FLC Technology FLC 8S

Average User Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. originalsnuffy
    4.5/5,
    "Detailed, open sound. Massively customizable. "
    Pros - Sound can be fine tuned to listener preference. High fidelity at reasonable price point.
    Cons - Difificult to insert filters. Easy to lose filters. Moderately easy to get ear fit but not dead simple. Tuning could be "overkill" for some.
    I had the pleasure of listening to the FLC8S for about 10 days. 
     
    I listened to these on a FIIO X3 Gen II, a Shanling M2, and the venerable iphone 6S.   My comparison is to LZ-A2 using Comply foam tips, Phonak Audeo PFE-022 with black filters and Comply foam tips, and Carbo Tenore using stock tips. 
     
    I listened to a wide variety of music, including Rock, Jazz, and Classical.  Something that surprised me was that I could listen to all varieties of music with these and get a pleasurable experience.  Normally I reserve the Phonaks for classical, where bass is not as important and musical accuracy is important.  But with these I was very happy no matter the source material.
     
    They sounded very good with all players, but were especially terrific with the Shanling M2.  The Shanling is a very neutral and clear sounding unit, and really brought out the best in these earphones.
     
    I found myself noticing the clarity of instruments, yet easy shifted to simply enjoying hi res music.  There is a reason these IEM units have developed a buzz; it is simply not just hype. The detachable cables can come loose fairly easily, so I would be careful with the units when used in public areas.  I stuck mainly to the blue cables though I did try the other two cables that were in box.  Somehow I preferred the blue cable comfort and stuck with those.
     
    My overall conclusion is that these provides an exception level of audio quality with a high degree of customization.   I mainly fiddled with the low bass, as I was very happy with the stock tunings. The effect was subtle but helpful to add sub bass.
     
    It is interesting to me that most other reviewers of this headphone also seem to go with the stock tunings, with the possible exception of adding more sub bass.  That is because these IEM units have an essential “rightness” to them right out of the box.  
     
    Customizing these IEM units is not super easy.  As other have mentioned, the small rubbery plastic inserts are difficult to manipulate and go flying about.  I would suggest working on a clear table and not over carpet.  Pieces can and will go missing.  I ended up using the tweezers to remove the tuning devices but put them in by finger. 
     
    My overall suggestion is that the manufacturer consider offering a cost reduced version of these with the base neutral tunings with the exception of somewhat tweaked sub bass.   I think a more basic version with this sound signature at the right place could become a monster product.  I realize the tunability put the manufacturer on the map, but now that they have a name I would readily purchase a cheaper, less tunable version. 
     
    I would also suggest studying the fit of the Carbo Tenore, which somehow gets the sound right in a very comfortable to wear format.
     
    These are exceptional IEM units and my sense is that improvements on these will ultimately be about fit, comfort, and price and not about sound quality.
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  2. soundstige
    5.0/5,
    "A complete game changer."
    Pros - Everything -- no exaggeration. Visceral sub-bass. Ruler-flat "stock" FR. Metric tonnes of microdetail. Huge stage. AFFORDABLE. Truly customizable.
    Cons - Uh... hmm... well..... The cable is not the single greatest pinnacle of cable technology ever? I guess...
    This IEM is a complete game changer. Prepare to be upset by your recent $500+ purchase, or thrilled that you held out for something truly worthwhile. You don't know who FLC Technology is -- good. The surprise is worth it. Just buy it. Don't wait for me to write a more complete review. I might, but I'll probably be too busy listening to these IEMs. Check out the wise words written by other reviewers on this page. Do it. Buy them. You are being peer pressured. Submit.
  3. angelo898
    3.5/5,
    "hard to argue with the value"
    Pros - amazing packaging, good sound
    Cons - not as versatile as advertised
    FLC 8: going for the long haul
    I received these in December as part of the Australian tour and only have had a little over a week with these, so there might be some reason to take these impressions with somewhat of a grain of salt.
     
    A little about me
     
    Personally, I am a person who tends to gravitate to high end equipment, but have recently started looking at the low-mid end segments of the IEM world, since I have come to the conclusion that I have had my head stuck up in the clouds for too long. While I love trying new equipment, the equipment I end up buying tends to be little. This might be due to my lack of a decent income, or because I have very high standards, honestly I am not sure. However, one thing I am very sure of, since I have a rather limited budget, whatever I tend to buy or recommend are things I love, instead of hyping the regular item. While I believe sound quality to be extremely important, I also highly value ergonomics, and love things that look beautiful as well.
     
    Ergonomics
     
    I tend to use my earphones when I’m out and about, so I am mobile with my portable setups. This must be stated because this means that I am often walking around while I use my IEMs and as such, ergonomics is quite an important consideration for me.
     
    I have previously stated that I have had problems with IEMs that stick out of the ears due to size, or any number of other factors that are often presented by the IEM makers. An example of this is the Fitear series, which I have a serious love hate relationship with, due to the way the IEMs always stick out of my ears, and consequently fall out after a short walk. This causes me to stop and push them back in every few minutes, which eventually made me sell them (I rarely sell my gear, so this was definitely a huge issue).
     
    FLC did not give me such huge problems with the 8. Let’s go over what I thought in detail here.
     
    Overall, the shape of the earphone is designed to be fairly ergonomic. One feature I particularly liked was the shape of the IEM, which was designed in the vein of the popular westone/shure shape, but definitely quite different. This might be due to FLC wanting to be iconic, tuning, or even legal liability, I honestly have no idea. This shape, in theory at least, is particularly good for people who are often out and about, since the user is forced to use the IEM over the ear, while also not overly shortening the cable when using it in this manner (honestly, I’ve only had an issue with this with the customart demo tour, but once bitten, twice shy and no I don’t have a very big head).  Sadly this is hampered by the way the wire is connected to the IEM. Being a removable cable IEM with an L shape connector, the area where the cable is plugged into the IEM is slightly at the wrong angle for me. This causes great irritation to me because the IEM does not sit flush to the ear and kind of just bounces around when I walk. This obviously might be a problem that only I have, since many people were wondering what I meant when I first posted about this issue in the FLC 8 impressions thread (as such, this part might be taken with a pinch of salt I guess). Personally, I have never had this issue, despite having several custom IEMs which all use L shape connectors (I prefer this connector in general honestly).
     
    It has to be said though, that the IEM is really built with love. The custom blue cable, instead of a generic black one, is a welcome sign, featuring a beautiful chin slider and an overmolded L 3.5mm plug. The fact that this is not a generic cable honestly needs mentioning, because a significant portion of the cables that the portable audio industry provides with their IEMs when the cables are removable are utter generic trash that seem to come from the same company, and tend to break very easily. The memory wire on this IEM is also there, but that is more of a personal preference thing, with me not liking memory wire in general.
     
    Another issue that needs to be mentioned is that the little modifiers on the IEM are actually very small indeed, and since I am a total klutz, dropping and losing them is a legit issue. However, if the modifiers were larger, I think it would defeat the purpose and appeal of the IEM, so I would urge caution when changing the modifiers on this IEM.
     
    In conclusion, let’s call it a good attempt.
     
    Sound
     
    I honestly am not too sure about how I am supposed to do this portion since I actually was able to hear different kinds of sound signatures when I switched out parts. Technology that enables modification on the IEM for variability in tuning has come a long way from the ****ty Hippo VB that I had many years ago, which really didn’t change very much with the “bass modifiers” (Pfft….Rip-off).
     
    Anyways let’s get on with some overall impressions I guess.
     
