, but I am yet to hear an IEM that blows me away in this aspect. I enjoy my earbuds when I want to experience the stage more than details/resolution. However, imaging is good along with decent layering. Separation is average. Using a 4.4mm balanced cable, the stage opens up quite a bit.

The dynamics are decent and average. The initial attack on notes is clear but there is a certain rounded feel to the sound, which could be crisper (not a con for me as I love a little laidback listening).

Songs that I listened to for the review:

Awari: Male vocals seem a little off. They need a little more weight. Subbass is there. Does not bleed into the mids. The BA timbre is there.. less than P5 but it is still noticeable for someone who uses DD's exclusively. Nothing that will be a dealbreaker and if you're used to BA sets, then it won't be a problem. After some time, one gets used to the timbre. Drums hit hard! Female vocals sound great. Treble extension is also great.



Maula Mere Maula: Same. Male vocals need more weight.



Maula (Jism-2): Cellos sound like it is in the same room. Layering is on-point. Cymbals shine!



Carnival of Rust: Strings sound organic. There is air at the top and some sparkle.



I would rate this a solid 3.8 out of 5 for my taste.

kushgurjar8

New Head-Fier
Aful Performer 8
Pros: 1)Very balanced and natural tuning
2)Premium build and looks
3)That bass is refined, tight and punchy
4)Ergonomic fit
Cons: 1)Basic package (could've used a modular cable at this price)
2)Mediocre stock tips
3)the stage is not the Largest
Thanks @hifigo for Aful p8 audition tour in India.

"AFUL Performer 8 "

SETUP :::
My review setup includes the Shanling M7 DAP, Topping NX7 amp, Stock cable, AZLA Sedna light ear tips, and Tidal & Apple music as sources.
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TRACKS :::
The tracks used while reviewing it are as follows,

1) GO- Burak Yeter
2) Six Feet Under - The weeknd
3) Karma - Summer Walker
4) Bones - Imagine dragon
5) Kesariya - arijit singh
6) Jolene - Dolly Parton and Miley cyrus
7) Troubled souls - Jack Savoretti
8) My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion


BUILD and FIT :::
Build quality is excellent. The P8 comes in a 3D-printed resin shell standard for multiple driver IEMs. The IEMs themselves are very light and are small/medium in size. They are very ergonomic and are among the best-fitting IEMs I have tried.
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SOUND :::
The Performer 8 stands out with its natural and warm tonality. It can effortlessly drive any device I connect it to, even managing to drive from my Oneplus 8 pro without a hitch. Personally, I find tuning of Performer 8 boasts a noticeable warmth, striking a well-balanced sound signature that proves versatile across different genres. It successfully avoids the harsh treble extension.
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BASS :::
I would describe the lower frequencies as well-balanced, with neither overpowering the other. The sub-bass offers impressive depth and extension, while the mid-bass is tight and delivers a satisfying punch.

MIDS :::
The mids are pleasing and warm sounding. The vocals sound natural, rich, and immersive.

TREBLE :::
The treble on the P8 is well-extended with a good amount of air and sparkle. It's pleasant and smooth, perhaps with a slight brightness, but no sibilance to my ears.

SOUNDSTAGE :::
The stage is average. It is not particularly wide, but there is some depth.
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CONCLUSION :::
The AFUL Performer 8 is an excellent IEM, and it gets my recommendation for anyone looking for a very well-tuned IEM that is easy to pick up and listen to. And while it isn't a technical monster by any means, the well-balanced, lush tuning of the P8 handled every song I threw at it in stride with great detail retrieval.

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JQuB3

New Head-Fier
AFUL Performer 8 - Perfect for your next daily driver
Pros: Good tonality.
Lucious mids.
Lightweight and ergonomic earpieces.
Good bass response.
Cons: Could include better ear tips.
Faceplates similar to Performer 5 (kinda boring)
Although the staging is better than AP5, it has scope for improvement, especially considering the competition at this price point.
Aful Performer 8

Introduction

The Aful Performer 8 is the latest IEM from Aful Acoustics, which also happens to be their flagship IEM, thereby, outperforming the Aful Performer 5. The Aful Performer 8 (AP8 henceforth) comes with a hybrid configuration of 1 dynamic driver and 7 balanced armature drivers. The 8mm dynamic driver comprises of a biological diaphragm that supposedly delivers powerful bass. The 7 BA drivers have been interestingly divided, with 2 of them handling low frequencies, 2 other BA drivers have been assigned to handle the midrange, and three customized high-performance BA drivers have been assigned to handle the high frequencies. There’s a bunch of jargon in the marketing material that I shall paste here, just to help provide a convenient overview before I delve into my subjective take on the IEM.



Features / Jargon

  • 7BA+1DD High-Performance Hybrid Configuration.
  • 8mm Dynamic Driver with Biological Diaphragm.
  • Customized High-Performance Balanced Armature Drivers.
  • Enhanced 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure.
  • Ultra-Long Low-Frequency Acoustic Tube
  • RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology.
  • High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance Technology.
  • Balanced Sound Tuning with Tight Lower-End, Clear Midrange, and Extended Treble Response.
  • Ideal for Most Genres of Music.
  • Exquisite New Looks with Eye-Catchy Face Covers.
  • Ergonomic & Lightweight Cavities.
  • High-Purity Monocrystalline Copper Silver-Plated Cable.
  • Impedance: 30Ω.
  • Sensitivity: 115dB@1kHz.
  • Frequency Response Range: 5Hz-35kHz.
  • Passive Noise Reduction: 26dB.
  • Standard 2-pin Connectors.
Disclaimer:

Alas, another thing I’d like to highlight before we proceed with my subjective impressions, is the following disclaimer.

The Aful Performer 8 was sent to me as part of a review tour organized in my country by HifiGo. The unit was a loaner for an audition in exchange for my honest opinion based on my musical taste and audio gear. There has been no monetary transaction or influence (or pressure) to write anything positive (or negative) about the IEM. The views expressed in this writeup, are solely mine and are based on my usage of the IEM for a week or so. The IEM can be purchased from HifiGo here:

https://hifigo.com/products/aful-performer8

(The link is not affiliated; hence, I don’t get anything if you use the link to visit the page or purchase the IEM from HiFiGo. The link has only been pasted here for your convenience, though chances are you already have this link opened in another tab in the background. 😊)


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Build & Aesthetics

The unit I received came with a cable with a 3.5mm SE termination. For the purpose of this review, I used a FiiO LS-2.5D silver litz cable with a 2.5mm balanced termination and a DDhifi DJ44AG converter, so I could use the cable with sources that had a 4.4mm balanced output. The primary reason I chose to go with a balanced cable was that the single-ended output on both my DAPs (Sony NW-ZX707 and Hiby R6 Pro II) was rather limited in terms of power and the IEM sounded kind of shouty in the upper mids with the stock cable which has a 3.5mm SE termination.

Coming to the build and aesthetics, the IEM has resin shells that are lightweight and not too large, hence resulting in a comfortable fit. The faceplates resemble AP5 in terms of visuals and the overall shape also seems to be in line with AP5. The stock cable is an SPC that seems to be of good quality. The cable comes with an option of either a 3.5mm SE termination or a 4.4mm BAL termination, which one can choose while buying. As mentioned earlier, the unit I received came with a 3.5mm SE cable, which I swapped with a FiiO LS2.5D attached to a DJ44AG converter to make it compatible with my DAPs that come with a 4.4mm Balanced output. In terms of ear tips, the IEM comes with 3 pairs each of wide-bore and narrow-bore silicon ear tips, which seemed to be standard. Nothing fancy like SpinFits, Azla, Spiral Dots, HS18, and the like. For this review, I chose to go with Flare Audio Audiophile memory foam tips, since they sounded quite like the packed-in wide-bore silicon tips but were far more comfortable.

The IEM comes with a round faux-leather case that seemed to be inspired by the one that comes with FiR audio signature series IEMs.


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Sound

The sound signature of the AP8 is neutral with a hint of bass boost. The bass has good physicality and unlike the AP5, the bass on the AP8 is well-textured with a fair amount of detail.



Unlike the AP5, the mids on the AP8 are quite organic and are somewhat of a highlight of the AP8. The vocals manage to grab your attention, without being overpowered by the bass and treble. The vocals are clean for the most part with good timbre. Notes have sufficient heft and linger around for just about the right time. All in all, the mids are breezy, and manage to convey the emotions just as they were intended by the vocalist. Going back to a track that I used to test the vocals on the AP5, this time around, the vocals of this track, “Aankhon Mein Raho – Company” were mesmerizing. If you’re someone who enjoys mid-centric / vocal-based tracks, I’d genuinely recommend the AP8 as a potential candidate for your next IEM.




When compared to AP5, the AP8 has certainly improved in terms of treble response. There is a very good amount of detail with just about the right amount of sparkle and a fair sense of airiness all over. IEMs tend to go bright and often get somewhat crisp and shouty when the treble is so detailed, but the AP8 has very good control over the treble response.

In terms of soundstage too, there is a significant upgrade here when compared to AP5. I’d say the imaging has better precision in comparison and overall, AP8 is a significant improvement over AP5 in terms of technicalities. That being said, it still has scope for improvement especially when compared to the competition at this price point.

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Conclusion:

Balanced sound, lightweight earpieces, good bass response with delicious mids, and well-detailed treble. All of these properties make the AP8 a great candidate for a daily driver. The sound isn’t too fatiguing and should support long listening sessions. If you’re someone who enjoys mid-centric / vocal-based tracks, I’d genuinely recommend the AP8 as a potential candidate for your next IEM.
Just a reminder that my observations are based on a different cable from the stock one because I wanted to use a balanced cable to get the best out of my DAPs. Perhaps, the stock cable with a 4.4mm termination may yield similar results.
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Pavan Kumar

New Head-Fier
Aful Performer 8 – Full-bodied Musical Extravaganza
Pros: - Details!! Details!! Details!! - Nothing I'm missing in the entire frequency spectrum, unlike any other IEM I heard before.
- Very natural and organic sounding
- No hint of a BA timbre
- Excellent Note weight
- Excellent resolution and layering
- Highly resolving mids
- Energetic, lively, and articulate vocals and their decays
- Fantastic Instrument timbre
- Quite versatile across any genre
- Easy to drive and scales really well.
- Great Sub-bass texture, rumble that extends deep
- Super clean bass; Superb punch and slam when called upon
- Fantastic treble performance – smooth, detailed, and fatigue-free
- Highly musical and analytical
- Above-average soundstage and precise imaging
- Great Coherency.
Cons: - Airiness in the treble region could have been better. (Minor one)
- Stock tips could be of varied sizes.
- No modular cable for the price.
I purchased the unit by contacting Aful Acoustics and Hifigo. It was shipped to me earlier than the retail units in exchange for my honest impressions/ review. Thanks to both Aful Acoustics and Hifigo for facilitating this purchase and highly appreciated. I was not affiliated with Aful or the Hifigo in any way.

