or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › In-Ear › Sennheiser IE80

Sennheiser IE80

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #8 in In-Ear

Posted

Pros: Amazing Sound Quality, Tunable Bass, Replaceable Cables, Great Micro-phonics, Excellent build quality, Looks, Value for Money, 2 Year Guarantee

Cons: The housing is a bit huge. If you seek isolation, the stock tips will not cut it for you.

Anyone aspiring to be an audiophile would have heard the name of these IEMs, they are one of the very best around and only a few are in the same league as this one.
The IE80 was released a few years ago, following the IE8 which was for a long time, the best that Sennheiser had to offer in this regard. Lets cut the introduction short.

This review is not an Audiophile perspective. Its just my experience after one years usage. While it may not give you side by side comparisons with rival products, it will give you an idea of what the IE80 truly is.


Short version of review:
------------------------
If I had to tell you about the IE80 in one line, then I would say, you will not be disappointed by these IEMs no matter what. Sound quality and build quality are top notch. Bass and mids are fixed from the IE8, which was the main complaint of certain users. Sound stage is excellent. Metallic finish is awesome. No complaints in any department. It retails at an MSRP of INR 29,990. But I got this from my dealer for around 19k, though I was seriously willing to pay an extra 5-6k just for getting it on time. My dealer convinced me to wait and it took a couple of weeks which was kind of a letdown. So do some research depending on your priorities for the money before you pull the trigger.
http://shop.sennheiserindia.com/ie-80.html 

 

 

