Sennheiser IE 80 S impression thread

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  1. egokun
    I don't. Or rather, I don't believe that it can take as many hours as people often claim, especially with IEMs.

    I often experience differences in listening depending on daytime, mood, energy levels, head position, and many other factors. Headphone fit also plays a huge role.
    The same headphone can sound one way in the evening, and sensibly different the morning after.
    What changed? Me, and me alone.

    So I believe that physical burn-in can actually happen to a limited extent, but "brain burn-in" is neverending and will make you hear things that have nothing to do with the headphone itself.
    I think that a week of daily listening is more than enough to make up your mind about a headphone.

    I don't want to start a flame or something with this. Just my 2 cents.
  2. Paulus XII
    Do they sound better than IE80?
  3. HiFiGuy528
    Mine arrived today. Yay!!!! I've been eyeing the IE 80 for a long time. Now that S version is out, I'm glad it's in hand now. :)

  4. One Fan To Another
    Everything you've said here is exactly why I returned my IE80 just yesterday. Every review is all, "Wow!!! So detailed! Such a soundstage!" and yet they are muffled like no other earphone I've ever heard. I thought at first that I might have gotten fakes, but I bought from Amazon (Amazon themselves, not a seller on Amazon), every detail of the real thing was correct, the authenticity label checked out, the bass knobs worked, etc. I don't know what people are hearing but the IE80 are, in my opinion, terrible at that price point.

    With that said I should point out that I almost always use open back cans, and my main pair is the Koss E/90 electrostatic headphones, so I'm nowhere near the target audience for the IE80.

    EDIT: I meant to write that my main pair is the Koss ESP-950, not the E/90. The E/90 is the amp that comes with the ESP-950.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    Ahmad313 likes this.
  5. Ahmad313
    Maybe am understand correctly , you are talking about IE80 or IE80S ,???
  6. One Fan To Another
    Sorry, I was definitely unclear: I had the IE80 earphones. I've never tried the IE80s earphones. What I meant was that what Mosi was describing from the IE80s is what I described from the IE80.
    Ahmad313 likes this.
  7. Paulus XII
    IE80's were one of the worst IEMs I've heard. Trying to figure if the 80S are any different at 350€.
  8. Paulus XII
    Impressions maybe?
  9. mosi
    In the meantime I may have found the reason, why I couldn't get along with their sound signature and I'd wager a guess that we're in the same boat. It's the frequency response we're used to. What quantity (not quality!) of frequencies we perceive as "normal". Your Koss have almost no boosted bass, the frequency response is more or less dead flat and recessed at sub 100Hz. There is bass but the amount is far far far smaller than with the Senns.

    DT-990 pro@250 Ohm are boosted by roughly +3dB (lets ignore I have the DT990@32 Ohm, they should be very roughly similar)

    The IE80 (old model) are bass boosted by more than +12dB and my guess is, the IE80S adhere to the tradition.

    People are used to this bathtub-shaped signature, find it pleasing and so the market provides. There's nothing wrong with that.
    Apparently you and me are not used to it. We're used to more flat responses so they output metric tons of bass to our ears, That's why we just don't seem to get along. :beerchug:

    Right now I'm looking at the neutral side of things and am cautiously leaning towards an InEars StageDiver SD-2. Maybe those match my tastes more.
    One Fan To Another and Ahmad313 like this.
  10. One Fan To Another
    I'm now looking at the Audeze iSINE IEMs. An open back earphone sounds tempting.
    Ahmad313 likes this.
  11. Ahmad313
    You can also check the UM ME.1 .
  12. egokun
    I've pulled the trigger and ordered a pair from Amazon. I simply had to try them myself.

    One things must be said loud and clear: Sennheiser's own silicone tips for the IE series suck. They're absolutely terrible. I've tried the IE80S with the standard pre-mounted medium silicone tips and it sounds nothing like it should. Boomy bass, heavily recessed mids, and shrill highs with tizzy cymbals and even sibilance in the vocals. Simply terrible, sounds like you'd expect a counterfeit to sound like. For some reason, Sennheiser dropped their hard foam tips and only provide single- and double-flange silicone tips - none of which ever gave me a good fit with the IE8 and IE80.
    Luckily, they do provide Comply tips of all sizes, so in spite of my gripes with Complys, I resorted to using the small ones.

    With the Complys, the IE80S finally does sound like the Sennheiser that it is.

