I would go to sleep with headphones on. My mom and pop – they would have music loud enough to shake the walls – Dr. Dre 

When the world outside becomes too much, and the only purpose that it serves is to distract you from what you need to do, where you need to be, and what’s important to you, the temptation to remove yourself from it by plugging into the escapism offered by a pair of headphones and music is overwhelming.

Trust us, we know, we’ve been there before and we’ll almost certainly be there again, and that sense of relief and pure ecstasy when your favorite songs are beamed directly into the center of your mind is almost indescribable.

A fusion of instantaneous joy and soul-rending happiness, that at that moment, epitomizes total and unadulterated freedom. 

But that freedom doesn’t have to be temporary, you can plug into it anytime you want to. All you need is a pair of headphones and you can embrace and hold onto that feeling for as long as you want to.

It was realizing, and learning how important that freedom was and is and how much it can, and will enrich your daily life that converted us to the headphone cause and made us switch our allegiance from die-hard speaker fanatics to fully committed headphone devotees.

It wasn’t long until we discovered that the headphone world is governed by the same rules as the speaker world is and that the design and build quality of the headphones you use to plug into your universe of music, is everything.

And quality, much as it does with everything else in life, comes at a premium. 

That premium, no matter how daunting it may seem, is a price worth paying to fully immerse yourself in an audio cosmos of your own making.

Having accepted that, we soon became aware that hidden from the everyday headphone mainstream was a microcosm in which audio perfection wasn’t merely a dream that you could someday hope to aspire to, but was in fact a reality that had been made manifest by a select group of headphone manufacturers.

That was when we first stumbled headlong into Sennheiser, and we haven’t looked back, nor would we ever want to, since. Welcome to our Sennheiser IE800 Review.

Who Is Sennheiser? 

Sennheiser is a third-generation German company whose ardent pursuit of audio excellence mirrors our own.

They believe in creating new dimensions of sound and constantly strive to improve their customers’ listening experiences by engineering and incorporating the sort of technology that their competition couldn’t even imagine developing into everything that they build. 

As a company, they stride the same levels of audio heaven as Beats do, but they do with their own twist and don’t rely solely on their name to sell their product to their potential audience.

They rely entirely on the quality of their product to ensure that their customers can retreat into their own little worlds as soon as they plug in, or put on their headphones.

It’s a philosophy that originally endeared them to us, and one that continues to make us believers and ensures that we’ll always renew our subscription to the Sennheiser way of unlocking the door to the freedom that we crave. 

Sennheiser IE800

Sennheiser IE 800 S In-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Sound Isolating Ear-Canal Fit With XWB Transducers and D2CA Technology, Detachable Cable, Includes Balanced Cables, 2-Year Warranty (Black)

Let’s make something clear before we even begin to talk about our life-changing experience with the IE800’s. 

You’ve probably taken a look at the price, checked your pulse to make sure that you were experiencing a cardiac event, and double-checked the price just to make sure that you weren’t imagining things the first time you read it.

No, you weren’t mistaken, and yes the period is in the right place. That is how much these headphones cost, and while they’re by no means the most expensive in-ear headphones that you can equip yourself with, they’re also far from being the cheapest.

They are, as some overworked advertising executive once said, reassuringly expensive. 

As we’ve already mentioned, quality is paramount in the audio world and Sennheiser and the IE800’s are resolutely committed to that philosophy.

An elderly relative of ours had a simple credo in life, which was “You get what you pay for” and he maintained that it was absolutely true right up until the end.

And yes, the IE800’s are saddled with eye wateringly high price tag, but after spending a week with them, we are adamant in our belief that our octogenarian uncle was right and that you do get what you pay for, and that these headphones are worth every cent of their asking price. 

If Looks Could Kill 

Image might not be as important to Sennheiser as the technology that their headphones use to make a world of sound explode inside your head, but it does matter to us.

Not a lot admittedly, but enough to make it an issue, which is why we prefer to use unobtrusive, in-ear headphones rather than the larger “can” sitting around at home variety that seems to have found favor with an increasingly large percentage of music lovers, who like us are searching for the perfect medium to escape into their furthest reaches of musical paradise. 

