Final Audio A8000

Source pair up.

A8k has an average 16ohm impedance and a little lower 102dB sensitivity, but I still found it to be very efficient and easy to drive from any portable source I tried it with.  Since I was using A8k with its stock cable, I only used single ended output in every source pair up.

Lotoo PAW Gold Touch LPGT – holographic soundstage, deep extended sub-bass rumble, fast mid-bass punch, a little north of neutral bass quantity, neutral, natural, layered mids, crisp airy bright treble.  Upper frequencies are more revealing and brighter with a colder tonality.  Great pair up to analyze micro-details of any recording.  No hissing.

Lotoo PAW 6000 – holographic soundstage, deep extended sub-bass rumble, fast mid-bass punch, a little north of neutral bass quantity, fuller body lower mids with more organic upper mids/vocals tonality, crisp airy bright treble.  Upper frequencies are more revealing and brighter with a slightly colder tonality.  A little more natural tonality in comparison to LPGT.  No hissing.

Hifiman R2R2000 – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass has noticeably more impact in comparison to Lotoo DAPs.  Mids are neutral, natural, layered, treble is crisp and airy yet sounds more natural, less splashy.  Good pair up, except there is waterfall hissing, even in low gain.

iBasso DX160 – holographic soundstage, good sub-bass extension and fast mid-bass punch, overall bass is more neutral in this pair up, mids/vocals are also closer to neutral/natural in tonality, nicely layered and with great retrieval of details, treble is not harsh but it is bright, crisp, airy, more vivid. No hissing, but definitely more upper frequencies energy in this pair up.

Hiby R6 Pro – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, and overall bass is a little more elevated in quantity, mids are more neutral, natural, layered, very detailed, treble is crisp and airy, brighter, more vivid.  I hear a faint hint of waterfall hissing.

Hiby R5 – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, overall bass is more elevated, mids have a little more natural body, still layered and very detailed, treble is crisp and airy, bright and revealing, and more natural in comparison to R6Pro pair up. Dead quiet, no hissing.

Cayin N6ii w/E01 – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass has more impact and more analog weight, mids/vocals are more natural, a little warmer, with fuller body, but still layered and very detailed, treble is crisp and airy, and still more natural, not splashy.  No hissing.  Another one of my favorite pair ups.  All this in Class AB mode, but when switching to Class A mode, the bass sounds a little slower and mids were thicker.  I preferred AB.

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FiiO M11 Pro – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass is north of neutral, a little more elevated in quantity, mids/vocals have more natural body, sound more organic, still layered and detailed, treble is crisp and airy, bright and revealing, and not too splashy.  No hissing.

Sony WM1Z – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass has more impact and more articulation, mids are neutral-natural, layered, very detailed, definitely more organic, treble is crisp and airy, nicely extended, bright, but not harsh or splashy.  Actually, among better pair ups when it comes to treble.  No hissing.  Tested with latest stock firmware.

A&K SP1000 SS – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass has a little more impact in this pair up, mids/vocals are neutral, natural, layered, more revealing, treble is crisp and airy, brighter and splashier, even with some traces of sibilance.  No hissing.  Not the best pair up due to a little too much energy in treble.

Dethonray DTR1 – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass has more impact, very layered and fast, mids are more neutral, revealing, micro-detailed, a little colder, treble is crisp and airy, bright but not harsh, though a little splashy.  In low gain I don’t hear any hissing.

Shanling M0 – holographic soundstage, deep sub-bass rumble with fast mid-bass punch, bass is north of neutral but doesn’t have as much impact, mids are more neutral, revealing, brighter, treble is crisp and airy, bright, and a little harsher with a bit of a sibilance.  No hissing.

Samsung Galaxy S9 – soundstage is wide and has a nice depth, but not as holographic as with dedicated DAPs.  Bass goes deep with a nice sub-bass rumble and fast mid-bass punch, mids/vocals are neutral-natural, layered, revealing, treble is crisp and airy, bright, energetic, a little splashy, but not too harsh.  No hissing.

