The latest verion of FLC8

FLC Technology FLC 8N

Rating:
4.4/5,
  • The latest verion of FLC8

    flc8n.jpg

    With a New sound, wider soundstage
    Solid and durable Metal shell
    36 Sound signature Combinations
    Standard 0.78mm connector

    flc8n 2.jpg

    Specifications
    Drivers: 8.6mm Dynamic Driver+Dual Balanced Armature Drivers
    Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
    Sensitivity: 107dB/mW @1KHz
    Impedance: 11 Ω
    Connector: 0.78mm Two-Pin
    Plug: 2.5mm Balanced or 3.5mm Gold-plated L-Plug

    flc8n 3.jpg

Recent Reviews

  1. PinkyPowers
    The Evolution of Form and Thought
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published Oct 21, 2018 at 10:21 PM
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Small. Light-weight. Comfortable. Good sound.
    Cons - Not the most impressive in this price range.
    FLC8n 01.jpg

    ~:: I originally published this on the THL. Now I wish to share it with my Head-Fi fellows. ::~

    :: Disclaimer ::

    MusicTeck provided the 8n free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

    The FLC 8n sells for $355 MSRP
    www.MusicTeck.com
    FLC8n on Amazon

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Not much has changed in the last few years for FLC’s flagship. From what I can tell, it is mostly just a refinement of the old design.

    Which is probably a good thing. The FLC8s landed fat and hard on the Audiophile scene, garnering considerable praise for its versatility, form, and sound. It isn’t talked about much today—the community moves on—but that’s all the more reason why an update is not only timely, but needed.

    The new FLC8n!

    1x 8.6mm DD for Lows
    2X BA for Mids and Highs
    Frequency Response: 20hz-20Khz
    Sensitivity: 107dB/mW @1Khz
    Impedance: 11Ω

    Unboxing 01.jpg
    Unboxing 02.jpg
    Unboxing 03.jpg
    Unboxing 04.jpg
    Unboxing 05.jpg
    The housing is a good sturdy metal, and should withstand moderate abuse. A small 2-pin connector is used, sporting robust strain relief. Unfortunately, I was unable to plug in a standard 2-pin cable like my Effect Audio Ares II. The holes are just not wide enough on the FLC.

    While this is sad, it’s not a complete disaster. The stock cable is alright, with a high purity 7n copper. It’s a bit too springy for my liking, but it’s light and doesn’t get in the way too terribly.

    Between the 3 filter positions you can adjust mid-bass, low-bass, mids, and highs, with a total of 36 unique configurations. If you’re anything like me, that might sound daunting. It’s not. In practice, you don’t need to play around with every single setup. FLC provides a booklet which describes what every filter does. All you must do is have a semblance of a notion for what sound signature you enjoy, and install the filters FLC claims will achieve this ambition. If this is your first experience with audio, you’re screwed, and will need to cycle through all 36 options to find your absolute favorite. For the rest of us who’ve been around the block a few times, it’s much easier. Just put in the filters you think will get you the sound you want, and if it’s not quite right, consult the booklet, and make educated adjustments. In other words, if the bass is too much, switch to a filter the book says is less bassy. If you want more highs, use that filter, etc…

    Filters 01.jpg
    Filters 02.jpg
    I’m using the same filters I did on the 8s: Black, Red, Gold. Ultimate lows, ultimate mids, medium highs. This pleases my ears as well as can be hoped.

    Speaking of which, let’s talk about that next.

    FLC8n 03.jpg
    I would never, under any circumstance, give you 36 sound impressions in one review. F**k that! I won’t even give you two filter configurations. No. I’ve told you I’m using Black, Red, and Gold. So, Most Bass, Most Mids, and Medium Treble. Knowing that, you can make your own mental adjustments to figure out if the 8n is capable of matching your sonic preference. I’d be willing to bet it is.

    The FLC8n with Black, Red, and Gold filters is warm and bassy, rich, yet elegantly balanced. Clarity has a natural feel, delivering all the goods, without aggression or artificially boosting details. There is a smooth, easygoing quality to the FLC8n, though one not lacking in dynamism.

    Treble has plenty of air for my tastes, suggesting good extension. A lower treble peak helps articulate the performance, bringing forth texture and detail. The drum kit is present, but not piercing. Actually, the highs are relatively smooth, with a hint of warmth about them.

    Vocals are fantastic! Clean, refined, and possessing a touch of lushness. A moderate amount of body gives the mids authority, without sacrificing transparency. Vocals don’t dominate the music with forwardness, instead choosing to join the band and become a whole. Liquidity mingled with clarity makes this a wonderful, seductive listen.

    FLC8n 02.jpg
    The bass is a real delight, thanks to that dynamic driver and my fiendish choice of filters. Lows delve mighty deep, rumbling and quaking, punching and kicking as the music calls for it. There’s good texture, and a surprising amount of control and speed. It’s technically very good, but I’ve heard better tonality.

    Soundstage is okay. Certainly not small, but also not super wide or tall. It feels pretty natural. Imaging is good, as is separation. Resolution is modest, but nothing to write home about it.

    Comparing to the older FLC8s ($299, Review HERE), the new 8n is cleaner, clearer, with better resolution. The 8s has more grain and sounds peaky, perhaps more prone to sibilance. There’s a refinement to the 8n, felt all throughout the presentation. Better separation, more air, tighter bass, and greater beauty in the vocals. Indeed, this is a worthy upgrade.

    Final Audio Design released a true winner in the E5000 ($279, Review HERE). For my money, nothing under $500 can beat it. Well, nothing I’ve heard. It’s even more organic and naturalistic than FLC. Smoother, richer, much bigger soundstage, with depth like you wouldn’t believe. The one down-side is how much goddamn power it needs. Most smartphones will struggle to get these loud enough, so you will want either one of those powerful LG’s, or a DAP with decent output. FLC will run fine on anything, as it’s very efficient.

    Another superb alternative if you seek organicity and balance in a hybrid design is the Accutone Studio S2 ($339, Review HERE) Plus, no need for filters. It’s more or less perfect right out of the box. S2 has the more natural tuning, with smoother, warmer treble. The bass has a nicer tone, though not as much attack or “fun”. Mids are pretty close between these two. It’s hard to say which is better. They perform very much on the same level.

    With such a broad range of possible signatures, you have no need to worry over pairing. If it’s too warm, or too bright, or too… whatever… you can fix it with a simple change of filter. Still, I’ll share with you some of the pairings I played about with.

    FLC8n & Opus2 01.jpg
    My reference DAP for sound analysis was the Opus#2 by theBit (#999, Review HERE). It presents a meaty, natural-neutral tone which is full of dynamics and detail. Opus resolves at such a high degree and renders a truly transparent image. FLC8n benefits greatly from this kind of mastery, elevated to new heights, and displaying all it is capable of.

    iBasso’s new DX150 with AMP7 ($499, Review HERE) is probably the most fun you can have with the 8n. It’s a goddamn rockbox! So power, so energetic, so brimming with passion and musicality. It’s not the most refined listen, but it will put a sick grin on your face.

    FLC8n & DX150 01.jpg
    FLC8n & M0 01.jpg
    Then there’s the Shanling M0 ($99). This is the affordable option, no doubt about it. And it sounds pretty good… for the price. Decent power, clear-ish sound. Small staging. But adequate for out and about, if you’re not too critical. Shanling delivers a warm, dynamic sound, and plays well with these IEMs.

