When comparing Sennheiser IE 800 vs Westone W80, the Slant community recommends Sennheiser IE 800 for most people. In the question“What are the best high-end earphones?” Sennheiser IE 800 is ranked 2nd while Westone W80 is ranked 3rd. 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 Produces a natural, accurate sound
The 8 drivers combine to produce a pretty flat and balanced sound. The bass is tight and controlled. Extension is deep yet is not bloated in any way. The mids are full and has a good warmth to it, so vocals are very clear without being too forward or overpowering. There is a lot of detail that can be heard from the highs, yet the frequencies are tuned just right to avoid harshness.
The accuracy makes these great not just for music enjoyment, but also as reference in-ears for mixing/monitoring.
Pro Good sound stage
While the sound stage is not the widest among the high-end options available, what's there is very musical and allows for clear and defined instrument separation.
Pro Multiple high quality cables are included
You get two sets of headphone cables. The stock cable is the standard Westone cable which provides great sound, along with the convenience of an in-line remote and microphone.
For an optimal music listening experience however, you can swap out to the premium ALO cable which helps to bring out the best sound from these headphones thanks to the premium materials used in its construction.
Pro A lot of accessories are included in the package
Included with the W80 is a large hard shell carrying case. a set of silicone ear tips in five sizes, a set of foam ear tips in five sizes, swappable faceplates in different colors and a cleaning tool.
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 The neutral sound may be boring
Audio accuracy is amazing, but it is possible that some may find the sound to be too flat and boring. If you prefer powerful and boomy bass or shimmer on the highs) then these may not be for you.