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Sennheiser IE800

85% Positive Reviews
Rated #26 in Universal Fit


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Pros: Amazing soundstage, incredible detail, deep impactful bass, very comfortable even for long periods, easy to drive, sound good even at low volume!

Cons: Price

After reading glowing reviews of both of these in ear monitors I was still unable to decide which one would be right for me so I bought both, first the Shure and a few weeks later the Sennheiser. I already own the JH Audio 16 Pro, Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro, HiFi Man HE-500, Sennheiser  HD 650, Shure SRH940 among others. My music files are all in FLAC format and I play them through an Astell & Kern AK120 and also used a Samsung Galaxy S4 for comparison purposes. To boost the signal for some of my headphones I use an ALO Rx Mk2, a Schitt Lyr, and a JDS Labs O2 headphone amplifier.


I begin this review with the following disclaimer, since we all have different tastes in music and how we like it to sound, there is no universal "right" way for all music and sound gear to sound. I will try to convey how I like my music to sound and why I preferred one of these fine IEM's over the other though they are both excellent in their own right. I used to work in a recording studio in NY where I was taught that it was our job to capture the sound from the room behind the glass or auditorium as if it was a picture. Get as much detail as you possibly can without altering the overall sound signature while eliminating as many artifacts as possible that could distort or mask some of what we are attempting to preserve. So, I prefer my music to sound as close to "being there" as possible, I want to hear everything that was on the original recording with nothing added and nothing taken away. This of course is a difficult goal to achieve as there are always sonic imperfections inherent in music reproduction so we all make compromises when purchasing gear.


The standout area for the IE800 is what I call the "presence" area - that part of the lower treble that makes voices and some instruments sound more (or less) "alive". Being a vented, open-back design, the IE800 have a wider more convincing soundstage than the SE846. They have 2 vents, one is for the sound and the second one is to equalize the air between the eardrum and the outer ear, so the pressure goes away after you insert them. Although they are open backed in-ear headphones, don’t worry as the people around you can’t hear what you hear due to the small size of the vents. Yet, it is their unconventional single dynamic driver design coupled with their vented ceramic non-resonant enclosures that gives them their remarkably spacious soundstage especially for an in-ear model. They are breathtakingly clean with deep, extended, punchy bass response which never impinges on or overrides the rest of the music which to me is amazing. On the high end, the treble sparkles with clarity and incredible detail without a trace of stridency or harshness. That said, the mids, one of the strongest points of this headphone, are excellent  and all the instruments and voices have a good, natural and well textured presentation which surprised me given how deep the bass presentation can be when it is present in the original source material. Up until I listened to the IE 800's, I felt that the HE-500 Planar magnetic headphones from HiFiMan coupled to the Schitt Lyr headphone amp had the widest, most realistic soundstage I had ever heard - not so anymore!


Contrasting the IE 800 with the Shure SE846, I found their bass to be somewhat exaggerated especially in the mid-bass region which in my opinion overwhelmed the midrange at times. They reminded me of the Ultrasone PRO 900 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones  that I used to own but sold because although they had powerful bass, it came at the expense of the upper midrange. The other area where I really found the Shure's to be lacking was in the treble, especially in upper end. Compared to the Sennheiser's they sounded veiled or muffled however, before I actually had the Sennheiser's, I didn't realize how much the Shure were lacking. As I already own and frequently use the JH Audio 16 Pro IEM's, I compared them to the Shure and there too, the Shure came up short. The JH-16 Pro, also a multi-armature IEM blew them away for just a few hundred dollars more however, both have that "congested" IEM sound when compared to an open backed planar headphone like the HE-500. The JH-16 Pro's have a more extended treble with far more detail and transparency and when it comes to the bass, the Shure IEM's seemed to overwhelm the midrange while the JH 16's have deep extended bass that does not mask or in any way obscure any other portion of the music. The only negative to buying custom IEM's is that they are yours forever as they will only fit your ears so you can't ever sell them if you decide you no longer want them - something to consider.


What truly amazed me about the Sennheiser IE 800's was the openness, the spaciousness of their soundstage, coupled with the speed and detail they amply provide. They can even compete with the HE-500 amplified by the Lyr with custom pure silver cables and that to me was amazing. They have a low impedance of 16 Ohms  across their frequency range and are very efficient so they can easily be driven by any portable devices and don't require amplification to sound great. What these IEM's coupled to a good digital audio player (DAP) provide is an amazing high end sound system that you can fit in your pocket. Although they work very well with phones and other mobile devices they really shine when coupled with a high quality DAP so if you really want to hear all that the IE 800 have to offer, use a good DAP or DAC and play lossless files otherwise save your money and buy something like the UE Triple.fi 10 Pro for half the price.


The comfort of the IE 800 is really good and superior to the Shure. The IE 800s are super small, incredibly lightweight and the least intrusive of any IEM's I have used. I can literally keep them in my ears for hours without any discomfort in fact, I sometimes forget they are in there! Another quality of the IE 800 that I really appreciate is that they sound great even at lower volume levels which for me was a big surprise. Typically, I tend to enjoy listening to music at higher volumes because it just seems to sound better that way. The reason for this is that we perceive different frequencies, especially the deep bass and treble at higher loudness levels then we do midrange frequencies, which was first discovered by Fletcher and Munson in 1933. This is commonly referred to as the Fletcher–Munson equal-loudness contour which means that a listener perceives a constant loudness when presented with pure steady tones at different dB levels across the frequency response. Sennheiser designed the frequency response of these IEM's to compensate for this and therefore, they sound good even at lower volume levels which is a big plus.


I really thought of finding some cons to these headphones but other than the price I couldn’t find anything. The non detachable cables are not an issue for me as they are very well made and appear to be quite sturdy. They are more microphonic than the Shure cables however I position the IE 800's with the cord up so I can wrap it over my ears cancelling out their microphonic tendencies. Given the very small size of the earpieces and the fact that they are solid ceramic, it would be nearly impossible to install removable cables without increasing their size and weight as well as altering their sonic character. BTW, I would suggest buying these from an authorized dealer so that your warranty is valid given what they cost.


All in all, the Sennheiser IE 800's, connected directly to my AK120 are now my favorite headphone/IEM's, they're smaller, lighter, more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and if I had listened to them before purchasing the HiFiMan HE-500 and the Schitt Lyr, I would be $1200 richer!


Pros: Dynamic bass , coherency , comfort , featherweight , good soundstage and imaging.

Cons: Good DAC is required .

Bought at (Singapore) S$1140 

This in ear is a marvel. I've auditioned quite a number of Balanced armatures and dynamic drivers in ears , and  over time, I’ve come to love most of the dynamic drivers a lot , regardless of brand or price , dynamic drivers always seems to deliver a more organic , believable , full bodied sound . This one is no different either.
It outperforms many Balanced Armatures in my opinion. 

Its sound, is simply majestic.
Bass quality is superb, quantity comfortably amounted, full bodied, believable speed with a perfect tuning of boom and taut. Treble reach is beautiful never spiky in the highs, presence and quality is sufficient and satisfying, mids are comforting, lightly warm, and vocals slightly backwards, with instrumentals a little more forward.

