Grado GR8 vs. Sennheiser IE8 - My Initial Impressions
Oct 24, 2009 at 9:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

FenderP

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My local dealer had the GR8s in stock and I've been curious as I like Grado's normal headphones. I currently use the Sennheiser IE8s as my IEMs when I travel (paired to my Sony NW-X1060 from Japan). It's a good combo. The IE8s are well built, have low microphonics, great bottom end, and good treble. I wish it did mids a bit better, but the sound stage is wide and open.

So I plugged the GR8 into the 1060 and was not impressed. Not as good of a low end, more mids (which I was hoping for), a narrower sound stage, and not as much top end (not necessarily a bad thing). Things like a bass drum didn't sound like a bass drum. Yes, I know I haven't had any burn in, but I remember being impressed with the IE8s right out of the box as a killer IEM. Am I saying the sound is horrible? No. Not at all. Out of the box, with the X1060 as a sound source, the IE8 is head and shoulders above the GR8.

I'm also not a fan of the design. I like how the IE8s can go over the ear easily and if you need to, you can replace the cable. In comparison, the GR8 feels much more delicate in overall build quality and if the cord accidentally snaps from the earphone, you're screwed; it's attached. I also noticed due to the design more microphonics when I moved my head - something I've never had an issue with my IE8.

The one thing I will say is that the GR8 is an easier fit than the IE8.

Now, there is a chance the GR8 and X1060 are just not a good pairing.

Chances are you'll see the GR8s for sale in the classifieds very soon, but I'll give 'em more of a shot and give them a chance to burn in a little, but I'm more of the opinion that you shouldn't have to wait a long time to get good sound. Something either sounds good or it doesn't.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 9:31 PM Post #2 of 16

Hi-fi Wigwammer

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Thanks for your comments. Being a Grado fan I was tempted by the GR8s last week. After reading numerous glowing comments on here about the UM3Xs I went for those instead. Glad I did.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 9:41 PM Post #3 of 16

FenderP

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The IE8s are also more detailed. On an older recording (all digital; no analog - the Bob Mintzer Big Band's Incredible Journey on DMP), with the song "Flying" it's a song about subtleties, and the GR8 just didn't have the same detail; the hit hat was barely there.

I'd say the GR8s are more polite like the Etys (I've had ER4s), but not as clinical (which I did hate about the Etys) or detailed. At least not yet; maybe they'll open up more.
 
Oct 25, 2009 at 1:40 PM Post #5 of 16

ting.mike

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The GR8 is just not your cup of tea.. their sound is quite the opposite to the bass-heavy IE8.

Both are not my favorite IEMs, but I'm just saying some people might actually prefer the GR8 to the IE8.

GR8 retains the Grado like sound, but the treble is smoother and less sharp, less piercing compared to the Grado cans. Mids is not as forward too, though still quite forward.
 
Nov 11, 2009 at 9:11 AM Post #6 of 16

nachodlv

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Are they worth USD133/EUR 89? I have access to these at that price. New, unboxed, reputable shop.


ty.
 
Nov 23, 2009 at 4:41 PM Post #8 of 16

fzman

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The GR8's benefit from break-in. They sounded much better after a 24 hour ride on the fm white-noise express!
 
Nov 29, 2009 at 4:09 AM Post #9 of 16

dongringo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ting.mike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The GR8 is just not your cup of tea.. their sound is quite the opposite to the bass-heavy IE8.

Both are not my favorite IEMs, but I'm just saying some people might actually prefer the GR8 to the IE8.

GR8 retains the Grado like sound, but the treble is smoother and less sharp, less piercing compared to the Grado cans. Mids is not as forward too, though still quite forward.



I for one prefer the GR8 to the IE8, at least upon first impressions listening to them in the store today, and it's precisely because they have that Grado sound, only with smoother highs as you state. I loved them so much upon first impressions that I bought a pair. Grado did good with the GR8.
 
Dec 7, 2009 at 12:14 PM Post #14 of 16

Azathoth

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Hmmm thanks for sharing your impressions. I haven't heard the GR8 yet, but I'm already worried about their build quality (based on appearance).

The IE8 has already proven itself to be a veritable tank, one of the members on our local forum (headphiles.org) had his pair submerged in fetid floodwater for 24 hours and it still worked perfectly after being let to dry.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Dec 8, 2009 at 1:04 AM Post #15 of 16

dongringo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mark2410 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
dont be such a child, all hes saying is you dont have to go bumping every thread there has ever been on the gr8 every 2 days telling us yes you still love them.


First off, that's not what he said, you put words in his mouth. His beef was "four threads with the same comment", and I totally understand after another member explained the rules to me *respectfully*. I didn't know I was doing such a disservice to the forum, but now I get it. My reaction was partly because I didn't know what I did so wrong as to deserve such a comment and partly because it was just a rude way of telling me.

As far as your apparant beef that I'm supposedly "bumping every thread there has ever been on the gr8 every 2 days telling us yes you still love them", that is also not true. After my first blast of excitement about these IEMs I waited a week and burned them in some and then simply wanted to express my thoughts about their sound after some burn in and after my initial excitement had worn off. I did absolutely nothing wrong in that regard. Everyday I browse this forum and see other members doing this. And there are some members that have thanked me for my posts on the GR8 so I'm not going feel bad about offering up more thoughts on it.

Cheers!
 

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