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Detailed final impressions/ Review:
Aful Performer 8 (hereinafter referred to as AP8) comes with 7 BA and 1 DD drivers per side hybrid configuration - DD (8mm) for the bass, 2 BA for lower mid-range, 2 BA for the mids, 3 BA for the highs. I have listened for more than 300 hours (close to 400 I believe) for the last 20 days whenever I could. Went to sleep, wearing it on a daily basis. Found them very comfortable for long wear. I enjoyed them thoroughly be it instrumental tracks, vocals, movies, or games. They have a neutral tonality with a bass boost (very mildly warm), a wide enough soundstage, and precise imaging that works great with movies and games. They have fantastic tone, instrument timbre, vocals, and note weight that makes them quite versatile across various genres. My listening has been with Tempotec V6 DAP paired with Topping NX7 for most of the time. Also, have paired with Abigail which sounded really well. They are pretty easy to drive and scale really well with more power. My favorite has been when I paired with Topping NX7. My impressions when I received the unit and at the time of this writing are mostly the same but with a few major improvements. The main differences I noticed are with the Mid-bass punch and slam, note weight density, depth, and vocal clarity. There are no downsides though. The things I enjoyed with this IEM far outweigh the nitpicks I mentioned above and hence I have given the IEM, 5 stars without a doubt. This is the most expensive IEM I have heard to date. So, the TOTL gear owners, be aware – Take my excitement with a pinch of salt, lol. Nevertheless, AP8 is fantastic gear and the best I have heard. No doubt about that.


Box, Case & Contents:

Standard boxing is like that of AP5 and comes in Black color. The leather carry case is a lot better compared to the metal case of the AP5 and has more depth inside and I find it more spacious. I find that all the ear tips that come with the package are more or less the same size. Between short to medium. None of them provided a tight seal in my ears. I reverted to my usual favorite Spinfit W1. I even tried Zeo’s Render Silicon/foam tips that were sent to me by Hifigo along with the package. The Bass sounded great but not so good with the rest of the frequencies as compared to Spinfit W1 tips. W1 tips (M) suited me the best. The 2-pin 0.78 cable feels premium and great. I liked it better than the AP5 cable. No balanced terminations though which is a kind of downside for the price, as the IEM scales really well with more power.



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Build and Fit:

The build and looks are exquisite and the fit is ergonomic and I can wear them for hours straight without any sort of discomfort. I daily sleep wearing them without any issues. This provides me the same level of comfort that my AP5 and Kotori Audio Dauntless, both of which I consider the best fit in my collection along with the Final A5000.


Sound Quality:
Bass:


Sub-Bass extends deep, has a nice body, is well-textured, and rumbles. The decay is fast and pretty good. The mid-bass slam and impact are powerful and hit hard when called upon. My initial impressions were that it is mainly sub-bass focused with tamed mid-bass. My final impressions have changed since. I have to say that Mid bass performance has improved over time of listening. They now have a great note weight, slam to them. I feel that the BA drivers working on the lower mids have opened up quite well after some good listening. The bass is very clean and does not bleed into the mids. I feel the DD used here is different from that of AP5 as I can feel the tightness and speed of the Bass compared to the Bass from AP5. Overall, the bass is very well done here – sub-bass and mid-bass dancing together. Easy 5 stars.


Mids:

Vocals are the center of the attraction here. Rightly placed with fullness to them. Both the male and female vocals - Highly resolving, full of clarity, micro nuances, and decays – are very well detailed. The same goes for the Instrument timbre. The instruments have a great body, detail, and crispiness to them. Nothing sounds blunt or inorganic. Listening to mid-centric tracks be it instrumentals or the vocals is nothing short of brilliance. They both are presented really well here and are dynamic. Instrument separation is very well done. The upper mids transition to the treble region is pretty smooth. There is no sibilance/ harshness noticed. Full of micro details and clarity. Easy 5 stars.


Treble:

Treble sounds detailed and smooth. The extension is great. A tad less airy. On certain tracks, the higher treble can be a bit unforgiving and an intense listen but not sibilant. Most of the time I thoroughly enjoyed the treble performance here. 5 stars.


Technicalities:

Technically, the most impressive thing I got hooked on this IEM is the resolution. Highly resolving with a lot of details. The layering is clean and very good. Busy tracks are presented really well. You will hear the lesser-known details and it surprises you. Thanks to the great resolution and layering. There are a lot of WOW moments when listening to this IEM. The soundstage is above average and adequate imho. It is not too wide. It is better than the AP5 as I recall. Imaging is accurate and movement tracing is quite good. It is a technical marvel, to say the least, especially the resolution and details. 5 stars.


Comparisons:

I did not listen to any similarly priced IEMs to compare with. Hence, I tried comparing with some of the best IEMs under 300 USD – Final A5000 and BQEYZ Winter – Both of which I love dearly. So here we go:

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Final A5k vs P8

P8 sounds denser and richer with great resolution whereas A5k sounds more crispier with a similar level of resolution but less than P8. Both sound great imho. Imaging is a bit more precise on A5k as it has a crispier note weight and pinpoint accuracy. Mids are comparatively more pronounced on P8. Has more detail and clarity. Vocals are strong on P8. They are a bit forward, very lively, and articulate. Vocals on A5K are a tad bit behind but definitely good. The soundstage is very wide on the A5K as far as IEMs are concerned, giving that extra breathing space for the instruments to shine throwing at you the directional accuracy. Most of the time I feel the sound is playing rather from outside than inside my ear with A5K. However, I would say the timbre of the instruments sounds more accurate and detailed on the P8. It's just lovely. The best I have heard. In comparison, the soundstage of the P8 appears intimate although there is great spacing between the instruments. If not for A5K, I would say the P8 soundstage is very good. Sub-Bass is great on both. A tad better textured and hits a bit deep and rumbly on P8. Mid-bass body, slam, and punch are better on P8. The treble on the P8 is way more detailed and extended but a tad less airy compared to A5K. Overall I would say buy both if you can. A5K - best under 300 USD and Performer 8 - best under 400 USD. I would buy both blindfolded. As simple as that.


P8 vs BQEYZ Winter

Winter can be directly compared with P8 as I find these 2 are similar sounding with a fuller body and with great tonality. P8 is a tad denser and fuller compared to Winter. The bass texture is kind of similar on both - detailed, but the sub-bass of P8 extends a hit deeper. The resolution is better on the P8. More clarity, nuances, and micro details on P8 compared to BQEYZ Winter. Certain tracks like Electric Love - Borns sound less clean in the winter compared to the P8. Treble, I love both - Detailed and smooth. Listening to the Electro suite from The Amazing Spider-man 2 - Details, and texture in the treble region are more present on the P8. The main difference I found between the two is the resolution, clarity, and details. Winter is not bad by any means but P8 is clearly a step above Winter. P8 is basically a direct upgrade to Winter as they sound similar in a way with full-bodied sound. My pick is P8 without a doubt.


That's all guys. I had a really great time listening to this IEM. Clearly a step up from the other 2 IEMs that I have mentioned and I think this IEM justifies the price tag. I highly recommend it. Thanks a lot for reading and cheers!!!

senfi

New Head-Fier
AFUL PERFORMER 8 - UNLEASHING ACOUSTIC BRILLIANCE...AGAIN?
Pros: Decent balanced signature
Non-offensice compared to Performer 5
Tight bass texture
Natural sounding mids
Smooth, inoffensive treble
Decent imaging
Very easy to drive
Cons: Inclusions are underwhelming for $370 (at this price range, you have a set including modular cables, high-quality eartips, some cleaning tools, etc.)
Lacking in midbass thump
Average soundstage



AFUL, a relatively young company founded in 2018, made its entry into the Chi-Fi market with their initial product, the Performer 5, which elicited mixed reactions from enthusiasts. While some praised its performance, others even made puns referring to it as the "AWFUL Performer 5." Today, we will be reviewing AFUL's latest offering, the Performer 8. Will this be better or nah?

DISCLAIMER​

  • I have no affiliation with AFUL and have not received any monetary compensation during or after writing this review. This unit is provided by HiFiGo in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
  • As a non-professional reviewer, I aim to use simple terms that can be understood by both beginners and experts in the hobby.
  • Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this review are subjective and based on my personal experience with the unit. I encourage you to try the product yourself to form your own opinion.

PACKAGING​




What's in the box?​



  • AFUL Performer 8 IEMS
  • Cable
  • 6 pairs of silicone eartips (I did not include the other tips, it's a pain to take them all out)
  • Some paperwork
  • Faux-leather case





The packaging of the Performer 8 remains identical to its predecessor, the Performer 5. However, there is a distinct change in the color scheme, as the box now sports a sleek greyish-black hue. In terms of contents, the quantity and quality remain consistent, with one notable difference. The case included with the Performer 8 utilizes a faux-leather material. The case is also more spacious compared to the Performer 5. The included eartips continue to leave a sense of disappointment, giving off a cheaper and underwhelming impression for a product that carries a price tag of nearly $300.

BUILD QUALITY​

The shells are nearly identical to the Performer 5; in fact, without the model name on the shells, it would be difficult to discern any differences. However, the drivers are lightweight, which contributes to their overall design. Additionally, the cable appears to be sturdy and reliable.



SOUND​

The Performer 8 stands out with its natural and warm tonality, setting it apart from the Performer 5. It can effortlessly drive any device I connect it to, even managing to drive an old Nintendo DS without a hitch. Personally, I find this tuning preference preferable over the Performer 5 any day. While the Performer 5 offers thumpier bass, livelier vocals and an airy treble extension, the Performer 8 boasts a noticeable warmth, striking a well-balanced sound signature that proves versatile across different genres. It successfully avoids the harsh treble extension that I found displeasing in the Performer 5.

BASS
I would describe the lower frequencies as well-balanced, with neither overpowering the other. The sub-bass offers impressive depth and extension, while the mid-bass is tight and delivers a satisfying punch. The bass, as a whole, demonstrates decent dynamics and precision. However, it's worth noting that this is not a bass-heavy earphone, as the extension is mild rather than overwhelmingly heavy.

MIDS
The mids are pleasing and warm sounding. The vocals sound natural, rich, and immersive. They never sounded thin or too warm. At no point do they sound thin or overly warm, maintaining a euphonic timbre that allows an emotional and powerful performance on the vocals.

TREBLE
The Performer 8 has an outstanding treble reproduction. Compared to the Performer 5, the P8's treble has been noticeably improved and offers a much more pleasing touch to my ears. The treble has a smooth and delightful "zing" and "zesty" texture, reminiscent of the qualities found in Piezo or EST drivers.

TECHNICALITIES
The soundstage is not that spacious but it makes up for its outstanding performance, as it not only met but exceeded my expectations when it came to detail retrieval. The level of precision and clarity it provided was truly remarkable. Every intricate and subtle micro-details were captured with remarkable accuracy. The separation of the Performer 8 were commendable, allowing me to easily discern the precise position of individual instruments and vocals within the sound stage. In my observation, during busier tracks, like the "National Anthem" by Radiohead, I noticed a slight decrease in resolution with the Performer 8, which occasionally resulted in a slightly unrefined quality for certain instruments.