    Treble
     
     The treble on this is not something that stands out for this IEM. Even with the appropriate modifications, the IEM did not become sibilant to me, a big plus in my book.
     
    Mids
     
    The mids on this IEM were pretty good indeed, with the gold nozzle attached, vocals became more detailed and had some air to them. While the gold nozzle was amazing for midrange, I didn’t get the sense that the mids were lacking on this IEM with any of the combinations, yet another plus in my book.
     
    Bass
     
    The bass in my opinion is where the biggest change occurs. While it isn’t like what I heard in the Layla, there definitely is quite an ability to change. However, the way that the bass did not bleed into too much of the remainder of the music spectrum was definitely something that was quite Layla-like indeed. This is quite an amazing feat, since the Layla is a stratospheric level IEM in terms of cost, and costs as much as several FLC 8s.
     
    Imaging
     
    The soundstage on this is decent, but not overly exaggerated. The imaging on this is also pretty accurate, and nothing really stands out to me.
     
    Scaling
     
    I tried this IEM with several sources, namely the iPhone 6+, the Calyx M, the Resonessence Labs Concero HP and the Cozoy Aegis (with computer and iPhone). While the others presented differently in terms of detail levels and amplification levels, I personally felt that the Cozoy Aegis produced some magical sound with it. I was dumbfounded when I first heard the combo, and it was not surpassed by any of my other sources. Synergy matters guys!
     
    Versatility
     
    I am a person who likes variation in my music; I personally feel that changing the modifiers out in the field is an unrealistic feat for many. As such, the FLC 8 quickly lost its appeal in that manner. I personally ended up just leaving the IEM in just 1 general setting and not changing it depending on my music needs.
     
    Balance and pairing
     
    From the above paragraphs, it can be seen that I am not able to write many impressions. This is actually because I am not really able to criticise this IEM very much, since nothing really stands out but nothing really sucks either.
     
    I personally ended up using the black/black/black (not too sure about this) the most, since I ended up liking it the most.
     
    Packaging
     
    The packaging on this is actually something amazing and is definitely built into the money that you pay for the IEM. The amount of stuff that you get when you purchase this IEM and the packaging certainly puts many competitors to shame. I shall now list the items.
    8 pairs of silicone tips (soft tips, does not need aftermarket tips for additional comfort)
    1 metal case (wow, gives it a high end feel)
    1 pair of tweezers (large and not portable, which leads me to the question of why did they make the modifications so easy to carry around?)
    Modifications in a catheter (good case to keep the modifications, I am assuming that it was made this way to be brought out into the field easily)
    Accessories box
     
    It must also be said that the box that it came in was impressive, unlike the usual cheapness that we usually get as audiophiles.
     
    Looks
     
    This IEM looked amazing in my opinion. Sadly I was not able to fully utilise the time I had the IEM to produce any nice images, since I totally miscalculated the number of days I had it for and had no choice but to try to take photographs at 4am, on the day I had to send it off. It seems I vastly overestimated my ability to do things while severely sleepy, which resulted in me coming up with some pretty horrendous pictures. It must be said though, that the IEM has a high end look that is a breath of fresh air in the portable audiophile world. Adding the accessories into the mix makes this a very potent package indeed. I mean, how nice is it to have a nice metal case instead of the usual soft foamy things that come with most IEMs?
     
    Conclusion
     
    Let’s face it; the FLC 8 is a ridiculous item. 36 different types of sound signatures in 1 IEM… ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The honest truth is that I think that the FLC technology flc8 is a feat of technology. While it probably isn't my type of thing, I believe that FLC technology really put in their heart and soul into making this IEM and it shows, with the technology and the amount of effort that they put into it aesthetically.
     
    I also think that I am of the minority in Head FI who doesn't like to have too much gear (BLASPHEMY!). This IEM has the potential to appeal to many with its versatility, and it is hard to argue with the versatility, and as such the value, in theory, but I found it hard to implement in my daily life, your mileage may vary. While I would have no qualms recommending this IEM to anyone out there, I would definitely recommend trying it before buying, due to the fit issues I had. 
    DJScope likes this.
  4. Wiljen
    5.0/5,
    "FLC8s - maybe the best $500 IEM that $300 will buy"
    Pros - great build , filter options for all tastes on top of a great base IEM underneath it., some of the best resolution and imaging I've heard
    Cons - Default cable could be way better, coupling of mid and high filter limits some tuning options and no tuning of lower mids occurs regardless of filter combination.
    I was loaned the FLC8s to audition before purchasing the b400 or LZ A4. I did not cover un-boxing or the accessory kit as I received the product without the box and with filters already mounted. I'd like to thank @Ngoshawk for graciously loaning me the FLC8s to try. I'll admit, I really don't want to return them but will have to buy my own soon.

    Build
    The 8s by FLC is a smaller than average uniquely shaped iem designed for over ear wear. The housing is all plastic which may turn some people off, but seems well enough put together. At first glance, I thought they might be colored aluminum shells due to the fit and finish. The housing feel solid and seams fit well with no obvious gaps or mis-alignments. I saw no weak points in the shell that I would worry about coming apart over time. The fact that 3 different filters fit into these small housings means that any slight misalignment or wobble during production and everything fails to work correctly. Filters themselves are tiny and with these being on loan, I was very weary of potentially losing one. Once attached, they stay solidly in place so no worries during use of the 8s but when changing filters, it can be a challenge for aging eyes and clumsy fingers.
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    The best news for me was that the 8s arrived with the upgrade cable already in place so I avoided use of the stock cable except to do some sound comparisons as Ngoshawk requested my thoughts on the cables. The stock cable is overly stiff and combined with my glasses was an uncomfortable fit. Were I to purchase the 8s, I would have to buy the upgrade cable as the option to go without glasses or without music is simply not appealing as both seem rather necessary. The upgrade cable still has a bit of memory and isn’t the most pliable cable but does make a vast improvement in comfort for me. Although I am reluctant to attribute any auditory changes to a cable, the silver single crystal cable did seem to make a bit of improvement particularly in the low end. The cables use the 2 pin UE connector type making it a little more difficult to find replacement cables and those who prefer a more supple cable will certainly have to do some looking at aftermarket options.

    Stock Cable
    stockcable.JPG

    Upgrade Cable
    upgradecable.JPG

    Fit and Isolation
    The shape of the 8s combined with its lightweight and smooth surfaces made it very comfortable to wear although the nozzles do not have a forward angle as some other earphones do and may cause some problems with fit for those with small ear canals. For me, they fit well and when paired with symbios tips the seal was good although a bit shallow. With the ports in the earphone itself and the shallow fit, I can only describe the isolation as mediocre. If I had to guess, I’d say somewhere around a -12dB reduction of outside noise.

    Sound

    This is the hardest part of this review by far. The fact is: the 8s sounds like whatever you want it to. The filters really do work, you can tune the 8s to be a bass cannon if that is your thing, or head the other direction and create an absolute treble knife. Most will probably tune the 8s somewhere between those extremes and with 36 possible combinations a lot of middle ground exists. I’ve tried to make notes about the driver characteristics that come through regardless of how you adjust as well as notes on specific filters where they have a noteworthy impact.

