I'm going to attempt to explain why I changed my mind on getting the IE8x3 (aside from the potential problems faced by 88King with the IE8 abnormality diagnosis). I'm also putting aside wait time--possible bad fit issues— and not liking the resulting sound.
I want to go into a little detail about the recent synergy I discovered between the IE8 and the Samsung Galaxy SI (with Voodoo Sound). But first, I've got to comment on something I did after reading some criticism of the IE8 on another thread.
What I did was put one of the original tips that came with the IE8 back on. I couldn't believe how much worse these earphones sound with the original tips (any of them for my ears). The sound was much thinner (shrill even). The tube-like bass became muddy and punchy. The soundstage and placement changed for the worse.
What have I been using for tips? Well, almost from the start I put triple-flanged tips on the IE8. I didn't do it to change the sound, I did it because (for 7 years) I have worn triple-flanged tips. They provide the best fit and isolation for me on my Shures, so... I didn't know at the time that I wouldn't get the isolation because the truck motor simply drowned out the IE8. It's not even close. The truck engine wins, hands down. But, I kept wearing the triple-flanged tips with the IE8 while at home because they are more comfortable (for me) than the original tips and fit firmly.
The sound is so much better with the triple flange tips on the IE8. I had no idea. Do yourself a favor and get a pair of triple-flanged tips.
Now, (if you don't mind cheating) with some tweaking using Poweramp's EQ on the SI (with Voodoo Sound tweaks) the IE8 can practically sound mid-forward. Yes, that's right, mid-forward. Nice natural (not forced sounding) mids at that (with lead vocals sitting firmly in the middle, not covered by bass). And, I listen to a lot of bass heavy tunes R&B, Pop, HipHop, Gospel. I absolutely love vocals and they are front and center here.
Oh sure, you sacrifice a little clarity by EQing, but the tone/balance/high to low (cymbal to sub-bass) difference is cute. It's a fun sound. I set the Voodoo bass-boost to sub-bass. There's no mid-bass bump, just sub-bass tube-like weighty resonance. I set the 500 and IK EQ frequency controls near the top of their range. The mids are kinda lush and are the loudest part of the sound (lead and background singers). Now, I turn the sensitivity way down on both Voodoo and Poweramp. I have to actually turn the bass up a little and the treble way up on Poweramp (and that's with the IE8 tuner set to max and Voodoo bass at +9db). It's better with the sensitivity low and the controls up to prevent clipping and distortion as volume/focus shifts a little from song to song.
I'll pass on the upgrade to IE8x3 for now. There's no way that I would change the dynamic speaker in the IE8 for a BA for mids. The mids are right nice now. I would consider I BA for highs, but they're cool too as they are- (not fatiguing).
I would consider reshelling for isolation improvement if I thought I could wear them in the truck in case my SE535 was down for some reason.
My assessment of the sound change based on the tips are with respect to my ears YMMV.
Edited by truckdriver - 6/5/12 at 8:04am