TEST TRACKS:
Lately, I've been neglecting to include my test tracks in my reviews. However, I have decided to change that moving forward and will once again include them in my reviews. I always use these test tracks initially on my reviews before I shuffle my playlist. I make sure that I handpick and research the best test tracks that covers all genres.
  1. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor - Sergei Rachmaninov
  3. National Anthem - Radiohead
  4. Rehab - Amy Winehouse
  5. Rainbow in the Dark - Dio
  6. Das Spiegel - The Chemical Brothers
  7. Helplessly Hoping - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  8. You've Got To Have Freedom - Pharoah Sanders
  9. Uh Uh - Thundercat
  10. Letters - Yosi Horikawa
  11. Concierto de Aranjeuz (Adagio) - Miles Davis
  12. Team Doing It Right - The Go!
  13. Aphex Twin - Mookid
  14. Blinding Lights - The Weeknd
  15. The Four Horsemen - Aphodite's Child
  16. Minerva - Deftones
  17. The Pot - TOOL
  18. Dry Fantasy - Mogwai
  19. Give Life Back To Music - Daft Punk
  20. Bubbles- Yosi Horikawa

CONCLUSION​



Pros:

  • Decent balanced signature
  • Non-offensice compared to Performer 5
  • Tight bass texture
  • Natural sounding mids
  • Smooth, inoffensive treble
  • Decent imaging
  • Very easy to drive
Cons:
  • Inclusions are underwhelming for $370 (at this price range, you have a set including modular cables, high-quality eartips, some cleaning tools, etc.)
  • Lacking in midbass thump
  • Average soundstage

For those seeking a slightly warm and balanced IEM within the sub-$300 price range, this option stands out as a superior choice. However, it's worth noting that some inclusions in the package such as the ear tips might give off a slightly cheaper impression. Nevertheless, swap this out with some better ear tips and you'll be good.

I must acknowledge and commend the significant improvements made in the Performer 8, which builds upon the foundation laid by its predecessor, the Performer 5. It is important not to overlook the fact that the Performer 8's excellence owes much to the advancements introduced in the Performer 5. The Performer 5 set the stage and provided the groundwork for the Performer 8 to excel and deliver an exceptional performance. The evolution from the Performer 5 to the Performer 8 showcases the continuous commitment to refinement and innovation, resulting in a truly remarkable product by AFUL.
senfi
senfi
@afulperformerinbed I agree, could've added more kick to the midbass for more impact and faster attack.
senfi
senfi
@szore for real, if I can I would. I think I should consider making these hearts 10 so I can have more flexible options to rate something. Five-number ratings are too limiting and often give off the wrong impressions if I rate it something to 3 or below hahahaha :dt880smile::dt880smile::dt880smile:
senfi
senfi
@szore Nevertheless, I am glad that we agree to the sound of the P8. I am always sure of what I hear but not confident enough if I am hearing the same stuff with others. Seeing this makes me happy :)
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nihalsharma

100+ Head-Fier
Nothing Much to Complain: Solid All-Rounder
Pros: * Enjoyable bass
* Well Extended Treble
* Good expansive soundstage
* Good fit
* Good detail retrieval and resolution
Cons: * At this price point cannot complain of anything
* Okay, bass eating some mids
Introduction:

AFUL, now a prominent Chinese company, has garnered significant acclaim for its production of high-quality in-ear monitors (IEMs), the Performer5. This exceptional IEM has garnered a considerable amount of attention and praise within the passionate audiophile community. Now, with the release of its successor, the Performer8(P8), AFUL has managed to raise the excitement levels even higher. The Performer8 has captivated enthusiasts and experts alike, as it surpasses expectations by delivering exceptional sound quality that truly does justice to all aspects of the audio spectrum, including the highs, mids, and lows. It is particularly noteworthy that this remarkable performance is achieved at a price point that far exceeds what one would typically expect, making the P8 an outstanding value proposition.

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Sound Quality:

Treble:


The treble response of the P8 is remarkably smooth and exhibits excellent extension. It manages to strike a perfect balance by delivering an ideal amount of airiness without any harshness or sharpness that could cause listener fatigue. The treble reproduction is skilfully executed, allowing it to reveal intricate details in the music with exceptional clarity. The Performer8 excels at presenting these details in the best possible manner, ensuring that each subtle nuance and shimmering high-frequency element is conveyed with precision and finesse. This level of detail retrieval adds an extra layer of immersion and engagement to the listening experience, allowing listeners to fully appreciate the intricacies and nuances within their favourite tracks.

Mids:

The midrange performance of the P8 is characterised by a delightful sweetness that is truly pleasing to the ears. There is a notable presence of warmth in the mids, which contributes to a rich and inviting sound signature. In particular, vocals shine exceptionally well on the P8, delivering a captivating and emotionally engaging listening experience.

However, it's worth mentioning that there are instances where the bass slightly intrudes into the midrange frequencies, IMO. While this doesn't significantly detract from the overall quality, it's an area that I felt had some scope for improvement. Fine-tuning the balance between the bass and midrange frequencies could potentially enhance the separation and clarity of the midrange, allowing vocals and other midrange elements to truly stand out without any hint of bass interference.

Despite this minor observation, the overall performance of the P8's midrange remains highly enjoyable and commendable. The sweet tonality, coupled with the touch of warmth, creates a very immersive experience, particularly for genres that heavily rely on vocal presence and midrange instruments.

Bass:

The overall bass performance of the P8 is highly satisfying, providing a smooth and enjoyable low-end experience. The iem delivers clean, deep, and impactful bass that adds a sense of richness and fullness to the music. The sub-bass reproduction is particularly impressive, creating a satisfying foundation that adds weight and depth to the audio. P8 captures the low-frequency elements with precision and control, ensuring that each bass note is articulate and well-defined. Whether it's the rumbling resonance of a kick drum or the reverberating thump of a bass guitar, the Performer8 faithfully reproduces the low-frequency content, allowing listeners to fully immerse themselves in the rhythmic and energetic aspects of their favorite tracks.

Others:

P8 boasts a nice build quality that instills confidence in its durability and longevity. The high quality resin gives a solid structure to the IEM, ensuring that it can withstand the rigors of daily use. The ergonomic design of the P8 contributes to a comfortable and secure fit, allowing users to enjoy extended listening sessions without discomfort.

While the cable of the P8 could be improved, especially when compared to higher-end offerings, it is important to consider the context of its price. Given its affordable price point, it's difficult to complain about the quality of the cable. It remains functional and reliable, serving its purpose effectively for everyday use.

It is worth noting that some enthusiasts may have preferred a balanced cable version of the P8. However, considering the competitive price of the IEM, the absence of a balanced cable option is understandable. AFUL has focused on delivering exceptional sound quality and overall value, ensuring that the P8 remains accessible to a wide range of listeners.


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Conclusion:

Finding a product that strikes the ideal balance between cost and performance in the world of audio equipment can be difficult. The price-to-performance ratio of the Performer8 is simply exceptional. P8 manages to deliver a level of performance that far surpasses what one would typically expect at its price point. The fact that AFUL has been able to achieve such remarkable sound quality, while keeping the cost reasonable is truly impressive. The excitement and positive reception surrounding the P8 among the audiophile community have undoubtedly been influenced by this combination of high performance and affordability. I would encourage people to try this wonderful iem for its exceptional sound quality and value for money proposition.
CT007
CT007
I was definitely not impressed with bass performance of P8, coming from P5. But the treble and general detail quality is outstanding. If only they kept the bass quantity the same as P5, this IEM would be amazing. Major tuning setback, IMO.

Pritam Halpawat

New Head-Fier
A Solid Performer with Exceptional Value
Pros: Almost perfect tuning for most audiophiles
Non-offensive sound signature
Deep and powerful bass
Realistic midrange
Smooth and musical treble
Wide soundstage
Very good build quality and fitting
Coherent and detailed sound
Easy to drive and not source picky
Cons: Balanced cable or smart cable should be provided
A cleaning tool and extra metal mesh for earwax protection should be included in the retail package
A carry case could provide better protection by allowing separate storage for IEMs and cables, preventing scratches on the IEMs.
Disclaimer: I would like to disclose that the unit for this review was provided by Hifigo.com as part of the Indian Review Tour. As a participant in this tour, I want to acknowledge that I have not been influenced in expressing my honest opinion. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Mr Pulkit (@gadgetgod) for his assistance in facilitating my participation in this review tour.

Introduction

AFUL: A Brand to Watch​

In this review, we delve into the AFUL Performer 8 in-ear monitors, the latest addition to AFUL's lineup after the successful Performer 5. With a 1DD & 7BA setup, we explore how these IEMs compare to competitors like the Moondrop Blessing 3. Our review setup includes the Questyle M15 DAC & AMP, Stock cable, SpinFit W1 eartips, and Apple devices as sources.

AFUL Performer 8 In-Ear Monitors Review


Design and Build Quality

Sleek Design and Sturdy Build​

The Performer 8 shells are crafted from high-quality imported resin material, providing both durability and a lightweight feel. The black inner part is beautifully complemented by the orange, copper, and gold glitter faceplate, featuring the striking gold AFUL branding. The cable, made with high-quality TPE outer material, is soft, flexible, and devoid of any microphones. Overall, the build quality of both the IEM shell and cable is impressive.

Comfort and Fit

Optimal Comfort for Extended Listening​

The medium-sized and compact profile of the Performer 8 shells, coupled with their curved design, ensures a comfortable fit without any discomfort. The longer IEM bore size facilitates deeper insertion, providing excellent noise isolation. Thanks to its lightweight construction and ergonomic curves, these IEMs can be comfortably worn for long listening sessions without causing fatigue. Overall, the Performer 8 offers an ideal size and design for extended periods of enjoyment.

AFUL Performer 8 In-Ear Monitors Review


Sound Quality

Immersive and Engaging Sound​

The AFUL Performer 8 delivers a clean, crisp, rich, and grand sound experience with excellent separation and soundstage. The deep and powerful bass, along with realistic and emotionally charged vocals, creates an engaging sonic landscape. The clear, detailed, and layered treble adds another dimension to the overall performance. The Performer 8's tuning is non-offensive, appealing to a wide range of listeners.

Bass

Clean, Powerful, and Fatigue-Free​

The bass response of the Performer 8 is clean, deep, and impactful without causing any listening fatigue. Tracks with heavy bass, such as "Late Night" by Shamoon Ismail, reveal the instrument separation and cleanliness in the bass region. The overall bass performance is satisfying, smooth, and enjoyable.

Midrange

Realistic and Textured Vocals​

Both male and female vocals sound incredibly realistic and textured on the Performer 8. There is no sibilance or harshness present, allowing vocals to shine with full-bodied weight. The vocal positioning is slightly set back compared to the bass and treble, enhancing the overall balance.

Treble

Detailed, Layered, and Musical​

The Performer 8's treble performance is highly detailed, clean, layered, fast, and energetic. Listening to "Mediterranean Sundance" by Al Di Meola showcases the treble's well-rounded edges and lack of harshness. The treble creates a mesmerizing experience, enveloping you in its musicality and making you feel like you're in the middle of the stage.

