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Sennheiser ie8 vs Westone 3

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I was browsing through the web and found some Sennheiser ie8's for $300. 200 off the msrp. I'm considering the purchase but I would like to know what you guys think.

Should I get these or the Westone 3 or what do you guys think about the Sleek Audio SA6 since they have an accessory that allow you to go wireless.

I enjoy really deep basses but without lacking in rich details. The styles I listen include but are not limited to: Old school rap, gangsta rap (eazy e mostly), techno, rock and some others

And also what accessories should go along (ie portable amp, or a new cable)

thanks
post #2 of 21
I think both are good for the above genres you mentioned but W3 willbe more detaild and has less wider soundstage than IE8.
post #3 of 21
I've tried the IE8s once and did find myself liking the sound quite a lot; they remind me of my HD650s.

I've owned the W3s as well. The W3 do provide better details, better midrange and more balanced sound but when comparing to the IE8s, they sound thinner and with narrower soundstage (still very decent as IEMs but the IE8's is absolutely huge). Both will have plenty of bass. Both will isolate but don't expect too much from the IE8s.

None of them require amping.
post #4 of 21
The W3 and IE8 are both superb phones. I happen to prefer the IE8 over the W3 and unlike the previous posts I don't think the W3 are more detailed than the IE8 in terms of sheer amount of detail. The W3 pushes out the detail into your face in a 'muscular' and powerful manner so forefront and background details at first seem to be more apparent. it's rather impressive how it does this and it's easy to see why some folks may think they're more detailed. However, if you wear the IE8 with a rather light insertion all the details are there. They just don't come out and strike you and are more woven into the music. Perhaps this may be one of the reason I prefer the IE8 to the W3 because I wasn't just hearing the details in my music but rather hearing the music with details.

Both phones have a mid-bass emphasis and although I don't quite think the bass is the strong point for the IE8 I still preferred the IE8s bass which seemed more natural and tuneful, had more 'oomph' and went deeper than the W3, though shrouded by the mid-bass when sealed too deeply. I've now come to prefer the FX500 bass but it still lacks impact when compared to the IE8. I have been rather verbose with regards to the fact that the IE8 shouldn't be worn with a deep seal. Most folks seem to do just that and they get a problematic over indulgent mid-bass that muddies the sound and gives that dark signature that the IE8 has been stigmatized with. Having said that, the W3s bass was visceral and highly textured, though not the most natural bass it was fun!I still preferred triple fi 10 bass to W3's though.

W3 had more top end sparkle. I never experienced sibilance with the W3 by the way. I think this is the one area where I preferred the W3 as I have a predilection for sparkly treble. The IE8 does have perhaps similar amount of treble detail and with a shallow insertion the treble shines even more. It's however not the aggressive type. I'm frankly contented with the IE8 treble as it offers an easier listening experience. Now I don't propose to be an expert on treble, far from it, but sometimes I wonder if the IE8 are being criticized for accurately portraying that high frequency notes should attenuate with distance/depth. It's fun listening to a sparkly treble but should they reach my ears with the same amount of energy they had a good distance away? (When thunder rolls we only hear the low frequencies because most of the the high frequencies were attenuated).

Vocals are more transparent than the IE8, once again slight seal improves transparency of the IE8 and though not still quite as transparent as the W3 they were more open, fuller and airier and warm. Sometimes a bit too warm but I like them.

Soundstage and Imaging on the IE8 offers more expanse and a more realistic listening experience than the W3 to my ears. Images comes across as much more resolved on the W3 though.

Overall after I got the IE8, I sold the W3 as I found the IE8 to be smoother and more engaging. I still wished I could've kept the W3 but I was just lost in the music more with the IE8. This is all to my ears and am sure there are a lot of folks out there who prefer the W3 to the IE8 and might even take issue with some of my remarks. All I know is that no other top tier IEM delivered this much fun to my ears and I find this rather special!

OH CRap I stayed longer than I thought. I guess that's what happens when you love something. You wanna tell the whole world about it
post #5 of 21
Get the IE8. They're better than the W3 in most every way. They can also be worn with cables up or down.
post #6 of 21
I own the IE8 and W3 and if I had to keep just one, it would be a very tough decision on which one to sell and which one to keep. The above comments are more or less accurate when comparing the two. I end up listening to the IE8 most of the time.
post #7 of 21
I just resolved this dilemma and sold some new W3's and kept the IE8's. More fun, I guess. More involving. I do love a big soundstage, which the W3's, in all their glory, lack.

I also like NOT requiring a seal, so I can hear any loud sounds around me, like a city bus barreling toward my hereafter.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeluiz22 View Post
I just resolved this dilemma and sold some new W3's and kept the IE8's. More fun, I guess. More involving. I do love a big soundstage, which the W3's, in all their glory, lack.

