Originally Posted by james444
Hmm <scratches head>, to my ears the IE800 have already remarkable good dynamics directly from my Cowon i9. My Xin supermicro IV and Graham Slee Voager are both decent amps, but they didn't provide a significant further improvement.
As for seal, I just said you can get a deeper seal with better isolation if you can wear them over the ear, and their strain reliefs prevent that kind of deep fit when worn downwards. Of course they also seal when worn downwards, but you get microphonics if you move.
James, the IE800 do have excellent dynamics straight from the Classic. It's difficult to discuss amplification unless we are using the same amps. That is no comment on yours. I have not heard the Supermicro in about seven years and that was in the earliest days when I had no frames of reference. It sounded good. I have never heard the Voyager. It is interesting for Hedphonz and I to compare notes because we are essentially using the same amp and, rightly or wrongly, we perceive things the same way. I have done some listening since reading your post. It is the mark of the Stepdance that is utterly neutral - no change in sound signature. When it makes a difference, it is mostly in a subtle increase in transparency and separation, and a slight widening of the sound stage. With the IE800, I find that increase, particularly in transparency, to be even greater than with my ES5. So in this regard, even though the Classic headphone out provides plenty of bass slam (a definite quality of the IE800), good treble, and overall good sound quality, the sound, especially in the mids, is not as "vibrant" (as Hedphonz put it). I would say that it is kind of flat compared to amping with the Stepdance. Just my initial impression, and as I said, it is too early for me to be posting those. :-)
Regarding fit, these are indeed among the most microphonic IEMs that I have ever used. They are also the most comfortable. Wow, what a strange combination. The "M/L oval" tips that I now prefer might well have been molded for my ear canals. That is very lucky given the problems that I have often had with IEM comfort and fit. For others out there, definitely YMMV.
Over-the-ears would solve the microphonic problem but that is just not an option. It is okay if I hold my head up in a certain way but as soon as I move my head, for example looking down, I choke on the cable! Of course, I have a huge noggin. I also have huge feet. I assure you that these two things do not mean anything. Or maybe they do?
Nonetheless, I am getting just as deep a fit now with the cable down as over my ears. It has helped that I have been flexing and softening the rubber strain relief to angle outwards. The connection point seems to be so well manufactured that I do not think this will cause any problems. Anyway, headphones are not museum pieces, they are to be used and enjoyed. The strain relief and cable are flowing outwards through the crease at the bottom of my ear. I don't notice that at all; comfort is supreme. (Lucky me on that; it is a huge pleasant surprise given my history with other IEMs.) The IE800 stay nicely in place with the M/L oval tips and they cannot go any deeper. It is just the same as over the ear. Perhaps give it a try? Work the rubber strain relief carefully to soften it up and bend it out. I can post a pic of the IE800 in my ears at some point if that will help.
Edited by cooperpwc - 12/27/12 at 11:42pm