The sound signature is amazingly appealing to masses.
Energetic, Powerful, Lively, Clear, Warm, Smooth, Vibrant, Intimate, Delicate.

The soundstage is wide, I wouldn’t say it’s true to life, but it is definitely very believable with good dimension. Instrumental segregation is superb, each instrument is heard on its own with no bleeding into one another, this leads me to instrumental positioning, where I could very precisely locate each instrument’s direction & distance, layering of instruments were so undisturbed and clean , you could tell which instruments are behind which instruments . Overall, the soundstaging is of excellent quality and realism for an inEar. At this stage, it is already hard to believe that all these were produced all by a single small 7mm transducer.

Detail retrieval was a delight.  Each instrument from the bass, up to the splash cymbal were beautifully illustrated. Strings such as the acoustic bass and violins had their texture and smoothness delivered with richness and quality. Acoustic guitars had strings are so tangible, the texture of individual strings could be felt with each strum, plucking had a very realistic string after-rebound. The detail and reverb were so good, one could easily characterize the type of wood and its density used in the acoustic instruments. Hi-Hats, crash, splash and ride cymbals were so clear, their metallic response were laid out like the authentic. The distortion-free sound were a big plus too. Instruments on the IE800 were delivered with the utmost integrity to the source.

The emotional delivery is a very important deciding factor in most headphones or inear I audition. No form of electronic measurements could display this information on data sheets, this is raw, heartfelt soul and emotion, different headphones and inear delivers them differently. The IE800 is a capable one, capturing your heart and mind into the music, and just dwell you in its presence as it portray its majestic wonder. Quite a number of music delivers little tingle and shivers of satisfaction and bliss down your from your neck, shoulder, back and your thighs, otherwise a phenomena known as Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). The IE800 is certainly a deliverer of ethos, you’ll be drowned in it wanting more.

However, behind all these positivity, there is a concern which I feel I should raise to everyone of, I’d realise the trebles are sometimes out-of-control if you plug it directly from a poor audio source like your phone or computer, Sibilance may be present in all the "s" and "t”. The treble at times, may sound thinner, brighter and splashy-ier. This is improved when I added my iFi iDSD Micro into the equation. Soundstage increased, noise reduced, treble reach remained, with spikes and sibilant significantly reduced. Which I believe a good source would be necessary; this includes a good Lossless file, DAC and even connecting cables. Check out my iDSD Micro Review for more information on it.

The ie800 is undeniably a well-respected piece in the dynamic inear category that has others fighting for its position of where it is now. Sennheiser made the right decision of not using balanced armatures or hybrids for their flagship. They mentioned it was not necessary, and they certainly proved it with the IE800.
A dynamic that delivers dynamically.

The fit of the IE800 is discrete and modest. The housing is made of scratch resistant ceramic and finished in gloss, which sennheiser guaranteed longevity of the iem. The left and right housing of the IE800 tap each other like high quality dense metal billets when you are trying the keep them.

The construction looks promising and durable, cables that seem like they can take a rough tug, the cable is only detachable from the Y split downwards, making common interchangeable wire-rolling impossible. Aftermarket cables could still be made with a 3.5mm male and 2.5mm female.

The leather case with the metal IE800 plate in it feels premium and classy, however, I would feel safer with my IE800 in my bulletproof, waterproof, crushproof, pelican case. I would bring the provided leather case only on formal occasions.

The eartips on the other hand, looked rather cheap, probably due to the fact that the silicone flange were not very thick, for example, westones and shures have their silicone flange thicker than that of the IE800. This was of minimal concern, knowing the sound reproduced from the inear were not degraded in any way. The housing and the eartips each have their own wire mesh to prevent earwax or other materials from entering and disrupting the drivers.

I do not find the microphonics to be much of a problem, it is present, but definitely not as exaggerated as some of the other users exclaimed. I use the IE800 mostly at home, or public transport. Minimal time were spent walking while listening, even during the times I did, you do hear the cord hitting your thigh, but it was somewhat negligible as you know the source of the noise, so it doesn’t really feel out of place, or distracting. Even though this is an inEar, I enjoy music best when my body is at rest. 

There’s a lot to love, and very little to hate. Whatever you may hate it for would be put aside after listening to them, and that includes the cost they sit at. That is also why I’ve never listed “price” as a con. They’re worth it.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes to unwind and enjoy music for pleasure.

So here are some of the photos i've taken !









Pros: Superb bass, gorgeous mids, smooth-yet-sparkling highs, expansive soundstage, excellent imaging, very comfortable

Cons: Microphonics, no remote/mic included, short cord

The IE800 are the best IEMs I have ever tried. This includes the Shure SE846 & 535, Audeo PFE232, AKG 3003, JH13 and JH16 and many others. I also prefer their sound to many full size cans like the beyerdynamic DT-880, T70, T90; Sennheiser Momentum, HD650; Shure SRH1840 etc. The closest I've heard to the amazingly balanced sound of the IE800 is the LCD-2 rev 2, which I also own.


The critical thing to note is how cohesive and musical the soundscape is -- these excel with all genres of music that I've tried, from rock to jazz, acoustic to classical/orchestral, electronic to metal. It's laid back when you need it to be, and it can push out the PRaT like crazy when that's required.


The bass is full-bodied, with intense impact and extension but never encroaching on the mids. There is detail and texture regardless of whether it's the bass drum, the bass guitar or an electronic bass note. Having played acoustic and electric bass in countless bands and orchestras, I love the bass on these. The amount of bass on these is certainly more than 'neutral', but since they're probably going to be used in noisy environments, the amount of bass is quite appropriate. 


The mids are engagingly lush and full-bodied, never sounding thin. Vocals are refreshingly realistic, rivalling the LCD-2. Guitars sound realistic and piano! Piano sounds spectacular with these. Having played piano since the age of 5, with a performance diploma under my belt, I can say these produce the most realistic piano timbre I've ever heard, save a real piano (and maybe the LCD-2).


And the treble -- don't get me started. They are so splendidly detailed, sparkling yet never harsh or sibilant. You can hear the smallest details in acoustic records; the movement of fingers along guitar frets, the shuffling of feet, the fuzz of piano string dampeners as the pianist pedals up and down. It's surreal. Adding to this is an expansive soundstage rivalling many high-end full size open cans, with pin-point precision in instrument separation and imaging.


The caveat to achieving such spectacular sound is in the fit -- when I first auditioned them in the store the tips were too large for me and the sound was quite sibilant. A smaller tip meant slightly deeper insertion and the sibilance disappeared and instead became sonic bliss.


To (very, very) briefly compare the IE800 to the following, mentioning the main reason for my preference of the IE800: 

Shure SE846 & 535 -- these sound more upfront and almost congested in comparison, as there isn't as much soundstage depth and width compared to the IE800. I'm unsure what filters were on the SE846 that I tried.

Audeo PFE232 -- less cohesive sounding, less bass impact and body with slightly sibilant and artificial highs.

AKG 3003 -- way too much treble for my taste, tends to be quite sibilant.