    In order to understand the sound options, you have to understand the filters. The inner port on the shell tunes the sub-bass frequencies, the outer port tunes the bass frequencies, and the screw in nozzles control the mid and high frequency response. The filters come packaged in an aluminum tube with a key ring adapter. This is misleading as changing filters on the go is certainly not recommended as the parts are tiny and the operations are tedious. I recommend changing filters only on a large flat surface (preferably light colored where the filters don’t blend in) with good lighting and perhaps a razor blade and set of angled needle nose pliers as the provided tweezers are less than helpful. Using a scalpel blade to get under the edge of the filters and lift is much easier than trying to get enough surface area exposed to use the tweezers. The housing ports are all pressure fit, so pushing the filters in requires precise orientation and gentle pressure. The nozzle filters are larger, screw-in and much easier to work with.
    outerfilter.JPG inner filter.JPG Nozzlefilter.JPG



    The following were things that I noted regarding the 8s regardless of which set of filters were installed. First and foremost, for a hybrid BA/dynamic, the 8s has better coherency than most. Unlike some hybrids, I would be hard pressed to tell you which frequencies were being produced by which driver in the 8s. Extension is great at the top end and good at the bottom. These have no large roll-off at either end of the spectrum. It didn’t appear to me that the lower mids were changed at all by the tuning filters. The upper mids and high frequencies were quite obviously shaped by the nozzle filters but if the lower mids were moved at all it so slight as to be imperceptible to me. Lastly, the level of detail and micro-details were better than expected and would have made me guess this was a more expensive headphone had I not known the price going in. Overall, I would say the 8s retains a slightly bright signature regardless of which filter set you choose.

    Bass
    The low-end is shaped by both the sub-bass filter and the bass filter and I found that I enjoyed the red sub-bass filters but needed to back off the bass filter by one level as the bass got a bit boomy and lost a bit of control when wide open. Stepping back a notch to the black filter did lose a bit of quantity, but gained a lot of quality so it was a trade well made. Overall, the sub-bass extension was better than I thought possible out of a 6.4mm driver and the bass was well rendered unless the wide open (filter less) setting was used. I would have liked to see a bit more bass quantity but not at the expense of quality. If you are a bass-head, this is probably not the earphone for you as it trades quality for quantity when you try and increase the bass in a way that is not pleasing.

    Mids,
    as noted the lower mids are not shaped by any of the filters so you have less options here. The good news is I didn’t hear a pronounced mid-bass hump and any bleed into the lower mids was very minimal. Instrument separation is good and male vocals are lifelike and ever so slightly forward. The upper mids are much more tunable with the filters and my favorite was a slightly bright filter that lifted female vocals a bit and brought a bit of extra air to the top end. I spent quite a bit of time trying the green and black bores, which are either medium mid and most high frequency or medium mid and high respectively. I came to the conclusion that depending on the track, I could continually swap these two filters and never resolve a single filter that I liked best so I settled on the black as a compromise.


    Treble,
    having just said I settled for the medium high frequency filter, I really enjoyed the sparkle and air the green filter brought to the table and with all but the most sibilant of tracks the green filter really did bring more life to the sound signature. For some reason though, I found the green filter a big more fatiguing than the black which dialed it back a notch. I tried to go without a filter as some recommended but found that was extremely fatiguing unless I dialed back the 6kHz and 8kHz by about 6dB.

    Truth be told, none of the mid/high filters were exactly the combination I would have liked and a little EQ combined with the green was my best fit. If using a player that didn’t have EQ, the black was the best compromise.


    Soundstage

    I found the 8s to have a very wide soundstage if not quite as deep as it was wide. Imaging was good with instrument placement easily visualized and movement of singers on stage in live performance well rendered. The 8s is easily one of the best in-ears I have had a chance to audition when considering imaging and I suspect this is one category where the 8s punches well above its weight as I have had the opportunity to audition several other IEMs in this price range and none come close.


    Conclusions
    The FLC8s is one of the best IEMs I have had the pleasure to audition in quite a while. Admittedly, I usually shy from auditioning things too far out of my price range, so I cannot make the direct comparisons to flagship IEMs that I am sure others will. I can say that without any tuning tricks, the 8s is one of the best IEMs I have heard for coherency and performs with a natural ease to its sound that I haven’t seen in this price range before. With the filters, the tuning options open doors to all kinds of signatures. While I would love to see them decouple the mid and high filters to give even more tuning options, I have to say I was not displeased at all with Red, black, Green or red, black, black. Both of those cater to my tastes with good sub-bass, controlled bass, no bleed over into the mids and nice forward upper mids and treble. This takes an already good voice and tailors it nicely to my personal tastes. Give the FLC 8s a try and I’m sure you can find at least one combination of filters that suits your style too. As for me, now I have to find my own pair so I can return these to their owner who is already regretting being without them for 2 weeks while I had them. Thanks again to @Ngoshawk for introducing me to such a great IEM.

    phones.JPG


    Katie88 and ngoshawk like this.
  5. kevingzw
    4.5/5,
    "A Diamond in the Rough"
    Pros - Unbelievable Coherence, Distinct Airiness, Endless Customization/Tunable Options, Lightweight and Solid Construction, Aluminium Carrying Case
    Cons - Tuning Ports/Filters are fragile, Tedious Tuning
    Before I start on my endless tirade on this hidden gem, allow me to make a formal introduction.
     
     
    My Formal Introduction
     
    I'm a 19 year old (coming 20) Singaporean Student waiting to serve my Mandatory Army Service. I grew up captivated by music and its divergent genres. From subversive punk (The Germs, Black Flag) to the Mellow Jazz Cats (Miles Davis, John Coltrane), I was always fond of music history and the preceding factors that led to the formation of several bands and genres. Ever since my brother brought me to Jaben in its glory days (in a crummy, old warehouse with a pile of imported iems), I started to stick my itchy fingers into the personal audio market. I'm no audiophile, but I'm just here to give my two cents on products that I find far more than capable at a suitable price. I despise the lifeless sound of a Balanced Armature on its own. The unnaturally faux left to right soundstage and the rigid/dry bass response always irked me. Hybrids and Dynamic Drivers will and always be the top tier transducer/combinations in my heart. 
     
     
    Alittle Bit of Backstory
     
    FLC Technology is a company based in Guangdong, China. Opened by Forrest Wei (correct me if I'm wrong), a industry regular that has worked with the likes of UE and Jabra, the FLC 8 is their first foray into the Universal IEM Market. Launching their first CIEM in 2011, FLC Technology hopes to make a name for itself in a congested IEM Market. The FLC 8S is an exact cut/copy replica of the FLC 8, provided with a 4-braid SPC Cable instead of the poorly sheathed cable by its predecessor. Forrest believes that the consumer should have a say in the sound signature of any IEM, hence the provision of tunable filters.
     
    The FLC 8S is a hybrid in-ear monitor, with a 2 Balanced Armature + Dynamic Driver (3 Way Crossover) configuration. The FLC 8S boasts a whopping 36 tunable options, setting itself apart from the competition. China is making a name for itself in an already crowded IEM market dominated by the big three (Shure, Audio Technica and Westone). I'm proud to report that the FLC 8S is a top tier contender that blows the competition out of the water. They are a diamond in the rough, a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
     
     
    Build Quality/Accessories
     
    Right off the bat, the lavish wooden box looks downright expensive. FLC definitely went out of its way to package the product beautifully. Inside the box, we have several eartips (S,M,L), a anodized aluminium rounded case (this sh*t is built like a tank) and a keychain carrying the different filters and nozzles. The accessories provided are impeccable and feel almost premium, rivaling the likes of the Shure SE846. Gotta give a shoutout to FLC for giving us a premium package at an affordable price point.
     
    Moving on to the IEM's, they look almost alien-like. The driver-housing or the actual body of the IEM's are shaped like curved S's, with a glossy finish. There are several ports or tiny holes to allow the user to interchange filters and try out a variant of sound signatures. Apart from the outlandish appearance (at first), the IEM's are feather-light with negative profile. The flushed fit and lightweight housing provided me with a comfortable listening experience. It's as if the FLC 8S melds with the ear to become a unified body. I've used them for over 3 hours straight with no signs of discomfort or fatigue. They feel solid in the hand and I have no doubt's that they were built to last for a long time.
     
