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In-Ear item created by i2ehan, Dec 23, 2011
Pros - rich and warm sound, gd bass, clear, sweet treble
Cons - isolation, not comfortable enough, not detail enough
This is my first high-and in-ear monitor. It changed my hobby. IE80 made me realized the difference between crappy earphones and good earphones is huge. I'm addicted to audio stuff now...and it all begins with this stunning earphone.
Pros - Bass, soundstage
Cons - Fit, mids
The retail package for the IE 80 is one of the most impressive IEM packages I've seen. The IEMs are nicely presented and the brushed aluminium box looks very sleek.
Opening the box confirms this with a the box despite being plastic with aluminium faceplates seems very well constructed and more than adaquetely protects the IEMs themselves although the L shaped 3.5mm connector can be difficult to fit into the case. The included tip selection is very wide. However for me, this is where the problems began.
The tips selection, while wide, is still subpar in design, with many of the buds themselves seems to be designed for freakish ear canals, a fact not helped by the wide nozzle design of the IE series. This made it impossible to get anything approximating a decent fit with any of the included tips. However, since I own a fairly large number of IEMs I made do with some medium Sony Hybrid greys from a pair of MH1cs which stretched over the much wider nozzle of the IE80. It should also be noted that the IE80 provides almost no isolation at all.
Onto sound: With the stock tips, the sound was fairly decent, the large(for an IEM) soundstage remeniscent of the older IE8 is present, imaging is good and the highs are detailed but non fatiguing and the lows are strong and impactful. However the mid range was muddied significantly by the low end, which was extremely disappointing in a £200 pair of IEMs. The highs themselves while technically accurate, left much to be desired in terms of musicality and I found them quite dry and boring, lacking the slight sparkle of other IEMs in the price range(or below) such as the Phonak Audeo PFE112 or the Shure SE425.
Fitting the previously mentioned Sony Hybrid Grey tips on the IE80 attenuated the highs and closed the coundstage noticeably, resulting in a darker smaller sound. I found the trade off for a secure fit and the greater isolation quite favourable however.
Looking on head-fi I came across the tape mod and auvivo tips. The tape mod involves covering the bass ports with tape. This has the effect of removing the midbass bloat that muddies the midrange and tightens the bass up. Depending on what setting you had the bass port on piror to the tape the IE80 shift from a bass centric to a mid centric IEM, which may not be for all listeners. The Auvio tips are Sony Hybrid clones with a central bore width that fits the IE80 wide nozzle naturally and as such doe not reduce the soundstage and attenuate the highs like the normal Sony Hybrids. Similar, but for me an inferior fit are the silicone tips included with JVC IEMs.
In conclusion, the IE80 is a competant IEM, but is highly flawed in it's stock form. Due to the many issues I have with it, I find it difficult to recommend at the £200 price mark it typically sells for in the UK. If you do find youself enjoying the soundof the IE80, but hating the fit, it may be worth investing £120 in some custom silicone eartips from ACS.
Stock Fit: 2/10
Tape Modded sound:
Pros - comfortable, swappable cables, great bass
Cons - sound isolation
I've had this IEM for 3 months. It has won me over with its broad soundstage. I must say, please do swap the original cables with more capable ones; it makes a huge difference.
Pros - Soundstage, detail
Cons - isolation, bloated bass
After two weeks of daily use, I feel I "get" what this IEM is all about now. It's a great IEM for all types of recordings and music. I've run everything through it on my iPhone 5 (no external DAC/Amp) via iTunes and FLAC via Capriccio. I have been doing comparisons between the IE 80, Sennheiser CX880i and Klipsch Reference S4i.
There is no competition. The IE80 wins on all fronts except isolation, which I'll get into later.
This is completely subjective, but I love the look of the IE 80. The brushed metal looks fantastic. There are some great features included such as the adjustable bass knobs, detatchable wires, large assortment of tips, over-the-ear wire guides, shirt clip... (great)
The unit is made mostly of plastic except for the thin brushed metal plates. The plastic seems sturdy enough, and the wire connectors that attach to each monitor is very sturdy and requires a bit of force to disconnect. Great.
The unit feels fairly light for it's size. In the ear, they feel good. Good.
This is a weak point of the IE 80. I've tried all tips and I'm able to get a decent enough seal, however, I am still able to easily hear outside noise. Average.
