When you ask an audiophile about the best in-ear monitors, you will always get a list of the usual suspects – the Shure SE215s for those on a budget, Ultimate Ears 900s for those who can spend a bit more and Sennheiser’s IE 80s for those who love music to the point of benevolent religiosity.
Launched in 2012, the IE 80 in-ear monitors are the spiritual successors to the popular IE 8, which was widely regarded as Sennheiser’s best pair for a long time. Contained in a chassis of plastic and brushed metal are a dynamic speaker systems with powerful neodymium magnets.
Sennheiser encourages IE 80 users to tinker with their personal pairs. The two screws found on the in-ear monitors control the level of bass, which you can turn clockwise or anti-clockwise to alter the bass response.
Over the years, the IE 80s have become a classic, which is probably why Sennheiser decided to revisit this pair when it was working on a special collaboration with French DJ-producer Martin Solveig.
Why Solveig? The legend on the decks is quite the fan of Sennheiser. “I do very few collaborations with brands, but I’m very comfortable working with Sennheiser – partly as I’ve used their HD 25 headphones all my life when DJing, but also because they have committed to support artists in exciting ways and becoming a natural part of the creative process, which I feel is incredibly important.” As part of the collaboration, Solveig also produced ‘Places’ alongside Norwegian vocalist singer Ina Wroldsen.
Oliver Berger, Head of Global Design Management at Sennheiser, shares the thought process. “We wanted to create something unique and by working with Martin Solveig we have re-imagined one of our classics, enhancing its premium design and exceptional sound with a new look that reflects the vitality of street art and club culture.” Check out the collaboration video above.
The result is the IE 80 Limited Edition, created specially by Solveig and French graffiti artist Noé Two. While the innards haven’t been changed – the finely engineered audio is still as lush and gorgeous as ever – the exterior has been given a colourful makeover. Noé Two was given the brief to reflect the spirit of contemporary music and street culture in an area that measures no bigger than a fingernail, and this is what he came up with.
The IE 80 Limited Edition (above) is not available for sale. In fact the only way you can own one is to get lucky. Very lucky. In collaboration with Sennheiser, we are giving away a pair of IE 80 Limited Edition in-ear monitors to one reader. And with Christmas around the corner, the best gift you can give yourself is the present of your favourite tracks on a pair of these cans.
Join the Sennheiser x AUGUSTMAN IE 80 Limited Edition giveaway here.