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Sennheiser IE800 IEM's - Page 52

post #766 of 2372

I should add that I definitely would not EQ up the IE800 treble under any circumstances. It is already a bit bright in my view. This is a distinct difference in tastes.

post #767 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

I should add that I definitely would not EQ up the IE800 treble under any circumstances. It is already a bit bright in my view. This is a distinct difference in tastes.

thanks for your advice - taken on board

 

im going back to the place i bought it from tomorrow or the next day and will give their demo pair another listen - if its the same with them then yes its definitely my brain - my gut feeling though is that its too significant a difference to put down to a shift in perception but i will soon find out !

post #768 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hedphonz View Post

thanks for your advice - taken on board

 

im going back to the place i bought it from tomorrow or the next day and will give their demo pair another listen - if its the same with them then yes its definitely my brain - my gut feeling though is that its too significant a difference to put down to a shift in perception but i will soon find out !

 

Good luck! 


Edited by cooperpwc - 1/4/13 at 7:14am
post #769 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Sometime this year I'll get to demo them :). I really hope they are better than the EX1000 lol.
 

 

What a compliment to the EX1000. EX1000 has made me lost appetite for anything else, including the IE800.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

I should add that I definitely would not EQ up the IE800 treble under any circumstances. It is already a bit bright in my view. This is a distinct difference in tastes.

 

IE800 is a bit bright? That sounds like a big change from the IE80.


Edited by DMinor - 1/4/13 at 1:31pm
post #770 of 2372

I just ordered the Pico Slim (for the second time - the first long gone - but this time in orange not black). I believe that it will have wonderful synergy with the IE800. The Pico Slim maximizes the rendering of detail and separation which I think will complement the IE800 well. We will see.

 

I just spent seven hours today on a train with just my Classic and the IE800. For travel reasons, I left the Stepdance at home. It did not work for me. The IE800 seems to need crisp, clean low-impedance power.

 

Another factor that influenced my decision to get the Pico Slim again was the discovery that with a tiny source I can use the IE800 with just its original cable still over my ears and behind my head but wrapped over a shoulder into either a winter coat upper pocket or suit pocket. It is a beautiful portable setup.

post #771 of 2372

Going to listen to the IE800 extensively tomorrow. Still burning it in playing a local drum & bass electronica radio station stream. First impressions are still positive, but I´ll refrain from hasty comments this time. As a prelude to the more in depth post, there is something I want to bring up: stumbled upon a very interesting link in this thread, HD600/650/800/IE800 designer Axel Grell interview: http://gizmodo.com/5949316/ask-one-of-the-worlds-top-headphone-engineers-whatever-you-want (a few comments from the inteview have been discussed previously here, but not the vast majority)

 

Some interesting stuff for this thread:

 

(pasted from the Gizmodo interview, modified the Q parts a bit for easier reading, )

 

Quote:

Q: What's was the biggest challenge in designing the new IS 800s?

IE 800? The biggest challenge was to design a transducers that covers the whole frequency range from 5 Hz to 46500 Hz. But it was definetely worth the work. It reproduces the sound without time differences what happens when you use a multi driver solution. The other thing is how to avoid the resonance that occurs when you put a earphone in your ear canal. The solutions is the dampened 2 chamber absorber. It leads to a smoother high frequency reproduction. Now you can hear r e a l heights instead of a peak at 7500 Hz!

Q: Replying to a site reader question about balanced armature driver pros and cons

Balanced armature drivers were originally developed as small, high efficiency narrow band transducers for hearing aids. There undistorted maximum SPL is limited. you have to use sveral of them for a good wideband sound reproduction. Multiway systems have the disadvantage of time differences between the signals from the different drivers (a well known problem with loudspeakers). A single, well engineered dynamic driver can do it better: Better wide band reproduction, no phase distortion, higher undistorted SPL and better wearing comfort, due to its smaller size.

Q: Replying to a site reader question regarding design goals, in particular regarding IE800

Hi, the design principle is simple: Bring the music to the listener the way the musician, tonmeister or producer has meant it. So more or less linear, but not boring. Add no distortion or exaggerated bass, mids heights that are not in the music. When a producer wants people to hear bass, he should put bass in his mix not in the headphone ;-) Sorry, I can't tell you everything about the design process in this Q&A.

