The CEntrance Hi-Fi M8 V2 Thread
Mar 4, 2021 at 4:04 PM Post #616 of 724

HeadphoneAddict

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I just published my V2 review over on Headfonia and I'm awarding it with our Recommended Buy award!

https://www.headfonia.com/centrance-hifi-m8-v2-review/
Nice - my 4-part review is buried in this thread somewhere, and it was compiled and republished at https://www.headpie.net/2020/06/centrance-hifi-m8v2-detailed.html as one long rambling review. One of my favorite quotes, "The M8 V2 balanced amp section with the Roxanne simply blew me away the first time I tried it! There are almost no words. It's beauty - sonic balance and transparency, refinement and space, micro and macro-detail, black background and dynamics - was so sublime that anything I'd listen to shortly afterwards lost it's shine."

To summarize, the HiFi M8 V2 continues to blow me away to this day. The balanced outputs are stunning with my HiFiMan HE-1000 V1 and HE-1000se, my Edition-X V2 and HE-560, Grado-HF-2, Sennheiser HD-600/6XX, Westone ES3X, ES5, ES60 and W60/W80, my JH Audio JH 13 Pro and Roxanne, Cerene dB, and also quite good with my Sennheiser HD-800s on a Black Dragon balanced cable. The HD-800s actually sound better with the M8 V2 4-pin XLR than when used with most of my dedicated desktop headphone amps.

The only amps in the house that can clearly drive the HD-800/800s better than our M8 v2, or any of the dedicated headphone amps in the house, is a Pioneer VSX-LX102 and VSX-LX303 AVR with a high-end DAC feeding the receiver (we really should get a high-power OTL tube amp for HD-800 someday). The M8 V1 was not bad with HD-800s when using the bass boost switch, but the M8 V2 is on another level. The M8 V2 can even drive my HE-6 OG with a higher output level music source like Apple Music or Tidal for iPhone. Although Tidal for MacBook has 3-5 dB lower output levels than when using Tidal for iPhone (or using Apple Music on any device), IF I use a Mac app to boost the signal source gain with Tidal it can drive the HE-6.

And my son also loves his M8 V2 more than his HiFi M8 V1, Schitt Audio Magni 3, CEntrance DACmini and BlueDAC, and Millett Hybrid. He also likes it better than my balanced Cavalli Liquid Carbon X amp that he was borrowing up until he got the M8 V2. He has a lot of the same headphones as I do, and a lot of the same dedicated headphone amps as well. Only with the JH 16 pro does the DACmini and BleDAC outperform the M8 V2 for him. I still need to compare the M8 V2 to our Nuforce HAP-100 desktop headphone amp, which I got fixed after it ws down for a couple of years from a lightning strike.
 
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Mar 6, 2021 at 3:34 AM Post #617 of 724

Nagam

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Hi. this is my first post in head-fi.
This is my review of M8 V2. I apologize that's too long. :sweat_smile:

TL;DR​

For me, HiFi-M8 V2 is the end game. The ASR(audio science review)'s review differs from mine and others', however I tried to illustrate why.

My Impressions for Hifi-M8 V2​

My one reached me on Wednesday. And I love this from that time.
Is this a "swiss army knife"? I guess it's not a good expression since it sounds like "an assortment of halfway tools". In my humble opinion, this is a kind of "bayonet". Both the knife and the gun are effective while bayonet itself is a bit bulky as a weapon.
Here is my impressions. I use M8 V2 with my favorite cans; Ultrasone Signature Pro, Noble Audio Kaiser 10 and so on. I mainly use the cold side.

PROS:​

  • Overall, the sound is superb. That's all for me.
    • When it comes to low-gain mode, it perfectly matches IEMs.
      • The noise floor is astoundingly black. Absolutely no hiss.
      • Fully detailed and seriously smooth, just like velvet.
    • When it comes to high-gain mode, it greatly drives full-sized headphones.
      • The sound signature is perfectly well balanced.
        • The bass is very sharp, agile and impressive, not muddy.
        • The mids are so rich that it deeply addict me.
        • The treble is bright enough but does never hurt.
      • The sound stage is vast perhaps thanks to its powerfulness.

CONS:​

  • The user interface and information is confusing.
    • The instruction card in the box says "If windows, download the driver", while the Centrance support said "Use Windows 10's native driver in WASAPI."
    • Centrance official site now describe V2 just as "Hifi-M8". However it is very confusing which model they indicate, just like ALO's "Rx" amp.
  • You need to change the toggle switches kinda frequently. Especially gain mode.
    • On high-gain mode with IEMs, there's a little audible hiss.
      • NOTE: With Headphones, there's no audible hiss on high-gain mode. I confirmed it on several occasions, turning on/off, connected/not-connected and with high/low impedance cans.
    • On low-gain mode with headphones, the sound goes less punchy.
  • You need a little "routine" every time you use it.
    • You have to confirm the gain mode matching your IEMs/headphones.
    • It's absurd that Hifi-M8 V2 always starts from Bluetooth mode which is less admired than USB's. You of course need to switch.
  • I personally didn't like Goodman's attitudes in the ASR forum.
    • About that affair, I think Amir was not a good man, either. I'm gonna explain below.

