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  1. baskingshark
    Audiosense T800: I have found my endgame IEM
    Written by baskingshark
    Published Jul 18, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredibly detailed, great instrument separation/layering
    Excellent bass for a pure BA setup, almost sounds like a DD bass
    Light, ergonomic, good build
    Great price for 8 Knowles drivers
    Great for critical listening, stage monitoring and casual listening
    Versatile, suitable for most music genres
    Good isolation
    Great accessories, especially the waterproof huge Pelican like hardcase
    Cons - Some may find the treble harsh/silibant/fatiguing. But there are ways to tame the treble (see below).
    Would have liked a bit more midbass, but that is just nitpicking
    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-29 at 23.29.11.jpeg WhatsApp Image 2019-07-29 at 23.29.13 (1).jpeg WhatsApp Image 2019-07-29 at 23.29.13.jpeg



    Disclaimer #1:

    I bought this IEM from the audiosense official store on aliexpress at my own expense. I'm not affiliated to any company.


    Disclaimer #2:

    I have not bought any audiogear > $500 USD or heard any TOTL IEM. So this mid range CHIFI IEM is the best I have heard in my budding audiophile journey. For those of you that are more experienced and have better TOTL stuff, it would be my pleasure to hear your input whether these IEMs are truly worth the hype. I would like to know if there is a big or marginal difference in sound quality to chase for if one were to spend more than $1000 USD for an IEM compared to midrange gear?


    Introduction:
    I was in the market for a set of balanced and detailed but fun sounding IEMs, suitable for critical listening, stage monitoring and casual listening. So I stumbled upon the Audiosense thread started by FastAndClean and saw great reviews for this IEM. As you know, CHIFI has caught up with their western counterparts in the IEM world in the past few years, and provided affordable and decent sounding audio gear at cheap prices, but what surprised me was that this was a pure 8 BA Knowles driver IEM retailing at $298 USD. As far as I am aware, a large proportion of CHIFI don't use original Knowles drivers but drivers such as Bellsing drivers, which are cheaper. And I have not seen any IEM containing 8 pure Knowles drivers at this pricing before. So I took the plunge to buy this, and can honestly say it exceeded my expectations.


    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-11 at 19.03.31 (1).jpeg


    Specifications:
    - Driver: 8 Balanced Armatures (Knowles)
    - Sensitivity: 90dB
    - Cable: MMCX detachable cable
    - Frequency response: 5 - 22kHz
    - Impedence: 9.2Ω
    - Weight of 1 earbud: 6.3g


    Accessories:
    In addition to the IEM, it comes with:
    - a pelican like hard case (huge enough to fit DAPs and other stuff with space to spare). Audiosense claims it is waterproof but I haven't tested it.
    - a brush
    - 3 pairs of silicone tips (S/M/L)
    - 3 pairs of foam tips (S/M/L)
    - 1 spare copper/silver mixed cable (Free gift)
    - 1 stock silver cable

    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-11 at 19.03.31.jpeg

    Build/Comfort:

    Excellent build. It feels and looks like a custom IEM shell and is of great quality finishing. It is quite huge, I would say just smaller than the original ZS10 shell, but it fits well due to its ergonomic design.
    Many of my friends complained that the original ZS10 shell was uncomfortable or had poor fit due to the massive size, but I am glad to say that I never once felt discomfort wearing the T800 and can wear it for hours with no issues. It is extremely light and well fitting.


    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-18 at 21.16.58.jpeg
    This are the relative sizes of the IEM shells from smallest to large for comparison:
    Left to right: Westone W30, KZ ZS10 Pro, TFZ No. 3, Audiosense T800 and ZS10 (original)


    Isolation:
    The isolation is the best I have in my IEM arsenal. I have used it in the subway or crowded areas with good isolation. I have used it for stage monitoring and it is just as good in the isolation department. I can't hear anyone talking within a 0.5 m radius, with the music on at soft volumes.


