Sennheiser IE 600 In-ear Headphones Review

Posted on 5th May, 2022

Sennheiser IE 600 In-ear Headphones Review

Surely the newest IEM from Sennheiser can't hold a candle to the existing flagship? Matthew Jens decides…

Sennheiser

IE 600 In-ear Headphones

US$700 | S$1,099

“All kinds of trouble starts as fun.” It was a quote that I read in a book as a child, and for some reason, it always stuck with me. And like much good advice in life, it rings true time and time again, regardless of the state of the world.

It was also my first thought when I first saw the famous leaked image of the IE 600 on Reddit just days before Sennheiser surreptitiously announced it. A single driver IEM, with a similar body shape to the IE 900, released within twelve months – at almost half the price? An interesting choice from the German headphone juggernaut. If I were the proud owner of the Sennheiser IE 900, I would be shaking in my boots right now. Oh wait, I am a proud owner. Gulp! 

Naturally, this new unit, which has a comparable aesthetic, targets a similar audience and boasts similar specs with a few less. Yet, it costs half the amount of the flagship - surely it can't possibly be as good, then? Let's take a closer look…

These new buds are made entirely of AMLOY-ZR01. Before you ask, I didn't sneeze when writing that. It's a completely custom made, 3D printed amorphous metal that's also used in military and aerospace applications. The Mars Rover is made from the same material. Yes, really!

Not just impressive on paper, these enclosures are small, light, rugged and as sexy as they come. The speckled, slightly bumpy finish is imperfect by nature but consistent all around. While similar in shape to the smooth IE 900 lines, side-by-side, you can tell they are made from different metals. It even comes with a similar zip-up hard case. It may not have a serial number plate as my IE 900 does, but the two are otherwise indistinguishable aside from the colour. 

The IE 600 comes with a vast selection of tips, including silicone and foam options in all sizes, two cable choices, cleaning tools, a presentation box, and a hand-signed customer certificate of inspection from Sennheiser. All very flagship-worthy stuff…

Inside, you'll find the proprietary Sennheiser 7mm True Response Driver, but with dual resonators instead of the triple chamber design of the IE 900. The same transducer is reportedly used in the IE 300 but with more acoustic treatment in this iteration. With an impedance rating of 18ohms, the IE 600 is pretty relaxed when it comes to being driven by modern source devices and paired wonderfully with my M1 Pro Macbook Pro.

The mountains of Sennheiser research and development has paid off. The IE 600 is tiny and lightweight and one of the most comfortable IEMs on sale. The high level of isolation, supreme comfort and easy fit make wearing them very easy – but what then of the sound?

THE LISTENING

Upon placing the tiny, space-grade units into my ears, I was greeted with a sea of detail, body, warmth and impact. Not enough impact that you could give these to your teenager to replace their Beats anytime soon, but it's also not enough to impede your sonata session with too much intrusive low-end rumbling, either. 

Much like the three little piggies, the IE 300 could be considered to have sharp, less controlled bass; the IE 900 may have a little too much bass, and the IE 600… Yup, you guessed it! Listening to the soulful, eerie rendition of Pyramid Song by Vocus8, the IE 600 did a beautiful job of separating each voice, quickly being picked apart and listened to individually, but without giving too much of a clinical, dry demonstration.

The IE 600, it seems, still has an ever so slightly 'V-shaped' sound signature, but one that is not as pronounced or bold as the IE 900. Sennheiser claims that the former has, “direct, neutral tuning with fast, accurate bass”, and I would echo this sentiment for the most part, but would add “with a kick of fun” to the end.

THE VERDICT

As the proud owner of the IE 900 flagship model, I expected this new IE 600 to compete with it but not be in the same league. How wrong I was. At half the price, but with two-thirds of the trimmings and stellar audio quality to boot, this is probably the model I would recommend out of the two. And on an unrelated topic, does anyone want to buy a pair of IE 900s? Asking for a friend…

For more information visit Sennheiser

    Matthew Jens's avatar

    Matthew Jens

    Constantly keeping himself busy, Matthew is a production manager, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Head-Fi fanatic, coffee enthusiast and all-round cool Dad.

    Posted in:Applause Awards 2022 Headphones In Ear Monitors Headphones
    Tags: sennheiser 

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