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Is this why people like the IE7 so much?

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  1. TrantaLocked
    I feel my liking for the IE7s has swayed both up and down for a couple reasons. I like the sound stage and balanced spectrum, and I also like the relatively clear sound.
     
    The problem is that when comparing back and forth between my CX 300s and the IE7s, I hear NO clarity improvement in all songs, only wider sound stage (giving the perception of better clarity but after close listening there is none) and less treble/more mid frequency level (less ear hurting). I tried to make the reality seem better for me to justify my purchase and lie to myself but in all neutrality I can admit there is no big improvement. 
     
    Overall the CX 300s only have a bit "tinier" sound but other than that the IE7s give no real improvement for me being $170 ($130 more than the CX 300s) and the more balanced frequencies the 300-IIs ($60) give me almost make me unhappy about the IE7 purchase. I was expecting Sennheiser to offer actual better SQ for their high end drivers but they apparently only have the same exceptional SQ in all of their headphones, from low end to high end. The rest is driver manipulation to alter the presentation of the sound. 
     
    What I HATE is the reviews around here bashing on the CX 300s (on the main review page it was given like 5/10 on SQ).  If they offer the same essential SQ of IE7s how are they 2 star basic headphones? So far the CX 300s are less airy IE7s, deserving at least a solid 7/10. Seems like you all base your judgments on the price of the headphone. 
     
    If any one really notices clarity differences please give me an audio track that makes it obvious. And BTW right now I'm about about 60-70 hours burn-in. I've heard people mention sound clarity changes later but right now I don't hear the improvement.
     
  2. Photofan1986
    Sennheiser certainly has a common sound signature in its line, but the differences are pretty significant.
    I haven't heard the IE7, but I own the IE8, and I can tell you for sure that I hated the CX300. I wouldn't even rate them as high as 5/10...but rather something like 2.5/10.
    Yes, they definitely share some similarities, but that's about it. Is this you first "high-end" monitor? Then maybe you expected a bigger change. If so, you should try something like the Hifiman RE-0 or RE-Zero, which will both offer you much better clarity and detail, but at the expense of warmth and soundstage width. With them, you will clearly hear a difference, because the sound signature is so different, but you will probably miss the IE7 bass.
     
    I think you need to hear other iems in order to be able to really appreciate what the IE7 has to offer. Personally, I had to get through a number of iems to be able to hear and to name the differences clearly. And believe me, once you know what you have to be looking for in your sound, you will not be able to get back to something like the CX300 :wink:
     
  3. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I was trying to kill time in a mall yesterday while waiting for my cousin, and I saw the Shure demo panel in a Mac distro's were up and running again. So just for kicks I listened to the SE210, SE310, SE420 and SE530. Just about anyone listening will think they all sound similar, but they're not the same. Prior to this I've only heard the  SE530, and while I walked away thinking the rest of the line (save for the SE110) don't suck as much as they've usually been knocked in some threads (or maybe because they're slashing prices before releasing the SExx5's?), the SE530 is really miles ahead of the SE420, and the latter wasn't even bad for the $199 they're asking for it now. Should be the same for Senns: basically the same sound signature, but if your source and source material are of a good quality, you can definitely tell the difference. My S9 paired with the SE530 had me switch to Flat EQ, for one.
     
    The only thing that stopped me  though was that I'm gonna order custom IEMs in a few months. I just got delayed by car repair bills.
     
  4. hentai
    I like ie7 because it has very nice tonal balance while other armatures often have the emphasis on the mid highs,
     
  5. rawrster
    Although I'm not really a fan of the IE7 I would disagree that the CX300 are on the same level. The only thing the CX300 has on the IE7 is more bass quantity although the quality of the bass is not that great but definitely more in quantity.
     
  6. kova4a
    I like ie7 and even prefer it to ie8 because if the better fit. Comparing cx300 to ie7 is like comparing an old computer to a new one -  they both have Windows and the experience is similar but the new one doesn't struggle with the more cpu intensive tasks. In my opinion the cx300's rating should be best something like 3/10 (I'm feeling generous). cx300 has no control over its bass - it pollutes the entire frequency range and I just hate them. Yeah, sennheisers have similar signature like a warm veil on top of the sound and have emphasis on the bass but cx300 has only quantity of bass and absolutely no quality. ie7 is so much more controlled, maybe the bass is slightly less but its quality is way better, the mids are smooth and clear - there is still present the usual warm sennheiser veil but nothing like the muddy mids of the cx300. The highs have better extension. Overall, ie7 is miles better and that's without even mentioning it's supreme sounstage. You probably haven't listened to enough iems to appreciate how good the ie7 is or you need to take a break from listening to cx300 - I suggest using high-quality recordings and after 3-4 weeks of listening to the ie7 go back to the cx300 for another comparison and let's hope that refines your hearing and evaluation. There is definitely a reason for the price difference between the two and it's a shame if you can't appreciate it - maybe you'll need to try other iems that might suite your taste better - maybe sennheiser is just not your cup of tea and you'll need something with more detail like RE-0 or etymotic.
     