    Sound:
    I tested this with a Fiio A3 and Tempotec Sonata HD. The T800 is easily drivable and can be used on smart phones without any external amping. I didn't have any hiss with this IEM on laptops/PC/smartphones. It can be played at low volumes without any loss of details. It is very well tuned and IMHO it doesn't need any EQ.

    The sound signature is towards the bright side. The bass and treble are slightly boosted relative to the mids, so I would term this a U shaped signature.
    The details, instrument separation, layering, are the best I have heard so far in an IEM. I love the way this IEM can really project and seperate an instrument/voice into a fixed well defined location within the soundstage really well. I read impressions/reviews on headfi that say they compare to Etymotic ER4S and other higher end IEMs, but I don't own any expensive stuff, so I can't say for sure. But definitely, I have heard new details in songs that I have been listening to for years and never realized these details were there.
    For example, I can hear ghost notes of drum hits, squeaking of acoustic guitar fretboards, singers taking a breath. I was pleasantly suprised when the T800 managed to layer and separate 2 acoustic guitars playing different riffs at the same frequency range.
    What's great about this IEM is that despite the microdetails and suitability for analytical listening, it is tuned such that it is not sterile and boring, and makes for a fun yet detailed listening session.

    Bass:
    Simply put, one of the best bass ever in a pure BA setup. Due to the tuning/vented design, the subbass really extends very well and has great punch, great control and accuracy and timbre, and almost sounds and moves air like a DD bass. The midbass is slightly recessed compared to the subbass and I personally would have liked a bit more midbass. It doesn't fall into basshead territory but is still quite authoratative. I never heard any midbass bleed. I would class the bass of the T800 as of slightly less quality/quantity than my TFZ No.3 (single DD driver IEM), for which IMHO, has the best bass in my collection of IEMs. I think due to physics, a pure BA bass can't beat a well tuned DD bass, but this IEM comes very close.

    Mids:
    Even though the mids are slightly recessed, they are extremely detailed (as above), and vocals/guitars/instruments are very forward and well layered. I never found one instrument/voice dominating others.

    Treble:
    The treble is bright and well extended, with excellent microdetails. Cymbal splashes are very natural and not over splashy/in your face as in other budget CHIFI IEMs.
    But IMHO, the treble is where some people may have issues. Some in the forums/reviews have found harshness in the treble and silibance with this IEM. Personally I feel the T800 threads a thin line between a forward sounding and a harsh sounding treble, so YMMV. I don't think I am treble sensitive, but I found the music fatiguing after long listening sessions due to a spike at the higher mids/lower treble region (with the stock silicone tips/stock cable). I didn't notice any silibance, but the treble can be pretty harsh in certain treble predominant songs with the above stock configuration. I didn't like the KZ ZS6 treble due to the harshness, but the T800 is thankfully not as piercing as the ZS6. I guess some form of harshness is to be expected in a detailed and bright/forward sounding IEM like the T800 and I still found the harshness of the T800 bearable overall.
    Based on feedback from our experienced friends in the audiosense forums, there are a few methods that can tame the treble and make the listening experience much better:
    a) use copper cables instead of the stock silver one - I can personally vouch for this, I only use copper cables with the T800 now and the treble IMO is much more managable, and I can listen for longer sessions. I don't have any measuring rigs to prove this, so it is just a subjective opinion of mine, so YMMV. I know some of us don't believe in cables making a difference to sound quality, but for a extremely sensitive and detailed multi BA IEM, I feel it may make some difference to sound with a cable change.
    b) use foam tips - this one helps tame the treble too, but I am not a fan of foamies due to their durability and the long time it takes to insert a foamie.
    c) use other after market tips such as JVC spiral dots - haven't tried it personally, but some of our experienced friends found it diffuses the treble.
    d) damper/filter modification - see further threads in the Audiosense impressions forum on this modification which tames the treble and widens an already impressive soundstage. Haven't tried it personally too, I'm scared of damaging my T800 haha.


    Soundstage:
    The widest I have heard in an IEM, it is like an ellipse extending from my top of head to my 2 ears.


    Conclusion:
    I wanted to get a good pair of IEMs and be done with chasing down the rabbit hole, and am glad I have found my end game IEM with the T800 (at least for multi BA/hybrid IEMs). (I'm still in the market for a well tuned DD IEM haha).

