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Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jamsie555, Nov 12, 2010.
  1. jamsie555
    This is my first review here on head-fi, so please tell me how to improve next time


    I haven't seen a review for the IE6's on here, and quite a few people have been asking for one, so i thought i'd answer their prayers. 



    First Impressions:



    After owning several pairs of CX300-II's (where the sound kept going in one of the ears after 3 months or so) I decided to splash out and spend some money on a quality pair of IEM's. I paid £100 for them in HMV Southampton. The packaging was fantastically designed, and the aluminium brushed case was also aesthetically very pleasing, my only criticism is that the case is bigger than any MP3 player or mobile phone nowadays, and it's too big to fit in a pocket. Having said that, the case is solid, and so are the headphones. The jack is tough, and doesn't look like the cable will pull off easily. The part where the cable splits in two is well housed, as is the connection between the cable and the earpieces. They certainly looked like a rugged pair of headphones.

    Although I've heard stories of people never quite getting the tips supplied by Sennheiser to fit properly in their ears, luckily for me, the medium's fit just fine. I was also particularly pleased with the inclusion of a cleaning tool in the bundle, as there never was a convenient and clean way to dislodge ear wax from my CX300's, which is ultimately why they broke. 

    Time for my first listen....

    Well I wasn't blown away. I thought that £100 would've ensured a great listen straight out of the box, however, this was not the case with the IE6. The bass wasn't as strong as I thought it would've been, especially after being used to CX300's which have a dominant and muddy bass; these headphones sounded too tinny for my liking. After being slightly disappointed with the sound from the IE6's after an hour or so, I decided to check out the internet to see if anyone else had any problems, and that was when I found out that the IE series need "burning in" time in order to fully maximise their sound quality. 



    Around 50 Hours of Listening Later...



    After a month or so, I had begun to get used to the lighter bass on the IE6, but no sooner had I got used to it, the sound produced by these IEM's had transformed. I wasn't listening to a bass heavy track, but the bass had suddenly started to kick in on these 'phones, and I began to think that it was money well spent after all. The mid's and high's had started to become clearer and more distinct from each other, which only enhanced my listening experience further. But the one thing that made me even more excited was the fact that these headphones hadn't finished "burning in". 



    After 200 Hours of Listening...



    Well what everyone said about these IEM's needing burning in was true, the IE6's continued to get better with every listen, and now I can clearly hear the difference between the Low's, Mid's and High's. The bass was much stronger now, but still very crisp, unlike the CX300's. The treble was sweet, but I still felt (and still do) that it could sound just a little bit better. However, these are the entry model in the IE series and you would expect a weakness somewhere, otherwise Sennheiser may as well not bother manufacturing the IE7 or IE8 (which I would love to get my hands on at some point).




    Final Thoughts



    I have listened to them for approximately 800 hours now, and I still genuinely believe that these IEM's get better with every listen (albeit not as much of an improvement as before). My only concern, apart from the slightly lacking treble, was that the black plastic on the edge of the earbuds had begun to fall off. This black plastic has nothing to do with the main housing of the headphones, and is purely there to make the headphones look a bit nicer. Still, rather than pull it off, I decided to glue them back on with some rubber solution, as Araldite didn't seem to do the job, they now look as good as new.


    I would thoroughly recommend these headphones to anyone who wants a pair of headphones that deliver superb sound, but won't take up too much space. However, if you don't listen to music through headphones very often, it may take a while before you hear the true audio quality these IEM's can offer, as they do take a long time to burn in (around 100-200 hours). I have seen a lot of negative reviews about these headphones, but I firmly believe that these are due to the fact that they have been reviewed straight out of the box, rather than after 100 hours of use. These headphones are worth every penny I paid for them, and leave me intrigued as to how the IE8's can offer a better sound (other than the improved treble). 

  2. mcnoiserdc
    thanks for review
  3. priest Contributor
    Great review, thanks. I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe you could add a word about comfort and isolation, although I understand that they do not isolate well enough to be ideal for, say, commuting on a subway.
    ps, this should be in the portable thread, for maximum impact, but I'm sure the mods will move it. And welcome to Head-Fi.
  4. mnreed71
    Hi Jamsie555
    Goo review. I have saved up some cash but I am not sure if I should go for the sennheiser ie6 or wait a bit longer and go for the sennheiser ie8. I have read that the ie8 is better and worth speading money on.
  5. c64
    I own a set and they really are improved when using comply t400 tips +e5 amp much more everything especially bass .
    I wouldn't say they are worth £100 or anywhere near that though I paid £35 for mine.
    My mylarone crossroad x3i  put these to shame unamped imo much better in the midrange department and those are budget phones.
  6. wilzc


    35 Quid???  Fake much???
  7. TrantaLocked
    The bass amount depends almost entirely on fit. If you want the tiny, almost bassless sound you got on first listen, then push the buds in as far as possible. With a bit of work, a correct fit will give you bass even close to the CX 300-II. With the large double flange tips, the bass is equal to my CX 300-II but the rest of the details are not muddied up, some thing I like. 
    What I don't like at the moment is that while I use the normal large tips for my CX 300-II, the same type and size tips are not quite large enough to reliably give me a good fit without having to mess with the phones for 5 minutes. The large double flange provide a tight fit on first insert, but a little too tight. They add a noticeable amount of bass on top of a good fit with the normal large tips and I'd rather not have that bass.
    If the bass increases as you say it will, I may very well have a problem soon. The large tips feel too "airy" quite often, as if the fit is totally off, and I hear plenty of bass with the double flange. 
    Even though I've only listened to them for a few hours, I can tell that they are better than the CX 300-II and for $110 they sound just a bit too overpriced for the sound. I would say $90 would be a good price for these new, however I will see how burn in affects the sound in the future.
  8. reeltime
    The large double-tips were the answer for me, as well.  They're my new go-to everyday pair (not to replace my customs-- but they have a purpose), replacing my now extinct (but beloved) Shure EC-4s.  Comfort, ease of use, quick listening-- game on.
    One negative, the headphone jack is noisy.
  9. TrantaLocked
    Edit: After listening to the IE6 more regularly on my bike rides, I've come to appreciate this more balanced IEM. I know that the IE6 isn't exactly flat, but it is more accurate than the CX 300-II (my previous IEM) by a long shot.
    This post was originally about how I felt guitar didn't have enough punch compared to that in the CX 300-II, but after some more burn in and getting used to the IE6, it is clear to me that the IE6 blows the CX 300-II away. I no longer get the listening fatigue I used to, permanentely making the IE6 my one and only go to IEM. The frequency response is more balanced and the music sounds a good bit more dynamic. Oh, and the sound stage is of course very nice and much better than in the CX models
    What is funny is that when I compared the IE6 to my original CX 300s I realized that the CX 300 is actually more accurate than the CX 300-II. The II is more pleasant to listen to as the original is naturally pretty harsh in the treble range, but that is because Sennheiser decided to over blast the bass with the II model.  

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