Blon A8 Prometheus - Supreme Trickster IEM!?
Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Prometheus is a Greek Titan known as the supreme trickster and a god of fire. Prometheus also had an intellectual side and the meaning of his name emphasizes that; ForeThinker. Does the Blon A8 Prometheus think ahead of the music? Or is the A8 Prometheus the supreme trickster, leading you down a fiery path of bewilderment?
Disclaimer: Linsoul provided the Blon A8 Prometheus for review and only asked for an honest review. I wasn't influenced, directed or paid to sway this review one way or another. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Driver: 10mm lightweight diaphragm
Frequency range: 20-20KHz
Unboxing: I like the simple but somewhat elegant unboxing that the A8 presents. The blue theme that plays along with the lettering and inner lining that peaks out between the top and bottom sections.
On the front, you have a picture and model information. On the back, you get the listing of specifications in multiple languages.
Taking off the top cover, you are greeted with a protective paper with the Blon logo.
Underneath you find a white foam cutout that houses the Prometheus. A small box with blue lettering houses the accessories.
Blon keeps the accessories to a minimum but gives you enough to get started; a burlap carry bag, cable, 2 bags of silicone tips and some paperwork.
All in all, a decent accessories kit and an unboxing experience that is somewhat lacking for the price.
Design/Build: Now this is gonna be a love, hate or meh moment. To be honest, I don't love it or hate it, it is meh.
Sure it is cool to look at for the first time and then it goes in your ears and you don't see it.
I have no idea if the holes have anything to do with the sonics or not. If the holes don't effect the sonics then I ask, why? I guess it is to be different but truthfully it doesn't make a difference for me. The shell is made of high quality materials and doesn't feel cheap. The shape is nice but just a tad bulky, more on that in the fit/comfort section.
The shining light of the design and build is the exceptional cable, this is the best Blon cable to date.
I thought that the Blon Mini had a nice cable but the A8 is a step up from that. I really like this cable as it is very well controlled, lightweight and tangle free.
Fit/Comfort: The fit is meh; not great and not horrid. The Blon A8 shell is a bit long and bulky and doesn't fit in my ears the best; reminds me of the Ikko OH10. I can wear them for about an hour before the weight and size start to pester me. Another issue is that the nozzle length is barely long enough and the entire shell sits precariously in my ear; I constantly have to adjust the fit. My wiggle worm tendencies don't help the Prometheus to sit in my ear properly. But, these issues are somewhat resolved with the RHA dual density tips; as they are slightly larger then the stock tips and help steady the A8 in my ear.
Tips: The Blon A8 Prometheus arrives with two types of silicone tips, cone and olive shape. Both sets are okay but not my favorite and both have sonic issues. I found that the stock tips were lacking in bass impact, detail resolution and were very bright and brittle in the upper reaches. To put it in perspective, the stock tips were leading down a path of bewilderment.
Final Type E tips on the A8 make it even more v-shape. Bass is booming and not very defined. Mids are strange in that there is body and density but the instruments crowd out the vocals. Upper mids and treble have an energetic side that veers into splashy and harsh moments and can be overly intense. A very strange sound indeed but not offensive but not preferential for me. Definitely not natural or accurate. I give the Blon A8 with Final Type E tips a barely passing grade.
RHA dual density tips help balance out the A8 mids a little so that the instruments aren't crowding out the vocals as much. Less boom in the bass but a tad more upper mids and treble energy. Even with the extra sizzle, the RHA DD tips are more controlling and defined so they don't sound as splashy and harsh as the Final Type E. But I do miss the fun bass factor, just a tad. The RHA DD tips are preferred but still are not natural or accurate.
I tried many other tips and they all failed miserably, either too much treble, wonky mids or bombastic bass or all the above. So all sound impressions are with the RHA dual density tips.
WOW!!! That is a lot of bass! Do you like bass? Well then, the Blon A8 Prometheus is for you. Slam and impact are the focus of the A8 bass. The Prometheus definitely provides a fun bass; BUT it is fatiguing and the fun doesn't last long. Details are adequate, nothing special but you won't be let down. Resolution is the best of the Blon family but not the greatest in the price point. Tone and timbre are okay but not very natural sounding. The Blon A8 Prometheus bass is artificial sounding but it is fun.
