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If you’re looking for earphones, earbuds and headphones, you’re spoiled for choice. And if the budget is as luxurious as Rs 10,000 then even more choice with range. To be fair, not many brands can withstand the kind of history that Sennheiser brings. Pretty effortless. And this is where Sennheiser also takes you to in-ear monitors (IEMs). The versatility of the Sennheiser IE100 Pro means you can use it wired or wireless depending on how you want to use them, and IEMs by definition are tuned for audio purists who can take you to the threshold of sound a notch higher than regular earphone alternatives. ! The price of these IEMs is Rs 11,900 which is immediately much less than you would expect.
The Sennheiser IE100 Pro that I had received for review has a very attractive combination of red and black. That’s red for the earbuds themselves, which are made of translucent and really high-quality plastic. The design, finish and colors are quite reminiscent of the Sennheiser IE 300 earphones. The way you wear this is you wrap the extension module behind your ear and that is to give the earbuds more support to stay in place as you move along. You have the option of using these wireless earphones with the cable behind your neck or as more traditional wired earphones.
I prefer the latter option, as a wired route is still significantly better than anything wireless, both in terms of audio resolution support and stability. Ahoy, Apple Music Lossless! Both cables are included in the box and you can easily switch between the two modes using the standard MMCX connectors. I haven’t tried any third-party cables and would still suggest it’s best to stick with the original ones.
There is a single 10mm audio driver in each ear. No duplicate drivers, something that many earphones and even earbuds claim too late. Good for the spec sheet? But before you push this aside purely based on how the spec sheet reads, hold on. The supported codecs are SBC, AAC, AptX and aptX Low Latency. Get started with this and it’s a slight change from the traditional Sennheiser sound signature. Very light, but audible. These are tuned a little more in the “V”, with the idea of accentuating the bass and treble that certain pro or semi-pro audio scenarios would require. Mind you, don’t expect all of these to get bass-heavy on you – that’s definitely not going to happen. You could say this is geared towards musicians, but think about it – that’s a good thing, purely because the audio processing is minimal and you hear sounds that are as natural as possible, without having to consider an audience that might want boosted lower frequencies for heavier bass.
While I preferred using it in wired mode, the Bluetooth battery life tests got me down to just under 10 and a half hours on a single charge. Admittedly, I don’t really go high with the volume, because of restless and sensitive ears. This battery endurance is ready to see you through quite a long flight once you’re ready to travel again. And if it’s running low and you can’t drink it anymore, just swap the Bluetooth module cable for the wired route. Don’t forget to bring your Android phone and Apple iPhone headphone jack adapters.
The final word: don’t think the Sennheiser IE100 Pro is too professional for you
There is an assumption that earphones intended for professional use are expensive. It’s not true, and the Sennheiser IE100 Pro certainly adds weight to counter that assumption. They have everything you would expect from your earphones, including a really low-profile look. What’s more, what you get is more purity with the sound you hear – without processing any frequencies for artificial markings. And if that makes your music sound even better, especially at the higher resolution frequencies, that’s definitely not a bad deal. And at less than Rs 10,000 for the Sennheiser IE100 Pro, I’d recommend it to just about anyone.
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