 

I can recommend reading the rest too - maybe we´ll see planar magnetic or electrostatic headphones from Sennheiser someday :) It seems his all time favorite is the Orpheus. What sticks out in particular to me is the comment on bass: exaggerated bass was definitely not a goal. I know the frequency graphs have been posted here showing strong bass, but as far as I understand diffuse field EQ headphones need to be boosted in the bass to emulate sound in a free environment. That said, I´m not expert in any way when it comes to that and I´m sure others here can comment more wisely on the frequency response graphs.

 

That said, subjectively speaking the bass in the IE800 reminds me of listening to speakers that go really low. It´s something I haven´t experienced in IEMs before. Or on most full size headphones either. I sold my non-portable headphone gear some time ago and moved to speakers. I know this comment is controversial, but to me the closer headphones get to a speaker rig the better they are. That´s why I like the HD 800 for its speaker like soundstage for example. Anyway, IE800 is the first IEM that reminds me of good speakers. That said, my experience with portable gear is quite limited: the most high end IEMs I´ve owned previously are the Shure 530, Sennheiser IE8 and Ultimate Ears 700/Fischer Audio SBA2.

 

Last but not least a few small IE800 impressions before the longer post (hopefully) tomorrow: I can see it dividing people (audio preferences are very subjective after all!), but I feel it´s a very unique product. The venting system works: midrange is not colored by the bass at all, it doesn´t pressure your ears and it´s easily the most comfortable IEM I´ve ever used. Actually I personally can´t get used to most IEMs on the market due to the deep insertion - no problems here. It isn´t all that fussy about a tight seal either like BA-based IEMs in particular are. As for the sound quality:  this isn´t a particularly airy IEM. But it´s very important to know that this does not mean it´s dark in any way. Quite the opposite, sounds quite balanced to me. It has good instrument separation and there is air around, but it´s not airy in the way BA driver IEMs tend to be. The forward mids remind me of pro studio monitors like Genelec. What sticks out in the sound signature the most to me is the PRAT. It´s simply extremely involving. In addition to the bass, vocals in particular have a dreamy emotionally connecting quality to them. There is no comparison to IE8 other than the bass is strong too. Very different otherwise. I don´t think it´s a turbo IE8 at all. More on that later though. 

 

Source: Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ running FLAC (yeah I know, these IEMs will benefit from a better DAC/amplification)


Edited by vrln - 1/5/13 at 1:54pm
post #772 of 2372
I'm hoping to meet Axell at the CES Show next week, might see if I can get a video interview ...any questions chaps?
post #773 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Going to listen to the IE800 extensively tomorrow. Still burning it in playing a local drum & bass electronica radio station stream. First impressions are still positive, but I´ll refrain from hasty comments this time. As a prelude to the more in depth post, there is something I want to bring up: stumbled upon a very interesting link in this thread, HD600/650/800/IE800 designer Axel Grell interview: http://gizmodo.com/5949316/ask-one-of-the-worlds-top-headphone-engineers-whatever-you-want (a few comments from the inteview have been discussed previously here, but not the vast majority)

 

Some interesting stuff for this thread:

 

(pasted from the Gizmodo interview, modified the Q parts a bit for easier reading, )

 

 

I can recommend reading the rest too - maybe we´ll see planar magnetic or electrostatic headphones from Sennheiser someday :) It seems his all time favorite is the Orpheus. What sticks out in particular to me is the comment on bass: exaggerated bass was definitely not a goal. I know the frequency graphs have been posted here showing strong bass, but as far as I understand diffuse field EQ headphones need to be boosted in the bass to emulate sound in a free environment. That said, I´m not expert in any way when it comes to that and I´m sure others here can comment more wisely on the frequency response graphs.

