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Sennheiser IE8s - Do they benefit from portable headphone amps?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I recently ordered a pair of Sennheiser IE8s and I'm wondering if they would benefit from an amp at all? 

 

Thanks

 

post #2 of 39

I have no direct experience using an amp with my IE8 but I have melted the "search" feature on this forum and, for the most part, most of the other posts seem to indicate that there isn't much benefit from amping the IE8.  If my research into this is inaccurate, please let me know as I am also interested in the ops question.

post #3 of 39

I do have a half finished cmoy BB that I could pair with the IE8 to find out, but I can't decide on a good gain and I tend to screw things up when I have to desolder.  What do you guys think about a gain of 3 for the IE8 as they are sensitive?

post #4 of 39
The IE8s are a highly sensitive, low impedance iem. An amp will not do anything except add volume and can even lower the quality of the sound.
post #5 of 39



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectDenz View Post

The IE8s are a highly sensitive, low impedance iem. An amp will not do anything except add volume and can even lower the quality of the sound.


 I actually feel that my IE8 paired with pico slim works out great, better than without amp

post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

So basically only get amps for high impedance headphones?

post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectDenz View Post

The IE8s are a highly sensitive, low impedance iem. An amp will not do anything except add volume and can even lower the quality of the sound.


I totally disagree.

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by anadin View Post





I totally disagree.



X2.

 

I feel that with some amps you can, even if slightly, refine the sound.

I use them with an iBasso T3 and it probably is not the best amp for them but when you properly adjust a few settings here and there you get some quality stuff.

 

I use gain 2 only when I want a tad more definition to my  sound. I rarely use gain 1 let alone both of them together but if not EQing than I tend to use gain 1 only.

 

Overall, the IE8's sound wonderful without an amp. At the end of the day it just depends whether you can afford to shell out the extra bucks for and amp and get some to

no improvement at all.

 

Hope this is some good insight if not I'd be willing to chime in more.

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by anadin View Post





I totally disagree.


x 3. just a short note before I get back to mugging, but basically, an amp that can be customised e.g. D10 with opamps etc, can change the sound of the IE8, e.g. topkit will help to trim and control the bass of the IE8s.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectDenz View Post

The IE8s are a highly sensitive, low impedance iem. An amp will not do anything except add volume and can even lower the quality of the sound.


X2. This is my experience exactly. I'm using the IE8 directly with a Sanza Fuze, which is fine.  With the otherwize outstanding and neutral Minibox-E+ the bass was unbearable, likely due to the high sensitivity of the earphones and an impedence mismatch. I'm sure other amps will work better, but with a decent portable source, I don't see the point. Negligable improvements in SQ for extra bulk and hassle.


Edited by Headphony - 10/4/10 at 10:23am
post #11 of 39

When I had IE8s, I much prefered using an iBasso T3 with my iPod Classic vs. using the iPod's headphone out. How much of this had to do with the amp and how much with bypassing the headphone jack on the iPod, I cannot say.

post #12 of 39

Interesting comments as I have some refurb'd IE8's on order and had come to the conclusion that I didn't want an additional amp to schlep around, having gone portable.  Had been looking at a used iBasso D10 currently listed on the Buy/Sell forum.  I now just have to hope the refurb's aren't refurbished knock offs.  The dealer claims to be an authorized Sennheiser dealer.  They should be here sometime between the middle of, to the last part, of next week.  I'll be attaching the IE8's to a Sansa Fuse.  I have the Fiio E-7 but was under-impressed with it's overall performance benefit.  It's a beautiful, well thought out product but it just failed to impress me when it had a chance to.

 

 

Comments here are very encouraging as I wait for the IE8's to arrive.

 


Edited by beeman458 - 10/6/10 at 6:40pm
post #13 of 39

Okay, I previously posted that my research suggested that the IE8 only benefit slightly from amping.  I found my old, cheap Boostaro in the garage and hooked it up to see what happened.  The bass tightened up considerably which helped the IE8 to not trample over the mids; this really is a small thing, but it seems like a big deal to my ears simply because I have now heard that the phones can be better than what they are in my current setup.  Currently downgrading my JH Audio  big spender dreams to the JH5 so I can pick up an RSA Shadow and LOD.

post #14 of 39

Hi, I'm planning to use the UE700 IEM with the iPod Touch (4th Gen) and was wondering the same thing - will a portable amp make an appreciable difference to the sound quality. If not, why does a reputed brand like RaySamuelsAudio sell the 'Shadow' model dedicated to IEMs? I can't afford to buy this amp to find out so, can anyone advise me if they have experienced any improvement that is worth the money? Thanks...

post #15 of 39

basementdweller wrote:

 

Okay, I previously posted that my research suggested that the IE8 only benefit slightly from amping.  I found my old, cheap Boostaro in the garage and hooked it up to see what happened.

 

Working with you here with the following.  The IE8's came in and yes, they're the real deal.  They now have about twenty or thirty hours on them in burn-in time.

 

I was not a happy camper with the sound quality issuing forth from a two year old Sansa Clip.  I was not happy with how the burn-in was going as I was clearly expecting a whole lot more out of the burn-in process.  The IE8's continued to have a compressed sound quality and an ill defined bass quality.  Enters the FiiO E-7.  I had an abandoned E-7 sitting to the side and decided to charge it up, plug the IE8 into the E-7 and see what transpired.  And "BOY!" did it make a difference.

 

Now I'm not saying the E-7 is the "Cat's meow."  What I'm writing is that by attaching the IE8 to a separate amp, the IE8's came alive and yes, the IE8's easily and clearly benefited from amping.  Due to this point, I'm now looking at higher end DAP's like either the Nationite S:Flo2 or the HiFi Man HM-801 or the addition of an iBasso D12, the replacement version of the D10.

 

 

I might tag onto the end, I'm not looking for the end-all, esoteric sound quality, I'm simply looking for "quality" sound and I'm hoping or guessing that I'll find this in the Nationite S:Flo2.  In the end, I'm trying to keep both my mind and my options open in this regard.


Edited by beeman458 - 10/16/10 at 1:13pm
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