What’s the difference between a musician and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four. My musician friends are always asking me to recommend IEMs. But IEMs made by major brands aren’t always priced for musicians. So, I’m always excited to find an affordable IEM on my desk to review. A little-known company, Adorer, has been making quite a splash among musicians with the release of the IM8. At just 30 bucks, can these earbuds deliver an honest sound signature that musicians can rely on? And is the IM8 equally suitable for casual listening? Let’s find out in this Adorer IM8 IEM Review.
Adorer IM8 IEM Review
IN the BOX
Comfortable with decent sound isolation, the IM8 (with over-ear wires) is a suitable option for musicians or those who tend to listen for long periods of time. They may not cut out as much outside noise as a Shure model, for example, but the ergonomics are good enough for stage use. The IM8 also comes with a freqload of eartips, including double flange and foam, both of which provide added sound isolation.
The IM8 is easy to drive, and even your mobile device will be enough to power it. As displayed above, the IM8 comes with two detachable 2-pin cables, one of which has a remote for on-the-go use. 2-pin is one of the 2 universal connections for detachable IEMs, so they’re easily replaceable or even upgradable. It’s also important to note that these IEMs are advertised as being IPX4 water resistant. So, if you rock hard or do a lot of coke before your performance, the IM8 should be able to withstand the sweat.
The bass is punchy, and overall, the low-end lends a lot of warmth to the mix. Some say the lows might be too extended to be called accurate. But to me, it’s not overblown. It’s just not as conservative as a pair of AKG mixing cans, for example. And if you’re a drummer or bass player, I think you’ll be happy with the balance. With respect to transparency, acoustic instruments, such as double basses, feel slightly bloated, smudging the finer details of the instrument. So, this isn’t a critical listening IEM. And to be fair, for $30, the IM8 is still an overachiever. Furthermore, the “fatness” actually adds grandeur to the tracks. So, if you like a majestic sounding classical piece, you’ll probably dig this profile.
As a musician’s IEM, these buds are equally suitable for vocalists as they are for bass players and drummers. This is because vocals sit a bit forward in the mix, as the upper half of the midrange has some emphasis. At the same time, the low mids get some decent attention. And given that the sound is quite clean in this range (even in the low mids), electric and acoustic guitarists should get a realistic sense of their performance in the mix. So, yes, the balance remains honest enough in the mids for stage use.
The balance also makes for an enjoyable listen. Dynamic enough for a vibrant pop track (with good contrast between the lows and highs), but also balanced to lend some meat and expansiveness to big rock and pop-rock tracks. And with respect to classical music, this profile is perfect for massive sounding pieces with big choirs, like Mozart’s Requiem, for instance.
Drummers will be pleased in this range as well. Listening to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, the high frequency percussion instruments popped nicely out of the mix. They’re quite snappy and certainly dot the i’s on any funky track. And again, vocals in this range have great presence with a sufficient amount of nuance to deliver an accurate presentation of a vocal performance.
Nice. This doesn’t sound like a $30 soundstage. Not only is there plenty of spaciousness but the imaging, especially in terms of height, feels precise. With respect to depth, the more distant instruments lose some of their richness. But other than that, Adorer has done a fantastic job here. You’ll also hear a bit of reverb from these IEMs, giving live performances a large stage-like feel.
I see what all the fuss is about. The IM8 performs much better than its price tag suggests. And considering that these IEMs come with two detachable 2-pin cables (and cables are usually the first things to break), it’s an undeniably solid deal. If you’re the kind of musician who throws TVs out of hotel windows, it’s nice to know you’re not losing too much cash once these buds inevitably get damaged. Whether you’re a drummer, bass player, guitarist or vocalist, the IM8 should accurately reveal your instrument in the mix. And since one of the cables comes with a mic and remote, they’re also perfect for the commute to your 9 to 5.
You can find the Adorer IM8 for the best price here:
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