Soundstage & imaging

Wide and Intimate Soundstage​

The Performer 8 offers a wide soundstage with good height and depth, while maintaining an intimate feel. The imaging is accurate and precise, providing excellent channel separation and making the listening experience even more captivating.
AFUL Performer 8 In-Ear Monitors Review

Value and Competition

AFUL Performer 8 vs. Moondrop Blessing 3​

In direct competition with the Moondrop Blessing 3, the Performer 8 has some notable advantages. Its smaller bore design enhances comfort, while the bass is more impactful. The midrange exhibits better texture, and the treble performance is more musical. In terms of soundstage, the Performer 8 offers a wider presentation. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preferences. If you seek extra deep and powerful bass, the Performer 8 is recommended. However, if you prefer a more controlled and detailed sound for long listening sessions, the Blessing 3 is a safe choice. Both IEMs offer exceptional value for around Rs. 30,000.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Almost perfect tuning for most audiophilesBalanced cable or smart cable should be provided
Non-offensive sound signatureCleaning tool and extra metal mesh for earwax protection should be included in the retail package
Deep and powerful bassCarry case could provide better protection by allowing separate storage for IEMs and cables
Realistic midrange
Smooth and musical treble
Wide soundstage
Very good build quality and fitting
Coherent and detailed sound
Easy to drive and not source picky


Conclusion

AFUL Performer 8: A Remarkable Value Proposition​

The AFUL Performer 8 IEMs are finely tuned and well-built, offering exceptional value at $369.99. They exceed expectations for their price range, making them a strong contender for anyone seeking an endgame IEM within a budget of 30,000 INR.

AFUL Performer 8 In-Ear Monitors Review
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koyawmohabal

New Head-Fier
Effortless
Pros: -Great balance of bass and treble
-Great echoes and reverb
-TOTL qualities in bass and smoothness
Cons: - a little bit of midbass can help a bit on metal tracks
-eartips. Don’t use them
-bass level might not be for everyone
AFUL PERFORMER 8 - "Effortless"

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‼️DISCLAIMER:
Same old same old. A tour unit from HiFiGo . I give my heartfelt gratitude to them. Like really.

On a serious note, nothing much to say here, other than I have my own preferences. So please cross reference reviews. My impressions are only relative to the number of IEMS I have heard.

Anyhow, this is my user experience of the Performer 8.

Let’s start

⚜️WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

IMG_20230614_164113.jpg
Here is my unboxing video for that:



To summarize, you get the same inclusions from Performer 5, except for the cables and IEMs themselves. You get:

1.) SML aful eartips- they are awful, don’t use them

2.) Carrying case – similar to a hair pomade case haha

3.) Box – you don’t need this

4.) Papers – you don’t need this!!!

5.) The IEMS – uhmm yeah

⚜️DESIGN and COMFORT:
IMG_20230614_164023.jpg
They fit relatively the same as the the P5s, but maybe a bit bulkier? Just from memory tho, it must be because of the internals added. They also feel a bit heavier. I do notice some strain depending on eartips, but so far, just average fit for me.

The shell design is very very similar to the P5s as well, but a bit different in color grading. Yeah that's all I can say..

⚜️THE TECHNOLOGY:
I was amazed when Aful posted their first photo of the Performer 8. They have this tube structure that looks like intestines haha. I have seen this design structure before, maybe from Fiio?

Anyhow, I will summarize what I understand about their technology.
They have implemented the same RLC technology for the performer 8 but added longer tubes for the DD. The company said that longer tubes changes the acoustic impedance.

The DD is an 8mm biological warfare, no no, diaphragm haha. The DD is being supported by two other BAs, which is quite interesting.

There are also two BAs for the midrange and three BAs for the high frequencies. So that’s a total of 8 drivers.

They also have this “high damping air pressure balance system”- that's a mouthful😅. Well, basically it relieves pressure in the ear canal.

Yeah this thing works. I don’t know for others, but AFUL does a great job in implementing air pressure systems. Compared to other hydrids or Full BA setups, the pressure build up on the Performer 8 is lesser and they are more comfortable to wear in long listening sessions.

⚜️SOUND:
graph (3) (8).png
The tuning is neutral with mids emphasis, which makes this set midcentric. Well, these also have good subbass and microdetails in the treble, but the overall tonality seem to focus more on instrument presence.

Bass texure is commendable that sits just right on my preferences. Satisfying subbass emphasis. Just clean bass.

Mids come out forward with nice tones to instruments. Guitars have good harmonics and vocals are never shouty. Although, it can do some work in proper vocal timbre.

Treble is inoffensive for me and presents a smoother response compared to P5. Cymbals still doesn’t sound that natural for me, but still good enough to enjoy my tracks.

Technicalities punches above its price point. The resolution, the texture, the stage. You get the taste what expensive sets sound like, at a lower cost. These are not better than TOTL sets, let me get that straight. But making me remember how TOTL sounds is a big complement.

💥The Surprise💥

In my video, I was constantly saying OMG like a freaking shill, well maybe I am haha. One reason for this is I had a rough idea on how they were priced. I saw a comment on facebook about someone who went to an expo in China, and posted a photo on the expected price of performer 8 which is around $360. It is an interesting price point because not a lot of sets are priced around this range. It skips the Blessing 3, while being a few dollars cheaper than some good sets in the $400 range.

Having said that, the performance of the P8 is undoubtedly great for its price. You definitely get an upgrade in sound quality from the Blessing twins, while being competitive on sets that are more expensive like the Softears Studio 4 and Dunu SA6 Mkii.

It shares a similar curve to that of the Dunu SA series and Anole VX/Gemini. The gain is tamed to prevent any shout and harshness whilst having that forward vocal presentation.

What surprised me a lot is how smooth sounding they are, relative to how they are graphed. The upper treble timbre is significantly better compared to SA6 Mkii, at least for me. The stage is wide while having enough depth, and the bass hits my preferences. All that sound for $360? Yeah, I am surprised too!

💥A hyped product does not mean good sound for everyone.💥

Okay, so the Performer 8 is hyped big time. Most reviewers including me are praising them like it’s the end game everyone can afford.

As of this writing, all the videos I watched seem to have similar findings with me. But as days passed by, I read comments that P8 wasn’t that good for them. People are starting to find weaknesses of the P8, like the honky vocals, the lack of midbass, the BA treble etc.

In all honesty, I also found the same weaknesses of the P8, but the PROS just outweighs the CONS. I have some assumptions why P8 is hyped tho.

1. Reviewers including me just have a bad taste in evaluating stuff haha

2. Reviewers including me see the larger picture having tried different sets in different price range. Trust me, there is not a lot of good stuff past $800, at least for my preferences. I can probably only count them with my fingers. Maybe around 10.

3. Reviewers including me seek validity. Humans as we are, we are prone to this. Well actually the hobby is largely run on seeking validation. Its just more fun that way. Imagine having your endgame set without no one to share it with haha.

I don’t think there is anything wrong in disliking a set tho. It is normal to be skeptical and it almost always happens on a hyped set. I explained the nocebo effect in my EA500 review.

OMG I am talking a lot, lets get back to sound

💥The improvement💥

Well yeah. Ill be honest, I did not like the P5 a lot. Well, the prototype I first tried did sound really good, and I was really guilty shilling the P5, only to find out that I didn’t really like the set when I reviewed it lol. Sorry.

The Performer 8 is undeniably better sounding than the P5 for me. Should you still believe me? Hahaha.

Anyhow, I have tried two sets of Aful performer 8. They sound the same, they graph the same, and I get the same feeling about them.

The bass is tighter and more nuanced. They have this quality of being visceral in impact. I tried EDM tracks and yeah, the quantity might not be a lot, but the quality makes up for it. The vocals and instruments are also more natural sounding. One friend mentioned that he hears some honk in the vocals. Probably that 1k elevation? At first I didn't notice this, but after hearing Ed sheerans “ shape of you”, his voice sounded like he got covid lol. Some vocal registers exhibit this, but this CON is very minor unless you are very particular on vocal timbre.

The treble is improved over the P5 too! They P8 sounds less grainy for me, smoother, but more detailed, or should I say, the decays are more natural.

It still has that little boost in the upper treble, around 13k, but not as exaggerated as the SA6 mkii.
The stage is improved too. I get better stage depth and width. They don't sound congested at all. Stage congestion was one of thr major cons of the P5 for some people. I am happy to say that instruments and vocals are well placed in the P8, not the best, but definitely better than most sets in the price range.

💥Why spend much?💥

Performer 8, along with the Studio 4, are one of the IEMS that offer great value in my opinion.

I have probably heared 30+ TOTLs when I was in Japan for two years. I was in a hunt for my own endgame, but in all honesty, it is very evasive. Because the more I hear, the more my preference get skewed to a different tonality.

TOTLs usually have ESTs and these drivers just offer better clarity in the treble when done right.

As for the Performer 8. Although no ESTs were used, I think Aful did a great job with their implemenation of the drivers and their patented technology. They sound like TOTLs for my ears really. Not a direct competetion in terms of overall performance, but I get a feeling of "why spend much?"

IMG_20230614_163841.jpg

❤️PROS

✅Great echoes and reverb. The P8 tends to mimic decay in an bigger venue. Yoasobi’s Gunjo feels like listening in a hall rather than in a room.

✅Great balance of bass and treble. I do not find them to be overly boomy in the bass, nor too exaggerated in the treble. The tuning is really smooth from end to end.

✅in the track “love moves in mysterious ways” by Nina, the soundstage is again portrayed like I am in a big hall, or at least represents the correct venue.

✅ever heard of "nandemonaiya" by Radwimps? The vocals presence is amazing. Separation of the two guitars is amazing, the harmonics and presence is really well executed. The low bass hit at 1:44 is surprisingly good. it reverberates like you are in a Cinema.

✅in the track “Face to face” by IU, the bass texture really shines on this set. I immediately knew this sound is up there man. The tone really feels like a real drum for my ears.

✅I thought the P8 is bass light until I tried Dua Lipa’s “don’t start now”. Oh man do they slap a** haha.

💢CONS
-I honestly couldn’t find any major flaws of the P8. Either it hits my preferences very well, or I'm just outright shilling this . Anyhow, I will try my best to nitpick this set.

❌slight honkiness of vocals in certain registers. Not apparent in every track, but worh mentioning for people who are sensitive to vocal timbre

❌bass level might not be for everyone. Try to Auto EQ between SA6 mkii and P8 and see which bass level hits you the best.

❌a little bit of gain or maybe a dip at presence can help for better vocal space. I noticed that Studio 4 has better vocal layering because the gain peaks at 2.5k and gradually declines to a dip. For me, it creates this illusion of a 3d stage.

❌eartips. Don’t use them

❌they are actually bulkier than the P5. In my first impression video, I mentioned that the fit is very good. But after using for a week, I noticed that they strain some parts of my ears when I choose the wrong eartips. Tip roll if you may.

❌ a little bit of midbass can help a bit on metal tracks. I noticed that they are not that engaging on dj-dj dj-dj- djjjents haha.They sound dry.

⚜️COMPARISONS

⏯️DUNU SA6 mkii/ultra
-If I were to rate them, it would be ultra>p8> mkii.