JH13 (universal tip) -- very neutral and thus lacks the bass impact of the IE800 -- great for monitoring and use by live musicians etc but not as overall enjoyable experience, musically. Can also be sibilant

JH16 (universal tip) -- much bassier than JH13 but still produces noticeable sibilance at times. But otherwise a superb IEM, just very bulky (same goes for JH13)

Beyerdynamic DT-880, T90, T70 -- apart from two of these being open, the main sticking point is very neutral bass presentation, which means excellent transparency (at each price point), but lacks that punch and musicality at times.

Sennheiser Momentum -- brilliant closed cans but lacks PRaT and is very laid back, with somewhat loose bass.

Sennheiser HD650 -- quite neutral (and dark), very laid back

Shure 1840 -- neutral, quite similar to DT-880


Compared to LCD-2 rev. 2 -- the bass on the LCD-2 is renowned in its quality -- the IE800 has, however, noticeably more bass. But it still maintains excellent detail and texture even compared to the LCD-2. Mids on both are superb, with the LCD-2 ahead but not by leaps and bounds. With treble detail, I would give the LCD-2 a slight edge, probably owning to a slightly wider soundstage lending them an even more airy feel than the IE800 (which suffer in this regard by being IEMs, not open planar magnetic cans, of course! :p). But of course, thanks to the IE800's isolating properties, it can be much more immersive than the LCD-2 when there are ambient noises, especially when coupled with their extreme comfort (LCD-2 pads are too rigid!); this makes the choice between LCD-2 and the IE800 for listening at home a harder one than one may think!


In everyday use, the microphonics can be quite distracting when walking, particularly at the Y-splitter/2.5mm jack, as it knocks against your chest. Any contact with the cable above the splitter also introduces significant microphonics. Unfortunately the cord is too short to go over-the-ear without being somewhat choked under the jaw. However, if the splitter is secured, there is minimal cable noise. Noise isolation is also decent, but not exceptional. I personally find it is a good balance between isolation and environmental noise awareness.


The IE800 are, however, extremely comfortable (given the right tips are used) and never tangle thanks to the Kevlar cabling. They also don’t suffer from the annoying suction effect that plagues most balanced-armature IEMs, as the vents quickly equalise with the pressure of the outside environment. It's just a shame that at this price Sennheiser didn't include a remote/mic cable like they do with the Momentum.


I usually run the IE800 straight out of my iPhone 5s and they sound great. Out of my desktop amp (Matrix M-Stage), there's certainly an improvement in bass response and soundstage, but given how incredible they sound out of a smartphone, there's really no need for a mobile amp, (cue outrage from you hardcore audiophiles out there! ;))


And to those out there looking at frequency response curves and waterfall plots for these, I wouldn't bother. They don't seem to represent at all the sound these produce in reality, since the IE800 are designed with a human ear canal in mind.


The IE800 are simply brilliant whether you're out-and-about and listening casually; at home and wanting to truly focus on the music; if you're monitoring or anything in between (except maybe during exercise, due to microphonics).


If I could only have one pair of earphones or headphones, I would pick the IE800. Every time. So, what are you waiting for? Go get a pair!


Pros: FANTASTIC midrange quality. Very, very detailed without fatigue. Fun bass and extended high-end. Open sounding (for an IEM). Well built. Lightweight.

Cons: Cable microphonics. May sound bass-heavy to some. Expensive.


Still burning-in, but I can already say they are by far the best sounding IEM's I've ever heard. Fantastically clear/clean through the mids and treble - tremendous detail resolution without things sounding harsh or clinical. Treble is precise, rich, coherent and extended. Never piercing or bordering on overly bright to these ears, unless it's a crap recording of course. 

Midrange is where it's really at. Delicate, full-bodied and airy sounding. Vocals sound crisp, velvety smooth and true in tone. Maybe the best midrange I've heard from any portable audio system, no matter the type and size. 

Bass is a bit pumped-up down very low and, while still very well controlled and never hinting at midrange coloration, leans more towards fun than accurate. The thumping nature of the low-end covers up that last bit of texture definition, but for a portable unit meant to be used in noisy surroundings, I happen to think this is a wise and welcome trade-off. Extension is great and I've found the amount of bass very well adapted to on-the-go usage. 


While still an in-ear design and far from capable of the large, realistic imaging/staging of a great full-size headphone, they are certainly as open and expansive sounding as I've ever heard an IEM to be.


I'm also surprised how sonically different they are to their full-size TOTL equivalent, the HD 800. To my ears, the IE800's richer tone is far more appealing.


Construction-wise they are tiny (smaller than expected) and very lightweight. The minimalistic housings feel rock-solid and the kevlar-coated cable adds some fancy looks to it all. The case is nice and handy too. No issues whatsoever with comfort. 

My one major complaint is how microphonic the cable is. You can reduce this annoyance factor drastically by putting a clip where the cable splits and attaching it to your shirt/jacket. 

Oh, and they're expensive for something so petite. But they sound fantastic, so I'm a happy buyer. :D 


Pros: Good spatial imaging for an IEM; good sound; very comfortable and easy to put on

Cons: barely isolates at all (!); line noise (!); chord too short; even the case is designed poorly

Let me start with the good, and then explain why you should never buy this IEM.


Sound signature: The treble, mids and bass are sort of like that of an HD800, except downgraded. For example, one of the songs I use to test headphones is Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel. One of the key parts I listen for is that initial drum blast. On this, it sounds very close to the way it sounds on the HD800, except it's just missing a little bit. Moving on to a treble heavy song, it sounds similar to the HD800, but slightly muddier and the highs seem a little rolled off. Something is missing with the mids/voices as well -- they seem a little bit more distant. In general, it sounds like the HD800 but it's missing a little of that oomph, exhilaration or spine tingle that the HD800 gives (and a little is a lot when you're comparing headphones in this price range). Despite the fact that I keep noting differences between the IE800 and HD800, I do definitely sense a similar sound signature. For example, like the HD800, voices, instruments and all sound "natural" (they way they would sound right in front of you) as opposed to that synthetic and adulterated sound you hear in so many headphones. Well this is the best I can do now but when I can better articulate the similarities and differences I'll edit. But please do not misunderstand, this is a downgraded HD800, not at all an HD800. They're similar, yet also quite different.


Comparisons with Shure SE846: Is the bass as good as with the Shure Se846? No. Shure has invented a magical device in the SE846 that delivers beautiful, clean, tight and undistorted bass of whatever degree you want (depending on the filter you use). This is pretty good, not nonexistent bass (like, say, the Shure SE425), but I would compare it to something between the white and blue SE846 filters and even then the SE846 might be very slightly better in terms of quality. Is the treble as sparkly as the Se846 with a white filter? I'm not even sure about that; I would have to think about it a bit and do careful tests. But I disagree with reviewers I've seen that claim the Se846 sounds like its treble was rolled off relative to IE800. The IE800 has OK treble, but it also feels slightly rolled off relative to sparkly treble kings (like the HD800 and Audeze LCD XC).


