Hey there PA fam. Today we’re reviewing the Senfer DT8 quad driver earphone. This hybrid IEM has 2 Balanced Armature drivers and 2 Dynamic Drivers. It’s got a unique design, all metal construction, great sound and you get 2 cables in the box!
Excellent build quality
Comes with 2 different cables
Small footprint is lightweight and comfortable
Value for money
One of the cables is very ordinary
Female vocals slightly subdued
Transducer Principle: 2BA+2DD
Driver Diameter: Knowles 30042 BA+ Ø9.2mm Dual magnetic beryllium membrane
Impedance: 32 ohm
Frequency Response: 10Hz-35kHz
Lowest Power: 8MW
Cable Length: 1.2M
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.
Package and Accessories
The Senfer DT8 comes in a typical unassuming cardboard box. On the front is a large red 8 signifying the total driver count. Over on the back is a nice clear image of the earphone and some specifications.
Taking off the lid reveals a familiar sight, i.e. the earphones presented in a black foam insert. Beneath the foam is a smaller white box and after having done this process a few times (wink, wink) I’m fairly certain that the other accessories will be in there.
Hah, told you so! Okay, let’s take a look at the contents of the package. Here’s what you get:
Senfer DT8 earphones
1x pair of foam eartips
4x pairs of silicone eartips
1x cable with remote and microphone
1x cable without remote and microphone
User guide and warranty card
Build Quality and Design
When I first saw photos of the DT8 online. it was difficult to tell if the housings were metal or plastic. Rest assured though, they’re metal! These things have a really small footprint and are probably the smallest over-ear IEMs I’ve ever used.
There’s a grill on the faceplate with a screen behind it making this a semi-open earphone. The alloy housings have a very smooth, anodized finish and feel as good as they look.
Although the housings are lightweight, they have just enough heft to feel solid and robust or ‘premium’ if you will. On the inner side of the housings are Left and Right markers and near the base of the nozzle is a small vent.
The nozzle has a triple bore design which is quite unusual for an IEM in this price range. A nicely pronounced ridge on the nozzle ensures that your eartips are held securely in place. Overall I’m really happy with the build quality of the DT8 and I find it to be an attractive IEM as well.
So for whatever reason, Senfer have kindly provided 2 different cables in the box. The first one has an inline remote with a single button and microphone and is your typical generic rubbery type. It feels pretty strong but is full of kinks and is generally a bit springy and unruly. If you don’t have need of the microphone I suggest you swap to the other cable ASAP.
The second cable is a double-helix type with alternating silver and copper strands. It terminates in a straight metal plug that has some sturdy, clear plastic tubing acting as the strain relief.
There’s a tiny metal Y-split that you’ll hardly notice is even there (practical!) At the top end of the cable are transparent angled MMCX connectors that look great and add to the premium feel. If my memory serves me correctly, this is the highest quality cable I’ve seen on any IEM in this price bracket.
Comfort and Noise Isolation
Like little golden pearls the DT8’s small housings fit perfectly in my ears. The smooth, anodized finish, rounded edges and medium nozzle length all work together to make this an extremely comfortable earphone. The housings have a very low profile so they’re also good for lying down.
Noise isolation is pretty solid which is surprising considering its semi-open nature. I’d say it isolates almost as well as an average hybrid earphone and so is suitable for most scenarios. Noise leak is also fairly minimal. People would be unlikely to hear your music on public transport but they might be able to in a quiet office environment.
Gear used for testing includes the Sony NW-ZX300 and Acoustic Research AR-M20 on DAP duty. Mixed in with those was the excellent Earstudio ES100 Bluetooth receiver in partnership with my Android smartphone. On the desktop this time around was the Topping DX7 being fed Tidal HiFi from my Windows PC via USB.
One thing I learned early on about the DT8 is that is loves a bit of juice. It can be used with a smartphone but needs a good DAP or some additional amplification to really perform.
The Senfer DT8 has a bass-oriented signature with a warm tonality but above average separation. A full-bodied bass drives the smooth midrange and is kept lively by an airy and non-aggressive treble. The semi-open design of the housings expands the stage to maintain an open feeling despite its warmth.
