S8F or EX800ST (Sony MDR-7550)

Have done a good amt of research on both of these & having trouble deciding.

Excited about buying either as these would be my first top tier IEM - using lower tier IEM like se215 or 1more presently. also have bose soundsport free… so I know this would be a pretty massive upgrade

Hmmm. The S8F would be more v shaped and the ex800st is more neutral bright. Personally I liked the 800st a fair bit to where I sold it for a ex1000, but it can be harsh at times and also not the most comfortable. I think the fearless might be more impressive technicality wise but I do like the sony. What do you listen to? And what would you be driving them with?

I listen to mostly Electronic and Hip-hop. I have Fiio E07K Andes, but when traveling I may just use my iphone to drive them. I also have done a good bit of research on FH7. I noticed that both ex800st and s8f scored A on crinacle’s list and are in the price range I’m looking for

For what you listen to I think the fearless might be up your alley, along with other iems

coolcool, dang, the ex800st are only $200 on amazon whereas the S8F are about $480. But sounds like you’re saying it might be worth it. i think itll help me out if you break it down in terms of which is better in each of the following:

-soundstage & imaging

and is it fair to say that FH7 is technically inferior to both ex800st and S8F?

really appreciate the help btw… have spent 5+ hours on research but hard to find sources that compare these two or three.

To make it simple to go overall imo:

Bass S8F>800st
Mids 800st>S8F
Treble 800st>s8f
Soundstage and imaging 8SF>800st
Detail s8f>800st

I think the fh7 is on a similar level tbh, but it’s a more balanced neutral iem

interesting. i am a fan of good bass… do both of these perform about the same being driven straight from an iphone?

also heard that isolation is bad in 800st but pretty good in s8f, which if im flying, i think that certainly would be a factor. this true?

seems like s8f are also more durable / longer lasting… i dont plan on changing the cable it comes with (atleast to begin with) and it seems like the cable on s8f is much better

you mentioned that 800st isnt the most comfortable. is s8f much better on comfort?

I would say they can be but you would really want a better source in the future imo

Yes, the fit on the 800st is somewhat poor and it doesn’t really seal well or isolate because of venting imo

I would say that would be true

I think so yes

great! super helpful, thanks.

any others you’d recommend for $500 & under? based on my search it came down to fh7, 800st and s8f

The iBasso IT04 is pretty sweet, Dunu DK-3001 is also very nice, otherwise staying under like 500 ish those are my picks for what you like

if you had to choose 1 out of all the 5 mentioned, which would you choose for:

– your personal preference
– someone’s first & only top tier IEM, regardless of genre (beginner audiophile)

Personally I like the it04 the most, but I think for someone else’s first top tier I think the s8f or 3001 would be the most impressive and versatile

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The S8Z is in that ballpark and just came out, BGGAR seems to think they hold up. More neutral version of the S8F I think he was saying.

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Hi Oceans. Although I’ve not heard the Sony I do own the Fearless S8F and loooove it. I also own many low/mid tier iems with my long time favorite being the Ikko OH10. I listen to many genres of music including some hip-hop, old school hard rock, acoustic/vocal, classical, lots of jazzy pop, etc. I wanted an upgrade and the S8F has not disappointed. Great fit and cable out of the box.

I did have to spend time finding tips that offered a good seal (Dekoni Bulletz) and when I did the bass really blossomed. I also bought a new balanced silver cable because I run all my iems balanced through a Fiio portable amp. Not really necessary with the S8F; the stock cable is fine (heavy, stout, and nice looking).

Regarding sound Mon nailed it so nothing really to add there. I just love these iems; the detail is amazing!

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Yeah I saw this review. one thing he said was that the S8F stands out more (bass wise). I think I would rather have one that sounds more “exciting” vs one that is analytical - if they’re very similar to one another. theyre $100 more, which if theyre very similar would rather just save it.

Hey Corwin… Gotcha, that’s good to know. I’m just trying to decide if I should spend the additional $300 on S8F based on how both were rated on Crinacle’s list (https://crinacle.com/rankings/iems/). They received a very similar rating. Maybe I’m relying too heavily on it. Do you find the rankings on that list to be accurate? Also, as a beginner top tier IEM, you would think that a V shape is going to be more enjoyable than a neutral bright one? (I probably wouldn’t call me a audiophile, but I love having a good pair of headphones - I purchased 4 $300 headphones only to realize that I prefer IEM more… For some reason I thought over-ear / on-ear would produce higher quality due to size, only to learn after that that’s not the case, haha. The 4 I bought were Bowers PX, 1000XM3, M4U 8, and Nuraphones).

Would you say S8F is a “fun” listen, as well as an accurate listen?

Yea good points. I will say that he mentioned that the bass can be boosted so as long as you have rudimentary eq you should be fine. Also since the highs are better it should be the superior experience either way. :wink: I typically only use eq for bass boosts so its best to minimize it, but I still 100% recommend it.

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Interesting. So highs are better on S8Z but bass is better on S8F? Haha, the more you know about these IEMs, the harder the decision. So have you experienced S8F, S8Z, 800ST or FH7 by chance?

Nope just going off what he said. If I ever drop 500 on an IEM it may be the Z due to the form factor and performance. My experience is 200 and under. I’ve got a better perspective on headphones as ive done iems only about half as long.

Hey Oceans.

Crinacle’s list is interesting but I have little experience with iems over the $250 USD range other than the S8F. Not sure if you are aware but the S8F was BGGR’s top iem for six months in a row mast year. I decided on the fearless after watching many reviews and for it’s tuning. Although I enjoy accuracy (my desktops are Adam A5Xs), I also wanted iems that were fun/enjoyable, somewhat durable, and with detail. These are my out and about iems including all day trips hiking, working out, disc golf. They never become fatiguing or uncomfortable. The bass is not a rumble or sometimes muddy like my Ikko OH10s can be when pushed hard (hip hop), it is “just right” for me. The real key was taking the time to find tips that provided a good seal and were comfortable.

The only other iem I’d like to try is the Shouer EJ07 hybrid but the reports of spotty quality control make that a no go. I’ll continue to enjoy my S8Fs and see what the future brings.

Hope this info helps and you love whatever you decide to buy.

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