We may be deep in the midst of a financial apocalypse, but that’s not stopping audio companies producing very small headphones at very big prices.

On the face of it, it looks like craziness to even think of spending this sort of money on a pair of in-ears, but many of us taking advantage of lossless formats and doing the bulk of our listening on the move, there’s now a serious case for quality portable ‘phones like these Sennheiser IE 8s.

Street savvy

There are actually three models in the IE range, with the 8s sitting pretty, right at the top. The good thing is that although they’re a fairly unusual shape, there’s nothing about them that screams ‘expensive’, so you’re not going to attract any unwanted attention from seedy street-urchin types.

Along with the ‘IE 8 ‘phones themselves, the box contains a neat storage case, a cable clip, ear hooks, and no-less than ten ear buds.

It’s incredibly easy to find a firm and comfortable fit. The buds don’t go as far into the ear canal as something like the Klipsch Image X10s, with the ear-clips contributing to holding the ‘phones in place, but they still fill your ear and block outside noise very well.

What’s more, unlike most in-ears, the Sennheisers resist amplifying body noise and movement.

Ace of bass

Sennheiser is making a big thing of the fact that you can manually adjust the bass response of the IE 8s, but there’s not a huge amount of variation in the scale, and we found the lowest point provided the most satisfying delivery.

Even set here the IE 8s have an extremely impressive bass performance with great weight, solidity and scale.

Review continues after the break... 


Fine balance

This doesn’t drown out the rest of the frequency range though, so tracks have all the necessary low-end depth and pace without any loss of impact to the vocals or treble.

True, there are some earphones out there that offer slightly greater attack (like the Klipsch Images), but few get close to the detail, dynamism and balance of Sennheiser’s IE 8s.

Sure, they’re expensive, but if you want quality music on the move you really have to give them a try.


Stuff says... 

Sennheiser IE 8 review

Expensive, but there’s no finer way to drown out the cries of your bank manager