Review of the Sennheiser IE 300 wired earphones
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The Review of the Sennheiser IE 300 wired earphones
With no modern features and no compromises, the Sennheiser IE 300 earphones let music purists focus on one thing: timeless sound.
Sennheiser IE 300 Headphones on a Reflective Mixer The Sennheiser IE 300 Headphones let you, well, reflect on your music. Roberto Baldwin
The arrival of the iPhone changed personal audio forever. Bare wires that once ran between devices and the speakers near your ears all grew into an ugly bulge filled with controls for navigating audio, answering phone calls and adjust the volume. Fiddling with our shirts became the norm; otherwise we would be forced to go to extremes and reach into our pockets to perform simple tasks. Eliminating the distraction of traditional wired earbuds, the Sennheiser IE 300 earphones simply deliver clean, balanced sound that should delight the audiophile on the go. The IE 300s produce deep, rich lows to clear highs, while their in-ear nature helps eliminate the noise from your environment without any circuitry. Just be prepared to “pay the price” of pulling out your smartphone or audio player for calls or controls.
Sennheiser IE 300 on a red slipmat A new spin on the classics The Sennheiser IE 300 wants to be the only thing between you and your favorite songs. Roberto Baldwin
What is the Sennheiser IE 300? The Sennheiser IE 300 are mid-tier high-fidelity earphones from a company with a well-deserved reputation for designing high-quality microphones, speakers (such as the AMBEO soundbar) and headphones for both mixing and enjoyment. The equipment of the German company can be found on stages, in studios and in the homes and audiophile backpacks. Sennheiser used live-performance in-ear monitoring systems when designing the IE 300, so, like the Sennheiser IE 100 Pros, the earphones are light, unobtrusive and comfortable to wear whether running from place to place or sitting at work, during transport, and so on.
These earphones provide isolation by inserting deeper into your ear canal than typical earbuds, such as the Apple AirPod Pros. For those unaccustomed to this level of ear penetration, it is important to test a pair before purchasing as some people experience balance issues. The tight fit was welcome on multiple flights and cut out much of the jet engine roar, delivering distortion-free music that didn’t require turning the volume all the way up up-a typical problem in noisy environments when using earbuds that do not have active noise cancellation, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless earbuds.
The Sennheiser IE 300 Design Launched at the same time as the flagship Sennheiser IE 900, the IE 300 shares its design language with its much more expensive sibling. Like the similarly sized aluminum IE 900, the compact IE 300 earphones come in one color: silver dotted black, the model number is etched into the inside of the left one with the Sennheiser “S” on the outside of both. Each 4g plastic housing contains multiple chambers to control the airflow from a single pea-sized 7mm Extra Wide Band (XWB) transducer manufactured at the company’s German headquarters.
With three pairs of silicone ear tips (S/M/L), plus three pairs of foam, you can find the right fit for a complete seal (a must to get good bass response and eliminate distractions). The addition of adjustable memory wire hooks on top of the cable is welcome feature, especially if earbuds tend to fall out of your ears. The cable these hooks come on is a detachable 3.3-foot unbalanced cable that connects to the earbuds via gold-plated Fidelity + MMCX connectors. On the other hand, a 3.5mm connector fits the standard 1/8-inch headphone jack on any smartphone, tablet, audio device or interface. The included cable does have one problem: it’s not always long enough to use with a computer at a desk. It’s a nice length for a mobile device output, but if you listen to music from your desktop or laptop, the lack of slack is worrisome, and using an extra cable or moving the hardware closer is less than an ideal solution. There’s also that “disadvantage” of the cable without any sort of in-line controls, which can be a deal breaker for some smartphone users.
A small zippered pouch and cleaning tool complete the set. Paying nearly three bills for what feels like a very small package seems steep… until you hear how much music you’ve been missing out on paying less for the standard earbuds on the market.
Wire and earbuds When you hear the finest musical details, are you wired? So is the IE 300. Roberto Baldwin Setup Without Bluetooth, etc., the Sennheiser IE 300s are a simple plug-and-play affair. The hardest part of “set-upit was trial and error to determine which of the tips fits my ear best. A little red accent on the right earphones got me to put the right earphones in my ears for stereo as the artists intended.
