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Fearless S8 Freedom (S8F)

Rating:
5/5,
  • Technical Specifications
    • Model: S8 Freedom
    • Sensitivity: 113 dB SPL/mW
    • Frequency Response: 15Hz - 20kHz
    • Impedance: 15Ω @ 1kHz
    • Driver: 8 Balanced Armature drivers with a 4-way crossover
    • Noise Attenuation: 26 dB
    Description

    Technical features: adopt 8 balanced armatures, 4-way crossover 3 tubes.

    Sound features: S8 Freedom has two drivers in ultra-low frequency, medium-low frequency, medium-high frequency and ultra-high frequency. The expressive performance of the warm and pleasant voice and the well-balanced tuning of the three frequencies make it more enjoyable compared to the S8pro. The sense of atmosphere is excellent and more suitable for appreciating music.

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Recent Reviews

  1. Animagus
    Fearless S8F - Freedom is here!
    Written by Animagus
    Published Jul 9, 2019
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent price to performance ratio under $500
    Sound & build quality
    Highly detailed and resolving
    Good bass for a BA
    Comfortable fit
    Good isolation
    Customization options
    Cons - None for me personally.

    Detailed signature might not be for people who prefer a smooth and warm signature
    My background- I am a professional musician, producer and audio engineer with experience in the performing, recording and pro-audio industry. I test products on a technical and musical level and try to write reviews as simple as possible from a music fan's perspective.

    Genre preferences- I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop and metal and occasionally listen to EDM songs which are doing the rounds on the radio and charts.

    Disclaimer – The Fearless S8F sample was given to me to test and review. I am not affiliated with the company or its sellers in any way and write this review with my best unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.

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    About Fearless - Fearless Audio (Wuwei in Chinese) is a brand based out of China. They specialize in making universal and custom fit in-ear monitors and have a vast range of products ranging from a single BA driver to 12 BA drivers. They offer multiple customization options for shells and faceplates where sky's the limit. You can either select from their stock charts or send them images of shells, faceplates and logos that you like and they can make it happen.

    Technical Specifications-
    1. Driver – 8 Balanced Armatures
      - 1 Sonion compound ultra-low frequency
      - 1 Sonion compound middle-low frequency
      - 2 Knowles independent middle-high frequency
      - 1 Knowles compound ultra-high frequency

    2. Frequency response range: 15Hz-20kHz
    3. Impedance: 15Ω
    4. Sensitivity: 113dB/MW
    5. Passive noise reduction: 26dB
    Included in the box-
    1. Fearless S8 Freedom
    2. Ear tips – Wide bore ear tips (SML)
    3. Leather Carry case
    4. 2-pin 8 Core cable
    5. Metal plaque with information pertaining to the model
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    I reviewed the S6RUI previously here. Since the build quality, fit and comfort are nearly identical, some text is directly pasted from my S6Rui review.

    Build Quality- S8F shells are 3D printed and made up of resin. They are crystal clear and you can clearly see the drivers inside which have the model number, ‘S8 Freedom’ inscribed onto them. The faceplates now spot the new Fearless logo. The shells do not have any bubbles and the seam between the faceplate and the bottom shell is flawless too. The 2-pin sockets are recessed which enables part of plastic before the 2-pins of the cable to go in. The sound bores in the nozzles have been drilled very neatly too.

    The 2-pin 8 core cable provided in the package has an attractive silvery white color and feels very well made. It’s not the most flexible cable but it has a very good feel to it and isn’t microphonic. Impedance of the cable is around 200-250mΩ.

    Fit and Comfort- S8F has an extremely comfortable fit for me, probably one of the best I’ve tried under $500. I get a very snug fit with excellent isolation for a universal fit. All the curves of the shell are well polished and feel nice around the concha of the ear. It is also very comfortable to wear for long durations of time.

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    Sound Analysis – S8F has an analytical tuning which is high mid and treble dominant with good bass definition and clarity. It is an intense listen where you’ll be immersed in details and sounds, keeping your attention peaking at all times. It certainly isn’t an easy listen like warm or smoothened out IEMs. Let’s dig deeper into the specifics.

    Bass – The bass is unlike what you expect from standard multi-BA IEMs. It is well present with fast attack and decay. The notes are well defined and the lower range can go deep when it needs to. It isn’t abnormally boosted and songs like Karnivool’s Goliath are a fun listen. The bass tone sounds gnarly with good definition. But the focus is still towards treble and high mids and the bass presence might not satisfy the needs of the 'extreme' basshead inside you. Tending bassheads who love a maturely tuned bass will be happy with the S8F.

    Mids- The lower mids take a back seat here. They aren’t overly recessed but the higher mids are more dominant to demand your major focus. That doesn’t mean that the lower mids aren’t good. The lower mids are done well enough to keep the snare’s body and deep vocals sounding great but the snappiness of the snare and sparkle in the vocals take a slightly larger piece of the pie. The detailed higher mids also give the S8F its prominent character.