    When I first put in the FLC8n, I thought, “That sounds just like the 8s.” Which is good, since I quite like the 8s. But as I went back and forth between them, I knew I had misjudged the situation. 8n is a clear upgrade on all fronts. It is the 8s, just more so… and better. Good job FLC!

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-
  2. Zelda
    FLC 8N - Multiple Choice
    Written by Zelda
    Published Oct 15, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality
    Detail, Clarity, Resolution
    Comfortable design
    Excellent tuning system
    Cons - Finish could be better
    Cable can be springy and noisy
    Very small tuning filters can be difficult to install
    Review - FLC Technology 8N

    flc (0).JPG

    Website - FLC Technology
    Overview

    The FLC 8n is one of the new additions from FLC Technology and follows the same well implemented sound tuning system that was introduced on the previous 8/8s model. A hybrid earphone that consists of the typical dual balanced armature & single dynamic units, but with full customizable design that allows to adjust the treble, midrange and bass frequencies in order to achieve many sound presentations. Very good sound quality with high resolution and detail, with a bit different overall flavor than the original 8s in a more lively sound, but still makes an excellent reference within its price tag and above.

    flc (1).JPG

    FLC 8N info

    There's also a video from Forrest Wei (FLC's owner) that may be found on the website or YouTube explaining the whole technology and tuning system on the FLC IEMs.

    Specifications
    • Drivers: 8.6mm Dynamic + Dual Balanced Armature
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
    • Sensitivity: 107dB/mW @1KHz
    • Impedance: 11Ω
    • Earphone Connection: 2-pin 0.78mm
    • Plug: 3.5mm, Gold-plated. Also available in 2.5mm Balanced option

    Price
    : ~U$355

    flc (2).JPG

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    The FLC 8n arrive in a rather large thick cardboard box with a nice unboxing presentation. The main upper cover has a magnetic closure that reveals three separated sections. At the top the yellow foam holds the earphone with the attached cables and just underneath there is the large tweezers to change the different tuning options. Next at the lower part there are the round metal case, the main tuning filters set inside the round metal container, a selection of ear tips, extra spare tuning filters and a few other accessories such as cleaning tool, cable clip and adapter. As for the ear tips array it consists of 8 pairs of single silicone tips on 4 sizes. The tips have a less common cylindrical shape with a wide bore and long flange. They work well with the FLC IEMs, but other extra tips can be used as well.

    flc (4).JPG

    Worth noting that there are now two different box presentations, one for the China and surroundings area and a more compact version meant for the worldwide market. There should be no changes on the inner contents, just a more affordable version as to avoid potential customs issues or delays. Like this one here, it is still possible to get the original box version depending where ordering from.

    flc (5).JPG

    Design

    This new 8n model continues the similar compact design as the previous 8s with a same over-ear wearing style, detachable cable and exact same tuning sections around the earpieces. However, there are important changes that may be consider as an upgrade. The main difference is on the shells material which are now made of aluminum over the plastic used on the 8/8s. The shape is also more rounded and a bit taller too, but with same length and width. Another interesting change are the 3 holes at the inner part of the housings which supposedly are working as vents and seem to have the effect on the advertised better stage.

    flc (6).JPG

    The overall finish is good but still not perfect, at least on what may be expected for the price tag. There are no sharp corners and the whole earpiece is smooth, though the two pieces joint is a bit too obvious; not a huge issue though. However, the main concern to be spotted lies on the added 3 inner vents, as they are not of the same width on both earpieces sides. I'm not aware how much of impact this may have on the sonic performance, but it may lead to some channel imbalance if any.

    The quality, while still tougher than the 8s model, is still around average for the nowadays standards. The two pieces are still well assembled and the shiny electric blue color looks more eye catching than the darker 8s theme.

    flc (7).JPG

    Despite the 3 driver configuration, the round and compact shape results very comfortable and lightweight too. Fit and seal are also very easy, and the provided isolation level is above average. The different bass/sub-bass filters used might have certain effect on the isolation as they work by sealing their respective ports. The included ear tips were fine enough, though I personally opted for some extra ones. The nozzle is wider than standard IEMs, so those with narrow ear canals may get a more shallow fit with any of the FLC earphones.

    On the detachable cable side, it uses a 2-pin connection (0.78), though the sockets seem much tighter than what usually found on this cable type. While this helps to provide a much secure and fixed connection it also limits the possibility of trying different aftermarket cables too. Quality wise, it is also around average. The cable consists of 4 separated strands tightly twisted from the plug to the pins. And while inner wire might be of good quality, the outer cable jacket makes the cable a bit stiff and not comfortable enough with a kind of springy effect and average noise if moving around. Nonetheless, the cable sits well around the ears without need of attaching extra earguides.
    Lastly, regarding the multiple tuning filters they are made of different materials, metal for the large nozzle filters, rubber for the short tubes for rear outer port and plastic for the small filters for the inner port. A more detailed description on the sound section below, but just should mention that the nozzle filters are the easiest to install as they simple screw inside the earpieces. The rubber tube filters are a bit more difficult to install being so small, though easy to remove, while the smaller plastic filters at the inner part are more tricky to add being so close to the nozzle part. Moreover, they are all very smaller and can be easy to lose, so changing them on the go is definitely not recommended. And just in case there is an extra spare filter in case one of the pair is lost.

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    Sound Quality

    Main IEMs used: FLC 8s, Dunu DN-2002 & DK-3001, Accutone Studio S2, CustomArt Fibae 3, iBasso IT04, 1216.e 3RM.


    The first FLC 8 model and the later revised version 8s gained a lot of popularity among the audio community, and not only for the multi tuning system but also for the high sound quality they had in the triple hybrid setup.

    The new 8n applies the exact tuning system which consists of 3 types of filters that work directly on each kind of driver and it respectively frequency range. In order to describe the sound of the 8n it is necessary to refer to each tuning option by itself, and so it is not simple to use the traditional way that could be used for even other earphones with tuning filters. What other IEMs usually offer is a much simpler single filter that either installs on the nozzle or rear port to adjust the overall sound a bit by a specific frequency region, but still keeping a base kind of sound. Even the LZ A4 that had a dual tuning system, closer to what the FLC8 options have still had some limitations and a main signature that could be used as reference.
    The multiple FLC sound possibilities on this last 8n model make it difficult to be set as a base sound. The 3 tuning options have a very strong effect on the treble, midrange and bass quantities; and even though the suggested 36 possible setups may sound too positive for just a single earphone, it is a fact that they work as advertised. Obviously, the large metal nozzle filter has the main effect on the dual BA driver underneath changing the treble and midrange reach and impact, and also limits the air flow from the dynamic driver, depending on the small hole located very close to the top of the nozzle. The other 2 tiny filters take action on the low frequencies, mid and upper bass (or Low Frequencies - LF, in short - as FLC want to call it) for the tube like rubber filter located at the outer side, and sub-bass (or Ultra LF) for the plastic 'mushroom' shaped filter at the inner side.

