- The Sennheiser IE 600 are part of Sennheiser’s in-ear monitor (IEM) range of devices that are designed to deliver high-quality audio.
- The IE 600 come with a premium design, and while some might think their 7mm drivers to be small, the level of detail they deliver is among the best we have heard from an IEM.
- At USD 699.95/Rs 59,990, the IE 600 do not come cheap, but their strength lies in the amount of detail they deliver, as well as the convenience of being able to use them without any DACs or amplifiers. This makes them a great option for audiophiles and content creators who need to hear and edit high-quality audio without too many hassles.
The world of in-ear monitors (IEMs) can be a little confusing. On the surface, these wired earbuds seem like wired and slightly more quaintly designed siblings of Bluetooth earbuds that are connected to each other by wires, but in actual use, they are very different.
IEMs are actually earphones that are often used by artists and audio producers to listen to and edit audio, minus the bulk of the hefty headphones used by many. Unlike conventional earbuds, IEMs focus on delivering as clear and unfiltered audio as possible – these are for those who want sound at its raw, detailed best, with no flavoring. Sound that is the dream of either an audiophile or an audio engineer.
And if these are your audio requirements, then the Sennheiser IE 600 should be right on top of your list. Yes, at Rs 59,990 (USD 700), these are extremely expensive and have a higher price tag than the AirPods Max at the time of writing, but the point to remember is that these tiny buds attached to a wire deliver the sort of performance you would get from full-sized headphones. Actually, we think they are better than many full-sized headphones as well.
Sennheiser IE 600 Review: Metal build, slightly fussy fit
The earbuds have a metallic build, with what Sennheiser calls “AMLOY-ZR01 amorphous metal housing,” and can be attached to a supporting cable, giving them a certain level of modularity. They are small and lightweight, but the metal build and metallic shade gives them a very substantial and almost a raw, industrial look.
The Sennheiser logo is embossed on both buds in the same metallic color. As these are meant to be used mostly in studios or in focused listening environments, there is no dust and water resistance, but these definitely look sturdy enough to survive the odd fall or three. Sennheiser has bundled a selection of eartips and also two cables, one with a 3.5 mm jack and another with a 4.4 mm jack, with the buds. You also get a very well-designed carrying case.
Getting the IE 600 into your ears can be fussy. You will need to choose the tips that fit you best from the selection in the box, and then figure out the art of hooking part of the connecting wire over your ears – the material near the buds connector is flexible plastic, so it can be bent around your ear. They are very comfortable to wear once you get the size of eartips right (and Sennheiser has placed plenty of options in the box) and also master hooking the wire over your ears – they are so light that you can listen for hours to all the content you wish to hear. And as these are wired, there is no need to worry about which audio format is supported and which is not.
Sennheiser IE 600: Lords of details and clarity
Get past the ear fitting stage and get to making sound flow through the IE 600, and you will literally not believe what you are hearing. That is because the IE 600 reveal audio in a wealth of detail that many of us often tend to miss out on. You will actually hear the scraping of bows on the violin and, in some cases, the pluck of guitar strings, adding a whole new world of sound to your familiar audio tracks. This is a clear, unfiltered sound, so you will not see any attempts to boost bass or give vocals more space, or maybe try to make treble sharper to give the illusion of detail. What you will get are incredibly clear vocals and accompanying music, with a decent enough sound stage – you will not get the kind of spaciousness you would from headphones, mainly because of their in-ear design, but there is very clear instrument separation here. What’s more, you do not need an amp or a DAC to get the most out of these earphones, although we would recommend using them with a device capable of delivering high-quality output – this is lossless audio territory and definitely not for playing streaming compressed MP3 files.
While the IE 600 are very good for listening to music and playing games and the like for anyone who values clear audio, they really come into their own when used for editing audio. We used them with a friend who has a podcast, and it was amazing how the IEMs spotted small noises that we would have otherwise missed out on. We can see the IE 600 being incredibly popular in the high-quality content creation zone as they seem to have the gift of bringing out every small detail that is there in an audio recording. The earbuds come with 7mm TrueResponse transducers, and while some might not be impressed by that number, the fact is that they churn out amazing sound and deliver a vast amount of detail without distortion, even at high volume levels (and they can get pretty loud). These are an audio editor’s dream.
Sennheiser IE 600 Review Verdict: Great for listening, awesome for editing
The big question is: are they worth that extremely stiff price tag? We are not going to pretend that the Sennheiser IE 600 are super affordable. At Rs 59,990, they are definitely on the utterly premium side of the audio kingdom. What’s more, there are several audiophile and professional-level studio headphones from the likes of Beyerdynamic, Audio Technica, and Sennheiser itself available at lower prices.
The point to note, however, is that the Sennheiser IE 600 is a supremely good audio editing tool that can literally be carried in your pocket and needs no DAC or amp to work well. While hardcore audiophiles might prefer conventional open-back headphones for the bigger soundstage they offer, we think these are perfect for anyone who wants to hear sound at its rawest and most detailed without having to worry about additional equipment. Put them in your ears if you value out-of-the-world detail. That price tag is massive, but then so is the level of detail delivered by these buds from Sennheiser!
- Wonderfully clear and high-quality sound
- Need no amps or DACs to drive them
- Built using premium materials
- 3.5 mm and 4.5 detachable cables in the box
- Carrying case
- Getting the ear fit takes some time
- Not for mainstream music lovers
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At USD 699.95/Rs 59,990, the IE 600 do not come cheap, but their strength lies in the amount of detail they deliver, as well as the convenience of being able to use them without any DACs or amplifiers. Here's our Sennheiser IE 600 review.