They tonality is uncanny. The ultra just edges the p8 in terms of overall resolution. The mkii is also more resolving than the P8, but I am not happy with the bass and treble elevation. Maybe you will like it tho. However, considering the price point, the P8 is significantly cheaper and to think that it compete with SA6 series is a big praise.

⏯️Studio 4
If you have the extra cash to spare $80 more, I suggest just go straight to studio 4. The studio 4 is just more refined, better techs, better timbre on vocals and instruments, just better everything for me haha.

Okay I will explain. Although the P8 has a DD for the bass, I think the Studio 4 performs better. I am not saying that the bass of the P8 is a slouch, no no, they are great. However the studio 4 just sounds very revealing and tighter. You do get more vacuum from the Studio 4, so if you are sensitive to that, better pick the P8s.

Also, the stage of P8 is wider but lesser in depth. As for the Studio 4, it is more proportionate and rounded, like you are in a room with your artists. Surprisingly tho, I always feel like the reverbs and echoes of the P8 lingers longer, giving me that feeling of a more open space akin to gig outdoors or a hall.

⏯️Mega5p
-the M5p is here because these are my current reference when testing sets. Well, I must say that the P8 is better in resolution and micro details. However, for overall engagement, Mega5p still has it. There is a reason why I make the M5p my reference. I don’t want to miss out on musicality whilst resetting my ears.

⚜️SCORING
-Please be reminded that my scoring is always based on its price range.

TONALITY - 3
BASS - 2.5
MIDS - 3
TREBLE - 2.5
TECHS - 3

=14 ( S rank,exceptional. Consider saving if you want a reference set with TOTL qualities)

Check my scoring criteria here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15WhgCgiMzWfF3ccgB8SK5-Cg7m87kpIShtxsyg2u-AI/edit?usp=sharing

⚜️GRAB SCORE:
This is easy, I just rate the set whether I would grab them for listening. Very subjective.

0️⃣- I will never touch this again

1️⃣- I grab if I remember

2️⃣- Can be part of my rotation

3️⃣- I break my rotation and grab this one today

4️⃣- *** rotation, I’ll listen to these for the whole week

5️⃣- Im selling everything, I will only listen to these haha.

💥So the Performer 8 gets a 3️⃣‼️

There is something about the Performer 8's smoothness that makes me grab them for a short listening sessions. Probably because they are inoffensive? There are other fun sets tho, but this set is really perfect for morning coffee listening.

🤔FINAL THOUGHTS:
IMG_20230614_163939.jpg
The Performer 8 does perform. They are a solid upgrade to the P5 in all honesty. But yes, also an upgrade in cost. Does it justify the price hike tho? I think so. Having compared P8 to more expensive sets make them a bang for the buck, that’s if you have the buck haha.

The price of the P8 is in a weird spot tho. You have the gatekeeping blessings at $300, and yet bottlenecked by Studio 4 above $400. Please keep in mind that I have not heard everything in this price range, so my impressions are limited.

Having said that, I can recommend the Performer 8 for people who are looking for a balanced to neutral set. It doesn’t have any annoying peaks, no boom boom bass, no shout, and better timbral accuracy compared to the P5s.

I really had a hard time thinking of what to say about the Performer 8, mainly because they are not particularly doing anything wrong and yet excels just enough to be called a great set, if not for the price as mentioned above.

Contrary to my experience in writing this review, which required a lot of mental exertion haha, the Performer 8 seems to be presenting music like a pro performer-Just effortless.

==========================
WHERE TO BUY: non affiliate links

https://hifigo.com/products/aful-performer8

HiFiGo AFUL Performer8 1DD+ 7BA Driver in-Ear Monitors, Masterpieces Hybrid Drivers IEMs in-Ear Earphones with Easy Driveability (Performer 8) https://a.co/d/grpNNvw

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out! ¥ 54,117 | AFUL Performer8 / Performer 8 1DD+7BA Hybrid IEMs In-ear Monitor Wired Earphones with High-purity OCC Silver-plated Cable HiFiGo
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mqxwcmu

⚜️MY LIBRARY:
I grew up listening to 90’s music. Alternative, punk-rock, screamo, rap, Philippine OPM, Anime songs, JPOP, KPOP, metal, reggae and a lot more.
The artists I regularly listen to are:

⭐Rock-Alternative-Metal
Incubus, 311, BMTH, Matchbox 20, The Goo Goo Dolls, Paramore, Polyphia, The Calling,, Babymetal, Metallica, Slipknot, Bon Jovi, Coheed and Cambria, Deftones, Red Hot, Green day,

⭐OPM(Original Pinoy Music):
E-heads, Slapshock, Parokya, Urbanddub, Up Dharma Down, Bamboo, IV of spade, Kamikazee, Rivermaya

⭐POP:
IU, Yoasobi, Yorushika, Milet, Reona, Maroon 5, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor, Dua Lipa, Oliva Rodrigo, Billie Eilish

⭐OTHERS:
Carpenters, Micheal Learns to Rock, Celine Dion, Bob Marley, Sitti, Daft Punk, Pink Floyed, Earth wind and fire, Amber rubarth, Sia, Yosi Horikawa

I listen to more, but I can’t just list them all here.haha. Just giving you an idea on what I listen.

Thanks for reaching here. Hope you enjoyed reading. :)
L
Laleo
Really liked your review. Especially the scores in the end. I was surprised why it ended being 3/5 on the grab ranking after that the score you gave is very high...
koyawmohabal
koyawmohabal
Thanks for reading! 3 is actually a high grab score considering that i havent scored a 5 on any IEMS i have heard. Studio 4 should be a 4 or very close to being 5.. 😇

d m41n man

100+ Head-Fier
Faultless and Never Too L8
Pros: - Resolving to a tee, lots of information
- Dynamic yet smooth, inoffensive, and never dull. Very suitable for long listening sessions
- Good extension on both ends
- Premium build and looks
- That bass is refined, tight and punchy (it's not that bass-light as the FR graphs show)
Cons: - Basic package (could've used a modular cable at this price)
- Mediocre stock tips
- Average staging width and depth
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Introduction
Yes, yes... we've heard it and probably already tired of all the brand name jokes but there is no kidding as to all the AFUL releases (at least outside the PRC market) have been so far. Though I have to say, the Performer 5 didn't impress me out of the gate and may have its downsides and flaws at its price bracket for me. This, on the other hand, has all the aces up in its sleeves to be a benchmark in its pricepoint. It impressed me on first listen and just got better on further eartime with different setups. It's only been months since their western debut product but this second release is like a refinement of their proprietary technologies at work. Here's the good part: so far it looks that the only direction they are on is up and forward as this purchase of mine is all good.

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Packaging and Build
The Performer 8 comes in a black flip-top box with a slide-out cover sleeve. The IEMs and the premium-looking top-off circular faux leather case that contains the cable are covered in foam with the manuals and eartips being on the bottom layer foam. Covers all the basic but doesn't make you feel shortchanged as the set itself feels and look premium, with the burnt leaves/foil layers on the faceplate looking awesome. The shells are not light and feels durable as well. The cable, while not with interchangeable plugs, is really well-built without microphonics and never felt cheap. It is also quite to note that wearing these does not build up pressure in the ears when wearing, which adds to comfort points.

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Sound and Comparisons
As usual, I will leave the graphs to the measurebators as my inputs are based off my good 'ol trusty listening sessions. The Performer 8 impressed right off the bat without the flaws and somewhat odd timbre of its lower predecessor. Details and resolution are apparent while delivering all these information in a dynamic and lively way but still maintaining its smooth character without the shrills and shoutiness. It does feel and sound like a proper $300+ mature set, unlike any at those below its price bracket (but does sound somewhat similar to the SA6 Ultra and Mk2 which are higher up). The bass is just right - fast, tight and punchy with just the satisfying quantity. The treble also feel well extended. I can listen to this set without fatigue for long periods without ever feeling bored enough to switch to something more lively. It is definitely not lacking in both ends of the spectrum and does trump my Blessing2 in almost all aspects. In comparison, the mids are somewhat represented in the same manner as the SA6 Ultra but the SA6 Ultra has even more detail compared to the P8 but priced higher as well. The SA6 Ultra does most of the things better than the Performer 8 but I do feel the bass of the P8 is cleaner and sounds more textured (probably due to the dd nature). The timbre also sounded improved and correct compared to the P5 while the mids have more body and composition compared to the Blessing2 (and even the Variations).

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Conclusion
I believe the Performer 8 will have a hard time disappointing anybody who has yet to hear a set at the $300 level as it just has the qualities that make it a great choice entering this price bracket. Though you might find the SA6 brothers and the IE600 impress at a higher price, you'd be deeply satisfied at what the P8 has to offer. Good job and here's looking forward to what AFUL can do to its upcoming products, whether it's a budget set or a tribrid flagship. It seems they're in no pace to lack effort with their releases. The only reason I was not able to give a perfect score is what could have been - such as the modular cables and better tips selection and accessories. Those could've made it a perfect set at the $350 range.

Sidenotes:
Listened via the Sony ZX-707, Sony ZX-300, and Questyle M15 separately in 3.5mm SE configuration with JVC Spiral Dots+ eartips over the course of multiple genres across FLACs (16bit&24bit) and streaming (Tidal). This is not at all a hard set to drive. As of this writing, it is set to retail at SRP $369.
Last edited:

Dhruv Tampa

New Head-Fier
Easy 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Pros: Perfect Tuning !!
Super fast transients
Amazing technical performance
Tight, fast and very detailed bass
Smooth, sweet and natural vocals
NO harshness whatso every and Not at all dark, it's just perfect
Very good fit
High quality cable
beautiful back plate
Cons: No 4.4 balanced cable option
Pathetic eartip options
No lip on nozzle makes the eartip fitting a little finicky
(Nitpick-subbass could've be better with 2-3 db boost)
Aful created a boom with their first release the Performer 5, with amazing tuning and some interesting technology. I personally love it when companies implement new/interesting technologies and try to deliver performance above their price-point. They announced the Performer 8 with a price tag of $370 which is amazing for what they promise, along with 7BA+1DD Each side. They’ve implemented complex crossover and sound tubes and some patented technology to make them sound amazing. Today I’m going to try them and explore how they sound and if they’d be able to deliver the performance they promised.

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Disclaimer: -
I received the Aful Perfromer 8 from Hifigo for the purpose of this review. I have no monetary benefit with this review, neither I am influenced by anyone to write positive or negative about the pair. All thoughts are based on my usage consisting of mostly Anime, Bollywood, EDM, Hiphop, Alt rock, electronic and R&B music (pretty much whatever is currently trending or was trending in the last few decades). I am no professional reviewer and I’m just sharing my thoughts and opinions. If interested, you can check out more information on Hifigo website from the link below(non-affiliated).

https://hifigo.com/products/aful-performer8

Design & Build:-

If you’ve Seen P5 then you exactly know how P8 Looks like, Because they look exactly the same but still here is the detailed impressions on how they look. Aful Acoustics has gone with a Resin Shell. The shells are beautiful, solid, and lightweight. I like Resin Shell iem because of their Custom IEM-like fit and they way the shell looks like glass. The faceplace reminds me of the Thieaudio Monarch MKII or the surface of Mars. The shell and nozzle is one piece which I like as metal nozzle has the tendency to break or sometimes the glue comes off. But it doesn’t have any lip around the nozzle, So, it becomes a little finicky to put on the eartips.

