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sony e888 & d777: first impressions

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
i've had my e888s for about 3 days now. they spent the 1st 12 hours burning in using a future sound of london cd at a mid to high volume.

i tested them using my d777 headphone jack (player volume to 7 and attenuated with the remote), and the d777 line out -> fostex mixer's headphone out (it has a clean sounding powerful amp in it). test discs were john williams classical guitar music and stereolab's "sound dust" cd, and dead can dance's "spiritchaser", at home and on the bus.

they have a sound similar to my cd1700, meaning not bright, but extremely detailed and warm. they are "listen for hours" type of phones for their extremely smooth presentation. they don't come close to the silky mids & highs of the cd1700, but make a nice companion phone to them. that have that "small" sound of most earbuds, but with great imaging, almost on par with my v6 cans. the bass is strong, especially using the fostex amp. the bass also reminds me of my v6 is it's accuracy, but without the impact or depth. the mids on the e888 are wonderful, but in comparison to the cd1700 the mid-high & treble have a bit more grain. like the cd1700 the e888 benefits from a better source. any dirt in the signal (like hiss or distortion) will be easily audible with these, as much as the v6. on the bus they were useless once we got up to 60 mph because they have little isolation.

the real revelation with these phones is how they handle classical music. i have never heard an earbud that i liked for classical, but the e888 is an exception. the classical guitar stuff had a very realistic, warm analog quality to it i enjoyed very much; if this is sony's "natural sound" it is great.

the build seems well thought out, with sony's trademark elegance and style. the case is great, like a giant techno-beetle, and cleverly designed to protect the 'phones and cord. they are extremely comfortable (to me anyway), and stay in my ears pretty well. they don't have the nice scent of the e848 , but have a very stylish look. they honestly don't seem all that fragile, but i have had them for anly a few days. instead of hard plastic the 'phone's body is made or hard rubber & metal, like the ex70. the cord seems well designed and doesn't tangle easily.

the e888 are great earbuds, with a sweet refined sound and enough bass to complete the sonic picture nicely. their detail and imaging are stunning. they have a bit of grain in the treble, but this is more of a problem on less than perfect recordings. their "bio-cellulose" diaphrams are similar to the cd1700, and both 'phones share that wonderful flowing midrange. i give them a "thumbs up".

Bio-cellulose diaphragms for full range sound
Sony Acoustic Twin Turbo™ circuitry
16mm speaker driver delivers deeper bass, extended treble
High power neodymium magnet
Linear-crystal OFC Class 1 cord
Silent cap to prevent sound leakage
Gold plated stereo miniplug
Carrying case
8Hz - 27kHz (yeah, right)
post #2 of 41
YAY! Another 888s lover!

Lately, these guys have been bashed a lot by.....well...MX500 or KSC-35 luvers.....strangely enough - I prefer the 888s!



Redshifter, all u really need are the CD3ks, and, um, R10s

Then you'll be Mr. Sony.....
post #3 of 41
I think I've just sussed why the E888s are "love 'em or hate 'em 'phones"

Simply, they are TOO audiophile for there own good... listening to them now, quietly through my RDS tuner, they sound pretty fantastic (in UNmodded 'guise), easily a match for my HD-580s at the equivilant volume, which in principle sounds great BUT

They fall over themselves when you take them outside, there audiophile sound works against them, they are too refined and too neutral, outside sounds work against them, making them sound bass-light, which in turn emphasises the midrange, which makes them sound kind of sickly in comparison to say the bass heavy EX70s, which by coincidence are often commented on as being midrange light... its purely a matter of which part of the audio spectrum strikes you the most, and with the E888s, its the (ever so slightly too) tacky midrange

MX500s for that matter, to my ears just sound really sick, they have no noticeable treble to me, the sound seems to sound gray to me... I tried to like them, but couldn't i'm afraid

So, all in all MY preference for buds for OUTDOOR usage are the EX70s, they seem to strike a middle cord between the MX500s and the E888s, the smoothness of the E888s (if you use them 'correctly' with the correct size gaskets and don't cram them into your ears) with the more powerful bottom end of the MX500s

I daresay I'm alone in this, but... I have to air my opinion in a slightly more constructive way than "I don't like E888s" - hopefully people will understand my point of view now?
post #4 of 41
Duncan, do you know where I can get a pair of the E888s in england? or even online. Oh, I've found that www.hifibitz.co.uk sells grado phones much cheaper then everywhere else, £65 for the SR60 and £85 for the SR80, free delivery too. But for Sennheiser they suck, £150 for the HD580? anyone?
post #5 of 41
I personally haven't seen them in the UK since 1995 when i got mine (one thing to there advantage, these are by far and away the longest lasting buds that i have ever owned! - I don't include my vertical earphones in that equation though)

Peddler who sometimes visits these parts is from somewhere near Sheffield, and he owns a pair of E888s (and some ETYs so far as I know)... I don't know if he got them when they were available in the UK in the mid 90's.. or if he got them more recently... maybe worth a PM?!
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
you know, that's exactly what i was thinking last night! if i got the r10 i would own 3 of the best closed cans there are. i think evetually i will have to get the cd3k, just as a companion for the cd1.7k, i understand their sound is different enough... then i'll have to change my name to mr. sony! (lol!)

