Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphones review – putting audio quality first

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  • VERDICT

The Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphones deliver a stunning audio experience that are step above the popular wire-free category of earphones. For those who don’t want to compromise on audio quality and want to enjoy that quality anywhere, the Sennheiser IE 300 is the right solution.

When you see the Sennheiser logo on a pair of headphones and earphones you know you’re in for a tremendous listening experience and the new IE 300 in-ear headphone deliver just that.

The Sennheiser IE 300 are cabled earphones and are aimed at the passionate audiophile who is interested more on high fidelity sound than wireless convenience.

The reason they have cables isn’t to make them more affordable (they’re not – they cost $479.95) but to deliver superior audio (they do!).

It’s for the user who listens to every note of the music rather than just having it in the background for their commute or to provide the soundtrack to their gym session.

The IE 300 in-ear headphones allows listeners to take the high-end listening experience anywhere.

And not being wireless Bluetooth earphones means Sennheiser didn’t have to make any compromises with the sound delivery.

On the design side, the IE 300 in-ear headphones have angled buds so they fit in comfortably in your ear.

They create a nice seal for some passive noise cancelation.

Not having active noise cancellation means there is no need to include microphones or a battery – and that leaves more room for a bigger transducer and better sound.

Each of the buds are able swivel for added flexibility. You can actually detach the earbuds from the cable – they are attached via a recessed 4.8mm gold plated socket with an MMXC connector.

Sennheiser are also offering balanced replacement cables with 2.5mm and 4.4mm connectors.

These will be sold as optional accessories so users can use the IE 300 in-ear headphones with other balanced output devices which are popular with audiophiles.

The issue with listening to music on your smartphone is that most of the flagship and mid-tier models don’t even have a headphone jack anymore.

We listened to music on the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a Lightning to 3.5mm adaptor and the quality was still there.

But there are plenty of other sources that have headphone jack. And it’s a good chance the person who will buy the Sennheiser IS 300 in-ear headphones will have these sources.

Wireless audio are dirty words to some of these customers as well.

To them a cable on the end of a pair of earphones or headphones is as reassuring as a security blanket.

The earbuds are on the end of a section of thicker cable which hook over your ears and take the weight of the earbuds (not that they weigh much) so there is less pressure on your ear canal.

And to show you how serious Sennheiser is about your comfort, they’ve also included six extra pairs of silicon ear tips along with the pair that are already on the in-ear headphones when you take them out of the box.

The IE 300 have a refined version of the company’s widely-acclaimed 7mm Extra Wide Band (XWB) transducer onboard which have manufactured in Sennheiser’s German headquarters.

And with that they bring an unmistakable and balanced sound which provides faithful accuracy.

Also under the hood is an optimised membrane foil that minimises resonances and distortions.

There’s even a transducer back volume whose sole purpose is to minimise reflection within the housing and a resonator chamber that removes masking resonances in the ear canal so you hear a more refined and detailed treble.

With a frequency response of 6Hz to 20Khz, the IE 300 have got the higher frequencies covered like a tarpaulin and that delivers vocals like they’re being whispered directly into your ears.

In a word, the audio quality of the IE 300 is brilliant.

We listened to a few sources – a CD player, our smartphone and even an iPod that’s packed with a lot of our favourite music.

The first thing we noticed with the audio was that it sounded more fleshed out and had a lot more power and volume.

The music was coming down a cable, remember? A cable reinforced with para-aramid so it can be bent and wrapped thousands of times.

At the highest volume, the IE 300 in-ear headphones are beautifully loud. Perhaps too loud for most people but even at full volume there was not even a hint of distortion.

That volume was not for us – we were pretty happy at about 80 per cent volume.

We could still hear the remarkable clarity, the nuances of the music whether it’s heavy metal, classical music or a live concert.

The bottom line is the Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphones are designed to do just one thing – deliver high quality audio for the listener.

They don’t even have a microphone because answering calls through your phone with the IE 300 is not in the job description.

They’re also not water resistant with an IP rating so don’t even think about taking them to the gym or on a run.

Another thing users don’t have to worry about is charging a battery – because there isn’t one.

What you do get is a high quality carry case so you can store the earphones along with any of the additional cables available for the IE 300.

These aren’t for everyone and we’d expect most customers to go for wire-free earphones which offer both convenience, comfort and quality.

If you see cables as a backward step and something that will just get in your way then you need to look elsewhere.

But for an audiophile who puts quality first, having a cable is not seen as an inconvenience but as a way of reaching their objective of hearing higher quality audio.

And that’s exactly what the IE 300 deliver.

The Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphones will be available in March 2021 and will be priced at $479.95.

VERDICT

The Sennheiser IE 300 in-ear headphones deliver a stunning audio experience that are step above the popular wire-free category of earphones. For those who don’t want to compromise on audio quality and want to enjoy that quality anywhere, the Sennheiser IE 300 is the right solution.

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