TouchMyApps » Julie http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Westone’s Top-of-the-Line Stage Monitoring Universal IEM: UM3x in Review http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/20/westones-stage-monitoring-iem-um3x-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/06/20/westones-stage-monitoring-iem-um3x-in-review/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2009 13:41:02 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=13797 Westone’s UM3x is clearly a professional product. Where hitherto, our headphone reviews have focused on the casual and audiophile listener’s tastes; and in the case of the Sleek CT6 Custom, the musician; the UM3X is designed for stage performers. It’s sturdy, unadorned housing and well-relieved stress points clearly illustrate this fact. Despite Westone’s intended professional … Read more]]>
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Possibly one of the greatest universal stage monitors

Westone’s UM3x is clearly a professional product. Where hitherto, our headphone reviews have focused on the casual and audiophile listener’s tastes; and in the case of the Sleek CT6 Custom, the musician; the UM3X is designed for stage performers. It’s sturdy, unadorned housing and well-relieved stress points clearly illustrate this fact. Despite Westone’s intended professional market, many users are clamouring to buy this unit for personal use. How does it fare when compared and contrasted with other personal earphones? Let’s take a look.

Westone’s History
Westone was born in 1959 when Ron and Mickey Morgan made their first earmold (we call them “custom earpieces” now) in the kitchen of their log cabin in the Colorado Rockies.

The Morgans based their business on three simple precepts-absolute quality, friendly, efficient service and the Golden Rule. Those principles, along with constant technological innovation, have made Westone a worldwide leader in products and services that improve and protect the hearing experience, enhance the effectiveness of hearing healthcare professionals and support innovation in the hearing healthcare industry.

We are here to help you in any way we can. Just let us now how we can be of service.

UM3X Product Description
Built to the highest professional standards, the true three-way, balanced armature UM3x delivers incredibly smooth response cross the entire frequency range. Using the same technology as our custom ES3X, the UM3X is the earpiece of choice for performers desiring high-end Westone sound quality in a universal-fit package. The comfortable Comply™ foam tips form to the ear for extended use without fatigue and provide up to 25 dB of ambient noise reduction. Equipped with a durable 50″ stereo “Y” cord with a 3.5mm stereo jack, 4 pair of Comply™ foam tips, storage pouch and wax loop.

The UM3X is ultimate universal-fit musicians’ monitor, perfect for the on-stage performer.
Available only in clear/black.

Julie’s Review
Accessories: The Westone UM3X ships with a really nice sturdy zipped carrying case, 3 pairs of Comply tips, an ear-cleaning tool and, uh, what, that’s it?? I did tip the packaging upside down, banged it and shook it for a few hours, but no more goodies fell out. After wiping my tears away and pulling myself together… I remembered that the UM3x was designed specifically for stage monitoring, and as such, a huge array of accessories is not necessary. Panic over!

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Spartan but professional

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Specifications:
Sensitivity: 124dB/mW
Frequency response: 20 Hz -18 kHz
Impedance: 56 ohms
Driver: Three balanced armature drivers with a passive three-way crossover.
Features: Soft padded pouch, replaceable Comply ™ foam tips, and wax loop for cleaning.

UM3x cable and construction:
Fantastic. I have to say I do have a special affection for Westone cables. Even though they’re not detachable (like the IE8 for example), the construction itself does inspire confidence. It may look flimsy (Sony EX, any model, hello??) – but it isn’t. It’s braided, supple, durable, and totally unkinky! My only complaint is that the distance to the Y-splitter is too short. This is definitely a case of where a couple of extra inches would be, um… very welcome! I’m pretty certain I wasn’t strangled in a previous life, but whenever I feel that cable brush ominously against my neck – I can never be quite sure …

Excellent housing-to-cable stress relief

Excellent housing-to-cable stress relief

Even the Y-split is protected with dual stress reliefs (Perfection)

Even the Y-split is protected with moulded dual stress reliefs - perfection

Close up of the sturdy square jack and excellently relieved L-plug

Close up of the sturdy square jack and excellently stress-relieved L-plug

Fit:
Wonderful, no complaints at all. I had the UM2 for a very short time and they were t-h-e most comfortable earphones I’ve ever worn. The UM3X housing is the same size and is super duper comfy in my ears! I can wear them for hours with no side effects at all.

