Summary: The new Sennheiser IE80 earphones are only a small upgrade over the equally competent IE8. Having said that, we can say it with complete confidence that these in-ear soldiers will appeal equally to the crowd that likes the 'neutral' sound, and to someone who wants more thump to the tunes. The trick is in the little screw dial that lets you tweak the sound to your liking. They might just dent your wallet though.
Pros: Extremely detailed sound reproduction, Powerful but taut bass, Consistent blocking out of ambient noise, Very comfortable to wear for long durations
Excerpt: When you think of German companies, what are some of the first things that come to mind? The terms that cross my mind are precision manufacturing, innovation, and sleek design—three phrases that couldn’t be any more accurate in describing the German firm Sennheiser and their approach to audio. What specifically calls these thoughts to mind are the firm’s flagship IE 80 earphones ($449.95) and the brilliant sound that they produce.
Excerpt: We like music. We like it even more when it is beamed to our ear-holes via super high end headphones. Until recently our set of Atomic Floyd SuperDarts have remained our go to kit for music listening. Sennheiser thinks they can replace them with the IE80s, the company’s top end set of in-ear audiophile headphones. Before we even get started on the IE80 review a crucial point needs to be made.
Summary: We were rather fond of the old Sennheiser IE 8 in-ears . Massively comfortable, well made and deeply, adjustably bassy, they were great for fluid tunes on a long commute. But it's possible they were just a touch too smooth, which could take some of the kick out of pumping tracks. Good, then, that Sennhiser has made some tweaks for its new IE 80 buds. They're just as comfy, bassy and well-crafted but they're also punchier, clearer and better balanced.
Conclusion: A la fois décevant sur certains styles et à l’aise sur d’autres, le IE80 me laisse globalement sur ma fin, et ne parvient pas à se hisser au niveau de performance des Westone UM3X ou autres EarSonics SM3. Utilisant quant à eux trois transducteurs de type « balanced armature » , ces derniers seront plus à mêmes de restituer des genres complexes.