Spatial imaging: For an IEM, the spatial imaging on this is amazing, better than the imaging of the Shure SE846 (but it's still no where near the spatial imaging of the HD800, and other over the ear cans can also do better; ultimately this is still just an IEM). It achieves that effect of making certain things feel closer and certain things feel farther away. On some songs you get a version of that cool echo/spaced out effect you get on the HD800, which is impressive in an IEM.


Detail and instrument separation: Detail and instrument separation is very good. Again this is not as crisp sounding as the HD800, but it does have a lot of detail. It's quite good. Of course, the cool aspect of the HD800's detail/separation is that the detail is placed in a certain virtual location, and as noted above this can't do that as well as the HD800.


Comfort: You do not need to go through an ordeal to insert these, unlike the Shures mentioned above. In addition, the wires are not stiff like the Shure wires which has to be another advantage. It's really hard to read which is left and which is right (but after you find out once you'll know forever based on their shape). In addition, it has a hole that equalizes the pressure between your ears and the outside, which is a good feature. Consistent with Sennheiser's other cans, this is extremely comfortable and easy to wear. I guess that deserves a 1/2 star boost.


Now for the negatives.


Design flaw #1: Isolation: I decided to take it outside near cars and busy activity to see how well it isolates. The first alarming thing I noticed was how loudly I heard the door close on my way out; not a good start. But I readjusted the tips and remained hopeful and optimistic . . . until I hit the street, when I was overcome with disappointment after hearing everything. I stopped, played with the tips, did every trick I could think of. Nothing. This isn't as bad as an open back headphone, but it's only a little better than a closed back. Sennheiser, don't you think that, perhaps, people wear IEMs to block out noise? If they want to hear outside noise they could easily wean an over the ear or on the ear can. Eventually, the only way I could listen to the music was to turn the volume up to a level that I later measured as 70-75 dbA (for comparison, the Shure SE846 isolate well enough to easily listen at 60-65 dbA). Thanks for the hearing loss Sennheiser!!! All the outside noise of an over the ear and the "pumping music directly into your ear canal to destroy your auditory hairs" dangers of an IEM. Great lose-lose combination you got there! Due to the risk of permanent hearing deterioration caused by this unacceptable and inexplicable design feature, it has to lose 1 1/2 points. (Edit: I measure dbA by putting the IEM tip right up against the port of a decibel meter).


Design flaw #2: Line noise. At first I decided to try it with the line hanging under my chin, the way you're supposed to wear it. But as soon as I started walking, it sounded like I was in a wind storm! There was no wind, but every time I would move, the chord would move, and apparently when the chord moves it has to let me know by sending this loud sound up and into my ear canal. Thud, thud, thud, thud. I get it chord, we're moving. You don't have to tell me every half-second. Let me move a bit without you machine gunning my ears. Sennheiser, did you even put this on and go for a walk with it before you decided to sell it to the public?! I wasn’t even exercising heavily. This is unacceptable, it has to lose 1 star over this. Edit: Sometimes I wonder if Sennheiser is playing a joke on us with this product. I say that because I just discovered that the Sennheiser HD800 has absolutely zero line noise. I tapped its line, shook it, whipped it . . . but I couldn't get it to produce even a tiny bit of line noise. So the HD800, which is designed for stationary use, has absolutely zero line noise, and the IE800, which is designed to be used while active, has insufferable line noise? Really Sennheiser? The fact that Sennheiser knows how to completely eliminate line noise means this flaw deserves another 1/2 star deduction.


Design flaw #3: So to cure the slight bit of chord noise you hear in every IEM, I discovered this trick I do whereby I let the IEM hang behind my head instead of under my chin. With the SE846 you hear nothing if you do this. I think your hair acts as some sort of sound baffle or cushion or something; whatever it is it works, and it helped a good amount with the IE800 too, but not as much as with the SE846 and the IE800 wasn’t as comfortable hanging behind your head. But whatever it's tolerable now and so I'm walking along and . . . I decide to put my player into my pocket, at which point I discover that the chord, from your ear to the jack, is only about 3 1/2 feet long! Sennheiser, did you test this on little people?! Did you think that perhaps customers would like just one measily foot of extra chord?!?! What terrible thing did you think would happen if you included a five foot chord like Shure? Fine, keep your chord short, but if I'm paying you $1,000, could you at least have thrown in an extra chord of a longer length? Shure includes two chords with the SE846 and their chords look to be of higher quality than yours, so why can't you? This inexcusable chintziness and lack of thought has to cost it 1/2 star.


Design flaw #4: This is minor but it shows how inconsiderate Sennheiser was when designing this. The case has no room to insert your extra tips. This four inch, by 3.5 inch, by one inch case (measure that out so you know how big it is) doesn't have room for the extra tips. The inside of the case is almost entirely foam, with a little groove where you insert the IE800 (you don't put the IE800's wire in the case, by the way, rather you must wrap the wire around the case). First of all, what happened to just being able to throw your IEM into a case and take it out with ease, rather than having to perform a complex lego piece insertion and removal each time? Back to the main point, Sennheier, if you're going to make a gigantic case as big as a fat wallet, could you let us use some of that room?! Cut a little area out of that foam where we can insert the extra tips you gave us. This is a small thing, but it shows such a lack of consideration and thought. It has to lose 1/4 star.


Conclusion: Ultimately, I am not going to keep these. Although I love the sound signature of the HD800 and this reminds me of that, I can't support a product engineered this poorly. It's of no use to me because if I'm in a loud area, I'll use my beautiful SE846 and if I'm in a quiet area I'll just use my HD800. This leaves the question of what rating to give these. Although the sound is very good, based on its hefty price tag it can't get more than 4 1/2 stars on sound (I have to save 5 stars for something that really wows you). Subtract 1 1/2 stars for lack of isolation, add 1/2 star on comfort, subtract 1 star for line noise, another 1/2 star for having line noise even though Sennheiser knows how to completely eliminate it, subtract 1/2 star for the chord, subtract 1/4 star for the case, and (this is very subjective) add 1/2 star for having something close to the HD800 sound signature (which I like) and for being made by Sennheiser, a very ethical headphone company that lets you return things you don't like for a full refund. So 4.5 -1.5 +.5 -1 -.5 -.5 -.25 +.5 = 1.75 stars, which I’ll round down to 1.5 stars because I expected better from a $1,000 headphone. For comparison, I gave the SE846 5 1/2 stars (capped at 5 stars). As anyone who has spoken to me on this board knows, I am a huge Sennheiser fan so I wanted to like this but this is just pointless.


Pros: Excellent well extended, tight and punchy bass, amazingly detailed mids, very detailed and sparkly treble without being bright. Good soundstage and positioning.

Cons: Other than price, I couldn't find any.

Hello guys,

I have been reading about the IE800 for some time now. I heard people saying it is a mini HD800. That intrigued me, as I love the HD800.

I usually hate IEMs for their congested and bassy sound. I also hate sticking something inside my ears, but was curious about Sennheisers' new addition.

It seems I am a lucky man,  as last week soundnews.ro asked me if I can write a review for them on their site.

