Precogvision

Reviewer at Headphones.com
Pros: Energetic, fun signature
Highly detailed
Fit and isolation are stellar
Cons: Cable is absurdly heavy
Soundstage feels confined with lack of air
Typical, plasticky BA bass
The S8 series is generally considered to be the standout of the Fearless Audio lineup. In this review, I'll be taking a look at the S8 Pro which, as its name might imply, uses 8 BA drivers and is intended to be a stage monitor.

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Disclaimer: I'm an amateur audio enthusiast, and this is my first audio review. I paid for this IEM with my own money, and these are my purely subjective thoughts. My genres of preference include EDM, Country, K-Pop/J-Pop/Pop, and film scores. I apologize in advance for any ambiguity; I'm working on learning audio lingo so I can better articulate my thoughts.

Presentation and Build Quality

I bought mine second-hand, so I don't have the original packaging.

Fearless has done an excellent job in terms of build quality. The plastic resin they use is devoid of any bubbles or inconsistencies in the surface finish. The connector pin is slightly recessed, so there's no wiggle.

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I'm quite pleased that they didn't skimp out on the cable. It's supple, tangle-free, and inspires confidence. However, it's also quite heavy - they must literally use lead for the hardware! There's a common misconception that weight translates to quality which is not always the case. And unfortunately, this means the cable is far from ideal in practice.

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The case it comes with is made out of faux leather. Nothing special, but it's aesthetically pleasing and works as it should.

Fit

I have smaller ears, and wow, these things are like suction cups. I get a noticeable, icky vacuum feeling whenever I put them in or take them out. It follows that isolation is stellar. I can wear them for a couple hours before my wacky, left ear cramps up. I think for most people fit'll be fine, but of course this will all depend on your personal ear geometry.

Sound Impressions

The S8 is a very sensitive IEM and requires little power to drive. With all my sources (my pleb Sony DAC, Shanling M0, phone, MacBook) there's faint hissing. It doesn't bother me much once I start playing music.

Bass: There is a noticeable bass-boost. Bass hits fast with good thump and decays medium-fast. I think it is quite controlled, and it never seems to bleed into the mid-range. As with most BAs, it has that "plasticky" texture to it.

Mids: There is a dichotomy going on here for me. They are slightly recessed as the graph would imply, and yet higher-frequency vocals seem to be pushed forward ever-so-slightly. There's a lot of texture to vocals which I initially confused with a lack of clarity after listening sessions with some of my other IEMs. The S8P plays noticeably better with female-vocals (for me).

Highs: The S8P is a detail monster. In fact, the first couple days I was listening to them, I ended up with a headache. I'll leave it at that.

The S8P uses a typical, Chi-fi V-shaped tuning. It is a very, very aggressive IEM - I could tell in just the first couple minutes I listened to them. Despite the emphasis on the bass and treble, I don't think either of them dominates or infringes upon the sound signature. Overall, the sound is slightly warm to my ears.

I'm probably not the best person to ask about soundstage or imaging, but to my ears the S8P honestly feels below average. While I can easily identify the placement of instruments, the stage seems quite confined and intimate. Like I said, take my thoughts here with a grain of salt. There is still decent separation between frequencies and instruments, and the S8P is a technically proficient IEM.

Select Comparisons...pretty much to my only other IEMs.

vs. Massdrop x Noble X

It's a wash for the Noble X, which is quite possibly the antithesis of the S8P. Bass is more controlled on the S8P with faster decay and more depth. The mids on the S8P, while quite textured, don't give me the impression that they're veiled unlike with the Noble X. Let's not talk about treble...because the Noble X doesn't have any. I prefer S8P.

vs. Moondrop KXXS

There is greater thump to the S8P's bass, but it feels unnatural and "plasticky" compared to the KXXS. Mids on the KXXS are thinner and with less texture. Highs are very bright on the KXXS, more so than on the S8P. The KXXS is slightly more airy and much more natural-sounding. I prefer KXXS.

vs. Moondrop Blessing

This is a very analytical IEM. Bass is much weaker on the Blessing, and it lacks thump and depth relative to the S8P. Like the KXXS, mids on the Blessing are thinner, almost to the point of being anemic, but with excellent resolution. The Blessing is airier than both the KXXS and S8P. I prefer S8P.

vs. 64audio U12t

Bass still has a bit of a plasticky texture, but not nearly as bad as the S8P. The mids of the U12t run circles around the S8P; resolution is on another plane. The U12t is also much more natural-sounding. S8P is clearly the more energetic IEM. I prefer U12t.

Conclusion

The S8P is an energetic, "fun-centric" IEM. It's not at all natural-sounding to my ears, but it has decent technical chops and solid tonality. Coming from the almost-dull Moondrop Blessing, I was immediately drawn-in by the S8P. Over time though, I've come to realize that it's not a sound signature that plays well with my musical tastes sans perhaps EDM and some pop tracks. So while I don't love this IEM, I will say it's quite competent. I won't talk about value because I haven't heard many other IEMs in this price bracket.

Score: 6/10 (Good)
Understanding my scoring: This is a personal, subjective assessment of an IEM’s sound quality. I don’t take into account any other factors, and it's relative to the absolute best sound I've heard. Take it with a grain of salt! I’m not going to lie; I have high standards. But I’m not telling anybody how they should hear something – it’s a reflection of what of me, myself, and I hear.


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MrLocoLuciano

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Balanced
Resolution
Sensuality
Cons: Floating Highs
4KHz brightness
Record dependent
I decided to compare S8Pro with ProPhile 8 in order to give a reference to everyone reading.