I also like NOT requiring a seal, so I can hear any loud sounds around me, like a city bus barreling toward my hereafter.
I can see why you'll like the IE8 . I happen to think that a less than ideal seal makes the SQ shine more. At the same time, doing so affects isolation and is something I perhaps forgot to mention to the OP. If isolation is important to you I'd say W3 will serve you better.
post #9 of 21
If isolation is important to the OP, using different tips on the IE8s will take care of it.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HONEYBOY View Post
The W3 and IE8 are both superb phones. I happen to prefer the IE8 over the W3 and unlike the previous posts I don't think the W3 are more detailed than the IE8 in terms of sheer amount of detail. The W3 pushes out the detail into your face in a 'muscular' and powerful manner so forefront and background details at first seem to be more apparent. it's rather impressive how it does this and it's easy to see why some folks may think they're more detailed. However, if you wear the IE8 with a rather light insertion all the details are there. They just don't come out and strike you and are more woven into the music. Perhaps this may be one of the reason I prefer the IE8 to the W3 because I wasn't just hearing the details in my music but rather hearing the music with details.

Both phones have a mid-bass emphasis and although I don't quite think the bass is the strong point for the IE8 I still preferred the IE8s bass which seemed more natural and tuneful, had more 'oomph' and went deeper than the W3, though shrouded by the mid-bass when sealed too deeply. I've now come to prefer the FX500 bass but it still lacks impact when compared to the IE8. I have been rather verbose with regards to the fact that the IE8 shouldn't be worn with a deep seal. Most folks seem to do just that and they get a problematic over indulgent mid-bass that muddies the sound and gives that dark signature that the IE8 has been stigmatized with. Having said that, the W3s bass was visceral and highly textured, though not the most natural bass it was fun!I still preferred triple fi 10 bass to W3's though.

W3 had more top end sparkle. I never experienced sibilance with the W3 by the way. I think this is the one area where I preferred the W3 as I have a predilection for sparkly treble. The IE8 does have perhaps similar amount of treble detail and with a shallow insertion the treble shines even more. It's however not the aggressive type. I'm frankly contented with the IE8 treble as it offers an easier listening experience. Now I don't propose to be an expert on treble, far from it, but sometimes I wonder if the IE8 are being criticized for accurately portraying that high frequency notes should attenuate with distance/depth. It's fun listening to a sparkly treble but should they reach my ears with the same amount of energy they had a good distance away? (When thunder rolls we only hear the low frequencies because most of the the high frequencies were attenuated).

Vocals are more transparent than the IE8, once again slight seal improves transparency of the IE8 and though not still quite as transparent as the W3 they were more open, fuller and airier and warm. Sometimes a bit too warm but I like them.

Soundstage and Imaging on the IE8 offers more expanse and a more realistic listening experience than the W3 to my ears. Images comes across as much more resolved on the W3 though.

Overall after I got the IE8, I sold the W3 as I found the IE8 to be smoother and more engaging. I still wished I could've kept the W3 but I was just lost in the music more with the IE8. This is all to my ears and am sure there are a lot of folks out there who prefer the W3 to the IE8 and might even take issue with some of my remarks. All I know is that no other top tier IEM delivered this much fun to my ears and I find this rather special!

OH CRap I stayed longer than I thought. I guess that's what happens when you love something. You wanna tell the whole world about it
I have been using my newly acquired IE8 for a week now, and completely agree with your views on them. I would know nothing about the W3s since I do not ownd them, but your reiew for IE8 is spot on.

Congrats, seems like we have similar ears with you.
post #11 of 21
Just to echo the sentiments of Honeyboy - I currently own the W3s and have owned the IE8s - they are both top class IEMs but offer very different approaches to presenting music.

The W3s epitomise the BA class of IEMs - that is to say details speed and isolation thrown in with tight impactful bass and sparkly treble (not as much as TF10s though). The soundstage is, however, much smaller and closed off compared to the IE8s.


The IE8s offer what I perceive to be the most natural listening experience of the top universal IEMs I have owned/tried (ER4p/TF10Pro/W3s) - that is to say as Honeyboy so eloquently put "music with details not details pushed forward in the music" with an expansive soundstage. However, the isolation is a problem and ambient noise at street level is still audible.

Hope that helps
post #12 of 21
one of the advantages of the Westone brand is their awesome cables. Very light, flexible and limits microphonics. how do the cables of the IE8 perform?
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxy99 View Post
one of the advantages of the Westone brand is their awesome cables. Very light, flexible and limits microphonics. how do the cables of the IE8 perform?
Better in every way. IE8 cables are lighter, tougher, less microphonic and removeable/replaceable.
post #14 of 21
The IE8 has superb cables, and I'm sure most owners would agree. It's flexible and soft, but still feels durable. It's detachable, so if there are problems it's an easy fix. Microphonics are minimal in my experience, but I always wear them over the ear so YMMV.
post #15 of 21

one plus for Senn

Quote:
Originally Posted by squid+ View Post
The IE8 has superb cables, and I'm sure most owners would agree. It's flexible and soft, but still feels durable. It's detachable, so if there are problems it's an easy fix. Microphonics are minimal in my experience, but I always wear them over the ear so YMMV.
I've owned both phones; both are superb and both equally effective at minimizing microphonics. The IE8 outdo the W3's in that tangles are less frequent and less severe, for those who put their phone on and off on the fly.
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