Read the full Sennheiser IE8 In-Ear Headphones review

Sennheiser takes on the best of the rest with these single driver in-ear headphones and comes out looking pretty good. They're not our outright headphone of choice but they're certainly worth considering.

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January 15, 2009, 3:53 pm

"I was astonished to learn that Riyad and Hugo listen to their SE530s and SE420s at well over half volume on their iPhones whereas I can't tolerate higher than a quarter with my SE530s"

It's probably because they've damaged their hearing by listening to them so loud. ;oP These etymotic 'phones can generate insane sound pressures in the ear. Be careful, kids, tinnitus/premaure hearing loss is NOT fun.


January 15, 2009, 8:10 pm

Well, quite. They never listen to me, though.


January 15, 2009, 9:53 pm

It's because they can't hear you.


January 15, 2009, 10:19 pm

It's all starting to make sense now.

Matthew Bunton

January 16, 2009, 12:10 am

You know I am a fan of the site guys but do we really need a video review of a set of in ear phones?

I would much rather see reviews of the more expensive items such as Plasma or LCD Televisions. Maybe there is some technical reason for this.


January 16, 2009, 1:18 am

Wow, strange that someone would complain that we *have* done something.

I see your point and in truth it's something I'm aware of, which is why I'm working on getting some different products into the schedule.

However, expense is far from the key issue. We view video as a good way of showing you guys what we can't, or would find difficult to, show in a text review. Something like a TV is largely about how good its picture is and that's still not something that can be shown via video.

Watch this space, though.

Matthew Bunton

January 16, 2009, 3:19 am

Hi Ed that's great to hear.

I wasn't so much complaining as questioning the choice of product reviews.

I appreciate your points, no offence was intended.

Soren Korsgaard

January 16, 2009, 3:27 pm

Would be great if u guys at trustedreviews would review Westone 3 - which is supposed to be better than Shure SE530 if you are to believe the hype it has been getting in the headphone community..


January 19, 2009, 9:27 pm

I'm working on it, Soren. They're proving difficult people to get hold of, though.

Soren Korsgaard

January 22, 2009, 1:17 pm

ok Ed, sounds great! Good luck getting in touch with them.

mr dog

January 22, 2009, 2:11 pm

I really like the look of those over-the-ear hooks. My old E2cs finally cracked this winter; apparently it is a prety common problem and I had always thought it was a pretty ropey idea to have to keep bending a straight wire every time i wanted to put them on or take them off. Maybe with that holder the cable would have lasted a bit longer.

Adam 3

February 6, 2009, 3:57 pm

Having read your review and owning a pair of these, I saw an oversight in the testing. I think it maybe useful to know for anybody interested in purchasing a pair that the point of the IE-8s was missed in the Article. (However I think the cause was only a matter of taste in Music)

For people that listen to Digital music frequently these really are the badgers nadgers. For Breaks, House, Progressive or Drum and Bass give these babies a pang! Try feeding them with 320kbs mp3s, Wavs or basically as higher quality as you can get and these puppies come alive! Think Monitor Phones for production and your somewhere near it.

If you listen to any type of Digital Music and you add these in to the mix you end up with a Marriage made in Heaven.... The End.


February 16, 2009, 8:33 pm

True, these 'phones do have enormous amounts of bass, which makes them very suitable for anyone into DnB in its various guises. However, two things.

1. What do you think I was feeding these with? They simple don't have the detail of other phones. Period.

2. Being good at one type of music is not enough for us to recommend them. These aren't marketed as Digital Music production monitors and we haven't reviewed them as such. I looked at these 'phones ability with a variety of different genres of music (including a selection of dance music) and although I love the sound, it's certainly not a patch on the SE530s I used to own.


March 27, 2009, 8:51 pm

Is the problem of size vs quality mentioned in dynamic drivers still a problem in larger over-ear headphones?


June 6, 2009, 2:13 pm

What point in Shure's range shows a similar level of detail?