All my listening was done with Westone’s W3 silicon tips, as the Comply tips reduced the soundstage and muffled the sound too much for my liking. There are other tips which will fit: the silicon ones from the Shure SE530 for example, or almost anything which fits a narrow nozzle. Note: foamies and silicon flanges from makers like Sennheiser will not fit as they are too large.

Compatibility:
The iPod Touch drives the UM3X very easily. I listen to rather loud music, but don’t need anything above seventy-five percent to get ear-splitting volume – and there is no hiss – none at all. It is shhhhhhh… silent.

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What did I listen to?
Nils Lofgren:  Acoustic Live – Black Books:
This is a fantastic track with some stunning, and I mean s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g acoustic guitar from 2.50 through to the end. I saw this ‘Live’ a few rows from the front and it was quite something! Anyway, the CD is very well recorded, and the quality is well documented in various user reviews at Amazon.com and even on Head-Fi! With the Westone 3 and Phonak PFE, the guitar is alive and kicking. It’s clear, realistic and sucks you in immediately. With the UM3X, I had to ask myself who smothered it with a pillow. The crispness had disappeared beneath a light fog which made the track sound strangely flat and uninvolving. And the vocals were much further forward than they were when I heard it live. No other earphones have pushed the vocals so far forward – but if that’s how you like them, you’ll be happy!

Bella Sonus:  Enamoured
This is very well recorded and is full of female vocals, percussion, synths, thunderous bass and some amazing Spanish flamenco guitar. When I first heard it with the Westone 3 (W3)… it ROCKED!!! When I heard it with the UM3X, it rocked…. not!

While the instrument separation is second to none, I couldn’t appreciate it because I felt the instruments themselves lacked any crispness and sparkle. I would rather sacrifice a little separation for more life and sparkle, otherwise I can’t get drawn into the music at all. But of course, these weren’t designed for the casual listener, so it’s not a ‘fault’ of the phones at all. It’s just an observation from a listener’s point of view.

Percussion was easy to pick out in the mix, but sadly, was not lively or exciting, it just ‘existed’ – nothing more, nothing less. Vocals were smooth and very forward, but sounded lacklustre to me. I found this album sadly disappointing with the UM3X. If there was a sad smiley, I would insert it right here. And at 1.12 on Gypsy – there’s some shockingly deep bass that’s very evident with the W3 – but which totally loses impact with the UM3X. And that’s another reason I prefer the W3 for personal listening, the bass is more fun. I don’t care if it’s accurate or not, if it sounds good to me, that’s all that counts.

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene and Equinoxe
There are a lot of spacey sound effects on these albums, and some very cool stereo imaging. These were much more enjoyable with the UM3X than the other music I listened to. Despite the soundstage being smaller than I’m used to, the stereo imaging was excellent, and more than made up for it. I was happy to see how much more I liked to listen to them without vocals!

Bass:
I am not a basshead at all, really. And the UM3X is very acceptable in that department, more quantity than Phonak PFE, less than Triple.fi 10 and W3 – and not really lacking unless you’re after sheer impact. They are not IE8 bass monsters, and they are not exactly bass shy, but they are light on impact to my ears. If you want impact and weight with your bass, and you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, I would suggest looking elsewhere (IE8/ JVC FX500 maybe) since the UM3X just might not cut if for the ‘excessive’ basshead!

Midrange/Treble:
I read recently that stage monitors are often cranked up in the vocal region since they can be the hardest thing to keep in key with. Well, they stand out all right. And if you like a bold ‘in your face’ presentation, then the UM3X might just be your thing. However, I found the placement far too forward and intrusive for my own listening preferences. If I’m going to sit on the singer’s lap and have him sing/smooch in my ears…… I expect to know him a little better first. After all, I am a lady!

The forwardness does not sound natural to me at all, it’s exaggerated to the point of distraction – and I found it the hardest thing to adjust to. When the midrange is that dominant, the bass and the treble become an afterthought and I have to really listen out for them. I should add that this is very much a personal preference – and that most people love a forward presentation. However, I need some space between myself and the vocalist in order to enjoy the music. Without any space, it feels claustrophobic and I can’t enjoy it because all I hear is vocals vocals vocals, with the instruments coming somewhere from behind in the distance. It makes the soundstage feel even smaller than it is.