However, I was curious if the Bluetooth module associated with the IE 100 Pro in-ear monitors would fit in the IE 300s, but unfortunately they didn’t. It seems that while both models use MMCX connectors, Sennheiser chose to build the IE 300 with recessed sockets (another similarity to the IE 900). While the company says this provides more consistency and durability for your wired connections, it’s a shame it costs you the versatility of all the modern conveniences. Especially since they are available with a set that is half sold. No, it’s the included cable, Sennheiser’s own 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced cables (sold separately), or a third-party cable manufacturer willing to make a custom (read expensive) solution.
Sound Quality With a $299.95 price tag, the Sennheiser IE 300s should prove their worth, especially for those dipping their toes into the audiophile world. And these earphones deliver a nicely balanced soundstage with a frequency range of 6 Hz – 20 kHz, which on the low end is even lower than what the average person can hear.
Now for those accustomed to the 40mm drivers of full-sized headphones tuned for sub-bass, the low-end response may feel like it could hit harder, but the expansion of the IE 300 means bass and 808 hits from LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” provide satisfying rattles and rumbles without drowning out the rest of the song. In the highs, the cymbal hits are clear and Elizabeth Fraser’s soprano styles of the Cocteau Twins sound great without being too sharp That may sound a bit U-shaped, but the earphones also fit the Sennheiser reputation for rich, full mids and generally will make those who spend happy as long as they’re okay without the thumping mainstream tuning of many headphones and earphones in recent years Delivered by a single dynamic driver per side, with no crossovers or other circuitry in the path, there is a sense of coherence across the spectrum.
The sound pressure level (SPL) of the earphones is a whopping 124 dB, which means they get loud. Sometimes too loud. I connected it to an iPad with the volume turned all the way up up and the onslaught of sound hurt my ears. It gives you a lot more volume space than most headphones and I found myself adjusting the volume while testing the earphones with different albums mastered at different audio levels – from The Violent Femmes’ notoriously quiet self-titled debut album to the latest Run the Jewels- album, “RTJ4”, which hits hard thanks to the latest recording technologies.
The Sennheiser IE 300 is a great listening partner for an eclectic playlist of bands like Tame Impala, Miles Davis, Willie Nelson and Daft Punk. Each artist’s songs felt fuller as I listened to them with the earphones. The timbre of Willie’s signature voice and the swirling guitar work of Tame Impala expressed nuances that can be buried on less competent equipment. Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” is an album you’ll be looking for for high-end gear and the first track, “Move”, features a full range of audio explosions that sounded great with the earphones. If you only listen to EDM and hip-hop bangers, you’d better put your money into a pair of headphones tailored for that kind of listening experience. But if you want to enjoy Daft Punk’s melodic electro-pop, you’ll appreciate how the IE 300’s bass maintains both its energy and balance with the rest of the instrumentation.
Even if you’re a fan of multiple music genres, the IE 300s build on Sennheiser’s legacy of audiophile headphones and offer up a warm, rich soundscape that reveals parts of songs you may not have heard before.
Sennheiser IE 300 in a man’s ear The IE 300 may be small, but it’s a big deal for audiophiles. Roberto Baldwin So, who should buy the Sennheiser IE 300? For fans of multiple music genres who want to step out up their mobile-audio setup, it’s easy to recommend the IE 300s, especially if you’ve had issues with how even the best earbuds fit. These Sennheiser earphones are comfortable, reduce potential hearing damage thanks to natural attenuation, reducing the urge to turn up the volume, and they reveal little musical nuggets in your favorite songs that you may have missed when using lower level earbuds. The price may be steep for those new to the audiophile world, but like the best Sennheiser headphones, the Sennheiser IE 300 is a solid audio investment for those who like eclectic playlists… in your pocket to skip touch. is a freelance automotive and tech writer from Northern California. His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Wired, Engadget, Autoblog, Gizmodo, Outside, and a few other places he can’t quite remember right now. He’s in too many bands right now and still waiting for an automaker to introduce a convertible EV.
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