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Cable pairing.

I’m aware that some people don’t believe in cables and have very strong opinions about it.  It’s not my intention to trigger the argument, and instead I would like to share what I hear during my testing.  What makes sense to me, a metal wire is a material with physical properties of resistivity, conductivity, purity, and unique geometry, all of which put together act as a filter between your source and headphones.  Variations of these physical properties can affect the conductivity of analog signal, resulting in a sound change, from a subtle to a more noticeable level.  If the talk about cables upsets you, please skip this section.

  • Stock SPC to ALO Super Litz – adds a little more sub-bass rumble, and accentuates lower treble a little more, especially around “s”.  Also, I perceive soundstage having a little more depth then width, taking away the feeling of 3D holographic effect.
  • Stock SPC to Linum SuperBaX – nearly identical to stock SPC cable.
  • Stock SPC to DITA Oslo – adds a little more sub-bass rumble, and pushes lower treble a little more forward, making it more vivid, but surprisingly doesn’t make it harsher or splashier.  The soundstage width is slightly reduced.
  • Stock SPC to ALO Ref8 – nearly identical to stock SPC cable.
  • Stock SPC to iBasso CB12s – nearly identical to stock SPC cable.

Personally, I was happy with Final stock cable pair up.

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Conclusion.

One of the questions my readers often ask me is to recommend IEMs to complement what they already have.  It’s not always an easy task because there is so much overlap in tuning of today’s flagships, making it hard to recommend something different and more original.  A8000 vivid micro-detailed sound tuning with a focus on speed, transparency, and clarity, along with a holographic soundstage, makes them unique.  Perhaps it’s not for everybody, especially if you prefer a more natural smoother tonality, but it has a very distinct and quite enjoyable tuning.

Typically, I listen to IEMs with a more natural smoother tonality, especially when it comes to treble.  So, when I switch to A8000 after my usual selection of naturally tuned monitors, it takes me a few seconds to adjust my ears to A8k vivid micro-detailed presentation of the sound.  But once I do, it becomes so addictive that I’m having a hard time switching back, and some of my other favorite IEMs start to sound congested and bloated in comparison.  And that is exactly how I would summarize my experience with A8000, being super addictive!

8 thoughts on “Final Audio A8000

    1. Final was very specific in their product page, if you check it. They said Beryllium drivers require around 200hrs for a burn in/break in. Tbh, the changes I heard (and keep in mind, could be subjective) were within first 50-75hrs. But hey, I just followed their suggestion 🙂 So, I would think the same applies to Luna.

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    1. I’m getting way too many requests to compare it to U12t, Solaris, Andro, etc. 🙂 A8k is totally different from all those other smoother, warmer, less revealing, more balanced or fun v-shaped iems. All these iems are more colored and less transparent, they have slower and less articulate bass. U12t in particular has smoother mids and smoother treble with less airiness.

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  1. I got the a8000 earlier and still waiting for it to arrive. Didn’t get a chance to try it since is not easy to find anyone that carries it from where i live. Anyways, I have the A&K sp2000 ss and i guess is probably not a good pairing as well right?

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    1. hard to tell since SP2k has a higher output voltage and different amplifier design. Pair up synergy will play a big part in how A8k will sound. Don’t get discouraged yet, wait and hear when you get them. BUT please, don’t just straight out of the box. Let it burn in.

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  2. Hey twister, hope you are well. I’m considering getting either u12t, u18t or even jomo flamenco. I own several top tier daps, lpgt, n8 sp2000 and wm1z but want a top tier iems to go with them. I like lots of different genres of music. Which or what would you recommend?

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    1. Out of these 3 iems, U18t. Just a personal preference, U12t doesn’t have as good separation of instruments as U18t and in general sounds smoother and not as resolving (which some might like over U18t if you want more organic sound), and all JOMO iems sounds too bright to my ears (peaky lower treble tuning).

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