FLC Technology FLC 8N - Reviews
Pros: very flexible tuning for almost all frequency regions, detail, lots of accessories, build quality, fit, safe choice for many
Cons: cable still not the best (springy), tiny bass filters are a hassle to deal with, slightly sharp timbre, vocal staging could be more precise
The FLC8n is a three-driver hybrid design (single dynamic, dual BA) IEM from FLC Technologies. It is the latest update to the previous generation of the design, the FLC8s. The FLC8s was a name that would pop up fairly often in my days of browsing r/headphones, commonly recommended for being a strong purchase in the $300 range. Let’s see if the updated 8n can live up to the legacy that FLC has built for themselves.

I’d like to thank Andrew from Musicteck for setting me up with the FLC8n for review. I will be assessing the overall quality of the product with as little bias as possible.

The FLC8n can be picked up from Musicteck from the following link:

FLC8n @ Musicteck.com

The FLC8n comes packaged with a plethora of accessories. I am fairly impressed here. In the box, you can find a ‘tweezer’ to help fiddle with the filter system, the IEMs & cable, filters (and spare filters in case you lose some, I suppose), a solid selection of tips, clips, and other doodads.

A quick comment on the included tips (not shown in photo below: those are third-party tips) — they feel like they are of pretty decent to high quality, but have a more cylindrical shape to them as opposed to the conventional ‘dome’ shaped silicone tips.

The 8n also comes in a hefty milled aluminum case, that has a screw-on lid. Neat to have, and would absolutely protect your IEMs from the elements — but probably not the most practical for carrying around. It’s quite heavy, and a bit bulky (but no larger than a Pelican 1010, so your call).


The original FLC8s had an ungodly springy and stiff cable, which stuck out like a sore thumb in daily use. Thankfully, the FLC8n seems to attempt to address the poor quality of the previous generation’s cable. The cable’s outer material looks more or less the same, sporting a dark teal sheathing with a very slight rubbery coating. It has the slightest bit of ‘stick’ to clothing and such, but not enough for me to consider it a big deal. The splitter and connectors are cased in a semi-hard, translucent blue plastic. Most importantly, the core of the cable feels to be far less stiff than the previous cable, it’s actually fairly flexible and soft.

Unfortunately it still has a noticeable springiness, as coiling it up will simply result in it ‘jumping’ back open.


The 8n seems to be put together well. There aren’t any obvious shortcomings to its build quality, with its CNC’d aluminum construction and detachable cable. The housing’s design is also different from the previous 8s, it seems to be more ergonomically shaped — though the old 8s didn’t give me any issues with comfort, I could see many preferring the more conventional design of the new 8n. Weight is nothing out of the ordinary as well; it isn’t light enough to feel cheap nor too heavy to be comfortable.

The nozzle is longer than the typical IEM, allowing for a fairly deep insertion with smaller tips. The aluminum craftsmanship is good, though the housing has very evident seams that aren’t 100% aligned with each other. The FLC logo is embossed just below the MMCX port on each IEM. The three sound adjustment options are located in the nozzle, and two filtered vents on the medial / lateral sides of the housing. There are three small vents spaced in a triangular organization on the medial side of each IEM.


The FLC8n, as many are aware, have a configurable sound tuning system that was first introduced with the FLC8s. While most filter-based tuning systems seem to have simple adjustments in the upper frequency regions using different nozzles, the 8n takes it two steps further by allowing customization in the bass and subbass frequencies as well.

There are three categories to make adjustments to: ultra-low frequency, low frequency, and mid-high frequency filters. The various plugs / nozzles are conveniently self-contained a blue metal pill keychain (which I assume is waterproof).

Unfortunately, even with the included tweezers for changing filters, the bass frequency plugs are kind of a sore to fiddle with — this system carries over directly from the 8s, with minimal changes. They’re very tiny and a bit of a chore to remove from the IEM. However, once you find your preferred sound I imagine you wouldn’t be changing the filters much. I also noticed that the threading on the interchangeable nozzles on the 8n are of much higher quality than other IEMs I’ve tried with this system (screwing them on/off is a much smoother, quieter experience than the BGVP DMG and LZ A4).


After testing the various filters, I found that my preferences aligned best with the default configuration of filters:
  • Red (highest subbass)
  • Gray (medium bass)
  • Gold (most mids, least treble)
This setup allows the FLC8n to have a gentle lift in the subbass region, sloping gently downward into the lower midrange. Vocals are given extra clarity and presence with a lift in the upper midrange, where the 8n then peaks in the lower treble and sits tamely afterwards.

I found the other filters to make easily noticeable changes to the sound — these are not smaller, debatable changes like cables and sources. In other words, this IEM can be configured to the point where someone who enjoys one sound configuration, can easily dislike another configuration.

TRANSLUCENT: light bass, still a bit punchy. Works nicely with acoustic / orchestral tracks (but is it worth the trouble switching the tiny filters for specific tracks?).
GREY: slightly north of neutral, not overpowering. IMO the optimal amount for my preference.
BLACK: very heavy midbass, a bit boomy, and noticeable lower midrange bleeding. The basshead filter of choice.

TRANSPARENT: severe subbass roll off. Probably wouldn’t ever use this.
GUNMETAL: sounds about right in terms of quantity, rumble is there but not very ear-tickling. This sounds the most natural to me — I like this one, but I stick to the red subbass plug to keep things interesting.
RED: Lift in the subbass, very rumbly and authoritative. Can sometimes get fatiguing, which is where the gunmetal comes into play. I like this one, but I call it a draw with gunmetal.


GOLD: upper midrange is boosted generously but not overdone, treble has good energy and decent extension.
BLUE: midrange sounds sucked out, treble is unnaturally dark and scooped out.
GREEN: more sparkle to the treble, more energetic. Lower treble seems to have extra shimmer. Possibly fatiguing to some.
GUNMETAL: upper midrange is less bumped, warmer, a little more veiled than gold. Treble seems more / less similar.

