Audiosense T800 cost 300 US Dollars or 22,000 Indian Rs., So they are not cheap, but they are still getting great reviews everywhere talking about how good they are, even at their price point, so let’s find out if they actually deliver to the hype.
The unboxing experience is pretty great, as I was expecting. They come in this extremely well built water proof case, and I don’t want to spend more time on this, but it is really solid.
You get some extra eartips in the box, along with some foam tips that really don’t work well with these at all, and you also get a very useful cleaning brush. While I have seen companies having nicer presentation at this price point, I don’t mind the lack of expenditure on unnecessary stuff in the box.
The braided cable is good enough, and terminates at a right angled jack. On the connector side, these earphones use MMCX connector, so if you want, you could get a wireless cable for these, or replace it if it gets damaged. The cable is also marked with different colors to identify the left and right earbud.
The earhooks on this cable work pretty well, they don’t refuse to adapt to how you want wear them, and they were also not uncomfortable to wear, even for someone like me who wears glasses.
The earbuds, if you can call them that, are also really well built. They have carbon fibre pieces on the sides, which is really cool.
These earphones have 8 Knowles Balanced armature drivers, which are different than the dynamic drivers you usually find in earphones, and these are one of the rare kinds of earphones which don’t have any dynamic drivers, and you can actually see the drivers through their transparent casing, and see the tubes that guide the sound from the drivers to your ears, which is pretty cool.
Comfortwise, these are pretty great for what they are. My ears are towards the larger side, and these fit really well. They are shaped in a very particular way like the insides of human ear, and while it works pretty well for me, I don’t know how it would feel for people who have uniquely shaped ears. The earhooks are also very comfortable, as I mentioned earlier.
I was easily able to wear them for more than an hour, but at around the two hour mark, I felt like removing them, but they sound so good that I was thinking that I’ll just listen to one more song before removing them, but we’ll get to the sound later.
The isolation on these is actually quite extreme. I was listening to these at a moderate volume when someone called me and my phone rang on my table just in front of me at full volume, and it still took me a while to notice that it was ringing, so outside noise is not going to be a problem at all
These have 9 ohm impedance, which means they are very easy to drive. However, I found that their sound quality can vary a lot depending on what kind of device you use for powering them.
So for example, while you can power them directly using portable devices like smartphones, I found that they sounded really bad with my OnePlus 6, as the treble became really harsh with it, but with my iPad Mini 5 they sounded good, so powering them directly using portable devices could be a hit or miss.
With my Fiio E10K, they work really well, but for my testing I had to use my Objective 2 Amp, and I had to power them in a very specific way, otherwise they would sound aggressive, and soundstage would also get reduced.
So if someone is saying that they find the treble to be harsh, there’s a good chance that they are not able to find a way to power them correctly.
most people using them would probably use a DAP, or something like the xDSD which I reviewed a while ago, or maybe one of those LG phones with Quad DACs which should be able to drive these correctly.
Now the most interesting part is of course the sound, and it is not a surprise that they sound great. Chi Fi products are known to deliver excellent value at all price points, and these are no exception. The 8 Balanced Armature drivers can really do things that the lesser earphones aren’t able to. Now just having more drivers doesn’t make an earphone better, but the way these handle having 8 drivers in them is really great, and there aren’t any complications with the audio that you might face if you have a lot of drivers in the earphone.
These have a U shaped sound signature, so there’s a dip in the mid range, and we’ll talk about what effect it has on sound. This sound signature also brings some excitement in some metal and rock songs that do not have a great dynamic range, so some of the older songs also get more engaging.
coming to the bass, it is great in general, it extends to the lowest frequencies audible and it has that “big bass” feeling that feels very nice. Now earphones generally use a dynamic driver for proper bass delivery, and while these don’t have them, they still manage to pump out more than plenty of bass using their balanced armature drivers. It is a little boosted due to the sound signature of these, but it never felt it to be overwhelming or making the mids less enjoyable. In fact, I found the sub bass bump to be pretty enjoyable most of the times, even as a person who prefers a neutral sound signature.
However, while the bass is great, in isolation, if you compare it to how amazing the mids and highs are on these, you’ll find that comparatively, it’s not that refined. A minor shortcoming that I felt about it is that the bass could be a little tighter. The amount it plenty, but the decay of the bass isn’t very quick, so compared to the frequencies above which these earphones are amazing at, I found the bass to be not as amazing in comparison. But this totally doesn’t mean that the bass isn’t good, it is very enjoyable and punchy , and I was clearly able to hear bass guitar very separated from vocals and other imstruments in the music I listened to.
Now coming to the mids, these are really great. The mid and high frequencies have really great detail in them. Both the male and female vocals sound extremely detailed, and you can really feel the texture of the singers voices and when they breathe air in. You are really going to appreciate the techniques that good singers use as you will be able to notice the subtle nuances.
The high frequency range is the best part about these earphones. There’s just extreme levels of detail, and these are really outstandingly resolving. The great thing about these is that they sound very detailed without sounding analytical, and I found that to be a very enjoyable quality. So when you have vocals in parts that are very busy with guitars or violins, you will clearly be able to hear the voices and the high frequency instruments separately, which isn’t easy even for Mid Fi audio gear and it still manages to sound very musical with all the details, so that’s really awesome. Listening to Mozart and Ludovico Enaudi was amazing on these, so classical music lovers are REALLY gonna enjoy these.
Now the treble range is a little boosted, again because of the sound signature. But I never found it to be harsh, and I say this as a person who really doesn’t like it when audio companies tune their product with treble that’s too high. I didn’t even have an issue in metal tracks that have all those distorted high pitched guitars overpowering the vocals. They really have this unique quality where even though you can feel that the high frequencies are towards the higher side, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable.
The only time where the treble was a bit uncomfortable for me was in pop tracks that have overly compressed electronic music with highly processed vocals, but I think people buying this are going to have more refined tastes, and it’s not the fault of these earphones in those cases.
I would like to mention it again, that these need to be powered from a good source that matches them properly, otherwise the highs are not going to sound good.
The soundstage is also pretty good for in ear monitors. I didn’t find it to be exceptionally wide, but the imaging and positioning of sounds is really great, so you have this small space inside and outside of your head where you have all the sounds arranged in a very pleasant way. If you want to get a very scientific idea of the soundstage, it’s like this big.
Coming to music that these will be great for, I think that they work well with everything that you throw at them, but in comparison, these will really shine with anything that has a lot of details or a great texture in the mid to high frequencies, or tracks that are very busy and need something that can resolve that busy-ness. These are really great for the kind of tracks audio snobs listen to, and these are also great for the casual listener who listens to mainstream music but still wants to have something that sounds amazing.
These In Ear Monitors are outstandingly good, and if you are an audiophile, then I’d guess you will know how much this kind of gear costs. Now I think most people would want to know if I think that are they worth their 22,000 Rs. or 300 US Dollar price tag? And I think that if you are really into earphones, they are worth it. They are at least offering a 300 dollar sound, and the size to performance ratio is just crazy.
I don’t know if I can explain this, but they do so much, without sounding like they are trying to do a lot, they sound great without being in your face, telling you to look at how awesome they are. The tuning is surprisingly pleasant, and the overall character of the sound is something you will really enjoy for a really long time, as audio gear doesn’t wear out with time.