Sennheiser makes the best wireless earbuds, and the brand has a rich heritage in enthusiast audio — the HD820 continues to be the reference point for high-end headphones, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. The brand has focused on the wireless segment with the likes of the Momentum True Wireless 3 and Momentum 4 Wireless in recent months, and while it hasn’t paid as much attention to the IEM market, that changed with the introduction of the IE600.
Coming in at $699, the IE600 sit below the $1,499 IE900, and make up the mid-range offering. There’s also the IE300 that costs $299, and Sennheiser rolled out the budget-focused IE200 for $149 earlier in 2023.
While the IE600 is available for just under half of what you’ll need to pay for the IE900, I think these are the best IEMs in Sennheiser’s portfolio at the moment. I used the IEMs for the better part of six months now, and here’s why you should pay attention to the IE600 if you’re interested in upgrading your earbuds.
Sennheiser IE600: Pricing and availability
Sennheiser launched the IE600 in March 2022, and the IEMs went on sale shortly thereafter. They’re available for $699 at Amazon (opens in new tab), and you’ll find the IEMs on sale at all major audio retailers as well as Sennheiser’s own website.
Over in the U.K., you can get your hands on the IE600 for £599 ($726), and the IEMs are available for ₹59,990 ($726) in India.
Sennheiser IE600: Design and fit
What immediately stands out about the IE600 is the design; they’re considerably smaller than most IEMs in the market, and as a result, the fit is incredible. The amorphous metal housing is made out of a zirconium alloy that Sennheiser says is three times harder than steel and naturally resistant to corrosion and scratches.
What’s intriguing is how the IE600 are manufactured: Sennheiser uses metal-powder-based 3D printing to create the shells in its Ireland-based production facility, and they’re then hand-finished to remove any artifacts. The IE600 uses a dual chamber design to cut down the resonance within the shell.
As for Sennheiser’s claims of scratch resistance, I used the IE600 for the better part of six months now, and I didn’t bother with the bundled case much of the time. Even then, the IEMs are pristine, and it’s clear that they’re built to last.
The lustrous design combined with the diminutive size makes the IE600 distinctive, and these are the most comfortable IEMs I’ve used. They fit in the ear canal without exerting any pressure whatsoever, and the design ensures they stay in the ear. There’s good isolation as they manage to provide a snug fit within the ear, and they’re comfortable to wear throughout the day. You’ll find Sennheiser branding on each shell, with an air vent for the driver located underneath.
The IE600 use standard MMCX connectors, and the angled design makes it easy to connect and detach the cables. On that note, Sennheiser bundles two cables in the package: a single-ended 3.5mm cable and a balanced 4.4mm cable. Both cables are para-aramid reinforced, feature channel markings over the connectors, and like the shells, they’re durable.
Sennheiser bundles a decent selection of ear tips in the package as well, including silicone and foam variants. I foam options offer better isolation and fit a little more snug in my ear, so that’s what I went with. You also get a travel case with the package, and the hard shell design ensures it protects the IE600 on the go.
Sennheiser IE600: Sound quality
Sennheiser uses a 7mm TrueResponse single dynamic driver inside the IE600, and in the age of IEMs packing six or more drivers into a shell to deliver better sound, it’s refreshing to use the IE600. Before burying the lede too much here, Sennheiser did a truly remarkable job with the driver, and the IE600 are among the best IEMs I’ve used to date.
The IE600 offer Sennheiser’s signature neutral soundstage, but what I like here is a little bit of added exuberance in the low-end. This allows the IE600 to deliver an engrossing low-end that’s full of vibrancy, and it’s delightful to listen to bass-focused tunes on the IEMs. The bass is balanced well and doesn’t bleed into the mid-range, ensuring vocals come through clearly with plenty of character.
The treble frequencies have good extension, and there’s no hint of sibilance here. The soundstage is wide and detailed, with good instrument and vocal separation — Sennheiser knows what it’s doing, and the IE600 make listening to a wide variety of genres thoroughly enjoyable.
With 18Ω and 118dB SPL, the IE600 isn’t too demanding, and can easily be driven by any decent source. I used it predominantly with Fiio’s excellent M11s audio player, and also tried it out with the Galaxy S23 Ultra paired to the Fiio BTR7.
Sennheiser IE600: The competition
There’s plenty of choice if you’re looking for IEMs in the sub-$1,000 category, with Thieaudio’s Monarch MKII setting a high standard. The MKII version has a redesigned soundstage that’s absolutely engrossing, and the hybrid driver design plays a big part in that. They’re costlier than the IE600 at $999, and on the larger size, so they’re not as comfortable to wear.
Sennheiser IE600: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if:
- You want the best-sounding IEMs for under $1,000
- You need a comfortable fit that isn’t fatiguing after extended use
- You want shells and cables that are built to last
- You need a balanced cable in the box
- You want IEMs with a neutral sound signature
You shouldn’t buy this if:
After using the IE600 alongside the likes of the Fiio FA7S, Audeze Euclid, and a variety of budget planar options, I can say that they’re among the best-sounding IEMs I’ve used to date. Sennheiser did a magnificent job with the 7mm driver, and the balance and tonality makes the IE600 well-suited to a lot of diverse genres.
The neutral sound signature combined with a slightly exaggerated sub-bass makes them thoroughly engaging, and the best part is the fit — these are without a doubt the most comfortable IEMs I’ve used thus far. The fit is one of the key reasons why the IE600 is in my daily rotation, and the only negative I can think of is that the design may not be to everyone’s tastes.
Other than that, the IE600 are a masterclass in this category, and I’m excited to see how they hold up against the flagship IE900. More on that soon, but if you’re interested in upgrading your IEMs and want something that fits well and sounds great, the IE600 is my recommendation.
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