Pros: The sound ( read down below )
Cons: Cable is not very good, large size. discontinued?
When i bough these i had no id'ea how they would sound. I read some reviews but it is a iem that was flying under the radar and kind of hide in the shadow of the BA200 which is TDK's flagship ( was, i think it´s discontinued )
All plastic build, feels solid but not expensive. They do have a great fit and can be used both with deep or shallow insertion and a various amount of tips. Cable up can be bothersome. The isolation with a modestly deep insertion is impressive even if the housing appear to be vented. They leak some sound if you crank it up.
Now instead of using a dual balanced armature the ie800 uses a dual dynamic setup. My previous experience with dual dynamics in this configuration stops with Nocs NS600 which had loads of bass, and a clear but rather metallic high end. Mids where recessed but well articulated.
The ie800 looks to be using exactly the same setup. an 8mm and a 5.8mm where the 8mm is placed behind the 5.8mm driver. I don¨t know if it is the same setup but the sound is totally different and thats a good thing.
Speaking of bass the tdk does it just right in my book. I don´t like bloated elevated bass and i prefer a fast tight solid bass that can keep up with the rest of the music. And here it is. i can´t really say much more then it´s the best bass i have ever heard iem or full size. It´s just so well balanced and controlled. there is a slight bump in the midbass. Maybe that´s why a good miked kick drum sound so damn good here :) Now this is not for everyone and i understand that. Keep in mind that it´s not a bass monster and if you want something with more oomph there is plenty of iems out there you should pick over this.
Oh the mids! Vocals sound so damn good! Detailed with a great detail and air. Not ever have i thought that it lacked midrange or that vocals sounds nasal or recessed. Metal, rock, jazz, singer/song. all sounds good here, and everyone is welcome. Works with every genre and always gives a great presentation. Really impressive!.
I do like treble, that said i do not like very peaky treble that is just there to try and present something as "detailed" when it really just sound unbalanced and annoying. Examples of iems i do not enjoy is Vsonic vc02, Brainwavz delta and vsonic vsd5 in some cases. The treble on these mentioned iems is just to hot in a bad way to my ears.
The ie800 has a very smooth, yet extremely detailed treble. It really picks out different instruments with fantastic precision. Never sibilant never in your face or presented in a ways that it is just "there" for no reason. Even old recordings sounds good here. From Meshuggahs furious instrumental magic to the most brittle jazz vocalists it never seems to be out of place. How they tuned this iem this ways is beyond me. Rarely is there a iem that suits all my needs ( hence the collection :) ) But every time i go back to the TDK i instantly know what i have been missing out of. The amazing treble. To me this is great..Absolutely fantastic.
Now reading this review it probably sounds like this is the best iem ever..But it has flaws.
What i dont like:
The cable. It is cheap, thing and very prone to microphonics. It lacks proper strain reliefs as well. Handle with care! And don´t use them when you are running.
The size. They are big.. Big as in they stick out of your ear alot big.
The impedance. 10 ohms.. This has caused some issues for me when pairing with portable players. An ipod classic won´t work at all here and they sound drastically different ( to the worse ). You need something with really low output impedance.
Some what hard to drive:
Picky with source gear.. first there is the impedance, then there is the power. Now a sansa clip for example sounds good enough but it does lack a little bit of power. This however can be placebo from my end. But i just have that feeling, that i think i hear a difference :) I have the same feeling that the Xduoo X2 makes this iem shine. It´s a dap that has alot of grunt and brute force.
To sum this up. A great sound in a not so great shell.
There are still some out on the web. and if you find them for a bargain price ( which i did ) It´s an absolute treat! And a overlooked ugly duckling to have in your collection ( cause there is always room for another iem in the collection )
Listened to with my ears with my preference when it comes to a good sound. We don´t always agree, but that´s okay!