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The Official Sennheiser IE800S thread!

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  1. davidmolliere
    Right on time, look what arrived home! (S/N 00487 BTW)


    Much understated compared to IE800 and cable doesn't look as strong (thinner ?) and as reported microphonics unless worn over ear.

    I hooked them up to DX200 with amp3 balanced[​IMG][/IMG], too early for first impressions but let's say I have a smile on my face :)
    Now off to run tracks and enjoy :D

    One thing for sure, those babies need power I run them around 65/70 on DX200 on high gain, same volume level Vega is 50/55 (granted they're more efficient)
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  2. Lemieux66
    Does anyone have an idea of how the IE800S would compare with the Sony XBA-N3, both with balanced cable into the Sony WM1A, or just generally?
  3. Rob80b
    Sennheiser's own RCS800 should still work with the "S" even though it's 2.5 mm plug has an extra ring for balanced output.
    Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 12.26.43 PM.png Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 12.25.49 PM.png
  4. MM1990
    Lucky you. Can't wait to read more about your impressions :)
  5. davidmolliere
    Well, it's always tricky to post out of the box impressions as it's bound to evolve as I cover different genres and burn my brain in to the sig (although it's easier having spent a long time with IE800). I sure wish I had the IE800 side by side with the same source to make comparisons but I can't really do this, as it's from memory of the 1+ year with them and at the time with a different source (ZX2) it would be quite unreliable.

    Comparisons aside, I find the IE800S to be very lively and airy. I am not sure I read this often but timbre is strikingly good especially on brass (but I have similar memories the IE800 with ZX2), this has made Jazz a treat so far.

    For those who own DX200 and are familiar with amps : I have been doing some amp rolling with the DX200 comparing amp2 (single ended, organic and fuller bodied) with amp3 (balanced, great soundstage, dynamic and detailed). I can see myself pair with amp2 for late night sessions, a more relaxed, intimate and textured listen (while retaining very good detail level). One thing I didn't care too much with amp2 was lower mids a tad too present on a few tracks. Overall I think amp3 is technically a best match, bass are better controlled, lower mids are just where they need to be and detail retrieval is great while not fatiguing. Dynamic range is stunningly good but that was something I already enjoyed on ZX2/IE800 combo especially for classical... the emotion of piano to fortissimo oh my! Still there.

    Those are very early impressions, tomorrow I plan on doing some Mojo listening and run so many albums and tracks (I'll try to take notes on them and elaborate a bit).
    I did run them quick on the iPhone X, and the result was interesting still a lot of detail and very good soundstage, full bodied.
    Imaging, layering, detail and dynamics was of course nowhere near DX200 but still very pleasurable listen from a smartphone, unlike my experience with the Vega that really scales down a lot with lesser sources.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    Raketen, vrln and ezekiel77 like this.
  6. 7onyMustDive
    While the attachment is still the same form factor, some people on this thread have posted the RCS800 cable does not work with the ie800s for some reason.
  7. davidmolliere
    So, I have done quite a bit of listening with the S mostly with the DX200 but also through the Mojo.
    I realized I have stuck with the bad habit of running DX200 on high gain with the Vega as I find it opens them up and... the IE800 run much better on low gain with a bit more volume. It's less forward and more balanced. It doesn't need to be pushed :)

    Once on low gain with DX200/Amp3... ohhhh my, it's not going to be very rational but I find the IE800S so refined and elegant, I simply forget them and get sucked into the music (yes, form factor does help IMHO, smaller footprint than any other even the Flares PRO, and for me great fit and seal... if only they had done something for microphonics). Tuning wise Sennheiser has found a nice balance as it reminds me of S-EM9 for detail retrieval while retaining non fatiguing smoothness (though I would give S-EM9 the edge on treble, more body and extension - IE800S are thinner). Low level details are amazing too.

    With Mojo, the IE800S is fuller, there is more body and weight, more bass too but less separation and detail (more alike amp2 on DX200). I like bass better on amp3, more detail and control. Overall Mojo makes for a relaxed listening with the IE800S, with a tad too much emphasis on bass.