With my preferred configuration, the FLC8n has a bass presentation that leans towards a deep subbass rumble with a more tame midbass kick. Not many IEMs lean towards this bass balance, so the FLC8n’s versatility in fine-tuning the sound proves to come in handy here. As a result, the FLC8n provides a meaty, thick low end, avoiding any noticeable congestion or confusion between the midbass and lower midrange frequencies. The subbass extends down as low as I’d like with the dynamic driver. The midbass is controlled, yet punchy enough to bring authority to the low end. The implementation of the DD in the hybrid config seems to be well done, as I can’t find any distinct signs of incoherence in the tuning. However, the bass of the FLC8n could benefit more from some improvements in technicalities, particularly texturing and microdynamics.

I’ve chosen the gold filter configuration as my preferred setup, emphasizing the midrange with a neutral treble tuning. Thankfully (and surprisingly), the FLC8n does not have the instantly noticeable midrange glariness and nasal timbre of the FLC8s. The FLC8n’s midrange is well-isolated from its neighboring bass frequencies, I can’t detect any obtrusive midbass bleed — if present, it is minimal at most. Lower midrange has ample body and weight, straying away from my expectation of ‘lean’ v-shaped vocals — I’m very happy with the note weight and balance of vocals, which is for the most part natural (for the most part… see below). Upper midrange also has a solid sense of clarity and articulation, however once again the 8n’s upper midrange texturing / resolution falls just short of being best-in-class. While the 8n’s vocals do not have the immediate sense of ‘weirdness’ that the 8s gave me, I feel the 8n’s midrange can still occasionally have an artificial sharpness in the top octave of vocals (though to a much, much, MUCH lesser extent than the 8s — perhaps to the point where the typical listener would not even care).

The FLC8n’s treble performance through my preferred configuration (gold nozzle) doesn’t really have any exciting or special properties, but also doesn’t have any major downfalls. There’s a good sense of detail and certainly enough emphasis to inject energy into all genres of music; it sounds fine on almost everything I’ve played through it. In terms of absolute quantity, this setup may cause issues for those highly sensitive to treble, but just barely so. For me personally, there are no overly harsh peaks or sudden dips / voids in the treble. The biggest ‘flaw’ in the (lower) treble likely goes hand-in-hand with the upper midrange’s artificial sharpness, but even that requires some serious focus and concentration to pick out. Apart from that small quirk, the treble with the gold filter demonstrates good high frequency control with once again, ‘decent’ extension. It doesn’t have incredible sparkle or air, but its performance is certainly praiseworthy due to its lack of major flaws.

I generally don’t make any straightforward remarks on soundstage, but the FLC8n seems to be a bit of an oddball here. Soundstage is noticeably large in a vertical sense, and not overly claustrophobic in any direction. Through a bit of listening, I noticed the FLC8n’s vocals can sound sort of as if they are being replicated in a spacious hall, with hazy directional cues. Kind of like an out-of-phase, in-your-head, yet spread-out type of imaging.

The FLC8n has commendable bouts of detail and resolution, but it is not exactly what I would describe as the epitome of natural sound (I’d be hard pressed to find something that represents that at this price range anyway). However, the 8n has another trick up its sleeve. Its custom-tuning sound system does one thing very well that few other IEMs can, which is excel in versatility. This IEM would be a safe buy for the consumer who is not entirely sure what he/she is looking for, other than to enjoy the music. As long as the listener’s preferences do not sit within the rare extremes, the 8n should be flexible enough to not offend anyone. Too much bass? No problem. Treble too piercing? 8n has it covered. In my case, though having tried dozens of mid to high-end IEMs in the past two years, the 8n is still capable of producing a very enjoyable, well-tuned sound signature that puts it above many more expensive pieces.
Pros: + 36 Signatures in one Single IEM
+ Detail levels are great for the price point
+ Clarity is top-noth with the right filters
+ Can also be smooth with the right filters
+ Price is right for the quality
+ Build quality is great, metallic housings and good quality filters and tips
+ Excellent overall ergonomics, great IEM shell shape, no driver flex, no microphonics, good isolation
+ Will satisfy most people out there when it comes to versatility
+ One of the best carrying cases on the market
Cons: - The color won't be for everybody
- The color of the cable won't be for everybody either
- The cable, while great in quality, is a bit springy, but not very tangle-prone
- No options for Balanced cables by default, you need aftermarket cables for that
FLC 8N - The IEM With 36 Signatures!

FLC 8N is a tunable IEM which can have a total of 36 signatures. This is more than any other single IEM we reviewed before, and we're honored to have this kind of potential in our hands. We'll do our best to compare it to other IEMs in this price range (350 USD), and let you know if many signatures can achieve more than a single good signature can at this price point.


FLC Technology is quite a unique IEM producer, which first introduced the concept of one IEM with a large number of signatures, with their FLC 8, released a few years ago. Ever since then, everyone who used it was quite astonished at the raw possibility that one had, and always looked forward to an upgrade, even more to something improved. Sadly, I never had the original FLC 8, so I won't be able to compare FLC 8 to FLC8N directly, but at Audiophile Heaven, we have a large number of IEMs, including many in this price range, or priced that are close, with FLC 8N having a lot to stand against like FiiO FH5, iBasso IT04, and Final Audio E5000. There's also Sennheiser IE80, which is also tunable, and this time we're including it in our comparison list, as its price is also close to FLC 8N and we know we got quite a few questions about the two.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with FLC Technology or MusicTeck, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by FLC Technology or MusicTeck or anyone else. I'd like to thank FLC MusicTeck for providing the sample for this review. The sample was provided along with MusicTeck's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with FLC Technology FLC 8N. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in FLC 8N find their next music companion.


Purchase Link: https://shop.musicteck.com/products/flc8n-the-latest-version-of-flc8

About me



First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

Finally, here's a package I am both puzzled and curious to open. This is because for a IEM, the package is quite large, and it doesn't open quite forward, you have to figure out how to open it. I love it when a company takes a step forward in this direction, because it can make the first experience with their product so much more interesting, probably reminding me how interesting and fun that winter, ten years ago, when the fires of youth and my passion for music burned in me so bright that I bought Sennheiser IE80, and what the rush it was to unpack that metallic box, and how interesting that first listening to the audiophile IEMs of that time was.