The treble is very smooth, detailed, and not fatiguing in the slightest… but is totally lacking in sparkle and twinkle! Triangles and cymbals sound almost muted. My Triple.fi 10 had more sparkle, as did my Phonak PFE and W3. But the UM3X treble just doesn’t have enough energy for me. It’s like it was beaten repeatedly with a damp squib until it surrendered. Of course, for anyone with a low tolerance to pronounced treble, these would be great, since you’d never be bothered by piercing highs no matter how long you listen for.

Out and about with the UM3X
These really are very comfortable to wear on the move. No noisy microphonics, no snagging, you can just forget they’re there. And although the Comply tips isolate better, I don’t care for any type of squishing and squashing thank you very much. Life is too short to stuff a mushroom or squish a Comply. So I stuck with the silicon tips and isolation was fine on the tube. I could still hear station announcements through them, but I always can!

Final Thoughts
I think I can see and hear why these weren’t designed for personal listening. Although there’s nothing I can pick out that’s technically ‘wrong’ with them – they are simply too laid back and polite for my liking. But since I wasn’t part of the professional market that the UM3X was geared towards, it’s no real surprise that I wasn’t keen on the sound.

Westone did not design the UM3X for people who listen to recorded music through iPods and other portable music players – they were designed for musicians who monitor sound levels on stage. So unless you’re a professional who needs to monitor and analyse the sound, I would look elsewhere. I listen for fun, not for analysis. And I don’t feel the UM3X provides enough fun. Also, since ninety-five percent of us are casual listeners, I cannot in all honesty recommend the UM3X for personal use.

Editor’s Note:
A first for TMA: Westone’s UM3x will receive two evaluation marks
. The first, a Grab, represents its polish, quality, sound, fit and finish for its intended use and as a portable earphone. However, as noted by Julie, the UM3x is not a personal earphone in the same way that Audeo’s PFE or Sennheiser’s IE8 is. Thus, using the UM3x as a hifi enthusiast’s tool may render different results that stem from its thermal midrange and limpid treble. For these reasons, the UM3x will also receive a Tap rating. As with all things audio, however, your mileage may vary. You may really love these phones and that is the most important aspect in a new purchase. If you want to follow the loooong UM3x impressions and appreciation thread at headfi.org, just follow this link.

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App Summary
Title: Westone UM3x True Three-Way Monitor Developer: Westone
Price: $379.00
  • Excellent instrument separation
  • Non-fatiguing treble
  • Durable cable
  • Very comfortable
  • Great carrying case
  • Smooth and mellow presentation
  • Treble lacks sparkle and energy
  • Small soundstage
  • Distance to Y-splitter could be longer
  • Vocals can occasionally be too intrusive
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If you enjoyed Julie’s UM3x review, take a look at her other in-depth reviews below:
Sennheiser IE8 in Review

Please also take a look at our Headphone section or, if you want to read our other inner earphone reviews, check below:
Q-Jays in ReviewSleek Audio’s CT6 Custom Earphones in ReviewPhonak Audeo PFE 112 Inner Earphones and 121 Mobile Phone Compatible Earphones in ReviewNuforce NE7M Mobile Phone Compatible Inner Earphones in ReviewZagg Z-Buds Mobile Phone Compatible Earphones in ReviewMonster Turbine Inner Earphones in Review

review-earphones-um3x-08-upclose review-earphones-um3x-01-box review-earphones-um3x-07-earphonesfull Excellent housing-to-cable stress relief Even the Y-split is protected with dual stress reliefs (Perfection) Close up of the sturdy square jack and excellently relieved L-plug review-earphones-um3x-05-contents review-earphones-um3x-06-touchRead more]]>
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Sennheiser IE8 in Review – The Ace of Bass http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/sennheiser-ie8-in-review-the-ace-of-bass/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/05/05/sennheiser-ie8-in-review-the-ace-of-bass/#comments Wed, 06 May 2009 00:07:49 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=10466 Sennheiser: TMA’S Short Intro If you haven’t heard of Sennheiser in your sojourn in the audio world, you have probably been living under a rock. If, however, you are new to the world of headphones, then you are forgiven, but need to be informed. Sennheiser have set many landmarks in the world of personal hi-fidelity … Read more]]>

sennheiser_ie_mainSennheiser: TMA’S Short Intro

If you haven’t heard of Sennheiser in your sojourn in the audio world, you have probably been living under a rock. If, however, you are new to the world of headphones, then you are forgiven, but need to be informed. Sennheiser have set many landmarks in the world of personal hi-fidelity audio including manufacturing the HE90 Orpheus which is the most expensive production headphone to date. They remain among the largest manufacturers on the planet with a resume that would embarrass Stephen Hawking and boast an impressively expanding portable line-up.