With the stock cable, I barely perceive any friction noise. Excellent.
Sound Quality: 4.5/5
Here's the important part. The IE80 has handled everything I've thrown at it with competence. I listen to pretty much everything I can get my hands on. Jazz, Rock, Metal, Electronic, Classical/symphony, Pop, Accoustical, Movies, Music Videos..
These IEMs strike a good balance between being analytical and fun. They won't pick apart your iTunes files and make them sound like trash, but at the same time, you can hear the differences in listening to FLAC files.
At first listen, I noticed the high level of detail and clarity in the highs, with slightly warm mids, and heavy bass. The soundstage and instrument separation is fantasic for an IEM. After getting used to the IEMs, everything now sounds just right except for the bass. I have the bass tuned to the lowest setting and I still find that it's a bit on the bloated side. There's definitely a bias towards bass on these. Not too objectionable, but not neutral either.
Overall, I would say these are excellent IEMs, except for the price. The retail price is on the high side for what you are getting. However, at about $300-$350, these are great and I would easily recommend these.
Using the Capriccio app, I've been messing with a bit of EQing and I've lowered the mid bass down by about 6-7 dB and just ever so slightly increased the midrange. I feel this helps eliminate the "mid bass bloat". If you're using this app, I've uploaded the settings under "IE 80 Accoustic".
Pros - Amazing Sound Stage, Good Bass and comfortable in ear
Cons - Sound Isolation
I recently purchased the Sennheiser IE80 IEM’s and I am delighted I did.
The sound stage from these is amazing and open up my music in ways I didn’t think were possible.
It really has added to the enjoyment of all of my music and has quickly become my preferred way to listen to my entire audio library. I was concerned about comfort with extended use, but I have to say that it really is not a problem and I can forget they are even in my ears and just concentrate on the music.
The sound isolation while not perfect is more than acceptable and could probably be improved with the choice of a different ear tips. All up I am happy to recommend these to anyone who wants to really enjoy most types of music in complete comfort.
Pros - Great sound, many tips, look awesome, great fit
Cons - A bit pricey
I just received my ie80's and am pretty blown away by how they can reproduce sound. I was pretty hesitant about getting IEM's but an upcoming trip had me start to look into it. After many reviews and write-ups I finally settled on the ie80's, I really like Sennheiser as well so my decision could have been a bit persuaded. At this point I am done with over the ear cans and am a new huge fan of IEM's, the sound is just presented in a whole new way! I am now getting impressions and will be ordering customs ASAP. Thanks for everyone who steered me in the right direction. Mahalo!
Pros - Everything in these headphones is perfect and I recommend them to everybody. Give them some burn in time.
Cons - none!!!!!
Amazing. Truely amazing. I recently bought the denonAHD2000 and realized I don't like Headphones. So I returned them. I used to use klipsch s4.. I love them but once I returned my denons I bought these babies. THEY ROCK. I authenticated them first off because there are fakes out there. I authenticated them. Mine are real. Got a really godo price as well. $350 is not a bad price. Got them off someone on amazon. Iam currently at 1 hour burn in time. AND OMG THEY SOUND AMAZING. I highly recommend these to anyone who loves high quality music. I just joined head-fi.org. But do trust me. These are truly amazing.
Pros - Sound, bass, highs/treble, definition, ambience, substance
Cons - Price. Some minor physical design improvements I would make.
I don't know anything about soundstage and fancy audiophile terms but I've listened to plenty of audio from stock iPod buds, moderate over-ear and on-ear head phones good home stereos, clubs, professional concerts, orchestras.. I bought these after my Shure's had been broken for years and was out of IEMs. I was doing some research after the Klipsches I bought quit working right and originally decided I was curious about the balanced armature technology thinking it must be superior. I got the Westone 4s and 2 days later I bought these because of reviews I skipped saying that BAs were thin on bass and the only way to go was a good dynamic. So I broke down and got these. Since, I have had the opportunity to compare a lot of the buzzing IEMs as I have also received my VSonic GR07s.
Basically what I'm looking for in an IEM is the ability to be driven hard without distorting or clipping. Response curves I can adjust with EQ. Sorry, purists. Anyway, the IE 80 is it. They are extremely rich and defined. If you don't like the sound you can physically tune the bass response. I have them maxed. As a casual music listener I love bass but just as long as it doesn't muddy the rest of the sound. These IEMs are extremely defined and have a lot of spatial dimension. They are very comfortable. I have a custom silver galaxy cable arriving in a week or so.
