Summary: Despite a slightly uncomfortable fixation we get good sound if you follow two rules – choose tips correctly and ensure that your source does not provide too heavy a sound.
From the abovementioned you can realize that I observed these rules. I cannot guarantee that you will be equally lucky. Beware of quick listening with an awful sound source. Understand that IE8 can be easily counterfeited, which is often practiced by Chinese manufacturers.
Conclusion: What a rollercoaster ride… first they sounded like the IEM-equivalents of the Ultrasone HFI-780 or Beyerdynamic DT770, or something like the Phonak PFE with additional subwoofer. Now they sound like the HD 650, like the Atrios with a decent tweeter, or the RE0 on steroids. Makes no sense to you? Well, get in line.
Pros: Rich, cohesive sound with realistic bass, precise midrange, and natural treble – one of the best sounding universal-fit IEMs, Very good build quality, comfortable to wear, User replaceable cable with excellent build quality and low cable noise, Sound character changes over time – if to the better or worse is up to one’s personal preferences
Cons: Low noise isolation for a high-end IEM, Huge but sub-par selection of included silicon and foam tips, Useless bulky aluminum case which adds to the IE 8’s price
Conclusion: Keep the world out and the sound in with the most powerful isolating earphones we’ve ever tried. One word of warning: crank up the low end too much and you may enter a parallel universe composed of pure thundering bass.
Pros: Ear canal headphones are always good for low frequencies but the IE 8s take rumble to a whole new level, driving uranium-heavy bass deep, deep into your skull. The tiny single-driver phones come with a special screwdriver to tune the bass even further, letting you adjust the Richter scale sonics from merely earth-rattling to megathrust tsumani power. They’re not too shabby at the high end either, with a crisp, forceful delivery that extracts detail from dance, rock an...
Cons: Don’t judge these Sennheisers on a single audition as, like hi-fi speakers, the dynamic drivers take a good few hours to ‘burn in’ and give their best performance. With everything else so fantastically well made, it’s strange to find a lowly nickel-plated jack on the other end of the cable – it can be prone to the odd crackle.
Excerpt: Sennheiser’s IE 8 ($449.95) is the firm’s flagship in-ear headphone and it’s a product I’ve wanted to hear ever since I got an introduction the IE8 and IE7 models at a Sennheiser tradeshow booth well over a year ago. At the time, the booth guide explained that while the second-to-the-top-of-the-line IE 7s and top-of-the-line IE 8s were both intended as top-tier performers, the IE 7 offered—deliberately—slightly brighter or more “treble rich” tonal balance overall, while...
Summary: The IE8s are a very interesting set of in-ears, because they combine a lot of different features sound wise. One of the things I really love about the IE8s is their expansive sound stage, it is quite simply the best I have ever heard from an IEM design. This makes them incredibly entertaining to listen to because the presentation is very life like, not completely left / right like with some in-ears.
Pros: Sound quality, Adjustable bass, ranging from plenty to insane amount wise, Midrange, Sound stage, Ergonomics, Cable solution handles microphonic noise very well, User replaceable cable, Good tip selection, Good bundle, Durable
Conclusion: The IE8 is a fantastic set of earphones if you like your sound warm, upfront and bassy. If you like your sound more neutral, but still full and rich, then the IE7 is a great alternative. It shares certain similarities with the IE8, big soundstage and huge bass presence for example, but is less upfront than the IE8 and more ‘polite’. By the way, both of these earphones (being dynamic drivers), require a burn-in period before they sound their best.
Pros: Powerful bass with rich midrange and smooth detailed treble, Unique bass-adjusting dial, Huge and immersive soundstage, Top quality detachable cable, Unique foam tips, no need to compress, Very comfortable to wear
Cons: Impractical carry case, Foam tips not currently for sale, Isolation not as good as traditional IEMs, Warmth tends to mask treble sparkle, No airline adapter, More expensive for those outside Europe