Long version of review:
------------------------
Ear tips:
---------
The IE80 comes with several ear tips, 8 rubber and 2 foam pairs to be precise. Of those three pairs are double flange tips, which are great in the gym and other activities which involve movement and external noise. The foam tips are softer than what you get from most third party sellers, but they also reproduce the sound much more true to the fidelity of the recording itself. Individual preferences may vary though. There is no medium size foam tip, usually small, medium and large are the three standard sizes which are offered. But the small one is somewhat larger than the small rubber tips, so it fits me fine. The large one is the right size though. The foam tips are good for home use, where you won't be sweating and you can clean your ears before usage. The rubber ones are awesome. The dual flange tips give great isolation, albeit not like the foam tips, but they are pretty close. They offer much better grip inside the ears, and its hard to yank them off even no matter how hard your training routine may push you. This is very good when you are in the gym or other places. The regular rubber tips are very soft, and very comfortable. They also produce very high fidelity sound. The details are better than the foam tips, and dual flange tips. Another two pairs of tips were included, in which one is somewhere between medium and small, and the other one is large. These are pretty much useless, and its safe to discard them. They are very thick, and uncomfortable. I cannot see anyone using these tips under any circumstances.
----------------
Comfort of tips:
----------------
As for comfort, I would say that the default rubber tips are the best for every occasion. This is because they are very thin, and it almost feels like they don't exist. Unlike foam tips, which make you feel somewhat congested after extended use, the default rubber tips just blend in. Listening for hours on the go feels natural, and the audio detail is the best I have heard. Now you will read a lot of recommendations for hybrid tips, and what not from the people on the internet. Don't believe them, its a load of bull crap. I have personally used Sony Hybrids, and Comply Foams, and they just don't cut it. They lack the detail which is there in the default tips. Some of them just end up muddying the audio with a little extra bass. Stick to the default rubber tips if you wish the best quality audio. The foam tips provided come second, as they provide excellent attenuation of external sound and can take the shape of your ear. The dual flange tips are awesome too. I have never tried triple flange tips though.
---------------------------
Comfort of the IEM housing:
---------------------------
The wearing comfort of these IEMs can vary. That's because the housing is a little bigger than the average IEM size. One good thing is that they are over the ear design, which is great. Even the newly launched IE800 isn't over the ear, so its less secure than these IEMs when it comes to outdoor activities. The large housing size means that they aren't pillow friendly. But its not that big a deal. I can easily fit them inside my bike helmet and ride comfortably and without adjusting them from time to time. The traffic sound is so much lesser, which means I can ride while listening to quality music.
--------------
Micro-phonics:
--------------
Micro-phonics is an important factor of IEMs and I am pleased to say that its very much controlled in these IEMs. So much so that I barely hear the sound of the wind while travelling at about a 60kmph on the bike with the IE80s in the helmet. Going above 100 though, it becomes a little audible because of the wind on the helmet, which means you just have to crank the volume up a little. Please note that the IEM itself is enclosed in the helmet, or else you won't be able to hear much over 60kmph because of the housing which has to cut the air. As if that weren't enough to take care of the interference, Sennheiser have been kind enough to include a clip which attaches the IEM to your shirt or clothing. This reduces the interference caused by the cables even more, not to mention the added support for external activities. You will never be bothered by accidental touches of the cable while listening to that crucial part of your favorite song
--------------
Build quality:
--------------
The built quality of these IEMs is just fantastic. The IE 80's certainly stand out when it comes to looks. A brushed metallic finish to the outside housing gives it a classy look. The cables themselves feel very strong and sturdy. Much different than the ones from the CX series from Sennheiser. The 3.5mm pin area is well fortified, so its going to last pretty long. If that weren't enough, you can change the cables as and when you feel the need to. I have not tried this though, so no comment on this area. The place where the tips attach, is covered by a metallic mesh, which is pretty much standard in all IEMs, but I wish even the tips had these covers like the IE800 tips.
-----
Case:
-----
The case provided, is much the same case as the rest of the IE series, nothing special here. Just a hard plastic case with a metallic finish. The case has a two pairs of tips. So when you open the package right away, you will notice few tips missing, which will be hidden in the case. This provision is great, because you can change tips on the go as per the situation, if you keep your case with you. It also has a ear tip cleaning tool, with which you can remove the dirt from the housing and ear tips. This tool can also serve as the screw for the bass knob on the housing, about which I will talk later. There is another small compartment to the back side which has a small silica gel pouch to get rid of any moisture from within the case. It has a magnet in the bottom as its opening & closing mechanism. The only gripe I had with it is that its a little big to fit comfortably in your jeans pocket. You'd have to put it in your bag or your side pocket if you have one.
--------------
Sound quality:
--------------
As for audio quality, this IEM has a very large sound stage. It feels like a huge place inside your ears. No matter what kind of music I listen to, its very easy to be awed by the sound they produce. The bass and mids are perfect. Bass is pretty tight and the mids are lush with plenty of warmth. Treble is amazing, with no sibilance even at the highest volume. This is an awesome thing, because you get to enjoy they cymbals and clangs better with absolute detail. Many IEMs especially BA driver IEMs are better in this regard, but they produce sibilance, which can be quite a spoil sport. With the IE80, you can't go wrong. Play anything with it and you are guaranteed to be happy with it. These IEMs are only 16 OHMs and it doesn't take a lot to drive it. A dedicated amp would add little to no benefit over the source. You can easily drive it with your mobile phone and MP3 player. I have no complains with the Sansa Clip Zip, which is a perfect companion for the gym. The volume levels are pretty high for an IEM, and clarity is maintained even at the highest volumes. Instrument separation is good too. Pleas note that this is just the starting point in the audiophile territory, its bigger brothers HD800 & HD650 can do much better when paired with an amp. This is just a portable solution for audiophiles who don't want to lose much while travelling or at the gym.
-----------
Bass knobs:
-----------
There are bass knobs on each of the earpieces which can be adjusted using the earpiece cleaning tool provided in the case. Note that its best to leave them at the lowest level, which is the factory setting of these IEMs because they produce natural sound close to original. Increasing it will change the bass response. It can be useful if you are getting different volume levels of bass in each of the earpieces due to the fitting provided by the ear tips. No two ears are alike and the difference can be quite a bit. Another scenario where this can be useful is when the source itself is giving out unbalanced sound. The last case is when your IEM itself is losing balance, then you can correct it to some degree using this knob. Anyways, as I said before, its best to keep it at the lowest setting.
----------
Isolation:
----------
The isolation provided is pretty decent. The housing is well sealed, and the cables have a good resistance to micro-phonics. So there is not much to complain about. But people who are used to other brands may be dissatisfied, as they may be used to the fit and isolation provided by other IEMs. Its not a deal breaker though. You can always replace the tips any time you want. Sony's hybrid tips will give you the best balance between comfort, isolation and sound quality. Comply is not for everyone. Firstly I dislike the the foams which get all oily after a few months of usage. They also give you this congested feel if the foam is too thick. If its too thin, then the bass and isolation suffers. Well I can go, but to say the least, Sennheiser's package which includes 10 pairs of ear tips will satisfy most of the buyers of the IEM.
------------------------------------
Durability (cables, housing & case):
------------------------------------
The cables are awesome. They tangle much lesser than the cheaper models, and are much more durable. The rubber is made from a much more durable compound, and there has been no degradation after extended use. Usually, cables can harden or crack over the course of a year, and extended usage under all elements. But these cables can take anything you throw at them. They are even much better than even the Kevlar cables used in the CX680/685 etc sport editions. 