And as the IE800’s look incredible, but retain an understated and sedate appearance that belies their audio power, they immediately found a place in our heart.

They don’t feel flimsy either, they’re robust and made from a carbon composite which all but guarantees their longevity and ensures that they’ll be able to fully resist all of the punishment that daily usage during the commute to work and an increasingly demanding workout in the gym afterward can, and will inflict on them. 

One of the main concerns that a lot of audiophiles have with in-ear headphones is how easily they can get tangled up and the endless hours that they’ll then have to spend having to untie them before they can use them. 

That isn’t the case with IE800’s, as the heavy gauge, robust connecting wires that they use feel like they’ll remain knot-free no matter how many times you fold them around each other. 

Then there’s the individually tailored in-ear fitment system that the IE800’s to ensure that they’ll nestle perfectly, and feel comfortable, in your ears.

Each pair comes with five different sets of buds that are easy to change, so you’ll be able to customize them to fit perfectly, and feel right, in a matter of minutes.

Admittedly our previous experience with Sennheiser made this easier than it should have been, but even if you haven’t spent any time adjusting in-ear headphones before, you won’t find it challenging or problematic to make the IE800’s your own. 

Off The Charts Performance

Because they know their customers are as individual as the mediums they use to play their music, Sennheiser supply three different connecting cables that use gold plated jacks with the IE800’s which enables them to be plugged into any smartphone or digital music player currently, or previously available on the market, which vastly increases their utilitarian appeal and functionality. 

And while we’re on the subject of functionality, we should get directly to the point and discuss the dynamic response and sound reproduction that the IE800’s are imbued with. They are, quite frankly, astonishing.

Sennheiser’s patented dual-chamber absorption system delivers a rich, deep, and ridiculously high quality of sound that few other in-ear headphones are capable of replicating, or can even hope to come close to competing with.

There is zero distortion, even when you turn the volume up far beyond the recommended safety levels, and the flawlessly balanced sound that they delivered allowed us to hear all manner of previously muffled and hidden components in songs that we thought we knew inside out.

The IE800’s are absolutely spectacular and will, just as Sennheiser promised, transport you to another, new and undiscovered dimension of sound. 

The Elephant In The Sennheiser Room 

There is, however, absolutely no avoiding or getting around the fact that these headphones cost roughly the same amount of money as our first car did.

Yes, they’re handcrafted in Germany, yes they use state-of-the-art technology to generate a sound reproduction that is not only breathtaking but will quite possibly change the way you think about in-ear headphones and what you expect them to be capable of forevermore.

And yes, they proudly bear the Sennheiser name and come with a two-year warranty. All of what we’ve just said is absolutely true and makes the IE800’s a truly revolutionary pair of in-ear headphones.

But at the end of the day, there is no way to escape the fact that they cost just under one thousand dollars, which is, if we’re absolutely honest, far beyond the means of the average audiophile. 

Sennheiser IE 800 S In-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones - Sound Isolating Ear-Canal Fit With XWB Transducers and D2CA Technology, Detachable Cable, Includes Balanced Cables, 2-Year Warranty (Black)
  • The IE 800 S provides breathtaking reference-grade audiophile sound you can fit in a pocket
  • Sealed ear canal fit isolates the listener from their environment for giant-sized sound anywhere (wide assortment of eartips are included for a seamless fit)
  • Made in Germany with proprietary 7mm Extra Wide Band transducers in a rugged ceramic body that sounds like a full-size headphone
  • A specially developed Dual Chamber Absorber system prevents frequency crowding to reveal subtle details buried in your music

Final Words on Our Sennheiser IE800 Review

The truth is, we absolutely adored, and continue to adore the IE800’s. They are a game-changing set of headphones that’ll make you realize, almost as soon as you plug them in and start using them, that there is far more to music than you ever dared dream there could possibly be.

And if we thought that they were well within the financial means of every audiophile, we’d question the wisdom of anyone who ever thought about using another pair of headphones.

But as it stands, and given their price tag, unless you have a sky-high leisure budget and are, just like Sennheiser, fully committed to audio excellence, you should think very carefully about investing in a pair and in doing so, willingly sacrificing your pocketbook on the altar of musical freedom.

Last update on 2023-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API