IE8 Packaging

ie8-box ie8-box-open

Fit Kit/Accessories

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Tips: Sennheiser includes a generous ten pairs; including regular single-flange and double-flange silicones, plus an ingenious semi-hard foam tip which is my favourite. I call it the ‘Soamie’. It’s not squishy like a Shure Olive and doesn’t need compressing before use, which makes it quicker to insert, more durable and likely to last longer. Sadly, these don’t appear to be on general release as yet, although I hear there are plans to change this at a later date.

Carry case: Very good quality and nice to look at in brushed aluminium with a slide-out insert to wind the phones around. However, in real-life usage, I found it more trouble than it was worth. If you like to sit and methodically wrap cables a bazillion times around inserts, and then try in vain to find somewhere free to wedge in the headphone plug, then this will appeal to you. But if you like to wrap and stash your phones quickly like I do, then a semi-hard padded pouch does the job perfectly. I don’t like forcing my cables into the same position around inserts, for fear of putting strain on the same part of the cable all the time.

Other: A shirt clip, ear-hook guides and the bass-adjusting screwdriver which houses the ear-cleaning tool at the opposite end.

* The bass-adjuster is clipped (hidden), in an inverted holder at the bottom of the insert, so if you can’t find it, either turn it upside down, or turn yourself upside down.

IE8 Specifications – Dynamic Driver

Technical Details:

  • Cord: 1.2 m symmetrical (earphone to separator: 0.4m; separator to plug: 0.8m)
  • Ear coupling: intraaural (ear canal fit)
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Plug: 3.5mm L-shaped stereo jack plug
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 125 dB(SPL)
  • THD:
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic
  • Weight: 5 g

A NOTE FROM TMA:
The above is of little importance if you are not really into your audio. If so, then just skip over this bit. Sennheiser’s cable is at 1.2 metres, an enjoyable length for lounging around and cable which is a great length for portable use. Since it is light and soft, it does not impede movement and its supple surface is hardly microphonic.

If you care about how easy the Sennheiser IE8 is to drive and how much hiss they will exhibit, then the above spec will help you. An impedance of 16 ohms presents difficulty for many portables including the iPhone and iPhone 3G with regards to bass detail. It simply is a hard to drive ohm spec. However, Sennheiser’s IE8 is tuned somewhat specifically toward portables which are bass deficient to start. Sensitivity of 125 dB means that the IE8 can be driven to volume from many sources. Certainly keep care when listening as they can damage your hearing as can any earphone but rest assured that you will be able to pump the music above the background.

As for soundstage, iPod and iPhone users – you are in luck. The iDevice remains to this day on top in terms of left-to-right separation even when under load. Phonak’s PFE are the kings when regarding the effortless rendering of a black background even with rather hissy sources, but Sennheiser’s earphone is the king and all the king’s men.

IE8 Cable and Construction:

ie8-disconnected ie8cable

It wouldn’t hurt Sony to take a leaf, or even a tree… out of Sennheiser’s book and start making decent cables for their own high-end earphones. My similarly priced EX700 had the traditional bendy-liquorice feel to the cable – thin, cheap and flimsy. The IE8 cable is the complete opposite in every way. Better still, it’s been strengthened with Kevlar, a light, man-made fibre used for reinforcing cables and bullet-proof vests!

The result is an impressively strong cable which feels supple, light, unobtrusive and doesn’t tangle. There’s no cable noise either (hello Image X10…) and at 1.2m long, it’s the perfect length for me. The distance to the Y-splitter is more than adequate and the shirt clip takes care of any cable slack.

But wait! There’s more. The cables are detachable, (see pic) which means if they break, you need only replace the cable and not the earphones. So if you’re a serial ‘snagger’, the IE8 could be a wise financial investment! And of course, there’s always the option to upgrade to custom cables for those who wish to travel that route.

Fit

The IE8 nozzle is the short stumpy type, like the CX300, Sony EX series and Triple.fi 10 pro. There are lots of compatible tips, although some might need to be wiggled on a little, as the actual nozzle has a rim around the edge which makes it a fraction wider than regular ‘fat’ nozzles.