    I'd favor a neutral (on the natural side) source but your mileage may vary and if you like analytical I think the S can take you there as well as the other way around.

    I'll get down to doing some Vega/IE800S comparative listening later this week-end.

    Edit : DX200/Amp3 + IE800S is such an engaging combo, got me air guitaring on AC/DC Shoot to thrill and it's been a while, fun times! Now Shot down in flames rockin' :D

    Piano on Allen Toussaint's Viper Drag is quite enjoyable too, or Wynton Marsalis trumpet on School Boy... Sennheiser nailed timbre, for sure!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  8. Rob80b
    Possible, depends on how the remote and balanced connections are configured, I'd call Sennheiser or if you can... order from somewhere that offers returns (Amazon).
  9. davidmolliere
    Some more amp rolling, tested DX200 amp1 as is has both single ended and balanced output and there is clearly a significant benefit to running the IE800S balanced (I haven't always found it to be that dramatic, but in this case it's very clear. Probably related to higher power with the balanced out too). Amp1 is good with the IE800S but not as good by a clear margin as amp3, bass is less defined, treble not as smooth. Still a decent pairing.

    I am now convinced that if you want to enjoy the IE800S to their best, you really need good amplification which means an upper tier DAP or a good headphone amp, preferably neutral. I think it might explain some people reporting the IE800S to be boring/not engaging (I have experienced this with amp2).

    I don't have a dedicated amp but I suspect the IE800S could scale further up...

    I think Vega comparisons will wait for tomorrow it's going to be interesting :)
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  10. Sc00p
    I agree, these definitely benefit from a more powerful amp. Sound excellent from my mobile phone, better from the dap and then even better from the desktop amp. I expected a jump from phone to dap, but was a little surprised at the clear difference a desktop amp made. Reading the comment above, i am intrigued to try these balanced. Just waiting on an adaptor.
  11. Deftone
    I have to go against the grain and say more powerful dedicated amps don’t give better sound. Also I don’t think IE800S and mojo is bassy heavy, mojo is mid centric to my ears. I’d like add that chords DACs extract the most detail without sounding anylitical followed by Astell and Kern.
  12. Kunlun
    I had a friend listen to the ie800 and ie800S for a few hours and give her non-audiophile take on things, because sometimes audiophiles have to do a bunch of billing/receipts/etc. on a Sunday and having a friend nearby helps.

    First, the ie800S' cable seems a lot less likely to do that hardening thing, but I think they should have made it easier for everyone to wear over-ear, as some people seem to have trouble with that. Or, make a truly non-microphonic cable, which they didn't do here. The cable below the split is longer, for sure, though. Tall people rejoice. Short people, I have nothing for you, although the ie800/S are both great for your tiny little ears. So, that is something.

    Okay, the sound, here's how the IE800S is different:

    The IE800 sounded peaky in the treble and recordings sounded more like, well, a recording. There was something lacking in female vocals, in particular.

    The IE800S was less tinny and had a richer sound and vocals were more complete, male and female both. More "live" sounding in a way that was described with hand-wavy gestures, ha ha. If you've ever talked to someone trying to describe sound, you know what that's like. Upon further questioning, it is particularly in the vocal region that the IE800S is clearer with better timbre, that's what makes it sound more "real". She also found it more detailed, in the sense of being able to really hear more information from the recording, in the bass, mid, and treble--with the bass having a bit more and the mid and treble having a full step more.

    In the end, the IE800S was the winner across the board.

    These were out of an ipod classic 6th gen

    She has a JH16FP.
  13. Mimouille
    She is quite well equiped for a non audiophile :D
  14. Kunlun
    Yeah, I picked those up for her a while back, after she heard the whole JH and UE lines at the audiologist and chose the 16. A bit of a latent basshead.
  15. Mimouille
    Lucky her. Who isn't (a latent basshead)
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