When comparing Sennheiser IE 800 vs Sennheiser IE80, the Slant community recommends Sennheiser IE 800 for most people. In the question“What are the best rugged and durable earbuds & IEMs that last?” Sennheiser IE 800 is ranked 6th while Sennheiser IE80 is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Sennheiser IE 800 is:
Instead of using metal or plastic in the construction of the earpieces, Sennheiser has used a special ceramic material on the IE 800 which is scratch resistant. This helps to keep the weight of the in-ears down, yet can still withstand use and abuse pretty well. The cable on the other hand is very high quality and covered with Kevlar reinforcement for added durability.
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Pro Good durability with scratch resistance
Instead of using metal or plastic in the construction of the earpieces, Sennheiser has used a special ceramic material on the IE 800 which is scratch resistant. This helps to keep the weight of the in-ears down, yet can still withstand use and abuse pretty well.
The cable on the other hand is very high quality and covered with Kevlar reinforcement for added durability.
Pro Oxygen-free, kevlar-reinforced copper cable
Wrapped and sealed in an oxygen-free environment, these cables are immune to corrosion so long as their tough kevlar shielding remains intact.
Pro Good noise isolation
The IE 800s allow some ambient sound to pass, but not enough to be bothersome.
Pro Ear tips provide a good seal
The ear tips are a step up from the common silicone ear tips on the market today. The part that comes into contact with your ear is made out of soft, flexible, high quality silicone. The inside canal of the ear tips however is made out of a firmer plastic material, with a metal mesh in the middle.
This combination allows the ear tips to create a very good seal when worn, reducing sound leakage/bleed while also ensuring optimal sound delivery.
Pro No bass distortion at any volume
Precisely engineered pressure vents behind a single dynamic driver leave no opportunity for distortion to occur.
Pro Fantastic listening experience
Sennheiser is known for audiophile gear, and these earphones qualify. Their frequency response, dynamic range, and clarity of definition do justice to their price tag.
Pro Built to last you a long time
IE80 earbuds use high-quality kevlar-reinforced cables with a thick rubber strain relief and the earpiece shells have brushed metal plating. A strong connector holds detachable cables in place. Additional strain reliefis added by the L-shaped plug. These earphones are built to last and if there are any issues with them, there's a 2 year warranty.
Pro Audiophile-grade sound quality
The main reason to get the IE80 is the excellent soundstage that you won't get with cheaper earbuds. The soundstage is wide and balanced with instruments clearly separated, allowing you to easily identify their position. It creates a very immersive sound.
The sound signature is great overall with clarity across all ranges. Highs are loud and clear without sibilance. Mids are rich. The bass is slightly emphasized to add more dynamics to the sound, though it does bleed slightly into the midrange. Also, if you wish to make the bass really powerful you have the ability to turn it up even more with a dial on the side of the buds.
Pro Comfortable for extended periods of time
IE80 earbuds aren't fatiguing and stay in your ear confidently. While they're designed to be worn over-ear, under-ear cable routing works as well. They're also low profile enough that you can lie on your side with them.
Pro Solid noise isolation
Once you pick the eartips that best fit you, the isolation is solid overall with double flange eartips offering the best isolation followed by other foam eartips and then silicon eartips.
Pro If something happens to the cable, you can replace it rather than buy a new pair
Replacement cables are around $20.
Con Y-split connection can pull down the earpieces
The detachable cable after the Y-Split cable adds a bit of weight to the earpieces. This can pull them down and cause them to dislodge at times.
Con Does not come with an in-line microphone/remote
While not really a CON, this omission can make or break your purchase decision for these headphones. Sennheiser offers an add-on cable which features the mic and remote, but is quite expensive.
Con Headphone cable is not completely removable
While the headphone cable can be attached/detached via a 2.5mm connection from the Y-split down, the cable cannot be removed from the earpieces themselves. This can make replacing the fixed cables very difficult and potentially expensive.
Con Replacement cables are expensive as well
If you need to replace the cables, they retail for about $20.
Con Rather expensive
While these are among the cheapest audiophile-grade earphones, they're still priced at $250. It's a serious investment. And for many, just not worth it.