As said in the previous chapter the IE 300’s sound has a focus on the bass and higher regions. This can also clearly be seen in the graph that Jude posted on Head-fi.
Bass is present in a more than neutral quantity but depends on the tips used, as well as their fit. When you get it right, you will get bass which is always full. Depending on how your music was recorded bass will come in normally or big, but never light. The warmth will be present at all times.
At the same time I don’t feel that the bass is overly present in quantity. Bass speed is good and it carries a lot of energy. Bass detail is quite good. The down side is that the bass isn’t always the tightest, and it misses some layering and sub bass compared to higher end models. That being said, this is the kind of bass a lot of people (not necessarily audiophiles) really like and as such it will please many ears.
The mids section, which isn’t as present body-wise, is nicely spacious, airy and feels natural and realistic. Vocals are a bit softer but where the mids really shine is in regards to timbre and note decay. Like the bass, these mids have a nice amount of warmth and they have a sooth delivery. It’s musical and really easy to listen to. Very enjoyable. Where it can be improved is in the depth and layering department.
The treble section is more present and very energetic. Treble is lively and exciting and it perfectly contrasts the bass and flows from the sweet mids. Treble however is not sharp or sibilant, it’s clear and precise. Treble is spacious and extends well, but don’t expect the precision and cleanness levels of a high-end unit like the Meze Rai Penta or Beyer Xelento.
If you from looking at the graph might fear that the IE 300’s treble will be too much for you, trust me and believe it isn’t. Of course it depends on your preferences and the age of your ears, but the treble tuning is perfect for this IE 300 taking into account how its bass and mids are tuned.
Sennheiser’s marketing department describes the IE 300 as “an effortless audiophile listening experience wherever you want one” and that’s basically what you get.
The source is not very important in this equation. The IE 300 with its 16Ohm and 94dB are easy to drive and no matter if it’s your phone, laptop or a high end DAP, it will sound good and as it sounds.
You really don’t need a amplifier for these IEMs and the impact of the source on the sound, it’s rather minimal. Of course you can hear the differences between a DELL Laptop and the HiBy R8, but they don’t impact the IE 300’s sound signature, just some characteristics. My favorite sources for the IE 300 are the R8, the HifiM8 II and the SP2000.
So no, no extra investment is needed imho. And if you do want it to be better than your onboard sound, there always are companies like ddHifi to fall back on.
To be honest, I’m quite pleased with the stock cable the IE 300 comes with. It feels and sounds good so there is no immediate reason to swap cables if you want to stick to a 3.5mm connection.
As you know by now, the IE 300 uses special Fidelity+ MMCX connectors so I was quite curious to see how that would work. I a couple of weeks ago also received the Effect Audio ConX system with the interchangeable terminations, and they come with an MMCX version which perfectly fits the IE 300’s sockets.
That means it was easy to cable roll the IE 300 and it sounded very nice with the EA Leonidas II in balanced mode. It gave the IE 300 a higher level of clarity and it sounded even more spacious while extending further at both ends. I felt here was a little less body but improved precision.
Anyway, the thing to remember is that there are aftermarket cables which will work directly with the IE 300. So if you don’t want to wait for Sennheiser to go balanced, ask your favorite aftermarket cable company, or get in touch with Effect Audio for one of their cables fitted with the ConX system.
Sennheiser stands for quality in both construction as well as sound, and it’s no different this time. The IE 300 is a very affordable IEM that not only looks nice, it’s also very well built, very comfortable and great sounding.
The IE 300 has a more U-shaped sound signature but it to me in the graph looks more extreme than it really is. The bass is impressive and addictive, the mid timbre is to die for and the treble is energetic. It’s just an easy and engaging IEM to listen to, no matter the music you throw at it.
The Sennheiser IE 300 for $299 delivers great value for money and it’s impressive to see what tonality and sound quality Sennheiser managed to get out of a single driver.
As I really like it, and because it is a nice IEM, it’s an easy decision to add it to our recommended buy list. A best buy award for the IE 300!