Sennheiser has recently announced that they’re updating their audiophile IE 800 in-ears with a newer version that adds an “S” to the end of that name, along with a few impressive improvements as well. So what exactly warrants the price tag of the new IE 800 S in-ears? First and foremost, the new design. It more or less borrows the same shape as the original but improves upon the look with a sleeker and, dare I say, more minimal aesthetic that’s way more appealing. The glossy finish is now a stealthy matte black that, when paired with the new black cable instead of the previous patterned one, makes for a pair of headphones that look like they mean business. But looks aside, let’s dig into the improvements they made on the inside.
The new IE 800 S in-ears use Sennheiser’s patented dual-chamber absorber (D2CA) which is supposed to help the listener be able to hear higher frequencies that would otherwise be masked, an effect that Chris Thomas spoke about in his piece about isolation. Besides that, Sennheiser promises an even higher amount of clarity thanks to an improved version of their 7mm Extra Wide Band drivers found in the IE 800 in-ears. These minimize distortion even further while also improving upon the same airy highs and defined lows that previous version was known for. As far as specs go you’ll find an impedance of 16 ohms which isn’t surprising considering they’re for the mobile audiophile. your average smartphone or mobile device should have no problem powering these to their full potential. On top of that they also have a frequency response of 5 – 46,500 Hz so you’ll have plenty of space for your music.
Sennheiser also gives the user plenty of listening options either end of the headphones. First are the tips, which come with three sizes of regular tips and three sizes of comply memory foam for the best fit and isolation possible. And then they also come with a few different cable options so you can get the best experience with your setup. Besides the standard 3.5mm jack, they also come with 2.5 mm balanced and 4.4 mm balanced Pentaconn connectors.
Naturally all of these improvements come at a price. Where the IE 800 in-ears were a pricey $799, the new IE 800 S in-ears up the ante even more and start at $999. If you’re in the market for the best the new Sennheiser IE 800 S in-ears make a compelling case for themselves, even though the cable still isn’t interchangeable.