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Author Topic: IE8 - Review  (Read 22101 times)
Darkkopi
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« on: December 17, 2008, 01:12:34 AM »

I have been eyeing on the Sennheiser IE8 back then in around February. The Atrio wasn't available for testing then and IE8 isn't out. When the Atrio arrived at Jaben, tried it and wasn't impressed due too many stuff  which are lacking for me.

The IE8 was then released by Sennheiser around October. I went ahead and bought it overseas, since it wasn't launch in the Asia region yet, without trying. A gamble back then which payed off.

The accessories that came with the IE8 was plenty, way more than standard IEM packaging.

A nice hard case
which some finds it bulky




10 Sets of eartips
[Small/Medium/Large flange, Small/Medium/Large Double-flange, Small/Medium 'Olive',Small/Medium Serrated flange]
Ear Hook
Clip
Cleaning tool cum bass adjuster


and the IEM itself


The IE8 itself is very light, wearing them in my ears, I almost don't feel anything siting on my ear. The cables it comes with is also very light and flexible which I have no microphonics issue with it at all, wearing the IEM over the ear and cable down from my back. If you have microphonics issue, you can use the clip which comes with the packaging to help you reduce them. With the generosity of Sennheiser giving you 10 sets of various tips, you won't have any problem finding the correct tip for you, just try all of them and find which gives you the best comfort and seal. The jack that came with it is nickel-contact, which some of you might be disappointed on why it does not come with a gold-plated jack instead.


Bass Port
The IE8 have a bass port, allowing you to adjust the amount of bass you want. However, 1 downside is, the dial is not steeped, totally analogue which means that theres' nothing which can ensures you that you will have equal bass quantity on both side if you were to set it to the middle dial. I, myself just leave it at its' minimum setting as for me, the Bass Port is a bonus.


Now to its' sonic quality,

Out of the Box
It just doesn't seems right to me, bass was overwhelming but extension is good. Soundstage is small, highs are harsh. Mids was alright though, pretty sweet. Since they are using dynamic drivers, they usually don't sounds good out of the box. I wasn't disappointed by it as I know I had to give them some run in for the drivers to open up and shine.


80-90 hours
After a night of pink noise, woke up in the morning, gave them a listen and I was shocked. It sounded totally different, a day and night difference. The soundstage suddenly opens up, it's wide with such a good amount of depth. Such an impressive soundstage, which so far, no IEM can achieve it. It just doesn't sounds like an IEM at all. It's like there are 2 speakers playing behind you, giving you such a good seperation. The overwhelming bass was gone, in fact now, the bass at the minimum dial setting was way to little! It's like listening to a stock ER4S bass quantity! I had to turn the bass dial to the maximum. The highs have settled down a little but it's still harsh, and there's sibilance. The Mids was recessed at this point.


4?? - 5?? hours
After extensive of usage, most of the frequencies are settled down. Bass dial is at minimum now since i'm not a basshead so minimum dial gives me enough bass, in fact, there's plenty already! Bass extension is almost perfect on this for an IEM. It wins the Atrio hands down and have the Atrio's type of sub-wooferish bass with more extension to it. Even when there's a lot of bass quantity, it does not affect the rest of the frequencies. The bass is well seperated from the rest due to in expansive soundstage. Soundstage is even wider and deeper compared to the 80-90 hours mark. Seperation got even better, you can tell each instrument clearly. The airiness is almost perfect! making the music moves around you. Mids is not recessed anymore, it's just nice, and sounds a little laid-back on some music. The highs have pretty much settled down, no sibilance anymore and it's smooth. It does not gives you fatigue when listening for extended period.


Overall, it sounded very natural. Whatever the source outputs, the IE8 presents them nicely, combined with a huge soundstage, impressive imaging and seperation. It makes your music sounds so musical and engaging. This IEM is perfect for listening to orchestra, classical etc, music that have many instruments playing, requiring a huge soundstage.