FLC 8N comes in a cardboard box, but which is layered in compartiments, the first compartiment being above and including the IEMs, the cables, and a tweezer tool for taking the filters in and out, and for modding the sound.

The second compartiment, found below, and accessible by sliding the above drawing in a circular motion, has the carrying case, and a blue thingy that looks like a whistle, which includes all the extra filters and accessories for tuning FLC 8N. This said filter keeper accessory is made of metal, and the carrying case wins hands-down our award for the best carrying case we found with a IEM so far. It is incredibly thick, made of metal, and padded with a soft material on the inside, providing what can be considered the best carrying case out there at this moment.

Inside that carrying case you can find the tip collection, which is good, but doesn't include Spinfit nor foams, a cleaning tool, a 6.3mm adapter, a shirt clip, and another collection of filters.

In all honesty, FLC 8N reaches golden levels in terms of unboxing experience and package contents, and it doesn't miss to reach any spot for its price point, rather setting a standard for what other companies should include with a IEM priced 350USD and above.

What to look in when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor


Technical Specifications

Driver: 8.6mm Dynamic Driver + 2 Balanced Armature
Sensitivity: 107dB / mW, 1000Hz
Frequency response range: 20-20KHz
Impedance: 11 Ohm
Cable Length: 1.2M
Plug: 3.5mm Audio
Pin: 0.78mm
Shell: Metal

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

We were able to tell for sure that FLC 8N is a IEM that makes no compromise in terms of packaging and in terms of what is included in its package, but it is time to see what its build quality and comfort is like.

Starting with the build quality, it is quite good. The IEM shells are made of metal, and painted blue, and they are attached to a blue cable, by a 2-Pin connector. The cable is really tightly attached to the IEM body, so you need quite a bit of force to remove it, thing which I consider cool, because you don't have to worry about the connectors of the cables getting loose.

The IEM has lots of vents, about 3 on the inner part, and one, with a filter, on the outside. This makes it extremely vented, and this also makes it a IEM that will get no driver flex, a really important characteristic for comfort in my book.

The cable is intriguing, nothing too spectacular in terms of aesthetics, but on the inside it is a really awesome 99,9% purity 7N Single Crystal Copper cable, with a jacket, and with no solder joints, only with a smooth transition from 4 wires to two at the Y-Split. This ensures the user that they really don't need to upgrade the able any time soon, the only downside I was able to find to it being the aesthetic, which in blue, really may not be for everybody. I don't mind it, personally, and I love the fact it is not tangle-prone, but I can't say blue is as universal as a black would have been as a color.

The IEM shells colored in blue are refreshing, I like what I'm seeing with that glossy surface and that smooth, curved design, being taken from a sci-fi movie, and being worked carefully without any hard edges or missed details. Everything feels high-end and the IEMs look cool and snazzy.

The comfort is just as awesome, the IEMs having no hard edges, the cables are not microphonic, and they have no driver flex, meaning you can use them for running, jogging and any other activity you see fit, with the mention that you need to be paying attention to your surroundings while wearing in-ears.

Sound Quality

We need to address the elephant in the room before we continue with the sound quality, which is its configurability. It is humanly impossible, or at least not really feasible to describe every of the 36 sonic combinations possible that you can get with FLC 8N, so I'll be focusing on the main sonic performance, which is the one they come with out-of-the-factory, and how each changes in the filters affects the sound.

Let's begin with the factory default. This is the Gunmetal + Grey + Gold configuration, the one FLC 8N comes with installed. I notice a rather warm, balanced, smooth and clear sound in this configuration, with a rather relaxed and smooth top end that has a friendly smooth but present sparkle.

The bass tends to be on the slightly enhanced, with the mid-bass and the sub-bass being equally balanced and both being present. In music like death metal, you can hear the low end bass notes and double pedals hit, with good impact and speed. The lower midrange is slightly lower in amount than the bass, leading to the male vocals being slightly light, which works well with all the music I have in my collection, as the rest of the midrange is present enough to give music a good amount of presence and forwardness, without a fatiguing texture.

The treble tends to follow suit with the midrange, and it is also slightly on the smoother side, although there is a little peak in the lower midrange, it is not enhanced enough to make the signature truly v-shaped. The upper treble tends to roll down a bit, although it doesn't get out of the picture, rather being present enough to give music a good sense of air and space between the instruments, so everything's not choked down together.

The detail levels are great for 350 USD, but you can tell that it doesn't try to be more detailed, like a 700 USD IEM would, as FLC 8N doesn't have any upper midrange / treble emphasis. Rather, it keeps detail levels better than most 350 USD IEMs of a few years ago, like IE80, while adding a similarly large soundstage, and bringing more balance to the overall sound.

The signature goes both to warmer and bassier with bassier filters, as well as to lighter and more airy (exposing more detail) sound, with the lighter filters, being possible to create both a more V-Shaped signature, as well as a more midrange-forward signature if you'd want to, meaning that it is basically a IEM with endless possibilities.


While I never heard the original FLC 8, it is clear that the FLC 8N has a large soundstage, with a good instrument separation. In fact, it is clear that FLC 8N has an even larger soundstage, or at least as large as, the old king of soundstage in this price range, Sennheiser IE80, but this time adding more instrument separation and layering, being ridiculously good when it comes to presenting a huge stage, but without making it fake or dispersed, rather keeping things in a wide, yet organized way.


The ADSR and PRaT (Texturization) is really dependent on the combo you are using, each filter combination resulting in a slightly different note decay, together with the tonal balance changes. With the default combo, the bass, midrange and the treble are natural to slightly quick for the bass, natural for the midrange, and natural to slightly slow for the treble, leading to a non-grainy experience, but with enough texture for electric guitars in metallica songs to sound realistic, and with enough smoothness in the treble for electronic music to be sparkly, but not grainy.

Tuning Mechanism

Basically, there are 3 parts that you can tune. The inside of the IEM, which is a small rubber part, and which tunes the sub-bass, the longer tube on the outside of the IEM, which tunes the bass, and the screw-able metallic nozzle which can tune the midrange and the treble. This makes a lot of sense, since the bass resonance is given by the acoustic room inside the IEM, while the midrange and the treble are based on BA drivers, and a filter in the nozzle would filter them better.