 

That said, subjectively speaking the bass in the IE800 reminds me of listening to speakers that go really low. It´s something I haven´t experienced in IEMs before. Or on most full size headphones either. I sold my non-portable headphone gear some time ago and moved to speakers. I know this comment is controversial, but to me the closer headphones get to a speaker rig the better they are. That´s why I like the HD 800 for its speaker like soundstage for example. Anyway, IE800 is the first IEM that reminds me of good speakers. That said, my experience with portable gear is quite limited: the most high end IEMs I´ve owned previously are the Shure 530, Sennheiser IE8 and Ultimate Ears 700/Fischer Audio SBA2.

 

Last but not least a few small IE800 impressions before the longer post (hopefully) tomorrow: I can see it dividing people (audio preferences are very subjective after all!), but I feel it´s a very unique product. The venting system works: midrange is not colored by the bass at all, it doesn´t pressure your ears and it´s easily the most comfortable IEM I´ve ever used. Actually I personally can´t get used to most IEMs on the market due to the deep insertion - no problems here. It isn´t all that fussy about a tight seal either like BA-based IEMs in particular are. As for the sound quality:  this isn´t a particularly airy IEM. But it´s very important to know that this does not mean it´s dark in any way. Quite the opposite, sounds quite balanced to me. It has good instrument separation and there is air around, but it´s not airy in the way BA driver IEMs tend to be. The forward mids remind me of pro studio monitors like Genelec. What sticks out in the sound signature the most to me is the PRAT. It´s simply extremely involving. In addition to the bass, vocals in particular have a dreamy emotionally connecting quality to them. There is no comparison to IE8 other than the bass is strong too. Very different otherwise. I don´t think it´s a turbo IE8 at all. More on that later though. 

 

Source: Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ running FLAC (yeah I know, these IEMs will benefit from a better DAC/amplification)

 

Well, whether it was Sennheiser's goal or not, to my ears the IE800 add an undeniable amount of bass to the mix. At least in comparison to more bass linear IEMs like the EX1000, which are actually much closer to the HD800 in bass response than Senn's own IE800. Anyway, Axel Grell's remark "more or less linear, but not boring" leaves plenty of room for interpretation. wink.gif

 

Like I said before, bass is definitely a bit exaggerated, but in a rather benign way that doesn't impair the mids (at reasonable listening volume), so it probably comes down to usage patterns (at home / outside) and genre preferences, whether listeners will welcome it or not. Btw, I don't believe diffuse field equalization calls for boosted bass in any way (in fact a comparison of raw and EQed data seems to suggest the opposite), but I'm no expert either.

 

As for the vents, almost all DD-based IEMs I know have at least one, so vacuum seal or ear pressure is rarely a problem with dynamic drivers. Tbo, I'm sceptic about your remark that the vents keep bass off the midrange, since covering them results in less bass, not more.

 

I agree on most other things though, especially on the way you describe the IE800's airiness. I too think they may not be particularly airy, but on the other hand are far from lacking highs or sounding darkish. Looking forward to your full impressions...

post #774 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

...

 

Source: Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ running FLAC (yeah I know, these IEMs will benefit from a better DAC/amplification)

 

Interesting impressions. I look forward to more.

 

I do not mean to assert some universal truth that amplification is essential for the IE800. (My post might have sounded that way.) That is where my head is right now with the Classic.

post #775 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Tbo, I'm sceptic about your remark that the vents keep bass off the midrange, since covering them results in less bass, not more.

James, I don't think that these things are contradictory. Plugging the vents prevents the necessary flow of air in the IE800 which defeats the bass. That does not mean that the design of the vents was not specifically intended to prevent the bass from impinging on the mids. (My reading of the Sennheiser literature is also that they are designed to do that. It is the example that they give of the effect of the dual chambers.)
post #776 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

James, I don't think that these things are contradictory. Plugging the vents prevents the necessary flow of air in the IE800 which defeats the bass. That does not mean that the design of the vents was not specifically intended to prevent the bass from impinging on the mids. (My reading of the Sennheiser literature is also that they are designed to do that. It is the example that they give of the effect of the dual chambers.)

