It’s a true showdown, Sennheiser ie800 vs ie800s. If you are scratching your head over which dynamic in-ear monitors (IEMs) you’re getting next. Trust me when I tell you that many people are too!

Sound Engineering gurus included. The choice of selecting the perfect IEMs is no easy task. Given the latest and ever continuous innovation between products in the range. In-Ear-Monitors are earphones or earbuds, albeit costly and powerful ones. They offer clear & diverse benefits to sound professionals, musicians and audiophiles.

Elements such as sound clarity, noise reduction and ear fit are often a top priority to the users of IEMs. Receiving a pure, direct and crisp version of the sound playing is crucial. Especially for individuals with higher sound requirements and, of course, a higher budget.

Sennheiser’s IE 800 and IE 800 S are two such IEMS. They are growing in popularity amongst consumers. That is because they match the high standards set by professionals worldwide. From the same manufacturer, these IEMs are almost siblings. Yet, they do have some distinct differences which we will explore together below.

IE 800

The IE 800 from Sennheiser is the cheaper sibling compared to the IE 800 S. It does not fall far short of its pricier sibling. With its modern, sleek 7mm transducer design; state-of-the-art dampened two chamber absorbers (D2CA), scratch-resistant ceramic housing and efficient, oval-shaped ear adaptors that fit and sit comfortably in the ear. 

IE 800 Audiophile Ear Canal Headphones

These are very powerful and professional earbuds that offer distortion-free sound even at high sound pressure levels. They are durably wired and come in an elegant shiny black coating allowing you to enjoy your music in style. For the cost of these earphones, they are expected to last you reliably long, thereby saving you the time and cost of purchasing another pair. If you hate earphones that break easily, then this might be an option for you.   

IE 800 S

The more expensive sibling between these two models is the Sennheiser IE 800 S for a good reason. It comes with the same standard 7-mm transducers and dual-chamber absorber (D2CA) as the IE 800 however it stands tall with the other features. 

Sennheiser IE 800 S In-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones

These handcrafted wired earbuds come with Extra Wide Band drivers that move to perfect and surpass the IE 800 in providing pristine sound quality even with high sound pressure. They fit and sit like a glove in the consumer’s ear because of the use of the fantastic Comply™ foam ear tips that make use of memory foam to shape themselves to your unique ear shape. 

It has a very durable scratch resistant ceramic housing if you are concerned about wear and tear and is finished off with a desirable matt black finish for style and authority. 

IE800 vs IE 800S

Features to compare

FeatureIE 800IE 800S
ManufacturerSennheiser Sennheiser
Purpose of IEMLive Performances & Sound EngineeringLive Performances & Sound Engineering
Ear Fit Oval–ear-shaped adaptorsComply with ™ Memory foam (Custom)
Frequency Response8 to 41,000 Hz5 to 46,500 Hz
Impedance16 Ohms16 Ohms
Transducers7-mm7-mm
Chamber AbsorbersD2CAD2CA

Ear-Fit Comfortability

Looking at the ear fit and overall comfortability the two pairs of IEMs provide they have separate and distinct advantages. The IE 800 comes with generic oval-ear-shaped adaptors that comfortably fit into most ears. 

They are therefore well purposed for use sitting down in the studio or with light movement because they fit well and are secure. The IE 800 S, however, is equipped with Comply™ Memory foam adaptors that shape themselves into the shape of the user’s ear for a more robust and more stable fit than the generic oval-ear-adaptors. 

These form a much better connection with your ears and are unlikely to fall out no matter how rigorous an activity being undertaken by a person is. This benefit of the IE 800 S means they are a good option for consumers looking to do live performances.  

Sound Experience

The sound experience of the two models is a significant factor in the minds of potential consumers. The IE 800 comes with the ultra-modern and efficient two chamber absorbers (D2CA) that on their own provide stunning audio feedback to the user of the IEM much higher than industry counterparts.

However, the IE 800 S on top of that comes with Extra Wide Band drivers that allow for perfect quality sound even in high-pressure environments such as a live performance where there is a large amount of outside interference. 

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the IE 800 comes with a standard 3.5mm jack which is nothing to write home about but gets the job done. The IE 800 S, however, comes with a whopping three jacks including a 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm. These allow for more excellent connectivity no matter the device you have increasing comfortability. If you intend to connect these IEMs to different devices with different jack requirements, this is the safer option.

Conclusion

From a bird’s eye view, these two products are the same, but at eye level, the distinctions between them are easy to see.

The IE 800 is a high-quality IEM that is useful in quiet and stable environments. If you are a sound engineer sitting in the studio, this is a good option. It will not leave you hanging when it comes to what you get from it. It is a simple and safe option that comes with a standard 3.5mm jack to the plugin.

The IE 800 S is also a very high-quality IEM. It can withstand louder and aggressive environments without compromising on quality and comfort. If you are a live performer who needs to be singing and dancing in front of thousands of fans. This is something to consider.

The security of the earbud not falling out. Their high-quality sound provided even with background noise is well worth it for live performers. It also comes with three different size jacks, so you are prepared to perform on any device worldwide. If you have fans to impress on stage and some extra legroom in your budget, then I would recommend this product.

Rob is a musician and audiophile at heart. He plays 5 instruments. Besides music, Rob enjoys a good whiskey and the outdoors.
Robert S. Thompson
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