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Sennheiser IE8s - Do they benefit from portable headphone amps? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman458 View Post

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.



Glad to hear an amp brought them to life for you. If you're going for portable use then a iBasso T3 wouldn't be bad. I have/had a D4 and i just couldnt bare to take it out of my bag because it was too much gear. Although, I have to say the D4 really makes these babes sing. 

 

The best sound quality I've managed to achieve is through the use of EQ on my Cowon J3. The difference is quite literally night and day...

post #17 of 39

Nanashi, thanks for the Cowon J3 suggestion.  There are so many choices at this level and they all look so yummy and for my budget, are reasonably priced.  I'm torn between an all-in-one unit or do I complicate things and rubber band a DAP to a DAC/Amp combo like an iBasso D12?

 

Yes, I very much want the convenience of the all-in-one DAP's but I also don't want to short change the experience as I want the quality provided by a separate combo.

 

 

In checking out the Cowon product line, I notice they have models containing up to 32Gb, but it seems the Cowon line doesn't come with a SDHC slot.  For me, not having a SDHC slot isn't a deal breaker but in this day and age, it sure is a needed/necessary feature in this day and age of bloated music files when ripped at 1.41Mbps.  And this, even with compression programs like FLAC.

 

???

 

I'm in agreement with EQ'g the sound as my ears have lost the ability to respect what sound engineers send to the printer.  The shape of my EQ, based upon recent online ear tests, is a huge smile where I jack up the lows and the highs and reduce the mids as I have about a twenty to thirty dB range of deficiency over a neutral or flat EQ line of zero dB.  Doing so, better matches the sound issuing forth to my aging ears.


Edited by beeman458 - 10/17/10 at 9:24am
post #18 of 39


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeman458 View Post

Nanashi, thanks for the Cowon J3 suggestion.  There are so many choices at this level and they all look so yummy and for my budget, are reasonably priced.  I'm torn between an all-in-one unit or do I complicate things and rubber band a DAP to a DAC/Amp combo like an iBasso D12?

 

Yes, I very much want the convenience of the all-in-one DAP's but I also don't want to short change the experience as I want the quality provided by a separate combo.

 

 

In checking out the Cowon product line, I notice they have models containing up to 32Gb, but it seems the Cowon line doesn't come with a SDHC slot.  For me, not having a SDHC slot isn't a deal breaker but in this day and age, it sure is a needed/necessary feature in this day and age of bloated music files when ripped at 1.41Mbps.  And this, even with compression programs like FLAC.

 

???

 

I'm in agreement with EQ'g the sound as my ears have lost the ability to respect what sound engineers send to the printer.  The shape of my EQ, based upon recent online ear tests, is a huge smile where I jack up the lows and the highs and reduce the mids as I have about a twenty to thirty dB range of deficiency over a neutral or flat EQ line of zero dB.  Doing so, better matches the sound issuing forth to my aging ears.


I don't think the J3 will take away from how much more you'll benefit with the iBasso line, or any other amps for that matter. Again, you could combo it if your willing to lug it around, but, my experience and I'm pretty sure others can vouch for this has shown that this isn't the most convenient when you see the size and weight of these amps. It just wouldn't work out unless you have a messenger bag or something similar to have it be convenient.

 

In terms of memory capacity, Cowon has a few players that are expandable, the J3 being one of them. They don't use SDHC but they do use microSDHC which is essentially the same minus the size of the card. So, you could have a 64gb J3 as some folks do on here. I know this isn't the biggest capacity out there when it comes to portable players but you honestly have to ask yourself, will I really ever listen to 64gb of music on the go?c That being said, I think there is some music that I like having to listen to at home or in a quiet place and music that suits me for portable use because if it doesn't I'll more likely than not just press next and that seems like crucial space for something more suitable.

 

I love EQing, I know some people are against that but why would anyone be against something that can make your headphones/IEM better. I loved using the smiley EQ, was the one that for some reason worked well with most kinds of music. After learning to tweak my EQ I learned that it affects the way the music revolves around your head (sound stage maybe ??) With the IE8s (on J3) I lower my lowest frequencies and raise the higher ones a tad and the level of detail is just superb. 