I prefer the style of the VSonic GR07 more with the swiveling port that goes deep into the canal. The Sennheisers offer a good seal for me with the foam tips. The silicone ones aren't bad but I can lose a bit of seal if my jaw is moving like chewing gum or something even with the properly sized tips. I believe they come with something for everyone. Also if you google ACS custom tips you can turn these almost into custom IEMs. I intend to eventually but can't for until a few months.
The only other things I would change about these Senns is the cable end plugs I would curve inward toward the head as when I shove these into my ear it causes the cable to angle ever so slightly, however still awkwardly outward. Also the cable is a bit flimsy. I was sort of expecting a stiffer springy rubber cord or ome that is very thick but it's very relaxed plastic sheathing which some people prefer. It is completely adequate and only that. The plugs and Y joint are extremely rugged and refined though.
Simply amazing. I can't imagine another IEM better. I'm still waiting for my GR07s to "burn in" but out of the box they are a bit subdued albeit still nicely tight and defined. The Westones and other balanced armatures do not burn in over time.
EDIT: I forgot to mention pretty much right away I noticed when I made a good seal with the IE 80s in the right ear if I pushed it in too fast I would get a popping. My initial guess, and still after reading, is the driver cone/film flexing. I'm thinking of sending it in to Sennheiser to see but as far as I can tell it has not affected the sound at all. If I try, I can make the left side do it now as well.
If you are reading this as a casual music listener with a good budget I would totally recommend the IE 80s. Bit less of a budget, be happy with the GR07s if you can get them knowing they should get better after a few months. From what I can tell the Senn IE 60s are definitely worth an honorable mention to checking out. To know if these are worth $450, listen to a high quality rip of Everything In Its Right Place by Radiohead, or Pagan Poetry by Bjork. Nothing else can express these songs the way the IE 80s did for me other than my home stereo 3 way floor speakers. I have also heard that the Monster Turbine Pros were good in-ears but lots of complaints about them falling apart which is pathetic considering they're expensive. The Klipsches were honestly adequate for me for the price ($70) but their QA/QC is also bad as one side cutting out is apparently common. Also, I had some comfort issues.
Though you pay for what you get, $450 is expensive so I have to give this 3 star on value.
4 on design just because of personal preference improvements I would make. Some may give 5 star in this category. Even they don't go as deep as I would prefer they still give good isolation. Audio quality is unmatched. They can make a very flat response or given a real fun earlobe wobbling noise. These things can turn your head into a sound chamber.
Pros - Massive Soundstage / Treble / Mids / Kick Ass Bass
Cons - Price
I have been a Sennheiser fan sinced my first pair of Sennheiser IEM's - the IE7's. I then later upgrade to the IE8's and these were even better. Unfortunatley my IE8's suffered a hardware failure under warranty, so, I sent them back in their orginal packaging and was then informed the IE6 / IE7 / IE8 range was no longer being manufactured as new models came out. So my IE8's were upgraded at no additional cost to the IE80's so very glad wtih this.
Well, so far extremly impressed with the IE80's as they sound even better than the IE8's and this is without me using the tuning function, and a grand total of about 20 hours use. The soundstage on these seems even better again and still massive, while the treble, and mids is also better. The bass is as usual for Sennheiser, meaty and thumping but not overbearing or bloated. All my music is 320kpbs, and you hear little nuances in all the songs that I didn't pick up before.
These Dynamic driver IEM's are the cream of the crop on Sennheiser's range, until IE800's come out. I am not a fan of Balance Armature as I have tried 3 pairs of single Armature Sony headphones, and over audio quality does not even come close to the IE80's - especially in mids / treble / and bass - yet the Sony are more expensive for less, and they all have loud cord noise. The IE80's also stand out with their new metal finish, and their presentation (packaging) looks better than anything else out there.
Honestly, the Sennheiser IE80's are like having audio cans in your ears, their audio reproduction is simply amazing, and I dont know how those Engineers at Sennheiser in Germany do this. Once again Sennheiser have outdone themselves. I have had people listen to these and their jaws drop literally with the unexpected soundstage and clarity then they ask the price - which puts them in a coma - but these are worth every cent. Once you hear these, its hard to go back to cheap earphones.
Thank you Sennheiser