No, they are not really superior to 846 in any way, with perhaps the thickness of the bass. The highs on the A8 are very recessed (yet actually quite extended), and are very, very, very warm earbuds. They simply can't fatigue you.
They lack the sweet midrange of the shures. The 846 always seemed "mid-forward" to me, and the A8 is more like "black hole". I liked my A8, but like most of them, broke in 2 months.
They are not as efficient as the 846 either, and don't really shine on a cell-phone source. Amps are recommended.
I don't really care for my 846's much either, truth be told. I picked up Earsonic SM-9 and have never plugged the 846 in again. They've sat in a drawer for 2 years!
So I just got the a8 anniversary edition and they are gorgeous, the build is awesome especially with the beefy strain reliefs and sound does seem slightly more blacker and cleaner then my blue a8 . Love all the extras high quality cardboard paper information that comes with the iem themselves. The iem feels light in the hand then the blue ones , I might be hallucinating
Your not alone, but I use them quite regularly... almost daily. These are the thibgs that I learned:
1. they are very tip dependant(experiment different tips, I heavily modded my SpinFits CP800 which are my dialy drivers)
2. They become more neutral as they burn-in/age. This is very interesting, the bass is not lost but matured in the sense that it comes when it's called for. I began to love listening to orchestral/classical scores since they 'matured'. When they arrived initially I personally didn't like them, but as they burned in plugged in with my Canary II Amp, they gotsignificantly better.
PS. I bought mine second hand, have owned them now for 6 months.
They have become my reference now.