These ear-buds have a sound quality that goes with their price tag. Sadly, the materials quality and finish is more akin to the cheap end of the market and shocking from a quality vendor such as Sennheiser. It could all have been so different…..
Sound has a generally neutral overall balance. It goes way deep in the bass range, but keeping each beat well separated, with no blurring. At the top end on vocals there is plenty of sparkle.
On the fit and finish side, these are dismal. They are supplied with two arms to facillitate over-the-ear fitment. These are optional, but in reality are compulsory to keep the buds in place. The problem is two-fold:
1. The flange of the outer ‘shell’ is too small to lodge behind the cartillage bud at the front outer ear (my outgoing Audio Technica ATH CK55 buds lodge perfectly in the outer ear). So the IE 60’s rely entirely on the fit of the tips into the ear canal to hold them in place. However…
2. The IE-60’s are supplied with only the collapsible rubber skirt type tips.
Five minutes of trying to use the IE 60’s in under the ear orientation (‘ascending’, as the Sennheiser site calls it) saw the buds simply falling out of my ears every 60 seconds or so. Therefore it was back to being forced to wear them over-ear. This really necessitates the arms to keep the cable tension constant; any slight pull results in the ‘phone popping out. And the arms are comfortable enough, but it becomes an issue if you need to wear spectacles or sun-glasses. Even with the arms, you feel the constant need to keep jamming the buds back into your ears to keep a tight seal at the tip. Otherwise, outside noise bleeds in, as well as tonal quality suffering.
Frankly, I purchased them to use in ascending orientation (as Sennheiser claim they can be used) and this is not feasible until I find some foam tips that will fit them. As my wife said – “You paid that much for earphones and still have to purchase tips?!” Precisely!
The shell itself is made of hard shiny plastic (again, I point to my ATH CK55’s to prove that a nice visual and tactile finish is feasible) and the gold detail is bling; simply: FAIL!. The pipe on the edge of the shell that the cable feeds into is hard plastic too and thus isn’t going to buffer the cable from potential damage. The angle connector for the jack plug is bulky, for no discernable benefit.
It really is a shameful that Sennheiser couldn’t use some decent materials, and provide foam tips (that cost the square root of numpence!) on a set of earphones costing this much.
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