Of course I accepted as I love their website. DarKu writes there and I have used it as a reference for many ears. In my opinion, It is the best romanian website about audio. It was an honor and an opportunity I couldn't refuse, so here I am, listening to IE800.

These headphones look quite nice. The cable has a good build quality and a nice sturdy feel.  The jack is with a 90 degrees angle so you can easily use a portable device in the pocket with them.

IE800 comes with a nice package that contains another 4 pairs of ear-buds of different sizes. What I love about them is that every ear-bud has an additional protective grill, keeping the unwanted stuff away from the driver that also has another protective grill.

The carry case it comes with is very elegant with a leather like material, well build and could easily fit in a pocket.

Also the comfort is quite nice. They have 2 vents. One is for the sound as they are opened in-ears and the second one is to vent the air between the earbud and your eardrum, so the pressure goes away.

Yes...but the sound..how is it?

The first time I put these headphones in my ears my jaw dropped on the floor. These babies are absolutely amazing. They don't have the typical IEM sound at all.

The first thing I observed is the soundstage, which was huge for a pair of in-ears.

It is quite weird. I felt like the sound is coming from inside my skull. I actually started with classical music and I felt like my head became a big, large scene with the orchestra inside it. I could not believe my ears. I instantly loved the classical music on these headphones.

The sound just hypnotized me, as I just stood still while listening to them. It is stunning.

I will start to explain some of my experiences with it on some songs:

Andre Rieu - Morning (Classical; Peer Gynt Suite) (E.Grieg)

The details are amazing and you can hear every instrument and every note. The dynamics, and micro-dynamics are on the same level, making you a part of the scene and making you feel the music in every part of your body.

Every instrument is well placed into space and easy to separate from the other. The treble is well defined with amazing details but still on the smooth side. The mids are very present and give the instruments a very good extension and a full body.

Pink Floyd - Time

The bells and ringing at the beginning of the song was really enjoyable. The treble had the necessary sparkle and detail but wasn't too hot. The sound was very opened for IEMS.  The IE800 surprises me everytime and I forget i listen to IEMs or even closed headphones. The sound is multi-layered with very good instrument separation, amazing details and very well balanced throughout the spectrum.

ACDC - Beating Around the Bush

The voice was very well textured and quite natural . The instruments did not blend in in one layer as with the other IEMS. These headphones know how to rock having a very good PRAT and energetic sound.

Infected Mushroom - Drum n' Bassa

I usually hate the bass on IEMS as it feels unnatural with too much pressure on the eardrum. Well until now the IE800 did not fit the  normal in-year standards and It was time to see if the bass really is better than with others.

Well...IE800 impressed me again. The bass is deep, punchy and tight, but not invading other parts of the spectrum. The PRAT was excellent and the overall experience toe-tapping.

Leonard Cohen - Be for Real

You know that this is my ultimate way of testing the  voice reproduction,  and I must say that Leonard's voice sounded very natural, well textured and had a very nice presence. I was not like Audeze LCD2 but it captured the essence of his voice.

I have listened to many other songs, but I will not add more impressions on songs as I have already stated the most important facts about IE800's characteristics and I would repeat myself.


These are without doubt the best IEMs I have ever listened to. I really think Sennheiser nailed it with IE800, and nailed it good.  As I said before, I usually don't like the usual sound of in ear headphones, but sennheiser somehow made it in a way that while listening to it, I forget they are in this category.

For their type, I think their openness is amazing. Also the sound is not at all congested, it is actually multi-layered, with very good instrument separation and good spatial positioning.

The details on them are quite stunning. This combined with very good dynamics  really give you goosebumps.

The mids are very good and all the instruments and voices have a good, natural and well textured presentation.

Also the bass is not at all typical to IEMS. It is well extended, punchy and tight and doesn't get over other frequencies.

The treble is very detailed and sparkly but not bright.

Overall the sound is very balanced throughout the spectrum and they were good with every genre I gave them.

I really thought of finding some cons to these headphones but other than the price I couldn't find anything.

And all of this can fit your pocket. They work very well with phones and other mobile devices but they benefit from some amplification and a good DAC . You can have high end sound with you, everywhere you go. For someone who is always traveling, these babies are perfect.


Pros: Wonderful & sensual sound, stunning build

Cons: Almost proprietary horn, short cable




 I must first and foremost give a massive thank you to both Sennheiser and Bill Poteet for giving me the opportunity to review such an amazing product. Despite this being a flagship product it’s one I don’t see onto many lists of head-fi meets, so the likelihood of me having the ability of hearing this product let alone to such an extent would’ve likely been null and void. So again thank you for this humbling opportunity.




The Opening Experience


    The initial handshake is something I talk about in everyone of my reviews and will continue to do so for I firmly believe it’s one of the most important thing aside from sound quality. How does a company represent itself when it presents its product to the consumer? Will it be a memorable or will it be just another pair of headphones that don’t really mean anything?

    In the case with the IE800’s there’s absolutely no question I was delivered a firm handshake when I opened this product. The box feels premium and the graphics present this monitor as one worn by a professional.

    Upon opening you're greeted by that lovely new headphone smell and a presentation that screams excellence. The buds and custom, serialized, carrying case are gently placed within precision cut out foam grooves which leaves you giddier than a kid on Christmas to insert them in your ears and listen.







The build quality of the IE800 is top notch. Made of a ceramic body, these show no sign of weakness. It’s immaculate and high class sheen, beautiful and elegantly designed frame and notable vent ports on the back present a very close resemblance to a high end tower speaker.

The horn however gives me a decent amount of anguish. Not because it’s overly large which is my usual complaint but it’s almost proprietary. The tips provided with them, despite being various in size, don’t do much for my ears. I’ve grown accustomed to this ever since being spoiled with comply memory foam and their comfort, isolation and security in the ear. When I try and equip them to the IE800’s horn they barely stay on and always come off in my ear when pulling the earphones out which is vastly irritating, so I must use the tips provided which takes away from the musical enjoyment because I don’t get half the sense of security for they feel like they’re always falling out, even if they’re not. Also no matter which tip I used I could never get a great seal.

Moving down to the cable, I find it to be very well made, sturdy and fairly tangle resistant. Sennheiser went a step further and made these detachable in case one were to accidentally snag them, they can either break away preventing damage or easily be replaced. I’ve two downsides with this cable however. First is, I wish the interconnect would’ve been placed on the actual frame itself as opposed to a quarter of the way down. It’s more a personal thing but a negative for me nonetheless. Lastly, the cable is about 4-6” to small. I usually keep my phone in my back pocket and this cable just barely accomodates this.







    Arguably the second most important thing about a piece of audio gear is how long can it comfortably be worn? The IE800’s for the most part fair very well in this category. The frame is very light weight and the ceramic keeps them nice and cool in your ear. When I’m leaning back in my chair relaxing with these I completely forget where I am or that I even have these in my ear for that matter.

The horn is angles to put minimum strain on your tragus which is always a plus. But as said earlier the major takeaway from the comfort for me is the fact that you’re almost solely able to listen to these with the supplied silicone tips.