    Whatever you think about its sound signature, there's one thing I hope everyone can agree on: the soundstage is GIGANTIC. Like the IE8 and IE80 before, this is a soundstage so expansive that I've never heard anything remotely comparable from other IEMs. It's wide, very wide, and after a while it's like you're floating in it.

    This, of course, may come at the cost of intimacy. If you like your sound to be very upfront, this is not the IEM for you. The IE80S is smooth; there's really no better word to describe it. The bass is, to me, fantastic. Yes, I can see how people used to neutral sound signatures can easily find it to be excessive. I myself think it's a bit exaggerated with some recordings. But it's warm, bouncy, engaging; it gives body to the sound, where I find so many other headphones are missing something. It's truly what the "base" of the overall sound signature should be.

    The vocals are clean and precise, but yeah, definitely a little recessed. "Bathtub-shaped sound" is excessive criticism in my opinion, but vocals could easily be that little more upfront and nothing would be lost - quite the contrary, actually. They do get a bit lost in that expansive soundstage. Vocals are there, but not close to you.

    As for the highs, they're... smooth. Present, fast, energetic, but very controlled. No hint of sibilance, cymbals have nice detail and snap but they'll never hurt your ears if you're sensitive to high frequencies.

    Yet, the overall presentation of the IE80S is fun. I've tried other Sennheiser models such as the original Momentum, and even the HD650. The HD650 I found to be simply boring: smooth to the point of having no energy and snap at all, and with insufficient bass emphasis. The Momentum was great in the lower frequencies but it had virtually no highs at all: very warm, very smooth, but too slow, incapable of giving the slightest energy to any track.
    The IE80S - like the other IE8x Sennheisers - to me is just right. It's really fun, always smooth, never shrill, and pretty quick.

    I'm still on the fence about the IE80S being a worthy upgrade to the IE80. It's less flashy, less plasticky, and the earpieces are slightly smaller, providing better insertion and fit, but it's still anything but ergonomic. I don't know why Sennheiser went with this design when so many other IEMs come in a much more ergonomic shape.
    The cable is thicker, but still not stiff enough, and it still doesn't have a memory section at the end. The IE80S also has a straight headphone jack, rather than the L-shaped jack of the IE8 and IE80. I don't know why straight headphone jacks are back, some years ago everyone on Head-Fi and audiophile sites was clamoring for L-shaped jacks. Maybe it's about smartphones dropping the headphone port and providing dongles, where L-shaped jacks would put more strain on the cable?

    Anyway, the IE80S is quite expensive and the sound doesn't seem to be that much improved from the previous model. I still haven't made an A/B comparison with the IE80, but I may end up returning the new model as it does sound quite similar and I was more than satisfied with the original IE80. Both offer something that you can't find in any other IEM in the same price range, but I can see how they're not for everyone.
    ouyangx and Ahmad313 like this.
  13. Ahmad313
    Nice , you draw a excellent picture of IE80 S , now it's much easier to understand for the peoples(like me) who are interested in this but has some hesitation/confusions to pull the trigger ,
  14. egokun
    Did a very brief A/B comparison with the IE80. Didn't have much time unfortunately.

    The original IE80 is quite different. Using the same Comply tips, it makes vocals sound much closer and clearer, and the bass is more tamed.
    As a result of the vocals sounding closer, the soundstage feels less expansive. Definition and detail may be a little less than on the newer IE80S.

    I have a feeling that the IE80S may actually be more of an heir to the old IE8 than a refined version of the IE80, regardless of what the model numbers (and Sennheiser's own PR) may suggest. The IE80 is really quite different from the S model, and I think it may be the best model in this line of IEMs for people who like vocals and a more intimate soundstage (mind you, it's still more expansive than your average IEM).

    The new IE80S definitely has the best fit in the entire line, though. I don't know how this can be, seeing that the only difference in the earpiece is that it's about 2-3mm narrower than the IE80's. Other than that, it retains the same overall shape and size. Yet, it fits much better.

    Oh, I also tried a quick A/B between the IE's and the Brainwavz B400. When I switched to the B400, there was definitely something missing in the lower end of the sound spectrum. The B400 sounded more hollow, for lack of a better word. The IE's bass is truly something special, even at its lowest setting.
    Ahmad313 likes this.
  15. Ahmad313
    How you feel the vocals, soundstage and overall performance of B400,
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