The Blon A8 mids are a mixed bag of emotions for me. Let's start with the disappointments, that way we end on a positive. Lower mids lack body and note weight. The upper mids are too accentuated and sound artificial. There is too much of a boost to the mids and they sound sibilant and harsh at times. There is a false impression of clarity because of the elevation. On the positive side, the tone and timbre is some of the best the Blon family has to offer. There is decent note body and weight in the middle thru upper mids. Details are good and resolution is the best of the Blon family.
Blon A8 Prometheus treble is not quite there. It is too bright and sounds artificial. Detail retrieval is good and resolution is slightly better then a typical Blon. Extension is too the extreme and doesn't sound natural; giving a false impression of clarity. In the upper mids/lower treble region there is a large rise from 5k-7k that brings on ringing and sharpness that can be fatiguing.
Soundstage/Imaging: The Blon A8 Prometheus soundstage is actually quite pleasing and I really enjoy it. The A8 doesn't have a natural sounding stage in the slightest but it is fun. There is plenty of space, depth and layering with good instrument and vocal separation. The A8 isn't the most accurate and precise but it won't lead you wrong.
Details/Resolution: The Blon A8 Prometheus is the best of all the Blon family in regards to detail retrieval and resolution. But that isn't saying much as that hasn't been a strong point of previous Blon IEM. The A8 won't leave you disappointed but it won't wow you either, unless you have only heard Blon IEM.
Tone/Timbre: Tone and timbre are enjoyable but lack a natural aura. The Blon A8 blends a lot of instruments together and it is hard to decipher what specific instrument is playing and also can be hard to follow them through a track. On less busy tracks, this issue isn't as noticeable but put a complex piece on and the tone and timbre can become very confused.
ADV Accessport Lite: Warm, lush fun is what this pairing brings. Not the most detailed or expressive sound but it is pleasing to the ears. If you like a warmer sound with thick, lush bass and mids with just enough treble energy then this pairing might be for you.
Veclan Odyssey HD: The Odyssey HD is a clean, neutral but natural sounding dongle that I enjoy very much on most IEM. And this is a fantastic dongle pairing with the A8 Prometheus that I enjoy. There is enough treble energy to be engaging without being too much; there's pleasurable warmth without being too thick and lush and bass is impactful but controlled. I like this pairing; I recommend this one.
I do not recommend this pairing unless you prefer harshness, sibilance, brightness, recessed mids and artificial bass boost.
Nextdrive Spectra X: This is the best dongle pairing for the Prometheus that I heard. There is a slight warmth to the Spectra X that shines through with the A8 that tames its bright and aggressive nature. Detail retrieval is fantastic and resolution is better then the other dongles, getting close to the abilities of the Sony NW-A105.
Sony NW-A105: There are a few pairings that come along between IEM and DAP that standout, this is not one of them. But that isn't to say that it is a bad pairing. In fact, this pairing is adequate. The A105 brings out the positives and minimizes the negatives of the A8. Detail retrieval is excellent and resolution is pleasing, there is less harshness and aggression.
Sony NW-WM1a: Extreme price difference aside this is a good experience. The WM1a brings out the best of the A8 in all regards. I enjoy this pairing but there are other IEM that I enjoy more on the WM1a. If you want a budget IEM to use with your WM1a then the A8 is one of many to consider.
Mytek Liberty DAC: This is an acceptable pairing that I enjoy for the most part even though the price differences are extreme. The Liberty DAC and A8 are a fun listen that isn't offensive nor is the A8 demanding more listening time. I have no issues with this pairing but there are other IEM I would rather listen to on the Liberty DAC.
Blon BL-03: (Please note that I do use the RHA dual density tips with the BL-03) Little brother versus Big brother! The BL-03 is not best of the two when it comes to detail retrieval and resolution but it is closer then you would think; the A8 doesn't blow the BL-03's doors off. But the BL-03 does blow the doors off the A8 when it comes to tone and timbre, bass control, cohesive mids, less intense treble and listening pleasure. Soundstage maybe a slight bit wider on the A8 but the BL-03 does better at being more accurate and precise in imaging. I'll take the BL-03 even if it isn't as technically proficient as the A8 Prometheus.
