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REVIEW: ACS custom tips + SENNHEISER IE8

post #1 of 368
Thread Starter 
Disclaimer: these review only my personal opinion. I am not responsible for any consequences.

UPDATES:

Sunday 5 April 2009:

I will be getting a new pair with remade to support Cable-over-ear and I will update the impressions. Also, after few
weeks of usage. I'm glad that the I can say I agrees with the review impressions.
Another thing I discovered that if I don't wedge in the customs. There is much more soundstage that way.


Thursday 16 April 2009:

Used the new over-ear tips for around 4hours and the sound does changed comparing to others. I will have to update my impression and review over time.

Updated pics are at the bottom



Early Impressions(cable down):



Few years ago Apple broadcasted a commercial. The background was solid colours with a shaded person dancing with a white iPod and headphones. While it is questionable if one will actually be thrilled and pull off those moves before the ear buds fall off. Surprisingly, that is what I did from the moment the custom tips were in my ears playing music.

These are my first customs; it took some puzzle solving to get the tips inside my ears. Each side is color coded in red or blue ACS logo. Although it requires using a bit of force to install on the IEMs. Once it’s in place, it is firmly held together that you won’t have custom tips left in your ears while removing.

Once music starts playing, I notice the soundstage is more expansive. It is more lifelike and now IE8 does sound like full-size headphones. It is comparable to ATH-M50 which I auditioned recently. In some recording, vocals are bought closer to you in the center. Sound effects or guitars playing on the each side are further from the head.

Second thing I noticed is the ease of pinpoint location of sound, direction of sound could be quickly recognized. Also instrument separation is enhanced.

Transparency and texture is much improved; every small detail now could be noticed. It applies to the whole frequency response.

The bass is changed in a positive way. The bass impact is slightly greater due to better response in lower bass. It was recognised at a later point. In contrast, mid and high bass is not changed much. The bass section is more refined.

Improvements in mids are transparency and texture. But highs are slightly more pronounced, in return of improved details. The wide bore design in the sound tunnel pays off.

The improvements doesn’t come with no cost, the IE8 with custom tips are slightly more revealing to bad recordings; lower bit-rate MP3s are harsher to listen.

Isolation in the subway and bus is better than Sennheiser bi-flanges I used. Most of the frequency is isolated more. Low frequency noise is still present at a slightly lower volume. Music is more enjoyable and present rather than blending in with the background noise. I was surprised how much detail I could hear. They are also comfortable which I could wear for hours continuously. Since they are made of soft silicon, they have tendency of give and easier to achieve a great fit and comfort. Using the custom tips, I was able to lower the listening volume evening more. For reference, I used to use 7/20 anywhere with stock tips; with customs I could listen with 6/20.But the sound lack dynamics since the decrease in volume is too big. An amp with a volume knob would do it. Keep in mind; I listen to the absolutely lowest volume possible for listening pleasure.

In conclusion, these custom tips will bring your IEM to an entirely new level. With the IE8, much of the disadvantages are eliminated. I thought I achieved good fit and decent sound with bi-flanges. But with customs, it’s perfect fit and sound quality has never been this good. They fit around the driver housing giving it a uniform look and it doesn’t locate the IEM far away from ear. It is stealth once inserted. Pairing it with the IE8 could let the true potential of the unique sound signature unleash. I never thought it could be more enjoyable.


More pictures:

Cable down:







Cable over-ear:









post #2 of 368
Great write up.
post #3 of 368
Looks good for a low cost custom.
post #4 of 368
Cables down, right? I'm waiting for someone to also do a review with cables up, to see if there's a difference in result or opinion before deciding which way to go (up, or down, though I'd much prefer up from a comfort/practicality standpoint).

-Ed
post #5 of 368
Thread Starter 
Actually, I contact with ACS. My contact person said that she actually ordered them to make cable up. But the lab side decided to make them cable down. They will have to check on the error and get back to me.

I would called internal error. Well, I think I have to right to ask for correction of this mistake.

At the mean while, I could live with this. Hah

Also, you could also do this cable up or down with your W3. just make the fit and seal is equal to be fair.
post #6 of 368
those look fantastic
post #7 of 368
Good writeup. Customs look hot.
post #8 of 368
There is one word to describe this:

Win.
post #9 of 368
Cool, maybe that will be my next purchase!
post #10 of 368
ACS here I come, they look awesome and I've got to get a pair myself now.
post #11 of 368
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I hope the information is useful


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Kev View Post
ACS here I come, they look awesome and I've got to get a pair myself now.
maybe colour match the W3.
post #12 of 368
Nice review there and I was considering these, but then I learnt that my teenage ears are still growing apparently, so not a choice for me
post #13 of 368
I suggest putting up the price too, otto. Easier reference. This might stop my lust for custom. Great
post #14 of 368
Do you have to go to audiologist to create the mold or can I do it myself?
post #15 of 368
Any pics wearing them?
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