Fit, Comfort and Isolation
With its single driver, the Sennheiser IE 300 is very small and it completely disappears inside your ear. Because of the soft and rounded edges and tilted nozzle, the IE 300 is also very comfortable to wear for longer periods. The fit is easy and difficult at the same time: easy because of the size and difficult because of the tips. To get the best possible fit (and sound) you really need to find the ideal tips for your ears. Where I usually end up using a medium sized tip, I with the IE 300 ended up using the largest size foam tips. Not using the perfect tips results in losing all the bass, so if you feel the IE 300 has no bass, check your tips first.
Comfort-wise you need to like memory wire over the ear cables. Many people don’t but I for one like the tight fit. It’s very easy to get the right angle for over ear use, and once that’s done, the cable will disappear. The memory part/bend is also quite short, so it will stay hidden behind your ears, and keep the IE 300 tightly in place.
Isolation wise the IE 300 is normal to good. With the silicon tips you get normal isolation meaning you can still hear outside sounds. That means they’re safe to use on the go. Switch to the foam tips and the isolation increases, blocking out almost all exterior noise.
Some gadget reviewers have reported cable noise but I have absolutely no idea where they’re getting that from. There is no cable friction noise whatsoever from these. You can even wrap the cable around your phone and it won’t pick up any interference whatsoever. It’s well isolated and dead silent. Do note that these reviewers are also saying the IE 300 is missing the TWS feature as well as ANC. So yeah…
I have not noticed any driver flex with the IE 300 so far, though I notice some light pressure build up during long listening sessions. The part I like least about the IE 300? The 360° swiveling connectors. Ok sure, it’s great to get the best possible fit for your ears but they’re not the easiest to work with to get the units in your ear. It’s nothing to worry about either though, just nit-picking.
When you’ve been reviewing and listening to really good gear over the last 10 years, it actually gets hard to get really excited about new units. With this IE 300 however, I have been eager to write about it. From the moment I put them in my ears and tapped the play button on the SP2000, I’ve felt electrified and content. Writing this review felt easily and I have really enjoyed all the hours spent on typing this article. That only means one thing: the IE 300 is something very special. Let’s dive in, shall we?
For this part, I used a multitude of sources, both desktop as well as portable. The original cable was used for the sound impressions.
Sennheiser has chosen to give a IE 300 a very musical signature, with a smooth delivery. Bass and treble are most present here and the IE 300 is on the warmer side of neutral, tough it’s not a typically warm IEM at all. The IE 300 is full bodied inear and it at all times has good impact and presence.
I love multiple things about the IE 300 and it has many USPs. It from top to bottom has great clarity and even though it’s a bit warmer it has great speed and energy. It’s one of those IEMs that makes you want to listen to more and more music and it has kept me up late at night on many occasions.
The focus for sure is on bass and upper mids/treble, and you get a more U-shaped signature. Unlike in a V-shaped signature, the mids here still have reasonable presence. I never found the mids to be lacking in presence or body (see FR graph below). Timbre overall (also in the mids) is extremely impressive, and it’s probable the thing this little Senn excels in most. You also get a spacious and airy sound and the imaging is quite good. The music isn’t fully outside you’re head but it surely isn’t intimate either.
Sound stage wise the IE 300 in both width and depth is good and completely on par with what to expect in this mid-fi segment. Sure the extension on top and down low could be better and the layering could be more evident and precise, but for $299 there is really nothing to complain about here. To get better results in this regard, you’ll have to spend a few hundred Dollars/Euros more.
Other great points are the stereo imaging, left-right balance, note extension and note decay. The IE 300 offers a perfect mix of precision, detail retrieval and musicality. Its signature will satisfy the masses but it will also please the more demanding audiophile.
The sound quality that Sennheiser has managed to create and deliver with this single driver is incredible. In that way it reminds me of the sublime Beyerdynamic Xelento, though these are quite different in both sound and price. (The Xelento is more neutral and comes in lighter. It’s more precise, more linear and super clean/clear.)
What I also like about these new Senn IEMs is that they work well for many different genres of music. Retro dance, psychedelic rock, classical, rap, etc. You name it, the IE 300 does it all, it’s just a great allrounder in that way.
More on sound on the third page of the review. Click here, or use the jumps below.