Preamble :

The S8Pro and PP8 were second-hand purchase on Head-Fi and Tellement Nomade.

Fearless is one of the Chinese brands that is rising in the small in-ear world.
The model we are interested in today is their 8 BA called S8Pro. It is currently sold for 450€ on Aliexpress, 491€ on Amazon.de and 489$ at Linsoul. The felt quality is excellent, with a very ergonomic resin shell that allows an excellent fit. The box provided with is very practical and allows you to easily store a cable and 2 pairs of in-ear monitors. The stock cable makes a good impression but unfortunately it wasn't working when I received it.

InEar is a German brand well kown by audiophiles.
Until recently, the Prophile 8 was the brand's flagship. Composed of 8 BA, they are recognized for their balanced signature considered as a reference. They have on their shell 2 switches allowing a bass and/or treble boost. The ergonomics of the hulls is the best I have ever encountered in the sense that it allows a fit close to that of a pair of customs. They seem to be able to withstand anything, but the cable supplied with it is of poor quality. They are currently available at 1333€.


http://fearlessaudio.com/Intro.aspx?bid=163 /https://www.linsoul.com/products/fearlessaudio-s8freedon-s8pro


https://www.inear-monitoring.eu/en/produkte/inear-universelles-monitoring/monitoring-prophile-8.htm

For the following review, I was able to test the PP8 and S8Pro with a WM1Z mod K, LPG and Cayin N8.

Sound :

If we already knew that InEar had succeeded in creating the ultimate monitoring pair with the PP8, Fearless offers us here its vision of a reference signature. And this is the commercial argument they use, since they recommend S8Pro on their website for professionals and producers. We are therefore faced with 2 interpretations of a balanced restitution.
Here are the Crinacle measurements (uncompensated) to compare PP8 (with bass boost) and S8Pro. Return below is done with the PP8 in this position.



Bass :

The peak of the Sub Bass (20 to 60Hz) and Bass (60 to 250Hz) is located at the junction of the two registers whose restitution is very linear and typical of BA. Fast and equally present on both pairs, the rendering is still a little different. They seem a little slower on the PP8 side due to a slightly longer "sustain". This gives a better impact for the S8Pro, a more physical feeling. However, some people may lack a real slam and a few subs that are found on Dynamic Drivers (DD) like the Trinity for example.
The quantity and unbooming nature of the basses offered here finally allow the rest of the registers to express themselves while providing a solid foundation for the music.

Mids :

The midrange is more matt and dense on the PP8 and more open and airy on the S8Pro, but with a very pleasant sensuality for both.
The Low-Mids (250 to 500Hz) is quite close and in the continuity of the basses on the 2 sets.
If we assume that the Mids (500 to 2000Hz) and High-Mids (2000 to 4000Hz) of the PP8 are neutral, we obtain a Mids a little behind on the S8Pro. Both men and women have slightly less warm voice tones. But at the same time, the High-Mids a little ahead allows to bring shine to these same voices and notes. The sound of the PP8 seems fuller but less luminous in comparison.
The 4000Hz peak of the S8Pro can also be a little annoying for some people depending on the recordings.
In comparison, Trinity Low-Mids are a litlle more recessed and Mids are even deeper and airier. The High-Mids is more flourishing, promoting development of harmonics and timbres efflorescence.

Highs :

The treble extension is quite similar on both in-ears. But due to the 4KHz peak of the S8Pro which extends a little beyond that, the high frequencies seem a little less present. They also seem a slightly less accurate on the S8Pro, more floating.
Relaxed and pleasant on the 2 pairs, they offer a beautiful resonance on the cymbals and allow them to have enough space to flourish. A nice success without brilliance.
In comparison, the highs of the Trinity are quite similar to those of the S8Pro in terms of quantity but sound more natural, much more accurate and much more aerated.

Soundstage:

With the PP8, we have a very wide but relatively shallow sounstage, height is rather average.
With the S8Pro, we move back a few rows in the audience but the singers are not closer to the musicians. The depth and width therefore improves slightly, as does the height.
However, we remain below the Zeus XIV in terms of width and the Trinity for depth and height.

The Magic Square:

As a result of the above, S8Pro seem to have a little more resolution and separation than PP8, except in the high frequencies where PP8 take over.
Definition and transparency seem to be of the same kind on both 8 BAs.
It should be noted, however, that S8Pro are more sensitive and dependent on recordings than PP8, which can sometimes increase recording whisper and bring out small imperfections.
In comparison, separation and resolution are better on Trinity, transparency and definition are a little higher too.

Final Thoughts :

As always, it's all about favorite taste.

If you want a soft, matte, dense and perfectly balanced sound, the PP8 are made for you. They will allow you to listen to your favorite songs for hours without fatigue by highlighting the production work. However, some might say that they are a little boring, flat and dull.

If you want a little spice and clarity without denaturing your songs and moving too far from a balanced playback, the S8Pro is for you. Gamblers and luminous, available for less than half the price of PP8, the Fearless are a very convincing proposal. But be careful if you have a 4KHz sensitivity and be aware that recording quality might be an issue.

My topic on Tellement Nomade here : http://www.tellementnomade.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=671123#p671123

Definition :
"Resolution is the ability to individualize a voice or instrument, so it is a synonym for detouring"
"Separation is the ability to feel space between musicians"
"Definition is the ability to perceive as much information as possible"
"Transparency is the ability to transcribe tones and subtleties of music"
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