First off, a heart-felt thank you to George and Gearbest for providing these headphones. New gear is always fun and the opportunity to try out gear as it comes to market is indeed a privilege.
A short note about me: I am a music enthusiast, and audio hobbyist. I make no claim to have the level of experience of some here. I tend to be quite pragmatic and value oriented.. I am a lover of blues, jazz, and rock music and listen to a very broad range as I am always interested in what is new.
The Uiisii ba-t8 arrived at my doorstep in a very well designed package. An outer paper sleeve slides to the side to reveal an understated black pressboard box that opens to the side. At the top the earpieces are displayed in a foam cutout, below that is a box containing accessories. If you remove the foam and the accessory box, two more boxes are hiding behind them. One contains the manual and the other a small carrying case. The case has a spring-loaded closure and a soft rubber coating to provide some protection from spills etc.
The headphones themselves start with an angled 3.5mm jack followed by a soft rubber coated cable that splits at a moulded on rubber block approximate 13 inches from the earpieces. Controls are handled by a 3 button box on the right cable (a departure from the standard left side location.) The buttons are the standard +/- on the outer buttons with pause/play on the center. The earpiece itself is a vertical arrangement with one driver above the other in a plastic shell. The outer casing has what at first glance appears to be vents but in actuality is simply decorative as only one very small vent hole exists at the center of the upper driver.
A small projection at the rear of the earpiece works as an earhook without being uncomfortable or overly aggressive. The nozzles are slightly bigger than most and finding tips to fit may take a bit of extra effort. Nozzle angle is sharply forward of the main body but has no vertical component so overall the nozzle sits at a 45 degree angle to the center of the body.
The microphones did work for making and receiving calls but was susceptible to noise due to motion. Positioning of the mic was a little below the point that would have been optimal and I sometimes had to hold the mic closer to my mouth for others to hear well.
As mentioned at the top, I am a lover of blues, blues/rock, classic rock, and anything with good guitar work in it. For that reason, I use the following as my test tracks. (artist, album, track, thoughts)
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood – Lenny (Guitar to die for but the thing I look for is the percussion.)
Lindsey Buckingham – Fleetwood Mac, Best of – Go Insane, Live (Probably the most complicated simple song you’ll ever hear, all about nuance and subtleties with this track).
Johny Lang – Lie to me – Lie to Me (Looking for tight bass, bleed over into the mids, and controlled sub-bass)
Tedeschi Trucks – Let me get by – I want more (Female Vocals, backing brass band)
The Blasters – Testament – Blue Shadows (Saxophone and piano with male vocals)
Vintage Trouble – The Bomb shelter sessions – Blues hand me down (Looking at attack speed and decay especially in bass and sub-bass. This track gets muddy quick if the equipment can’t handle it.)
Bass: The bass on the T8 is the focal point. UiiSii’s advertisements all tout the bass catering to the beats crowd. The bass is elevated considerably but does respond well to EQ. Sub-bass is lighter than I had hoped in a headphone that targets bassheads, I found the T8 did not respond to EQ below the 60hz band. For that reason, I can only say bass extension was average. Mid-bass and lower mids are prominent with considerable bass bleed. This combination gives the T8 a very warm and dark overall signature.
Mids: The t8 has a fairly deep V shape with mids taking a backseat to the bass particularly and the treble a bit less. The sounds signature gives a very warm mid but does not bring a lot of life or presence to vocals.
Treble: Treble is a bit forward of the mids, but still well behind the overall focus on the low end again contributing to the warm tone. Extension is not anything above average and does not provide a lot of sparkle. Cymbals tend to sound a bit metallic and rolled off.
Soundstage is small due to the closed design and instrument separation suffers due to the over aggressive bass.
Overall, the sound on the T8 is tuned for the bass crowd. My teenagers friends who like anything with enough bass to rattle the walls all thought the T8 was great and a couple have since ordered their own pairs. If you are looking for a warm/dark/bass heavy signature that retains enough detail to be listenable as something other than a bass cannon, these are worth a test drive. I think at the price point and without the advantage of a removable cable, there are likely better choices out there, but they are listenable and may be exactly what some others are looking for. They run counter to my listening preferences and while I couldn’t enjoy them as much due to that, my listening time for the sake of review was still pleasant if a bit darker than I would prefer.
- Bass - 5/105/10
- Mids - 4/104/10
- Treble - 5/105/10
- Soundstage - 6/106/10
- Imaging - 5/105/10
Pros – Good build quality, super comfortable
Cons – cable not removable, mid-bass bloat.