My reference player is the Opus#2, and this happens to be a wonderful choice for FLC8s. With its neutral-warm tuning and strong dynamics, it adds an uncolored, bold flavor to these IEMs. Opus renders weighty notes, and a robust, yet refined production. This helps to put some meat on the bones of those thinner FLC mids. Last but not least, Opus’ truly expansive soundstage pushes the 8s to its full potential.
Cayin’s very, very, VERY soon to be released N5II is also neutral-warm, but with a little extra treble energy. It’s a whole hell of a of lot like the Opus#2, but just a small step down in quality, and much less expensive. It pushes the clarity and smoothness of the 8s. The treble seems to take on more air. The bass grows in liquidity, but loses a touch of that visceral impact. Vocals render a crystalline image that is not as natural to my ears. Still, this pairing is awesome and oh so enjoyable.
For the very best in budget range, the Shanling M3s is a delightful choice for the FLC8s. It has a killer low-end, vital, transparent mids, and superb treble presence. It renders at a higher resolution than any of the other budget DAPs I’ve tested, which helps to showcase the 8s’ special talents in that arena. Shanling’s relaxed presentation nudges the 8s a little further down that path, reducing the overall dynamics. It’s a player that performs beyond its price, and brings out the best in some of my more shockingly expensive IEMs. The FLC8s gets everything it needs, and then some.
Alright. There you have it. FLC Technology created a fiendishly good IEM with their FLC8s. Now I understand where all that hype came from. These perform well outside their expected range. The 8s is comfortable, light, easy to use (except some of those filters are a right pain to replace. Be careful!), and did I mention, sounds incredible? The fact is, at this price, I’ve never heard anything better. The FLC8s is an unequivocal recommendation.