Finally is the cable, I do notice a small amount of feedback anytime the cable brushes against something. It’s not a huge distraction like other IEM’s I own but it is present nonetheless.






Finally there’s (at least in my opinion) the most important aspect in a piece of audio equipment and that’s how they perform musically. And I have to say these perform majestically. The IE800 could definitely perform admirably in the elite class but at only $800 these are definitely a pack leader in its respective price range.

The soundstage is wonderful, and quite vast considering it to be an IEM. To add onto the soundstage the separation presented is breathtaking. You can very easily discern different sections and almost individual instruments within a giant orchestra to such a wonderful degree I frequently forget I’m not sitting center isle.

The tonal balance is very neutral with a small hint of warmth which makes them ideal for what I look for in audio. Which is not entirely about sonic accuracy but more a warm, enjoyable, experience that swift's me away and relaxes me into the performance being delivered.

Once these were burned in and got rid of the veil on them they did this sublimely.

On the note of burn in, these absolutely need at least 10hrs. before they even start sounding like $800 earphones. The veil I just mentioned is very prominent in these and the expression “like taking off a dust shroud” couldn’t be any truer than with these. Unfortunately I didn’t have these long enough to fully burn them in but I guarantee they’ll continuously sound better with proper burn in. As for the individual aspects of the IE800’s sound,  I’ll divulge a small spoiler, amazing.




    The highs on the IE800 are awesome. They’re competent, energetic and full of life. I don’t find them tiring to listen to, even during extra long listening sessions. The only “thing” I could find, and I really searched for this, is these seem to wanna draw a little more juice to bring out the higher pitches. In comparison to the other notes the treble isn’t as, forward is the only word that comes to mind. Again not really notable at all but ever so slightly present nonetheless.




    The vocals, oh how I’ve come to love Sennheiser for their mids (most of their products anyways) and these are absolutely no exception. The vocals are stunningly accurate and intimate. I feel like I’m having a private concert performed with the accuracy and soulfulness that breaths realism. I have fell in love with the mids these produce. The only bias I can tell is a slight increase in the lower mid, upper bass which give a sensual warmth to it.




    Here I suspect will lose some people. The bass on these are not that heavy, in fact while playing some heavier bass songs these let me down a some. The upper bass range was great and meshed seamlessly into the mids but the mid bass is quite recessed, not absent but definitely recessed so bass heads will need to be aware. As for the sub bass feels, they’re there but very little.







    To sum up the IE800’s, these are truly a work of art; both auditorily and aesthetically. When you’ve these in your ear you’ll not only feel like an audio professional, you’ll look like one. The sound is so silky smooth that I can about guarantee you’ll lose track of your surroundings while being drifted away into the performance being presented in front of you.

    I would recommend this without any restrictions to anyone who’s looking for not just a very accurate and neutral pair of IEMs but one gives a very relaxing experience as well. If you’re a bass head however these are most likely not going to be for you. As for the vast majority, it’ll be a purchase well spent.


Till next time my friends


Pros: The best sound for universal in ear monitors, very comfortable, pinpoint precision for everything, big soundstage, clear treble, has enough bass.

Cons: None so far.



I will split the review in more parts, as a product at this price point and quality needs more words for each part. When someone invests this much money would like to know as much as possible. I will try, though to express what is not already expressed in other reviews. I hope that a person who is un-decided if to buy Ie800 will have a better impression in what to do after reading this review. I know that most people who read reviews are those who are thinking to buy a product, not people who have a certain product. I have bought the Ie800, and I am doing this for fun, and out of my own pleasure. My pair is in the 12XXX series, so there might be differences from the first batches.


Introduction and my background :


I am a very dedicated listener. I used to sing and re-master at certain points. At the moment I am designing a free software for music playback at www.dobresculaboratories.blogspot.com , and I needed the most clear universal in ear I could had found. Besides this free project I am working in business envoirment.


I listed music more than the normal person, around half of all the free time I have. 


I have quite the collection of equipment, to compare and use with Ie800:


- Sennheiser : Ie8, Hd380pro 

- Ultrasone: Dj one pro

- Fiio: X5, E12a, L2

- Cowon: J3

- Sony : Xb700


I will be using Fiio X5 and E12a for driving ie800. I think that it would be unfair to compare them with anything I own at the moment. Ie800 is in another class of price and characteristics, but more on sound later.


The package (only the necessary allowed) : 


It comes pretty simple, a cardboard box, inside is ie800, tips, leather case and tips; Exactly what you need to enjoy it, without having accessories that you will never use, or not enough to enjoy the product.


Keeping in mind that the cables is not detachable, a secondary cable is not really needed. 


Considering that the tips are proprietary, including 5 sizes in total will be enough for most people (3 round S/M/L and 2 oval S/L). I managed to use all the tips, and they all had different sounds, and very good SQ.


The leather carry case (the premium beyond the premium) :






It is elegant and usefull in a few words. It can hold the IEMs and a tool for cleaning wax from the tips. I consider that the case is better not having a place to store spare tips, because they could fall out of it, and they are quite expensive to replace. There are holes, where you store the jack for protection. The storage method is pretty simple, you put the IEMs inside the case, and you wrap the cable around the sponge part. It works pretty good, but it has such a premium feeling, and the leather is enough high quality, that I consider that it would work much better with a elegant business suit than jeans. In fact, I store them insde another box when I need to put them in my bag, to prevent any damage to the leather case. 


Cable and details about it (not microphonic at all) :


The cable is not detachable from the IEMs themselves but at the Y split. 


I remember people complaining about this a lot, but I would like to point out that the sable being detachable from the Y split is because that area is one of the least exposed to mechanical stress. I remember reading that Sennheiser decided to do things this way to keep the housings of the drivers as small as possible, and because most cables break from the jack. I had a large share of cheap in ears throughout the years (about 10 pairs from 2007 to 2010) and they all broke at the jack. I guess that Sennheiser was right to do things this way. 





The cable is pretty hard to break.


Actually, not only it looks sturdy, but also has a sleek and elegant look to it. I would totally use ie800 to an official meeting and feel content with the looks.


About the cable being microphonic, I think that most people stating this have not tried using the noise attenuator. With the cable being so short, I asked myself why is there a rubber separator between cables above the Y split. Well, if you raise it a little, it makes the cable not microphonic at all, What a relief it was after wearing my ie800 and using the attenuator, I really liked wearing them while walking now. In fact, I am using my Ie800 as my main listening device from when I got them. After hearing them, it is pretty hard to go back.




Tips ( they do change the sound quite a bit, but Ie800 comes with the best tip already installed) :


I have been trying all tips and wearing Ie800 both over the ear and straight down. 


I had settled down to using the tips that Ie800 comes with, medium round. For me the insertion depth changes with every tip. So this might be the cause for changes in SQ. The changes are very small and nuance changes, not night and day. 


Worthy of mention is also the system that Ie800 uses to create the best seal possible. When you insert it, the IEM adjusts the internal pressure of air to the extent where the pressure is enough to keep it inside the ear, and keep the sound undistorted. You cannot really insert it deeper than a certain depth, and you know when you have a seal. This is very usefull, as I used to spend a lot of time searching for a seal with other cheap IEMs. With ie800, you get an extremely good seal, and you get it fast.