The housing itself looks pretty much the same like it used to when it was new. Its very solid even after so many drops and bumps. The brownish paint has now become all shiny and polished, with a little of it beginning to fade away. The metallic part has a lot of small scratches, but none of them are substantial enough to be an eye sore. Overall, from a distance of a couple of feet, you can't say its much different from a new one at all.

The case itself is very durable with a very solid plastic construction, but the same cannot be said about the metallic plates to the outside. Once they take a beating it becomes a dent and looks distorted. But apart from this minor problem, the case is pretty much nuke proof, and will keep your IE80s safe no matter what you throw at them.
------------------
Under rough usage:
------------------
After using it for a year without the case, and in sweaty jeans pants which hardy had room along with bike keys and mobile phone not to mention the music player; going the gym for five days a week, I have to say that I am impressed. Many a times the phone/player slipped from my hands and ended up bungee jumping with my ears as a support. At times I have closed the zip to my jacket without realizing that the player was still hooked to the IE80. After a good inspection, I can confirm that there are no major cuts or damage to the cables anywhere. There is no other IEM which has shown little to no change in these conditions. I used to ride in the rains of Mumbai every day with the headphone inside the helmet. The rains here last for about 4 months. These IEMs have lasted 2 monsoons, which is an amazing feat. The levels of humidity and stress which these IEMs have undergone are much more than my other IEMs because these are my primary IEMs. A couple of months ago, I felt a slight change in one of the channels, and it keeps varying between 1-4% difference in balance. Some times the imbalance was to the right and sometimes to the right. I guess something went wrong with the cables. So I got them to Sennheiser Service center, who promptly replaced them for me. I have no idea how they might perform under the cold climates, as I have only taken it to cold places once and I believe 0 degrees Celsius is by no means a difficult thing for the IE80. But in the heat and humidity department it has managed to exceed my expectations. As per my usage, the average time an IEM lasts is usually a couple of months, before something goes wrong big time. But they completed a year without a problem, and even the issue which arose after usage was probably because of cable failure as it is expected under these conditions.

In one line, THESE IEMs ARE TOUGH, and they are built to last a lifetime if used correctly.
------------------------------
Sennheiser Warranty & Service:
------------------------------
Please make sure to keep your bill safe. Even a soft copy will do. So its advisable to take a snapshot of the bill and save it on your computer just in case. On producing the bill, I was given a replacement for the IE80 in a week. This can vary depending on the stocks with them. I remember I had to wait 3-4 weeks for the CX550. Other ones like the CX180 will be replaced in a day or so. If you're really lucky, you might get an upgrade instead of a replacement. Damage caused by accidents are not covered under the warranty, but I guess it all depends on how you explain it to them. The main problem which can come on rough usage is the change in the balance of the sound where the right ear piece volume doesn't match the left. They never make a fuss about replacing the product unlike other companies which try their best to avoid a replacement with a stupid explanation. Anyways, it has always been a pleasure dealing with Sennheiser. They offered me tea when I was waiting with them. Good luck to you too.
-----------------
Value for money:
-----------------
Are they worth the price? Hell yeah they are. You can use them to your hearts content, plus you are also covered with a guarantee. Awesome sound quality under extreme conditions and good build quality etc, etc, so many good things going for one IEM. How can I say it ain't worth the price? Even if I used it for about 2 years only, the average comes to about 800 Rupees per month, or about $14 a month, which isn't much considering everything that Sennheiser offers, not to mention the tea they give me every time I visit the service center. I would gladly pay a little extra, that is how satisfied I am. All of this would be pointless if the sound quality could not back it up, but its on par with the best you can get in this range. Go for it by all means, you will not be disappointed. When you pay about 20k for a IEM, you expect a lot in return, and the IE80 delivers it in spades.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As a final note, I would like to say that, Sennheiser is more than a brand, it makes you love the music you listen to. #Respect
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted

Pros: Great, neutral sound balance

Cons: Very sensitive to correct position in ears/pad choice

I count myself really lucky. I was convinced that these phones were too treble-ey and didn't have good bass. I tried some after market foam pads and the bass just came pouring out of them. This led me to experiment further and found that the black foam pads that came with them gave a very neutral, but full sound. I am very glad that I didn't write a review before because it would have been unfair. 

I used the IE80's to compare a Meridian Explorer DAC to a AK120 DAP and I must say the differences between these high quality sources was immediately apparent. You can hear very deeply into the recording with both. Great IEM's. 

