The S8 Freedom is one of best regarded out of the Fearless Audio lineup. Fearless audio has been receiving great praise for their price to performance ratio. The S8F uses 8 balanced armatures setup in a 4 way crossover: 2x ultra-low, 2x medium-low, 2x medium-high and 2x ultra-high.
This unit was purchased from Linsoul.
In the box
Build quality and accessories
The build quality of the IEMs is really good, the shell is smooth, the finish is pretty much perfect. I miss a bit of a lip on the nozzle that would hold the tips in place better but that’s just a small gripe. The acrylic feels good quality, 2 pin connectors are snug and hold well. The case is well finished, no unfinished/badly finished parts like the Tin P1 case. The cable is my main gripe, the weave is loose after the split and looks a bit messy in comparison to how well the IEMs are made, it’s also quite stiff.
Fit and comfort
Before getting those I heard a lot of good about the fit, but I was quite disappointed. For my ears (especially on the left side) I had soreness to develop after 30-40 minutes of listening in the back of my ear. It felt as in the back of the shell was a bit too bulky and was pushing against the back of my ear and in the end making it uncomfortable. In general I felt the shell was quite bulky, I do realise it has to accommodate 8 balanced armatures but things like 64Audio u12t have 12 of them and manage to still be quite a bit smaller and more comfortable (same could be said about the Empire Ears). The medium included tips were the ones that fit me best and they were used throughout my listening experience.
The easiest way to describe the S8F is warm with a slightly sharp high end. With an extreme amount of detail rivalling much higher end offerings.
The bass extension is very good for a BA set of IEMs, even the deepest notes on “Bonefield – Window” can be heard and have a good texture to them. The bass is snappy, yet not too aggressive. It has a slight warm tilt but never gets out of control. There’s no signs of any bleeding into the midrange. Because of how much detail is presented it can sound a bit artificial. Very good performance here.
Extremely detailed, female vocals are slightly forward while male vocals take a slight step back. The overall timbre is good across the board, guitar pulls present great texture and separate well from other instruments. Trumpets have a nice shine and life to them. The whole presentation is quite natural which was a surprise to me considering the amount of detail presented and is the opposite of what I felt for the bass region.
Yet again there’s a very good extension to the treble, it’s fast, detailed and good in timbre. Cymbals hits are very well defined and they fade out as quick as they come in. The overall presentation is airy and to my liking in general. However to me the lower treble can be a bit sharp, I tend to like badly recorded metal (Hammerfall, old In Flames, Avenged sevenfold, Motorhead etc…) and those recordings feel like too much on the S8F, they just take the treble presence over the edge. To me the detail in the treble is yet again a bit artificially boosted, I wish it wasn’t pushed as forward.
Imaging and Soundstage
The stage is quite wide and has a good depth, it lacks a bit in height but because the images are well presented and positioned within the stage and have enough space between them I don’t miss that aspect that much. In general this is a very good performance.
The Fearless Audio S8f is a serious contender in the 500$ range, it has an extremely detailed presentation which rivals more expensive IEMs, however it isn’t for treble sensitive or for those who are looking for a very natural presentation. For me it leans towards being quite analytical more often that I would desire and bad recordings aren’t its forte. Overall though I think it’s a great value for money if you do know what you’re getting into.
Purchase the S8Freedom: