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In-Ear item created by i2ehan, Dec 23, 2011
Pros - Great Soundstage, Not Congestive, Wide
Cons - Design, Functionality, Can Hurt Ears
IE80 - High End Earphones
I think there's a point to where you draw the line for a Price Point, this goes over that boundary and breaks the rules of it's price, which is unfortunate.
I feel something in this asking price needs to meet some standards, Comfort, Unique Sound, & Build Flexibility.
And I feel these don't cut it, the need to be charged within the $175-$220 range.
This will be a descriptive review!
From what I've gathered, I think these are good! But the Soundstage is completely overdone for an IEM.
I think this range needs to be for accuracy, not how wide we can get the stage, and where will the instruments connect.
Highs, Mids, & Lows don't connect. What do I mean?
Usually in Headphones, IEMs, & Earbuds in this price have a sound that usually blends.
I'd argue that this is Sennheisers quality and House Sound, sure. But it's wider than most of what I've experienced from their products.
Highs, Cymbals are a really important part of most Sennheiser gear. They always bring you a pushed Acoustic Atmosphere, and that's because they do it right, want proof? Orpheus.
The whole Drum Kit mangles the highs, with clangs all over... these are the perfect Jazz IEM. Rides fall apart with crispness, I've never heard such an In-Depth Shimmer of a cymbal crash.
Sibilance really isn't a thing, while other tracking monitors for this price almost carry too much Sibilance.
Making these precisely good for Detail Freaks!
A full body is carried into these, with Foam Tips, the detail will master your expectations and turn them into something you might love.
Bass is careful, it not a thing that is pushed into these and you shouldn't expect a ton without foam tips.
All said and done. Detail Freaks with a burning for IEMs will love these, and Bassheads can enjoy the fun as well with some Foam Tips, all in all I want to rate this for it's price, unfair, sure? But I want to give this a solid 8/10
Pros - Accuracy, clarity, strong and controlled bass, soundstage for IEMs
Cons - Absolutely requires a proper long burn-in, difficult carrying case
My head gear background in short: CX-870, Cowon i10, ATH-M50, HD-650 (HK 3490), IE 80
I got the IE 80 few days ago after coming back to my old CX-870 (after a pleasurable winter of using my ATH-M50 as my on the move head gear) and noticing that their bass is, though strong enough, muddy and boomy beyond enjoyment as my standards seem to have heightened quite a bit.
This review is very much incomplete since it'll take a few months to come to a conclusion of some kind, but I'll mention a few things I hope I'd read before purchase.
First of all I didn't think much of burn-in before, though I knew from previous experience with the ATH-M50 that there could be a clear, but probably not dramatic, difference in sound after some time of use. I also didn't come across anything saying otherwise: "needs burn-in", "100 hours" etc, but nothing that would prepare me for the first listen.
The first listen was an absolute horror! Even after trying every kind of music, EQs etc. the sound was the worst I think I've heard ever. And in a strange way so that some aspects seemed great: strong bass, some instruments and highs sounded very nice. But the overal picture was painfully harsh, ugly, cold and clinical. Vocals were drowned by everything else completely. Highs were articulate and clear but harsh to the point that it hurt my ears. Everything in the middle was just lost. Not a happy moment after spending 290€ on something praised in every review.
I had to stop listening since it felt physically bad. I had some strange tinnitus-like murmuring for a moment after listening and began thinking if they're broken or if I could sell them or something. Then I decided to start burning them in to see if it would make a difference. 6 hours of shuffled songs played slightly louder than I'd listen to, on the shelf. Afterwards, a night and day difference. All the really horrific aspects were completely gone. I was using my i10 and 18 was the highest volume setting I could use at first. Bumped up to 25ish after initial burn in (normally 30-33 with CX-870 or ATH-M50). A suprising effect, at least for me. Is all this entirely common? Should be written in the manual.