    The cable termination is a recessed 2 pin connector (the UE Triple -fi connectors), which are easily user replaced. Having said that, the stock 4-braid SPC cables provided marked a significant improvement compared to its predecessor, which provided a rubber-sheathed cable with stiff strain reliefs and a bad tendency to clump into a giant ball. They are easily pliable and the memory wire offsets the weight off the IEM onto them, acting as a strain relief.
     
    I have to say, I am duly impressed by the overall build and accessories provided.
     
     
    Sound Quality
     
    I have to say, these IEM's are absolutely stellar. Admittedly, these are IEM's are ever changing chameleons, with 36 tunable options that leaves the user baffled by its ability to adapt. I for one, value my time and choose not to review every single combination. Having said that, the combination I have utilized centers around a heavy low end, distinct mid range and medium high frequency (minor filtering). Do take note that the tuning process has a steep learning curve. Time and patience must be exercised to find a suitable combination that meets your tastes. Its time for me to dive head first into the delicate art of finding the right "sound".
     
    [​IMG]
    Credits to Lendmeurears for the image
     
    Nozzles
    - Black Filter: Medium Mid Range and High Frequency
    - Green Filter: Medium Mid Range and Most High Frequency
    - Blue Filter: Medium Mid Range and Least High Frequency 
    - Gold Filter: Most Mid Range and Medium High Frequency
     
    Rubber Stoppers (white, black grey)
    - White Stopper: Medium Bass
    - Clear Stopper: Least Bass
    - Black Stopper: Most Bass
     
    Rubber Thumbtacks (lol)
    - Clear: Least Subbass
    - Black: Medium Subbass
    - Red: Most Subbass
     
    As you can see, the art of finding the right sound can be tedious. It makes for a fun project though. Be wary that the intricate filters are tiny and easily lost. Thankfully, Lendmeurears Singapore stocks replacement filters at a reasonable price.
     
    As of now, I'm utilizing the Gold Nozzle => Black Stopper => Red Thumbtack Configuration. It focuses primarily on a creamy mid range, smooth highs with ample detail and a airy bassline. 
     
    The FLC 8S left me floored. Balanced Armatures are known for their distinctly sharp mid range, extended highs and accurate/rigid response. The addition of an 8.6mm Dynamic Driver offsets the weaknesses of the 2 Balanced Armatures by providing a robust bassline and superb subbass decay. What boggles my mind is the coherence of it all. I believe that transient smearing and the use of 3-4 balanced armatures with no dynamic driver results in an incoherent, artificial sound that feels vastly separated. The unnatural left-right channel separation (faux soundstage) and crummy low-end response doesn't leave me satisfied. This is certainly not the case for these hybrid badboys. 
     
    The Gold Nozzle tames the highs and smoothens the peaks, but it does it in such a way where the highs aren't sibilant and provide just enough detail. With tracks such as Charles Mingus's Moanin, the baritone saxophone barely loses detail and in fact sounds almost natural (apart from minor smoothing)
     
    The Midrange is rich, easily distinguishable and detail heavy, with a non-fatiguing wet sound that avoids the harsh trebles and sharp mid-ranges commonly associated with balanced armatures. It provides for a non-fatiguing listen for any genre. It's even listenable with the sharpest of treble-heavy genres such as Hardcore Punk. That is an achievement on itself.
     
    The low end is the highlight of the FLC 8S that separates the men from the boys. Using the Black Stoppers and Red Thumbtacks, the sumptuous low end proves to be well controlled, with a tight midbass response and sublime subbass decay. Most importantly, the bass in my opinion, doesn't bleed into the mid range at all, leaving us with a fun/controlled bass response that faithfully captures the air and stage presence of any given recording.The FLC 8S is a forgiving IEM, even with 128kbps MP3 Files.
     
     
    In Conclusion
     
    The FLC 8S is a representation of Chinese innovation. Over the years, I have seen the growth of many a Chinese Audio Company, each trying to tap into the Southeast Asian market. Some companies left me impressed (Vsonic, Havi) but nothing blew me away. The FLC 8S has done just that. Their penchant for perfection in sound, build and customization is a testament to Chinese quality. I would've given them a perfect score, if not for the fragile tuning components. I certainly hope that people give the FLC 8S's a shot and be mesmerized by their sound.
    Dopaminer, B9Scrambler and hqssui like this.
  6. svyr
    4.0/5,
    "excellent hybrid with a few buts"
    Pros - balanced and rich sound filters are great. Choice of at least 2-3 major sound sigs with variations
    Cons - Relatively expensive, cable ergo/noise, no mic or remote. cust-ty ultimately redundant. M-by comfort and fit due to the design, bit bright highs
    First of I'd like to thank DJScope and FLC for organizing (part of the Australian FLC 8s tour). I got to enjoy FLC 8S over the holiday break and try them with a variety of gear

    Pics:


    Album
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    20160103_172846.jpg 20160103_172849.jpg

    Accessories/Build/Comfort/Isolation


    Accessories - good. no foam tips or shirt clip though. bit of a pity there. Really like the Metal case. Rather great packaging and useful user guide as well. Didn't really like the plastic tweezers that were much too long for using them on the go and not really grippy (used for swapping the silicon bass port )
    Build - good. overall I get a solid feel from the RA plug, IEMs and nozzles/ etc.
    Comfort/Isolation (hmeh): keeps falling out of my ears with foam tips of different sizes, mostly because of the shape of the body and L shaped plug. There's also a wind noise issue for relatively significant wind (mostly noticeable when cycling or if there's strong wind). FLC mention there's a pressure EQ vent set meaning you the 'vacuum against the inner ear' type pressure, but that's not really uncommon for hybrids afaik, at least the ones with vents. We'd probably get a better fit/comfort and isolation from a different body design , although I'm not sure how much the design is dictated by allowing the customization port spaces.
    The biggest highlight is probably the 3x ULF (plastic 'pins' for sub-bass ports), 3 LF (3 silicon cylinders for bass ports), 4 nozzle filters ( for HF+Mids tuning) . While IMO the number of usable configs is about 8-10 it's still a lot more flexible than AKG k3003 or AX60 where you swap the mids/highs filter (well, one filter but I think it did affect bass venting there too)
    Cable (blah-hmeh) : memory wire not as good as on UM westone cables. Cable noise. Slightly dodgy plastic y-split and chin slider. There's also no Android or iPhone remote. These days, for above $300 I'd really hope to see a 1 if not a 3 button one. (T-PEOS can do it, Fidue can do it, so can the rest of the hybrid manufacturers)

    DAPs:


    X2 v7.0e firmware (greatest dynamics, firmest bass and not much sibilance) - on neutral EQ [I'm hugely impressed with X2 + FLC8s) > Note3/Clip+ latest rockbox (bit of sibilance, bit softer bass and dynamics) > X3 v1.1 (fuzzy all around a bit)

    Sound options/Overall.


