The source used for this part is the Centrance HiFi-M8 V2, hooked up to my laptop, with ROON and Tidal. Just to make it clear, I absolutely didn’t feel the need to use a different cable from the standard one. Note that not all standard MMCX connectors will fit the Fidelity Plus MMCX connectors used by Sennheiser.
First cable I used is the Effect Audio Leonidas 2 which we reviewed here. It features the EA ConX system which allows you to swap the connectors, so that came in handy with the connectors used by Sennheiser. The Leonidas 2 matches well with the IE 900, delivering a bit more bass (body). It does make the contrast between bass and highs feel bigger, as in a v-shaped presentation. If that’s your thing, then this is a cable to audition
Second cable I wanted to use was the SuperBaX from Linum, but the MMCX connectors just don’t fit. Same story for the MMCX connector from my PlusSound Exo cable, no fit. So back to Effect audio, where I have the Cleopatra which is also equipped with the ConX system.
Because of the MMCX connectors I started using the EA Cleopatra, and I am glad I did. It adds a little bit of body from bottom to top, while maintaining the same level of precision. Next to that it smoothens the delivery of the vocals and treble a little bit, making this extremely easy, pleasant and musical to listen to. This is the cable I use the IE 900 with myself, when I’m not reviewing.
Conclusion: the IE 900’s sound signature can be slightly modified by using different cables. However, when ordering or looking for a second one for the IE 900, make sure first the MMCX connectors will fit.
Vs Beyerdynamic Xelento
When I think of high end Single Dynamic driven IEMs, the first and only one that directly comes to mind is the Beyerdynamic Xelento. As a matter of fact, the Xelento is one of my all-time favorite universal IEM, and I’m not the only one who feels that way. So this for me is the biggest “competitor”.
The Xelento (Wireless, which comes with a normal cable as well) is selling for just over €1.000 Euro, so the IE 900 is a bit more expensive. In case you’re wondering, the Xelento and IE 900 MMCX plugs both “accept” the same cable, they’re compatible in that regard. Size-wise the Xelento is even smaller than the IE 900.
With the HiBy R8 as source and the Xelento in balanced mode with foam tips, the sound signatures of both are fairly similar yet have their own characteristics. The higher end Beyer models have a focus on treble and in that regards there’s a similarity. Also in regards to bass they’re quite similar. The main difference is that the Xelento presents the music in a softer and smoother way than the more energetic and focused IE 900. This difference in softness and smoothness is present throughout the frequency range. The IE 900 does have better clarity and extension and it does sound more open.
Both units are really good high performing IEMS and it’s hard to say which is best. I would actually put them on the same level, where the decision between both is made on how you prefer your favorite tunes to sound. Do you prefer clarity and extension, or do you like softness and a bit more intimacy? Those are the questions to answer.
I don’t think anyone expected Sennheiser to come with a new high end IEM and a successor of the classic IE 800 but I am sure many will be pleased with this new audiophile unit.
The Sennheiser IE 900 truly is a high end IEM. For a 1-driver model it comes with a higher price tag but you however do get a luxurious package with plenty of accessories in return. But that’s not all. With the IE 900 you also get a perfect fit and an awesome design, an precise high end sound in return.
The Sennheiser IE 900 has a tuning in which energy, clarity, extension and vocals play a key role. The IE 900 does respond nicely to different sources, tips and cables and it as such allows you to finetune the sound to your liking.
If you’re on the look for a high end, dynamically driven IEM with a high quality sound, then the Sennheiser IE 900 should be on your list of IEMs to audition. It does have its own specific tuning/sound, but if you’re in to the high end type of tuning, then you’ll be very pleased.
Last time I checked we didn’t have a lot of dynamic one-driver high end IEMs on our list of recommended buys. Looking at the IE 900’s performance, it’s a very easy decision to add it to that ever evolving list. So yes, we’re giving the Sennheiser IE 900 our Recommended Buy award. It might not be up everyone’s alley, but for those who are into the typical high end tuning, it’ll will be a perfect companion.