ASR and Hifi-M8 V2​

You know the ASR criticized the product last November. Honestly speaking, I got mad about Centrance at first. That's because I had written in the questionnaire that Centrance had to take care about him in advance. I think ASR has a too-much power to agitate people, even if it's nothing to do with his own will.
Anyway, I'm afraid there's a subtle negative impression towards the M8 V2 among customers. Let me explain my thoughts about that affair.

1. My respect for ASR​

First of all, I respect ASR, however, in my own way.
I like it since it illustrates how well the company achieved the product design. In other words, I regard it as a benchmarking site for audio brands' competences. In respect of that point, I think Centrance has already proved excellent and reliable enough without ASR's review. Hence I don't fully stand for Amir's "judgement".

2. "A science review"​

When it came to the M8 V2, he firstly got mad about the ASIO driver and he criticized its philosophy throwing away tests on the way.
The former, it's mere just his own issue. He could stop the review then. The latter, I have no interest in a person's thoughts like "Audio devices must be something like blah blah blah". That's simply a matter of "I agree or I disagree" and I personally disagree with him at that point.
So, it was rather an essay than a scientific review, just like when he beated the Monoprice dac.

3. "Audio science"​

According to subjective reviews I've ever seen, Hifi-M8 V2 is obviously one of the most applauded products so far. I'm not sure why ASR concluded in that way and in the half way. (From his emotion?) No, honestly speaking, after that affair and his recent reviews that repeats "I recommend this headphones if you equalize them", the "audio science" itself of ASR got doubtful to me.
Maybe his audio science is just like "audio engineering" and just for "audio quality itself".
These years, in contrast to ASR, Final Audio, a leading audio company in Japan, insists that "Acoustics" should be discussed using a new methodology like wines'. You cannot review wines only in engineering measurements, and cannot score the quality itself. For, they have sensual features and certain preferences that someone has and others don't have. However, the science of wines actually does exist. Like that, audio science has to deal with sensual features and preferences, I assume.
I'm happy if you also rethink what audio science is. :)

4. What about Goodman?​

On the other hand, to be honest, I was disappointed at Goodman's posts there.
Please don't speak ill, and please don't promise a thing you cannot schedule firmly. Please be proud of yourself.
 
Mar 6, 2021 at 10:13 PM Post #618 of 724

schalliol

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Hi all, can someone confirm whether it can play native DSD? If yes, then up until what resolution? DSD256 or 512?

Thanks in advance.
DSD is in the specs, but does anyone know what level of DSD files this unit can handle? I don't own any DSD files now (just up to 24/192) and I was curious to buy some but didn't want to buy above the capability of the unit. Thanks!
 
Mar 11, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #619 of 724

fire23wong

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DSD is in the specs, but does anyone know what level of DSD files this unit can handle? I don't own any DSD files now (just up to 24/192) and I was curious to buy some but didn't want to buy above the capability of the unit. Thanks!
I am able to play up to DSD128 under my current set up (DSD128---> Iphone 12 --->OE lightning OTG cable --->M8 v2)
 
Mar 11, 2021 at 11:56 AM Post #620 of 724

schalliol

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I am able to play up to DSD128 under my current set up (DSD128---> Iphone 12 --->OE lightning OTG cable --->M8 v2)
Thanks! That's great that it works. Have you tried a higher DSD level than that?
 
Mar 11, 2021 at 9:38 PM Post #621 of 724

fire23wong

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Thanks! That's great that it works. Have you tried a higher DSD level than that?
I have tried DSD 256, with the same setup using neplayer. The file was converted to 384khz (it might be the limitation for using OTG with phone or centrance's design, as the data sheet of ak4493eq listed playback for PCM 768kHz, DSD512)
 
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Mar 14, 2021 at 5:30 AM Post #622 of 724

zolom

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Got the CEntrance HiFi-M8 V2 driving my Focal Stellia. Sounds superb.
Source: USB audio, UAPP (bit perfect) Tidal HiFi.

Question: is there a provision for firmware update of the unit? if so, is MQA planned to be implemented?
 
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Mar 21, 2021 at 3:17 PM Post #627 of 724

MusiCol

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Hi folks, I’m in a difficult financial position and so I’m selling my HiFi M8 V2. It’s in the For Sale section. I’ve opened the box to charge it and ensure everything works fine but that’s all - only a couple of minutes use as I don’t want to get attached to it! I have other headphone amps so this one is looking for a good home. Happy listening!
 

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