Although I haven't been able to write what each of them does, I managed to compile a little list of what the most popular signatures will be

Warm - Balanced (Default): Gunmetal + Grey + Gold - The original tuning as described in the Sound Quality.

Neutral - Balanced: Gunmetal + White + Gold, Transparent + Grey + Gold - This takes off some of that warmth, leads to a more neutral bass, and to a more forward midrange and more forward treble. Really good at revealing details.

Mid - Forward: Transparent + White + Gold - This one takes some of the treble and the bass away, leading to a more forward midrange.

Treble - Happy: Gunmetal + White + Green, Transparent + White +Green - This is quite treble-happy, and pretty detailed. It doesn't sound harsh even in this combo, and it manages to bring quite a bit of sparkle to the sound, being quite the ideal one for acoustic music lovers, and those who prefer a lighter overall sound.

V/U Shaped: Red + Grey + Green, Red + Black + Green - This one is one of my favorites, as I tend to listen to a lot of rock and metal, works really well with those two types.

Balanced + Bassy: Red + Black + Gold, Red + Grey + Gold - When you want to indulge in some hip-hop, electronic and drumbeats and some sweet bass, but you still want some of that midrange and treble to be present to keep things interesting. Also a signature that works well with rock and metal.

Dark + Bassy: Red + Black + Gold, Red + Black + Gunmetal - This one gets pretty dark and works well with bass-heavy and bass-driven music, or for those who really have a love for bass.

Warm + Thick: Gunmetal + Black + Gold, Transparent + Black + Gold - This one is fun and interesting, although it doesn't have a lot of sparkle. When you really want your music to be thick and relaxing, with a pretty strong bass.

Portable Usage

The portable usage is excellent.

As I said, the IEMs themselves are pretty lightweight, they have no driver flex, they are comfortable, sit well in the ears, and are made to be rather ergonomic.

The cables have no microphonic noise when you're running or walking, and FLC 8N is driveable from almost any portable source, like a typical smartphone, at least in terms of volume, although it does sound better if driven from a more potent source, like a more high-end DAP, or an iFi xDSD for example.

There are no noticeable issues when using FLC 8N portably, and I could even recommend those to a performing musician, and although their isolation is not the best, it is enough to shut off all the noise from the city, and to let you enjoy your music, even if you listen at moderate volumes.


The main competitors in this price range are Sennheiser IE80, FiiO FH5, Final Audio E5000, and iBasso IT04.

FLC 8N vs Sennheiser IE80 - Now, this one, many of you asked about and were wondering about, and since their prices are quite similar, I think it is fair to compare the two. Starting with the package, both IEMs come with a good amount of extras, both have a good selection of tips included in the package, but the better carrying case, and the better tuning accessory selection of FLC 8N makes it the winner here. When it comes to the build quality, FLC 8N is built from metal, while IE80 is still mostly a plastic IEM. I prefer the cables of Ie8 simply because they are simpler, and look better to me, but I am not sure if their quality is better than those of FLC 8N, and wouldn't bet on it. The comfort is quite good with both IEMs, but IE80 has a larger bore, and a shallow fit, so it can become uncomfortable quicker, and it has a really open nature, so it tends to slide out of one's ears quickly, compared to a more deeper fit for FLC 8N, and compared to the more ergonomic overall design of FLC 8N. On sound, IE80 has a knob from which you tune how open its vent is, so basically, you can tune its sub-bass, its bass, and how open the soundstage gets. On the lowest setting, it is already borderline too warm and bassy, and IE80 is clearly a fun IEM that doesn't try to be especially accurate or honest, but it tries to be fun and engaging, which it does fairly well. Now FLC 8N can sound in many ways, so many more ways, that based on versatility alone, it is totally easier to recommend to a wider variety of listeners, and while IE80 can sound fun and colored, regardless of its tuning setting, FLC 8N can go from a really warm, thick and lush IEM, to a really bright and thin one, with everything in between possible, so regardless of your taste, FLC has got you covered. In terms of soundstage size, Ie80 was considered the king of midrange IEMs in terms of soundstage size alone for many years now, but its huge soundstage was always a little vague without a lot of instrument separation, again being a fun tuned IEM. FLC 8N has much more instrument separation, with a much better overall definition of each instrument and with the soundstage being the same size, but better defined. The clarity and detail are similar between the two, although the textures and impulse response is quicker on FLC 8N. Now, there are still reasons to go for IE80, like, for example, if you like a really fun and easy going signature, with a lot of thickness, and with Sennheiser's support behind. If you prefer versatility, and detail, though, FLC 8N has got you covered, and should be able to satisfy quite well for the price asked of it.

FLC 8N vs Final Audio E5000 - I feel we should skip the box part, both are great here, and both have great carrying cases included. The comfort is quite a bit different, and here E5000 proves to be more versatile, as it offers both straight-down and over-the-ear wearing styles. E5000 has way more sound leakage, but both isolate well from the outside noise. E5000 is considerably harder to drive than FLC 8N. Now, the sound, E5000 is a one-of-a-kind IEM with one of the thickest sounds out there, with a naturalness and force behind each musical note that makes it truly come alive. From its versatile function, FLC 8N doesn't really go quite that thick and powerful, although, in its defense, it can do a considerably larger number of total signatures and it is a more versatile IEM. I was able to enjoy metal, even some of the more aggressive bands, using both IEMs, and I've been able to listen to jazz and smooth music using both, so both are fairly versatile in their own way. Now, if you really are one to love lush and thickness, E5000 never fails in those ways, but if you prefer a more balanced, and tunable sound, FLC8N has you covered with signatures from A to Z, except the most very extremes, like the ones E5000 manages to reach.

FLC 8N vs FiiO FH5 - FiiO FH5 manages to have at least as a good of a package, and overall build quality + comfort when compared to FLC 8N, and if there's one thing that it does better than FLC 8N, that is to portray an intimate soundstage, as FLC 8N mostly has an expansive soundstage, and although it can get a similar tuning when compared to FH5, if you like being closer to the music, and if you prefer sitting in the same room as the band, then FH5 may satisfy you better. Otherwise, FLC8N will have a wider soundstage, and similar amounts of detail as FH5, although at times, FH5 may overtake FLC 8N when it comes to rendering certain textures and to bringing certain details forward, but as I mentioned earlier in the Sound Quality, FLC 8N doesn't try to be the most detailed out there, but still manages to have a detail level that is more than adequate.

