Sennheiser IE 8 In-Ear Headphones

Rating:
4.34146/5,
  1. trebla
    Few shortcomings in sound or construction
    Written by trebla
    Published Apr 19, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Warm intense sound
    Cons - lacking in detail, hungry for power
    Pleasing headphone to own, lots of character and ability. I really liked the fun sound of this headphone and that's been enough to talk down about 'cold' and 'analytical' headphones since then. 
    Sounded a little out of my phone. Drove them with Ibasso D10 and they sounded nice, was quite a large rig to carry and I never forgave them for that. 
  2. Docjitters
    Smooth, musical and lovely listen: still going back >5 years later
    Written by Docjitters
    Published May 1, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Lovely (and occasionally jaw-dropping) midrange, fun bass, smooth highs, awesome soundstage, good cable
    Cons - Needs running-in, fiddly to get perfect fit, needs an amp to shine
    DOI: I don't get to listen to new gear a lot so I may not be any use at answering questions about comparisons to anything other than my own stuff (which may or may not be considered esoteric). I was (and am) a full-size hi-fi person so my tastes in this will clearly colour what I look for in head-fi. I tend to value realism of tone for well-recorded voices and instruments but for orchestral works and pop/dance music, I prefer a neutral-warm musicality and dynamics.
     
     
    Initial set-up:
    Box:
    Carry case is lovely but clunky and useless for in-out day-to-day carry. Cable is nice, a useful length and non-microphonic unless you're really scraping it. The clip helps.
     
    Eartips:
    Best in box for my smallish ear canals were the medium single-flanges - absolute best were cut-down Comply foams, which are crazy expensive in the UK and being cut-up, only last a few days of hard wear before the seal goes. Ended up getting Proguard silicone tips which I use to this day (which reduces total comfort and congests the sound but was a reasonable trade-off for durability). I wore them over-ears with the cable guides as I run around a lot.
     
    Source/Amp:
    iPhone 4 w/ ALAC then added a BSG cmoy tin-amp with LM4562 (gain 6) and a Tangent-design Pimeta v2 built by myself as a high-end build with BB OPA827 x 3 (627s were waaaaaay too pricey). Lately, I've been using an iPhone 5S with the Onkyo player app and an iBasso DX80 with Lurker's firmware (ALAC and Hi-Res FLAC)
     
    A Few Thoughts on the Sound:
    Initially, crazy bass which sounded bloated and horrible. After running in on the cmoy for a few tens of hours, it started to clear so I persevered and the muddiness disappeared. I've always kept the IE8s at the lowest bass setting and worked on optimising the seal. There's a lot of bass and can be a bit 'splashy' and it doesn't extend all the way down but the quality even with the well-documented mid-bass hump is a lot of fun with e.g. The Prodigy and Nine-Inch Nails and doesn't obscure the rest too much. Highs are slightly rolled-off but this helps those, like myself, who are very sensitive to sibilance or 'hot' recordings. Detail is good but micro-detail and subtle changes in e.g. the background dirge of Nightwish's Taikatalvi certainly needs a better player than a phone - the upper-range smoothness and the high sensitivity/low impedance probably don't help. Overall, the IE8 is smooth: it forgives low-quality rips, voices (esp. female ones) are clear and with the right recording have a flutey quality that sounds lovely though isn't necessarily the most realistic e.g. an opera recording like Kleiber's 1977 La Traviata. That being said, I played Sandi Thom's 'I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker' for the first time through the cmoy w/ LM4562 and the voice in my right ear was so 'real' I jumped sideways on a busy street...
     
    Soundstage is massive, and in a way I particularly like - moreso with the Pimeta and OPA827s: the vocals are in my head but everything else is all around. This can get a bit echo-chamber for some tunes but with particular recordings it gives an 'out-there' effect you can't cheaply achieve even with a full-sized system. Coupled with the Complys, you can forget you are wearing in-ears. I've been known to take my kit onto the street at night when it's quiet and play Florence + The Machine's Cosmic Love far too loudly and dance around grinning whilst it feels like the sound is coming from the sky around me. Seriously. Stop looking at me like that...
     
    (The only reason I stopped carrying my Pimeta was the 1-hour battery life - never got the oscillation stable-, the box weighs over a 1Ib and carrying a large metal container covered in switches gets you funny looks on London Underground in this security-conscious day and age.)
     