WhatsApp Image 2023-06-04 at 10.26.45 PM (1).jpeg

As for accessories, it comes with 3 pair of Wide bore and 3 pair of narrow bore Eartips, Personally, I feel like Aful could’ve done a better job by giving atleast half decent eartips but these feel very low quality for the price of the Package, A black clam shell like carrying case made of Faux Leather with foam lining inside it with Aful logo on it. The included cable is a 4-core hybrid cable which to me looks like SPC and silver but could be complete SPC but overall it’s a high quality cable, It’s soft and uses standard 2-pin 0.78mm connectors and a 3.5mm termination. At this price they atleast should’ve given an option to choose from 4.4 balanced or 3.5mm singe ended or straightup provided a cable with swapable terminations. We’re seeing manufacturers providing this with IEM’s under $200

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As I said, I like Resin shell due to their custom IEM like fit, you just need to find the right size eartips. They are very comfortable to use for prolonged hours of usage and put zero strain in or behind the ears.

Technical Specs:-
  • >7BA+1DD High-Performance Hybrid Configuration.
  • >8mm Dynamic Driver With Biological Diaphragm.
  • >Customised High-Performance Balanced Armature Drivers.
  • >Enhanced 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure.
  • >Ultra-Long Low-Frequency Acoustic Tube
  • >RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology.
  • >High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance Technology.
  • >Balanced Sound Tuning With Tight Lower-End, Clear Midrange, and Extended Treble Response.
  • >Ideal for Most Genres of Music.
  • >Exquisite New Looks With Eye-Catchy Face Covers.
  • >Ergonomic & Lightweight Cavities.
  • >High-Purity Monocrystalline Copper Silver-Plated Cable.
  • >Standard 2-pin Connectors.
  • >Single-Ended 3.5mm Termination Plug.

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Power Requirements

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Performer 8 is quite efficient and sounds decent straight out of a Smartphone, with my Xduoo Link2 Bal was able to power it with just 10-15 percent of power and it was same with Tanchjim Space.

WhatsApp Image 2023-06-04 at 10.26.42 PM.jpeg

I also tried it with My Zendac V2 and it improved the overall sound by a margin. For fun I also, tried it with my desktop stack which consists of Topping D70s + Gustard H16
WhatsApp Image 2023-06-04 at 10.26.48 PM (3).jpeg
Most of my testing was done using the Hiby R6 Pro II, as I felt like most of you will be using this with either a dongle or a Dap.

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Sound Quality:-

To start with, I find the Performer 8 to have a very Balanced tuning to it with a hint of sub-bass boost, Clean vocals, and precise instruments, and the thing that impressed me the most on these was the imaging and how speed the bass response was. The coherency on these is amazing, sounding very organic with minimal to no BA timbre.
The bass on these is balanced with a hint of boost in the sub bass which adds to the over experience, it’s detailed, and transitions are speedy and does not interfere with the mids at all. Mid-bass on these is fast, precise, and got a lot of texture to it.
Mids in Performer 8 are really amazing and sound very natural, this gives new life to all the vocal centric track you have in your collection. The upper-mids on these is smooth and never get edgy.
The treble on these is smooth and comfortable sound, It has plenty of sparkle with no sign of harshness. It very airy too.

Soundstage on these is decent but imaging is very precise on these, you can easily identify multiple instruments in the stage. Soundstage on these depends on how deep you put on the eartip on the nozzle
Clarity is very good and the detail retrieval is almost on Flagship level which in my personal opinion close to $1000 iems.

This is a very versatile IEM with a very safe tuning which will suite pretty much every genre of track you through at it, it plays like a champ. Only gripe and this is a very subjective point but I feel like if the subbass was just a few DB like 2-3 would’ve made this IEM unbeatable.

Short note on Cable pairing
Personally, I found it to sound the best with the stock cable Even though it’s just 3.5mm, it sounded better then generic SPC and hybrid cables.

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With SPC cable it sounded a bit wider and a little warmer but it lost its bass quality as the bass became a little warmer and this resulted in a loss of that bass speed that I really liked with the stock cable.
With Hybrid (Silver+Copper) cable it sounded more natural with thicker mids but again, it lost it’s technical performance that I was getting with the Stock cable. I really wished that aful atleast gave an option for 4.4 mm cable. Guess we ourself might need to change the termination to 4.4mm.

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Comparisons

Aful Performer 8 vs Aful Perfromer 5:-

Earlier using P5 was a delight with it’s subwoofer like bass, decently wide soundstage, no BA timbre and ergonomic fit but Aful has passed the benchmark and made this one an amazing package with pushing everything on to another level. Personally I fell like this is much suitable for more genres with providing faster transients and sounding more natural and more airy.

Aful Performer 8 vs Moondrop Blessing 2
Blessing 2 is an amazing IEM, sweet vocals, wide soundstage, plenty of treble sparkle and details and very organic timbre but for me Performer 8 takes the cake her with overall a better sounding package with better vocal presence, treble spackle, precise imaging and an overall better technicalities.

Aful Performer 8 VS RaptGo Hook X
RaptGo Hook X here packs an overall smoother sound with wide soundstage and precise instrument placement along with an overall more bass-oriented sound signature. Performer 8 here presents an overall better tuning with faster transients, smoother mids a tad bit more details and personally for me it’s better suited for longer listening sessions.

Tracks used for testing
My playlist consists of Anime/jpop tracks, Hip-Hop, Jazz, R&B and some Bollywood but not limited to this only.

  • Shinunoga E-Wa · Fujii Kaza
  • 夜に駆ける · YOASOBI · Ayase
  • KICK BACK · Kenshi Yonezu
  • NIGHT DANCER · imase
  • Fire · Queen Bee
  • Suzume (feat. Toaka) · RADWIMPS
  • Royals · Lorde
  • Low · SZA
  • Sign of the Times · Harry Styles
  • Glimpse of Us · Joji
  • Until I Found You (Em Beihold Version) · Stephen Sanchez
  • Under the Influence · Chris brown
  • Starboy · The Weeknd
  • Creepin' · Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, 21 Savage
  • Do It Again – Pia Mia feat. Chris Brown and Tyga
  • Collide (feat. Tyga) · Justine Skye
  • Don’t gamble with love – Paul Anka
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Conclusion:-
Previously with Performer 5, Aful has done an amazing job with tuning them and using some interesting technologies with long sound tubes to give it’s signature Subwoofer like bass and an overall very natural tone and timbre but I personally feel like it left a little short compared to the competition due to it’s below average technicalities. But with Performer 8, Aful has done an amazing job and creating a Benchmark under $500, delivering an amazing package with delivering natural tone and timbre along with super fast transient response along with Flagship level technicalities. I can safely say that this has become a benchmark and deserve Full marks from my end !!

drewbadour

100+ Head-Fier
AFUL Performer8 - it's awfully gr8!
Pros: Very balanced and natural tuning
Unique - finally something different from Harman or neutral with bass-boost
Excellent detail retrieval
Good timbre
The cable and build are solid
Pleasant and smooth tuning
Great quality control
Cons: While not compressed or overly intimate, the stage is not the largest
Not the most dynamic IEM

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Introduction:​


AFUL is a company that has been making waves in China for a while, only recently entering the global market with the Performer5 last year. While I haven't personally heard it, the P5 made a big splash on release (for better or for worse) and since then has asserted itself as an excellent choice at the $200 price point. With the Performer8, AFUL seeks to improve upon their previous success, but how does it stack up?


Disclaimer: Many thanks to AFUL for making this review possible! While I was offered a discounted unit, I was not incentivized for a positive review. These thoughts are purely my own.







Where to Buy:​

Hifigo
Amazon






WHO THIS IS FOR:​


  • Those looking for a rich, lush, natural-sounding IEM with good detail retrieval
  • Mids lovers
  • Those looking for pleasant treble with good extension and sparkle without sibilance
  • Those looking for a smooth and enjoyable listen






WHO THIS ISN'T FOR:​


  • Those who prefer very thin and clinical-sounding IEMs
  • Those looking for something very incisive and crisp






Build, Fit, Accessories:​


What's in the box: The AFUL Performer8 comes with a decent selection of ear tips, faux leather carrying case, and a cable. It's neither lacking nor excessive. And depending on where the final price lands, it is par for the course. The included cable has a mix of copper and silver plated strands and is also solid - well-behaved and of decent quality.


Build and fit: Build quality is excellent. The P8 comes in a 3D-printed resin shell standard for multiple driver IEMs. The IEMs themselves are very light and are small/medium in size. They are very ergonomic and are among the best-fitting IEMs I have tried. I can't imagine many people having fit issues and my wife, who has tiny ears, had no problems wearing these.







Overall Sound:​


The overall sound signature is very balanced, with excellent natural tonality. The sound has a satisfying lushness/richness with good extension on both ends. The bass is punchy and rumbly, the mids have a nice body and good clarity, and the treble is well extended, smooth, and pleasant, with a good amount of sparkle. The Performer8 is a very well-rounded IEM that does almost everything well!







Bass:​


The bass extends deep. The shelf is slightly sub-bass-focused, but midbass is still quite satisfying! The bass quality is good, with a decent amount of texture. It's a relatively tight bass with a lot of tactility - it punches, slams, and rumbles on demand without sounding overwhelming. It's not particularly incisive, but it isn't boomy or sloppy sounding. It's simply well done.







Mids:​


Mids are rich and lush. Both male and female vocals have a good amount of body and presence. There is a decent amount of warmth, but it's not bloated or muddy. It does retain quite a bit of clarity, and for lack of better words, it sounds nicely balanced.







Treble:​


The treble on the Performer8 is well-extended with a good amount of air and sparkle. It's pleasant and smooth, perhaps with a slight brightness, but no sibilance to my ears. Violins, for example, sound sweet but not piercing.







Technicalities:​


Details and Resolution:


Details and resolution on the Performer8 are excellent - competitive with IEMs currently priced around $500-600. Regarding detail retrieval, it outperforms the ThieAudio Oracle and is competitive with the Dunu SA6s and Xenns Mangird Top. Depending on where the final price lands for the Performer8, it could be one of the more, if not most, resolving IEMs in the price range. When listening to violin quartets, for example, you can easily pick up the quartet members placing their fingers on the fingerboard, taking breaths to cue phrases, etc.


Soundstage, Imaging, and Separation:


The stage is average to slightly above average for an IEM. It is not particularly wide, but there is some depth. Imaging is good with a decent amount of layering, but separation is average, which keeps it from being pinpoint accurate.


Dynamics, transients, and decay:


Given that this is a smoother IEM, it might not be surprising that transients aren't incredibly incisive - the initial attack on notes is clear and defined but could be crisper. Decay on notes is neither too fast nor too slow. The dynamics are decent but not standout.