September 25, 2009, 1:10 pm

What is it with all the rave reviews of the Shure products? Especially the SE530's? Am I completely missing something or does this company give all reviewers free headphones? Being in the AV industry, we have just started carrying the SE530's. I have had a chance to do some serious listening. WTF? Where is the Bass? Yes, Bass! A little would be nice. There is NONE! And you want to talk about high's. Oh, don't worry, there is PLENTY of this to go around. The sound is so sharp and crisp, I feel like I could cut diamonds!!! Ear fatigue in 10 minutes. Oh yeah, considering these are absent of bass, go and play a rock recording that lacks deep bass and this will amplify the excessive highs to where I simply cannot listen to the song. Ed made a good comment about volume levels. Anything over 2 would probably blow out your ear drum do to the excessive highs.

It is so funny that Ed could not fully recommend the IE 8's, but with all the flaws of the SE530's, they still get a phenomenal review. Interesting?

1. If the IE 8's get a knock for too much bass, why do the SE530's not get a knock for NO bass?

2. If the IE 8's get a knock for lack of detail, why do the SE530's not get a knock for Highs that are clearly too bright and cause ear fatigue in a matter of minutes?

3. I am completely baffled as to the amount of positive reviews that the SE530's get. Isn't the BEST product supposed to do everything great? How can anybody say that the 530's do bass well.

I now have a theory about self proclaimed audiophiles. #1 - They are going DEAF and they need this over abundance of highs to balance out their problem. #2 - They are scared of Bass. Yes, scared. Good god people, have any of you guys ever went to night clubs on a Friday night? You know what gets the club rockin? Bass.

Can somebody PLEASE explain to me why ALL audiophiles hate bass? Please, somebody!!!

Oh yeah, ever wonder why they call Pop Music Pop? POPULAR people! On average, more people will take a liking to a POP song over the rest of the genres. How can this be a bad thing? God forbid you might listen to a song that makes your body want to move for fear of having the "Audiophiles (LOL)" frown upon you. Give me a break!

Now I realize that a self proclaimed "Audiophile" (man this title cracks me up) may rather spend a Friday night sitting back, wearing his red velvet jacket (Hugh Hefner style), with his favorite glass of wine, puffing on a pipe wondering why he is so lonely.


Your review is flawed because you are basing your results on your personal likes and not taking into account the different types of people that will be looking for a headphone based on THEIR music taste. How could anybody say that the SE530's sound better when listening to genres such as POP, DANCE, or RAP?

Simply put, the SE530's should get the nod for people who are looking for the last infinite piece of detail. This they do, and that is about it. The sound is not full & is overly bright.

The IE 8's plain and simply kick the crap out of the SE530's, and spit them out for people that crave deep bottom end in their music.

So, if you are into POPULAR music, you know, the kind on the radio, the kind that the majority of people in this world listen to, then the winner, hands down are the IE 8's.

However, if you are more into the articulation of music, and your taste in music would be considered not in the mainstream, then I would agree that the SE530's may be your better bet.

Is this fair?


September 25, 2009, 1:43 pm

Hi tmternes, I do agree with your points to a certain degree, these really do excel at pop music. However, we don't really see your general pop music loving public spending £180 on earphones. I literally don't know of anyone that would spend that sort of money that isn't a self confessed audiophile of some description. Besides which, if you just want a decent sounds with strong bass there are plenty of alternatives on the market.

As for the SE530s, it's a while since I've owned any (I lost mine weeks after this review and subsequently used these for six months until they died), so my memory is a bit rusty but overall I'd agree that these are incredibly bright earphones and there's possibly an argument for saying they're for people that have already lost half their hearing because playing them loud is the only way to get bass out of them. However, the key point here is that they can reproduce bass, it's just that they reproduce it to the level in the recording, if you feed them something bass heavy they will happily reproduce it. The IE8s, Monster Beats, and Teufel AC9050PH (that I use at work) take a different route, they boost the bass over and above what's in the recording giving you a fuller sound with any music. this is great for casual listening of rock/dance/metal etc. However, while classical is still listenable, the sound is definitely coloured and takes on a muffled feeling.

Ultimately it's about what you want from a set of headphones. Personally I've come to the conclusion that in-ear headphones just can't cut it - the SE530s to bright, the IE8s to boomy, I've yet to try the Westone but have heard mixed reports. If I want to listen to music 'properly' its a Hi-Fi or fullsize headphones, for portable listening I just want something that sounds decent and is practical. In this regard, something like the Klipsch Image would be my choice of the moment.


October 26, 2011, 8:51 pm

I am selling this one Brand New and Boxed for £99! Was gifted but never used, Anyone interested? Please contact, I accept PayPal!

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