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Sennheiser’s IE 300 in-ear buds aren’t wireless and lack noise cancelling, but they’re still the most exciting new headphones I’ve tested in months - and here’s why:
Ultra compact and utilising an old-school wired connection to your smartphone, these pro-style in-ear monitors boast a studio-grade Hi-Fi performance; they’ll have you rethinking what you need from a pair of headphones.
I wasn’t just enamoured by their sound quality (although that’s obviously a huge part of their appeal), but they’re comfortable too.
These cabled in-ears are lighter than conventional wireless over-ear headphones, and smaller than wireless Bluetooth True Wireless models.
Buy it: Sennheiser IE 300 In-Ear Audiophile Headphones | £259 from Amazon
Sitting virtually flush in your ear, there are no ugly protuberances.
Adjustable ear hooks, which loop back over your lugholes, coupled to silicone and memory foam ear adaptors (three size options supplied), keep them comfortably in place, even during the most strenuous of air guitar solos.
And then there’s practicality.
You don’t need to worry about giving them a flash charge, before you leave the house, because they’re entirely passive. This also makes them good travel buds (assuming the idea of travelling is still music to your ears).
The Sennheiser IE300’s may be small, but they're a great example of precision engineering. Each in-ear features a custom-designed 7mm extra wide band transducer, tuned specifically for sonic accuracy.
I’ll admit, the loss of noise cancelling made me wary, but the isolation achieved by a good fit proves adequate compensation, and because these stripped-back IEMs (In Ear Monitors) lack a built in mic, they’re not so susceptible to wind noise when you’re out for a breezy constitutional either.
The catch, of course, is that many mobile phones no longer have a 3.5mm jack for wired headphone use. If your smartphone has junked the jack, then consider buying a dedicated music player, like the £199 Sony Walkman NW-A105 Touchscreen MP3 Player.
Buy it: Sony Walkman NW-A105 Touchscreen MP3 Player | £199 from Currys
Buy it: Sony Walkman NW-A105 Touchscreen MP3 Player | £247.53 from Amazon
It’s worth the investment, because the IE300’s sound huge.
This is Sennheiser showing off its studio expertise. Thanks to a catchy combo of fine detail and punchy (but not lumpy) bass, listening is really addictive.
In fact, wearing these recording studio inspired in-ear monitors made me feel like a rock star - and I can’t hold a tune in a bucket.
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