    It should be noted that the FLC 8n can be still used in a 'raw' form without any filter installed; however, the sound is in fact 'raw', very forward and inconsistent, and the most critical effect comes from the sub-bass (ULF) port which must be sealed to start to sound decent enough.
    Now, the multiple sound options focus mainly in the quantities of each frequency and together can give a different overall tonality. But before that, there are certain general characteristics that the 8n features in terms of pure quality. Overall, the 8n shows high midrange and treble resolution form the dual BA units. The micro detail level is superb with a very open and airy presentation. Instrument separation and balance is very good with a rather natural timbre, and expectedly it has the traditional armatures strengths of speed and accuracy. Treble extension is very good as well even with the most laid-back filter setup. The ~8.6 dynamic driver may not be too large compared to other hybrid IEMs, but it does deliver good quality and has enough presence. It has very good speed, well matching the dual BA units, avoiding drivers' incoherence as much as possible. Control is very good too and has good layering and texture. It does not carry the best dynamics but it is tight and shows good depth. Together they give a spacious and effortless sound with above average to good stage dimensions.

    Quantity wise, let's start with the nozzle filters for treble and midrange.

    First of all, the Green filter. It is the only one that has no material at the tip part that gets in contact to the BA drivers to act as an extra layering or damper, and also has a wide opening at that section too. As such, it has the highest amount of treble, with the most bright and aggressive response. Extension is more effortless and detail is more forward. Midrange texture is lean, not distant but yes thinner in body. The extra energy can be too high at times with a certain peak at the upper mid and lower treble that can be sibilant. It has the flattest response with a more analytical tuning.

    Next are the Gold and Gunmetal filters. These two should be described together as they bring the highest midrange presence, and personally found they give the best balance and signature. They seem to be using a same or very similar filter at the tip as they give a similar texture and body to the mids. However, there're a couple of physical differences that can be easily spotted. The Gold one has a wider opening both at the bottom close to the BA section, but also has the widest side hole among the 4 filters, which allows more air flow to arrive from the dynamic driver. The Gunmetal is narrow on both parts.

    Sound wise, the Gold nozzle has a brighter tonality but still more reserved than with the Green option. It gives more body and texture to the upper mids keeping the energy to upper instruments and female singers. Lower mids are a bit less thick but still rich and effortless.

    The Gunmetal nozzle, on the other hand, gives a kind of opposite effect while still giving a more forward midrange. Treble is more laid back and smoother and upper mids are a tad calmer too. If the Gold filter might still give some harshness, the Gunmetal is a safer option. Lower mids have more body and are more forward; the bass ports are more important here too. Male vocals gain a bit more focus too, and overall the midrange is richer and more musical.

    Last of the nozzle filters is the Blue one. It is the total opposite of the Green one with a very narrow and thicker filter, having the most laid back treble and darker tonality. The midrange too is darker with a more off sounding upper midrange and lower treble. It may depend on the source used but I found it the less favorite tuning option. Detail level is still there though more distant and not effortless. Combined with the right bass filters it can reach the most powerful bass tuning.

    Second part goes to the mid/up-bass (or Low Frequency) options. The tuning here is done by the small rear port located at the outer side of the shells. There're 3 different filters, all made of rubber material and similarly to the nozzle filters the sound is tuned by having different filter material at the very outer part, allowing or blocking the air flow.

    First is the Clear colored filter. It has the thicker damper material blocking the highest amount of bass. The bass is light and has very little impact, though is tight and most controlled, falling into the 'neutral' category (or just north of nuetral).

    The Grey colored filter has a thinner material and starts giving a good amount of bass with a stronger impact. Mid and up bass is plenty, and still has good control with more natural texture and body. I find this to give the best balance between quality and quantity and could use it as the main option.

    The Black filter has no material blocking the air flow from the outside. As such the bass is the strongest and the 'heavy-bass' option among the FLC8n tunings. It does bleed into the midrange adding more warmth to overall tonality, but also has the less control and can be overdone with heavier tracks. It is more 'fun' though, but can be tiring too.

    And lastly, the inner sub-bass port tuning, or Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) options. As mentioned above this filter (any of them) is most critical to have installed in order to have a decent sound out the 8n, otherwise it will sound very unnatural and inconsistent. However, the differences between these 3 options are less noticed than with the previous 2 filter nozzle and rear port options. They mostly work together with the other bass tunings options to add the last bit of low end impact and depth, with more or less same extension. They are made of plastic in what could be called 'mushroom' kind of shape, and also the most difficult to install. Again, the tuning here works blocking the sub-bass ports.

    The Red option seals completely the bass inner port and provides the higher amount of sub-bass. There is more rumble and impact though less air and dynamics. The Black one has a bit less amount and more control and more effortless flow and depth with more natural extension. Again the middle ground filter. The Clear one is similar in depth to the Black but with less body and impact, though also tighter and quicker in decay. Differences are still more noticed when switching between the Red and Clear ones, while less perceived when changing to the Black ones.

    Despite the so many configurations, what the FLC 8n cannot do is go too extreme. It does not get too aggressive in the treble area or too forward on the midrange. Even the most lively v-shaped that can be achieved is only moderate. Bass too, won't get a really heavy-bass signature either, or have a very wide stage presentation. Nevertheless, the 8n is completely versatile and can show very strong emphasis within the different tunable options.

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    The most important comparison is clearly next to the own FLC 8s model. I was able to demo a unit for the needed amount of time to compare the different tuning options against the new 8n model. The tuning system effect is clearly the same on both models. However, there are certain noticeable differences in their general characteristics, probably due the different shell material, shape and vents, and maybe different balanced armature units or their main tuning. The 8s is more neutral in the midrange and treble response with less extension at the top and not as open and airy as the 8n. Bass quantities are very similar but the 8n has bigger impact probably due the extra 3 vents added at the inner part of the shell. Soundstage is also wider on the 8n, not by a huge margin but gives more right to left distance.

    flc (11).JPG

    Value

    All in all, the FLC 8n is a great all-rounder earphone with the excellent tuning system that really changes the sound presentation. While overall build quality is not as stellar as other competitors may offer, the well rounded form factor still makes it a very comfortable IEM for everyday use. Whether all the multiple sound combinations are brilliant or not it is a matter of personal taste. Fans of the more neutral sounding original 8s model may not find a true upgrade within the 8n with its more energy and lively presentation. Nevertheless, even if the FLC 8n had just a few of different sound options, in terms of pure sound quality it would already be well worth its price tag, carrying great balance, high clarity and detail.
      sm0rf, slowpickr, DannyBai and 2 others like this.
  3. HansBarbarossa
    FLC 8N: 36 in 1
    Written by HansBarbarossa
    Published Aug 23, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Sound with a large number of settings, a rich set, quality of assembly, design, ergonomics.
    Cons - Possibility of loss of small filters, it is necessary to be accurate during their replacement.
    I think, many in the childhood were loved by the designers allowing to collect without a break in the evenings from the same details the tractor, the ship, the plane. And engineers of the FLC Technology company, apparently, designers just adored because to fans of a good sound they suggest us to become workmen and to safely give an imagination scope, finishing earphones under the most whimsical inquiries. If you have now thought that I exaggerate for the sake of a witty remark, then just read up this review up to the end and all you will understand.

    Approximately a year ago I managed to listen for a moment to the hybrid modelka of FLC 8S earphones constructed on one dynamic and two reinforcing radiators. The possibility of correction of a sound was feature of this model (36 options!) at the expense of special replaceable filters. And though our acquaintance has turned out chaotic, I looked for since then chance to strengthen it and to understand slowly such promising development. And here quite unexpectedly I managed to catch two novelties from FLC Technology. I will tell about the budgetary FLC 8D model slightly later, and today with us FLC 8N going for change of that 8S.