Now after three days, with approx. 15-20 hours of burn-in and actual use the proper characteristics are starting to emerge. Now they pretty much sound like the the reviews imply (fantastic), though still slightly lacking the fun, immersive or fully balanced quality I'm hoping for. The way I'd put it is that they don't quite "sing" yet. Of course my audio source is below the IEMs in quality also and I noticed that an EQ I'd previously used a lot was for now out of the question.
At the moment I'm quite happy with them, hoping for slight improvement in the IEMs with time as well as expecting my listening to develop as their precision is on a completely different level from what I'm used to. It takes a while to get used to your most beloved music sounding different from before.
I'll continue this review after some time and more thorough experience with the IEMs...
Pros - Soundstage, Great Build Quality , Removable cable , Adjustable bass , a very nice case and a wide variety of accesories
Cons - Mids are a little lacking , included tips unusable in my experience , have more bass than I would prefer , adjustable bass is meh
Hello Headfiers. I know there are a ton of reviews of these bad boys already , but I want to share my opinion as well on the site. Before purchasing them I have read a lot of reviews but my opinion about these differs in some ways than what most people say so I would like to have some responses to my review. (enlighten me please xD)
The IE80's are beautifully packaged and presented. you can feel the quality of the product before you even open the package. Inside the box there are the headphones themselves , a carrying case thay feels premium but even without using it I managed to break it . A lot of useless ear tips ,and paperwork. Package feels premium , headphones feel premium , nicely done Sennheizer :3
First of all the most Important thing about an IEM it's its sound quality. And the IE80's do not disappoint , even though their sound is not for me . Let me explain. These are prosumer grade headphones not audiophile grade, and they tend to lack a little bit on the mid section and are more bass heavy. Am not saying that these are bass enthusiast IEM's , but they have a bassy sound signature and I would prefer a little more focus on the mids. Maybe its just me and my preferences. Starting from the bottom the bass is strong and present , it's the main focus of the sound signature and its skull rocking. Its fast , punchy not blurring the track , and its not muddy. The mids on the other hand are the IE80's weak point. They are lacking and not present enough for my liking , because they don't seem detailed enough for an expensive IEM of this price range.Finally the highs are more present than the mids of course , detailed but not in any way overwhelming, I would say that they are the kind of headphones with the "V" shaped frequency response graph but slightly more added bass. the bass is more extended than the treble and the mids being their flaw in my opinion are a little shy. Finally the strongest point of these is their sound-stage. My god the sound-stage is wide open especially for an IEM. They are open enough to match my Phillips Uptown sound-stage wise. They do not feel like any other IEM I have used before and all that because of that openness that they offer. I literally was watching a movie and I heard something outside and turned around , only to find that it came from my IEM's. That experience was awesome and its a huge thumps up for me. Also the adjustable tuning bass is meh. Yes it does affect the bass response but its minor and even turning it to the lowest bass level , I still found the bass to be more of my liking. But turning the bass up doesn't affect the mids which is nice.
The cable is removable which is expected in this price range , its not that easily tangled , nothing special , don't know if its worth an upgrade because of their lack of detail. I have't got any problems with it yet but am extra careful with it.
Let me be clear about the included ear tips. In my experience they are unusable . I personally don't find a perfect seal with included tips in any IEM I buy so even though I tried to use the included ones, I couldn't bare use them over 10-15 minutes. Also I would like to note , because many headfiers buy from comply foam tips , the ones that are supposed to work with these don't really seem to work and I have to push hard on my ears to get a nice fit so yeah... Comfort and Isolation are the thing that you have to find alone in IEM's because everyones ears are different and perfect ear tips don't exist.
Build Quality- Design:
Their Build quality is quite nice they are very lightweight despite being crafted with aluminum. They also look really great and are stylish , not really a major pro but something to be mentioned xD.