Before I got these sorted out I was fitted for the UE Reference Monitors. If I'd had this kind of sound out of the box I might not have bothered. Although I'm still very curious about and looking forward to the customs.

Posted

Pros: Bass, soundstage

Cons: Fit, mids

The retail package for the IE 80 is one of the most impressive IEM packages I've seen. The IEMs are nicely presented and the brushed aluminium box looks very sleek.

Opening the box confirms this with a the box despite being plastic with aluminium faceplates seems very well constructed and more than adaquetely protects the IEMs themselves although the L shaped 3.5mm connector can be difficult to fit into the case. The included tip selection is very wide. However for me, this is where the problems began.

The tips selection, while wide, is still subpar in design, with many of the buds themselves seems to be designed for freakish ear canals, a fact not helped by the wide nozzle design of the IE series. This made it impossible to get anything approximating a decent fit with any of the included tips. However, since I own a fairly large number of IEMs I made do with some medium Sony Hybrid greys from a pair of MH1cs which stretched over the much wider nozzle of the IE80. It should also be noted that the IE80 provides almost no isolation at all.

Onto sound: With the stock tips, the sound was fairly decent, the large(for an IEM) soundstage remeniscent of the older IE8 is present, imaging is good and the highs are detailed but non fatiguing and the lows are strong and impactful. However the mid range was muddied significantly by the low end, which was extremely disappointing in a £200 pair of IEMs. The highs themselves while technically accurate, left much to be desired in terms of musicality and I found them quite dry and boring, lacking the slight sparkle of other IEMs in the price range(or below) such as the Phonak Audeo PFE112 or the Shure SE425.
Fitting the previously mentioned Sony Hybrid Grey tips on the IE80 attenuated the highs and closed the coundstage noticeably, resulting in a darker smaller sound. I found the trade off for a secure fit and the greater isolation quite favourable however.

Looking on head-fi I came across the tape mod and auvivo tips. The tape mod involves covering the bass ports with tape. This has the effect of removing the midbass bloat that muddies the midrange and tightens the bass up. Depending on what setting you had the bass port on piror to the tape the IE80 shift from a bass centric to a mid centric IEM, which may not be for all listeners. The Auvio tips are Sony Hybrid clones with a central bore width that fits the IE80 wide nozzle naturally and as such doe not reduce the soundstage and attenuate the highs like the normal Sony Hybrids. Similar, but for me an inferior fit are the silicone tips included with JVC IEMs.

In conclusion, the IE80 is a competant IEM, but is highly flawed in it's stock form. Due to the many issues I have with it, I find it difficult to recommend at the £200 price mark it typically sells for in the UK. If you do find youself enjoying the soundof the IE80, but hating the fit, it may be worth investing £120 in some custom silicone eartips from ACS.

Stock sound:
Highs: 7.5/10
Mids: 5/10
Lows: 8/10
Stock Fit: 2/10

Tape Modded sound:
Highs: 7.5/10
Mids: 7/10
Lows 8/10

Posted

Pros: Strong bass, fairly represented vocals, wide soundstage for an IEM, replaceable cables and tips.

Cons: Veiled on the Top end and can sound recessed depending on what headphones/IEMs you listen to beforehand.

*Disclaimer - This is my first review on Head-Fi so please go easy on me.

 

The Sennheiser IE80 is the first set of high-end audio gear above 300$. I bought them second hand from an online store. My impressions will be different than most as I was able to pick these up for around 110$. I have owned these IEMs for around 7 months. I used them for listening to FLACs on my computer and Spotify Premium on my Nexus 6, occasionally with a digizoid zo2.

 

Build:

 

The IEMs feel pretty solid. The IE80s are built entirely out of plastic and feel like they can take a beating. The IE80s will scratch and scuff if handled poorly but the only thing that has suffered substantial damage was the cable. Speaking of the cable, it is horrendous. The cable is a very thing, very firm and feels poor. Luckily the cable is replaceable and many replacements can be found on amazon and eBay. The cable that I used to replace my cable is here.

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-Four-core-twisted-silver-Upgrade/dp/B00MTB7678?ie=UTF8&keywords=sennheiser%20ie80&qid=1461658640&ref_=sr_1_12&sr=8-12

 

The tips that the IE80s came with are also sub par. Many of the silicon and foam tips that Sennheiser provided are either uncomfortable or just don't fit. I since swapped the eartips with comply foam tips linked here.