    [​IMG]


    Specification:
    Driver: 8.6 mm dynamic driver and dual balanced armature driver
    Sensitivity: 107 dB/mw
    Frequency response: 20- 20 000 HZ
    Connector: 0.78 mm 2pin connector
    Housing: Metal


    Appearance, set and ergonomics

    IEMs comfortably settle down in a pleasant box of olive color. On her face the squeezed-out silvery logo of a brand is placed. Under a cover it is found the detailed instruction, and behind her on a bright yellow insert earphones and a round jar in which accessories lie. In this stylish "washer" it is possible to store and carry earphones. And at last, under the foamy basis the plastic tweezers for replacement of the filters influencing a sound lie.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Accessories here whole army: 8 couples of the most different tips, a metal flask charm in which filters, tweezers, the device for cleaning sound pipe, the adapter 6,3/3,5mm , additional small filters (on a case of loss of the main), a clothespeg for fastening of a cable to clothes (a convenient, by the way, thing) and an above-mentioned jar are stored.

    Shell of earphones is metal, positive turquoise-blue color. Earphones are easy, convenient and ergonomic, landing also comfortable. Assembly of claims doesn't cause, a hint on side plays or gaps.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    On an external half of the case small ravines of a brand and port for the subbass filter. On inside port for placement of the low-frequency filter also three tiny openings forming a triangle are placed sound pipe in which Mid/High the filter is screwed in (as I understand this certain similarity of the phase inverter).
    From above cases there is a socket for connection of a cable.

    Blue cable in tone of earphones. He the 4 wire, replaceable. Connectors 2pin with deepening in nests. Jack L-shaped with gilding. Upon purchase it is possible to choose 3,5 mm usual (as in my case) or 2,5 mm balance. The cable is elastic, it is made of copper of high cleaning 7N, purity of the conductor of 99,99998%. In general he looks completely reliable.


    [​IMG]


    For a set, design and assembly earphones unambiguously receive from me five stars!

    Filters
    Are included in the package (considering that at once are installed by the producer in earphones):

    4 couples for installation in sound pipes
    Gold - the raised Mids / neutral High
    Blue - lower Mids / lower High
    Green - neutral Mids / the raised High
    Graphite (according to gunmetal producer) - neutral Mids / neutral High

    Installation outside of the shell
    White - the lowered low-frequency range
    Gray - neutral low-frequency range
    Black - the increased low-frequency range

    Internal part of the shell
    Transparent - the lowered lowest low-frequency
    Graphite (gunmetal) - neutral lowest low-frequency
    Red - the increased lowest low-frequency


    [​IMG]


    I strongly recommend to be engaged in replacement of filters over a table and it is extremely accurate not to lose them suddenly.

    And now we pass to the main thing, to a sound.


    Sound

    Listening was carried out on MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2, Lotoo paw Gold, iBasso DX200 (AMP7), iFI xDSD, and iFI micro iDSD Black Lable.

    With all devices IEMs was played wonderfully well. Before use they have been burn about 45-50 hours that has positively influenced their sounding.


    [​IMG]


    At once I will note that to compare new model 8n with old 8s in principle it would be incorrect as I already definitely don't remember with what combination of settings I listened 8s. Besides there were others both tips, and a custom cable, and acquaintance to those earphones was too fleeting. I can tell, however, that similar these models have more, than various.

    To anyway describe giving of these ears – a task extremely difficult, at them is the whole 36 options of various shades of a sound.

    Personally I have stopped on the "balanced" combination: graphite (gunmetal), gray, graphite (gunmetal), sometimes lifting area of a subbass the red filter or a bass - black. But it, of course, the matter of taste, other variations similarly have the right for application. For example, ears with the gold filter installed in sound waters very beautifully sound. It gives to expressiveness to the mid-frequency range and an expression to voice parts.

    I can testify that FLC 8N are earphones with carefully thought over system of control of a sound.

    Several possible combinations of settings of a sound (sound pipe/outside/inside)


    [​IMG]


    Can be suitable for vocal genres: gold, white, transparent

    For rock and pop music: gold, black, graphite (gunmetal)

    Piano or string music: green, white, transparent

    Light music: graphite (gunmetal), white, transparent

    Classical: green, white, transparent

    And the most universal, balanced option: graphite (gunmetal), gray, graphite (gunmetal). As I have already told, with him I also tested this IEM.


    Sounding with such choice of filters, in my opinion, neutral, well balanced, smooth, with direct and powerful shot, with an enviable speed, harmonious working off micro and macronuances.

    The sound picture is drawn contrastly, wholly, with magnificent transfer of sound timbres.
    Giving of a sound dense, exact and dynamic. There is both a weight, and neutral analyticity with a good portrayal of fine details, and dense layered musicality where each sound possesses the corporal basis.

    Low frequencies please with decent cotton, powerful, but without search, direct shot and a fast, harmonious bass. Fine study of textures, pressure and speed.

    Mids is smooth, detailed, well textured, with worthy division of tools and transfer of an emotional component of compositions.

    High frequencies have a pleasant "tasty" color. On some tracks where there is a rise in this register, can slip a delicate hint on sibilyanta, but there is it quite seldom and is never beyond decency, and 50 hours of warming up later and at the correct selection of tips doesn't pay attention to itself at all.

    When replacing the subbas filter on red it is possible to achieve a bigger power and a pressure. Also it will lead to the best study of depth of space and speeding up in the field of low frequencies - obeys is very fascinating.
    If to replace control sound, having chosen the gold filter, then sounding becomes more emotional, "juicy", melodious, with amazingly detailed and melodious middle and emphasis on string and voice parts.

    In general, tuning of a sound of these ears strikes with the variety. Replacement of filters allows to find for itself absolutely unique handwriting.

    Virtual space of the average sizes, it proportionally and harmoniously is built both in width, and in depth. Laudable coherence of drivers pleases. Sounding turns out uniform, not separated on separate components.
    Exclusively interesting IEM if not to tell more.


    [​IMG]


    Example
    Billy Idol «Worlds forgotten boy»


    «..Sound tow'rs will crumble down,

    I see ev'rything is broken down.

    His heart is breaking and recorded in sound.

    We need a miracle joy, we need a miracle boy,

    A rock and roll toy, a rock and roll joy,

    a rock and roll boy!»


    The composition sounds massivno, fascinatingly, with an expression, as well as it is necessary to songs Billy.

    Low frequencies are worked out and have decent dense blow, good control and decent speed. Even it is surprising that the dynamic radiator can so smartly and precisely hit the mark.

    Mids move smoothly and purely, quickly and melodiously, with an impressive portrayal macro - and macronuances. Each tool has the corporal basis and is accurately outlined in space. The drive and a guitar roar strike with the high-speed characteristics and the attack. The emotional component of composition is brightly transferred.

    High frequencies have an unostentatious accurate color with small simplification here. He doesn't spoil an overall picture, even opposite, melodies begin to sound more fierily.

    And if there is a wish to add composition of massiveness and depth, then take filters in hand. Juggle with settings of low frequencies for the taste and color.
    There is desire to add emotions, expressivity - please, the gold filter will tasty lift mids.
    It is necessary to strangle highs? Easily, your color blue.
    And if you constantly lack high frequencies, surely look towards green.
    Create unique earphones, adapt their sounding under the source of a sound and favourite musical genres. FLC 8N can a lot of things!