    You could definitely get any of the following sound signatures: Balanced , bass light, vocal forward and treble happy. or combinations of thereof. Personally I would exclude the following filters from the combinations:
    Clear LF (not enough bass), Clear ULF (not enough sub-bass), Green Nozzle (most HF. Treble razors of death), Blue Nozzle (highs dimming filter and I'm fairly sure also cutting a bit of upper mids). I'd personally also exclude the Black LF silicon filter ( a bit of bass bleed into mids from it affecting clarity).
    That more or less excludes the bright and too bass light versions and leaves: (I think , if I make up some stats, 90% of the people using these will go for the two tunings below)
    a) Balanced with variations on sub-bass (I don't really feel much difference between the gray and red ULF filters) - filter being ULF:Red or gray, LF: grey LF, gunmetal blue HF filter. This is overall enhanced sub-bass, neutral but full bass, and somewhat linear mids and treble. Treble is still sparkly and a bit bright to my liking but will be ok for most people. Mids are a bit recessed for my preferences e.g. ok for the Queen, but not so much for classical (I prefer the mids to be more forward for classical) but YMMV. Clarity across the range is good. I get a bit of sibilance in about 15% of my library e.g. some metal, pop, etc. All in all I think about 50% of the people around will like this tuning a lot.
    b) Enhanced sub-bass, somewhat enhanced mids and mostly linear treble (same as balanced but enhanced mids) - Red ULF, Grey LF and Gold HF/Mids filters. That's my favorite tuning / matches my sound preference . There's still a bit of sibilance with a bit of metal, pop etc as with the balanced tuning , but I can listen to these unEQed. The sub-bass impact, and bass to mids balance is very very impressive, as are sub-bass/bass/mids clarity.
    For bass-head levels of bass and no sibilance I do +3db @50hz, q=1.6; -0.6db @ 160hz, q=1.5; +0.8db @ 800hz, q=1.6; db=1.2 @ 1250hz, q=0.8; -0.8db @ 7khz q=1.5; -2.2db @ 8.35khz, q=0.7; -1db @ 9500hz .

    Overall


    these are probably as impressive as T-PEOS H300/A-350 (more balanced than these), and Dunu DN2kj (Dunu has deeper bass and is more treble hot/happy and sibilant). And more so than AX60 (that I don't really like) and Fidue A83/73
    That said I can't help but question the value proposition given the price and suspect comfort. I think FLC might be better off making a balanced and enhanced everything IEM with better comfort and less options at a better price and perhaps better comfort. As it is, I'd gladly buy it at 250 but not 350 USD, and to me it feels a bit like a transformer toy - cool but will you really play with just your favorite config 99% of the time (given it's cumbersome to change filters on the go and I can't really think of a compelling reason to deviate from the two chosen filter configs above) . I'm still sure these will have more than a few fans in the relatively affordable hybrids to buy option list.

    Bye now, thanks for reading.

    ps the final head-fiish rating is:
    audio q: 4.5
    comfort: 3.5
    design: 4
    isolation: 3.5
    value: 3.75
    canali, H20Fidelity and DJScope like this.
  7. FUYU
    4.5/5,
    "Triple Hybrid done right! - The FLC8s"
    Pros - Incredible imaging; clarity and resolution; Tuning options
    Cons - That cable; small tuning filters
    IMG_20161114_143133.jpg

    Over the course of this year, I have noticed that my enthusiasm about buying new gear has become rather stagnant. Ever since I started my personal audio-journey in 2014 and many listening sessions later, nothing excites my now veteran ears anymore. To my surprise came FORREST and renewed my childish side with their announcement of the FLC8s. I have been following the FLC8 Thread for quite some time now. And while the FLC8s are available since November 2015, I never pulled the trigger. Until now...

    Enter FLC8s by FORREST.

    Disclaimer: I bought these on Shenzhen Audio for 269$. I'm not affiliated with FORREST or Shenzhen Audio in any shape or form.

    About me:
    My name is Noel aka. FUYU, I'm 19 years old and an avid lover for everything technical.
    While everything is subjective, I like to explain in more rational enclosure with graphs and technical prowess. I care about facts and only facts, meaning no fancy 300$ cables and value by price-to performance.

    Specifications:


    • Type: Hybrid dual BA + 8.6mm Dynamic Driver
    • Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
    • Impedance: 11 ohm
    • Sensitivity: 117 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
    • Cable: 1.2m 4 core single twisted copper (replaceable)
    • Jack: 3.5mm gold plated, straight jack
    • Weight: Approx 14g with tips in place
    • IEM Shell: Hi-gloss strengthened plastic


    Accessories:


    IMG_20161114_141112.jpg IMG_20161114_141236.jpg

    IMG_20161114_142133.jpg IMG_20161114_152811.jpg


    The FLC8s comes in a rather large box for an IEM. Don't be fooled however! This is not due to the IEM itself, but the quite stellar set of equipment and its very unique presentation. Using a folding mechanism reveals two compartments, both protected in thick blue coloured foam. The first layer contains the IEM, while the second layer retains the carrying case and filters with included tweezers. A+ FORREST!

    The included metal carrying case, while not so transportable, will protect your FLC8s or IEM of choice against all kinds of hazards. That thing is literally undestroyable. Reminds me of those old Nokia Cellphones back in the day...

    Opening up the carrying case reveals an airline adapter, a 3.5mm to 5.3mm adapter, a cleaning tool coupled with some tips. Everything you need.

    The filter case is likewise solidly built and comprises a capsule with screw on top, and inside is a mould which has enough room to house 3 pairs of tuning bores, and 2 pairs of each of the ULF and LF tuning plugs.

    Build and Design:


    IMG_20161114_141945.jpg


    The FLC8S is made in a high gloss plastic shell, and at first glance you'd think it was made of polished coloured aluminium. Each earpiece is very ergonomic – designed to fit the contours of the ears, without feeling heavy or having sharp edges. The two piece plastic shell looks very sophisticated, coming in either blue or red colour.

    Dimensions are on the moderate side with 18mm x 10mm x 18mm. The body is S-shaped, and the nozzle is perpendicular to the main body. I didn't encounter any major issues with fit, but I can envision it not being ideal for everybody's ear-type. Although it is a vented design (replaceable nonetheless), Isolation is actually above average for most In-Ear designs. Commuting is very acceptable with some adjustment to your listening volume.

    The biggest shortcoming of the FLC8s is the included cable. While it has lost the big 7,5cm chunk of memory wire in newer revisions, it is still rather unruly and tangles a lot. Furthermore it has in probable amounts of microphonics, making it unsuited for heavy-duty activity.

    Luckily the FLC8s features a very stable 2-pin connection. The sockets are raised, with the cable plugs fitting snugly over the top for added strength. The FLC8s uses the UE standard.

    Sound-Analysis:

    Filters - Usability and general Impressions:

    The filters are divided in to three brackets:

    • ULF - Ultra-Low-Frequency - Sub-Bass
    • LF - Low-Frequency - Mid-Bass
    • MF/HF - Mid and High Frequency

    The experience which defined my time with the FLC8s. I love tinkering with things, but my fingers are pretty large (I can easily palm a Size 7 Basketball). The MF/HF filters are easy to replace by unscrewing them from the nozzle. However, inserting and removing the ULF/LF filters was frustrating and took lots of fiddling and patience. I even lost a black LF filter to the carpet - beware!


    IMG_20161114_152913.jpg


    (For some proper measurements please refer to Brooko's review here)

    General observations:

    • Clean sounding with lots of micro-detail
    • Imaging is precise and with good airiness
    • Coherence is fantastic even with Red-Black filters in place
    • No glaring sonic weakness
    • Lower midrange is not affected by tuning
    • Extension on either side of the spectrum is fantastic

    Don't expect the FLC8s to be the jack-of-all-trades. It has a base signature which is retained over all filter combinations: A bright, but organic sounding In-Ear. It is not going to sound warm or even bassy. Think of it this way:

    The FLC8s is not a tunable IEM with great sound. The FLC8s is a great sounding IEM with tuning options.