The SQ differences between tips:


-First, the sound remains daylight clear across all tips, and I will review the SQ in depth, this is just about how tips change the sound. PRaT stays the same, pinpoint precision, and the best I heared. Dynamic range is unaffected by tip change. Most changes are due to the depth of insertion, and how the sound interacts with the ear canals, considering that the road the waves have to travel until hitting the ear membrane is different. Most of the changes are probably results of the waves interacting with themselves and the walls of the ear canals. 


-Small round : Instrument separation is exact and pinpoint precision, it adds more body to the bass, though it remains completley undistorted. I am able to use the bass slider on my Fiio E12A to add even more bass, but the sound remains crystal clear. This is a great feature for bassheads, as Ie800 can appeal to anybody. Cymbals crashes are a little shorter, but very clear. Probably, because of how sound moves through air, and the fact that the driver is very close to the ear. For me small round tips means very deep insertion. Soundstage is pretty intimate, I imagine that given the depth to what I inserted the small round tip, there was not enough space. I would call it the "Deep head insertion Tip" .


-Small oval : It features similar characteristics to small round, but it has a little wider soundstage, probably because I have not been able to insert it so deep.


-Medium : This is my main tip. The sound is more balanced, the cymbal crash lasts exactly the duration it should. Probably the tip I achieve the best seal with. The soundstage is pinpoint exact, I am able to point every layer of music, every instrument, and the soundstage is bigger than most headphones at this point. It beats most headphones. The separation and every characteristic are in equilibrium. The bass is enough, but tighter than with small tips, still exact and un-distorted.


-Big oval : It is similar to medium, the insertion is much shallower for me. Cymbal crashes last longer, the soundstage is wider. The sound is exact and fun. Ambient sounds, and rythm guitars are easier to notice. This tip resembles some characteristics of the sound of my favourite headphone to date, hd800 for me, of course with ie800's flavour. Very nice sound to listen to, but I like having a deeper insertion. The tip stays in, and never falls out, kept in by it's pressure changing method. But as my ears have smaller canals, I preffered the medium tip. 


-Big Round : Very similar to big round, but the soundstage is even wider and bigger in general. With this tip, the Ie800 sits all out of my ear, so probably it is normal for the sound to be this way. I still get a perfect seal. The bass is tight, and cymbals crashes are longer than with other tips. Mids are very sweet. 


(Because detail retrieval and the seal are the same across all tips, I would be happy with any of them, They are more of a prefference, you do not need to choose the one who has the best seal, all have seal. You choose the one you like the most from a SQ perspective)


Wearing comfort (It is quite good) :


The wearing comfort is quite good, considering that I have been wearing them for 4-6 hours a day for the last days. No microphonic noise. no problems. The cable is long enough to be comfortable.




Wearing over the ear is possible, but not necessary for most people, as you will have solved the problem of microphonic noise with the trick I presented earlier. 


The cablle Y split can be attached to the clothes using a shirt clip, thing which solves the last bit of comfort issues people could have. 


Isolation ( After some time, it is way better than I expected ) :


I have been using ie800 for some time outside, and I must say, the isolation is much better than I thought at first. It even happened to me to be walking in a store, listening quiet to X5+E12A+Ie800, and see someone I knew. I stopped my music, and said hello, and the person replied to me that I should not shout inside and I should stop the music I was listening. I must say, the isolation is far better after getting used to them, and after getting the right seal. This is not complicated, and I can easily take a walk outside without being bothered by noise, if the noise is not too high (I can still hear cars honk, but I am not sure I can hear most cars pass by).


Build quality ( Hard as stone, built like a tank, but brittle)


They are brittle, at least this is what the manual states. You should avoid droping them into solid surfaces. In rest, they are build like tanks. The ceramic housings are amazingly sleek and elegant. They have an out-of-this-world look to them, like being made of obsidian, but even more premium. The entire IEM, it's cables and the carry case looks very premium, expensive, and elegant. They look like they are build like a tank, but again, do not drop the IEMs to the ground. Ceramic can be broken if it hits a material with a higher density than itself. Like the floor of a subway or the concrete on the street. 


Sound ( The pinnacle of sound that Sennheiser made with this statement in the In Ear Monitors industry)


Let me begin with explaining the technologies behind the sound:


The new driver build by Sennheiser is made to be as small as possible, to be worn by anybody, no matter if the ears and ear canals are small, and to still feel very comfortable. It is named an extra wide bandwidth dynamic driver. This is exactly what it is. It has the sound of a dynamic driver, and it is able to reproduct treble up to the very high registers.


The two absorbers on the back are not design elements but helmholtz resonnators. Sennheiser stated that they manage to repair the spike in treble, at 10Khz that usually covers most higher register sounds. Well, I can only say that it works, because with Ie800 the treble is able to touch the highest of trebles that I can still hear. All cymbals sound clear, undistorted and full. I think that these ports also have something to do with the full and detailed, rich bass. I think that at least one of the holes is used for equalizing the air pressure with the ear. 




I am using Fiio X5 + fiio E12A to power IE800. 


+Bass :


It is deep. It does not roll off at all, it is extended to the deepest register possible. It is so clear that I am able to use bass boost on my Fiio E12A and add bass from my Fiio X5 EQ and it still will not distort. The punch is exemplary, it is there when it is called for. Decay of low notes is exemplary as well. It sounds natural, the notes last exactly as long as they would in a normal room, in a live experience. I would call the Ie800 a IEM for bassheads, but it would be wrong, as much as one can add bass without distorting, as much I feel that it sounds natural, and exactly as it would sond in reality. When listening to classical, the instruments have body, you are able to discern the texture of every single instrument. 


Moving to something Trap, like Wizard, or Silva Hound, The bass is able to flow freely, to invade everything around, to envelop the listener when it is needed to. The punch is exact, with pinpoint precision, it hits when it needs to hit. You can feel exactly as you should when listening to these songs. 


In metal tracks I am able to hear the bass guitars. Exemplary reproduction, very precise and clear. I am able to feel the bass notes and bass guitar picks in death and black metal.


In avant garde and jazz music, acoustic guitars have enough bass to sound realistic. 


In one word, over all generes, the bass sounds natural, it hits when it is called for, and never false, too much or too little. It never distorts, and never bleeds in the mids. Having enough sub bass is very welcome for listening to acoustic music, as acoustic instruments often do not get enough body. Ie800 is exemplary in this aspect.




This is one of the strong points in other reviews, and I can understand why.


Guitars, voices, and virtually everything sounds natural. Mids are very precise and the reproduction is very close to how everything should sound in nature. I think that having a dynamic driver helps a lot in this aspect.


Exemplary reproduction, for me, is in guitars. Hearing every different note, and the differences between a hard press and a softer press on strings with every detail is very nice for a change. Dynamic range reproduction is also very helpfull, it sounds vivid and un-compressed. 


For synthetic instruments it works very good too. Reproduction of sythethic sounds is top notch. 