 

Anyways, sorry about the long rant. Just providing some insight.

post #19 of 39

Nanashi wrote:

 

I don't think the J3 will take away from how much more you'll benefit with the iBasso line, or any other amps for that matter. Again, you could combo it if your willing to lug it around, but, my experience and I'm pretty sure others can vouch for this has shown that this isn't the most convenient when you see the size and weight of these amps. It just wouldn't work out unless you have a messenger bag or something similar to have it be convenient.

 

I have a copy of the FiiO E-7 and a couple of Sansa players to rubber band to it for comparison purposes and personally, I want things simple like what DAP's like the J3 brings to the table, but being a conflicted personality, I also want the quality a combo add on gives.

 

In terms of memory capacity, Cowon has a few players that are expandable, the J3 being one of them. They don't use SDHC but they do use microSDHC which is essentially the same minus the size of the card.

 

My error on the above as when I wrote SDHC, I was thinking MicroSDHC.

 

So, you could have a 64gb J3 as some folks do on here. I know this isn't the biggest capacity out there when it comes to portable players but you honestly have to ask yourself, will I really ever listen to 64gb of music on the go?c

 

My opinion, 64Gb of memory is a boatload of memory.  Using uncompressed WAV, ripped 1.41Mbps, my music file is only 44Gb.  So I'd be good with sixteen or thirty-two Gb onboard with a couple of MicroSDHC cards on the side.  This would be more than enough to keep me happy and IIRC, the J3 also has FM for a break from the music library if that should become necessary.

 

---snip---

 

I love EQing, I know some people are against that but why would anyone be against something that can make your headphones/IEM better.

 

I think only those folks who have perfect hearing or those who have never tested their hearing are down with a neutral EQ graph.  If you're like me, with my old man ears, you need to EQ the sound just to get back what age has taken away.  To me, it's pretty "stupid" to not EQ the sound to match normal, age related hearing loss.  My opinion, that'd be like refusing to get hearing aids because you want sound to be natural.

 

 

I loved using the smiley EQ, was the one that for some reason worked well with most kinds of music. After learning to tweak my EQ I learned that it affects the way the music revolves around your head (sound stage maybe ??) With the IE8s (on J3) I lower my lowest frequencies and raise the higher ones a tad and the level of detail is just superb. 

 

Anyways, sorry about the long rant. Just providing some insight.

 

Long rants, as long as they have quality to them, are a good thing.  Thanks for the long rant.

post #20 of 39

Long rants, as long as they have quality to them, are a good thing.  Thanks for the long rant.

 

Same here brother .

 

I'm curious as to what player are you matching your IE8s with at the moment?

post #21 of 39

I'm curious as to what player are you matching your IE8s with at the moment?

 

Embarrassed to write, a couple of years old 2Gb Sansa Clip > FiiO E-7 > IE8's.

 

 

But dang it sounds good.

 

post #22 of 39

I'm running my IE8's with a D10 w/ the top flight kit.

 

The improvement it makes is noticeable. Bigger soundstage, better and more controlled bass, better imaging/layering and extended highs. 

post #23 of 39

/\ agree with that, was my old setup.

post #24 of 39

yes, aside from the ability to tune the sound to how you like it, either through the amp itself, or opamps inside and cables attached to it, there is also another factor that effect very low impedance IEMs like the IE8, damping factor, damping factor is related to the output impedance or low impedance drive of the amplifier. without high damping factor/low output impedance, low impedance loads are a difficult thing to drive and the low end bass will be modulated or rolled off. most consumer daps have capacitors and a couple small resistors at the output, this lessens damping factor.

