If you are in the market for earphones, earbuds, and headphones, you’d be spoilt for choice. And if the budget is as luxurious as up to Rs 10,000 then even more choice with range. To be fair, not many brands can stand up to the sort of history Sennheiser brings along. Quite effortlessly, mind you. And this is where Sennheiser is also getting you into the in-ear monitors territory (IEMs). The Sennheiser IE100 Pro’s versatility means you can use these are wired or wireless depending on how you want to use them, and IEMs by definition are tuned for audio purists which could lead you to the doorstep of sound that’s a notch above regular earphone alternatives! The pricing of these IEMs is Rs 11,900 and that immediately is much lesser than you would have expected.
The Sennheiser IE100 Pro that I had received for review carries 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 colours apart, is quite reminiscent of the Sennheiser IE 300 earphones. The way you wear this is 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’ll have the option of using these are wireless earphones with the cable worn behind your neck or as more traditional wired earphones.
I prefer the latter option, because wired route is still significantly better than anything that’s wireless, in terms of audio resolution support as well as stability. Ahoy, Apple Music Lossless! Both cables are part of the box, and you can easily swap between the two modes with the standard MMCX connectors. I have not tried any third-party cables and would still suggest it is best to stick with the original ones.
In each ear is a single 10mm audio driver. Not dual drivers, something that a lot of earphones and even earbuds have been claiming off late. Good for the spec sheet? But before you brush this aside purely based on how the spec sheet reads, hold on for a moment. The codecs supported include SBC, AAC, AptX and aptX Low Latency. Get started with these and it is a slight change from the traditional Sennheiser sound signature. Very slight, albeit audible. These are tuned a bit more in the “V”, the idea being to accentuate the lows and the highs which certain pro or semi-pro audio scenarios would require. Mind you, don’t expect these to go all bass heavy on you—that is absolutely not going to happen. You may say that this is tuned for musicians, but think about it—that’s a good thing, purely because the audio processing is minimal and you’ll hear sounds that are as natural as possible, without having to cater to an audience that may want boosted lower frequencies for heavier bass.
While I preferred to use these in the wired mode, the Bluetooth battery life tests did get me through to just less than 10 and a half hours on a single charge. Admittedly, I don’t go really high with the volume, because of troubled and sensitive ears. This battery stamina is ready to get you through a pretty long flight, once you can start traveling again. And when it is about to run down and you cannot juice it up again, simply swap out the Bluetooth module cable for the wired route. Just don’t forget to carry your Android phone and Apple iPhone’s headphone jack adapters.
The Last Word: Don’t Think The Sennheiser IE100 Pro Is Too Pro For You
There is the assumption that earphones meant for professional use cases are expensive. It isn’t true, and the Sennheiser IE100 Pro is certainly adding weight toward countering that assumption. They have everything you’d expect from your earphones, including looking really non-assuming. What you additionally get is more purity with the sound you hear—without processing any frequencies for artificial highlighting. And if that makes your music sound even better, particularly at the higher resolution frequencies, it is absolutely not a bad deal. And at well less than Rs 10,000 for the Sennheiser IE100 Pro, I’d recommend these to just about everyone.