The sound varies widely depending on which tips you choose. The regular silicone tips were the least efficient for me, producing horrible sibilance and taking all the richness out of the music, and the double-flange tips were just too big. In fact, the only tips I liked were my beloved Soamies. They give me the best isolation, comfort and sound quality. However, if I jam them in to achieve a complete seal, the bass is overwhelming, the midrange too aggressive, and they hurt my ears.

I solved all three problems by pulling them out just far enough to avoid the edge of the earpiece rubbing on my inner ear. But you need to experiment to find the best fit. While they look fairly big in the photos, they actually sit flush with the ears and don’t stick out at all (hello Triple.fi 10 pro…)

Soundstage

I have to mention this before any other reference to sound, since it’s quite honestly the biggest and most enjoyable soundstage I’ve ever heard from any of my previously owned earphones… and there have been a lot. But the IE8 crush them all. Soundstage is insanely big, so big that I was worried I might miss out on some of the intimate musical detail. But that wasn’t the case at all. Despite the huge soundstage, the detail is comparable with closer-fitting IEMs, like my Westone 3 or my previously-owned Phonak PFE. To my ears, the IE8 sounds more like a full-sized headphone rather than a regular IEM, and yet it still presents the details as closely as a deeper-seated IEM. In other words, nothing is lost within the big soundstage.

What did I listen to?

Jesse Cook: “Gravity” and “Montreal Live” – Flamenco with a ‘twist’. (Both are very good recordings).

I saw Jesse Cook in London last year, and he really put on a good show. This isn’t traditional flamenco at all; it’s a blend of exotic Middle Eastern influences with violins, bass and acoustic guitars, complex African percussion instruments and synthesisers, creating a riot of sound. With less than competent earphones, it’s all just a big splodge of one-noise sound, and separating the instruments is impossible. But the IE8 is amazing for this type of music. The large soundstage creates such a feeling of space between the musicians, that you can really hear and place each instrument clearly. With so much going on in the music, it’s a tough thing to do, but the IE8 does it effortlessly. I prefer a large soundstage for this type of music; it’s more involving and enjoyable, especially for ‘live’ music.

Nils Lofgren: “Acoustic Live” (another very good recording).

I was lucky enough to see this tour in 2007, and while it was a wonderful concert – the acoustic guitars were piercing at times, and the echo from the hall didn’t help either. Listening to the CD through the IE8 is an out-of-this-world experience. Although they don’t replicate the extreme clarity and precision (brutality?) of the acoustic guitars of the W3, they do add some welcome warmth which makes it less ‘trebly’ and fatiguing to listen to. The IE8 is great for anything remotely too ‘trebly’, since the warmth softens the harshest edges. It may not be accurate, but it does the trick, and that’s all that matters for certain tracks!

The Eagles: ‘Hotel California’ from ‘Hell Freezes Over’

The opening kick drum is very prominent and weighty, and the IE8 presents it with as much impact as I remember hearing it played live when I saw The Eagles on their comeback tour. You can almost feel the bass thumping in your heart, that’s how much power it has. But at no point does it feel too much, it just feels enjoyable and very natural.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: ‘Raising Sand’

The bass in “Killing the Blues” is very heavy and deliberately distorted, and this is exactly how the IE8 presents it – as it is. In fact, I prefer to listen to this on my main speakers, just to get some space between my ears and the bass. That’s positive though, because is tells me that the IE8 portrays the same amount of bass as there was in the original recording, despite the sound signatures between earphones and speakers being very different from each other.

Beethoven: ‘Piano Concertos 1-5’

Very enjoyable, and the large soundstage helps immensely with instrument separation, which is especially important for orchestral works. However, I prefer the cleaner and sharper detail of the Phonak PFE and W3 for individual piano works, as the IE8 adds a certain ‘thickness’ which isn’t apparent with either of the other earphones.

Bass

ie8-close-up

Although Sleek Audio and Phonak Audeo (PFE) can both be ‘tuned’ for different sound signatures (Sleek provides additional bass ports and treble tubes, while Phonak provides grey and black filters to change the sound), the IE8 is the first to feature a bass-adjusting dial on the side of each earpiece. This means non-bassheads (me), and bassheads can be happy with the same pair of earphones.