    So other than the treble issues which can be easily fixed (see above), this is the best IEM I have had the pleasure of listening to. It is incredibly detailed, yet fun sounding, and doesn't become a boring, sterile, overanalytical IEM. I have been using this IEM for the past week and can't take them out of my ears. I have also used them for stage monitoring when I play the piano in a band and am pleased with the detailed sound with great isolation it provides.
    I think it is a versatile IEM, which can do well with most genres of music. I think the Audiosense engineers did a great job with the tuning for this IEM, and am looking forward to their future products.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. baskingshark
      Hi, the T800 trumps no. 3 in details/instrument separation/clarity/soundstage, but it costs 3x more and contains 8 BA compared to 1 DD in the no.3.
      It's not a fair comparison as they are from different price brackets (budget vs midrange). The only area the no. 3 is slightly better is in the bass department and has less fatiguing highs. I use both for different purposes throughout the week - no. 3 for a relaxing listening, and the T800 for critical listening/stage monitoring/casual listening.
      baskingshark, Jul 28, 2019
      Light - Man and RikudouGoku like this.
    3. baskingshark
      The T800 shell is larger than ZS6, but the fit is more comfortable as it is very ergonomic.
      As for the No. 3 fit, I can suggest trying different ear tips to get the best fit.
      If you have no issues with the ZS6 treble, then it sounds that you like bright sounding IEMs, and T800 may be a good choice for you. Even so, the T800 treble is less shrill than the ZS6 for sure.
      baskingshark, Jul 28, 2019
      Light - Man and RikudouGoku like this.
    4. RikudouGoku
      @baskingshark Already tried all sorts of tips with the No.3 and I believe it is the shape of it that makes the Fit kinda bad for me.
      RikudouGoku, Jul 29, 2019
      Light - Man likes this.
  2. FastAndClean
    AUDIOSENSE T800 - Dark Matter Impact
    Written by FastAndClean
    Published Jul 5, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - amazing bass response, more detailed than ER4S, musical sounding and refined midrange, treble extension, wide soundstage with exceptional imaging, pitch black background, perfect build and packaging, comfortable with strong isolation from the outside noise, high price to performance ratio
    Cons - potential issues for treble sensitive people
    IMG_20190629_175152.jpg IMG_20190704_163208.jpg
    source for the review - Sabaj DA3

    Songs used for the review
    Jim Keltner - Improvisation
    Eric Clapton - My father's Eyes
    Nah Youn Sun - My Favorite Things
    Inception - Dream Collapsing
    Steve Strauss - Youngstown
    Stimulus Timbre - Expression
    Diana Krall – Let's Fall in Love
    Trevor Jones - Clear The Tracks!
    The DALI CD - Zhao Cong , Moonlight on Spring River
    Baba-Yaga, for orchestra, Op. 56
    Rebecca Pidgeon - Grandmother
    Sara K - Maritime
    Trevor Jones - Promentory
    Patricia Barber - Regular Pleasures
    Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick
    Dave Brubeck - Take Five
    Marcin Przybylowicz - Go Back Whence You Came
    James Horner - Going After Newt
    Hans Zimmer - Dream Is Collapsing
    Hans Zimmer - Molossus
    Harry Gregson - Emergency Launch
    Shpongle - Shpongle Spores
    Dizzy Gillespie - Could it Be You
    Dominik Eulberg - Bjorn Borkenkafer
    Trentemoller - The Forest
    Kryptic Minds And Leon Switch - Ocean Blue
    Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York (Album)
    Xiomara Laugart - Tears and Rumba (2015) [192-24](Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2006) Xiomara (24-96)(Album)
    Xiomara Laugart (2010) La Voz (24-88)(Album)
    Jed Palmer - Upgrade (2018)(Album)
    Plug_-_Drum_'N'_Bass_For_Papa-2CD-1997-FLAC(Album)
    Jon Hopkins - Insides (2009)(Album)
    Eric Serra - Lucy (2014) [flac](Album)

    specs
    3D Printing
    Skin-Friendly resin shell
    8 Knowles BA per ear - (two vented woofers, four custom tuned from Knowles for mids, two for treble)
    Triple Tube system
    MMCX connectors
    Resistance - 9ohm
    Sensitivity - around 105db per Mw

