Sennheiser’s latest audiophile earphones in the IE range, the IE 80 and IE 60, are small ear-canal units that are easy to dismiss as the regular stuff. But plug them on and you will realise they are different. They are the only earphones around with sound-tuning functions, letting you choose within a wide range or frequencies to maximise your listening pleasure.
We tested the IE 80, which is the high-end model in the range. The design of this model is very different from other earphones in the market. The metallic earpieces have a rhombus shape and it is a bit difficult at first to ascertain which piece goes in which ear. Once you get over this detail, you realise that the design is very comfortable and after a while you don’t feel the earphones there.
The sound tuning here is basically a bass dial behind the two ear pieces which can be changed with a small plastic tool in the kit. As bass is a very subjective thing it is best to find the level that suits you. We enjoyed the lower end more than the top scale which seemed for suited for heavy metal. We tried classical, jazz and pop, always coming back satisfied.
The sound reproduction, with or without the bass adjustment, is top notch. You will never need to move the volume beyond the ideal 60 per cent and even at this level the lower notes and vocals are pronounced and clear. Being an in-ear model, the IE 80 completely blocks all external sounds, letting you enjoy your music in peace. Plus, even at high volumes the ear phones don’t emit noise externally.
On the flip side, your quest for perfect music quality has a high price to pay. The IE 80 costs 24,990, but
` comes with a metallic holding case, multiple earbuds and a plastic tool to adjust the bass dial. BAG IT OR JUNK IT?
Best sound you will hear in an in-ear headphone.