Blon Mini: (Please note that I do use the RHA dual density tips with the Mini) Newer vs Newest! Extremely similar but a few differences of significance. The bass is very similar with the advantage going to the A8 because it is slightly better resolving. The mids are a mixed bag on both but the A8 isn't as wonky sounding in the mids; they aren't boosted as much in the upper mids. The A8 has a little more body and weight in the lower mids. The vocals sound more recessed on the Mini, instruments tend to crowd in on them more then the A8. Treble is a bit brighter on the Mini but not as intense and is smoother, really strange. Soundstage is wider, deeper and more defined on the A8. Tone and timbre is similar but detail retrieval and resolution goes to the A8. I find the A8 to be more intense and fatiguing then the Mini but not by much. Tough decision but I find that I lean to the A8 more often. I guess newest is better in this instance.
Tin Hifi T3: (Please note that I do use the JVC spiral dot tips with the T3.) Kinda similar but not really. Bass is fuller and more impactful on A8 but the T3 is significantly better in detail retrieval and resolution. The mids go to the T3, no doubt about it; balanced, cohesive, note weight, clarity, detail retrieval and resolution are all better. Treble is the closest part of the comparison with both being somewhat on the brighter side but the A8 is more intense. Tone and timbre is better on the T3. Detail retrieval is similar but resolution is better on the T3 as the A8 has more harshness and ringing moments.
Etymotic ER2XR: Wow, this isn't even close! The ER2XR is superior in all areas except one, soundstage width. The ER2XR bests the A8 by a country mile in tone and timbre. The ER2XR detail retrieval and resolution is significantly better. Bass is not as impactful but has way more control and definition on the ER2XR. Mids are balanced and cohesive with a natural aura on the ER2XR. The treble has a more natural and realistic presentation; not bright, harsh or intense like the A8. The depth and layering of the stage is more defined and specific on the ER2XR. The only thing that the A8 does better is stage width. Clear winner is the Etymotic ER2XR.
Moondrop Aria: A few things standout immediately when comparing these two. The A8 is significantly boosted in the upper mids/lower treble region which brings in a lot of brightness, harshness and intensity. The Aria is not as recessed in the mids as the A8 and is more balanced and cohesive. The bass of the Aria is fairly close in impact and control. The Aria has a more natural and realistic sounding tone and timbre. The Aria is a more pleasing listening experience.
Conclusion: In conclusion, is the Blon A8 Prometheus the supreme trickster that leads you down a fiery path of bewilderment or a forward thinker of music? Honestly, the A8 is the supreme trickster, who speaks of big hopes and dreams but leads you down an emotional, fiery path of musical bewilderment.
The Blon A8 Prometheus is the best offering from Blon when it comes to technicalities but not musicality. The A8 is a good IEM that I enjoy and can recommend. But, but, but it isn't my first recommendation. There are a lot of options available in the price point that do things better or different. The Blon A8 doesn't set itself apart from the pack, it just settles in with everyone else. The Prometheus never removes the thought that I am listening to an IEM. Even though the Prometheus looks different, it doesn't sound different. The Blon A8 is nothing special but isn't a bad choice. If you try the Blon A8, you'll probably enjoy it but I doubt you'd love it. I like it but I don't love it.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
DBS Tech Talk research and review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms and Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD600: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/best-audio-headphones-high-end-stereo-hifi-hd-600
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
Meze 99 Classic: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/meze-99-classics-walnut-gold-wood-headphones
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
(similar to:) https://drop.com/buy/drop-mrspeakers-ether-cx-closed-headphones?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
ADV. M5-12D: https://www.adv-sound.com/collections/pro-audio/products/m5-12d-universal
Tin Hifi T3: https://www.linsoul.com/collections/tin-hifi/products/tinhifi-t3
Tin Hifi T2+: https://www.linsoul.com/collections/tin-hifi/products/tinhifi-t2-plus
Tin Hfi T5: https://www.linsoul.com/products/tin-hifi-t5?_pos=1&_sid=a6d49043d&_ss=r
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Archel 2: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/archel-pro-amp-metal-case-b5ca9a41-69ed-4786-98b2-18f72ae911bf
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer :2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: Believe - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - Passenger 57 main title - percussion, bass, separation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - The Pine of the Appian Way - soundstage, imaging and separation
Houston Person - You are my Sunshine - tone and timbre
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