PEARS MC-8 Review

Technical Performance

The PEARS MC-8 impresses with its textured and impactful bass, musical mids, and smooth but extended treble. The resolution is very good, and transparency is very nice in its terms. It’s detailed and somewhat forgiving at the same time.

The sound stage, however, has been the most surprising element of the MC-8 so far for me. Some IEMs give a deeper and wider stage, of course, especially the multi-driver ones. But the sound-stage performance of the MC-8 is simply fabulous for its price and driver configuration. The stage is nicely deep and wide, even more so than the flagship SH-3, which I found amazing. It’s a studio-type of staging performance when compared with sophisticated flagship monitors but in its coherent tuning, the staging is excellent.

The same goes for the imaging capabilities. Since the separation is on a good level and the background is perfectly black, it has very good stereo imaging. The separation is one of the parts that I liked the most. Although the presentation is not very airy or spacious, the separation is still impressive.

What I want to highlight about the MC-8 is its incredible cohesiveness. It has a musical touch with a very smooth nature, but it completes this package with perfect coherency. I think this is simply because it just has a single dynamic. So the presentation is not somewhat detached and inconsistent like some other monitors.

Comparisons

Against the fiddly fit of the Twilight, the custom MC-8 has an incredible fit and isolation advantage of course, with a similarly good packaging and build quality. For sound, they both have a single dynamic design, but the MC-8 sounds more resolving, fuller, and more spacious in my opinion. Its bass is also much more impressive, in both quality and quantity.

For mids, they’re both quite good and natural sounding, whilst I think the Twilight has a more definitive mid-range. The treble is better in the MC-8 as well as the overall detail level. Overall the MC-8 is my winner of this comparison, except with specific vocal-oriented genres where the Twilight can impress more with its particular mid-range tuning.

Another warm and bassy IEM from Europe, the CA F5 is a great IEM in its own right. It also offers custom and universal versions, and even the universal one fits incredibly well. For sound, these two are both natural-sounding, bass-oriented IEMs that attempt to give the listener much fun. It’s difficult to pick one of them, but I think the FIBAE 5 is a bit ahead with its planar drivers on the treble side. However, I think the MC-8 has a better timbre in the mid-range. They both have good soundstage despite their full and meaty presentations. It’s a tough call. I would take the MC-8 for Jazz, Rock, and Vocal, and the FIBAE 5 for Pop, RnB, and EDM. 

The Szalayi is a tribrid. So of course it sounds very different with its complex inside technology, versus the simplistic approach of the PEARS MC-8. The Szalayi needs some power to shine, but when driven, it’s a very impressive monitor indeed. The bass performance is simply ecstatic, the mid-range is incredibly musical and natural. The MC-8 is also impressive in those aspects, but the Oriolus delivers in a notch above.

The Szalayi also offers a bit more spacious presentation with more air and separation. These differences are not much, and the MC-8 holds its own despite being focused as a piece of monitoring equipment. Both are very likable and enjoyable IEMs. It’s hard to beat the fit & build quality of PEARS monitors, nevertheless.

Conclusion

Do you want to try a custom IEM and experience how it feels? With its sub-1000$ price, excellent packaging, great custom fit, and hard-to-beat passive isolation, the PEARS MC-8 is a great value. Not only that, but it sounds very natural, realistic, and incredibly coherent, without missing any detail and resolution for its class. 

And also, there’s another point that I’ve never mentioned in the review; it’s a jack-of-all-trades kind of equipment. You might be a musician and wish to use a monitor for both stage performance and personal listening. It can cover both use cases perfectly. 

In that sense, I recommend the PEARS MC-8 to the audiophiles who like to experience the world of custom IEMs for the first time, and for musicians who seek the most natural sound for their work. ,

Pros:
  • Fantastic build and fit
  • Great isolation
  • Natural, organic sound with clarity and spaciousness
  • Great coherency
  • Relatively affordable
Cons:
  • A bit more airiness and layering would’ve been great.
  • It’s not the most comfortable custom IEM (trade-off for great isolation)

Page 1: About PEARS, MC-8, Ordering, Customization
Page 2: Packaging, Build, Fit, Price
Page 3: Sound
4.8/5 - (42 votes)
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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

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