So my conclusion on these is that I would recommend them for people who tend to enjoy good bassy sound , but don't really care about their accuracy or extreme detail but just a quality fun to listen sound. My current setup is the LG G3 as a source , the Digit Zoid Zo2 for amping and these for the IEM. So far I am enjoying it but I really want to move to a more detailed pair of IEM's.
Ps. Yes they do benefit from amping but in my opinion not worth the money , because of their lack of mids and detail. Amping just makes the bass more forward and punchy. Also to test these I used only flac files. Also I forgot to mention burn-in , YES definitely they need some hour of burn-in. The mids get a little more alive not much though it just benefits a little on the detail.
Pros - Bass, Detail, Clarity, Soundstage
Cons - Didn't like the tips that were provided.
At first, I was somewhat annoyed by the sound quality which seemed mediocre, even to my untrained ears.
I knew that, to an extent, this was because I was using the wrong tips and therefore began to try out different tips.
I found that the COMPLY Foam Tips worked very well with these, and provided the best sound isolation of all the tips I had tried.
And by the second day of using these IEMs with the COMPLY tips, I had grown to love them!
Once you get the right tips attached, and after you've burned in the IE 80s for a while (although this may be purely psychological), the sound quality becomes excellent.
I've always been using headphones, but these IEMs provide such good quality music & soundstage that I'm not really missing my headphones.
Furthermore, these earbuds look quite stylish with the aluminum finish + laser printed logo. I've also been able to wear these to sleep (they are a lot less bulky than they initially seem to be).
Turning the bass dial, I was initially unable to detect a difference. But I found that when testing with bass heavy songs, the difference becomes apparent. To my untrained ears it almost seems like the sound doesn't change much, but I can "feel" more of my music because of the increased vibration when i turn the dial. It's a nice feeling & i like it (which is why I have the bass set to max).
I'm an avid listener of many different genres: jazz, classical, pop, rock, dance & hip-hop. The IE80 has performed admirably in all of these genres, and so I am pleased.
All in all, a good value for my money, and I will be enjoying these for a long time to come.
Pros - Good soundstage, great build and durability.
Cons - Mid bass.
Nice looking but not really so convenient hard case with tight space for the cable. Most of the tips are useless; There are no mid size foam tips (that most people use), just large and small foam and silicon tips are in all three sizes but others are really useless (odd shape, no isolation or extremely uncomfortable). I found ear hooks to be useless as well and not so gentle on the cable since the critical point of break, where the cable connects to an earphone, is loose. There is also a nice cleaning tool with screw on the other side that is used to adjust bass.
Just great! Looks great and feels good and they seem to be very durable, the first earphones that lasted me over a year (and still lasting). Cable didn't look so good to me at first but it is very durable. When it's cold outside it stiffens up so you can't fold the cables over the ear nicely but in just few minutes it becomes softer thanks to your skin temperature. Cables are also replaceable which is great!
When I've read reviews about IE80 I expected them to be REALLY bassy but they are fine. When everyone was saying for bassheads I thought they would have that deep sub bass ''feeling'' but it's not exactly like that. They have good amount of sub bass and punch but there is a lot of mid bass (~100-200 Hz, can't exactly tell). Also that mid bass is the main problem and the reason why I didn't rate them higher than 4 stars. It veils the whole mid range, which makes them much less clear earphones than they could be (tho clarity is on decent level); Some songs, especially vocal jazz (female vocals with somewhat deeper voices), just sound bad because of that, it's really not enjoyable with so much mid bass 'veil' or how should I call it.
Isolation is not as bad as I expected when I've read reviews here but not the best as well. Foam tips can improve isolation but it increases further that problem with mid bass so I didn't find them to be a good solution.
Also IE80 have adjustable bass, just like the IE8, you can increase the bass with small screw that is also used as a cleaning tool but it is useless in my opinion. On minimum it has too much mid bass and if you increase the bass it will become impossible to listen to some genres (forget about vocal jazz, harp, rock with lot of bass guitar, anything with bass guitar for that matter if you turn the knob to increase the bass). I've read here about the 'tape mod' where you put the tape on the knobs that let the air in and mid bass problem should be solved - well wasn't exactly solved but it did help a bit, reduces bass overall which lead to clearer sound and then foam tips are much saner choice than before.
