Section 8 Earbuds Review

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Reviewed Nov 2011

 

Details: bargain-bin earphones with endorsements ranging from Elvis to Tupac
Current Price: $10 from amazon.com (MSRP: $19.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: N/A | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: generic single-flange
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (1/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (3/5) – The metal housings and nylon-sheathed cables are impressive at the price point but the lack of strain reliefs says little for long-term durability
Isolation (3/5) – Typical for a straight-barrel dynamic-driver earphone
Microphonics (3/5) – Mild when worn cable-down; very low when worn over-the-ear
Comfort (3.5/5) – Typical for a straight-barrel IEM. Housings are very lightweight and the housing lacks sharp edges, which helps.

Sound (3.7/10) – The Section 8 Earbuds are by no means Hi-Fi but they do sound surprisingly decent for the asking price. Clarity is vastly superior to that of the similarly-priced Skullcandy Smokin’ buds and the bass is deeper and less washed-out. The muddiness and warmth of the Smokin’ are gone as well, leaving a low end that, while not particularly detailed, doesn’t crowd out the midrange.

The mids are clean and clear, on the cold side in tone and a bit distant. There is a tinge to the upper midrange that makes the Section 8 buds sound metallic and the earphones tend to distort more quickly than higher-end sets as the volume is turned up. The treble is prominent enough down low and rolls off towards the top. The soundstage is below average in size but the relatively decent bass control keeps it congestion-free compared to that of entry-level Skullcandy products. Layering, as expected for the price, is nearly nonexistent, making the earphones sound quite flat.

Value (6/10) – The Section 8 Earbuds are a competent bargain-bin product with a generic form factor and surprisingly clear sound. Available in a number of celebrity flavors, they can be a genuinely inoffensive listen, though those looking for fidelity will want to keep on saving up.

Pros: decent clarity, comfort, and isolation
Cons: distant sound with a metallic edge


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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