FLC 8N vs iBasso IT04 - iBasso IT04 is quite a unique one, with a really neutral sound, with a really quick and light bass that can keep the pace with the quickest of metals and industrial electronic music styles out there, and which can do a lot that is right in a lot of ways you probably don't expect it to. IT04 is characterized by a more smooth midrange that doesn't feel aggressive, and which lets you lean in the music, and by a bright and sparkly top end that adds a fun and interesting topping that you'll always find welcome if you like airy and crystalline sounds. Now, FLC 8N, with its wide array of combinations possible, will manage to sound a little close to IT04 in terms of overall tuning, but it will not be exactly the same, as IT04 will always have a faster / quicker bass, and a slower / smoother mid range, resulting in slightly different portrayal of music than FLC 8N. Now, both are great, and IT04 has a bit more detail both in the bass, and the treble, but the midrange texture reproduction is actually quite similar between the two, and FLC 8N, although costing quite a bit less than IT04, is able to stand its ground nicely in terms of detail, resolution, and versatility.

Recommended Pairings

FLC 8N is easy to pair with portable sources, and doesn't require a lot of power, actually being easily drive-able from most portable sources, but it will appreciate a higher-end DAP or source when it comes to the resolution and detail level it is able to produce. It is slightly sensitive to hiss, so really hissy sources may have some hiss with it, but this shouldn't be an issue for most pairings.

FLC 8N + iFi xDSD - xDSD from iFi is a great DAC/AMP to pair FLC 8N with, especially if you rely a lot on streaming services, and if you prefer your smartphone to be the main transport for your music. The sound is also tunable with xDSD, since it has an x-Bass and a 3D setting, multiplying the already ridiculous 36 possible tunings of FLC 8N by an additional 4, resulting in a total of 144 total combinations possible for your ears, although in all fairness, it doesn't work exactly like this. But still xDSD's additional tunings are welcome, both being quite good at what they do, and it is a solid overall device, with a nice battery life, good aesthetics, and a clean overall operation.

FLC 8N + iBasso DX120 - iBasso DX120 is a really nice budget DAP from iBasso, one that is very serious about its position in the market, by having an aggressively affordable price, two microSD slots, and one of the best firmwares found on a DAP at this low price. The best part is that its sound is as good as everything else about it, as it has a really clear and articulate signature, which is fairly neutral, so it doesn't change the default signature of FLC 8N quite that much towards any direction, letting the tuning mechanism of FLC 8N do its job.

FLC 8N + FiiO M9 - FiiO M9 is another great, affordable, option to pair your FLC 8N with, and it is one-of-a-kind IEM with a clear and detailed signature, and with a really strong software support from the always-improving Chinese producer FiiO. One thing you may really appreciate with this one is the aggressive design, which makes M9 quite lovely to hold in hand, and which makes handling quite a unique and snazzy experience.

Value and Conclusion

Now, FLC 8N is not cheap by any means, sitting at the higher end of the "midrange" zone, priced at 350 USD from MusicTeck. As always, MusicTeck is a pleasure to work with, and they are champs in providing some of the best service, advice, and exceptional deals to their customers. They usually are the first to have new models from new products in store, and they are always there to serve you with a smile, even if you're ordering from a different state, making sure you receive your package quickly and in the best condition. In fact, I am always amazed when I receive a package from them, by the level of care they place in properly labeling everything, and in making sure the package arrives safely, making MusicTeck one of the shops I recommend the most for USA-based, and not only, customers.

FLC8N is a well build IEM, and while the blue color of the IEM shell may not be for everybody, and while the blue cable may also not be for everybody, the sweet ergonomics surely will make it fit with everybody's ears, and they will make FLC 8N simply slide in and stay there.

The highlight of FLC 8N is their tuning mechanism, which allows for 36 possible tunings, and this is not even considering aftermarket cables or tips, which would multiply that 36 by 3 if you're considering the normal tips, Spinfit tips, and Comply Foams, with even more possibilities down the road if you're considering cable upgrades.

Now, the package content is excellent. This is one of the better packages in this price range, and FLC 8N has the thickest, most hardcore carrying case I've seen to date, better than most IEMs in this price range have. In fact, the tuning mechanism alone makes for more tech and detail than most imply with their IEM, but then again, we're talking about an audio product, so we're not going to care about how nerdy or advanced this all sounds, but about how much impact it has on the sound, and in what direction.

Starting with the sub-bass, it has many colors and many tunings possible, but it is always a natural to slightly fast bass, which can keep up with anything, from speed metal, to Jazz, to deathcore, all the way to electronic and aggressive experimental electronicore music, being a bass that you'll love with almost any style you'll want to listen through FLC 8N.

The midrange is sweet and detail, and it can go in between many configurations of taste, the thing that tends to stay the same being the speed, or rather its impulse response, which tends to be natural at most of times, resulting in a generally pleasing experience, with a good amount of detail and clarity, but without feeling aggressive, or too much in your face.

The treble can go from really smooth and rolled off, to really sparkly and engaging, which is also great, if you want a versatile IEM, and it is generally natural to slow in its speed, so it tends to be rather smooth and silky, even when it is bright, never bothering you with a grainy or harsh presence.

The soundstage is another important aspect of FLC 8N, and I can't finish this review, nor do I want to, without making a big deal out of this. At some point in my life, I was a teenager, looking for music that sounded epic, large, music to extend in every direction my mind could imagine, and believe me, my teenage mind would dream in lots of directions, and at that moment IE8 from Sennheiser really impressed me. In the same way, FLC 8N impresses me now with its soundstage, and I am finding it wide, but with a really great instrument separation, and with a pinpoint precision, this time being quite impressive in every way you can imagine the soundstage of a mid range priced IEM could be.