My preference was for the default setting of minimum, which provided more than enough bass quantity. Dialling it up more than a few notches made quite a difference to bass volume, but on the maximum setting, I wanted to run screaming from the house! Seriously, unless you’re a fan of extremely heavy bass, or your source is weak on bass, you wouldn’t need this setting. Of course, it’s nice to have the option to go to eleven if you want to go ‘one louder’…

I was also able to compare the IE8 bass with the Atrios M5 v2 bass, and was hard pressed to hear which one went lower. Sometimes it felt as if the Atrios reached lower, but that could be because the midrange is more recessed and allows the bass to stand out more. But both of them were able to produce low levels of bass that were inaudible with the Phonak PFE.

Midrange/Treble

Having already read some glowing reviews over at Head-Fi before I bought the IE8, I was especially keen to hear this wonderful midrange for myself. I like forward vocals with a touch of warmth, but not so forward that vocals play in my head (hello UM2 and Shure E4), and not too distant (hello Atrio M5 v2), so I was pleased to note that the IE8’s didn’t disappoint at all in this area. Both male and female vocals sound wonderful; smooth, rich, and more forward and open than the Triple.fi 10 Pro, with plenty of detail, although crystal-clear detail is masked slightly by the midrange warmth. If you want the utmost precision and clarity for vocals, then these might not be the best choice. But if you like vocals with warmth and body, you’d be hard pressed to find something that portrays them as beautifully as the IE8.

In fact, I wasn’t actually able to find any vocals that didn’t sound good with the IE8. Vocalists like Robert Plant and David Bowie often sound suspiciously ssssssssibilant on my other earphones, but the IE8 softens the edges and smoothes out any harshness. This is a nice bonus if you have any similar sibilant-prone vocalists in your library!

As far as treble is concerned, I don’t have any complaints about the amount of detail, only about the lack of ‘twinkle’. Although it’s very smooth and non-fatiguing, I still prefer the added sparkle of the TF10 and Westone 3. Cymbal crashes and piano notes tend to have a slight cloud with the IE8, but I’m really nitpicking here, because the overall enjoyment factor is huge – and I’ve yet to find a pair of earphones that does everything 100% perfectly.

Out and About with the IE8

Since the IE8 doesn’t sit deep in the ear like a true IEM, background noise does filter through, but it’s tolerable if you have a good seal. Engine noise on the tube is something I’ve never been able to eliminate, but a 20% increase in volume helps reduce it to an acceptably low rumble.

As for microphonics, they’re non-existent for me whether I wear them straight down at the front, or with the cable running down my back. I don’t know if the cable thickness is responsible for the lack of noise, but it works and that’s the main thing.

Final thoughts

The IE8 is a fantastic set of earphones if you like your sound warm, upfront and bassy. If you like your sound more neutral, but still full and rich, then the IE7 is a great alternative. It shares certain similarities with the IE8, big soundstage and huge bass presence for example, but is less upfront than the IE8 and more ‘polite’.

By the way, both of these earphones (being dynamic drivers), require a burn-in period before they sound their best. How much burn-in depends on you, the listener. But Head-Fi’ers opinions vary wildly from: “great right out of the box”, to “great after 300 hours of burn-in. Be your own judge and decide for yourself. I liked mine straight out of the box, and after about 20 hours I didn’t notice any further improvements. They sounded great with no EQ straight out of the Touch 2G.

I paid £179 for them from Amazon.co.uk and they were well worth the price. However, the US cost is much higher, and I’m not sure I’d have paid the MRSP of $449 (£300) for them when the Westone 3 was also available for the same price. But for under £200, they’re worth every penny.

Final rating is a 5-star TMA ‘Kiss It’  (and kiss it again)

Sennheiser IE 8 Premium Audiophile Noise Isolating Headphone

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App Summary
Title: Sennheiser IE8 Developer: Sennheiser
Price: MMSRP: $449 USD    
  • Powerful bass with rich midrange and smooth detailed treble
  • Unique bass-adjusting dial
  • Huge and immersive soundstage
  • Top quality detachable cable
  • Unique foam tips, no need to compress
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Impractical carry case
  • Foam tips not currently for sale
  • Isolation not as good as traditional IEMs
  • Warmth tends to mask treble sparkle
  • No airline adapter
  • More expensive for those outside Europe

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