    Overall:
    A bargain at the price I paid (~£100) and a very decent upgrade if you like bass. However, perfect fit was an issue for me and it really needs something better than a phone to show off. My favourite to calm a sibilant tune on my rather sizzly but otherwise solid iBasso DX80 (e.g. any of Fun's studio albums - sometimes feels like a very musical white-noise generator). 5 years later and I still go back to them.
  3. solidjon
    Best IEM I have listened to, though yet to try a pair of Noble's
    Written by solidjon
    Published Apr 22, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Wonderful natural sound on all frequencies, after listening extensively to music that I'm very familiar with. On vocals, synths, classical and dance.
    Cons - Not cheap, but worth saving for and getting them.
    Excellent IEM headphones. I usually use my modified HD600's with my hifi system or whilst listening from my mac via my external DAC through my headphone amp, but I recently FLAC'd my entire CD collection (several weeks later) onto an AK Jr, and with the IE8's the sound quality is excellent. (Memories of my first Walkman in 1981 and the impact it made on me as a young boy, the sound was a vast improvement on what I'd heard from any tape player before). The IE8's almost isolate most external noise as it's easy to get a good seal in your ears with the variety of rubber tips that are provided so when the music is playing, all you hear is the music and the reproduction is excellent. From vocals of Andy Bell in 'Am I Right' to Louise Setara in 'Love me Still', to driving rhythms and drums in Lou Gramm's 'Angel With A Dirty Face'. All the varieties of music I've listened to through these IE 8's I've never been disappointed.
    Build quality is usual German quality, so nothing to worry about there. They are packaged in a nice sized case that is easy to fit in your pocket, and the cleaning tools and other rubber tips are all stored neatly.
    All in all I'd certainly recommend these IEM's, they're not the most affordable if you're on a budget, but if you can save that bit longer, they are most certainly worth it, and I'd be very surprised if you regretted your purchase.
    1. seanwee
      keep an eye out for fakes though, I nearly got a fake pair myself when i was still new to the hi-fi world.
      seanwee, Apr 22, 2016
  4. TwinACStacks
    All around astounding Earphone
    Written by TwinACStacks
    Published Mar 11, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great Bass, articulate Treble and mids
    Cons - Minor Mid-Bass Hump that appears to smooth out after burn-in, OEM Ear tips not up to par with Earphones.
    Purchased these From an Authorized seller in the UK as a Demo but in as new / Mint condition. They actually had 10 Pair, in hindsight I probably should have purchased a 2nd. After a Disappointing trial of Vsonic GR07 Classics, I decided to pop the Extra $$$$ and take a chance with the IE8s. I won't be looking back any time soon. You can use a lot of adjectives, in a nutshell they sound great and are actually on par with My Senn HD650s sonically. The first thing I did was Try all the supplied Tips finding that the Large regular tip is the best of the OEM lot for my ears. I will go into a little more detail in a few for better tips. Then I burned these in having a Listen at 50, 100, 200, 250 and 300 Hours. I for one definitely can hear a vast difference between New and Burned in. Relaxed would be what I would call the Transformation, and the Mid-Bass hump which never really bothered me anyways has smoothed out. I also Purchased a set of Balanced N8 OCCC silver Plated copper upgrade cables from HIFI-Acoustic Audio. Fantastic workmanship on these cables. Highly Recommended.
     
    Now for eartips: I have Tried Comply Foams, Generic Silicone Hybrids from Ebay, Genuine Sony Hybrids, Phonak, Monster Gels, JVC, both Clear and Black assortments from Meelec, Auvio hybrids and of course the supplied OEM. My conclusion is BY A WIDE MARGIN: The Auvio Hybrids available at Radio Shack in Large size. They just make the sound BLOOM, at least to my ears.
     
    Sorry for being Late to the Party, Might Have to try out the IE80s.
     
    [​IMG][​IMG] TWIN
    1. raybone0566
      the ie-8 is the right choice. I own both and the ie-80's highs are veiled. they don't have those nice mids the ie-8's have either. good pair of phones.
      raybone0566, Mar 11, 2015
    2. Dobrescu George
      try tape over vent mod. you will be pleased!
      Dobrescu George, Mar 12, 2015
    3. TwinACStacks
      Thanx Guys.
      TwinACStacks, Mar 12, 2015
  5. Kaffeemann
    Terrible for the price
    Written by Kaffeemann
    Published Jan 1, 2014
    2.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality, Comfort
    Cons - Bloated Mid-Bass, Muddy Sound, harsh Peaks and Resonance in the Treble
    Please you yourself a favor and don't buy these IEM.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. xedjflowx
      xedjflowx, Sep 27, 2014
    3. almoskosz
      Is it possible that you haven't tried all the eartips to get a perfect isolation? 
      almoskosz, Jan 2, 2016
    4. Larethio
      More isolation would typically lead to more bass
      Larethio, Aug 3, 2016
  6. thelostMIDrange
    horrible value, nicely made
    Written by thelostMIDrange
    Published Aug 9, 2013
    3.0/5,
    Pros - workmanship, detail
    Cons - value
    only auditioned this iem for a brief time as I would never pay nearly this much of my hard earned money on an iem. These must have been tuned to a certain type of modern music and for that, whatever it may have been, these probably sound outstanding
  7. coolguy2002
    Best earphone
    Written by coolguy2002
    Published May 7, 2013
    5.0/5,
    Pros - excellent sount, aweome Bass
    Cons - no cons
    Awesome Earphone with Awesome bass and Buld
  8. lextheimpaler
    Superb
    Written by lextheimpaler
    Published Apr 12, 2013
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent Sound
    Cons - None
    These are the best IEMS I have. Much better than Shure 535's or the UE500's or the Klipsh. Second to only custom IEM's
    1. Sweden
      5 for isolation?
      Nice review...
      Sweden, Apr 13, 2013
    2. AmberOzL
      there is no world that ie8 gets 5 from isolation. don't get me wrong, they are great. but they don't give isolation that much.
      AmberOzL, Apr 21, 2013
  9. gpfransen
    Good quality and after service.
    Written by gpfransen
    Published Dec 4, 2012
    5.0/5,
    Sound and build quality is pretty good, Bass level is comparable to UE 4EB.
    1. nikkojames15
      ..that's it? Kidding! :wink: Enjoy your IE8. :)
      nikkojames15, Dec 5, 2012
    2. XxDobermanxX
      I know why this review is short, words cant explain the sound :D
      XxDobermanxX, Dec 5, 2012
  10. Rangotherabbit
    Not as good as i expected.
    Written by Rangotherabbit
    Published Aug 22, 2012
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Lots of tips, fancy travelling case,tons of bass, excellent sound-stage, good build quality, adjustable bass, sounds excellent with metal.
    Cons - Most tips are useless, bass screw is a bit fragile.
    Bass screws work if you have some bass to begin with, ie. not using an ipod.
    Soundstage is brilliant.
    Sound is a bit unbalanced, have use aggresive eq with walkman.
    bass is phenominal.