    Conclusion
    FLC 8N the remarkable earphones capable to satisfy inquiries of the most exacting music lovers thanks to a possibility of thin fine tuning of a sound. Just imagine, 36 variations!
    And still they have a rich set, high quality of assembly, pleasant design and the thought-over ergonomics. As they say, chic, gloss, beauty!
    And the cost of FLC 8N taking into account such many-sided sound and a complete set quite philanthropic.
    And if you were interested in sound chameleons of FLC 8N, then I without shadow of doubt recommend them for purchase.

    images

    1. 777.jpg
      Moonstar, Flcforrestwei and Zelda like this.
  4. csglinux
    FLC8S to FLC8N - Is It Worth Upgrading?
    Written by csglinux
    Published Aug 16, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Good sound; extensive tuning system; ergonomic.
    Cons - The various ports and vents sacrifice isolation; sounds a little bright with any filter that doesn't quickly roll-off beyond 9 kHz; it isn't a significant improvement from the (cheaper) FLC8S.
    The main purpose of this review is to provide a comparison to the FLC8S and answer the question: "Is the FLC8N worth upgrading to?". As an FLC8S owner, I have been searching the forums for months and failing to get an answer to that question. So I decided to answer it myself and document my findings in the process. I won't reproduce more glamorous photos of the FLC8N in compromising positions and various states of undress, as they already exist in the excellent review from @moonstar. Moonstar's review would be a better place to start for somebody who is unfamiliar with the FLC headphones.

    Preamble

    All my reviews are based on items purchased myself. I have never received payment or free merchandise in return for an "unbiased" review. There are two important reasons for this:

    1. Personal integrity. We're all victims of subconscious bias. Of course you don't think that this affects you - that's because it's subconscious. But no matter how much a reviewer claims that the free pair of headphones in no way affected his/her opinion, you can be sure that it did. In addition, maintaining a steady stream of free merchandise necessitates that a reviewer simply can't be too negative about the products they review, even if they feel the product is a dud.
    2. Nobody has ever offered me any free products to review. You can be sure that if they did, item 1), along with all my personal integrity, would instantly go out the window :)

    The FLC8N

    The FLC8N is a successor to the wonderful FLC8S triple-driver (two BA + one DD) IEM, which remains one of the most impressive value-for-money audio purchases you can make for less than $1000 (USD). So how do you follow-up one of the best-sounding and best-engineered headphones? From the plastic-housing of the 8S, FLC have now moved to a metal-housing for the 8N. The 8N is a similar-looking (but equally light and tiny) IEM that is also a triple driver (two BA + one DD) with the same unique three-part tuning system that allows for separate user-adjustment of the ultra-low frequencies (ULF), low frequencies (LF) and mids/highs. It does contain one new element, which is the presence of three little vent ports:

    20180816_143740~2.jpg

    For those with limited patience or attention spans, here's the first burning question answered... Is the FLC8N worth upgrading to, if you already own the FLC8S?

    Probably not, but then again it might be. It is most definitely a different-sounding headphone, whose frequency-response is more v-shaped than that of the FLC8S.

    The second burning question...

    The FLC8N is one of the best value-for-money headphones you can buy. The only problem is that the FLC8S is now even better value.

    A Word about Measurements

    I tested 2.5 mm balanced versions of both the FLC8S and FLC8N and measurements were made via a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm adapter from a Hugo 2 operating as an external DAC to an iMac, with an external StarTech USB sound card and a Vibro Veritas coupler driving the REW software. All FR measurements are diffuse-field compensated using curves borrowed from InnerFidelity. The measurements were all made with SpinFit Cp100 eartips inserted to the same depth in the coupler and secured with putty before each reading.

    IEMs are the one type of headphone where one can strictly reproduce the seal and insertion depth each time and this generally results in very good consistency between different measurements. The reader should note, however, that the measurements presented here won't exactly match the frequency response you'd experience in your own ear canal(s), which will be of a different shape and depth. However, the point here is to show the trends or differences from one headphone (or tuning system) to another. In that regard, these results should be easily repeatable by other measurement rigs.


    FLC8N - Initial Impressions

    In my opinion, FLC and its engineers (led by Forrest Wei) are geniuses in the field of IEM design. They created a wonderful-sounding, extensively-tunable IEM in the FLC8S that hasn't been rivaled at any price anywhere since. Well, until now :wink: However, the FLC team clearly lack marketing skills (at least in the English language) and seem to put out a rather weak message about their new products. For months now, people have been asking for information on the FLC8D, FLC8N and Celeste, and it's been like getting blood out of a stone. In particular, some important questions seem to have been ducked over and over. For example: 1) Will the FLC8N sound better than the FLC8S? 2) If so, how/why? The only answers that I'm aware of from FLC are 1) FLC8N has a wider soundstage and 2) this is because FLC8N uses a "newer" armature. When asked what was the improvement in the armature design, FLC didn't know, because it was proprietary to the armature manufacturer. So, all we're really expecting is apparently a wider soundstage(?).

    I don't worry about soundstage. IMHO, you shouldn't either. Yes, it's true that IEMs tend to make the sound appear to come from within your head and some open-back, full-sized cans (e.g., HD800S) can give some kind of illusion of a wider soundstage, but it is an illusion. Almost all of us are playing back, on headphones, recordings that were made by widely-placed studio mics and then mixed/mastered for playback on loudspeakers. It would be a miracle if that process captured the actual sound-stage of the original audio when played back on IEMs. To properly recreate the soundstage, you need proper binaural recordings, ideally from a dummy head perfectly matching your own, or modified via transfer functions tailored to measurements of your own ears and ear-canal geometries (see, for example, the OOYH software or the Smyth Realizer). So, does the FLC8N create some illusion of a slightly wider soundstage? More on this below...

    The FLC8N earbuds are slightly more bulbous than the FLC8S, and the nozzles are about 1 mm shorter. That's probably not an issue for most people, but those of you with longer ear canals, bear in mind that you might lose some insertion depth. Personally, I love the ergonomics of the FLC8N and had no problems achieving an equivalent seal/insertion as with the FLC8S. The cable is also an improvement over that on the FLC8S, being slightly less springy. The pins are now a more standard 0.78 mm size, but the plug housing is a thicker, non-conventional shape which makes it unlikely that you'll easily be able to find (or solder your own) replacement cables and have them connect without looking a bit weird at the connection point.

    Right out of the box, I put my favorite FLC8S filters onto the FLC8N. These were red ultra-low filter (ULF), modified black low filter (LF) and gunmetal mid/high filter. (The modified black was simply some acoustic damping foam inside the black LF in order to split the difference between the black - which I found too boomy - and the gray, which I found slightly lacking in sub-bass.) I will refer to these red, modified-black, gunmetal filters as R-MB-Gunmetal. In the measurements, you'll also see R-G-Gunmetal (red ULF, gray LF, gunmetal mid/high), R-G-Green (hopefully the nomenclature is obvious now?), R-G-Blue and R-G-Gold.

    Ok, so with the R-MB-Gunmetal filters swapped over from my FLC8S, I expected to hear basically the same sound as my FLC8S. But I didn't. The FLC8N is somewhat more v-shaped than the FLC8S. More bass (particularly mid-bass) and more treble (particularly lower-treble). Now, I'm a fan of (gentle) v-shaped sound signatures, but it's all too easy to end up with an M-shaped sound signature where you're only actually boosting the mid-bass and the 5 kHz - 9 kHz resonance peaks, with an early roll-off in the sub-bass and upper treble; to my ears, this makes any type of headphone sound a little cheap, with boomy bass and borderline hot/sibilant treble. The FLC8N, with the R-MB-G tuning gets awfully close on both points. The increase in the 100 Hz region doesn't appear to be entirely explained away by the effect of the vent ports, as we'll see later when comparing FLC8S vs FLC8N. However, they seem to create a bit of an extra kick in the mid-bass. The following measurements were FLC8N with R-G-Gunmetal tuning:

    vent_port.png

    The problem with the placement of the three new vent ports on the side of the FLC8N is that for some people they'll be open; for others, with larger ear canals, these may be pushed right against your concha bowl and be effectively blocked. The old adage that everybody hears things differently is definitely going to apply here.