Timbre:


Timbre is good. Overall, the Performer8 is a very natural-sounding IEM, and most instruments sound correct to my ear. Nothing sounds glaringly wrong to me.







Conclusion:​


The AFUL Performer8 came out of left field and really surprised me. When I was offered the chance to review the AFUL Performer8, I was curious but did not know what to expect. I certainly did not expect to be as impressed as I was!

For $369.99, the Performer8 is absolutely a new benchmark - you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better.

The AFUL Performer8 is an excellent IEM, and it gets my recommendation for anyone looking for a very well-tuned IEM that is easy to pick up and listen to. And while it isn't a technical monster by any means, the well-balanced, lush tuning of the P8 handled every song I threw at it in stride with great detail retrieval to boot!
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Jaytiss

100+ Head-Fier
The Spark that Started the Fire
Pros: Overall balanced sound
Lightweight and comfortable to wear
Classy Beautiful IEM.
Clean resolution
Vocals to die for
Ergonomic fit and light shell
Cons: Price means some might not be able to try this.
No Cartoon Girl on the front.
It’s a modern world, where we need to find value and technology in which we buy. I personally don’t want to buy a rebranded iem but something special. We live in a world of a race to the bottom really exists meaning that iems are getting better and cheaper as manufacturing becomes more efficient.

Not long ago I found a particular iem on a particular reviewer’s list. It was ranked fairly well for the price, and I seem to trust this reviewer. I took a gamble, and it paid off as it instantly became a benchmark and favorite for me.

This iem was the Aful 5, and I still find it an incredibly tuned iem with great retrieval, a major benchmark for the price, but not only that they were releasing the Aful 8 soon. I really enjoyed the Aful 5 and reached out to Aful about the 8 itself to learn more. I now have the Aful 8 in my hands, and I have paid for my copy of the Aful 8 and my opinions are my own.

You can buy this on Hifigo as of right now, it is also on Amazon. This link is only listed here for convenience only. (I recommend waiting until the official price is released, I expect it to be around 340 to 450, this review will be updated when the price is updated)

There are recently been some rumors about more iems from Aful, and I can confirm one of them, a Single Balanced armature driver IEMs based on S&E-math technology is also in the pipeline. I would expect more from Aful in the future but that is the only thing that I can currently confirm. Award-winning technology just gets me out of bed. Paying some guy with a magic ear who says an iem good, just feels like I’m paying for a guy to repaint my house when my house is fine. It isn’t enough for me for a simple color retuning, I need to see value, technology, and quality. Hifi is a world of charging a silly amount, to have actual technology is insane and refreshing. The company has a few patients and a strong vision of what they want to do. Aful wants to achieve high-performing iems at a reasonable price. I encourage you to read up on the company.

Aful was founded in 2018 and this is their second international release and their fifth overall. There are graphs and videos floating around on Band 5 and Band 8, but they are tuned differently. Aful is a unique company name. I love their iems, and think this is a company to put on your radar.

Tech

I’m going to try to summarize the information on the patents in a short less technical manner and what they mean to me. They have three different patients. The first is High-Precision 3D Printed Acoustic Tube Structure. Which seems to help harmonize and eliminate peaks caused by resonance. I find that the iem takes EQ really well, and everything sounds alive from this iem in particular. From my personal experience, many iems and headphones won’t take eq well for various reasons.
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The second big tech is RLC Network Frequency Division Correction Technology. It gives their Balanced armature a smooth treble frequency that rivals EST units. This is interesting to me because I really feel this iem has an EST in that it delivers an airy and detailed sound.
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The third Technology is High-Damping Air-Pressure Balance System. It balances the air pressure in the canal. It is supposed to reduce discomfort and fatigue. It is supposed to enhance the low-frequency texture, depth, and elasticity as well. I do find the Aful to be easy on the ears and I don’t want them out of my ears. They also provide a fantastic sonic seal. This iem is one that I can wear for hours, not just for intensive listening sessions.
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While I’m no technical expert, I do appreciate the patients that they have and find this iem unique and special.

Shell

The shell is even more beautiful in person than it is in the picture. I am really enjoying the look of it. I find the shell to be small but ergonomic. Its nozzle is easy to fit in my ears and I can wear it for long sessions without issue. The angle or size doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t add additional pressure to my ears. I like the nonrecessed nature of the connectors as it is easy to swap with other cables as needed, and it is really light to use.

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(This has the CP 145 Spinfits, not the stock tips.)


Case
At first, I thought that this was the exact same case as the Aful 5, but it’s not, It’s MUCH better. There is a company that sells iem round cases for 10 dollars on Amazon. This case is not that it is fully pleather feeling with a great texture. I find great value in this case and would value it at nearly 25 to 30 dollars. It looks classy and feels premium.
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(On the far left is the Meteor case, followed by the Aful Performer 8 case in the middle, and lastly the Dunu SA6 MK2 case.)

Cable
This cable is a different color and quality than the cable on the Aful Performer 5. It feels nice and has a nice shine to it with a subtle two-color finish. It has a good thematic feel of Autumn and goes with the faceplate very well. It has red and blue easy-to-read connectors which make maintenance easy. My favorite cable is the Symposium Meteor cable. But the added color gives this the win here, despite the texture of the Meteor cable being a little better, and having a nice shine to it. The Aful cable has a neck slider and doesn’t seem to get unruly. I find the cable of the Peformer 5 like 20% stiffer, and not nearly as attractive or premium.
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(This is the case that I keep my Meteor in, as I'm just not a fan of the stock case it comes with. Notice the color of the cable goes well with the faceplates.)

Tip Selection
We have red and blue style ear tips that fit me great. I feel it’s a clever and thoughtful gesture. I have requested that Aful sell their tips separately, I would definitely buy them. This is a nice gesture for me. I personally find myself using Spinfit 145, as my go-to. But as far as presentation goes, this tip selection is strong, fun, and enjoyable. It’s a better selection overall than the Aful 5, and it’s overall a nice presentation that is thoughtful.

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Comparison:

This Compares to Blessing 3, Blessing 2 Dusk, and surpasses the P5 handily. It’s a strong little iem with a taste of luxury that most can afford. The Blessing 3 is a fantastic iem, and I think that the Aful 8 fits better, and has a slight edge sonically. I think it competes with the more expensive Dunu SA6 MK2 and the Meteor which are 600 dollar iems. While I think other iems I have listened to rival it in technicalities and tuning, I do think this is my favorite iem over all that I've heard and is a competitive mid-fi iem to keep on your radar.


Quick-Fire Comparisons

In this section, I'll quickly compare the Aful 8 vs other iems.

Aful Performer 8 VS. Aful Performer 5 (220)
Overall Tuning: Aful 8
Details: Aful 8

Aful Performer 8 VS. Blessing 2 Dusk (330)
Overall Tuning: Blessing 2 Dusk
Details: Aful 8

Aful Performer 8 VS. TheiAudio Oracle MK 2 (589)
Overall Tuning: Aful 8
Details: Aful 8

Aful Performer 8 VS. Dunu SA6 MK2 (579)
Overall Tuning: Tied
Details: Dunu SA6 has a slight edge



Graph: Gizaudio has published a graph of this iem. It graphs very similarly to the Blessing 3 in the base, while the Aful 5 graphs are similar to Blessings 2 Dusk. While I was originally wary of this graph as it isn't exactly like my preferred tuning, I find this sounds really good. I would recommend that you try it before you judge it too harshly.



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Bass

The base of the Aful 8 is Deep-Hitting and technical. The graph makes it look lean, but it is far from that. There is a growl and a rumble on the base notes. It hits hard and sounds fast. Cymbal hits are strong and detailed. The midrange is clean and clear without bleed from the base. It is an unusual experience like an Electrostatic driver in which you feel the base as the iem seems to rumble.
There is a full sound that adds to the male vocals and everything sounds clear and vivid. It has a hard-hitting feeling that is tight with a nice timber Vocals sound supported and rich with great presence. There is no wisp or lack of clarity in the female vocals.

Midrange

The midrange is very detailed and natural sounding to me. There is an expansive soundstage to me that is nice and present. Vocals have a natural timbre to them that ties me in. It really instantly drew me in. Podcasts and voices all sound natural to me. I feel like I’m there with the Performer 8.

Treble

The treble is natural, airy, and shimmers in this set. I feel it competes with other more end-game sets and sounds detailed, and has sparkle at the right places. It has good musicality in the 10-15k range which is really nice and gets me to quickly enjoy the music. It maintains a smooth and extended presentation that ensures instruments sound like I’m there and it's magical.

Music

I’ve tested the Aful performer and it sounds great on different styles with instruments sounding good especially. I don’t think this iem should be characterized by only doing one type of music or another.

Top 10 Tidal list here:
I listen to a wide variety of music. I pick the songs because of various reasons. But I picture myself locked away like Andy Dufresne from Shawshank blasting music and shut off from the world. It’s a blissful image.
The Marriage of Figaro -The opera song from Shawshank Redemption, terrible recording but fun and gets me in the mood to listen to music.
O mio Babino caro -This is a modern less operatic version but a song with great female vocals.
Video Rigoletto - “La donna e mobile” Sung by one of the three Tenors, great song for high-performing male vocals. Pavarotti is the greatest classic singer maybe ever. Fight me!
Iron man - The sound at the beginning is hard to make sound great, great drums, and cymbals, and if done right it feels like an old-school band.
I Will Survive (1981 recording, I like her voice, and the old vocals, the drums, and various natural instruments really make this a favorite for me.
There is a light That never goes out - Smiths ( A classic, I just love it. It’s mellow, and I can tell a lot of the tuning if this song is done right.)
Jump (I like how the sound effects are in this!)
Star Child Someone recommended this song to me, and I like how funky it sounds and has nice vocals and a mix of music and things going on.
Dicke Titten Ramstein The beginning is amazing and the bass hits hard. Great song. I love rock and metal. The German language fascinates me
Master of Puppets: Very fast song. Helps me determine if the driver can keep up.

I am going to share a larger list that I have of songs that I like in this review. 61+ songs Here


Value:
Value is subjective. But I feel this iem competes with my other iems well and is something to consider for those who want their first taste of hifi. It’s easily on par with the quality Symphonium Meteor, Blessing 2 Dusk, and Dunu Sa6 MK2. The packaging is very nice and unique with what is the most beautiful shell that I’ve ever seen in an iem. I find this a good value at the expected price of around 400 in that it is on par or better than most in that range, and competitive vs other items at the 600 dollar pricepoint. (This is hard to place without knowing the exact price, and this review will be updated later.)


Recommended EQ: I find the sound profile strong, but I still recommend a +4 DB boost at 32 HZ, 64HZ, 125 HZ, and +2 at 250 HZ. This iem takes eq well.


Gifting/who is it for:
I think this is a quality product, and it is hard to justify buying it for others, but it’s a strong product that feels like a more expensive iem, and looks like one too. It’s an incredible set to gift, because of the great packaging and presentation. I think it’s a good all-day wearing iem as well. I think it is a good recommendation for many who are looking for a strong set with good staging. It is expensive, but as its comfort is so high I could see many people who don’t normally like iems enjoy this set, as Audiofiles who want to see what a mid-fi iem can actually do.

