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Double Dynamic Driver Earphone

Lker i8 Dual Dynamic Driver Earphone

Rating:
4/5,
  • Specifications
    • Brand: Laker
    • Model: i8
    • Drive Unit: 10 mm dual dynamic driver unit
    • Type: In-ear
    • Impedance: 16Ω
    • Earphone Sensitivity: 98 dB
    • Frequency Range: 8 – 26000Hz
    • Earphone Plug: 3.5 mm
    • Cable Length: 1.3m / 4.2ft
    • Weight: 18g / 0.56oz
    • Available Colors: Silver, Red, Black
    • Plug Type: straight
    • Remote: No
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Recent Reviews

  1. Otto Motor
    LKER i8 – Chicken Soup for the Ears
    Written by Otto Motor
    Published Nov 23, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Forward, organic mids; excellent bass extension; very easy to drive; safe choice.
    Cons - Flimsy appearing, non-detachable cable; very tip-sensitive -- requires tip rolling to optimize sound quality.
    You also find this review and much more on my blog audioreviews.org


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    Executive Summary


    The Lker i8 is a warm-sounding, mid-centric earphone with a healthy bottom end and a sweet top end. It has no sonic quirks and is an inoffensive crowd pleaser.


    Disclaimer

    I had purchased this earphone from aliexpress at $48.37 CAD in December 2017 and finally decided to review it because it deserved a Head-Fi review.


    Introduction

    The Lker i8 is a dual-dynamic driver similar to the Tinaudio T2. But whereas the T2 became a Head-Fiers’ favourite, the slightly lower-priced i8 did not even receive an internal review. It did, however, obtain sparse applause outside the Head-Fi community, where one reviewer put it even ahead of a $170 earphone.

    I have had this earphone for a year now and found it terrible sounding out of the (rather very fancy plastic) box/case: sub-bass smudged into bass and both into the mids. Awful! This resulted in a dull sound that appeared to oppose the flat frequency response, which points to a more neutral signature.

    This all changed when I replaced the stock tips with Tennmak Whirlwind wide-bore tips…the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful white swan.


    Specifications
    • Brand: Lker
    • Model: i8
    • Drive Unit: 10 mm dual dynamic driver unit
    • Type: In-ear
    • Impedance: 16Ω
    • Earphone Sensitivity: 98 dB
    • Frequency Range: 8 – 26000Hz
    • Earphone Plug: 3.5 mm
    • Cable Length: 1.3m / 4.2ft
    • Weight: 18g / 0.56oz
    • Available Colors: Silver, Red, Black
    • Plug Type: straight
    • Remote: No
    • Price: $48.37 CAD (at the time of purchase in Dec. 2017)
    • Purchase Link: try aliexpress and ebay

    Box.jpg

    Packaging and Accessories

    · 1 earphone
    · 6 pairs of tips
    · 1 clip
    · 1 very fancy storage box
    · 1 user manual (English)


    Physical Appearance, Haptic, and Build Quality
    The earpieces are made of metal and appear well built and sturdy sturdy. The cable is not detachable and appears somewhat flimsy.


    Ergonomics, Comfort, Isolation, and Fit

    The Lker i8 is one of my most comfortably fitting earphones. Isolation is as good as with any piston-shaped earphones.


    Source and Eartips

    I used the iPhone 5S with the Tennmak Whirlwind wide-bore tips. As always, I tested the i8 with a cross section of music that provided a broad coverage of the frequency spectrum, including naturally generated sounds such a voices and classical instruments. My playlist is still growing and improving along with my technical abilities.


    Tonality

    The i8’s frequency response is rather linear from the sub-bass to the upper midrange, which points to a neutral sounding earphone. Hey, wrong guess, the signature is rather warm with a healthy low end, a pronounced midrange, and a clean, smooth treble.

    The sub-bass is well extended and causes a pleasant, visceral rumble that underlies the bass sensu stricto. The “wall of bass” has good authority but is rather broad and unison (i.e. not well layered) and could be a bit faster and more engaging in some situations.

    Where the i8 excels is by its weighty, very realistically reproduced vocals and midrange in general. Voices sound natural, pleasant, and intimate, a rare find in this price category (albeit getting more frequent). Midrange could have a bit more attack, though.

    Treble is sweet, detailed, and beautifully well extended; high piano notes are accurate and natural sounding. There are no tight peaks in the presence range that could cause hardness, harshness, piercing, or sibilance. A narrow peak at 12 kHz may pretend some additional resolution.

    Imaging, separation, and layering are excellent and may rival more expensive models. Soundstage is average and the sound can get blurry at higher volumes. Overall, the Lker i8 offers a safe, inoffensive sound.


    Select Comparisons

    Urbanfun Hifi v.1 (~$20): the Lker is simply a step up from the Urbs…more natural sounding, bigger soundstage, with a more mature image…

    Tinaudio T2 (~$50): both look and feel similar – with the difference of the T2’s detachable, higher-quality cable. Sonically, the Lker is the T2’s warmer and bassier sounding brother. If the T2 appeals to audiophiles, the i8 pleases those of us who taped off the T2’s bass vents.

    EZAudio D4 (~$10): has a marginally leaner sound signature with slightly less depth but it holds up quite well to both i8 and T2.

    iBasso IT01 (~$100): the earphone with the greatest bass extension I know is the bigger brother of the i8. The IT01 has an even stronger sub-bass and fuller bass with slightly recessed vocals that have enough body not to be pushed into the distance. The i8 sounds less “fat” and both deserve a bit more clarity in the midrange. And yes, the ibasso is the better earphone.


    Concluding Remarks

    The Lker i8 is a second love that failed to attract much interest inside Head-Fi. Out of the box, with its included tips, it sounded dull and unappealing to me…but the right wide-bore tips released its true potential by taming the bass and emphasizing the midrange. The combination of healthy bass and midrange make this earphone particularly well suited for watching canned TV programs or movies on a tablet as it helps compensate for the limited sound quality adherent to online streaming. The Lker i8 should generally appeal to listeners who prefer a warm and fuzzy sound. In summary, the Lker i8 is not the Sunday lobster dinner for "audiophiles" but the daily burger fare for the rest of us. I’d check ebay where you can sometimes get this iem for just above $30 on sale.


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      hqssui, Dsnuts, demo-to and 1 other person like this.

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