I liked the highs, there is that sparkle and they sound fun to me, maybe not so realistic all the time but they are not too harsh or sibilant.
Overall good sounding IEM with great build quality and not so useful accessories with one problem that can be a deal breaker for many - mid bass that veils mids, making them sound less clear and not so enjoyable to listen on certain songs. If you like that kind of sound and don't mind it than it is a very good choice (after all they were top range Sennheiser at the time, can't be that bad , but if you are sensitive to it and listen to vocal music (especially with deep voice) you might want to skip these. Price was too high at 450$ (would be 3.5 stars) but now at 300-350$ it's a pretty fair deal comparing to the competition in this price range.
Pros - Massive Soundstage - crystal clear sound
Cons - Weak in Bass - though adjustable they are too heavy if pushed too high
I love these little beasts. I pair them with my goto player the Colorfly C3 (Hidden Gem) -
If you have a good source track these little iem's shine - the sound is pristine and crystal clear - They have a lovely wide soundstage way out of proportion to their size; The Bass is a little weak but the high and mids shine. The only downsides to this are poor isolation (fixed by swapping for better buds) and the weak bass - but even turning the adjustable side bass boost dials just muddies the presentation a little. Then again I'm not really into tracks with too heavy a low frequency range preferring brighter sounds - I can wear these all day long and not even notice them - thoroughly recommended especially if you swap out the stock cables for custom wire which can gain you at least a 10% improvement in audio quality
If paired with my Fiio X5 and a 192/444 classical album they sound stunning
Pros - Amazing Sound Quality, Tunable Bass, Replaceable Cables, Great Micro-phonics, Excellent build quality, Looks, Value for Money, 2 Year Guarantee
Cons - The housing is a bit huge. If you seek isolation, the stock tips will not cut it for you.
Anyone aspiring to be an audiophile would have heard the name of these IEMs, they are one of the very best around and only a few are in the same league as this one.
The IE80 was released a few years ago, following the IE8 which was for a long time, the best that Sennheiser had to offer in this regard. Lets cut the introduction short.
This review is not an Audiophile perspective. Its just my experience after one years usage. While it may not give you side by side comparisons with rival products, it will give you an idea of what the IE80 truly is.
Short version of review:
If I had to tell you about the IE80 in one line, then I would say, you will not be disappointed by these IEMs no matter what. Sound quality and build quality are top notch. Bass and mids are fixed from the IE8, which was the main complaint of certain users. Sound stage is excellent. Metallic finish is awesome. No complaints in any department. It retails at an MSRP of INR 29,990. But I got this from my dealer for around 19k, though I was seriously willing to pay an extra 5-6k just for getting it on time. My dealer convinced me to wait and it took a couple of weeks which was kind of a letdown. So do some research depending on your priorities for the money before you pull the trigger.
Long version of review:
The IE80 comes with several ear tips, 8 rubber and 2 foam pairs to be precise. Of those three pairs are double flange tips, which are great in the gym and other activities which involve movement and external noise. The foam tips are softer than what you get from most third party sellers, but they also reproduce the sound much more true to the fidelity of the recording itself. Individual preferences may vary though. There is no medium size foam tip, usually small, medium and large are the three standard sizes which are offered. But the small one is somewhat larger than the small rubber tips, so it fits me fine. The large one is the right size though. The foam tips are good for home use, where you won't be sweating and you can clean your ears before usage. The rubber ones are awesome. The dual flange tips give great isolation, albeit not like the foam tips, but they are pretty close. They offer much better grip inside the ears, and its hard to yank them off even no matter how hard your training routine may push you. This is very good when you are in the gym or other places. The regular rubber tips are very soft, and very comfortable. They also produce very high fidelity sound. The details are better than the foam tips, and dual flange tips. Another two pairs of tips were included, in which one is somewhere between medium and small, and the other one is large. These are pretty much useless, and its safe to discard them. They are very thick, and uncomfortable. I cannot see anyone using these tips under any circumstances.