 

http://www.amazon.com/ZNARI-Earbud-Foam-Tips-Medium/dp/B015K33ZYE?ie=UTF8&keywords=znari&qid=1461658786&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

 

Overall, the accessories are very bad; however, the overall build of the IE80s are pretty solid and many would be satisfied with the IEMs.

 

Comfort:

 

I don't personally enjoy using IEMs for prolonged periods of time as they always end up irritating my ear canal. I definitely prefer Over Ear headphones but nothing beats the IEM for portability, My main purpose for these are my commutes to and from school and sometimes 1-2 hour breaks in my day. With the original accessories, my ears would start to hurt after 45 minutes but witht he new cable and ear tips I can go for around 3 hours without discomfort. These are the most comfortable IEMs I've used but in my opinion, they don't match the comfort of Over Ears.

 

Sound:

 

As said by literally every other reviewer on Head-Fi, Sound is the most important aspect of a headphone or IEM. This is all my personal opinion and my own impressions. To me the IE80s sound like classically Sennheiser. I listen to other IEMs and Headphones on a daily basis and these sound as if there is a blanket on my music. When listening to "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" by the Offspring, the band sounds as if there is a partition between you and the music. I haven't listened extensively to the HD600 or HD650 but from what I heard, it sounds similar to the Sennheiser veil where the highs are rolled off and recessed. Aside from this the sound is pretty nice.

 

While the Highs lack sparkle and excitement, the rest of the signature is pretty nice. Coming from many consumer headphones and IEMs these are the most pleasant set of IEMs I have listened to. Bass is extended low and is very well represented. As a person born in 1995, I listen to a lot of music like Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Hardwell and many more. Tracks with a lot of bass sound freaking killer. I always find myself dancing to the music or nodding my head and tapping my foot. If you look for bass, these will not dissapoint.

 

Mids in the IE80s are not super forward but they are not recessed either. The best way I can describe the Mids is that the Mids are like the awkward person at a party in the corner. They are there but the attention is never on them. Voices are pleasant and sound great coming from an IEM with a V sound signature. Anyone coming from the M50x or other V shaped headphones will find the voices to be full and pleasant. If you're a Mid head like Quinn Nelson, then look somewhere else. I'd like to reiterate that the mids are not supper recessed but they will not shine above the rest of the track.

 

Soundstage on the IE80s is above average for IEMs. you can definitely hear like a 6 inch room around your head. When listening to orchestral tracks from Walt Ribeiro, I can tell where the instrumental sections are but I can't distinct the individual instruments. If you want a wide spacious environment, I have no idea what you are doing looking into IEMs in the first place but the IE80s have the widest soundstage in an IEM that I have heard.

 

Conclusion:

 

Overall the IE80s are a good pair of IEMs for the budding audiophile. The veiled highs and blanket over the sound make them very pleasant for someone who isn't accustomed to a flat signature. Switching between my LCD-X and IE80s, I can definitely hear the difference; however, the LCD-X cost close to 4x the amount. I am very pleased with the IE80s and I haven't had the desire to purchase a new high-end IEMs yet. Maybe in the future I may sell these to buy something like the Shure SE535 or the Earwerkz Supra. I will note don't buy these for full price. Amazon sells them for <300$. Thank you for reading my review and please be nice, it's my first review :)

Posted

Pros: Gorgeous rumbling bass; wide soundstage; natural laid-back sound; good detail; build quality; replaceable cable; comfort; fun tunable bass dial

Cons: Slightly invasive bass; average isolation; not the best pace; connector would cause channel imbalance

Design/durability: very good build quality as (almost) always on behalf of Sennheiser. The earpiece with its brushed metal faceplate is very good looking and has a sturdy 'unibody' feel to it. Finish is not plasticky and seems durable. The slightly thick cable feels good too, pretty stiff, doesn't tangle, microphonics are pretty low. The proprietary two-pin connector of the detachable cable feels very sturdy as opposed to most MMCX connectors used nowadays on the IEM market. And also, the bass dial is fairly unique and fun to play with. Update: the connector/pins are causing occasional channel imbalance. Not as reliable as I though it would be.

 

Fit/comfort: the IE 80 is a 'semi' in-ear that doesn't sit deep in the ear canal. Comfort is thus pretty good and slightly better than other conventional in-ears. These Senns can be worn around the ear (which I do) or straight down by simply switching the left and right earpieces. Very handy. Stock tips aren't great in terms of comfort though, I'd recommend that you find some others (I'm using B&W silicon tips).

