Long ago, I bought the first “expensive” earphones I ever owned, and they were called the Sennheiser HD1 or Momentum. Little did I know that this event would turn me into the sick little audiophile I am today. Warm, rich, perfectly balanced goodness with an impressive amount of detail, made the $100 HD1 the best earphones I’d ever tried for the price. Now, listening to the IE 800 S years later, I’m melted by the similar feel, yet turbo boosted quality. But let’s not turn Noble Audio into chopped liver. Few brands with this level of “trendiness” produce buds that are as well balanced as models like the Django and Kaiser Encore. Indeed, besides price, great balance is the major commonality between these two brands, making them both extremely versatile in terms of genre. But which sound signature suits your personality and listening style? Let’s find out in this Sennheiser IE 800 S vs Noble Audio Django Review.
Sennheiser IE 800 S vs Noble Audio Django Review.
IN the BOX
How much time do you want to spend putting in your earbuds? If you have little patience for fuss and you’re not used to an over-ear memory wire, then the IE 800 S is probably the best earphone you can get for the price. Like the Django, almost every other brand in this price range uses an over-ear wire. That being said, once you get used to popping in the over-ear wire design, it becomes fast and easy. Surprisingly, the IE 800 S offers an equal amount, if not more, sound isolation than the Django. Another reason that some may opt for the IE 800 S is the in-ear comfort. Unlike many in-ear headphones, the IE 800 S don’t reach very far into your ear canal, leaving you some breathing space. The Django, on the other hand, requires a deeper fit, which may prove more fatiguing after extended wear. At the end of the day, if you’re a minimalist, you’ll much prefer the simplicity of the IE 800 S.
The IE 800 S comes with a bunch of treats inside the box. If you want to upgrade your sound, you can swap out your cable for a balanced 2.5mm or 4.4mm connection. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Get something like the FiiO Q5, with a balanced input and max out your sound to geeky audiophile level. The only problem with the IE 800 S is that the earbuds themselves are not detachable. Rather, the setup is Y-shaped, where the main cable connects to a lower cable. This means, that if you ever need to replace your cable, it will probably have to come from Sennheiser.
The Django, on the other hand, has a detachable MMCX cable, which is a universal connection and replaceable through several different companies. So, you could upgrade your Django to a balanced cable if you’re willing to throw down a little extra cash.
The IE 800 S sports a single 7mm driver on each ear, while the Django boasts 6 drivers. Remember kids, more drivers don’t always mean better sound. As for the rest of the specs, it’s hard to compare these two earphones since Noble Audio has frequency performance anxiety and won’t reveal its technical details. All we know is that the Django is a brighter headphone than the IE 800 S, which has a frequency range of 5 – 46,500 Hz. But specs can be misleading, so let’s talk sound.
Overall Impressions: The warmth and detail of the IE 800 S vs the speed and pop of the Django.
The Django delivers a clean a very tight bass with decent oomf. But the IE 800 S offers much richer and deeper lows, which produce a very meaty and smooth sound. For some conservative audiophiles, it might even sound blasphemous. But I dig it. So, while both earphones work great for pop, the IE 800 S is the more versatile choice, bringing fullness to rock songs and some sub frequencies to hip-hop. What seems to set the Django apart from the pack is the fast transient response; pop sounds super snappy and slack free. But in terms of clarity and detail, the IE 800 S displays a more natural sound. Listening to some jazz, the double bass showed a more realistic timbre.
Both earphones produce a present and very well-balanced midrange. But again, if you’re looking for the most full bodied sound, the IE 800 S is the way to go. One of the reasons for this is that the lower mids are more present on the IE 800 S than they are on the Django. Essentially, you’re hearing a larger spectrum of sound compared to the more vocal-forward Django. Another big difference is the separation. Listening to acoustic guitars, the IE 800 S had far superior definition, making acoustic guitars on the Django sound comparatively muddy in this frequency range, especially in the low-mids. Otherwise, both earphones show a similar amount detail, with the Django producing a brighter profile of acoustic instruments.
Listening to strings in this range, the IE 800 S displayed more detail and resolve, while the Django conveyed a smoother, brighter and more majestic sound. But once it got into the highest registers, the IE 800 S showed more mellow peaks, making these frequencies gentler on the ear and less fatiguing as a result. But I do want to repeat how great the Django sounds when listening to pop; high frequency percussion instruments lent a lively crispness to the mix.
The Django produced a discernibly more spacious soundstage. And while the IE 800 S showed a little more depth, both headphones conveyed a similar amount of dimension and accuracy with respect instrument placement.
Both headphones offer serious skill and versatility. If you mainly listen to pop, you might prefer the brighter, speedy-Gonzalesness of the Django. But if you listen to a lot of rock and you like a massive chorus, the IE 800 S will give your a warmer, juicier time. The IE 800 S might also be the preferable earphone if you listen to a lot of detail-heavy acoustic instruments, or to genres like jazz and classical. Finally, if you factor in the expense of a balanced cable, perhaps Sennheiser gives you a better bang for your buck.
You can find these IEMs for the best price at:
Audio 46: Sennheiser IE 800 S (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
Audio 46: Noble Audio Django (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
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