    Packaging
    Heavy and durable carrying case, cleaning tool, 3 pairs of foam tips, 3 pairs silicone tips, silver plated cable
    9940824_l.jpg 9940825_l.jpg 9940826_l.jpg

    I saw the brand Audiosense before in the Asian thread.
    Was planning to get some of their smaller models. Few weeks later and that brand came out again in the Asian thread regarding their top of the line model T800, the comments were positive so I checked the store page for some impressions there, all positive with one of them saying that they can compete with much more expensive earphones and showing better technical abilities compared to Fearless Audio s6 rui. T800 uses Knowles drivers, 4 of them (mids) custom tuned for that specific earphone, also the woofers are vented, decided to give them a shot.

    Build, fit and comfort
    IMG_20190627_163021.jpg

    Very solid build, they are filled with resin, the build is similar to Fiio FA7. The surface is very smooth and the quality is excellent, the face plate is made from carbon fiber, they look beautiful in person, no complains here.
    The fit is excellent for me, the shape is like semi-custom.
    Comfort is great, I can wear them for hours without discomfort.

    Isolation
    The isolation is strong, better than all of my other in ears but ER4S.

    Overall sound signature.
    EDIT 16.07.2019 - added graph from Audiosense
    T800 is U shaped, boost in the sub bass with smooth and organic mids and extra energy in the treble.
    59975079_2235150793232403_2072032505812221952_n.png


    Bass
    The bass is above neutral in DF target, is not very forward but the boost is there and it is noticeable, they have extra meat to the bone in the sub bass. At first I thought that they go down to about 35hz, but that was my very first impression and I didn’t play the right songs, after trying some bass tests and tones I came to the conclusion that they go all the way down to 20hz, with boost on top of that, very impressive. Under 200hz or so they start to rise but gradually, not dramatic or overdone. That makes the bass impactful and dense with visceral feel to it. The bass is deep and can hit hard but always under control. The hits are fast and tight but the decay after that is a little bit longer than typical BA that is not vented, however the decay is still fast, faster than good dynamic driver but just a tad longer than closed BA like ER4S. The mid bass is lower in level than sub bass so there is no bleed into the mids, it has very smooth and effortless transition.
    Great bass texture and detail, never anemic, always under control and deep.

    Mids
    The mids are neutral to my ears, however they are under the bass and treble just a tad. Smooth but showing a lot of details. Clean but musical and euphoric, with a touch of lushness but never overly warm, refined without strong bite in the upper mids. The tone of the mids is similar to planar magnetic headphone (HE500) so i am assuming that there is a dip somewhere in the upper mids/lower treble area to give that type of tonality.

    Treble
    Treble response is extended with some brightness in the upper treble. The emphasis is not a lot but is there and noticeable, they are not harsh or sibilant. The treble is very clean and airy, that sparkle balances the bass response and makes the sound very complete and extended at the both ends. No metallic timber here, no grain or hardness. Overall good treble response tuned very well to avoid dark and warm signature. For treble sensitive people i am not sure, i am sensitive but not too much, the treble is not overly bright to me, they have similar quantity to the Etymotic ER4S, if the ER4S is too bright for you T800 will be similar.

    Soundstage and imaging.

    The soundstage is wide, the depth is very good, but is not very tall.
    The imaging is exceptional, accurate and specific. Every instrument is well separated with a lot of space in between, the ability to image well is one of their most impressive qualities.
    T800 have black background, they can capture the atmosphere of a big orchestra in a very impressive way.

    Detail retrieval and transient response
    The amount of details they can extract from high quality recordings is very high, higher than ER4S, the soundstage size and imaging help a lot for that, the instruments and sounds have more space, they are very separated. Transient response in the mids and treble is very fast, the bass is a tad slower than ER4S.