    As I wasn't enjoying the elevated bass on the FLC8N with the R-MB-Gunmetal tuning, I switched to R-G-Gunmetal filters. This sorted out my issue with the low frequencies, which still had more kick to them than the FLC8S with R-MB-Gunmetal filters, but I could happily live with that. I like this part of the frequency response and I think this is the right choice for the FLC8D (the fixed-frequency ULF/LF model). That should make the FLC8D a more tempting purchase, because I doubt I'd ever switch away from red ULF and gray LF filters now. However, I have so far not found a way of taming the lower treble. The only filter that gives less treble than the gunmetal mid/high filter is the blue, which tends to exhibit a massive 8.5 kHz resonance peak and causes too-early a roll-off beyond that point. Here's the effect of the mid/high-frequency filters in the FLC8N:

    mid-high.png

    I should note that the above were all measured on the right channel. The channel matching on the FLC8N isn't all that great. Here are the L and R buds with identical filters, FR normalized at 1 kHz:

    Channel_Matching.png

    Manufacturing variation is understandable. But I think FLC could perhaps have taken a bit more time and effort in terms of quality control to ensure that the left and right channels were within a reasonable tolerance. The L and R measurements are different enough on the FLC8N that they look like they could almost have come from two completely different headphones. (Channel-matching isn't all that great on the FLC8S either, so you're somewhat rolling the dice on a purchase of either FLC8S or FLC8N.)

    As for the increase in sound-stage width, I simply couldn't hear it. I tried with a variety of tracks and genres, including some binaural DSD recordings I have from Locatelli. If the sole purpose were listening to the differences in the sound-stage width, I would certainly fail that particular A/B test. I did notice a slightly more focussed sound stage, but the effects were fairly minor.


    Frequency Response

    This became a bit challenging because of the observed differences between the L and R buds on the FLC8N, so most of the following measurements represent an average of the L and R responses. Here's the all-important comparison of FR between the closest tunings I could achieve - FLC8S (R-MB-Gunmetal) and FLC8N (R-G-Gunmetal):

    FLC8S_vs_FLC8N.png

    With respect to the FLC8S (again, always with my reference FLC8S R-MB-Gunmetal), the FLC8N (R-G-Gunmetal) has both elevated bass and treble. I find the FLC8S close to my ideal sound signature, but if there were one thing I'd change, I'd have less amplitude in the lower treble (5 kHz - 9 kHz) region. Unfortunately, the FLC8N goes in the other direction here :frowning2:

    There seems to be no significant improvement in total harmonic distortion with the new model (in fact, the correlation might go the other way):

    THD.png

    There aren't any notable differences in the spectral decay via waterfall plot:

    FLC8S_wf.png

    FLC8N_wf.png

    The impulse response shows perhaps(?) marginally faster recovery with the FLC8N, although at the expense of higher-amplitude ringing.

    impulse.png


    Final Thoughts

    There's a definite possibility you'll notice the difference between the FLC8S and the FLC8N. Some of those differences appear to be intentional design choices, but some additional changes might be heard simply as a result poor manufacturing tolerances (in which case, hearing a subjective improvement is going require a lucky roll of the dice). On average, it appears that the frequency response of the FLC8N is a subtle change from that of the FLC8S, mainly comprising of a slightly increased v-shaped sound signature. I don't mind the extra bass, but I don't really want the additional brightness, especially in the lower treble. YMMV in that regard. Even though my FLC8S with R-MB-Gunmetal tuning is closest to that of the FLC8N with R-G-Gunmetal tuning, I still slightly prefer the overall sound of my FLC8S. I can hear little change in soundstage width, but precision and focus of the soundstage does seem marginally better with the FLC8N. There appears to be no significant improvement in total harmonic distortion and the spectral decays and impulse responses are very similar. The choice of FLC8S vs FLC8N mainly boils down to whether you prefer a more `reference' or neutral sound, or a marginally more exciting, slightly more exaggerated v-shaped sound.

    If you're in the market for a new IEM, relative to everything else out there, the FLC8N is still a very good headphone. It's just that, unless you prefer the marginally-different sound signature, it's not a significant improvement from its less-expensive predecessor.
  5. Moonstar
    The FLC8N, a real Chameleon!
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Aug 13, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Wonderful detail level and beautiful midrange presentation (Gold Filter),
    Great Bass response, nearly on a bass-head level with the right plug combination,
    Lots of sound and fine-tune options,
    Nice accessories package,
    Good comfort
    Cons - Tuning plugs are very small, which needs extra attention,
    The changing of the small tuning plugs need sensitivity
    The FLC8N, a real Chameleon!


    About FLC Technology:

    FLC Technology Co. Ltd. is based in China and is committed to developing and producing high-end in-ear monitors (IEM) and custom in-ear monitors (CIEM). In 2011, FLC were one of the first companies in China to launch a hybrid CIEM.

    The FLC 8 was there first hybrid IEM, featuring the ability to customize 36 different sound signatures to your liking, the FLC Technology FLC 8 came many nozzle filters and plugs. Now I want review the FLC 8N, which is one of their latest product together with the FLC 8D and FLC Celeste.


    [​IMG]



    Disclaimer:

    The FLC 8N IEM was provided to me by FLC Technology via Lend Me UR Ears as a review sample. I am not affiliated with FLC Technology or Lend Me UR Ears and any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.



    The Price:

    The FLC 8N has an official MSRP of USD 355 and can be found under the following purchase link;

    Purchase link: http://www.lendmeurears.com/flc8n/



    Package and Accessories:

    The FLC 8N came in a light brown cardboard box, which sports a silver printed FLC Logo. This box has a magnetized cover and a folding system, which is separated in to partitions. At the first partitions you can find the FLC 8N monitors buried in to a yellow foam mold. At the second partitions you can find the following accessories;

    • 1 pcs x 2.5mm Balanced or 3.5mm Single Ended 2 Pin Cable (depends on your order)
    • 8 pairs x Silicone Eartips (Each two pairs of L/M/S/Ultra-S size)
    • 9 pcs x Bass tuning plugs 3 sorts x 3 pcs)
    • 9 pcs x Sub-bass tuning plugs (3 sorts x 3 pcs)
    • 4 pcs x Midrange & Treble tuning filters
    • 1 pcs x Tuning accessories box
    • 1 pcs x Tweezer
    • 1 pcs x Earwax cleaning tool
    • 1 pcs x 1/4″ to 3.5mm Adapter
    • 1 pcs x Airplane earphone adapter
    • 1 pcs x Shirt Clips
    • 1 pcs x Metal Hard Case


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The metal case that is included to the box looks pretty stylish and has a velvet inner coating, which should protect the FLC 8N from possible impacts and scratches.

    [​IMG]

    There is also a metal capsule in blue color with a screw system and a key ring, where you can find 9 pcs (3 sorts x 3 pcs) of Bass Tuning Plugs, 9 pcs of Sub-bass Tuning Plugs (3 sorts x 3 pcs) and 4 pcs of screwable Nozzle Tuning Filter, which I will explain more detailed under the sounds article.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The box is also including a Shirt Clips, Tweezer, 1/4″ to 3.5mm Adapter and Earwax cleaning tool, which are a nice additional.

