Hot off the (digital) CES floor comes the new and highly anticipated IE 300 earbuds from Sennheiser. Roughly a month out, and they have already run out of stock on the Sennheiser website and garnered significant critical acclaim.
The price point of $299 is also something that is catching people's attention, especially since the IE 300's are delivering such incredible sound. These buds are both designed and manufactured in Germany at Sennheiser's plant, ensuring outstanding machining and quality.
Sennheiser uses an Extra Wide Band 7mm driver in the buds, and more than twelve components make up the IE 300 individual speakers - and it delivers a very exciting and dynamic sound signature that makes your music come to life.
What's in the box?
The packaging from Sennheiser is always consistent, sometimes a little too much box/cardboard for the environment, but still presents a quality presentation.
• 1 Hard Case perfect for porting around your buds and keeping them untangled and dusty
• 1 Cleaning tool
• 6 Pairs of Tips to get the perfect fit
• Your buds and detachable cable
Design / Comfort
The buds themselves are relatively traditional looking, aside from some playful white speckles on the outside casing. The abundance of tip styles should allow most users to find the perfect fit and seel and provide hours of comfortable listening. The buds have a wrap-around wire, so they stay put in your ears when you might be exercising, commuting, etc.
What's probably new for many users at this price point is the detachable Fidelity+ MMCX cable typically found in more expensive earphones. Not to worry, the cables stay attached just fine, although they lack any mic or control mechanism for moving through your music.
If you don't like the cable, you can also swap it out with a more high-quality one, which some audiophile types might do. However, if you are a casual listener that just wants some insane sound and can live without a mic/playback control, you will be fine. My guess is you are getting a bit of a price break because of the cable.
So you are getting an audiophile-grade IEM for roughly three hundred bucks, which is the lure of the IE 300. It's like getting the entry-level BMW that performs like the higher-end models and is only missing some creature comforts like a sunroof and electric windows. The buds themselves are relatively light, sit nicely inside your ears, and allow you to get a great noise isolating seel, which further enhances the sound.
The way the engineers designed the acoustic chamber is what makes these little guys stand out, with a sound that is bright and every nuance comes through, especially in specific genres. The 7mm driver delivers crystal clear results and full, warm, rich bass that will make any dance music or hip hop fan happy.
So how do they sound?
These are true Hi-Fi earphones and achieve the perfect balance of treble and bass, which is a must for any electronic music fan. The highs are never too much, just perfectly crisp and always right where you want them. We listened to a variety of genres on both an iPhone and our Astell&Kern AKJr HD media player.
Electronic Music / Hip Hop - This is a genre that the 300s shined with, bringing crisp, punchy highs that excite your ears with a balanced bass that never gets in the way, gelling perfectly for that kind of listening that tickles your ears.
Jazz / Acoustic - The details jump with intricate performances, and we heard things like fingers gliding on strings, all the little detailed noises that make you feel like you are right there. The sound stage was great for this type of music, layering all the instruments perfectly to bring out the bright sounds so well.
Rock - Not quite as good as Jazz and Acoustic, but still sounded quite good, and vocals, especially on the higher side, come through in ways that will make any rocker bounce their head up and down like Wayne & Garth.
The Sennheiser IE 300 was designed specifically for music lovers. The people that don't listen passively but hyperactively, bobbing their head with every bass kick. For lovers of crisp, clear, warm, and balanced sound that brings music to life. These are well-priced buds for what they deliver and if you are looking for an excellent HiFi sound, then start trying to hunt these down. The only bummer is you can't find them anywhere right now, you will have to wait until March.
- German-made 7mm XWB transducer – for natural balanced sound
- Resonator chamber to remove masking resonances
- Newly developed membrane foil for minimized natural resonances
- Para-aramid reinforced cables with gold-plated MMCX connectors and a 3.5mm plug
- Adjustable flexible ear hooks and a choice of ear adapters incl. memory foam
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Frequency response: 6 Hz – 20,000 Hz
- Total Harmonic Distortion < 0.08 % (1 kHz, 94 dB)
- A bright and crisp treble response that brings out the ear-tickling factor in your music
- Precise and full bass response, never too much - almost always just right.
- Light and comfy, you can wear these for hours without fatigue.
- The cable doesn't feature a mic or playback control.
- What makes these so memorable for some might make them a bummer for others - as the midrange is sacrificed a bit.