Comfort of tips:
As for comfort, I would say that the default rubber tips are the best for every occasion. This is because they are very thin, and it almost feels like they don't exist. Unlike foam tips, which make you feel somewhat congested after extended use, the default rubber tips just blend in. Listening for hours on the go feels natural, and the audio detail is the best I have heard. Now you will read a lot of recommendations for hybrid tips, and what not from the people on the internet. Don't believe them, its a load of bull crap. I have personally used Sony Hybrids, and Comply Foams, and they just don't cut it. They lack the detail which is there in the default tips. Some of them just end up muddying the audio with a little extra bass. Stick to the default rubber tips if you wish the best quality audio. The foam tips provided come second, as they provide excellent attenuation of external sound and can take the shape of your ear. The dual flange tips are awesome too. I have never tried triple flange tips though.
Comfort of the IEM housing:
The wearing comfort of these IEMs can vary. That's because the housing is a little bigger than the average IEM size. One good thing is that they are over the ear design, which is great. Even the newly launched IE800 isn't over the ear, so its less secure than these IEMs when it comes to outdoor activities. The large housing size means that they aren't pillow friendly. But its not that big a deal. I can easily fit them inside my bike helmet and ride comfortably and without adjusting them from time to time. The traffic sound is so much lesser, which means I can ride while listening to quality music.
Micro-phonics is an important factor of IEMs and I am pleased to say that its very much controlled in these IEMs. So much so that I barely hear the sound of the wind while travelling at about a 60kmph on the bike with the IE80s in the helmet. Going above 100 though, it becomes a little audible because of the wind on the helmet, which means you just have to crank the volume up a little. Please note that the IEM itself is enclosed in the helmet, or else you won't be able to hear much over 60kmph because of the housing which has to cut the air. As if that weren't enough to take care of the interference, Sennheiser have been kind enough to include a clip which attaches the IEM to your shirt or clothing. This reduces the interference caused by the cables even more, not to mention the added support for external activities. You will never be bothered by accidental touches of the cable while listening to that crucial part of your favorite song
The built quality of these IEMs is just fantastic. The IE 80's certainly stand out when it comes to looks. A brushed metallic finish to the outside housing gives it a classy look. The cables themselves feel very strong and sturdy. Much different than the ones from the CX series from Sennheiser. The 3.5mm pin area is well fortified, so its going to last pretty long. If that weren't enough, you can change the cables as and when you feel the need to. I have not tried this though, so no comment on this area. The place where the tips attach, is covered by a metallic mesh, which is pretty much standard in all IEMs, but I wish even the tips had these covers like the IE800 tips.
The case provided, is much the same case as the rest of the IE series, nothing special here. Just a hard plastic case with a metallic finish. The case has a two pairs of tips. So when you open the package right away, you will notice few tips missing, which will be hidden in the case. This provision is great, because you can change tips on the go as per the situation, if you keep your case with you. It also has a ear tip cleaning tool, with which you can remove the dirt from the housing and ear tips. This tool can also serve as the screw for the bass knob on the housing, about which I will talk later. There is another small compartment to the back side which has a small silica gel pouch to get rid of any moisture from within the case. It has a magnet in the bottom as its opening & closing mechanism. The only gripe I had with it is that its a little big to fit comfortably in your jeans pocket. You'd have to put it in your bag or your side pocket if you have one.