    The peak around 4.5kHz makes S8F intensely detailed. You’ll hear lots of micro details and quieter sounds that you would’ve earlier missed in smooth and warm sounding IEMs. The S8F highlights nuances even in relatively smoother songs like John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ and ‘Slow dancing in a burning room’. The spring reverb in the latter ripples through the heart (being a little over dramatic like John Mayer for affect, Lol!).

    Vocals and acoustic guitars sparkle! That’s exactly how they sound in the S8F, sparkly, clear and very detailed. If the singer smacked his lips between lines, you’re going to hear it. S8F gives you a spatial image of watching the singer perform in a small concert hall. I re-watched John Mayer’s live concert film ‘Where the light is’ and his intro acoustic segment with songs like ‘In your atmosphere’ and ‘Free fallin’ gave me gooseys and kept me smiling with satisfaction. I could even hear Mayer fanboys clearly (along with the obvious fangirls), screaming their heart out in between songs. Hmmm… Haha

    Treble – The treble is as detailed as the high mids. S8F sounds quite open and airy without getting harsh. Snares have good stick attack and cymbals are present but not strident. Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars get further help from the treble in sounding clear and detailed. But on the flipside, if you aren't used to heavily detailed IEMs, the S8F can get a bit intense and might fatigue your ears out in longer sessions initially. Once you get used to them and your ears adapt, the fatigue will vanish. I being a musician wanna know everything that’s happening in a song with every detail highlighted, so I love and enjoy this character a lot. Also, on the bright side, the detailed sound signature enables me to listen to songs rather clearly at low volumes, which is quite cool because generally if the IEM doesn’t sound as detailed, one tends to go straight for the volume button to compensate for the muddiness, leading to dangerously loud levels. This makes S8F quite safe for your ears considering loudness levels. All in all S8F's treble is energetic and makes listening to songs fun and exciting at all times.


    Soundstage, Imaging and Separation – S8F has a wide soundstage, wider than most IEMs I’ve heard in its price range and it is all thanks to its clear and detailed sound signature. Imaging is on point and instruments are placed quite accurately. Separation between instruments is one of the best I’ve experienced in this segment. All in all, no complaints here.


    Comparisons –

    S6RUI vs S8 Freedom

    S6RUI Solo.jpg

    Think of S6RUI as S8F’s sibling who is younger by a year (2 drivers). S8F sounds airier and creates a better sense of space. It has more sparkle and snap in the 2-6kHz region. The mids are relatively thinner and have better resolution. The bass sounds more authentic, tighter and cleaner but both S8F and S6RUI have good slam! Personally, for me, the S8F sounds more exciting with better resolution overall.

    But on the other hand, S6RUI is warmer of the two and an easier listen. If you don’t want as much resolution and prefer listening to an easier sound signature, go for the S6RUI. But if you want a more detailed and resolving IEM, S8F is the one.


    Conclusion – S8Freedom is another winner from Fearless. I’m lucky to have been sent 2 of the most popular models, S8F and S6Rui, and I found both to be quite interesting while still serving slightly different audiences. S8F with its energetic, lively and detailed signature gives the obsessive listener enough reasons to be happy and not much to complaint about. Fearless with their pricing, attractive customization options and various sound signatures across different models are out there to serve the various demands of enthusiasts and are certainly a company that you should know and look into when your hands get itchy for the next purchase. I can cross my heart and recommend the S8 Freedom with full confidence.

    Gear used for testing and review -
    1. Logic Pro X session with hi-res test tracks played through Universal Audio Apollo or Focusrite Clarett Pre X audio interface headphone out.
    2. Hiby R6 Pro
    3. Oneplus 7 Pro
    Reference Songs list-
    1. Foo Fighters- The Pretender, Best of you & Everlong
    2. Coldplay- Paradise, Up in flames & Everglong
    3. Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud, Bloodstream & Galway Girl
    4. Chainsmokers – Somebody, Sickboy, This Feeling & Closer
    5. John Mayer- Slow dancing in a burning room, Stop this Train & Say
    6. Gavin James- Always & Hearts on fire
    7. Switchfoot- Meant to live & Dare you to move
    8. Linkin Park- Papercut, Somewhere I belong & Talking to myself
    9. Maroon 5- She will be loved, Payphone & Lost stars
    10. Lifehouse- All in all & Come back down
    11. Karnivool- Simple boy & Goliath
    12. Dead Letter Circus- Real you
    13. I Am Giant- Purple heart, City limits & Transmission
    14. Muse - Panic station
    15. James Bay - Hold back the river
      Wyville, havagr8da, Max Watts and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Xinlisupreme
      Any differences with S8 pro?
      Xinlisupreme, Aug 7, 2019
      pitsel likes this.
    3. Animagus
      Animagus, Aug 8, 2019
      pitsel likes this.
    4. Erfan Elahi
      Any comparisons with any high end flagships like Legend X, U12t or Solaris? Or any other IEMs you may compare retailing over $1000. Just trying to consider how competitive is it with high end iems.
      Erfan Elahi, Sep 18, 2019

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