- Powerful sound, rich in detail and clear, good bass
- Good passive noise reduction
- Firm and comfortable fit
- The sound insulation of the foam earpieces is a little light
The IE 600 is the mid-range upgrade in Sennheiser’s wired Hi-Fi headphones, between the excellent IE 300 and the prestigious IE 900. Released in the spring of 2022 after its two companions, this model promises to be very ambitious, to the point where it promises a few improvements in sound (particularly in the neutrality of the frequency response and the quality of the stereophonic image) compared to the flagship of the range while keeping a more reasonable price.
Manufacturing & accessories
The IE 600s follow the same format as all the other models in the IE series and take the form of compact, very light and slim earphones with a cable entry from the top in the manner of “In-Ear Monitors”. The manufacturing quality was already outstanding on the manufacturer’s entry-level reference and is just as good here, if not better. The density of the metal chassis and the design of the connector linking each earphone to the cable gives a highly favourable impression of solidity.
The manufacturing quality of the cable accompanying the headphones reinforces this observation with a thick, flexible sheath and a mini-jack connector ending in an angled connector, which is also ready to last. Once again, the manufacturer has mastered its subject perfectly.
The list of accessories supplied with the IE 600s is more than fair: a neatly finished hard carrying case, two 1.2m cables – one unbalanced ending in a 3.5mm mini-jack connector, the other balanced with a 4.4mm Pentaconn connector – a clip, a cleaning tool and an armada of pairs of silicone and memory foam ear tips (three of each).
Comfort & fit
Almost identical to the IE 300 in design and weight, the IE 600 still offers a top-notch wearing experience. Thanks to their compactness, lightness and shape, the earphones instinctively find their place in the hollow of the auricle and at the entrance to the ear canal. The wide range of ear tips provided allows you to maximise comfort according to your body type and preferences (contact with silicone or memory foam, insulation). What’s more, although these are in-ear monitors, which are intrusive by nature, the feeling of pressure is quite measured here.
The over-the-ear cable can initially be confusing for those new to the system. It will undoubtedly take a few sessions to get used to it. However, the shape-memory design of part of the cable sleeve ensures that it fits snugly and comfortably over the ear and that the earphones remain firmly in the ear cavity. A perfect fit again in this respect.
There’s no fuss when using the IE 600s: you connect the MMCX connectors on the cable to the headphones and plug the whole thing into a 3.5mm mini-jack or 4.4mm Pentaconn on the source device. No built-in microphone or remote control here.
Do the IE 600s outperform the IE 300s and reach the pinnacle of sonic neutrality? In terms of raw performance, the answer is yes. The IE 600s take excellence a step further, but our verdict could be more precise regarding the quest for ultimate neutrality.
Frequency response measurement (normalised to 94 dB, 1 kHz): the sound reproduction remains unchanged, whether the ear tips are made of silicone (purple) or memory foam (black).
Frequency response measurement (normalised to 94dB, 1kHz): the sound reproduction remains unchanged, whether using silicone (purple) or memory foam (black) ear tips.
As you might expect, these headphones offer a slightly different take on the IE 300. Sennheiser’s mid-range earphones are oriented towards a more W-shaped signature which, as executed, tends to approach the best possible sound transparency in the sense that it brings a slight gain in definition and detail. The whole first part of the spectrum, from the lowest frequencies to the midrange, is undoubtedly a little less warm, more “dry”, one might say, but in the end, a little better balanced and controlled, more readable. The behaviour of the in-ear monitors from a strict frequency point of view is one of many reasons since the speaker is simply a little more agile and reactive in handling these frequencies. In the end, we end up with an intense, percussive and immersive bass, with more frank support on the impact, the base, and the lowest resonances.
The IE 600s also bring more satisfaction in reproducing the highs/extreme highs, here a little more acceptable, detailed and homogeneous. We feel that efforts have been made to extend the response of the headphones even further into the higher frequencies, which is thought in the reproduction of multiple fine elements and the perception of the stereophonic scene while limiting the small shiny aspect in the border between high-mids and highs. The result is a more natural-sounding speaker that is more respectful of the timbre for an even more spectacular development.
The same applies to the slight energy boost at the border between midrange and upper midrange, which is more audible and inflates the sensation of presence a little too artificially, thus bringing the rear of the sound stage to the forefront. These are objectively anecdotal specificities about excellent overall performance, but they may tickle those who know they are susceptible to them.
A final word on the sound insulation provided by the headphones is good overall, perfect for the silicone earpieces and a little light with the foam ones in the low/midrange. Sennheiser’s in-house tips tend to compromise between isolation and comfort/intrusion. The result is a less pronounced occlusion of the ear canal and, the laws of acoustics being what they are, less attenuation in this area compared to other models. You will still be able to cut yourself off from the surrounding noise very well to enjoy your music in good conditions, but some of the components of the human voice, for example, will still be quite perceptible.
We have the same praise for these IE 600s as we did for the IE 300s, which are still perfect in every respect, coming ever closer to perfection. The improvement in sound performance is slight, but it is there. The promise of absolute neutrality is not perfectly fulfilled, but we are satisfied with the listening experience of these headphones.
Sennheiser IE 600 In-Ear Headphones
|Current Price||£599.04||March 31, 2023|
|Highest Price||£726.96||February 13, 2023|
|Lowest Price||£529.00||February 3, 2023|
Last price changes
|£599.04||February 22, 2023|
|£626.45||February 19, 2023|
|£626.41||February 18, 2023|
|£625.76||February 16, 2023|
|£625.87||February 15, 2023|
Sennheiser IE 600 in-Ear Audiophile Headphones - TrueResponse Transducers for exquisitely Neutral Sound, Detachable Cable with Flexible Ear Hooks, Includes Balanced Cable, 2-Year Warranty
|Current Price||$699.95||March 31, 2023|
|Highest Price||$699.95||January 14, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$550.00||March 7, 2023|
Last price changes
|$699.95||March 16, 2023|
|$599.95||March 14, 2023|
|$590.97||March 12, 2023|
|$595.44||March 10, 2023|
|$590.97||March 8, 2023|