Originally Posted by PhilS
I have the IE8's and love them. I think some of the comments about bass in other threads you've read are partly attributable to the fact that IEM's with good response in the midrange and upper frequencies tend to be shy on bass (nothing is perfect, after all), but the IE8's are not. (That is, people emphasize how much bass they have because they are surprised that a phone with such a good response at the mid- and higher end also has bass.) In addition, the amount of bass can be adjusted by the notch on the side of the IEM's, by placement in the ear, and by different tips, so it can be pretty much tailored to your preferences, IMO. So when I fell like a little more bass in what I am listening to, I can usually achieve it quite easily with a little adjustment, or I can back it off a little bit.
I will also say that, like many other IEM's, you will find a range of comments about these IEM's. Many love them, but some hate them; some will say they're "X", and some will say they're the opposite of "X." Some of it may depend on the different shapes of people's ears, ear placement, the source one is using, the type of music you listen to, or the particular tips being used, etc. You really have to try them to make your own judgment. Their is really no way around that, particularly with IEM's.
In any event, I think they put out excellent sound. Frankly, I like them better than the $500 custom IEM's I had previously, and don't see much of need for improvement. I consider it one of the best purchases for the money I've made in the audio area.
P.S. I can't overemphasize how much the use of different tips can affect the sound and how this can impact other's impressions and reviews of these phones.
This is a brilliant post. Judging from the way I can change the sound of the IE8 with depth of insertion and certain tips am not surprised of the manifold reviews they receive.I'm sometimes even ambivalent to recommending them because I know some folks are just gonna ram them deep in their ears like they do with their other phones and then come back and post that the phones are veiled and muddy with too much bass. Perhaps the sound signature is not to everyone's liking but I find them to be the most musical and engaging phones I've tried. I've said before that listening to the IE8 is like listening to music with very good details as opposed to listening to details like some phones do. They fall more in line with the musical rather than analytical side of the spectrum which I personally prefer. If a phone can't get me into the music then no matter how well they do other things I don't want them! haha
Some phones have a bit more rawness that some folks prefer but the IE8 is extremely smooth from top to bottom and renders a non fatiguing listening experience. Most folks tout the bass as the best part of these IEMs but I feel they have better overall qualities. The bass is certainly above average IMO, great impact and extension. They do have good sub bass but they also have a mid bass emphasis that may shroud the sub bass on tracks that are mid bass heavy. I don't find the bass to be muddy at all. I personally prefer the FX500 bass to the IE8 but they are still lacking in midbass and doesn't quite have the impact of the IE8.
Most folks talk about their laid back treble but they never mention that these phones have the best treble extension of the touted top tier IEMs. The treble isn't as prominent as the ER 4P, W3 and triple fi 10 but it beats all of them in treble extension. I also think that striving to accomplish a complete seal with these kills the treble. I don't like to listen to these with a deep seal, I just can't.
The mids as mvw2 pointed out aren't the most articulate but they're smooth with very good texture and easy to listen to. I also find them to be energetic enough to be very engaging with rock and other fast paced genres. Some phones have more resolved imaging but the IE8 puts air around instruments in a manner that I haven't heard from any of them coupled with a very expansive head-stage that can fool me into creating a gigantic sound-stage.
As you should be able to tell by now I am a very biased IE8 fan boy. Reason is because I consider them to be the best audio purchase I've made yet. I've tried UM3x, W3, SE530, triple fi 10, ER 4P and some others. I must say that I liked triple fi 10 and ER 4P the best of that bunch though I still prefer the IE8 sound signature to them. It sounds more natural to my ears and absolutely more comfortable. What can I say.Every time I set out to write a brief note about the IE8 I keep going on about them endlessly haha. I hope there are other fokks out there who enjoy these phones as much as I do even months after the honeymoon period.