    [​IMG]



    The Cable:

    According to FLC Technology Specs; the FLC 8N comes with a 4 core braided 7N crystal copper wire with a purity of 99.99998%. This cable was produced by a self-designed special weaving machine, which is providing no welding in the cable, to ensure that the signal is lossless during the transmission process.

    [​IMG]

    The Cable has a nice blue colored plastic coating with relative low microphonic effects.

    This cable has 0.78mm male connectors and a right angled 2.5mm Balanced or 3.5mm Single Ended Headphone Jack depending of your purchase.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cable sports a chin slider and a y splitter that are made of plastic.

    [​IMG]

    All in all, the cable and its connecter are looking rock solid and should last for years.


    Design, Fit and Build Quality:

    The housing of the FLC 8N is made of CNC machined metal which looks and feels very durable in my hands. The shell has a turquoise blue metallic/reflective painting, which has a pretty nice appearance.

    On the front is the FLC Logo and the sub-bass port where you can put in the one of the 3 sorts of sound tuning plugs.

    [​IMG]

    On the rear is the sound Nozzle where you can screw in 4 types of sound filters for midrange & treble tuning and 3 mini holes which are serving for bass ventilation. There is also the bass port where you can put 3 sorts of sound tuning plugs.

    [​IMG]

    On the Top is the 0,78mm female plug, where you can attach your upgrade cable with 2pin male connectors.

    [​IMG]

    The FLC 8N is a very comfortable In-Ear Monitor that can be worn for hours without to be uncomfortable or to hurt your ears. The isolation of the 8N is above average and is good enough to use it in environments like bus, metro or train.



    Technical Specifications:

    • Driver : Hybrid Driver 1 x 8.6mm Dynamic Driver + 2 x Balanced Armature
    • Sensitivity : 107dB / mW, 1000Hz
    • Frequency Response : 20-20KHz
    • Impedance : 11 Ohm
    • Connector : 0.78mm
    • Cable Length : 1.2 Meters
    • Plug : 2.5mm Balanced or 3.5mm Single Ended Plug with Gold Plating


    [​IMG]



    Drivability/Sensitivity:

    The FLC 8N is a sensitive and efficient In-Ear Monitor with a relative low impedance of the 11 ohm’s. The FLC 8N is an ideal IEM for the use with portable sources like Smartphones, Tablet’s, etc. and can be driven to very loud volumes without the need of an external amplifier.



    Sources:

    a) In Ear Monitor : FLC Technology FLC 8N, Oriolus Forsteni

    b) DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hifiman HM603s, Colorfly CT-C1

    c) Albums & Tracks used for this review:

    • Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSD 64)
    • GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Jehan Barbur – Yollar (Spotify)
    • Minor Empire – Bulbulum Altin Kafeste (Spotify)
    • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
    • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Morbid Angel – Drum Check (Spotify)
    • Charly Antolini’s – Duwadjuwandadu (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Deeperise feat. Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)


    [​IMG]



    Sound Analysis and Tuning Options:

    The main sound character of the FLC 8N could be described as follows;

    The FLC 8N is an In-Ear Monitor with a fast and deep bass response that has a warm and bodied midrange with a slightly laid back character, which is combined with a vivid and airy treble presentation.

    The FLC 8N has a 3-way filter system that lets you vary the sound. This means that you have a choice between 36 different sound signatures.

    The FLC 8N has 4 Nozzle Filters, 3 Front and 3 Rear plugs. The screw in nozzle fitters are chancing the midrange and the treble response, the small plastic plugs for the inner port are responsible for the sub-bass frequencies, and the outer port tune plugs are for the bass variation.

    Now I would like to inform some short details about these filters and plugs.


    Nozzle Filters (Midrange and Treble):
    • Golden: Most mid-frequency and medium high frequency
    • Blue: Less mid-frequency and less high frequency
    • Green: Medium mid-frequency and most high frequency
    • Gunmetal: Medium mid-frequency and medium high frequency


    Front Plugs (Sub-bass):
    • Transparent: Less ultra-low frequency
    • Gunmetal: Medium ultra-low frequency
    • Red: Most ultra-low frequency


    Rear Plugs (Bass):
    • White: Less low frequency
    • Grey: Medium low frequency
    • Black: Most low frequency

    In fact, the sound is changing, but the main sound character remains in most cases the same.

    Here is a Frequency chart of the FLC 8N:

    Tablo.jpg

    [​IMG]



    The Sound:

    Bass (Front & Rear Plug):

    The bass of the FLC 8N are sharing in general a good depth impact and speed. The bass amount and character can be chanced form relative neutral to nearly bass head levels, by using different type of filter combinations.



    Front pugs (Sub-Bass):

    As I mentioned above, there are the Red, Gunmetal and Transparent sub-bass plugs.

    The Red plug is reaching to the maximum depth followed by the Gunmetal and Transparent ones. The Red plug is superior to the other plug related to sub-bass amount, extension and depth. The sub-bass emphasis is very strong and noticeable with the Red plug.

    The combination of Red Front + Black Rear + Golden Nozzle filter makes the FLC 8N ideal for the listening of genres like Pop, EDM or Trance.

    If you combine the same plugs with the Gunmetal filter, you will get more balanced tuning with a pretty controlled and clean bass presentation, which should be ideal for acoustic, metal and genres like jazz, with the expiation of bass heavy tracks.

    The transparent front plug has the least sub-bass quantity that could more ideal for those who like a linear bass presentation like the Etymotic er4s.

    A combination of Gold Filter + Transparent front plug + White rear plug is ideal for vocal lovers.



    Rear Plugs (Bass):

    As I mentioned before, the FLC 8N has 3 bass plugs that are in White, Grey and Black colors.

    The black one has the strongest bass emphasis, followed by the grey and white plug. The grey plug has the most detailed and refinement bass presentation of all, while the white plug shares a more linear bass response.

    You will archive the highest bass quantity when you combine the black rear plug with the red front plug. This combo will satisfy most bass lovers, with the exception of people who prefer a more analytical bass presentation.

    The black plug has in general a hard hitting, strong and full bodied bass presentation. The bass speed is above average and is pretty tight, which is a positive ability of this plug. But the black plug is inferior in terms of bass refinement, speed, detail and control.

    The grey rear plug is adding the FLC 8N a more balanced, refined and clean bass presentation, which should also quantity wise enough for genres like metal, jazz and acoustic music.

    The Grey filter is superior to the black and white plug in terms of speed control and detail, but is inferior in terms of quantity and tightness.

    The bass characteristics of the white filter is linear and more on the analytical side. The white plug is ideal when you combine it with the gold front filter and transparent front plug.



    Midrange (Nozzle Filter):

    As I mentioned before, there are 4 Nozzle Filters (Gold, Gunmetal, Blue and Green), which we can be mount on the nozzle of the FLC 8N. This filters are chancing the midrange and treble range character of the FLC 8N that I will now explain for you with comparisons.



    The Gold Filter:

    The Gold filter will especially satisfy people who prefer an upfront midrange and vocal presentation. This filter has a clean, full bodied, transparent and detailed midrange performance, where vocals are positioned one step behind of the instruments. The gold filter performs also very well in terms of vocal and instrument separation, without any remarkable mixing. This filter represents vocals in a transparent and slightly warm way, without to be too soft or harsh. Another positive feature of the gold filter is that although the vocals are pretty upfront, that there is no sibilance or muddiness.

