Future Sonics, Monster and Sennheiser In-Ear Monitors Review

Aug 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

CHECKING YOUR MIX ON IN-EAR MONITORS

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The Sennheiser IE8s include adjustable LF on each earpiece, while the Monsters come with 20 possible ear tips.

The Sennheiser IE8s include adjustable LF on each earpiece, while the Monsters come with 20 possible ear tips.

SENNHEISER IE 8 PREMIUM AUDIOPHILE IN-EAR NOISE-ISOLATING HEADPHONES
The Sennheiser IE 8s ($399.95) ship in a box-within-a-box, the smaller of which is meant for travel. It holds the IEMs, three silicone ear tips (small, medium, and large), ear hooks, a cleaning/tweaking tool (more later) and a dehumidifier section that holds replaceable salt pads assuring optimal humidity during storage. There is a slick sliding cover that protects all these bits and keeps everything where it should be, even when tossed in a backpack or suitcase.

The IE 8s offer a unique low-frequency adjustment on each earpiece, which can be altered with the supplied tweaking tool. Even with this feature set at its lowest, the overall balance is a bit bottom heavy, which is not so bad considering the universal fit may not always be spot-on. In other words, the low end would suffer less if you didn’t get the fit quite right. Nonetheless, I found that keeping it all the way off gave me the closest experience I expected from my mixes—all the way up was way too hyped for my taste.

The IE 8s were the loudest tested here and offered the most robust low end via its bass adjustment. Cable handling was as expected from an IEM and the fit was excellent despite offering fewer ear tips than the closest competitor reviewed here. Overall, the IE 8s offered a great listening experience and appear to be well worth the money.

In perspective, it’s a close call between the Turbine Pros and the IE 8s; each merits a close listen to hear, fit and feel these products considering their $100 price difference.


Kevin Becka is Mix’s technical editor.






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