For someone who played the guitar in the past, if any part of the sound is off, the guitars sound false, I have to say, after listening for so long to ie800, guitars can be reproduced perfectly, as they were recorded. You can hear the air between the strings, the artist moving the hand on guitar, sometimes. 


The mids are so detailed, that some un-wanted noise can get through, for example, on some acoustic guitar recordings, it was very easy to hear the artist breathing. Every little detailed is under a microscope, and analyzed, but the general signature is never cold. 


Reroduction of pianos and violins was my biggest surprise. Most of times, when hearing a piano or a violing live if the song is sad, you get an urge to express your feelings and cry. You can feel the emotion behind the strings. Ie800 manages to reproduce that exact feeling. For example, I am listening to Jill Tracy - Room 19 at the moment. The piano notes transmit the exact feeling of the song, the sadness behind the events depicted in the song. Her voice is so clear, you can feel the emotion she is trying to inflict to the heart of the listener.


Using "I can't shake it" from the same artist, is a very good example of how natural the instruments can sound. Everything is in it's place, the violins in the background are crying with pain and sorrow. The rythm is able to keep up with the entire song. The bass is able to keep up with everything, never remaining being too lazy. The piano is clean, able to have the texture it is meant to. A vivid and real experience of this song.


Using a very complicated song, Psyopus - Duct tape smile, to see if Ie800 is able to keep with very fast tempo changes, lots of notes of different intruments played together, I have the pleasure to see that Ie800 is able to reproduce the song perfectly.




I am a person who likes to have more treble with his music. I consider that treble brings clarity. Ie800 is very good in this aspect. If I were to compare Ie800 to what I already own, it has more treble. But the treble is not harsh, it is smooth, clear, and never sibilant. The cymbals ring for exactly as long as they should. Instruments that can make use of a good top end sound better than I expected. 


In fact, I actually started re-listening most of my music collection, to hear the clear and un-distorted treble of Ie800. 


I love hearing a cymbal crash close to natural, where in reality, cymbals are loud instruments. It is easy to hear a cymbals crash, and I love this thing. It is so detailed, that not only that there is a cymbal crash, you can tell if the drummer hits the cymbal close to the core, or on the outer surface, every cymbal hit sounds different, exactly like it would in a real performance. Things are expressive, you are able to tell the difference between a song that uses programmed drum sequences, and a song that has a drum session used for recording the album. When listening to metal, it is quite nice to be able to hear details in cymbal crashes too.


For example, when listening to Starkill - virus of the mind, you are able to tell that most orchestral instruments are done using a keyboard. 




It is large. The soundstage is better than I ever expected. It is up to the best open headphones I have ever heared. Imaging and layering of instruments is done with pinpoint precision. Every single instrument is an entity on it's own, and you are able to tell it's limits. It is like being able to see each musical note and playing instrument. It is quite the revealing experience, you can notice an instrument that simply was never there before. 


Again, the best word to describe the soundstage and imaging is precision, I have no ideea how it can manage to do this, but it is exactly what I hear. 


The soundstage has one of the best depths I had ever heared. You can hear sounds coming from a distance, and tell what is in between you and that instrument.


Width of soundstage is very good, you can hear sounds coming from everywhere, flowing everywhere around the listener. 


I would like to mention that I felt that the soundstage is much bigger that when I tried when I tested in the showrooms. Probably that I needed to try more tips and have more time for my brain to adjust to the SQ in general. This level of clarity makes you focus on the new sounds in music before focusing on imaging or soundstage. An amazing feeling for someome looking for a different level of clarity. 


+PRaT and ADSR


It has one of the best PRaTs I ever came across. It is able to keep up with the most complicated things I thrown at it. Pace rythm and timing are up to the level of me calling Ie800 the ultimate in ear solution for music listening. 


ADSR is not often used. It means Attack Sustain Decay and Release. It is amazing. I fiind the terms PRaT and ADSR to be equal, meaning the same thing. The ability of the said equipment to keep up with the music, and to redeem the rythm with enough speed. 


Let me take an example of what Ie800 is capable of and I did not hear it before them. In electronic music, there are instruments that do not sound like a flow of sound, but have tiny details to them. These are often masked by headphones that do not have good ADSR abilities. I cannot really compare to other equipment, as it would be un-fair, but I can only say that Ie800 has blown me away with it's ability to reproduce every tiny detail that is out there. I never imagined that in ear listening could be so exact, precise and enjoy-able. I consider the sound coming from Ie800 to be on par with tops of the high end of sound reproduction systems. 


One of the bands that really brings this out in my tests was Mindless Self Indulgence. With most of other equipments the special effects were dull and you could say that there was a dull line of sound. with Ie800, the sound is detailed and exact, you can hear everything as it is on the record.









I was planning to buy ie800 as my final end game in ear monitors anyway, I am very happy that I was able to buy them second hand. I think that they justify their price, considering that Sennheiser has a very good warranty, and they have 2 years of warranty. 


I would totally recommend Ie800 as the pinnacle of In ear monitor listening, from everything I had tested up to this moment. 


Pros: Neutral mids, amazing clear lows, great highs! Great soundstage for such a small driver!

Cons: Where do I begin...they fall out, they don't fit, cord's too short, insane microphonics...never before have I heard my own heartbeat while resting.

You can read tons of reviews actually discussing the audio aspects of this set, I'll just stick to saying the lows are unforgivably clear and they have a great soundstage for IEM's.  They sound amazing!


Anyways, I mainly came to knock these down a peg - be sure these are for you before you buy!  I never realized how bad a high-end IEM could be for me personally.  I've loved my IEM's in the past, even enjoyed some cheap Senn's more than these.


 - Horrible microphonics!  Just breathing sends scratching sounds right into my ears!

 - Short cord, can't be wrapped behind ears. (Can't detach and replace either!)

 - Heavy inline cord connector, makes microphonics worse.  I can hear my resting heartbeat, never had this issue with prior IEM's!

 - They don't fit...HOW!?  It's a struggle to get them in my ears and all they do is constantly fall out!  Never had this issue before, even other Senn's weren't this level of bad!


I really don't understand, is everyone nearly deaf and blasting these into their ears while sitting still? (No offense; these are rated all so well by many with such excruciating flaws!)

These might be for you - they do sound amazing, but I just can't stand the flaws.


Pros: Amazing SQ, Excellent soundstage, comfortable to wear, small, light, built like a tank

Cons: Cable makes noise, cable is not replaceable, limited eartip selection

I'll keep this short cause I'm not good at writing reviews. 


I just wanted to say that I have tried Shure 846 and I really did NOT like it. The sound from Shure is too condensed with not much soundstage (unlike its full sized cans which sound very nicely!) 


These IEMs (IE800s) are the ONLY IEMs that I've tried which sound like a full-sized headphone. You can't go wrong with the sound quality! 



Sennheiser IE800

Key Features Very low overall THD Two protection meshes Dampened dual-chamber absorber (D2CA) Dynamic linear phase ultra-wide bandwidth (UWB) driver

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Video interview with Axell Grell, Senior Acoustic Engineer at Sennheiser discussing the IE800's.


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