    Pairing:

    • 11Ohm and 114dB/mW makes for easy listening out of your smartphone
    • Amping is absolutely not required
    • The FLC8s profits from warmer sources

    Some Filters combinations:


    1655080.jpg


    Red-Clear-Grey:

    The RCG combo is my personal favorite and suits my preferences best with its slight U-Shape signature:

    Bass:

    • Overall very balanced sounding with some slight tilt towards the lower echelons adding some rumble to the mix.
    • Neutral sounding mid-bass. Zero bass-bleed into the midrange.
    • Highly detailed bass response, good texture.

    Mids:

    • Lower Midrange is slightly recessed, thus improves the spacial presentation.
    • Organic sounding with some moderate brightness.
    • Soundstage is moderately sized in all three directions. Appears spherical with center position.

    Treble:

    • 5kHz area is slightly recessed.
    • Moderate rise around 7kHz, giving the FLC8s some sparkle without getting fatiguing

    Red-Grey-Gold:

    The RGG combo was the first combination I have listened to. I don't enjoy the Gold filters all that much. The RGG variant works well with modern genres.

    Bass:

    • Overall more impact with extra energy
    • Focus on Mid-Bass. Plenty of bass. Although Bass-Heads might be left wanting.
    • Retains the same clarity and coherence.

    Mids:

    • More upper-mid focus around 3kHz compared to the Grey filters
    • Forward sounding female-vocals
    • Soundstage appears to be smaller
    • Overall brighter sounding

    Treble:

    • Identical sounding, but balance has shifted.
    • Loses some airiness.
    • Detail retrival is the same.

    The green and blue filters are too extreme for my tastes. The former is too peaky in the 7kHz area , whereas the latter sounds too muted and rolled off. I can safely say that the FLC8s works with almost any genre and excels with classic in particular.

    Comparison with the Trinity Phantom Master 4:

    The Master 4 is overall warmer and more inviting sounding compared to the FLC8s. The FLC8s is less spacious sounding, but more precise in terms of imaging. Bass is much more evident on the PM4, with authority which simply cannot be matched by the FLC8s, albeit at the cost of sounding slighly bloated. Instruments are easier to depict with the FLC8s. Furthermore due to the smaller soundstage, the FLC8s has an easier time diving into the individual aspects of songs and music. The FLC8s has better detail-retrieval overall. The PM4 has more mid-bass and lower midrange emphasis, which makes it warmer and more "fun", whereas the FLC8s is generally more neutral and linear in presentation. My personal preference goes to the FLC8s. The PM4 has too many sonic weaknesses compared to the FLC8s, in particular in the upper-midrange to treble area. FORRESTs offering has better realism, more linearity and more technicality.

    Final Words:

    I really enjoy the FLC8s. For around 300$, you get an all-around package, which will keep you up at night for many months to come. While it is not perfect, the versatility you get for the asking price is well worth it. Flcforrestwei good job! Looking forward to the Celeste.
  8. n05ey
    5.0/5,
    "The little known package with a big sound"
    Pros - balance, unflappable balance and pretty much everything else
    Cons - cable a little springy and microphonic
    FLC tour – The little known package with a big sound
     
    Where to start on these little guys… Firstly, thanks to Forrest at FLC Technology and @DJScope for putting together this tour. It is always a privilege to be a part of a head-fi tour and this one was no exception.
     
    Me and My Bias
     
    I do acknowledge that I have a couple of inherent biases. Many talk about the obligation to the review and their inherent sound bias, I will own the second but the first I find myself not conforming to very well. I have noticed that I appear to have the opposite. I love my own gear due to the need not to spend more money and the research and investment that I have made. This means that I have found it easier in the past to not see quite the same value in the brief flings with review units. I work to counter that bias and will note it later in the review.
     
    On the sound sig bias, I grew up as a bass head who swiftly turned into a treble head coming to head-fi and working through oldest to newest:
     
    Hippo-VB->shure 425->UE900->ety er4s->dunu titan 1
     
    Also along the way journeying in the world of over ear and on-ear:
     
    AKG Q701, UE6000 (a real outlier) and now the Grado 325e’s
     
    But to temper that treble tilt sound bias I thought I had better inform you of my latest passion, the Aurisonics Rockets. These have a receding treble but they are non-fatiguing and have such a beauty, delicacy and shimmer to the treble that I can forgive it (and turn it right up).
     
    So all that to say, think as you will of me and my bias and take a moment to understand it before you read my thoughts on a product that you may invest your hard earned on J
     
    Package
     
    To me this package is sublime. Initially you are greeted with a relatively plain cardboard box which has a nice heft to it and not too much give. From there you lift, turn and twist to open out this origami masterpiece into segments revealing parts of the impressive kit in their glory. You get the tuning kit, lots of tips (the large dark silicone fit me better than any of my alternative tips), the iems themselves (nicely presented and packed), tweezers (which are practically useless) and a screw top case.
     
    I think the case while a little bulkier and heavier than most is absolutely stunning. I love the finish and I love the sound it makes as you unscrew it. It has that slick metal on metal sound that has no grate or gravel to it, just the perfect glide…
     
    The iems themselves have a beautiful soft blue translucent colour, a colour that is used seamlessly across all aspects from the cable to the plug. I think it is beautiful and almost has a glow from the inside (which it doesn’t, just my gushy language) and I personally really like the aesthetic of the plug. It is all vaguely reminiscent to me of my old UE900 package reinterpreted, even the cable reminds me of it, although not so positively.
     
    The cable I found to be a little springy and scratchy. It didn’t hold a nice shape and wasn’t soft and supple which to me a great cable should be. It also managed to transmit more microphonics than I thought was possible for an over ear configuration… However I personally found the earguide area fine and the whole thing in the end disappeared when I turned on the music.
     
    Listening - tuning
    This thing is HARD to characterise with its multiple tuning options and so I thought I would just give an overall character based on my fav configuration, the red sub bass, the grey midbass and gold screw in nozzles with notes about a few of the other arrangements I had time to try.
     
    I personally found that the overall soundstage and imaging were pretty consistent regardless of the tuning with key areas of the spectrum moving forward and back rather than the whole character changing. I thought that was a really nice touch!
     
    Bass – The bass on these can be powerful! In the red/grey config they have a great punchiness to them without getting into the fuzzy zone. The fact that they retain a razor image makes me feel that they have a great balance even though they are capable of hitting hard. Adding in the high midbass filters changed the character a little toward the wooly side of things though never too much that it became a mess.
     
    Mids – With the gold nozzle the mids came a fraction forward in the mix which is my preference. They seem to be solid, a nice middleground. I never found the mids to be super seductive but I also never found them to be too dry either. They were just there, crystal clear, detailed to the full and well imaged so that you could place each instrument in its space with a clarity between them.  
     
    Treble – Lovely, just lovely. Nice, crisp and quite extended with nary a pain. I could listen to these all day without getting sick of it!
     
    Sound stage – I found the sound stage to be quite well defined. It is a large room with good height and width. I found that the impactful bass gives a slightly smaller room feel than the rockets, although rockets seem more up front. To be honest, it lays the whole sound out with space and I could listen and mentally travel around the space because it is combined with that razor imaging
     
    Imaging – razor, everything has a space and doesn’t reverb/clash. Need I say more?
     
    Conclusion
     
    Please don’t make me send these on…
     
    They are great. They are a beautiful set of in ears that I would gladly purchase should I not fear the quality of my home life if I were to do so :)
     
    For the price you get so much and have the opportunity to really listen to the detail of the music that you miss in other in ears.
     