    Both male and female vocals are a sharing great detail performance, while male vocals have good depth and female voices a soft and fairly full bodied presentation.

    Due to the fairly balanced sound reproduction, both thin and thickly accented string instruments sounding very natural with the golden filter.

    The Gold filter is superior to all other filter in terms of detail, airiness and for vocal/instrument performance.


    The Gunmetal Filter:

    The Gunmetal filter sounds in general pretty balanced and has a lightly more laidback presentation than those of the Gold filter, which could be preferred by those who like a laidback presentation. Those sound character makes the Gunmetal filter ideal for longer listening periods.

    When it come to the vocal performance, both female and male are pretty equal in performance. This filter sound slightly more neutral in the midrange than the Gold filter that has a slightly warmer presentation. The detail level and separation of instruments is also on a good level. This filter could be preferred by those who like a more analytical and neutral presentation than the Gold filter.

    The detail level of the Gunmetal filter is slightly inferior in performance, when we compare it with the Gold filter, but is superior to the Green a Blue filter.



    The Green Filter:

    The Green filter has a brighter and stronger upper treble presentation, which makes it less neutral and ideal for long listening periods than the Gunmetal and Gold Filter. But this character makes the overall presentation of the midrange airier and spacious than the Gunmetal and Gold filter.

    The Green filter need needs absolutely good recorded/mastered tracks, to show its potation. This ability makes it less forgiving and prone to sibilance and harshness than the Gold and Gunmetal filter.

    The vocal presentation of the Green filter sounds in general thinner and brighter and makes it less enjoyable for listening vocals than the Gunmetal and Gold filter, but shows one of the best acoustic guitar performance of all other filters. Thin stringed instruments performing better than those thicker stings.

    The midrange of the Green filter is superior to the Gold and Gunmetal filter in terms of airiness and midrange space, but this tuning makes it less natural, bodied, warm and emotional than the Gunmetal and Gold filter.


    The Blue Filter:

    The midrange of the Blue filter sounds the leanest of the nozzle filters. This filter is the most recessed sounding filter in terms of instrument and vocals positioning. The midrange of the blue filter is not very bright and airy than the other ones and you can feel that there is missing some detail and transparency due the slightly veiled presentation.

    The good thing about the Blue filter is that it doesn’t sound harsh and is forgiving regarding to bad recorded/mastered tracks.



    The Treble Range:

    The FLC 8N has many filter option that affect the sound signature, especially the treble range, which makes the filter selection for each music genre even more important. The selection of a wrong filter can possibly cause an unwanted sound performance.

    For Example; The Green filter doesn’t fit modern genres like pop or rock due the relative bright nature, but sound pretty detailed, airy and spacious with genres like classical music.

    The Gunmetal and Gold filter are providing a pretty bright and energetic sound signature, without to be sibilant or harsh in the treble range.

    The Blue filter is reducing the treble quantity the green is offering brightness but in cost of some sibilance.

    Gold filter is offering a balanced a quite natural treble presentation, without any unnatural peak. The treble extension of the Gold filter is superior to the Blue filter, but inferior to the Gunmetal and Green Nozzle filters.

    The Gunmetal filter sounds slightly more detailed and emphasized than the Gold filter, while the treble quantity and extension of the Gunmetal is superior to the Blue, but inferior to the Green filters.

    The treble range of the Green filter sounds a bit bright and sibilant with genres except classical music, but is superior to all other filters in terms of detail and treble extension. I have noticed that the treble range of the Green filter sounds slightly unnatural, metallic and cold compared to the Gold and Gunmetal filter.

    The Blue filter has less treble quantity and extensions than all other filter, but is ideal for those who have treble sensitivity and are looking for a treble tuning, which is ideal for long listening periods.


    Soundstage:

    The soundstage of the FLC 8N is not ultra-expansive or deep like some TOTL IEM’s on the market, but it shares a nice sense of wideness and depth, which will satisfy most users, especially for the price that is asked for the FLC 8N. The soundstage is wider than its depth and sounds pretty spacious and airy in its presentation.

    The background is quite black and there is enough space for lots of instruments, without any remarkable interference, even in complex passages with lots of instruments.


    [​IMG]



    FLC 8N versus Oriolus Forsteni


    Both IEMs sharing a similar price and Hybrid driver configuration of 2 Balanced Armature and 1 Dynamic driver. The Oriolus Forsteni has a V Shaped sound signature with pretty neutral tonality, while the FLC 8N can sound laidback, neutral, slightly warm or full bodied depending on the Filter/Plugs that are used.


    The Oriolus Forsteni has a moderate quantity of sub-bass impact and an average bass emphasis, while the FLC 8N is more flexible and has more sub-bass quantity, depth and linear bass performance depending of the filter/plug that is used.


    The FLC 8N is superior to the Oriolus Forsteni in terms of bass depth, quantity and emphasis. The Oriolus Forsteni has only better in bass performance, when I have used the white and transparent rear plugs, while both IEM’s sharing a great bass control and speed in this price range.


    The midrange of the Oriolus Forsteni sounds a bit recessed due the V shaped sound signature, while the FLC 8N has the ability to make the midrange sound recessed or more upfront depending the filter you are using with it.


    The midrange of the Forsteni sounds neutral and a bit dry to dry for my taste, while the midrange of the 8N sounds warmer, more musical and full bodied. What is particularly noticeable is that the detail rendering of the FLC 8N is superior to the Oriolus Forsteni.

    The overall midrange detail of the Oriolus Forsteni is superior to the FLC 8N, if you use the Green and Blue nozzle filters, but is inferior to the Gunmetal and Gold filters of the 8N.



    The treble range of both IEM’s sounds energetic, vivid and with good extension. The Oriolus Forsteni has the upper hand for treble quantity and extension, except the Green filter of the FLC 8N.

    The FLC 8N performs better in terms of treble control, while the Green filter of the 8N makes the sound airier and spacious than the Forsteni.

    When it comes to the soundstage performance, both have its own strengths. The Oriolus Forsteni has a slightly wider soundstage, while the FLC 8N performs better for depth. Both the Forsteni and the 8N have a quite spacious and airy presentation, while the FLC 8N is slightly more accurate for instrument positioning.



    Conclusion:

    The FLC Technology FLC 8N is like a Chameleon with its great sound tuning ability, which is not a truly gimmick! The detail level is the best I have heard from any In-Ear Monitor in this price category and the beautiful midrange presentation and solid build quality makes it one of my new favorites under the $500 USD barrier.

    Highly recommended!




    Pros and Cons:

    • + Wonderful detail level and beautiful midrange presentation (Gold Filter)
    • + Great Bass response, nearly on a bass-head level with the right plug combination
    • + Lots of sound and fine-tune options
    • + Nice accessories package
    • + Good comfort

    • – Tuning plugs are very small, which needs extra attention
    • – The changing of the small tuning plugs need sensitivity
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Moonstar
      @endia
      Thank you for your nice words. Great to see such nice comments : )
      Moonstar, Aug 15, 2018
      endia and karanehir35 like this.
    3. Dobrescu George
      Really good and in-depth review!! Great job, friend!
      Dobrescu George, Aug 19, 2018
      Moonstar likes this.
    4. Moonstar
      Moonstar, Aug 20, 2018
      Dobrescu George likes this.

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