Competent in what it Does!

What Cardas have done is create a product that oozes musicality. Pure, smooth, grand and unadulterated fun! Taking warmth from a bottomless and boosted bass, the earphone is a coherent and refined one and I find myself so darn at ease listening, so relaxed and immersed in the music that me and even Josh find ourselves enjoying an earphone with a lot of bass much more than we normally do.

While dynamic drivers are known for having impressive bass, especially when it comes to moving air, I still find balanced armature punch harder and have quicker decay while dynamic drivers can be a bit boomy. While this does have a bass that is boosted over neutral, it does so in a way that is so tight and fast, delivering outstanding impact. It has no smear over the rest of the frequency response which is great but it also has a very accurate feeling timbre.

A8-19

Treble is very interesting with a smooth and effortless timbre, but still very much airy. I think extension is truly sensational which gives that sense of airiness while these are not bright in anyway. The treble is balanced very well with the midrange though making for what can be a very balanced earphone. That is of course when the sub bass is not a tad forceful, a side effect of its absolute brilliance with anything that can do with having its deep bass lines taking for a funky ride. The lower treble seems like it has a peak which gives a feeling of clarity and a taster of sparkle.

Oh yes deep bass is really outstanding. It moves air in a way that I seldom feel in earphones, one that I almost fool myself into think I feel throughout my body, like what is possible in my car. Obviously that is not possible but you all know how much your head can mess with your senses.

Male vocals seem just a little bit subdued and held back while ladies seem raw and alive, Adele’s ”25” really came to life with these. There is a softer timbre to the midrange overall though, one that is thick and smooth. Really smooth in fact. But no lack of detail either! It summarises a lot of what these phones are about because they are just pleasant and easy and really get on well with music, not to say that I have been surprised them to play the transparency card and barf up some of my lesser recordings, which is normally something you don’t find with this sort of sonic signature IEM. Also something I am very happy to note with these is absence of any distortion or grain with these earphones at all. They make something like Trinity Audio’s Atlas feel coarse in the mids. Then again we are opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of presentation with their aggression and the A8’s laid back and chill vibe.

A8-17

The overall speed is very average. While I think the bass really is fast for its gain, the overall earphone is not stunning in speed but what it is capable of is never losing its head. Keeping everything held together and not getting messy. Sometimes instruments and vocals can start to be blend but they just manage to keep hold of their distinction and at the price range that’s nothing to scoff at, as only my real top end earphones have the speed to maintain perfect instrument separation at all times. There is not a great load of depth to the sound because instead these have gone for a very up close and personal sound. Making everything sound very forward.There is however still lots of width on offer.

Blue Bolts

For Cardas’s second attempt at an earphone I am pretty darn impressed. They have gone for this full and lovable sound and I think it is great way to get people digging what they are doing. I think it suits the price range just great (the US one that is) and while I think it is a shame you have to pay extra for the adapters (it would be cool to get your choice of one included) this is a pretty solid deal.

A8-12

I feel like it would be very interesting to go back in time and check out the 5813 now and see what led up to this because even Cardas say they are rather different and the driver tech in the A8 is unique just to that model. The rubber/brass earphone look and feel beautiful as well and the cable system while not removable takes the right measures to not have the usual downsides to non removable cables. While the sound is enjoyable people who are used to something of a slightly higher caliber or more neutral may not find this to their tastes but I am not sure if anyone can honestly find this unpleasant.

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Sonny Trigg