With the high-end IE 600 earplug model, Sennheiser ignores everything that’s called wireless sound. Here, the cable is the key to getting the most out of the sound signal from your music.
That means you can perfect the sound to your own taste with your favourite amplifier, and it also means musicians can use the earplugs on stage. But it’s primarily music lovers that Sennheiser has in mind with the IE 600.
The IE 600 takes over from the now discontinued IE 800 S, which were among the very best earbuds the journalist had heard when he tested them back in 2018. With a huge soundstage, brilliant resolution in the harmonics and a thoroughly honest sound.
It just lacked a bit of dynamics, as the sound was a lot flatter than one should honestly expect from a pair of earplugs costing EUR 1000 (!). That’s probably why Sennheiser launched the even more expensive IE 900 last year!
Now comes the IE 600, which at £5,199 is slightly below what the IE 800 S cost at launch. That doesn’t mean that Sennheiser has economised, though, and hopefully the new earbuds offer a few things that we missed on their more expensive predecessor.
We haven’t tested the IE 900 yet, but can reveal that they have significantly more explosive sound reproduction than the IE 800 S, and hopefully the same goes for the IE 600.
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The housings are made with a special 3D printing process and have a special metal structure called ZR01 amorphous zirconium. In this case, the atomic structure is supposed to be more stable than in ordinary metal, so the metal in these earplugs has no weak points that can crack or bend.
A similar metal structure was used by NASA in the drill head of the Mars Perseverance, so we can probably count on it being durable stuff.
Sennheiser also says the metal has “groundbreaking acoustic performance”, which, along with brand new 7mm TrueResponse drivers, should make the IE 600 a benchmark for the most discerning music lovers.
The Sennheiser IE 600 was developed in Germany and manufactured at the company’s factory in Ireland. It is claimed that the manufacturing facility has one of the world’s most advanced production processes of its kind and that the IE 600 is designed to “deliver flawless acoustic and visual enjoyment for decades to come”.
The IE 600 has a special back to minimise reflections inside the cabinet and an extra acoustic chamber to eliminate resonances and reduce pressure differences, which in turn should result in a clearer and more detailed treble. So the listener gets even closer to the music.
We are promised that the earbuds reproduce voices with high realism, and the bass response should be both fast and accurate, even in the lowest register.
The IE 600 has gold-plated MMCX connectors that allow for third-party cables up to 4.8mm in diameter. Both unbalanced cable with 3.5 mm plug and balanced with 4.4 mm plug are included, and both are para-aramid reinforced “for optimum wear resistance”.
Both silicone and memory foam ear tips are included, both in three sizes. It’s the same as with both the IE 900 and little brother IE 300. And like the two models mentioned, the IE 600 has ear hoops for the best possible fit. The IE 800 S lacked that.
Price and availability
The Sennheiser IE 600 will be available in the spring, at the latest in the summer, and the recommended price will be € 699.
- Wear-resistant, 3D-printed ZR01 amorphous zirconium housings
- 7mm TrueResponse drivers for low distortion
- Dual resonance chambers for lower distortion
- Cables with gold-plated MMCX terminations
- Unbalanced cable (3.5mm) and balanced cable (4.4mm)
- Adjustable earhooks and multiple ear tips
- Frequency range: 4 Hz – 46.5 kHz
- Distortion: 0.06% THD (1 kHz, 94 dB)
- Impedance: 18 ohms