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[Review] Sennheiser IE800: Appreciation, Frustration and a bunch of What-Ifs - Page 7

post #91 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie0904 View Post

have you demo the heir audio series? i am looking to try it out if possible this weekend due much recommendation from most forum-ers.

1plus2 seems good.

yes, Fitear is darn expensive in singapore. i tried 435, 2 yrs back. knock my socks off, vocal is shimmering on j-pop.
after hearing the price from another guy, i wear back my socks. Fitear are exquisite pieces. I hope to try the Flat 4 too.

 

I haven't been able to re: Heir. I don't know people in the audio community here. And where I was previously, the audio community was crazy small. 

 

Do you know a place to demo the Heirs? Last I checked, you couldn't demo with treoo, unless they are bringing it to the IT Show that is coming up.

 

I'm considering the 1plus2s at the moment, but its hard to commit to something that costs so much without being able to demo it. 

 

I've heard the 333s from the FitEars. Like you, it blew me away, SQ wise. A little too forward, a little too bright and likely fatiguing. Jaben said I'll like the 335s given my sonic preferences. Problem is, I have expensive taste as well according to them. I can't justify paying near 3,500 SGD for the 335s, when after conversion, from Japan, they should cost 2,300 SGD. That is a ridiculous amount of extras right there. As Jaben does with any of the customs and earphones i.e. mark ups. I thought it was taxes, but treoo manages to get around it, so Jaben is charging on exclusivity. 

 

P.S. I'm currently using UE700s as my temp earphones and boy...do I not like them for the music I listen to on the road. Not to mention fitting issues...

post #92 of 423
Quote:

Do you know a place to demo the Heirs? Last I checked, you couldn't demo with treoo, unless they are bringing it to the IT Show that is coming up.

 

You can demo the Heir 8.A at Jaben. They also have the large range of demos from JH, FitEar and Earsonic.

Call before to confirm availability. They're trying to sell the Heir demos out.

 

More problematic was the impossibility to demo Unique Melody in SG.

post #93 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepGroove View Post

You can demo the Heir 8.A at Jaben. They also have the large range of demos from JH, FitEar and Earsonic.
Call before to confirm availability. They're trying to sell the Heir demos out.

More problematic was the impossibility to demo Unique Melody in SG.

Jaben is no longer associated with Heir though?

They also don't have FitEar demos.

I've tried JH and Earsonics
post #94 of 423

It's damn stellar for electronic dance music though. It's almost as though Sennheiser designed these for dance music lovers.
 

post #95 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenz View Post


Jaben is no longer associated with Heir though?

They also don't have FitEar demos.

I've tried JH and Earsonics

 

Interesting. Jaben in HK has extensive FitEar demos.

post #96 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

Interesting. Jaben in HK has extensive FitEar demos.

They only has someone's custom 333s to test. Plus, not worth buying it where I am. Might as well fly in to Japan for a holiday to do it.
post #97 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewyeoh View Post

It's damn stellar for electronic dance music though. It's almost as though Sennheiser designed these for dance music lovers.
 

 

It's funny, I am a dance music lover and I think the opposite normal_smile%20.gif I don't enjoy listening to EDM with the IE800. The mid-bass is too forward and bloaty for this genre and after 5 minutes, I feel knocked out. 

 

For me dance music/electro rely on two fundamental bass components: the kick and the bass line. In almost every track those components are already put forward in the mix - so it's all the more important the details, textures and tonalities are rendered accurately. 

 

This is where the IE800 falls short IMO.

  • The kicks sound soft and overwhelming while I like it hard, clean and tight. It does not "pinch" and "slam". Maybe it's inherent to the longer attack and decay of dynamic drivers, but I've heard monitoring speakers who can render kicks accurately. All kicks sound the same to me. To give you an idea I am under the impression than I hear someone swinging a baseball bat on a bag of flour instead of a metal plate. Maybe you've been to one of those nightclubs equipped with a Funktion One sound system and experienced a bass so clean yet so powerful that it gives you a instant ear (and body) orgasm. :D 
  • It's better on basslines. The key here is to have the bassline detached from the rest of the spectrum, the "fatness" of it well rendered and a body-shaking sub-bass. The IE800 do well on details and rumble but it could extend even lower and be quicker (impression of laziness on some tracks)
  • At the end of the day the (relatively) bloaty and forward mid-bass makes listening to EDM very tiresome for me. After five minutes I feel knocked out already.

 

Moreover I find the mids to be a little too thin and recessed. This becomes a slight problem on vocal tracks that lacks body and warmth and on piano/synth breaks, where the density of the notes are critical (try Henrik B - Klyftamon)

 

Then again I find the IE800 to be very good IEMs overall. The level of detail and soundstage are astounding. They absolutely shine on punchy rock and metal. I just don't find them enjoyable for EDM.

 

Have you tried the Westone 3? They have the best bass for electro. Solid, tight, punchy, it's a real pleasure.


Edited by DeepGroove - 2/28/13 at 11:01pm
post #98 of 423

Excellent review! Expensive much though.

post #99 of 423
subscribed, thanks for the review
post #100 of 423

Interesting comments indeed... I haven´t actually tried electronica that much with the IE800 yet, but I concur that metal and rock work extremely well. I´m still kind of at awe how good Rammstein sounds with the IE800. It´s the best metal I´ve ever heard from a headphone rig and the source is only an iPod!

post #101 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrln View Post

Interesting comments indeed... I haven´t actually tried electronica that much with the IE800 yet, but I concur that metal and rock work extremely well. I´m still kind of at awe how good Rammstein sounds with the IE800. It´s the best metal I´ve ever heard from a headphone rig and the source is only an iPod!

