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Sennheiser IE80S Earphones Review


As an experienced audio consumer and a big fan of Sennheiser products, I was eager to give the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones a go. I’ve owned multiple mid to high-end products from Sennheiser and I’ve always had a great appreciation for their unique sound signature. However, it’s important to note that these in-ear monitors (IEMs) are not without their fair share of controversy.

Build Quality & Comfort

Before talking about the sound, let’s talk about their physical attributes. The build quality of the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones is pretty decent, with an ergonomic, comfortable fit. They come with flexible wires that won’t retain a ‘learned’ position over time from incidental bending, which is impressive. Moreover, they accompany a variety of silicone and foam tips to accommodate different sizes and preferences, and the ear guides included are pretty non-essential. Although the material used is plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap or fragile.

What’s more, they come well-packaged in a nice case, making them easy to store and carry. However, the pre-installed silicone tip can be a little tricky and it took me a while to figure out how to get them into my ears comfortably.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones can be a bit of a mixed bag. They offer an amazing soundstage, deep bass, clear vocals, and treble that is never harsh. These are ideal for bass lovers, with a non-fatiguing, warm Sennheiser sound signature. The sound detail and texture are commendable on bass-heavy tracks. But when compared to similarly priced IEMs with armature drivers like the Westone W40, the single dynamic driver on the IE80S can lack detail in the mid and treble.

One feature that differentiates these earphones is the bass adjustment capability. However, this doesn’t seem to work well as tweaking leads to the earphones sounding muffled and bloated. Furthermore, certain users might find the mids to be a little too laid back.

Unfortunately, listening to these earphones exclusively on a cell phone might lead to disappointment, as the sound quality can seem flat with poor bass. To truly appreciate the quality of IE80S, a portable headphone amplifier or a good receiver is recommended. It opens up the sound and lets the details shine through, giving you a much better audio experience than with just a phone.

The Downside

Despite the positives, my review wouldn’t be complete without noting some downsides of the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones. When it comes to isolation, these earphones may not perform well. Some users have also reported issues with the treble sounding like noise and the sound feeling like mono. Overall, for the price range, they fall short in sound quality and might not be worth the extravagance for some users.

Sennheiser IE 80 S (1)

The Verdict

Meanwhile, the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones stereo separation offers an improvement over the older IE80 version, which could justify the purchase for some. However, for the cost, there is room for Sennheiser to improve, especially when it comes to the sound quality—particularly for those who tend to compare it with their wired counterparts or other brand’s wireless earbuds.

Performance and Source Dependence

The Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones shine when more power is supplied to them. When I plugged them into my iPhone 7 Plus, they did fine but didn’t quite meet the high bar I had set for them. They only reached their full potential after being complemented by an amp; opening up the sound and siphoning through a detail, that was veiled before. It’s important to note though, that these IEMs do require a good source, such as a portable DAC/Amp, a DAP, or even a phone like the LG V series, to fully exploit their prowess. Their source-dependent nature might not be for everyone but if you have the capability and resources to power these, you’ll undoubtedly be rewarded handsomely with a serious, high-quality sound.

Pros and Cons


  • Great soundstage
  • Deep, detailed bass
  • Flexible wires
  • Comfortable fit
  • Durable build
  • Nice packaging


  • A bit pricey
  • Subpar isolation
  • Sound quality can be disappointing with just a cell phone
  • Mids can be too laid back
  • Bass adjustment can lead to muffled sound


In conclusion, I believe the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones are truly great IEMs, delivering an incredible clarity of sound, a surprising amount of bass, and amazing imaging. However, I would recommend them only if you’re planning to run them off a phone like the LG V series or have a portable DAC/Amp. They might not be for everyone, but their price and their particular sound signature might not suit all. But if you are looking for serious punch and are willing to power these, the Sennheiser IE 80 S Earphones are well worth the price tag and the extra effort!

Bass Response
The bass on the Sennheiser IE 80 S is appreciated by some users as deep and detailed. However, others have found it to be underwhelming or bloated, especially with certain bass adjustments. The quality also seems dependent on the source of the audio, with better performance noticed with quality audio equipment.
Treble Detail
The treble on the Sennheiser IE 80 S provides a level of crispness appreciated by some users. However, other reviews indicate that the treble can be harsh or lack clarity, with perceived noise on high frequency sounds.
Midrange Clarity
Some users found the midrange frequencies to be clear and natural, while others were disappointed, describing the mids as too laid back or lacking detail. The quality of the midrange seems to be distinctly noticeable when compared to other similarly priced products.
Sound Quality
The Sennheiser IE 80 S provides a clarity of sound that suits a variety of music genres. However, some reviews indicate that the sound may be perceived as muffled issue or even mono-like, depending on the ear tips used and bass adjustments made. These earphones appear to truly shine when paired with a quality audio source or amplifier.
Comfort & Fit
The Sennheiser IE 80 S is generally comfortable for extended use, with its design and fit pleasing most users. However, some found the fit to be awkward at first, and the ear tips can significantly affect the comfort level.
Build Quality & Durability
The build quality of the Sennheiser IE 80 S seems to be one of its strengths. Most reviewers found the construction to be durable and of good quality, although there were some concerns about the use of plastic materials.
Soundstage Imaging
Reviewers appreciated the soundstage and imaging, noting that it delivers a spacious and immersive sound field. However, the quality seems to be highly dependent on the audio source and accompanying equipment.
Noise Isolation
The noise isolation of Sennheiser IE 80 S appears to be mediocre. Several users mentioned its inability to effectively block out external noise, which may hamper its performance in louder environments.
Value for Money
The value for money varies greatly among users. Some view these earphones as a worthy investment, while others believe they are overpriced, especially considering some perceived issues with sound quality and noise isolation.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The Sennheiser IE 80 S presents a decent value for audiophiles, particularly those seeking a spacious soundstage and solid build quality. These earphones deliver distinct bass and treble frequencies, although these can be hit-or-miss depending on individual preferences and audio choices. The earphones require some adjustment for optimal fit and use, and the mid frequencies may feel somewhat lacking, particularly when compared with other similarly priced devices. The noise isolation feature leaves much to be desired, which can be problematic in noisier environments. While some users laud the quality and overall performance, others believe that the earphones do not provide sufficient returns on the investment, especially given that the full potential of these earphones can only be realized when paired with higher-quality audio sources and amplifiers.