Sony MDR-EX800ST

General Information

Sony's new audio monitor in inner ear style. As an In-Ear Monitor (IEM), MDR-EX800ST is strictly for musicians, sound engineers and audiophiles to listen to music or to hear a custom crafted mix of vocals and stage instrumentation for live performance or studio mixing. There are instructions on how to properly connect the cord to the driver unit and how to position the earphone and the cord around your head. Designed to provide a high level of noise reduction from ambient surroundings.

Specifications

Format: Closed Dynamic
Driver Unit: 16mm, dome type (CCAW employed)
Maximum input: 500mW
Impedance: 16 ohm
Sound pressure sensitivity: 108dB/mW
Playback frequency: 3 - 28,000 Hz
Cable length: 1.6m Litz wire Y type cord
Plug: Gold-plated L type stereo mini plug
Weight: 7g

Latest reviews

Pros: Balanced. Bass for days.
Cons: Supa long cable.
Set-up:
Foobar2000 > Steinberg UR22 mk2 > Sony MDR-ex800st
Playing Flac, DSD (converted to flac because of DAC), CD (using external drive), AAC.
Using Silicone Tips (Medium)

Looks:
Shell:
plastic but neat looking. Sticks out your ears because it has a 16mm driver.
Cable: Supa long & thin.

Sound:
Initial Impression:
Flat sound signature. A little boring at first.
Detail: Really great, on par if not slightly better than the $300-$500 headphones I’ve owned in the past: Senn HD600, AKG K240DF, AKG K712, Beyer DT150, Sony MDR-CD900st.
Soundstage: It’s good for a pro iem.
Separation: Instruments can be heard with high clarity.
Bass: Like a boss!
Mids: Slightly recessed sometimes. When I listen to Diana Krall’s Love Scenes album, they don’t sound recessed. Very clear and extended.
Treble: Can be sibilant with a few albums. That means it is really good most of the time.

Music: I prefer to listen to jazz and slower songs with the ex800st. I don’t really enjoy listening to rock w/ this iem because it is very technical. I mean you will hear the music as is but it kinda makes rock or pop not as exciting to listen to if that makes sense.

Compared to my Sony XBA N3: these iems are at the same price range & level of clarity.
Ex800st is flat and balanced.
Ex800st is more detailed.
Ex800st is less fun sounding.
Ex800st is more revealing of sources.
My mind tells me that the 800st is technically better but I'm using the N3 more..a lot more.

My Final thoughts: Not cheap @ $200 but a steal considering what it can do. The Sony MDR-ex800st is the best reference IEM at its price range.
Pros: They are unique.
1) Neutral sound. Great for mixing. Consider this fact while reading other pros.
2) Bass is powerful and has no limits.
3) Realistic mids.
4) Overall sound is bold and powerful.
5) Stock sound is very open and light; however, soundstage is maybe a half a meter in diameter. Bigger than in any of my IEMs (excluding DM6's, these are just as big), but still not as big as you might've thought after reading some reviews.
6) Separation is top-notch.
Cons: 1) Treble roll-off kills realism in sound. It is not THAT severe, but will lose to armatures like ZS6.
2) Bass isn't that great in terms of it's quality, it's just the amount of it. Sub-bass is crippled by big vents, closing them causes bass to become boomy trash, I'm not that kind of basshead. Can actually be fixed with EQ.
3) 5.5kHz-6kKz peak that kills the pleasure of listening to these earphones. Can be fixed through equalizing. Treble can be fixed, but to some degree. They are just physically unable to provide great treble, unfortunately. Otherwise I would've ended up my audiophile journey right now.
4) Somewhat low-res feeling, I guess that's what people call grainy treble, kills realism even more.
5) Sound leaks a lot, no isolation, awkward fit with stock cable and long tips. I don't really care about such things, though.
Stock cable is really, really bad, I thought that cable-believers are silly people before I've purchased MMCX adapters and good copper cable for these earphones.
Considered selling them as many times as realizing that I've nearly made a big mistake.
Bought them for 200$ with shipping.
Was definitely disappointed after first listen. Well, they are seriously source-dependent.
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FastAndClean
FastAndClean
before years i heard the EX1000 considered by many to be the king of dynamic drivers, it was grainy and aggressive in the upper mids with no treble extension, kind of uneven sounding, have no idea why so many people love them so much
Sp12er3
Sp12er3
I agree with all of the point here, it's pretty strange IEM.
Must add that I think what people pointing about soundstage is mistaking them for openness, this is very, quite open.
For people used to BAvs treble and detail, the grain masking things would make them sound pretty low fi, but when you start listening between the line it is still very textured and full, something I haven't found on any DD IEM I've tried.
Pros: Accurate sound, price
Cons: Isolation
     To sum up, this is my another favorite beside Shure SE425 (my main IEM for 6 years) I have purchased this IEM at Yodobashi Camera by 18000 Japanese yen (about 160$ at the time) This is the top of the mountain of the sony dynamic in-ear. MDR-EX1000 are more spacial and musical in compare to this IEM, and EX600 (discontinued) is somehow bassy and entertaining.
 
     The sound is very relaxing, but tight at the same time. I know it is contradictory. The mid-stage sound is very dynamic but delicate, and it never get you tired to listen music. Musical but referential. This is the only IEM I have ever know IEM with sound accuracy without exhaustion. If I say ER-4S as the de facto standard sound for the single BA IEM, this is the de facto natural sound for dynamic IEM. This is the IEM for who need to listen very detail of the music for their work. This IEM is designed by Sony for music creator, so package is completely white without ornament. This is not even a consumer product but for professional users. Bass is mediocre amount, but quality of the bass is awesome. It is powerful bass, but not exhausting. The best sound range is the mid. I could even visually see every single of sound particle when I listen through this IEM. Treble is very transparent and delicate. Overall, it is high quality monitoring IEM for reasonable price. I strongly believe 18000 yen is too cheap for its sound and build quality. 
 
    However, isolation is very terrible. You can still use comply by reversing its side (sounds just weird, but I have learned it from friend of mine who is also audiophile) if you like to use it at outside. 
 
     The cable connector is Sony's own standard, so not compatible with other company's IEM. I also found this IEM changes its sound when I replace the cable to EX1000's one. Somehow gives more detail and space for its sound.
ryanjsoo
ryanjsoo
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kochiyadragons
kochiyadragons
kochiyadragons
kochiyadragons
Thanks for your comment @Hawaiibadboy!

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