Finally finding its way to my desk after god-knows-how-long, the Sennheiser IE800 isn’t a new headphone by any means. But because its such an in-demand piece of equipment, I rarely see one hang around long enough for me to get a review in. Thanks to unusually slow week, the time has finally come to review this earphone.
Sennheiser IE800 Review
Build quality on the IE800 is surprisingly good – given how light and pared-down this earphone actually feels. It’s more minuscule than most of its competition at this price point – models from manufacturers like JLab Audio and Shure, or Ultrasone.
The overall impression is one of quality, from the magnet-fitted eartips to the incldued leather pouch/wallet.
The cable is a y-shape affair, ending in a 3.5mm male stereo plug where the left and right arms of the cable meet the center. The rest of the cable attaches to this, presumably so that if you wear out the cable you can order a replacement.
The IE800 features a frequency range of 5 – 46500 hertz, and a nominal impedance of 16 ohms. There’s loads of detail in there, helped along by an easy-to-drive assembly that offers some staggering sound.
Precise and articulate, that sound is perhaps a bit overshadowed by a full and resounding bass that leaves the mids and highs mostly intact. The high end is almost equally pronounced, though it doesn’t seem to bleed into the mids the way that the bass might. Highs never appear piercing or sibilant.
Mids are strong enough, even given that preponderance of bass, and sound could be described as V-shaped. There’s some good clarity and separation in there, too, and the sound is not as compressed or canned as on other in-ear monitors. The sound can be a little too revealing at times – I was more than able to notice some background noise in my favorite recording of the Tannhauser Overture. Bummer.
Taking into account how lightweight and comfortable these earphones are, as well as the fact that they can be worn with the cable around the ear to minimize noise from movement, its hard not to recommend these headphones based on the way they wear alone.
But given the sound, they are an even better deal. Do you need great sound quality that might be slightly more dynamic than even? Still want a precise earphone for picking apart every last detail in a recording? Scoff at a $799 price tag? Then the Sennheiser IE800 is for you.
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