Sennheiser IE800 IEM's
Jul 11, 2015 at 5:02 PM Post #3,797 of 7,846

Conext

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A question though - burn in? Do they need any and does it smooth out that treble a bit?  
Another question - do these benefit from cable upgrades at all, seeing as a lot of the original cable remains?

Something I've heard a few times in regards to break-in/burn-in for dynamic driver IEMs is to play them for 10-12 hours at very high volume levels (which would need to be done away from one's ears, obviously). Supposedly the drivers are stiff immediately after manufacture, and that break-in helps loosen them up so they can reproduce their intended sound signature.
 
Is that really needed? Well, I can say that I was shocked at how sibilant the IE800s were during my first hour of listening. After breaking them in, they did mellow out. Although, I would appear to be one of the few who still consider it's highs a little sharp and sibilant in certain situations.
 
Jul 11, 2015 at 5:12 PM Post #3,798 of 7,846

holden4th

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Now that I can afford them I'm probably going to get a pair from an authorised dealer here in Australia who has them for sale for $849. I won't use them that often on the move but at home with various setups, including my PC and my iPad.

My PC has a Fiio E7/E9 combo attached and while it has made a difference to other headphones I use (Shure 840, Senn 580, IE80) I wonder how they will drive the IE800s.
 
Jul 11, 2015 at 9:38 PM Post #3,799 of 7,846

privilege15

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A question though - burn in? Do they need any and does it smooth out that treble a bit?

Another question - do these benefit from cable upgrades at all, seeing as a lot of the original cable remains?


In my case, burn in took about 10 minutes. Before that the treble sounded weird, after 10-15 minutes everything got right.
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 6:35 AM Post #3,800 of 7,846

james444

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THIMC: here's an easy mod for the IE800 that kills three birds with one stone:
 
  1. Slightly smoother treble
  2. Slightly reduced sub-bass
  3. More securely mounted tips
 

 
 
Instructions: use a piece of dried alcohol swab and cut out two stripes about 80% of the nozzle's diameter in width and 300% of the nozzle's diameter in length. Center them over the nozzles and put the tips back on. While the swab's acoustic resistance will have a slight damping effect on treble, the fact that it doesn't cover the entire nozzle will lead to a slight amount of air leakage at the sides, and as a result slightly reduced sub-bass. Last not least, the additional layer of fabric will make the tips stay on more securely.
 
Disclaimer: the effect of this mod is slight, but imo easily noticeable. As always, try at your own risk.
smile_phones.gif
 
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 7:23 AM Post #3,802 of 7,846

Velomane

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Interesting that you mention the tips will stay on more securely. Several times now I've had to fish out the right tip from inside my ear canal with a pair of tweezers. Anyone else experience this?
 
And yes, I keep my ears clean.
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 8:12 AM Post #3,803 of 7,846

AndrewH13

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Jul 12, 2015 at 8:25 AM Post #3,804 of 7,846

james444

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Jul 12, 2015 at 9:02 AM Post #3,805 of 7,846

johnwamp55

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In most cases extrene Treble has been the norm in hone and car stereos. Before the 80s most systems had a lit if treble and many system were mono. I bet most grew up with treble with no bass.
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 10:24 AM Post #3,806 of 7,846

JaZZ

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Never reduce the sub bass!!!!! That is a crime.

Don't smooth out treble, that's a crime!

 
I tend to agree with both: Annihilating sound waves which had to be intricately produced with distortion-prone membrane movement beforehand is a bit illogical, the more so as the frequency extremes are hard to get on the same level as the rest.
 
 
  Interesting that you mention the tips will stay on more securely. Several times now I've had to fish out the right tip from inside my ear canal with a pair of tweezers. Anyone else experience this?

 
Yes, that happens to me every once in a while.
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 2:58 PM Post #3,807 of 7,846

Dobrescu George

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You might have too clean of some ears. 
 
Mine tend to fall out, because my ears are kind of slippery inside, even right after I cleaned them with pryoxyde. 
 
Also, I do not want to smooth the top, or the bottom. That mod could lead to some reverb. The waves come in contact with the material, it is not dampening in the back of the driver, as you do it, you might produce artifacts. 
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 4:17 PM Post #3,808 of 7,846

JaZZ

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  Also, I do not want to smooth the top, or the bottom. That mod could lead to some reverb. The waves come in contact with the material, it is not dampening in the back of the driver, as you do it, you might produce artifacts. 

 
I agree, putting damping material into the sound-wave path can easily produce reflections (→ abrupt changes of acoustic impedance) resulting in resonances.
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 4:44 PM Post #3,809 of 7,846

james444

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  Annihilating sound waves which had to be intricately produced with distortion-prone membrane movement beforehand is a bit illogical, the more so as the frequency extremes are hard to get on the same level as the rest.

Also, I do not want to smooth the top, or the bottom. That mod could lead to some reverb. The waves come in contact with the material, it is not dampening in the back of the driver, as you do it, you might produce artifacts. 

  I agree, putting damping material into the sound-wave path can easily produce reflections (→ abrupt changes of acoustic impedance) resulting in resonances.

 
No offense, but it seems your experience with IEMs is rather limited. Damping on both sides of the driver is an inherent part of (professional) IEM tuning. Actually, a large number of IEMs come with front side dampers already installed.
 
Besides, Rin Choi (who knows a lot more about this subject than any of us) has shown that a small amount of added acoustic resistance improves the IE800's treble in both smoothness and extension (see "ON SECOND THOUGHT #3"). Same goes for minor frontal leakage, which has been measured (on the FX700, iirc) to cause a reduction of bass levels, first and foremost in the sub-bass range.
 
Seems you guys are extrapolating from speakers or something like that. Anyway, as far as IEMs are concerned, you're barking up the wrong tree.
wink.gif

 
Last not least, please note the THIMC ("to whom it may concern") at the top of my post. You don't want to smooth the top or bottom? Fine! Feel free to ignore it.
smile_phones.gif
 
 
Jul 12, 2015 at 4:49 PM Post #3,810 of 7,846

Marat Sar

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iQuote:
 
If you got yours so cheap, are they new or used?

 
Totally new! Saw another auction go down for 300 eur, so yeah, about now is a fantastic time to get these.
 
Another question, if you will, fellow head-fiers: has anyone recabled the IE 800 into balanced-compatible? 
 
I'm planning on getting an AK120ii soon, so I'm looking into it. Maybe you can tell me if I'm way off here: I have to have them physically recabled (by, for say http://vesperaudio.com) and then have them terminate the new cable into a balanced 2.5, right? Then plug them into the AK120ii and blammo - balanced magic! And then if I want to plug them into something else, a usual 2.5 to 3.5 adapter will do?
 
(Balanced is pretty complicated, but I kind of feel the obligation to do all I can to make these babies sing, you know. I want to see how good they can get.)
 

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