Sennheiser IE 8i review

There's much to recommend these over-ear cans, but at the money we'd want a better tonal balance Tested at £260

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Enjoyable enough, but they need to be better balanced tonally


  • +

    Secure and comfortable, lots of detail, enjoyable sound


  • -

    Cloying bass, iffy tonal balance

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We were hugely impressed with the standard IE 8 earphones when we first tested them a year or so ago.

And as you’d expect, this new ‘i’ version is the same thing but with Sennheiser’s new mic/three-button control unit.

That means that the enclosures (though fairly chunky) are light, fitting comfortably and securely thanks in part to the wrap-over-ear design.

It also means that each earphone has a switch for tuning bass, which you turn with a dedicated tool.

As before, we’d recommend the lowest setting, but with the IE 8is, that still leaves you with a low-end that’s a bit overbearing – and because it’s also a bit soft, it marginally slows the otherwise punchy midrange and treble.

Don’t get us wrong, this is still an impressive, enjoyable performance with lots of detail; it’s just that for £260 we expect better tonal balance.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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