Wallet-busting buds: Sennheiser IE 800s cost $1K

How much can you spend for high-end earphone tech? Sennheiser's top-end beauties challenge that question at CES.

Scott Stein/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Looking for bleeding-wallet-level headphone gear? The Sennheiser IE 800 earphones emerged at CES Unveiled, costing $999 and promising the best in-ear performance anywhere, period.

The IE 800s have been hanging around for much of 2012, but they're making a stronger push at this show. The extremely tiny buds have an absurd range of 5Hz to 46,000Hz. A dual-vented design is meant to reduce any unwanted distortion, and the overall sonic impact is meant to be extremely natural, with a slightly elevated bass level to counteract the noises of commuting.

Listening to them, they are impressively crisp. But $999 crisp? That's up to extreme audiophiles to decide. With a variety of ear tips, they were comfy in my ears. The IE 800s are being shown along with other over-ear Sennheiser headphones at CES 2013.

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