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Sennheiser IE800 vs. Shure SE846: Which one is superior in terms of price?

Poll Results: Which $1000 IEM is superior?

 
  • 34% (27)
    Sennheiser IE800
  • 65% (52)
    Shure SE846
79 Total Votes  
post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 

There's been a lot of posts saying that the Shure SE846 is better than the Sennheiser IE800, but there have also been a lot of posts saying the opposite.  But, with the two IEMs costing around the price range of custom in-ears, and the Shure SE846 costing a few tens of dollars more, which one has the best audio performance and comfortability?

 

One thing to note, however.  I don't want any recommendations of the AKG K3003, which lacks sound isolation and feels uncomfortable to my ears, yet costs hundreds of dollars more than even the Shure SE846....


Edited by Aerosheet - 3/4/14 at 4:46pm
post #2 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerosheet View Post
 

There's been a lot of posts saying that the Shure SE846 is better than the Sennheiser IE800, but there have also been a lot of posts saying the opposite.  But, with the two IEMs costing around the price range of custom in-ears, and the Shure SE846 costing a few tens of dollars more, which one has the best audio performance and comfortability?

 

One thing to note, however.  I don't want any recommendations of the AKG K3003, which lacks sound isolation and feels uncomfortable to my ears, yet costs hundreds of dollars more than even the Shure SE846....

 

I've heard both and own the IE800 and I personally enjoy the IE800's significantly more compared to the SE846. The bass and the subwoofer on the SE846 just adds bass whereas to me it feels like the IE800 incorporates its added bass into a fun dynamic sound signature. In certain songs it feels as though the bass on the SE846 overwhelms the other spectrums. Also if you're a fan of classical music the IE800s are very versatile showing you the various details within each piece and follows well with the themes of each piece.

post #3 of 60

Although I am sure that in the end this comparison will be mostly about preferences and not about one being better over the other.....

I am also curious, so

 

What about soundstage ?

Which one as the bigger one or the better presentation?

 

What about details and micro details?

 

What about instruments separation?

post #4 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceMajeure View Post
 

Although I am sure that in the end this comparison will be mostly about preferences and not about one being better over the other.....

I am also curious, so

 

What about soundstage ?

Which one as the bigger one or the better presentation?

 

What about details and micro details?

 

What about instruments separation?

I honestly can't recall too much simply because I demoed them at a store and its been a long time however I noticed that the soundstage on the IE800's were significantly larger. The SE846 also has a more forward presentation while I feel that the IE800's are more laid back and in addition the IE800's are darker while the SE846 are definitely brighter. Details wise I was sort of on the fence with the SE846 as they are very detailed however there are certain moments where the the bass overwhelms the song to the point where other sections get a little muddy. As for micro details I couldn't tell you because I only demoed them for a short time. Seperation wise I would give it to the IE800, it falls in line with the larger soundstage and you can really nitpick where everything is while the SE846 has a much more tighter feel to it but of course by no means does it fall behind.

 

I suggest taking my opinion with a grain of salt simply because I'm recalling all of this information however I do remember by the end of that comparison I was much more content with the IE800.

post #5 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by 88records View Post
 

I honestly can't recall too much simply because I demoed them at a store and its been a long time however I noticed that the soundstage on the IE800's were significantly larger. The SE846 also has a more forward presentation while I feel that the IE800's are more laid back and in addition the IE800's are darker while the SE846 are definitely brighter. Details wise I was sort of on the fence with the SE846 as they are very detailed however there are certain moments where the the bass overwhelms the song to the point where other sections get a little muddy. As for micro details I couldn't tell you because I only demoed them for a short time. Seperation wise I would give it to the IE800, it falls in line with the larger soundstage and you can really nitpick where everything is while the SE846 has a much more tighter feel to it but of course by no means does it fall behind.

 

I suggest taking my opinion with a grain of salt simply because I'm recalling all of this information however I do remember by the end of that comparison I was much more content with the IE800.

Thanks 

I hope other members could share their impressions too.

post #6 of 60

If you can only get one, you should get the SE846, even if you are completely bass averse. The SE846 has better isolation, it is essentially three headphones in one and its patented bass mechanism is an amazing invention. I have and will be keeping both, but that's my recommendation. See my reviews of both for additional detail.