 

Isolation: as expected, not a 100% in ear, thus definitely below average compared to competition. Maybe 16-20dB noise isolation with stock silicon tips, which is enough for daily commute, but nothing more. Westone, Shure, Etymotic designs all isolate way better, no surprise here. On par with my HD-25 with velour pads. I wouldn't use these on a plane. Isolation seekers, look elsewhere!

 

Sound: the IE 80 is one of these few 'audiophile' IEM that can impress the casual listener almost instantly. They sound fun, lively, and wide

 

The bass is the highlight of these earphones, they are big and beautiful. There is a very distinct hump in the mid bass, whether the bass knob is at its maximum or minimum. I usually set it on 1-2 which I think is appropriate for most genres. Bass impact is pretty good and punchy, however not as punchy as with armature designs, although the body of the bass is much better and natural sounding than on the latter. It is meaty and there's an impressive rumble. And the bass extends pretty low. I'd describe the IE 80's bass as a big piece of steak with tons of sauce: not very healthy but oh, so good from time to time.

 

Mids are definitely not the IE 80's main asset. They're smooth and refined but a tad recessed compared to the rest of the spectrum, and I found them to be slightly veiled on some complex tracks where vocals play an important role (some Hans Zimmer sound track and Enya songs). Fine but not great.

 

Highs can be sibilant at times depending on tips, but are overall very well extended and pretty smooth. There's no real sparkle, just a nice shimmer that is more than adequate on most tracks. The most demanding strings tracks were no difficulty for the IE 80.

 

Now the soundstage of these is really good for an in-ear design. It extends a few feet outside of your head and has a very airy and organic feel to it. Instrument separation is fine. I found the wide soundstage particularly convenient for orchestral works, it really makes them stand out. Resolution is great, but as expected it can be slightly inferior to some of the competition's balanced armature designs. Still, the level of detail is pretty astonishing. And last but not least, the big advantage of the dynamic driver here is that it sounds less 'mechanical' and cold than its BA counterparts. The result is a more organic and musical presentation of music, which is definitely pleasant.

 

Bottom line: I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth the IE 80 can sound. They're musical, warm and airy, comfortable, and perfect for casual listening. A good travel companion for my ER-4PT.

 

 

 

 

Posted

Pros: Sound Quality, Build Quality, Accessories

Cons: Stock Cable, Tunable Bass

Introduction:

 

The Sennheiser IE80. I would like to start with stating that I am not an audiophile. However, for the past years I have had my fair share of headphones/earphones and I have been involved with the audio world for some time now. Also, this is my first real review so please take it easy if I'm not as descriptive or accurate as other members on Head-Fi. My primary source when listening to the IE80 is the combination of my MacBook Pro (320kbps to 2600kbps audio files) and my Fiio E10K Olympus 2 DAC/AMP. I will be covering topics such as accessories, build quality and the comfortability of these earphones. I will not go in depth about the sound quality because I have yet to feel experienced enough to share my opinions. Not just on these headphones specifically but audio in general, there are in fact actual audiophiles and professionals on this forum, go to them for sound quality, they know what they're talking about.

 

Accessories:


 

Sennheiser includes a lot of accessories with the IE80 and I enjoy that. The IE80 come with not only silicon eartips but also Comply Foam and double/triple flanged eartips. Sennheiser also generously included a very nice carrying case, a cleaning tool and a good clothing clip. Here's a list of all the accessories.

 

The silicon comes in sizes: S,M,L,XL. 

The Comply Foam comes in sizes: S,L.

The double/triple flanged comes in sizes: S,M,L.

1 carrying case with an included dry salt packet (i will get to that).

1 cleaning tool which also doubles as the tool required to tune the bass.

1 clothing clip

1 pair of cable sleeves

 

The carrying case as mentioned, is very nice. The top and bottom is crafted of aluminum and the rest is made of high quality plastic. The bottom has 4 rubber feet to stay off of the different surfaces you'll be resting it on. The case closes magnetically and on the inside, is a fitted molding to place the headphones in. The earphones are very well protected. Unfortunately, there is nothing to do with the wire besides wrapping it around a certain portion of the case, this causes memory in the wire for when you want to use them. The case also allows you to carry two different eartips and the cleaning tool with you. Onto the dry salt packet, there is a door latch on the back and inside is where you can place a dry salt packet. A dry salt packet will absorb any moisture within the case, in other words it controls the humidity. This will keep the headphones well protected if you are either storing them for longer periods of time or are in a humid environment.

