Sony 818 Phones
Mar 30, 2008 at 5:40 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15


Mar 23, 2008
Hi guys

Decided to buy one of these portables and I have been advised to get a set of aftermarket earphones. I have been advised to get the Etymotic ER-6i units.

A bit of research has shown that these are built for the ipod, and that the ER-6s are the ones to go for.

Any ideas then or other alternatives that are suitable for the 818 that will keep the inerrant hiss to a minimum yet give me the SQ I'm looking for.

Suggestions please up to $200/£100

Mar 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM Post #2 of 15

Originally Posted by Karlos /img/forum/go_quote.gif
A bit of research has shown that these are built for the ipod, and that the ER-6s are the ones to go for.

Rubbish. The ER6i will work just fine with the A818.

What sound quality are you looking for?
Mar 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM Post #3 of 15
I read it in a dealer advert for Etymotic ER-6i headphones

As for sound quality I listen to a wide spectrum of music including a fair bit of classical, but I also listen to a lot of audio books when working away, so hiss would be a real crapper.

I want sound quality that will allow me to pick out the different instruments in a 100 piece orchestra

I guess I want as near as I can get to my hifi system at home through my HD 595s, for less than £100 quid
Mar 30, 2008 at 6:51 PM Post #4 of 15
Have you already tried the Sony phones? Not to say they are better than Etys, but you should at least give them a listen if you haven't, because they are not anywhere near as bad as most OEM phones. I use mine now and again, and they are not bad.
Mar 30, 2008 at 6:59 PM Post #5 of 15
No mate not getting it delivered till Tuesday, but I have always found bundled phones pretty naff.
Mar 30, 2008 at 7:38 PM Post #7 of 15

Originally Posted by Karlos /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No mate not getting it delivered till Tuesday, but I have always found bundled phones pretty naff.

Actually, like the above poster says, the bundled phones (MDR-EX082) are surprisingly good. Several times better than any other pack-ins I've ever experienced. That said, they don't stand a chance against my main canalphones, a pair of Denon AH-C551s. Compared to these (which I can highly recommend) the EX082s lack a lot of bass, and they also don't have as clear highs. Also, the soundstage seems a bit smaller, and they don't isolate as well as the C551s (which in turn don't isolate as well as a pair of true IEMs). Well, all of this is to be expected of course (the C551s have an MSRP of $99 after all, while the EX082s go for much less than that), but like I said the EX082s are really good for pack-ins, and they definitely make an entirely decent pair of backup phones for me. They're not high-end phones (which is made very evident when switching from them to the C551s and hearing the leap in SQ - and the C551s aren't really high-end either), but they're good enough.
Mar 30, 2008 at 8:20 PM Post #8 of 15
Headphones have a big impact on the 81x series sound signature. You will get a lot of clarity with the Etymotics, but not much bass at all. I use the Altec IM716's(similar sound to Ety) and find them very bass deficient on the Sony, but pretty good on my JVC. The stock phones are rather bass heavy and muddy, but better on my other two players. A well balanced phone would work the best IMO...I've never heard the Denon 700's but would recommend them as a safe bet.
Mar 30, 2008 at 9:14 PM Post #9 of 15
I have read that the 700s are a tad pricey for what you get, and that the Shure SE310 are a very good alternative.

There is a guy advertising Denon AH -C751s on ebay. Anybody heard these?
Mar 30, 2008 at 11:08 PM Post #11 of 15
The stock earphones that come bundled with the 81x series are pretty decent for what they give you as said previously in the thread. You would be surprised on how they sound for bundled 'phones.
The Etymotic ER-4Ps sound great hooked up to my 816 with minimum hiss (you want the less hiss you stated) and they have very clear/airy sound through the upper range of the frequencies though lack bass.
Mar 31, 2008 at 2:13 PM Post #12 of 15
So then several different suggestions. I guess witth something as subjective as this that will always be the case.

My short (ish) list then seems to be

Denon AH -C751s
Etymotic ER-6i
Shure SE310

What about the Klipsch custom 2s or the great looking V-Moda Vibe In-Ear Earphones
May 23, 2008 at 12:24 PM Post #14 of 15
Right now, at this very moment, I have the RE2s (with T400 Comply foamies) plugged into the Sony A816, and it's a fantastic combination. I do use EQ on these phones, with the Clear bass up two ticks and every other setting up one tick. Just seems to bring out the best in the phones. I'm not an anti-EQ purist, but that's me.

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