As for audio quality, this IEM has a very large sound stage. It feels like a huge place inside your ears. No matter what kind of music I listen to, its very easy to be awed by the sound they produce. The bass and mids are perfect. Bass is pretty tight and the mids are lush with plenty of warmth. Treble is amazing, with no sibilance even at the highest volume. This is an awesome thing, because you get to enjoy they cymbals and clangs better with absolute detail. Many IEMs especially BA driver IEMs are better in this regard, but they produce sibilance, which can be quite a spoil sport. With the IE80, you can't go wrong. Play anything with it and you are guaranteed to be happy with it. These IEMs are only 16 OHMs and it doesn't take a lot to drive it. A dedicated amp would add little to no benefit over the source. You can easily drive it with your mobile phone and MP3 player. I have no complains with the Sansa Clip Zip, which is a perfect companion for the gym. The volume levels are pretty high for an IEM, and clarity is maintained even at the highest volumes. Instrument separation is good too. Pleas note that this is just the starting point in the audiophile territory, its bigger brothers HD800 & HD650 can do much better when paired with an amp. This is just a portable solution for audiophiles who don't want to lose much while travelling or at the gym.
There are bass knobs on each of the earpieces which can be adjusted using the earpiece cleaning tool provided in the case. Note that its best to leave them at the lowest level, which is the factory setting of these IEMs because they produce natural sound close to original. Increasing it will change the bass response. It can be useful if you are getting different volume levels of bass in each of the earpieces due to the fitting provided by the ear tips. No two ears are alike and the difference can be quite a bit. Another scenario where this can be useful is when the source itself is giving out unbalanced sound. The last case is when your IEM itself is losing balance, then you can correct it to some degree using this knob. Anyways, as I said before, its best to keep it at the lowest setting.
The isolation provided is pretty decent. The housing is well sealed, and the cables have a good resistance to micro-phonics. So there is not much to complain about. But people who are used to other brands may be dissatisfied, as they may be used to the fit and isolation provided by other IEMs. Its not a deal breaker though. You can always replace the tips any time you want. Sony's hybrid tips will give you the best balance between comfort, isolation and sound quality. Comply is not for everyone. Firstly I dislike the the foams which get all oily after a few months of usage. They also give you this congested feel if the foam is too thick. If its too thin, then the bass and isolation suffers. Well I can go, but to say the least, Sennheiser's package which includes 10 pairs of ear tips will satisfy most of the buyers of the IEM.
Durability (cables, housing & case):
The cables are awesome. They tangle much lesser than the cheaper models, and are much more durable. The rubber is made from a much more durable compound, and there has been no degradation after extended use. Usually, cables can harden or crack over the course of a year, and extended usage under all elements. But these cables can take anything you throw at them. They are even much better than even the Kevlar cables used in the CX680/685 etc sport editions.
The housing itself looks pretty much the same like it used to when it was new. Its very solid even after so many drops and bumps. The brownish paint has now become all shiny and polished, with a little of it beginning to fade away. The metallic part has a lot of small scratches, but none of them are substantial enough to be an eye sore. Overall, from a distance of a couple of feet, you can't say its much different from a new one at all.
The case itself is very durable with a very solid plastic construction, but the same cannot be said about the metallic plates to the outside. Once they take a beating it becomes a dent and looks distorted. But apart from this minor problem, the case is pretty much nuke proof, and will keep your IE80s safe no matter what you throw at them.