 

Build Quality:


 

The build quality of the headphones is also quite good. The housing is made of a high quality plastic but they do house an aluminum insert, this insert faces outwards when in your ear. On the aluminum insert of both earbuds, is a laser etching of the Sennheiser logo, along with the bass dial. The cable as I had mentioned earlier, can have memory at times. When I first got the IE80, the cable memory was very bad, the earphones would often fall out of my ears because the cable would fall over the top of my ears. With some time and use, this went away but after storing them in the carrying case (or even winding them up), there is memory for about an hour. 

 

Comfortability:


 

I find these earphones very comfortable. Like most high end earphones or in-ear monitors, they feature the 'over and under' cable design. The way you wear these is to have the cable come from behind your ears, and essentially, inserting the earbud upside down. I highly recommend using the cable choke, as it helps keep the wire behind your ear and makes the experience much more comfortable. With the right eartips and the correct fit, these are EXTREMELY comfortable. I am able to wear these for hours if need be. I also wear these to the gym, they have a very solid fit and don't move around one bit. And I don't even use the included cable sleeves.

 

My Recommendation:


 

My opinion is that these are excellent earphones. If your a fan of the infamous Sennheiser signature sound then these are all for you. Now that I have broken mine in, they sound good on just my computer, my computer and my dac/amp and even just on my smartphone streaming Pandora One. They take some time to sound excellent but be patient -- it's worth it. As far as the full retail price, I have noticed they are random sales on Amazon for the IE80, I believe they have gotten all the way down to $260, thats a really really good price point for these so if you ever see that sale and are even just interested -- grab them, you can always return them lol.

 

Since I had forgotten to mention (my apologies), the tunable bass port doesn't quite do justice for me. To my ears, it only gives the mid-bass a slight boost. It doesn't provide a drastic enough difference considering this earphone is advertised so much for having this feature. Also, isolation is quite good as well. You cannot hear much at moderate volumes so if your loud listener, you won't be able to hear a thing. I would have included this into the review but without a sound quality section, it wouldn't have made sense anywhere else.

 

I hope my first written review has helped or informed some people, I'd love to receive some feedback from fellow Head-Fi'ers through the private messages. Thanks!

 

Posted

Pros: Good soundstage, great build and durability.

Cons: Mid bass.

Package: 

 

Nice looking but not really so convenient hard case with tight space for the cable. Most of the tips are useless; There are no mid size foam tips (that most people use), just large and small foam and silicon tips are in all three sizes but others are really useless (odd shape, no isolation or extremely uncomfortable). I found ear hooks to be useless as well and not so gentle on the cable since the critical point of break, where the cable connects to an earphone, is loose. There is also a nice cleaning tool with screw on the other side that is used to adjust bass.

 

 

 

Build:

 

Just great! Looks great and feels good and they seem to be very durable, the first earphones that lasted me over a year (and still lasting). Cable didn't look so good to me at first but it is very durable. When it's cold outside it stiffens up so you can't fold the cables over the ear nicely but in just few minutes it becomes softer thanks to your skin temperature. Cables are also replaceable which is great!

 

 

 

Sound:

 

When I've read reviews about IE80 I expected them to be REALLY bassy but they are fine. When everyone was saying for bassheads I thought they would have that deep sub bass ''feeling'' but it's not exactly like that. They have good amount of sub bass and punch but there is a lot of mid bass (~100-200 Hz, can't exactly tell). Also that mid bass is the main problem and the reason why I didn't rate them higher than 4 stars. It veils the whole mid range, which makes them much less clear earphones than they could be (tho clarity is on decent level); Some songs, especially vocal jazz (female vocals with somewhat deeper voices), just sound bad because of that, it's really not enjoyable with so much mid bass 'veil' or how should I call it.

Isolation is not as bad as I expected when I've read reviews here but not the best as well. Foam tips can improve isolation but it increases further that problem with mid bass so I didn't find them to be a good solution.

Also IE80 have adjustable bass, just like the IE8, you can increase the bass with small screw that is also used as a cleaning tool but it is useless in my opinion. On minimum it has too much mid bass and if you increase the bass it will become impossible to listen to some genres (forget about vocal jazz, harp, rock with lot of bass guitar, anything with bass guitar for that matter if you turn the knob to increase the bass). I've read here about the 'tape mod' where you put the tape on the knobs that let the air in and mid bass problem should be solved - well wasn't exactly solved but it did help a bit, reduces bass overall which lead to clearer sound and then foam tips are much saner choice than before.

