Life is too short to subject oneself to the indignity of drinking wine from a box, eating pasta from a can or—horrors!—listening to music through chintzy throw-way earbuds that come with portable audio devices and smartphones. A pair of well-engineered in-ear monitors offer a night-and-day sonic improvement, audible from the very first note. For music and podcasts on-the-go, Sennheiser’s new IE 300 in-ear headphones check the boxes, acoustically and—at $300 per pair—affordably.
It’s amazing that such tiny devices can deliver such stunning sound, a result of Sennheiser engineers having further refined the 7 mm Extra Wide Band (XWB) transducer that accounts for the well-balanced, accurate sonic signature of these well-crafted components. A pioneer in the design and manufacture of headphones and microphones for consumer and professional markets, Sennheiser produces the IE 300 transducers at the company’s headquarters in Germany to ensure strict quality control of its proprietary technology.
Contributing to the clear, natural sound is the transducer’s membrane foil that minimizes natural resonances and distortion. Despite the headphone’s minute dimensions, the space behind the transducer is designed to reduce reflections, while a resonator chamber removes masking resonances in the ear canal for more transparent and detailed—but unfatiguing—treble as a result.
The wide frequency response—6 Hz to 20 kHz—will satisfy bass lovers and delivers the weighty punch that brings life to low frequencies. In the case of in-ear headphones, great sound must be accompanied by comfort and the ability to listen for extended periods. The IE 300’s ergonomic details include individually adjustable flexible ear hooks, as well as silicone and memory foam ear adaptors provided in small, medium and large sizes. These ensure a secure, comfortable fit, along with optimum noise isolation that allow wearers to enjoy music—privately—in noisy environments.
Built for durability, the headphones come with a 3.5 mm cable that can sustain thousands of bend cycles and can easily be replaced if needed. Optional accessories include balanced cables with 2.5 mm or 4.4 mm connectors. And a premium carrying case is included to keep things tidy and safe during travel.