At the end of the day, if you're looking for music, FLC 8N is here to answer your calls. Especially if you don't know exactly what is your favorite signature, or if you want to experiment, learn more about yourself, and if you like to tweak and play, FLC 8N has 36 signatures you can explore, and even more if you'll indulge in tip rolling and cable rolling, making it the most configurable IEM I reviewed to date, and a really great one at that, being not just configurable, but offering a fun and detailed sound in every configuration, not just a large number of average signatures, but a large number of pretty good signatures, especially for its friendly price. Don't forget to get yours from MusicTeck for one of the best services in USA, and don't forget to follow Audiophile Heaven on Twitter, Facebook, and now Youtube, for more news, in-depth reviews, and fun.

Purchase Link: https://shop.musicteck.com/products/flc8n-the-latest-version-of-flc8

Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Elecric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir

Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Manafest - Impossible
Thouand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry

Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Tommy Gun
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
Skillet - What I Believe

I hope my review is helpful to you!

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Audiophile Heaven Link: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/2018/11/King-Of-Versatility.html
Excellent review my friend. Having as a priority the soundstage and the level of detail, which should I choose between e5000 and flc8n?
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George
@Usuarionow - Thank you for your kind words! If the soundstage size and details are the most important aspects, FLC8N has a larger overall stage, and more detail. E5000 is much more lush and thick, but in a smaller sonic scape :)
Pros: Spacious and Airy Soundstage, Warm and Forgiving, Highly Customizable Tuning
Cons: No filter option to make the sound Aggressive, Build and Finish Could be Better
I would like to thank FLC Technologies and MusicTeck for providing the FLC 8N IEM for the review. This review was originally posted on Twister6.com back in August.

Tuning Systems on IEMs have existed for many years (AKG K3003, RHA T20, Dunu IEMs, Sennheiser IE80, ES Velvet etc) and is implemented in many ways. But not a single IEM came even close to FLC 8S’ 36 possible tuning options when it was released in 2015. Although, I would argue that some of the combinations wouldn’t be practical or applicable for real time use, it takes a brilliant mind (Forrest Wei) to come up with such a sophisticated tuning system. But the tuning system was only part of the reason for 8S’ success. It was its inherent sound quality and performance that contributed to IEM’s success for the most part. And with the customizable tuning options on top of that, one were able to get close to their preferred signature. Leaving the sound aspect aside, there were a couple of quibbles about the FLC’s hardware. For some people, the shape did not provide a perfectly comfortable fit. And the cable was simply too finicky and microphonic.

After 3 years of working on a successor, FLC recently launched an update to the 8S called the FLC 8N. The 8N follows along the same concept of the 8S which is, 36 different tuning options achieved through mixing and matching 10 pairs of swappable filters on the body of the IEM. The external shape of the IEM has gone through a complete redesign and the cable seems to have gone through some changes too. While I won’t be able to comment on the nature of the changes and the differences between the 8N and the 8S, what I can do is, offer my objective + subjective view on the 8N and how it performs for a $360 IEM. Let’s find out.


Leaving the IEM+Cable aside, what you get in the box are the usual suspects; a case, cleaning tool, shirt clip and a few pairs of ear tips, plus the tuning system. The round metal case is hard and feels like it could even take a bullet and still survive. But for my personal use, this is a bit of a cumbersome case due to its weight. But I have seen some people on the forum preferring such cases. As for the ear tips, you get a total of 8 pairs. 4 pairs of white tips and 4 more pairs of black tips of sizes; XS, S, M and L.

As for items that make up the tuning system; you get a total of 10 pairs of filters. These filters are housed in a compact metal canister that looks like a lip-balm stick. You also get a small tweezer that helps to change the Ultra-Low-Frequency (ULF) filters and Low-Frequency (Filters). You also get a spare filter for each of the rubber ULF and LF filters, just in case you lose one of these (yes, you can easily lose the ULF and LF filters if you are not careful). A manual that gives you an index of the filters and other basic information about the IEM is also included.


Looks, Build, Comfort, Isolation and Cable:
I am not a fan of the electric-blue color of the IEM. I personally would have preferred a more neutral color like grey, black or silver. But the build feels sturdy and the finish seems decent. The finish may not be perfect like what you’d see on Sennheisers, but nothing to complain here. As the IEM is light, small in size and is contoured with smooth curves, it is super comfortable to wear. The isolation is not top notch, but when music is playing, it is pretty good. Just don’t expect custom IEM level of isolation.

The cable is again a dark blue color to accent the vivid blue shell of the IEM. It is a bit springy and feels a little plasticky. But other than that, from a functional perspective, it is a very good cable. Meaning, it doesn’t tangle that easily and is not microphonic (at least when worn over ear). So it does look like FLC has made some improvements. As to what kind of sockets the IEM uses, I was neither able to confirm nor deny as I thought it was best left untouched.

For sound impressions, I would like to begin with the default configuration, which is; Gunmetal + Grey + Gold (Med ULF + Med LF + Most MF & Med HF). In this configuration, the sound of the 8N is warm, balanced and smooth. This results in a relaxed and fatigue-free listening experience. The bass is slightly enhanced and has a gradual downward slope into the center mid-range. The result is a warm and well integrated bass into the mid-range that provides warmth and body without creating a veil. Sub-bass and mid-bass balance each other out well that, there is satisfactory level of impact, as well as warmth/body without one over powering the other. Also, as the 8N uses DD for the low-end, you get the nice natural decay.

Although, the Gold filter is the one that offers most MF, the mid-range is actually a touch relaxed. The mid-range is sufficiently bodied and is slightly warm in tone, as the upper-mids are slightly smoothed down. If you are someone who finds the 15dB rise in the 3kHz on headphones/IEMs a bit shouty or harsh, you will feel right at home on the 8N, because this bump is rather polite on the 8N. But it is sufficient in amplitude to provide overtone reach and solidity for the vocals, while keeping them rounded and smooth. But for these reasons, the transparency in the mid-range, although good enough, is not of high class. While I would say the mid-range is slightly laid-back their positioning is not backward. So they offer good presence, but just subtly polite without causing any aggressiveness.