 

amps in general of any decent quality will have superior damping factor and more current on tap, low impedance loads actually require MORE current than high impedance, less voltage, but more current and if the DAP doesnt have current on tap, that is another area the amp can help. people who post as if driving things loud is some test of quality need to educate themselves before handing out advice IMO. 

post #25 of 39

...there is also another factor that effect very low impedance IEMs like the IE8, damping factor, damping factor is related to the output impedance or low impedance drive of the amplifier. without high damping factor/low output impedance, low impedance loads are a difficult thing to drive and the low end bass will be modulated or rolled off. most consumer daps have capacitors and a couple small resistors at the output, this lessens damping factor.

 

Damn it Jim, I'm a Pest Control operator with a technical background, not an Electrical Design Engineer.

 

 

amps in general of any decent quality will have superior damping factor and more current on tap, low impedance loads actually require MORE current than high impedance, less voltage, but more current and if the DAP doesnt have current on tap, that is another area the amp can help.

 

All I can write in the simple is, IE8's come alive with the extra torque (current) an amp provides at a given horsepower; voltage.  Not all of us were allowed to play with resistors as a kid.

 

 


Edited by beeman458 - 10/20/10 at 7:04am
post #26 of 39

Been listening to the IE8s w/ the J3 and iBasso D4. All I can say is OMFG lol, this set up is the s***. The main reason I decided not to sell the D4 was because of this. I was getting an annoying channel imbalance with the T3 so decided to sell that instead. 

 

Anyways, while the IE8s sound good with the J3 alone it feels like something is slightly missing. When hooked up to the D4 as well something magical happens ...it feels like the sound stage opens up and the clarity and detail become more pronounced. Con to this is that I've tried carrying my D4 with me before and its just too much, then again I really don't mind just keeping it for when I'm away from the "in process" home rig though.

post #27 of 39

When hooked up to the D4 as well something magical happens ...it feels like the sound stage opens up and the clarity and detail become more pronounced.

 

 

"Now that's what I'm talkin about."

 

Without an amp, the IE8's seem to be "just there."  But throw a decent amp into the chain and it's like; "Step back!" as the magic comes alive.

 

 

Yeah baby!

 

post #28 of 39

 

I hear you brother... seriously can't get the cheesy smile off thinking about how good they sound right now. It just feels so right!!

 

It was a pain to find that perfect sweet spot.

 

I've been tweaking with tips, players, amps and equalizers for weeks and to have it all finally working together is just perpetual bliss....minus the electricity .

 

post #29 of 39
Quote:

Damn it Jim, I'm a Pest Control operator with a technical background, not an Electrical Design Engineer.

 

 

 

All I can write in the simple is, IE8's come alive with the extra torque (current) an amp provides at a given horsepower; voltage.  Not all of us were allowed to play with resistors as a kid.

 

 


well, you can find the laymans terms, over-simplifications and metaphors all over this site, I dont need to add to that tongue.gif the question had already been answered in such a manner. some people search for a more technical explanation, already having knowledge from a different field of expertise. then there are those already having perhaps a misconceived idea of what is happening like a couple earlier in the thread;

 

 

why would you want to play with resistors as a kid anyway? pretty boring without the deadly high voltage biggrin.gif


Edited by qusp - 10/20/10 at 11:10am
post #30 of 39

qusp wrote:

 

well, you can find the laymans terms and over-simplifications and metaphors all over this site, I dont need to add to that tongue.gif some people search for a technical explanation;

 

I was just teasing with ya.

 

already having knowledge from a different field of expertise.

 

I figure, anybody who understood what you were writing, don't need an explanation cause they're already on to what's what.

 

why would you want to play with resistors as a kid anyway?

 

To learn the color code and what the values were.

 

pretty boring without the deadly high voltage biggrin.gif

 

 

What I found very revealing (interesting) was when Nanashi wrote:

 

Been listening to the IE8s w/ the J3 and iBasso D4.  All I can say is OMFG lol, this set up is the s***.

 

Aside from the very important damping action that you wrote of, Nanashi's comment above tells me that the amp in the Cowon J3, isn't very good and anyone considering a J3 should seriously take this point into consideration before picking one up.

 


Edited by beeman458 - 10/20/10 at 11:26am
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