The Dt8 has a deep, powerful and far-reaching bass. Its sub-bass is particularly impressive, reaching low with a menacing growl, similar to myself when anyone so much as glances at my slice of Nutella cheesecake.
The mid-bass is weighted and has a lot of impact. It’s not what I would call particularly punchy due to its body which gives it a meaty thickness. It has a natural decay and an unquestionable authority without needing to raise its voice too much.
The DT8’s midrange is full-bodied and smooth. The fullness of the mid-bass and lower mids ensure plenty of warmth but also make it a bit portly around the waistline. Male vocals sound rich and hearty while female vocals are more subdued because of the dip around 2.5kHz-3kHz.
It’s a little unusual to see such a dip in this area and whether or not it is intentional I can’t say. It certainly keeps the upper mids from becoming shouty and presents a sound that you can turn up loud without fear of any edginess but at the same time, it’s slightly lacking presence.
The lower treble peaks at around 4kHz after which it drops again and extends in a very linear fashion all the way up to 12kHz. This provides clarity and airiness without any sibilance or harshness. I wouldn’t call this particular tuning ‘bright’ but it does keep things light and prevents the weighted bass from becoming overbearing.
The stage presented by the DT8 isn’t as expansive as you might expect for a semi-open IEM. It’s a well-rounded space that feels like somewhere between a medium to large room.
Separation is quite good, as we should expect from a quad driver earphone and competent imaging makes it easy to picture the positioning of instruments although bass-heavy music can lessen its ability to do so.
Senfer DT8 vs RevoNext QT2 ($46 US)
These 2 IEMs have a remarkably similar signature from the sub-bass all the way to the lower treble. At this point, the DT8 takes a sudden dip while the QT2 rises steadily before they both peak at 4kHz.
The QT2’s vocals are just a little bit more recessed but it does have more presence, giving female vocals more vibrancy. The DT8 in contrast, smooth’s things out and makes them sound more sultry.
There’s a little more energy and a touch of sparkle in the QT2’s treble but it does tread the line of becoming too forward on occasion. In terms of build quality, these 2 IEMs are equally impressive with their metal housings, although if you factor in the cable the DT8 leaps ahead.
Senfer DT8 vs BQEYZ K2 ($48 US)
Here comes BQEYZ, the other new kid on the block with their K2 model. While both of these IEMs have a similar texture and thick meatiness in the mid-bass, the K2 has a more conservative quantity of sub-bass.
The K2 has more presence in its upper midrange making female vocals pop. It also has a little more juice in the top end of its treble, which in conjunction with the lighter sub-bass gives it a brighter overall tonality.
Both of these IEMs sport a superb build quality, each having smooth, anodized metal housings. However, the nozzle ridge is missing on the K2 and this small oversight means that your eartips might not be as secure as you would like.The K2’s earpieces are significantly larger too and might not be the best match for small ears.
Senfer DT8 vs KZ AS10
You might think the AS10 foolhardy for daring to enter this arena with plastic housings, somewhat like bringing a knife to a gunfight. However, I believe there is method to this madness for a couple of reasons. First of all, the plastic materials allow the AS10 to have its visually striking design.
Secondly, the AS10 is a BA only IEM. It doesn’t have the strength of a dynamic driver for its bass so the plastic housings allow the low frequency balanced armature driver to resonate within the shells and have a greater impact and increased authority.
The AS10 has less sub-bass but a larger mid-bass hump than the DT8. Where the DT8 dips in the lower treble the AS10 peaks, giving female vocals a boost. There’s also more energy in the AS10’s upper treble which acts to counterbalance its enhanced mid-bass warmth. KZ’s AS10 manages to 1-up the DT8 in separation and detail retrieval.
The Senfer DT8 is another great entry in the highly competitive space hovering around the $50 mark. There are now several high performing earphones available at this price point. such as the ones listed above and alternative models from the same brands.
If you’re looking for something with a sweet sub-bass, clear midrange and smooth treble the DT8 is definitely a worthy contender. If you’re stuck between choosing this or one of the other similarly priced offerings perhaps the DT8’s fantastic 2nd cable will tip the balance in its favour.