Under rough usage:
After using it for a year without the case, and in sweaty jeans pants which hardy had room along with bike keys and mobile phone not to mention the music player; going the gym for five days a week, I have to say that I am impressed. Many a times the phone/player slipped from my hands and ended up bungee jumping with my ears as a support. At times I have closed the zip to my jacket without realizing that the player was still hooked to the IE80. After a good inspection, I can confirm that there are no major cuts or damage to the cables anywhere. There is no other IEM which has shown little to no change in these conditions. I used to ride in the rains of Mumbai every day with the headphone inside the helmet. The rains here last for about 4 months. These IEMs have lasted 2 monsoons, which is an amazing feat. The levels of humidity and stress which these IEMs have undergone are much more than my other IEMs because these are my primary IEMs. A couple of months ago, I felt a slight change in one of the channels, and it keeps varying between 1-4% difference in balance. Some times the imbalance was to the right and sometimes to the right. I guess something went wrong with the cables. So I got them to Sennheiser Service center, who promptly replaced them for me. I have no idea how they might perform under the cold climates, as I have only taken it to cold places once and I believe 0 degrees Celsius is by no means a difficult thing for the IE80. But in the heat and humidity department it has managed to exceed my expectations. As per my usage, the average time an IEM lasts is usually a couple of months, before something goes wrong big time. But they completed a year without a problem, and even the issue which arose after usage was probably because of cable failure as it is expected under these conditions.
In one line, THESE IEMs ARE TOUGH, and they are built to last a lifetime if used correctly.
Sennheiser Warranty & Service:
Please make sure to keep your bill safe. Even a soft copy will do. So its advisable to take a snapshot of the bill and save it on your computer just in case. On producing the bill, I was given a replacement for the IE80 in a week. This can vary depending on the stocks with them. I remember I had to wait 3-4 weeks for the CX550. Other ones like the CX180 will be replaced in a day or so. If you're really lucky, you might get an upgrade instead of a replacement. Damage caused by accidents are not covered under the warranty, but I guess it all depends on how you explain it to them. The main problem which can come on rough usage is the change in the balance of the sound where the right ear piece volume doesn't match the left. They never make a fuss about replacing the product unlike other companies which try their best to avoid a replacement with a stupid explanation. Anyways, it has always been a pleasure dealing with Sennheiser. They offered me tea when I was waiting with them. Good luck to you too.
Value for money:
Are they worth the price? Hell yeah they are. You can use them to your hearts content, plus you are also covered with a guarantee. Awesome sound quality under extreme conditions and good build quality etc, etc, so many good things going for one IEM. How can I say it ain't worth the price? Even if I used it for about 2 years only, the average comes to about 800 Rupees per month, or about $14 a month, which isn't much considering everything that Sennheiser offers, not to mention the tea they give me every time I visit the service center. I would gladly pay a little extra, that is how satisfied I am. All of this would be pointless if the sound quality could not back it up, but its on par with the best you can get in this range. Go for it by all means, you will not be disappointed. When you pay about 20k for a IEM, you expect a lot in return, and the IE80 delivers it in spades.
As a final note, I would like to say that, Sennheiser is more than a brand, it makes you love the music you listen to. #Respect
Pros - Great, neutral sound balance
Cons - Very sensitive to correct position in ears/pad choice
I count myself really lucky. I was convinced that these phones were too treble-ey and didn't have good bass. I tried some after market foam pads and the bass just came pouring out of them. This led me to experiment further and found that the black foam pads that came with them gave a very neutral, but full sound. I am very glad that I didn't write a review before because it would have been unfair.
I used the IE80's to compare a Meridian Explorer DAC to a AK120 DAP and I must say the differences between these high quality sources was immediately apparent. You can hear very deeply into the recording with both. Great IEM's.
Before I got these sorted out I was fitted for the UE Reference Monitors. If I'd had this kind of sound out of the box I might not have bothered. Although I'm still very curious about and looking forward to the customs.
Pros - sound, detachable cable, build quality, brand,modable,tuning feature
Cons - fit, recessed mids, most accessories are useless
very relax sounding IEM, great for relaxing, fit is awkward if u have small ears, accessories are tons but most are useless, tape mod is good! Recommended
Pros - variable bass, detachable cable
Cons - isolation, carry case
IE80 has a warm sound overall,crisp high and punchy bass. The "bass knob" was the best part for me since I am not a basshead so I only turn the knob to halfway. many people said the main issue was isolation but it really depends on where u used it, for me the isolation was enough in train and buses(maybe I dont like total isolation).
To me the carrying case seems to be too big for IEMs