The treble follows along the same line as the mid-range and stays smooth with a gentle peak in the lower treble, which is followed by a toned down upper treble. The lower treble makes it up by providing sufficient articulation to the notes and maintaining the balance in the signature. The downside of the upper treble being toned down is, the resolution is not very high and you won’t get the feeling of finesse you experience on high end IEMs. As the resolution and transparency are not of the highest order, this is not an IEM geared towards detail retrieval. But what you get in return is a smooth, laid-back sound that is very forgiving of poorly recorded material.

FLC claims that one of the areas of improvement on the 8N, over the 8s is the soundstage. Although I cannot comment on whether it is an improvement or not, all I can say is that the soundstage on the 8N is spectacular. It is not just very spacious, but also open and airy, almost approaching CA Andromeda level soundstage. This just might have dethroned the IE80 from the sub $400 category soundstage-king position. The stage has sufficient depth to an extent it doesn’t sound flat. With the help of the soundstage, the instrument separation is really excellent on the lateral plane, although layering may not be its forte. The whole presentation of the IEM just keeps you immersed in the music.

Tuning System:
FLC 8N has a 3 point tuning system. What that means is, you can tune 3 distinct frequency ranges of the IEM at the same time. This is achieved though swappable tuning filters. You get; 3 x Ultra Low Frequency filters (ULF), 3 x Low Frequency filters (LF) and 4 x Mid Frequency & High Frequency filters (MF & HF). The port for the ULF is located on the inner side of the IEM that faces your ear. The port for the LF filters is on the faceplate of the IEM shell. The MF & HF filters are screwed in at the nozzle of the IEM.


Ultra-Low Frequency and Low Frequency Filters (ULF & LF):
ULF – ULF filters are the ones those look like a rivet and are made of plastic. These filters primarily affect the lower bass and the sub-bass region, which are all frequencies below the 100Hz. This filter determines the sub-bass extension, power, rumble and weight of the impact. You get 3 pairs of filters: 1) Red = Most ULF, 2) Gunmetal = Med ULF and 3) White = Min ULF.

LF – LF filters are the ones made of rubber with a small flange on one end. These filters primarily affect the mid-bass, upper-bass and lower-mid regions, which are frequencies between 100Hz to 700Hz. These filters determine the warmth, weight and body of the notes in the lower mids. You get 3 LF filters, but the color codes are different. 1) Black = Most LF, 2) Grey = Med LF and 3) Transparent = Low LF.

When it comes to ULF and LF filters, these need to be analyzed in combo rather than individually. This is because they go hand in hand and the result they produce are relative to each other.

Red + Black (Most ULF + Most LF)
This is the bassiest combo and meant for bass lovers. You get great sub-bass extension, lots of sub-bass power, rumble and impact. The bass starts to bleed a little into the mids and starts to tighten the stage that the instrument separation is not the best. Bass takes a dark tone and the pace of the IEM is slowest on this combo.

Gunmetal + Black (Med ULF + Most LF)
This combo is more like a more controlled version of the above one. There is adequate sub-bass power and impact supporting the warm and thick upper-bass and lower-mids. This is not the cleanest sounding combo, but works well if you want to unleash male vocals.

Transparent + Black (Less ULF + Most LF)
This combo creates a bump in the upper-bass region and makes the IEM to sound thick and syrupy. This creates a veil over the mid-range. Not the best combo, unless an upper-bass bump is exactly what you are looking for.

Red + Grey (Most ULF + Med LF)
This combo has a slightly enhanced bass response, but with strong bass impact and power. Sub-bass kind of steals the attention with the bass impact and power. This combo actually quite nice for electronic music when paired with the Green MF&HF filter as it creates a nice U shaped sound.

Gunmetal + Grey (Med ULF + Med LF)
This is the default combo. This combo gives a slightly enhanced bass that is slightly warm and full-bodied with good sub-bass extension. Sub-bass and mid-bass don’t fight for attention and so there is a nice balance in low end of the spectrum. This is a very versatile combo that would work for all genres. It just won’t give you any extreme effect.

Transparent + Grey (Less ULF + Med LF)
This is another good combo that works well for male vocals as it is warm and the sub-bass is rolled off and the impact and rumbles take a back seat. The notes are not too warm and thick, so you don’t have the congestion and veiling problem like the Transparent+Black combo.

Red + White (Most ULF + Less LF)
With the White LF filter, bass becomes very neutral. But with the Red filter, you still get some nice impact and sub-bass power. This is also another combo that would work well for electronic music if you prefer slightly leaner bass notes.

Gunmetal + White (Med ULF + Less LF)
This is another highly recommended combo. You get a neutral level bass with good the sub-bass extension but without strong impacts and rumble from the sub-bass. What this combo also does is, because the bass is nicely controlled, it lets the mid-range pop out a little more, so that you don’t feel it is too relaxed in the upper-mids, as you would on the Gunmetal+Grey combo. You get nice separation and an airy stage. This is not only the best combo for classical, but is also one of the versatile combos. People preferring some warmth may prefer the Gunmetal+Grey combo over this one. But if you like a neutral, ruler flat bass that goes well into the sub-bass, this is just the combo you need.

Transparent + White (Min ULF + Less ULF)
This is really a bass light combo with the mid-range in the spotlight. Bass lacks body, warmth and weight. But if you like lean bass and want to get a mid-centric signature, this might work.

Mid Frequency & High Frequency Filter:
These are the screw able metal filters. These filters affect the upper-mids, lower-treble and the center-treble, which are frequencies between 1kHz to 10kHz. These don’t have much of an impact on the upper treble, so do not expect to customize the upper-treble per your preference. As I already discussed how the Gold filter sounds in the sound impressions section, let’s see what changes are observed when going from the Gold filter to the other 3 filters. Btw Gold filter is Most MF & Less HF.

Switching from Gold to Green (Less MF & Max HF)
This relaxes the mid-range further, but brings up the treble noticeably. If you want to improve the articulation in the treble or if you are shooting for a bright and airy treble, or if you are trying to get to a U shaped sound, this is the filter you would choose.

Switching from Gold to Gunmetal (Med MF & Med HF)
Compared to the Gold filter, the Gunmetal filter relaxes the mid-range further, while keeping the treble at the same level. This creates an even more laidback sound. Can come in handy if you want a completely forgiving and a too laidback sound.

