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Best Sennheiser IE80 Black Friday Deals & Offers
the IE80 have already been around some time and, despite several reviews and an almost infinite thread, still it isn’t simple to gather in one place all the details concerning this beautiful IEM.
Regardless of the earphone being probably by the end of its lifecycle, I’ll write this review anyway, hoping that somebody provides an identical review for the brand new IE80S.
After few month of listening, here come my impressions.
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- the basics are here: several tips.
- ear hooks
- fluff: useless carry-case
- OK. Detachable cable probably ensure a beyond average life span (for me personally IEM average life span is 24 months)
- bundled cable is ok, angled connector
- currently using it with 5 eur chinese cable with a 3 button Android and IOS compatible remote
- no rough edges, pretty comfortable for me personally
Fit over the ear
- somewhat tricky, as the entire sound is quite sensitive to insertion depth and tips positioning
- no cable microphonics
- once in place will not pops out. Few adjustments once in a while may be necessary
- ear hooks aren’t simple to use nor necessary
Fit below ear
- possible, but I don’t recommend it as the bass becomes boomy
- average cable microphonics
Bang for buck
- on rebate at 140 eur at amazon is a catch (however, not worth the entire retail price of ~300 eur)
- bass via the screw
- overall tone via the tips
After several tests I decided that your basic configuration (i.e. bass screw to minimum, single flange silicon tips) may be the one providing the bust sound quality. It is therefore my choice for daily listening and the descriptions here are predicated on this set-up.
- Sound Signature
V shaped, with powerfull bass and lively however, not aggressive highs
Extended, rolled off towards the sub bass and slightly bleeding in the mediums. They are slow (in the nice sense, relaxed) accurate and powerful.
A bit recessed but correctly tuned
They offer decent detail and extension, but their tuning could possibly be better (with the incorrect recording they can turn into a little aggressive). Their biggest issue is they are not linear, nonetheless they have a peak at 5kHz, one at 7kHz and one at 13kHz. The effect is good detail and extension, nonetheless it is not balanced.
Slow bass and lots of echoes to open the soundstage bring about a relaxed and slow IEM
-Detail retrieval and instrument separation
Good over the spectrum. Plenty of for orchestral music
Very best for classical music and jazz. Very natural voice reproduction.
Only average for hard rock and metal.
Fair to best for other genres.
The peaky highs and detail retrieval makes this a fairly unforgiving IEM
IE80 are incredibly hiss forgiving
They are extremely simple to drive, leading to good sound on nearly every source.
That said, an improved source can bring about audibly better quality. But with any source they already are good.
- adjustable bass
- could be tuned via eartips
- tuning via bass screw: this increases mostly the sub bass, with a smaller effect on the bass. The peaks in the highs are also somewhat tamed.
Overall I do not like the result, as the mids appears to be progressively more out of tune, as the bass in increased via the screw.
- tuning via the tips: the IE80 progressively go from bass-heavy and V-shaped to neutral as the tips are changed in this sense : foam tips, single-flange silicon tips, double-flange silicon tips, weird triple flange silicon tips.
I do not like the result for the same reason as before, i.e. the mids appears to be a lot more out of tune as the tuning becomes more not the same as the out of your box one (bass screw to minimum, single flange silicon tips)
- the popular tape mod : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/the…-the-sennheiser-ie80-in-ear-earphones.766831/
Similar results and same issues as above
- conclusion: what these tuning have as a common factor is bring some neutrality in the sound signature of the IE80, at the price tag on making a 200+ eur IEM appear to be a 100 eur IEM. Not worthwhile in my opinion.
When compared to other IEMs I’ve tried:
- Sennheiser CX275S : these one have a great oriented signature: slightly v-shaped, voice oriented mids, not so extended but extremely fast bass, smooth and nice treble. These is most effective for fast-paced bad recorded music. For a 30 eur IEM they sound very good. Detail resolving and instrument separation is quite bad; because of this also is an extremely forgiving IEM. Anything which is well recorded will sound way better on IE80, except metal, which does indeed nothing like this IEM and which, on the other hand, sound very fun upon this CX275
- Sony MH1C: the mids are about as effective as the IE80’s; lows are faster and with more robust sub bass, but less detailed; highs certainly are a real mess on these. If accuracy and instrument separation is not needed at the extremes of the spectrum, these sound 80% as effective as IE80’s (still they have a smaller soundstage)
- Beoplay H3 : radically different sound signature as they are almost flat. Lows are good, albeit far more recessed, highs are less extended (cut at 16kHz) but more linear; therefore these have less air but are less aggressive on some instruments, which might eventually result more pleasurable on the H3 (e.g. brass, acoustic guitars etc..). The mids of the H3 are inferior: less resolving, somewhat out of tune, they make a really mess of a classic orchestra
- Sony mdr 1a : these kinds are at least nearly as good everywhere, and better resolving in the mids-high and the highs. They are also among Sony’s high impedance top headphones.