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Custom IEM Review: Heir Audio 8.A – Long live the king

  1. tupac0306
    OK. Now I sort of figure out where the warm feeling comes from. 8A has more bass emphasis, it has more sub bass. And the bass decay isn't as fast as JH16. so it can go into mids sometimes. The mids of both 8a and JH16 sound quite neutral to me. The high is peaked a little bit later (~8.5k hz) than JH16 (~6k hz). That's probably where the very warm sound comes from. So it's not as airy as JH16, but it has the same amount of sparkle sound as JH16. The ultra high of JH16 is pretty linear, and the ultra high of 8A is a little bit more pronounced. So this gives a 8a a bit V shaped sound IMO. So if listen to 8a with low volume, it's really warm. but if the volume is loud, you can actually starts to high the sparkle sound kicks in! But I really cannot hear how 8a is mid forward at all. To my ears it doesn't sounds similar to LCD 2 rev.1 which is more mid forward and the high is more linear. And the bass isn't as boomy as 8a.
  2. average_joe Contributor
    The general consensus of the 8.A is that the treble is not like the JH16.  I can only imagine it is due to either fit or a cable issue as mine if quite close to my LCD 2 v1.  Have you talked to the Wizard about it?  What cable do you have?  What is your source?
  3. tupac0306
    Yeah I have. And he told me that 8A has more highs and sub bass in the response spectra than JH16. source is 801+game, cable is just the stock cable. The fitting is perfect. They really did a great job. To my ears, they are sort of a warmer and fuller version of JH16 with a bit more ultra high detail. JH16 is probably more trasparent with a little faster bass. 8A has more micro detail in the ultra high and the bass is more powerful. They are still different, but they sounds most similar if I compare them with 5 way, LCD 2 rev.1 and JH16. The vocals on LCD 2 and 5 way are brought much closer which make the presentation very different to 8.a IMO.
    8a's treble is really great. very good clarity. It starts very relaxed, then becomes excited when the high extends. The detail in the ultra highs is definitely easier to be heard than JH16. 
    if JH16 is like:      80 Hz   -  500  Hz  -  6000 Hz  -  8000 Hz  -  11000 Hz.
                                   1            1           1                1                1
    8a is like:                1.2           1          0.6             1.1              1.5
    The mids of them sound in the exact same positions to my ears.
    The slower bass decay and the low-high cut can make 8a very warm on certain songs with medium volume. I tend to listen to songs with large volume tough.
  4. average_joe Contributor
    Very interesting.  Did you get the regular or musicians fit for the 8.A?  I haven't tried the 8.A with a stock cable, so my review is with the Magnus 1.  It seems like our difference in opinion is primarily with the 8.A, do you hear the JH16 as I describe in my review, and how about the 5-way?
  5. tupac0306
    Yeah this is probably the first difference in opinion:). But the general sound signature I still agree:) but My 8a does have a good extended treble. I don't know what's the difference for the regular and musicians fits. 
    About JH16, EM3 and 5 way I can't think of anything that's different from what you described in the review. I think if I have to say one it's probably the deeper fit of 5 way make it sounds darker (you said brighter presentation) and a bit less transparent (make the high sounds thinner) compared to the original one (which I prefer more). 
  6. average_joe Contributor
    I agree the treble is extended, but the difference in my ears is the amplitude is less than my JH16.  In your comparison, I would put the JH16 at 1.4 or 1.5 compared with the 8.A at 8K and maybe 1.2 at 11K.  Could be my ears and the tuning of the 8.A as there is no way to truly represent individual ears above around 8K with a 711 coupler, which is the industry standard coupler (although I am not sure if Heir uses a 711), as the transfer function will change quite a bit depending on the ear volume and shape.  
    From your 5-way comments, it appears there are some differences in how we hear, but for the most part things are pretty close.  
  7. tupac0306
    Do you hear any sibilance with 8.a at all? My 8.a does produce very loud sibilance on some vocal. I am convinced that they sound warm now, because they do. But they do catches the tail - frequency of the sibilance (even more pronounced than JH16) that's why a put a higher value for 8a around 8K than JH16. I am not complete sure where the sibilance frequency ends, probably even higher (~9000 Hz) :) Combining with well extended 9K-12K frequency, it makes the air in the vocal on 8.a sounds a bit sharp and sometimes dry. anyways
    The biggest difference I heard is the mids compared to your review. My 5 way rev.1 sounds much more mids forward. rev.2, Even more.
  8. average_joe Contributor
    I don't hear sibilance, regardless of the track.  Here is the start of a debate about it in the Heir Audio Appreciation thread.
    My 5-way changes quite a bit in how mid-forward it is depending on the track, so sometimes it is close to the 8.A, other times not.
  9. terry1109
    very detail and unique review~~
    the information is very useful in my decision making for my purchase plan on the 8a
    thanks so much for sharing [​IMG]
  10. average_joe Contributor
    Are you using the stock cable?  I have been comparing some silver cables and found they can brighten the 8.A quite a bit over the Magnus 1 (in the 8K range).  Also, the 801 with GAME is brighter than the 801 line out to the Portaphile 627, and in general seems a bit on the brighter side.
    Thanks for reading and glad I could help!
  11. tupac0306
    Yeah I also find silver cable brighten the sound a bit. But the cut on the upper mids/lower highs make 8.a sounds really warm no matter what cable I use. and then suddenly there is a peak after that frequency make the and sibilance sounds forward over the warm vocal.
  12. Pondu
    Fantastic review average_joe, thank you.
    average_joe likes this.

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