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Shure se series vs Sennheiser ie8

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, so I'm thinking about replacing my earbuds but I'm not so sure which I should get. I'm deciding between the Shure SE series (probably se425 or se535) and Sennheiser ie8. My friend says that I should get the ie8s because of its base-heavy tendencies (I mostly listen to soundtracks and orchestra music, but I also listen to rap and hiphop every now and then), because apparently it would fit my music tastes better... but I'm not so sure haha. Furthermore, I'm a little skeptical about the replacement cables, because though we can replace them, how long do these cables last exactly...? are they lower quality so that the companies would make us replace them more often for profit? If its true then I might lean towards the original SE420 and SE530. Please let me know your opinion I need help thanks!!

post #2 of 12

For those genres, I think you could be very happy with the IE8. They are bass heavy and a "dark" earphone, but they are a lot of fun too, and do symphonies well because of the vast soundstage. Don't worry about the replaceable cables. Both the IE8 and the Se425/535 are some of the best built earphones. They cables are replaceable because they are the only things liable to break on them! Its more like if something were to wear out, it would be the cables. But both cables are kevlar lined, and that's the stuff they stop bullets with. They are both really well made, but for your genres, I think you could love the IE8. Make sure to buy from an authorized sennheiser dealer and you can get a full 2 year warranty. I've bough mine from J and R who will price match pretty much any price you can find. Razordogdeals will give some good prices too and they can be found on ebay. Both are authorized dealer.


I definitely wouldn't recommend the SE535 though for those genres. It does vocals well but I'm not fond of it for any kind of orchestra/symphony. If you need another option, you may like the W3, or perhaps the W4. But IE8 sounds like a great fit for you!

post #3 of 12

FWIW don't expect the IE8's to sound good straight out of the box. After about 50hrs they sounded ok . After around 200hrs they really improved. That was my experience anyway. Yours may vary...

post #4 of 12

I had the Sennheiser IE8 and they are a great IEM. They will suit your music tastes, because they have a vast soundstage and work really well with orchestral music and hip-hop music. Don't worry about the cables, the IE8 cable is kevlar reinforced and is one of the sturdiest cables around.

post #5 of 12

IE8 has too much bass for any music in my opinion. I highly recommend Ortofon e-Q7 or EarSonics SM3 instead - way more balanced sounding IEMs than the IE8. The SM3 should give you plenty of great quality bass without  that bass interfering with the mids like on IE8. e-Q7 is more balanced and polite sounding IEM with less bass quantity, but impressive quality. Personally, I would take e-Q7 over SM3, because e-Q7 has brighter, more lively upper mids and treble, while maintaining excellent bass quantity, quality and impact. For best bass quality however, I recommend Etymotic ER4P or ER4S if you have a portable amplifier. The Etymotics are not for everyone though because many find them too thin and light on bass, but personally I strongly disagree with those people and the ER4 is my current favorite IEM for most music, including bass heavy genres. If you don't like to gamble, the safest bet is the e-Q7 IMO - it sounds great out of the box so to speak as its sound does not depend as much on fit as on deeper insertion IEMs, such as the ER4, SM3 and SE530.

Edited by Pianist - 3/9/11 at 1:44pm
post #6 of 12

another vote for the IE8


post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

alright i guess ie8 settles it haha thanks a lot guys I really appreciate it. but i have one other concern - i looked online to find replacement ie8 cables, but i can't really find any... that was one of the reasons why i was skeptical about getting the ie8's. Shure SE series have replacement cables all over amazon but can't find the ie8 replacements. Does J&R store supply replacement cables??

post #8 of 12

You can get them directly from sennheiser or you can get 'upgrade' cables from ebay which will change the sound signature.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

ok so I took a look at the Westone 4s at Imackler's suggestion (above) and they look pretty good, but would sennheiser ie8 still be a better fit for me??

post #10 of 12

I haven't tried the W4s yet but seeing as your music range goes from orchestral to rap..

I'll suggest the IE8s. The soundstage on them is amazing after burn in.

post #11 of 12

Another vote for the IE8s, don't worry about the durability, they have lasted 2 good years for me and there have been absolutely no issues. The cables are top-notch and only replaceable because if you cut them with a pair of garden shears or blow it up with a grenade you MAY need to replace the cable, which means a much cheaper repair job.

post #12 of 12

The W4 are incredible but if you can find the IE8 at a good price, I'd go for them first. Here's a link to RazorDogDeals. Pretty certain he'd accept an offer or $279 or so; he's an authorized sennheiser dealer. I think you'll be very happy with the IE8. The IE8 are warm, dark, lush and vast; the W4 are really well balanced across the frequency range. But since you're concerned about durability, I'd go with the IE8. Enjoy!

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