  7. TrantaLocked
    I only meant the CX 300s are on the same clarity level. The IE7 beats it obviously in balance and sound stage/space (fullness of guitar strikes me). When I think of actual clarity I think of how smooth and true to source the sound is. The CX 300s offer the same smoothness but with a horrible treble mask and smaller sound stage.
     
    I don't need more clarity: Sennheisers all have perfect clarity; enough for me. I'm just saying that $130 seems like it should have brought me MUCH more. I'd rather have the IE7 than a clearer headphone with less soundstage because the IE7 is already crystal, but would prefer both advantages for how much I'm paying. It seems that as headphones get cheaper the value increases exponentially. If I pay $40 for Sennheiser sound in the CX 300 and then pay 5x money for the IE7 I should get 5x quality overall, and I don't. 
     
    To Kova4a: Oh Sennheiser is definitely my cup of tea, the above description explains my problem. I'll try the 3-4 week thing but the problem is that I use my 300-IIs for biking to and from school; I don't want to rough up the IE7s unless you think they can take it? Also please give me a track that could make it easier for me to compare clarity, so maybe I can realize what exactly I'm missing. Maybe I don't even know what clarity is and what I'm hearing includes better clarity?
     
    As a last note, at least the IE7s are still incredible, forgetting the price. For whatever I am hearing I definitely can already say I'd never go back to the CX 300s for in home use. Over all they make the music more enjoyable and airy while also being less fatiguing (in a treble way).
     
  8. kova4a
    Well, I suggested taking 3-4 weeks to listen to ie7 only coz I was like you before. The first time I upgraded I thought that the only difference was in soundstage and the extra money wasn't justified but I gave my older iem to my brother and decided to stick with the new ones and in 3-4 weeks when I met him and gave them a listen they were harsh and sibilant with awful bass and sounding tinny - once your ears tune to the better sound it's hard to go back. That said I also bike to work with my cheaper iems, so even though the ie7 has great build quality I wouldn't bike with them (depends on the length of your commute - mine is like 6 miles in each direction). I can't recommend a track coz the difference should be obvious with any kind of music - given its bitrate is not 128 kbps. Maybe you can try high bitrate classical music - the soundstage is not only the space but also the instrumental positioning and depth, so you may hear the difference better. Or you can try some bass heavy tracks to hear how better the ie7 handles the control over the bass. Also, clarity for me mainly describes detail and transparency of the sound and you clearly need to try way more iems than a couple of sennheisers -  sennheiser  ie7 is definitely not a muddy iem unlike the cx300 but is far from crystal. 
     
  9. TrantaLocked
    About the muddy thing, I think you definitely need to burn-in you CX 300s if you still have them (because the mids aren't muddy). My CX 300-IIs are brand new and though having less treble the mids are muddy and the bass is booming all over the spectrum. In fact, right now I'd say the CX 300s beat the 300-IIs in most ways but I still prefer the IIs because the treble doesn't hurt my ears like the originals. I guess this shows how real burn in is, because 100% people here state the 300-IIs are an improvement. Probably comparing two phones with similar burn-in times.
     
    The IE7s dominate in clarity vs the CX 300-IIs so maybe It's just more burn in I need for the IE7s? The CX 300s have like 2 full years of use so they sound the best they possibly can, making it harder for the IE7 to dominate as much as they apparently should. 
     
  10. matto
    what file bit rate are you listening to? if you're listening to something like 128 it'd be pretty obvious why you're not hearing much of a difference in 'clarity', and people have different ears, i know for 1 that I don't hear what the audiophiles on this forum can hear and nit pick etc. but I can surely say that the ie7s are much better than the CX300's in every respect.
     
  11. osmoldo
    I went through similar experiences with my first headphone ventures. Started with Sony stock in ears, loved them, wondered what more expensive senns would sound like. Got some CX95s and were initially quite disappointed. Similar soundstage, only slightly more punchy bass and a little clearer. After a year going back to the Sonys the difference was astounding, just couldn't feel the same emotions from music. Then got some IE7s, exactly the same thoughts of 'meh' compared to the CX95. Now I love them and even prefer them to the IE8 at times (which I HATED at first but now love too!) I think burn in exsists, but it happens in your ears and brain mostly rather than the headphones. Apparently subtle intial differences grow larger with time.
     
  12. h320
    The IE7s are not very easy to drive. Dont be fooled by the specs which if  I remember correctly are 16ohm and 120db
    And of cause they take some serious time to burn in
    just my 2 cents
     
  13. TrantaLocked
    I use WMA VBR highest quality (~320kbps)
     
    "The IE7s are not very easy to drive. Dont be fooled by the specs which if  I remember correctly are 16ohm and 120db
    And of cause they take some serious time to burn in
    just my 2 cents"
     
    What do you mean? 16ohm and 120db...


     
  14. MaxwellDemon
    Those are, in the same order, impedance and sensitivity values of the IE7. Both values indicates the IE7 are seemingly easy to run.
     
  15. TrantaLocked
    1) I don't know what impedance is and looked it up and am still confused, as as with sensitivity.
    2) What do you mean by running/driving a headphone?
     
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