    My only minor complaint and minor indeed it is, would be that some more coloured sets can really feature a sound, like for example vocals whispered to your very soul tingling the spine or other such pronounced detail. These don’t do that, despite the tunability I found that everything was still there, in its balance just pronounced a bit more. Unflappable these are!
     
    To me the major accomplishment of these is that you never feel like you have to analyse the music. The detail is there, the ability is there, but it still feels like music and in the end you can zoom in on detail or just sit there and enjoy the tunes.
    soundstige, JoeDoe, DJScope and 2 others like this.
  9. sandman1990
    4.5/5,
    "Hidden Gems"
    Pros - Sound, Build
    Cons - Microphonics
    [Update] 19-Mar-2016 Added comparisons
     
         I have had the FLC8S for about 3 months but never had the time to sit down and write a review until now. Before proceeding further, I would like to thank all the reviewers and fellow Head-Fi members from the FLC8S thread [link] who initiated my interest in this product.
     

    7ofR4dc.jpg   W6aDsMS.jpg
    hmE3PC8.jpg   2wlfqqf.jpg
    The IEMs and the Tuning Filters
     
     
     
    1 Preliminaries  
    1.1 About Me
         I am a student in pursuit of a master's degree. I got interested in audio equipment rather recently. I am not the usual reviewer and I have spent most of my time here lurking around looking for answers. So, please pardon me in case some things are out of place. In any case, I am looking forward to feedback from the community to try and improve things in the future. The opinions that I have provided in this review are purely based on my listening experience and not any graphs or numbers.

    1.2 Preferences
         I like a balanced sound signature with good detail reproduction. I have a slight tendency to like bright-sounding headphones as long as they are not too harsh or sibilant. As far as musical preferences go, I am a bit of a metalhead.
     
     
    2 Product Overview
         The FLC8S is a triple driver hybrid IEM with a unique tuning system that allows one to tweak the base sound signature in 36 different ways through the use of different filters. On each side, there is a single 8.6mm dynamic driver and dual balanced armature drivers. It has been some time since the original FLC8 became available online. The current iteration, the FLC8S, comes with braided cables.
     
    2.1 Packaging and Accessories
    The following accessories are included as a part of the standard packaging.
    • Two sets of silicone tips in SS/S/M/L sizes.
    • Three sets of ultra-low and low frequency filters.
    • Two sets of mid-high frequency filters.
    • A 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter.
    • A balanced to 3.5mm adapter.
    • A cleaning tool.
    • A keychain with a fob that houses the filters.
    • A metal case.
    • A pair of plastic tweezers.
    • An instruction manual.
     
    2.2 Design and Fit

         I liked the way the box opens up. The materials aren't anything exotic. Everything is rather well organized inside the box. The compact manual has most of the details about the tuning system. The included metal container is very solidly built. So is 6.5mm-to-3.5mm adapter. Each of the two sets of tips, one clear and the other gray, come in SS/S/M/L sizes. The quality, quantity and variety of the supplied tips are pretty decent. The filters are neatly housed inside the keychain's fob. The bass filters are rather tiny and delicate so they might need an extra bit of care when swapping parts. This makes the inclusion of an extra set of the ultra-low and low frequency filters somewhat relieving. The filters, once attached, all sit firmly in place. The IEM housings are lightweight and well-built with decent finishing. The cable is a bit too stiff though. The 2-pin connectors require a bit of effort for removal but nothing herculean. Also, since they have been confirmed to be TF10 compatible, there should be lots of options for those looking for cable upgrades.
         The only major gripe that I could have of the FLC8S is the cable's proneness to microphonics. Also, for people with small ears, the IEMs stick out a bit and it becomes a little difficult to get the stiff memory wire to settle down properly. When it comes to the chin slider and y-split, I want something sturdier instead of simple plastic sleeves. Apart from these, I have no other issues with the fit and isolation.
     
    2.3 Tuning system
         There are three different types of filters for sub-bass, bass, and mids and highs adjustment.
    • Ultra-low frequency (ULF) filters
      • Clear - Minimum
      • Grey - Medium
      • Red - Maximum
    • Low frequency (LF) filters
      • Clear - Minimum
      • Grey - Medium
      • Black - Maximum
    • Mid + High frequency (MHF) filters
      • Blue - Medium + Minimum
      • Black - Medium + Medium
      • Gold - Maximum + Medium
      • Green - Medium + Maximum
     
     

    3 Testing
     
    3.1 Setup
         For this review, I used a FiiO X3 1st Gen + E12A stack as the source. The X3 was connected to a PC as a USB DAC. For playback, foobar2000 with the proper ASIO drivers was used. Prior to writing this review, I had already used the IEM for over 200 hours.
     
    3.2 Sound Quality
         Coming from the GR07 and VC1000, both of which are fantastic units from VSonic, when I listened to the FLC8S for the first time I was rather impressed. It offered better mid-range and treble quality compared to the GR07 and better bass, both quality and quantity-wise, than the VC1000 whilst matching or even improving on its mid and highs. At first, the highs sounded a bit metallic but I think with time, it now sounds much more natural. I started listening with the stock M sized tips and a pair of M sized SpinFit tips before reviewing. For this review, I used the stock tips.

     
    3.2.1 Lows
         With the dynamic driver taking care of the bass, the decay is very natural; neither too fast nor too slow. There is enough impact and control when needed and it goes pretty deep too. Quantity-wise it is a little above neutral with the default Grey ULF, Grey LF filters. The combo of Red ULF, Black LF filters offers the maximum bass. Even in this configuration, the mid and high frequencies are still clearly audible. I was particularly impressed with the way it managed to keep up with the fast-paced bass of some death 'n' roll tracks. It also managed to keep the chilling atmosphere in some raw black metal tracks without adding any noticeable warmth. It really shows the level of control that is on offer. Initially, I often switched between the Grey ULF, Grey LF combo and the Red ULF, Gray LF combo and ended up preferring the former. The Red ULF filter adds a little more impact but I found the Grey ULF filter to be satisfying in most cases.
     
    3.2.3 Mids
         Throughout the review process, I used either the Black or the Gold MHF filters. I felt that the Green MHF filter affects the naturalness of the vocals. The Blue MHF filter seems to make the sound dull and less energetic. In most cases, I ended up preferring the Gold MHF filter. It makes the mid frequency feel a little more present and sound forward compared to the Black MHF filter. With the Black filter, the mids are smoother but the Gold filter provides a bit more detail retrieval.
     
    3.2.4 Highs
         The high frequencies sound crisp and energetic without any noticeable sibilance issues with the Black and Gold MHF filters. The Blue MHF filter cuts down the treble presence while the Green MHF filter introduces some sibilance. For classical-inspired instrumental pieces though, I sometimes found myself reaching for the green filter. The speed, decay and airiness are all top notch. Acoustic guitars are a joy to listen on this.
     
    3.2.5 Soundstage and Imaging
         There is enough width and depth with atmospheric tracks. Everything feels well placed. The layering and separation on offer are very good.
     
    4 Comparisons
     
    4.1 VSonic GR07 Classic
         The GR07 has served me well for over 2 years now. In comparison to the GR07, the FLC8S offers more sub-bass, much more mid range presence and far less splashy treble. There is more detail, naturalness and refinement with the FLC8S. Also, the soundstage of the FLC8S has more 3D feel compared to the flatter, 2D-ish feel of the GR07.
     