Switching from Gold to Blue (Less MF & Less HF)
Blue just shelves the mid-range and the treble down even further compared to the Gunmetal. I seriously wonder why this filter even exists. Because even the Gunmetal filter is already relaxed enough. Unless all you want to hear is bass and lower harmonics of an instrument/vocals, I can’t imagine anyone using this filter. Although one could argue it can be used to create a light sound signature when used in combination with Transparent+White filters, you could achieve that with the Gunmetal filter already.

FLC should have made this filter into a Most MF & Most HF filter, as I feel that is what is missing in FLC’s configuration.

Possible Combos for some Popular Signatures:
- Warm and Balanced: Gunmetal + Grey + Gold
- Neutral Balanced: Gunmetal + White + Gold, Transparent + Grey + Gold
- Mid-Centric: Transparent + White + Gold
- Treble-Centric: Gunmetal + White + Green, Transparent + White +Green
- V/U shaped: Red + Grey + Green, Red + Black + Green
- Balanced with Strong Bass: Red + Black + Gold, Red + Grey + Gold
- Dark and Bassy: Red + Black + Gold, Red + Black + Gunmetal
- Warm and Thick: Gunmetal + Black + Gold, Transparent + Black + Gold

FLC_4.jpg FLC_5.jpg


FLC 8N vs IE80S:
IE80S has a U shaped signature as a result of enhanced bass and treble (6kHz peak). In terms of tuning capabilities, it only has a bass tuning knob to adjust the sub bass. There is no way to bring the mid-range forward or reduce its 6kHz treble peak. This makes the IE80S not the best IEM for some genres. For example, the vocals sound recessed and the instruments do not sound accurate nor natural. This is purely a fun tuning.

The 8N on the other hand, because of its highly tunable feature, makes it a more versatile IEM than the IE80S. Even with the Green filter which is Med MF & Most HF, the mid-range is not as recessed as on the IE80S. While neither IEMs qualify to be called as accurate sounding IEM, 8N can get close to sounding accurate and has better transparency than the IE80S.

In terms of resolution, both are almost on the same level. One of the greatest strengths of the IE80S is its soundstage. 8N has a similar level of soundstage. But because the stage is not warmed up by the bass, it sounds more open and airy. This also results in better separation on the 8N. So in terms of sound quality, it is not even a contest. 8N takes the win with a comfortable margin.

In terms of physical features, 8N offers better comfort and more isolation. IE80S on the other hand has better build quality, reliability and a better cable.

FLC 8N (Gunmetal, Grey, Gold) vs Simgot EN700 Pro:
While 8N’s signature in the Gunmetal+Grey+Gold combo can be described as warm, balanced and laidback, 700P’s tuning is more neutral-like with a slightly enhanced bass. The bass response on these 2 IEMs are almost similar in the sense that both have similar level of impact and power. But 700P’s bass is warmer. But the overall bass quality is better on the FLC.

8N goes for a laidback sound with a slightly relaxed mids and treble. Whereas 700P goes for a more accurate sound with better presence in the mid-range, particularly in the upper mids and has a slightly brighter treble. There are no filters for 8N that can reproduce this tuning (because the green filter may help bring the treble up, but it relaxes the mid-range further). Due to these differences, 700P is just more transparent in the mid-range and is less forgiving in the treble.

8N has a more spacious soundstage and better overall resolution. As a result, 8N displays better instrument separation. 8N also has a darker background and a more precise imaging than the 700P. Overall, 8N is a bit laidback and musical in nature that you can play some of the poorly recorded tracks and not be punished. While the 700P does have a slightly enhanced bass to inject some fun aspect into the sound, it is still a more serious tuning. Both are balanced sounding and very versatile IEMs. 8N is laidback, whereas the 700N is engaging.

Source Pairings, Sensitivity and Hiss:
The 8N is not a demanding IEM when it comes to power. It just sings even straight out of a smartphone. Any current generation DAPs should have more than enough juice to drive the FLC sufficiently. When I tried the 8N on the Hugo 2 and the desktop amp, there was a nice jump in performance. But there was a slight hiss. But its hiss performance is well within the acceptable standard. Meaning, while it does hiss with sources that are powerful or have a high noise floor, it is hiss free from most portable sources.

As for tonal synergy, as the IEM is already laidback in character, it is better to stay away from sources that have a laidback or a soft sound. Also best to avoid thin sounding sources as it destroys the character of the 8N making the presentation feel empty.

Critical Comments and Suggestions:
- Replace Less Mid & Less HF filter with a Most Mid + Most LF filter
- Build quality and finish could be slightly better
- A more neutral color for the shell would be nice

The portable audio has seen some accelerated progress over the few years with so many competitors entering the market. With such high competition, in order to survive, let alone succeed, manufacturers have been coming out with really nice products for very competitive prices. So it is not difficult to come across a nice product in the mid-fi segment. But there are some products that stand out from the rest of the competition, as they do things right and offer a little more than that. And FLC 8N is one such gem in the mid-fi realm.

While the signature of the 8N is completely neutral, its signature is not too far from the natural response of a speaker in a room. It is balanced and smooth and is just an easy listen. It may not be the most accurate IEM. But it immerses you in your music with a large stage and a musical signature. You could say, this is the fun sound done right. It may not be suitable for someone looking for accuracy or neutrality. But, if you are in the market for a balanced and smooth sounding IEM in the $500 price range, just get the FLC 8N, choose a filter combo that suits your preference and works for your music and take a break from this hobby.

Purchase Link:
MusicTeck Store: https://shop.musicteck.com/products/flc8n-the-latest-version-of-flc8
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Balanced-Arm...1&sr=8-2&keywords=flc8n&tag=3340693-headfi-20
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
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. *** 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!

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

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Website - FLC Technology

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.

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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.

  • 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

: ~U$355

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.


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.

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)

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.

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!

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.


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.


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 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:


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:


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:


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:


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):


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):


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



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


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.
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.

About me: www.moonstarreviews.net


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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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


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.


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)

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:


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.


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.

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.


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
About me: www.moonstarreviews.net
Thank you for your nice words. Great to see such nice comments : )
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George
Really good and in-depth review!! Great job, friend!