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IE 800 distortion issue

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I'm looking for some information or experience from other IE 800 owners on a problem I have with my set. A lot of music I'm listening too, mostly rock of various 'strengths' from U2 to Pantera, has a fuzzy distortion over the top of a lot of it (separate to expected instrumentation distortion like guitar effects). It's a static style white noise that shows itself especially over the top of the more complex or noisy parts or tracks. I think the noise sits in the upper mid range/lower treble. I was originally amazed by them, but once I settled into using them this problem because apparent and now it's just grating when it happens.

 

As I can't exactly describe sound in words the best way I can describe it is that it sits apart from the track itself, which in all fairness always sounds amazing through them if not for this problem, but it sits separate to the track. As an analogy its like someone is rustling a packet a few rows behind you in a cinema, or when a really clear radio station still has some static coming through.

 

To make sure the source wasn't the issue (either player or track) I tried some of the more obvious tracks with different players, files and headphones of varying quality and in all cases I could always hear it on the IE 800s and never on any other headphones. I tried the following:

 

- 320K MP3 and Level 8 FLAC from a Cowon X7 and a Cowon Z2 through the headphone port to IE800s, Cowons own earphones and apple earbuds. Problems can only be heard on IE800s

 

- Original CDs fed through from Marantz UD7007 to my AV unit (Pioneer SC-LX56) using the front headphone socket for HD800, HD650 and IE800 on a 3.5mm adaptor. Problems can be heard on IE800s and nothing else.

 

- Original CD fed through from Marantz UD7007 to my HDVD 800 amp using the front headphone socket for HD800, HD650 and IE800 on a 3.5mm adaptor. Problems can be heard only on IE800s.

 

- PC sound card (Rampage 4 Extreme on board sound chip) to Sennheiser PC363D and IE800s

 

After that level of testing on most the equipment I own the only consistent factor is the IE 800s themselves.

 

I sent them back to Sennheiser who returned them as not faulty (I do not know what testing regime they have for this type of fault). At least half of the tracks from my 700 odd album collections I have listened to have these distortions pop up at least once, from just a momentary fuzz for a split second, to most of the track.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? I don't have a second pair to do a like for like test with but it's so obvious now I'm accustomed to them that either this unit is faulty or the IE 800s are problematic in general.

 

A great example for this issue is the track Bad Habit by The Offspring on their Smash Album. It's most noticeable after 1min 25seconds.

 

Thanks for any help anyone can give.


Edited by Danno81 - 2/11/14 at 3:13am
post #2 of 11

can you tell if it is both channels ? 

 

i dont have that track to do a test for you - any other tracks you can identify parts like that ? if you can get fellow ie800 owners to confirm it is not present on theirs then i would return again to sennheiser with some tracks and details on a usb drive so they can test for exactly what it is you are hearing

 

there too expensive and too good a iem to have an annoying issue like that

 

ps: try posting this on the ie800 thread with some track examples - some ones bound to have one of your tracks to test for you

 

alternatively you could send someone that track but i think its frowned upon as pirating even if for testing purposes

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

@hedphonz

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I'll put together a list tonight, I noted down a few tracks at home but I should probably build up a better list of tracks and times it happens to me. It's always repeatable as well so it's not an occasional thing.

 

I tried working out if it's just a specific driver this noise appears in. It sounds as if it appears in both. I guess that points to it not being a manufacturing defect as the chances of it happening to both drivers on the same set would be tiny(?). It must be something else. Maybe the IE800s are the only thing detailed enough to show these issues and a surprising amount of things were either badly mastered or have frequency interactions on the IE800s that didn't appear in the studio and most other devices? I would hope a lot of issues with extra clarity showing faults in the recording would also have a chance of showing up on the full size HD 800s which I also tested against but it hasn't appeared there.

 

If it gets past the legality or moral issues and if anyone's happy to help before I go back to Sennheiser again, I could pull out some segments of tracks and share it with existing IE 800 users to try? That way I'm not sharing a whole track and no one would really want to keep a 1 minute chunk of a song long term.

 

As you mentioned, at this price point an issue like this isn't really acceptable.

 

Whatever the problem is, I really want to get to the bottom of it.

 

You never know, it could be my fault. I could have really buzzy ear canals that only the IE800s manage to often resonate in, but the effect scales with volume and doesn't go away if I move the position so I don't think that's the case.

 

If I could find a near by headphone shop that wouldn't mind me side by side testing then that could be a solution, otherwise I'm stuck knowing how to proceed.

post #4 of 11

Sorry to hear that. I heard some 800's for about 10 min's on various styles and could only notice the known slight treble harshness.

post #5 of 11

Are you listening somewhat loud?  I had this problem with other dynamic drivers when "turning it up."

post #6 of 11

if you need some help i am very familiar with my ie800's and also have the hd800's for cross checking 

 

just pm me if you want me to listen to some of your known track passages

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

@Spyro

 

I don't listen to them loudly generally,  however the issue remains at different volume levels, even quiet

 

@hedphonz

 

That's very kind, thank you. I'll hack up some offending songs and pass on the problematic sections to you with them onto you if you're happy with that?

It may not be immediately as I have a mix of playful toddler + pregnant wife + work + in-laws visiting to contend with at the moment :S

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno81 View Post
 

@Spyro

 

I don't listen to them loudly generally,  however the issue remains at different volume levels, even quiet

 

@hedphonz

 

That's very kind, thank you. I'll hack up some offending songs and pass on the problematic sections to you with them onto you if you're happy with that?

It may not be immediately as I have a mix of playful toddler + pregnant wife + work + in-laws visiting to contend with at the moment :S

whenever you can - im busy too

 

i have 3 x restaurants to run and shouldnt even be on here at all haha

post #9 of 11

I haven't heard any distortions from my ie800s, even with tracks that aren't of the best of quality and despite the volume. But as mentioned above you could list the tracks and I'd be glad to give them a listen to see if I hear the same sort of distortion.

post #10 of 11

I think I have an idea of what you're talking about with this issue... I've noticed it whenever I used impedance adapters with my IE800s (72ohm adapters) to reduce background hiss when using with my Rx Mk3-B+ amp, although now that I no longer use the impedance adapters (and have gotten used to the amp's hiss), I don't seem to notice this "distortion" anymore.

 

Maybe it is an impedance matching issue on your end?

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I've been away from the tread for a good few days. Thanks for the help and suggestions. I just have a minute to paste some track info I've collected.

 

Here's some tracks that show the issue, I can sent parts of tracks if you don't access to these versions:

 

 

Pink Floyd – Album: Echoes (Best of) – Song: Us and Them. Problem occurs towards the end of the track

 

London Grammar – Song: Stay Away – 2:50 onwards

London Grammar – Song: Strong – at parts all the way through

 

Florence and the Machine – Girl with one eye – fuzzing through some of the lyrics and louder musical parts

 

The guitar strumming at the end of Megadeth’s Tout Le Monde from Capitol Punishment (Best of) has cracking overlaid on the instrumentation

Godhead – Album: 2000 years of human error - Song: Sinking – Constant crackling in the noisy sections

 

 

I will return when I have some more time...

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