Wow. I've never seen a more comprehensive review of iem's. This is perfect for a reference point when deciding what to buy/suggest. Even with listening to many IEM's, i cant remember what they all sound like, and I don't get to see what they come with brand new.
For the sennheiser ie8's, the favorite tip/buds are the single flange silicon. Mine came with foam buds that are much better then the silicon, but they might not have been included... oh wait i can check.
Apparently it came with "foam hybrid" buds. That must be different from normal foam buds, which is what i got.
The foam buds i got are brilliant, they have a shallow fit like all the other buds, so the passive isolation isn't brilliant, but when playing music they block noise excellently, and at moderate volumes.
The 2.5 for isolation is a bit harsh, the cx 300 got 3.5, i have them, and the ie8's isolation is much better, so it could be a 4 at least.
It does depend highly on the foam buds though.
Well, i just tested the isolation of the cx 300 and ie8 using my speakers.
My test involved playing music at a volume of 12 on my sony walkman while turning the speakers up until i could definitely hear the music coming from them over the music from the iem's. The cx 300's achieved about 16 volume, the ie8 achieved.... about 8....
I'm not surprised they got the 2.5 now. The isolation is enough for trains, etc, but it still sucks because of the shallow seal.
Turning the walkman up to 18 volume still only isolated to 16/17 volume on the speakers... At that volume the cx 300's block the speakers up to about 27/28.