    Comparisons
    With Etymotic ER4S
    IMG_20190705_181843.jpg

    Bass
    T800 has more bass and sub bass, the bass on T800 has longer decay than ER4S but that is a plus because it gives more body, it sound more natural with real sub bass impact, ER4S sound anemic and compressed in comparison. T800 has better texture, better dynamic range and extension.

    Mids
    T800 have more musical mids than ER4S, ER4S has more mids overall, the detail retrieval is very similar between the two, T800 achieves the same amount of details with more musical and pleasing tone.

    Treble
    The treble sound different, the quantity of the treble is similar, but the peaks are in different places.
    ER4S has a peak at 16khz, T800 sound like it is a little bit lower than that, both have clean treble but T800 has more body to the cymbals.

    Soundstage and imaging
    T800 has a lot bigger soundstage, ER4S has very good imaging but with the lack of soundstage size it can’t separate the instruments like T800.

    With Hisenior B5+
    IMG_20190705_181920.jpg

    Bass
    B5+ is with more mid and upper bass, T800 more sub bass, B5+ needs EQ to correct the bass response, T800 don’t. Better bass response on T800, it can rumble and it sound more correct.

    Mids
    B5+ has more mids, a lot more, they are lush and warm and very up front, I like them very much but not with all types of music. T800 has more neutral sounding mids, still musical but less lush than B5+, T800 is more versatile with different types of music.

    Treble
    Both have very clean and extended treble, T800 has more treble, B5+ is smoother.

    Soundstage and imaging
    T800 is wider but B5+ has taller soundstage, the imaging is close, B5+ has also black background and specific imaging but on T800 those qualities are more pronounced.

    With CCA C16
    IMG_20190705_181952.jpg

    Bass
    T800 has more sub bass, similar mid bass, bass on C16 sound a little bit dry in comparison, T800 sound more musical with better thump in the very low bass.

    Mids
    C16 has more mids, they are clean but lack the smoothness and musicality of the T800 midrange.

    Treble
    T800 has more upper treble with better extension and articulation, C16 treble sound dry and papery in comparison, T800 is more refined in the treble region.

    Soundstage and imaging
    Soundstage size is larger on T800, imaging is superior on T800, C16 has very good center image but on the sides is not very good.

    With Moondrop Kanas
    IMG_20190705_182023.jpg

    Bass
    Kanas have a little bit more bass overall, the control on Kanas is very good for dynamic driver but T800 is quicker, both have visceral impact when the song (or movie) calls for it.

    Mids
    Kanas have a little bit more mids, T800 has warmer midrange but is laid back compared to the Kanas.

    Treble
    Kanas have less treble, T800 has more and better extended, it sounds like it can go higher.

    Soundstage and imaging
    T800 has wider stage, Kanas has more compact like sphere type of shape, T800 is more like a wide monitor. The imaging on T800 is more precise and distinct.

    Note – Knowles dampers
    T800 has Knowles damper in it, it is the white one, you can change the shape of the response adding another damper.
    I did that, green damper, the sound is a little bit darker, the bass is the same, less upper mids, that makes the mids warmer, also the treble is a little bit less but the change there is not so big like the change in the upper mids.
    The biggest surprise for me with the added damper is the soundstage, it gets even wider, it is trying to push the sound almost behind your ear. The imaging is the same but with larger stage, for that reason I am considering them to be exceptional performers with classical, big orchestra soundtracks and movies.

    Conclusion
    I am very impressed with them, they are very good overall but the qualities that are standing out for me is the bass response, imaging and soundstage. Very impressive with classical, orchestra soundtracks (Hans Zimmer is my favorite) and movies.
    If you are treble sensitive be aware that they are bright, if you want to try them despite that, i suggest you to buy some knowles dampers with the changing tool just in case.

    Have a good one.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. michaelf28
      Thanks for the link!! :)
      michaelf28, Jul 20, 2019
      FastAndClean likes this.
    3. RikudouGoku
      RikudouGoku, Jul 29, 2019
    4. FastAndClean
      FastAndClean, Jul 29, 2019
      RikudouGoku likes this.