 

What a knock down indeed...! I share your impressions, this is the best IEM I've ever tried for rock & metal. The sound is massive and explosive. The dynamism and texture of the drums are simply amazing: I can bet the drummer is right here, in front of me!

 

What really makes a difference between the IE800 and other IEMs for rock/metal is that you can actually "feel" the sound. When the drummer hits the big drums I can feel the air moving to my ears, like I would in a concert or in front of full-size speakers. This physical, "visceral" dimension of the sound gives a new meaning to realism. I don't remember experiencing this with any other IEM (thank you dynamic driver?)

 

On the opposite the mids sound a little too thin and piano, for example, lacks body. Perfection, where are you... ? normal_smile%20.gif


Edited by DeepGroove - 3/2/13 at 8:45pm
post #102 of 423

Nice review James444. However, what I don't get is how you are using a bluetooth receiver to play music through ultra premium IEMs. I understand the convenience factor, but you may as well use a much cheaper set for convenience.

 

No - I'm not being stuffy. The bluetooth receiver has a $2 amp & $2 DAC that forms the sound you're hearing.... with a $1000 earphone!

post #103 of 423
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmura View Post

Nice review James444. However, what I don't get is how you are using a bluetooth receiver to play music through ultra premium IEMs. I understand the convenience factor, but you may as well use a much cheaper set for convenience.

 

No - I'm not being stuffy. The bluetooth receiver has a $2 amp & $2 DAC that forms the sound you're hearing.... with a $1000 earphone!

 

IMO it's a common preconception that audio quality over bluetooth is still as bad as it was some years ago. In reality, aptX streaming over a BT 3.0 connection is almost indistinguishable from a wired connection in a mobile environment, at least to my ears. I won't call you stuffy, but unless your dismissing my rig based on actual listening tests, I reserve the right to call you biased.

 

I recommend reading ClieOS's excellent Sony MW1 review for a similar take on latest generation wireless audio. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer a wired connection in quiet surroundings, but as far as mobile use is concerned, wireless audio is finally ready for prime time.

post #104 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepGroove View Post

 

What a knock down indeed...! I share your impressions, this is the best IEM I've ever tried for rock & metal. The sound is massive and explosive. The dynamism and texture of the drums are simply amazing: I can bet the drummer is right here, in front of me!

 

What really makes a difference between the IE800 and other IEMs for rock/metal is that you can actually "feel" the sound. When the drummer hits the big drums I can feel the air moving to my ears, like I would in a concert or in front of full-size speakers. This physical, "visceral" dimension of the sound gives a new meaning to realism. I don't remember experiencing this with any other IEM (thank you dynamic driver?)

 

On the opposite the mids sound a little too thin and piano, for example, lacks body. Perfection, where are you... ? normal_smile%20.gif

Agreed! A long time ago I was a full size headphone hobbyist and eventually sold all Head-Fi gear and got a speaker setup with powerful room filling bass (Amphion Argon 3L´s). Then slowly I started missing headphone gear, but decided I´ll just go for portable stuff that I can use while working next to a PC/laptop. The IE800 was the most expensive impulse buy I´ve ever done, but thankfully I have a new job so I could manage it. What made me interested in it, well, I´ve always been a Sennheiser fan. The HD 650 is the best headphone ever made if you ask me, HD 800 comes second even though it´s technically superior. HD 650 is more fun though. I´ve tried my share of full size and IEM headphones and can say with conviction that no headphone makes you not miss full tower size speaker bass like the IE800. Sure I wouldn´t call it a very neutral headphone, but neutrality is such a difficult topic anyway. Most rooms will amplify bass anyway and thus in most cases full size speaker bass will be boosted. Speakers in over damped room don´t sound that good. I´d take "normal environment" speaker bass over too much room damping any way, but that´s obviously subjective.

 

But yeah, subjectively IE800 moves more air and goes deeper than any headphone I´ve ever tried and this includes full size headphones like LCD-2. It has an extremely punchy, dynamic and rocking sound signature. Simply very involving and to me the involvement factor is the most important thing in the end. While I agree with most points in OP´s fantastic review, I disagree about the ergonomic design: I can´t wear deep fit IEMs for a long time. Shure for example is just horrible. With the IE800 I don´t get the uneasy feeling I tend to get with BA IEMs and I prefer worn-down ergonomics overall as they are so much faster to put on and off. It´s a shame IE800 will, at the current price, remain a very niche product. Hopefully there will be a 399-450 dollar IE10 or something someday with a cheaper to manufacture version of the IE800 design. I´m sure that would be a smash hit. 

 

What IE800 lacks on the other hand is air. It´s not bad, but it isn´t as good as armatures can do. The bass also does slightly bleed into the midrange, but not that much. All in all usually headphones with this amount of bass have a horrible midrange. The IE800´s midrange is still one of the best I´ve heard. I recently tried some piano heavy acoustic music on the IE800 and while not bad, yeah these aren´t the best out there for piano fully agree with you there. Any bassy string instruments based acoustical on the other hand works great. The IE800 thrive on all music that has a dynamic baseline that everything else is made to follow. With that kind of stuff (metal, rock, most electronica etc) it´s the "lord of dynamics". Used to think that I´m not a basshead, but experience seems to suggest otherwise. I´ve come to the point where I can finally admit it :)


Edited by vrln - 3/18/13 at 6:26am
post #105 of 423
Thread Starter 

Updated post #1 with a link to Rin's IE800 analysis.

 

Rin also measured my HS3000 aptX/bluetooth receiver and I'd like to thank him for his time and dedication. smile_phones.gif

 

If you look at the bass curves of both units, you'll see why they're sort of made for each other. wink.gif

 

 

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