The IE8 is currently being used in my portable setup and I believe this IEM will last me for a long time unless there are new universal dynamic IEM surfacing earth soon which sounds better than this. I did not regret taking the gamble for this. I'm very pleased instead. This is how an IEM should sounds like! Sennheiser really did a very good job on this, creating another milestone for IEM and I wonder how will it successor sounds like if there is going to be any but I doubt it will be soon. The IE8 so far is the most value to performace IEM I had purchased. No other IEM I tried can achieve what the IE8 is able to.


Setup used for testing:
RWA iMod5.5G → Crystal Cable LOD → V-capOIMP/TFTF → Crystal Cable Mini to Mini → SR-71A


I will update this if I find more improvement
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djlemon
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 01:40:27 AM »

Great review man kopi Smiley
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Nocturnal310
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 02:44:56 AM »

nice review..

i almost feel like selling off my HD600 and getting an IE8.

i have always had this problem with IEMs that they lack soundstage and make u feel closed in a room..

but i think this is THAT PERFECT iem that was to come.

btw.. how does it run with an amp directly on ipod?

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xuan87
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 03:39:59 AM »

my atrio anti-poison shield is failing miserably against this. but it will at least be half a year before i can get to audition this so i have the time to save up for it  Tongue
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ZhenYu
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 07:01:32 AM »

my atrio anti-poison shield is failing miserably against this. but it will at least be half a year before i can get to audition this so i have the time to save up for it  Tongue

Relax... At least you can be certain that the Atrios wins in term of price...

I will be switching to the IE series though... But that's because I don't have a solid IEM yet...  Tongue

The review holds true... Which is well... Why I prefer this over W3s... In fact... I prefer a stock IE8 over a W3.

One more thing though... If I ain't wrong, the jack isn't nickel-plate. It's silver-plated
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kangcore
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 08:16:48 AM »

nice review. i'm interested!

one thing - are the buds low-profile, do they stick out a lot or are they more or less flush with the ears?

Also, are the buds universally compatible say with shure olives etc? And can custom tips be fitted on em?
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Rigdzin
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 08:23:51 AM »

 Grin now you know why I can't wait for Uncle Wilson to bring in the IE8!!! Tongue

Thanks Kopi for the review. 
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xuan87
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 08:26:33 AM »

uncle wilson will definitely be bringing in the IE series.... only thing is when...
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colheng
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 08:42:41 AM »

good review,
although isolation is not mentioned in the review.
I'm curious about the isolation compared to other IEMs.
Which IEMs is it closest to in terms of isolation?
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elavan
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 08:48:29 AM »

nice review. i'm interested!

one thing - are the buds low-profile, do they stick out a lot or are they more or less flush with the ears?

Also, are the buds universally compatible say with shure olives etc? And can custom tips be fitted on em?

from a discussion on another thread, it's compatible with UE-sized stems, the drivers are also low profile and should be flushed with the ears unless the user has tiny ears  Smiley
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nystalia
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2008, 09:01:22 AM »

nice review!! IE8 is really good!! Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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Whenesday
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2008, 09:10:11 AM »

The best universal IEM for me! Grin

Great review!
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2008, 09:30:55 AM »

...One more thing though... If I ain't wrong, the jack isn't nickel-plate. It's silver-plated

Hi, I thought the standard is gold-plated jack? What's  benefits of silver- or nickel-plated jacks over the usual gold-plated ones?
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Yes!, what to do, it's j ust another b iased earphone and etwork =)
ZhenYu
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 09:37:36 AM »

...One more thing though... If I ain't wrong, the jack isn't nickel-plate. It's silver-plated

Hi, I thought the standard is gold-plated jack? What's  benefits of silver- or nickel-plated jacks over the usual gold-plated ones?

Gold is better when oxidization is concerned. But silver is the best electrical conductor of all. Nickel is usually chosen as its cheap...

... I wonder why no one use palladium-plated yet.....
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"But at what cost?"
Nothing goes wrong until you compare.

Can't be bothered since July 09.

Creative Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~
Darkkopi
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 11:31:47 AM »

btw.. how does it run with an amp directly on ipod?

Direct from ipod headphone out, it is already good. Using an amp will futher much improve it.
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