    5 Conclusion
         I must admit that I highly impressed by the performance of these hybrids. For me, they score top grades in almost every department when it comes to the sound. Coming from sub $150 IEMs, I cannot really comment if the FLC8S truly delivers top-tier performance, but, I am pretty sure that its the best pair I have owned and listened to till date. Being on a student budget, it was a considerable investment for me but I must admit that I am thoroughly satisfied. For anyone looking to make the jump to next tier from the sub $150 realm, I think a pair will not disappoint.
     

    Brooko, Hawaiibadboy, DJScope and 3 others like this.
  10. kamcok
    5.0/5,
    "This belongs in summit-fi if it was made by a bigger brand"
    Pros - The sound. THE SOUND !!!!!!!! Hi-Res without the sticker
    Cons - cable can be improved, easy to lose tuning parts, isolation is good not great
    First of all I only had like one week to try the IEM and finish this review so take it with a grain of salt.
    I also didn’t have time to take photos so I’m really sorry that this is just a pure text review :frowning2:
     
    INTRO
    Have you heard of the FLC8S ? No ?
    What about the company that made it, FLC Technology ? No ?
     
    Well neither had I before DJScope asked me to join the Australian tour of it.
    Just to clear things up, I’m not associated with FLC technologies in any way. The review unit was sent to me by Djscope and I am not sponsored or endorsed by anyone in any way.
     
    I’ve always seen the IEM on the Singapore based Lend Me Ur Ears online shop, but I have always dismissed it. I didn’t even look at it for more than 1 minute as I thought it was much overpriced for an ugly earphone made by an unfamiliar company. Even more, the tuning system of interchangeable nozzle and two of its plugs made it seem complicated and gimmicky. 
     
    Boy have I never been more wrong.
    Let’s start with the fit and finish.
     
    The 8S is pretty much all dark blue in colour, all the way from the jack, to the ear tips, the body may seem black but under proper lighting it is actually a very dark blue finish. The cable is braided and is held together by a very plain and simple plastic sleeve for the Y-split. The same plastic is used for the chin slider and this is where I would take a point off the build quality. To me, this plastic sleeve is simply inadequate and may not last for very long.
     
    The cable on the earphone is quite soft but is a bit springy but nowhere as springy as that of the FiiO EX1. I quite like the cable’s look and feel to be honest but I do notice that the cable does cause quite a bit of microphonics. So far, I’ve mostly used the IEM when I’m sitting with my laptop so I’m not so sure how it will handle when used while walking.
    The cable is connected to the body by a 2-pin connector that holds on securely but will not be a struggle to remove. The connection is flush with the body making it appear as a part of the body itself. Just from the looks I didn’t even know that the cables were removable.
     
    The actual IEM housing is very well built, the plastic quality and the finish is on par with the big brands such as shure / westone. It's solid, smooth and doesn't get easily scratched.
    It is definitely superior than low grade chinese IEMs such as RE-400 / VSD series by Vsonic and etc. 
     
     
    The quality of the accessories is… fairly good. The interchangeable nozzle seems very durable but the low frequency plugs are very small in size. Not that I’m afraid of breaking the plugs but I can see people losing them. It’s a nice gesture that they include spares but it is still a bit of an issue. Plus, due to the small size it makes changing the plugs almost impossible without a clean, still surface.
     
     
     
    The sound quality of this IEM is simply superb, but due to time constraints as I only have one week to listen and write a review for it, I cannot describe each any every tuning characteristic in too much detail.
    In general I’m utterly impressed with this IEM. I strongly encourage those who have yet to try to give the FLC 8S a chance.
     
    For the highs, the fitting of the interchangeable filters should be carefully chosen to match the type of music prior to listening for the best experience. The difference in presentation of the filters is quite significant and when an incorrect filter is used, certain music genres can sound undesirable. The use of green filter for example would be far too bright for pop / rock songs, making them sound splashy and sibilant, but when used for classical songs can make them sound extremely detailed spacious and airy. The opposite is true when using the reduced high frequency blue filter, it makes energetic songs with lots of hi-hats and cymbal hits sound easier to listen to but makes classical and vocal-centric music sound a tad dark and lacking in air.
    Included in the package are 2 more filters, the gold (mid centric, normal highs) and the black (normal mids, normal highs). I find that the black (default/neutral) filter is the most versatile in that it can be used for most music genres.
     
    Extra notes: the highs presented by the IEM is also variable depending on the ear-tip of choice. I find that using the JVC spiral dot tips made the highs more prominent making it a bit too bright/ harsh for me. So far I find that using the TX-400 Comply tips gave me the most ideal presentation.
     
     
    The mid-range is absolutely fantastic on all of the settings. Just be wary that the tuned down HF filter can affect the upper vocal region slightly making female vocals sound a tad darker/ nasal. The mids in general is crystal clear with superb resolution and is well layered. Each component of the music is very well separated. I even noticed that for the first time I was able to follow the notes and not just hear the fourth guitar on Ecosystem’s Dilemma. Even songs that I considered to be “low-resolution” sound much more pleasing than normal.
     
     
    The bass presentation can vary from just north of neutral on the lowest setting, reaching still very deep. This allows listeners to focus more on the mid-range and high frequencies suitable for vocal centric songs. However, even on the highest setting it still sounds natural and controlled, still no bleed to other regions. I left my setting on the highest no matter what music I listen to because the IEM is capable of such high degree of control. It doesn’t make an unnecessary boom / veil when uncalled for. The bass comes in only when it’s needed and is so high in resolution that it makes the CKR9LTD which I considered to be one my best to seemingly sound muddy in comparison. In the manual it is recommended that for vocal songs that the bass filter is changed to the clear (lowest) one, but to me, this only reduces the richness of the song. Again as I’ve said earlier, even on the black (highest) bass filter, the mid-range is still crystal clear.
     
    The bass is to me, characteristic of a very well tuned dynamic driver, having just the right amount of punch and rumble while staying in control. Often, however, such single dynamic drivers is compromised in the upper frequencies at the cost of having amazing bass. The FLC8S doesn’t suffer from this as it is a amazingly tuned hybrid 1BA 1dynamic earphone.
     
    The soundstage ! The soundstage makes songs very immersive, it produces an out of the head experience with each musical component placed not just in a 2 dimensional (wide) presentation but is capable of making music sound truly 3 dimensional (deep and wide). I have listened thoroughly through songs that I would normally skip, as songs that are not even in my preferred genre sound mind blowing. It makes me appreciate every song in my library, which is really something that no audio product was capable of.
     
     
    All of these in addition to the great fit of the IEM makes it all the better. It simply fits. I can’t elaborate too much on this; the curvature of the IEM matches so well with the ear. Once you put it in it just stays there and you’ll forget you will hardly notice its presence.
    Note that the IEM doesn’t stick out, but you still can’t sleep on your side with this IEM.
     
    In conclusion the FLC8S is an astounding IEM capable of producing sound in high degree of resolution. The tuning system is a huge bonus that allows users to tune the FLC8 to suit their music genre of preference. The soundstage and technical capabilities of this IEM even without the tuning system is enough to distinct this IEM from the others. Despite this, the FLC8 can be improved with a softer, less microphonic cable and the tuning system isn’t perfect as small parts can be lost easily.
     
     
    TLDR
     
    Pro: rich yet natural sound, considerable as truly hi-res without the sticker, comfortable, tuning available to suit preference
    Cons : easy to lose bass tuning plugs,  cable is microphonic, expensive-ish
     
    If you have the money, buy it, give it a shot, seriously
    This made me top picks (Aurisonics rockets and CKR9LTD) sound "meh"
    soundstige, d marc0, JoeDoe and 3 others like this.