 

Well, I said I'm sceptic, that doesn't imply that it's entirely impossible. I know they gave the bass example to explain the masking effect on higher frequencies, but in my understanding it's just that: an example. However, the dual chamber absorber (D2CA) has been designed to absorb ear canal resonance energy at 7.5kHz, as shown in Sennheiser's own documents. It's something inherently different from controlling bass bloat, which isn't a result of inner ear resonance to begin with, that's why I said I'm sceptic.

 

Btw, I think I may have found the underlying patent, and again they only mention the 7.5kHz resonance peak.

post #777 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post


Btw, I think I may have found the underlying patent, and again they only mention the 7.5kHz resonance peak.

Cool! (Watching the Samsung-Apple bun fight, I am inclined to think that the US patent system is the dog's breakfast but I like this patent.)
post #778 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

 

Well, I said I'm sceptic, that doesn't imply that it's entirely impossible. I know they gave the bass example to explain the masking effect on higher frequencies, but in my understanding it's just that: an example. However, the dual chamber absorber (D2CA) has been designed to absorb ear canal resonance energy at 7.5kHz, as shown in Sennheiser's own documents. It's something inherently different from controlling bass bloat, which isn't a result of inner ear resonance to begin with, that's why I said I'm sceptic.

 

Btw, I think I may have found the underlying patent, and again they only mention the 7.5kHz resonance peak.

 

Dual Helmholtz (de)resonators... interesting.

post #779 of 2372
hedphonz, I have been reflecting over the last 24 hours or so that I no longer find the IE800 to be bright. This is not a problem as I do not like bright. It is interesting though. I do not believe that sound signature has changed. This is an example of serious brain burn. I have adjusted to the IE800 treble.

As for bass, I am all over the map. For the last 24 hours I have preferred to leave EQ off. The bass is certainly strong but the overall balance has been sounding fine. Admittedly I have been listening to rock, particularly progressive rock (Gentle Giant right now), not acoustic.

All of these observations are using the Stepdance.
post #780 of 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

hedphonz, I have been reflecting over the last 24 hours or so that I no longer find the IE800 to be bright. This is not a problem as I do not like bright. It is interesting though. I do not believe that sound signature has changed. This is an example of serious brain burn. I have adjusted to the IE800 treble.
As for bass, I am all over the map. For the last 24 hours I have preferred to leave EQ off. The bass is certainly strong but the overall balance has been sounding fine. Admittedly I have been listening to rock, particularly progressive rock (Gentle Giant right now), not acoustic.
All of these observations are using the Stepdance.

Its strange the way these iems seem to be shifting in their sound perception - As mentioned previously I thought the sound was strong on bass but also strong right through the spectrum and as a result a fun and fast paced sound. After a few days the sound became less dynamic through the higher end and just seemed a little lifeless and nowhere near the enjoyment levels i first experienced. I kept checking my cowon player to see if i had accidentally knocked it onto a preset EQ setting or i had set the bass enhancement to on. I also went right through all the tips and tried different positions with each one to see if that made any significant differences but i didnt notice anything much. 

I planned to go back to the store in bangkok to try another pair but the wife had other plans so im flying home tomorrow with the originals which I dont think there is anything wrong with at all. It must be just brain burn in and or device burn in. With the ie80's i only noticed a slight smoothing out in the sound during the first few days and nothing quite as significant as to the ie800's.

 

I am getting that familiar feeling i got when i first bought my HD800's which were my first pair of super revealing headphones and i discovered just how much the recording quality mattered to the enjoyment levels. At times i just wanted to throw the hd800's in the bin as I became frustrated with not being able to listen to a couple of hours of mixed genre listening without coming across tracks i used to enjoy but now sounded crappy. The HD650's on the other hand could provide enjoyment for almost everything.

 

Im starting to think that the ie800's may have similar characteristics and i am just going through the process of discovering which music sounds best on them. One noticeable example is the black keys - their last 2 albums i loved on my ie80's but i cant get past the first track on the ie800's - its just unappealing to my ears. On the other hand techno just makes me want to get up and dance even when im on the bus and gillian welch's vocals and acoustics are sublime and i really have to stop myself singing along out loud.

 

Time will tell im sure -

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