Should you Buy it:

It depends on what you are looking for and your budget. It is a great daily driver that I love to play loud. It hasn't left my ears in three days for longer than a few minutes to do comparisons. I fully enjoy them. If you can afford it, buy it, take the blind, and you won't be disappointed. If you can't, try it when you can at the next Cam Jam, or local store. Or just wait for the inevitable budget Aful product to come out.

Pairing:

I used a Quidelix 5k and a Topping e70 dac through an SMSL SH-8s AMP. I also tested this with my new Schitt Piety (Solid state amp with tube qualities) which I found to be a delightful pairing. I also used it from my computer without a DAC, and at work with an Apple dongle. This iem is very sensitive and not a problem to drive by anything that I tested it with.

Summary

Thanks for reading. I’m still fairly new to writing reviews, and any constructive feedback is welcome. Also if you have questions or things that you think I should add in further reviews please let me know.
I think this iem is going to start a fire, I think it’s going to be relevant in years to come as a technical monster. We live in a world where technology has an impact, but it’s not always apparent. It’s going to take time for this fire to get going, but when it does, expect more to jump on the bandwagon. This is a fantastic iem with great relevance to the market. It’s not just a pretty iem, it’s the kind of iem you’ll want to shout to the world about. The Aful 5 was the starter, now we are onto the main course, and it’s delicious. Now I go back to listening.

Ok, for the TL;DR first of this iem, just buy it. It’s S class for Technicals and S for tuning. It’s fantastic. Just don’t spend 999 for it, wait until it drops to around 450 or less in a few days.
ToneDeafMonk
ToneDeafMonk
Great impressions thanks so much for sharing.

gadgetgod

1000+ Head-Fier
AFUL Performer8 : Natural, Refined, Crystal Clear Sound!!
Pros: >Well-balanced sound.
>Rich & Dynamic Presentation.
>Tight, Punchy, Precise Lower-end.
>Clear Midrange, Vocals are simply sublime, well-textured, and rich in tone.
>Treble is clear, and crisp, and instruments sound detailed and precise.
>Layering and Imaging are simply amazing, great set for music as well as gaming.
>Easy, Super Easy drivability. Using these with my Steam deck and Nintendo Switch on the go.
>Comfortable Fit. Fits like a charm and provides very good isolation.
>Looks beautiful.
Cons: >Stage Depth could be a little better(nitpick honestly).
>I tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matters. Well yeah, had many long sessions this past week, but couldn’t find anything to mention here.
AFUL Audio debuted last year in the international market with the release of the Performer5 which is a five-driver hybrid set of IEMs. I happened to get a unit to audition and review courtesy of HiFiGo’s India tour. Performer 5 gained a lot of attention for its exciting sound and crazy pricing. During the launch of the Performer 5, several articles from AFUL Audio suggested that they are already working on their next project, the Performer 8. As it is evident from their name, the Performer 8 is a more equipped version featuring 8 driver hybrid configuration(1DD+7BA drivers on each side). Fast Forward to today, and we are closing by for the release of the Performer 8. While there is no information related to the pricing for the pair, other information such as the technologies used, the driver configuration, the targeted tuning profile, everything is mentioned on the product page at HiFiGo(I guess they are the official partners for AFUL in the international market). Well, I have a unit with me which I got early last week and I have spent the entire week with this beauty. Today, I am going to share my review and some impressions for the Performer8 with you guys, let’s not waste any more moment and get our reading glasses on for today.
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A Short Disclaimer before I begin:-

I absolutely loved the Performer 5, so I contacted AFUL Audio for the Performer8 through their Facebook page. They were kind enough to share a pre-sale unit with me for which I am thankful to them. There is no kind of benefit involved in this, being a fan of the Performer 5, I just feel lucky to have the early unit of P8 with me. For more information and stuff, you guys can go and check out on HiFiGo website from the link below(it’s a non-affiliated link).

https://hifigo.com/products/aful-performer8

Unboxing:-

I will start with the unboxing today. The package style and pattern are identical to what we had with the Performer 5 it’s just instead of a white box, we now have a greyish black colored box. Internals are again slightly similar, we have the pair sitting firmly into a foam cutout layer alongside a round-shaped box. The box has the cable for me, underneath this first layer containing the pair, we have six pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes. There are some documentation as well such as a warranty card and user guide in a transparent envelope. Well, that’s all we have for the package, I hope you guys like the images I am attaching below.
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Package Contents:-

>The pair itself.

>2-pin 3.5mm terminated cable.

>Seven pairs of silicone ear tips(6 in the package one on the pair).

>User guide.

>Warranty card.

Design & Build Quality:-

Performer5 resembled the Monarch MK2 in its face covers, the Performer8 has a better design approach. The shape is quite compact and lightweight. The entire shell is made up of resin material. Face covers are shiny and have an eye-catchy look. Upon a close inspection, it looks like multiple layers of hand-painted material are embedded into the face covers. The pair look and feel absolutely beautiful. The nozzle mouth is a bit recessed. It has three openings, one wide, and the other two quite narrow.
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My wife also liked the fit and look of the pair. She has small ears, and the small-sized P8 fits her perfectly. I am personally using the stock ear tips only and getting a very good fit. Isolation is also quite good, I have no issues in listening to music at low volumes even in noisy environments.
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The included cable is quite handy and has a rich in-hand feel. The connectors are a bit tight, but they fit perfectly and have a secure grip on the pair. I can securely place the pair along with the cable in the provided case, so no troubles there as well.
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Powering The Performer 8(Power Requirements):-

Performer8 is quite a sensitive set of IEMs. It gets easily powered with most sources, and I find it to synergize well as well. For my personal usage, I have tested the set with my Shanling M7(15/100 volume, high-gain), HiBy FC6(10/31 volume, OS mode), and directly with my MacBook as well(about 50% volume level enough for me). So I can say that the pair is fairly easy to drive, it can be powered easily with most sources without worrying much. It even works with my Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch as well. For me, the most usage is done with M7 as my daily driver for the past week.
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Sound Quality:-

Coming towards the most anticipated part of the Performer8, the sound performance. The pair delivers showcase outstanding sound capabilities with amazing clarity and a very, literally very refined sound signature. Throughout the frequency band, the P8 maintains amazing clarity. The lower end is precise, tightly controlled, and has a punchy presentation. It has good extension in the sub-bass frequencies as well. I would say, the Lower end quality and quantity are fairly balanced. It has a clear and strong rumble yet it doesn’t sound overwhelming. Mid-bass has a clear presentation with a good slamming response. The overall lower-end response is very well done. It is fast, tight, punchy, and precise.
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As for the tuning of the Performer8, I find the set to have a balanced sound signature across the three frequencies. None of the regions feel over-emphasized, in fact, the balance between the three frequencies is nicely executed. Coming to the midrange response, Performer8 has a smooth and rich tone for the vocals. They sound quite rich and dynamic. Their clarity is simply sublime, Both the male and female vocals sound clear and have clean textured quality output. Instruments in the midrange have a crisp definition. Acoustic guitar, piano, etc. everything falling in the midrange section sound exceptionally clear and crisp.
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Treble is well-defined and has great extensions here. Instruments in their high-frequencies have a clear definition and sound crisp. This enables the pair to deliver exceptional performances for genres such as Rock, Pop, Electronic, etc. When I got the set early last week, I played the track "Hotel California" by Eagles as my first track. And I was simply amazed by the clarity of the P8. Hotel California is my favorite track, and it is usually on the list of my test tracks as well. And the P8 handled the song so well that I was literally lost for the next seven minutes approx(the length of the track). Next, I tested the track “Don’t Give Me Those Eyes” by James Blunt, and this time the vocal clarity got me hooked.
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Talking about some Hip-Hop tracks, I played some Billie Eilish next, featuring the “Bad Guy”, and how beautifully the Performer8 changed its presentation for this track. Performer8 keeps up with the speed of this track delivering very clear sub-bass extensions and refined lower-end clarity. Coming towards the technical performance part, P8 sounds great in that regard as well. The pair handles both macro and micro definitions nicely. Imaging and instrument separation is precise, and nicely executed. Soundstage has good width, although I would have loved a slight bit of more depth in the output. Probably my only con with the set.

Somethings I Think Could Be Improved(Cons):-

Well, it’s hard to find flaws with the set. It sounds exactly how I like, it fits nicely, and it looks nice. But I would like to nitpick, and I would say that the soundstage depth could be a bit better for a more 3D presentation on the stage. But apart from this, I can’t note down anything bad with the set. In fact, whenever I listen to the set making notes, I got so lost that I spent 2-3 hours and made 0 notes. I was so immersed in the music all thanks to my Shanling M7 and the P8 sounding absolutely brilliant. Now it’s time for some comparisons.

AFUL Performer 8 Vs AFUL Performer 5:-

Let’s make a short comparison between Performer 5 and Performer 8. There is a noticeable difference in how both these pairs sound. Let’s get some key points.
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>Performer 5 sounds warmer, it has stronger mid-bass. P8 sounds refined and has clearer bass with more extended sub-bass.

>Midrange on the P8 has a cleaner and more accurate tonality. M5 in comparison is warmer in tone.

>Treble is crispier, better extended, and better detailed on the P8.

>Soundstage, while both are identical in this regard, P8 has more air and sounds slightly wider as well.

>Detail Retrieval, P8 is crispier and has more details.

AFUL Performer 8 vs DUNU SA6 MK2:-

SA6 MK2 was my recent love. I absolutely adore how beautifully the pair manages midrange clarity and showcase exceptional vocals. P8 puts up a strong fight against the SA6 Mk2 and delivers excellent results. Here are my findings.
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>Bass on the P8 is punchier and more dynamic. It reaches deeper as well.

>Midrange SA6 MK2 sounds lovely, But the P8 is, SUPER CLOSE. Yes, you guys read that right, with a punchy, fast lower end, the midrange clarity of P8 is really comparable and sometimes even feels slightly better than the SA6 MK2. In fact, I would say the P8 sounds slightly bit more accurate and natural. Damn lovely vocals on both sets.

>Treble on both the sets is handled well with P8 being crispier and the SA6 MK2 being more rounded.
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Final Words:-

While I personally don’t know the actual cost of the P8 as of now, the pair really puts up a fantastic fight with the SA6 MK2 which is priced at around 600$ range. But based on the pricing of P5, I think the P8 will cost somewhere south of 500$, and it is a kick-ass performer. It hits all the sweet spots for me including quick lower end, clear midrange, and crisp treble. This has been a daily driver of mine for the past week and now I have to ship it out to the next reviewer in line for the tour. Feels like I can’t let it go so early lol. Well, that’s it. That’s my review for the AFUL Performer8. I hope you guys liked reading this review of mine. For any further questions or queries, you can ask me in the comments section below.

Thank You!!
AndreRitter
AndreRitter
Do they not realise that they are one W away from being Awful?
H
Harias
Detailed & Nice review! Great pictures! The stock cable gives a premium look! Thanks for reviewing, Pulkit! :relaxed:
I
ILuvAudio
great review mate
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