We’ve covered a lot of IEMs here on MajorHiFi, but there are still some left to try out. One of those was the S8, and I’ve now finally been able to test it out myself. I’ve heard a great deal about the S8, and have been anticipating listening to it for quite a while. If you’re not familiar, the S8 is one of Moondrops pricier fares, costing $699. Is it worth its price and hype?
What You Get
- S8 IEMs
- 3.5mm cable with 2-pin connectors
- Zip case
- Airplane adapter
- 5 pairs of ear tips
Look and Feel
The S8 has a similar look to the Blessing2 silver version, with its front plate and ergonomic shaping. Its housing is elegantly polished with expert craftsmanship, with a mold that takes on a simple universal form. You also have a completely clear cavity, which reveals the drivers inside of the outer shell. As for its fit, I felt that the S8 was incredibly secure. I never felt the housing moving around in my ears at all, as the cavity sat firmly inserted in my concha with no issue at all. It grips your ears while never showing any signs of fatigue. It is a comfortable fit that can be worn for many hours.
A series of 8 balanced armatures make up the S8’s driver system. Both Knowles and Sonion drivers are implemented here helping to regulate bass, treble, and midrange output. A 6N OCC Litz cable is used here, with 0.78mm pins for its connection.
Moondrop always delivers in the soundstage department and the S8 keeps up its in-house standard. It presents a mostly linear image with a great sense of with. The left and right channels in the stereo field are exaggerated and spaced out for a more extensive stage. It gives you a vast spatial image, where the sound is brought out to a fuller effect, even when showing a surface level of dimension. You still have adequate separation between sound elements and are weaved naturally with its level of layering. Even though it’s not as intricate, the soundstage still operates at a grand level, performing its imaging with an immersive environment that can be sensed around you in an open headspace.
While it might not be the most engaging tone, the bass frequencies can still be identified easily. They have a strong presence without emphasizing their regions with boosted textures. It comes to form with a deep resonance that climbs through the sub-bass and well into the mid-bass. However, their response is a lot more smooth, exchanging impact for control and clarity. The detail in the bass is on full display, but in a more reserved and balanced sense, rather than a showy one.
In direct contrast to the bass, the midrange frequencies really make the sound signature come alive. Its details showcase a refined character that produces transparent tones that hold nothing back. With the S8, the mids offer a more critical look into its timbre, as its drive pushes instrumentals and vocals forward. It highlights their traits with an aura of purity, with accented frequency bands that only help to refine its texture.
By far one of the S8’s best qualities is its colorful treble. The frequencies here are equally leveled and produce an array of sparkle that makes certain instruments pop. It’s as lively as the midrange, but with even more emphasis and detail. You’ll never be bothered by its high-end extension either, as the S8 never traverses into the harsh territory. With the S8, you only get the best its treble has to offer, with a striking crispness that not a lot of IEMs in this price range can produce.
The S8 is another winner from Moondrop. It acts as a great companion to the Variations, being the most dominant IEMs in Moondrop’s catalog at different ends of the frequency spectrum. I just can’t get enough of the amazing treble response on these IEMs, but it’s not the only element of the sound signature that the S8 does exceptionally well. Almost everything from its firm fit, to its wide soundstage, is accomplished with integrity and makes for one of the best IEMs you can get for under a thousand dollars.
The Moondrop S8 is available at Audio46.
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