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Sennheiser IE8s - should I return?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi - sorry if this is a familiar question, but I'm hoping someone can give me some useful advice!

 

I am a working musician and listen to all styles of music, particularly jazz / acoustic as well as funk / soul / electronic. I have just bought a set of IE8s to replace my broken UE700s.... I did a fair bit of research beforehand and narrowed it down to the IE8s and a pair of Shure SE420s that were still available in the shop. I had read about the bass-heavy character of the IE8s but decided that it wouldn't be ridiculous since it is such a high end headphone and the bass would be manageable via the tuneable screw. But I wasn't prepared for the sound to be as pronounced as it is....with the bass on the minimum setting the bass and bass-mids are so far forward in the mix that when listening to jazz records it seems like the mix is on the bass player all the time - the piano is waaaay back in the mix on a piano trio record for example. The IE8s sound great on more produced stuff, especially tracks where there is a lot of treble in the mix, Jamiroquai etc.... I really like the warm understated character in the high / mids but the over-pronounced bass really distorts the balance for me. I have tried different earpieces and found that pulling the foam pads out of the ear slightly gives a better bass response, but at the expense of sound isolation!! Argh......this is becoming a minefield!!! 

 

My dilemma is whether I should return them...I am going to leave them on overnight burning-in and see if that makes much difference, but I think I already have a pretty realistic impression of what they sound like (unless they drastically change!) From my comments does it sound like I would be better suited to any other headphones....the 420s perhaps? 

 

Should I expect my retailer to accept a refund / exchange on the grounds that I don't like them (bearing in mind that they can't be resold as I've used them)? 

 

Thanks in advance......

 

post #2 of 7

Return them, and try MTPC's.  

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by pringe83 View Post

Hi - sorry if this is a familiar question, but I'm hoping someone can give me some useful advice!

 

I am a working musician and listen to all styles of music, particularly jazz / acoustic as well as funk / soul / electronic. I have just bought a set of IE8s to replace my broken UE700s.... I did a fair bit of research beforehand and narrowed it down to the IE8s and a pair of Shure SE420s that were still available in the shop. I had read about the bass-heavy character of the IE8s but decided that it wouldn't be ridiculous since it is such a high end headphone and the bass would be manageable via the tuneable screw. But I wasn't prepared for the sound to be as pronounced as it is....with the bass on the minimum setting the bass and bass-mids are so far forward in the mix that when listening to jazz records it seems like the mix is on the bass player all the time - the piano is waaaay back in the mix on a piano trio record for example. The IE8s sound great on more produced stuff, especially tracks where there is a lot of treble in the mix, Jamiroquai etc.... I really like the warm understated character in the high / mids but the over-pronounced bass really distorts the balance for me. I have tried different earpieces and found that pulling the foam pads out of the ear slightly gives a better bass response, but at the expense of sound isolation!! Argh......this is becoming a minefield!!! 

 

My dilemma is whether I should return them...I am going to leave them on overnight burning-in and see if that makes much difference, but I think I already have a pretty realistic impression of what they sound like (unless they drastically change!) From my comments does it sound like I would be better suited to any other headphones....the 420s perhaps? 

 

Should I expect my retailer to accept a refund / exchange on the grounds that I don't like them (bearing in mind that they can't be resold as I've used them)? 

 

Thanks in advance......

 

They have dynamic drivers so the bass should settle down after a 300hr burn in. Also the tips you put on will make a big difference. I tried the IE 8 last week with the Monster Cables Super Tips (Gel) and they sounded more transparent and the bass was not as overwhelming as with the original tips. The other tips I would also recommend are the UE sillicone tips and the Sony Hybrid tips. Anyways, here are some of the artists I was listening to just to give you a reference, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard and Jane Monheit just to name a few. But if you like jazz trios or quartet I would highly recommend the Fisher Audio DBA-02, they are $160 US and they will blow the SE 420 out of the water in terms of performance. They are very neutral and transparent, with a nice sense of air (instrument separation) . The bass is neutral without sounding anemic, a nice feat for a bright sounding IEM. I'm listening to them as I'm writing this right now, and I swear Esperanza Spalding is in the same room with me when I close my eyes.
 

post #4 of 7

Absolutely, tips and burn in make a huge difference with the IE8s. I do not find them very bassy at all using complys. They sound balanced to me, with smooth treble and some warmth, yet enough details.

However, I like smooth, if your preference is an analytical sound with edged treble the IE8s will never suffice.

post #5 of 7

The smoothness and the warmth of the IE-8 can be quite addictive, I haven't felt such an emotional connection to the music with other IEM. With the IE-8 you get lost and feel the music instead of listening to them.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well I have to say i have completely changed my opinion - I am staggered how much different they sound after 30 or so hours of use. The bass has tightened and the trebles aren't so dull any more, and the detail has improved too! I have also been experimenting with the fit and have found you can lessen the overpowering bass effect by loosening them a fraction in the ear.

 

The downside is the isolation - on noisy public transport you have to crank up the volume a bit and they are no good as on stage IEMs (but I didn't really expect them to be).

 

They have got me going through my music collection on shuffle and constantly being amazed at the clarity and life they bring to the recordings!

 

 

post #7 of 7

I love the Sony Hybrids EPEX10A with the IE8.

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