I liked the highs, there is that sparkle and they sound fun to me, maybe not so realistic all the time but they are not too harsh or sibilant. 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

Overall good sounding IEM with great build quality and not so useful accessories with one problem that can be a deal breaker for many - mid bass that veils mids, making them sound less clear and not so enjoyable to listen on certain songs. If you like that kind of sound and don't mind it than it is a very good choice (after all they were top range Sennheiser at the time, can't be that bad :), but if you are sensitive to it and listen to vocal music (especially with deep voice) you might want to skip these. Price was too high at 450$ (would be 3.5 stars) but now at 300-350$ it's a pretty fair deal comparing to the competition in this price range. 

Posted

Pros: Massive Soundstage - crystal clear sound

Cons: Weak in Bass - though adjustable they are too heavy if pushed too high

I love these little beasts. I pair them with my goto player the Colorfly C3 (Hidden Gem) -

 

If you have a good source track these little  iem's shine - the sound is pristine and crystal clear - They have a lovely wide soundstage way out of proportion to their size; The Bass is a little weak but the high and mids shine. The only downsides to this are poor isolation (fixed by swapping for better buds) and the weak bass - but even turning the adjustable side bass boost dials just muddies the presentation a little. Then again I'm not really into tracks with too heavy a low frequency range preferring brighter sounds - I can wear these all day long and not even notice them - thoroughly recommended especially if you swap out the stock cables for custom wire which can gain you at least a 10% improvement in audio quality

 

 If paired with my Fiio X5 and a 192/444 classical album they sound stunning 

Posted

Pros: great sound quality, great detail and clarity

Cons: hard to find the correct positioning in the ear

This review is for someone looking for a good pair of in-ear headphones after using over-ear phones; that's the situation where I am coming from at least, as I have been using Sennheiser's HD598 for some years now.

 

I can appreciate the professionalism and expertise that is apparent in the IE80, The sound quality is great and there is a lot of detail and clarity to be heard in the music.

The bass is not too overwhelming at least when adjusting the bass dial to the lower end, and that's how I like it. The treble/high end is not too bright or tiresome. However, HD598 has a more elegant overall sound, it's somehow cleaner and with a wider soundstage. This is of course due to the difference in the basic nature of these two kinds of earphones. Using an over-ear phone like HD598, no part of the headphone touches the ear itself, the sound comes to the ear canal from a small distance. With in-ear phones, the situation is of course different. The earbuds touch the ear canals and produce the sound right there. For me, that reduces the comfort somewhat and makes the sound more "metallic" (in lack of a better term), and less "ethereal". This is of course a general issue with in-ear vs over-ear phones (for me), not a shortcoming of IE80 in particular. 

 

What is a particular problem for me with IE80, however, that it is difficult to find the ideal positioning in the ear. I have found that if I wear them like supposed to (with the cord over the ear), they don't stay deep enough inside but come a bit out, and consequently a lot of the bass/lower end is lost. I have noticed that if I let the cords hang freely, and not behind the ears, they touch the ear canals in a way that the bass is heard ok, but at the same time the wearing comfort is diminished somewhat, and the cords, protruding from the ears, so to speak, might look a bit funny. 

 

I purchased the IE80 to have a pair that I can walk/jog/exercise with, something that HD598 is very clumsy for. The above-mentioned issues, a lot of which have to do with in-ear phones in general. have anyway made me consider purchasing on-ear phones, and not in-ear ones, for exercise etc. This is a personal preference and doesn't have anything to do with any possible shortcomings of IE80 per se - like I said in the beginning, they are of great quality and have few, maybe no faults, but probably in-ear phones are just not for me. 

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, INCREDIBLE sound, additional earbuds

Cons: Ruined every pair of ear-buds I've owned uptil now. I'm never going back

I just saved up money and purchased my first pair of Audiophile class anything. I've done my homework and on nothing but the regular laptop output using Foobar and listening to Santana's Samba pa Ti..... I'm Crying!

 

I've never experienced this kind of....immersion in sounds before. I've been listening to this song all my life... but this is the first time I've felt the music. The only worthy pair of cans I own that can be used as a comparison are my DT770 pros (32 ohm), but this.... This is a whole new world.

 

I've never been brought to tears over the overwhelming quality of music before. And this pair of IE80s did just that.

 

Is THIS why you audiophiles spend so much money on good equipment? xD WOW

Sennheiser IE80
Description:

The IE 80 features high-fidelity stereo sound and high noise attenuation with an enhanced design. Encased in a brushed-metal housing and rugged, interchangeable cable, it is built for maximum robustness and flexibility. The IE 80 also features a unique technology that enables sound-tuning of bass response. A world of premium audio awaits your discovery.

Details:
DetailValue
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › In-Ear › Sennheiser IE80