<--- get behind me!!

on a side note i think my wife's journey to the darkside (becomming a headphone nut) is nearly complete. i let her listen to the e888 last night and she started asking questions like "so, are they still available? and i can get them for $50...?" <evil emperor> BWWWAAAAAHAAAAHAAA!! </evil emperor>

on another side note, i saw a guy at work today walk past me with some grado sr125. i of course followed him and got to listen to them on my d777 discman. what a great sound! for the minute i listened i could tell right away why grado has such a following. great detail and an irresistable up-front sound that reminded me of my v6. bass was good & tight, and treble bordered on bright (ok, detailed!). the mids had a nice no-nonsense punch & polish to them, perhaps a little more emphasis on upper-mids. anyway, great cans!
post #7 of 41
Duncan - I actually think that you have the most reasonable standpoint on the 888s. A little too unromantic for my taste, but quite reasonable.

Actually, lately, I've started to really want some two-tipped version EX70s; the 3-tip version I heard had too little highs for my taste..and I like highs.

No, not THOSE kind of highs.......

Well, if cinnamon altoids taken in large quantities induce those kind of highs....

Never mind.
post #8 of 41
Coolvij, I'll whisper a little secret in your ear...

After running my three tipped version in for a couple of days... on a side by side comparison between those, and my slightly distressed two tipped version, i can tell no real difference between the two (apart from the fit... but we won't go there )

So, Its either my ears aren't as good as they used to be, or else the difference between two, and three tipped EX70s isn't as huge as what some people make it seem to be
post #9 of 41
Uh-oh....then I don't want EX70s.....I guess it's off to the Plug for me (I will never be able to afford Etys...and even if I could, I'd personally prefer a full-sizer....)....\

redshifter: way to go!!! if only I could do that to my mom....I swear, I'd have a rig better than jude's.

Ok - I take that back.

I'd have a good rig, at least
post #10 of 41
To steer this thread back on track I'll start this post with a confession...

I have not used ANY Head/Earphones for the past three weeks... My computer has been of more importance to me...

Right, now... fully on track, I've just fired up my D777 with the E888s, and... I agree with Redshifter, that the E888s sound brilliant with the remote control volume turned down slightly, I don't know how or why, I don't profess to understand electronics... I'm running the main unit at a volume of 6 out of 10, which i daresay some people will find TOO loud... such is life

Seeing that this is the first music i've listened to through 'phones for so long, i feel like i'm re-born... the little E888s do sound bloody amazing (for want of a more expressive statement) with an astounding sense of depth and realism for the size and cost restraints... I just have this slightly downtrodden feeling that this is all a facade though, and that when i listen to my HD-580s at a reasonable volume the E888s will sound bad again

So... to further enhance my first statement in this thread, the E888s are barnstorming 'buds for minaturised audiophiles, but they are too serious in there musicality, you need buds like EX70s to inject fun and energy into portable music

btw Cool... If treble is what you're after, you couldn't be further away from finding the solution if you tried, looking at the Plug... its got bass by the bucketful (although not controlled at all)... and thats about it... no credible mids, and virtually ZERO treble
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
duncan, did you notice how the d777 & e888 follow eachother alphanumerically? pretty cool, i wonder if sony did it on purpose?

cool, i agree with my fellow team-sony member, duncan. the plugh has the kind of bass you hear through the wall when the boys next door have the subwoofer turned up: muffled and annoying. i know you're not a fan of the ex70 (lord knows why ), but imho they are in a completely different (better) class than the plugh.
post #12 of 41

redshifter AND duncan: I don't like the EX70s because something about their highs made them sound...well....muddy. After about 5 min., they were all right - but they were veiled, for sure. Like, the bass sorta crept into the mids, and the mids crept into the highs, and the highs...wept....

However - I said I'd get the plugs half in jest, half in complete speculation.

Besides, when the EX70 can be had for around 4o bux shipped - why bother with anything else.

Hmm....if only there was a closed 888....and don't say CD1700
post #13 of 41
easily a match for my HD-580s at the equivilant volume

Hehe, j/k... although I do have a VERY big difference of opinion with you on that one. I've heard the 888s, and if you give the 580s the power they require, the 888s can't even carry the 580s, er, cable
post #14 of 41
lol MacDef... I'll re-word what i said slightly...

6 on the volume of the D777 is quiet to my ears, and the E888s sound equal to the HD-580s at a QUIET volume... as soon as the volume goes up, the E888s are left way back in the HD-580s dust

Hopefully thats a little bit clearer now
post #15 of 41


It's a Protoss Carrier!! It launches Interceptors! From STARCRAFT!

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