Edited by ag8908 - 3/5/14 at 4:20pm
post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 

Are the two IEMs very similar in sound quality?  I'm also looking for comfort, and so far, the Sennheiser IE800s have fit very comfortably in my ears due to the small size.  I have small ears, so that's something to consider.

post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerosheet View Post
 

Are the two IEMs very similar in sound quality?  I'm also looking for comfort, and so far, the Sennheiser IE800s have fit very comfortably in my ears due to the small size.  I have small ears, so that's something to consider.

You can argue they're similar in sound quality, but they are different in sound signature, if that makes sense. The IE800 is more comfortable without a doubt, and easier to put into your ear, but once you get the SE846s into your ear and fit them well they're not bad.

 

But the SE846 has much more to offer for the money. Better isolation, 3 headphones in one, great bass if you want that (and less bass if you don't) . . . You can get it for $850 now at spectrumaudio

post #9 of 60

p.s. I updated my IE800 review after exercising with it. It's really horrible and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

p.s. I updated my IE800 review after exercising with it. It's really horrible and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

How did the SE846 fit in your ear?

post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerosheet View Post
 

How did the SE846 fit in your ear?


for me with comply professional tips ($20) it's perfectly fine and comfortable, but I hear it can be a problem if you have small ears. the Sennheisers take like 10-15 seconds to insert though. you have to pull your ear up by the upper lobe, squeeze the tip to shrink it, quickly put it in, adjust it a bit etc. . . . but that's not really that bad.

post #12 of 60
Thread Starter 

Have you tested the Sennheiser IE800 with Comply tips yet?  I've heard from other people that the tips greatly improve the sound isolation, even though it sacrifices a little bit of the sound frequencies.  I currently have the Sennheiser IE800 right now, and the only issue I've had are the microphonics, and the sound isolation.  However, I was able to reduce the microphonics by wrapping the cable around my ear, so sound isolation is pretty much the only problem...


Edited by Aerosheet - 3/6/14 at 5:45pm
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerosheet View Post
 

Have you tested the Sennheiser IE800 with Comply tips yet?  I've heard from other people that the tips greatly improve the sound isolation, even though it sacrifices a little bit of the sound frequencies.  I currently have the Sennheiser IE800 right now, and the only issue I've had are the microphonics, and the sound isolation.  However, I was able to reduce the microphonics by wrapping the cable around my ear, so sound isolation is pretty much the only problem...


No. Already shipped back (I could have used it for another 29 days but I didn't see the point). But I heard the IE800 has holes in it designed to equalize the air pressure between the inside and outside of your ears so I'm not sure you can fix the isolation. I tried putting my finger on those holes, but it really altered the sound so e.g. taping the holes up isn't an option.

 

Glad you got rid of the microphonics noise. With the SE846, if you let it hang behind your head you hear virtually zero chord noise (I do, however, hear the slight thump of my feet hitting the ground, odd that it travels up through your body like that).


Edited by ag8908 - 3/6/14 at 6:31pm
post #14 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 


No. Already shipped back (I could have used it for another 29 days but I didn't see the point). But I heard the IE800 has holes in it designed to equalize the air pressure between the inside and outside of your ears so I'm not sure you can fix the isolation. I tried putting my finger on those holes, but it really altered the sound so e.g. taping the holes up isn't an option.

 

Glad you got rid of the microphonics noise. With the SE846, if you let it hang behind your head you hear virtually zero chord noise (I do, however, hear the slight thump of my feet hitting the ground, odd that it travels up through your body like that).

Isn't it that the second bass port is already used for equalizing air between the inside and outside of my ears?  I think I'll just have to use the Comply isolation tips myself for the Sennheiser IE800 to find out how it improves, because there has been a lot of claims of sound isolation improvement because of that.

post #15 of 60

Sorry if I missed this but do the Senns not require burn in?  They are a dynamic driver right?

 

It seems in previous Senn offerings 60% of the posts were about burn in and sound changing/improving.  I haven't read everything about IE800 but I have seen little to nothing about burn in.

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