Sennheiser’s latest audiophile earbuds make the AirPods Pro look cheap

Sennheiser IE 300
(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Sennheiser has announced the IE 300, a new pair of wired in-ear headphones that offer professional-grade sound quality — but at a premium price.

At £259/€299, which is about $363, the IE 300 are set to cost considerably more than even Apple’s noise-cancelling AirPods Pro. But Sennheiser says these buds “a detailed high-fidelity listening experience” for serious audio enthusiasts.

This does mean no Bluetooth connectivity, a crowd-pleasing feature but not one that would enable the cleanest, sharpest sound possible. To that end the IE 300 are built around an upgraded version of Sennheiser’s 7mm Extra Wide Band (XWB) transducer, which has previously featured in other high-end Sennheiser earbuds like the IE 800 S, and aims for a balanced and accurate sound signature instead of emphasising booming bass or overly piercing treble.

Unlike the IE 800, the IE 300 adopt an ear loop design for a more secure fit, as well as a wider housing which could help with passive noise isolation as it covers more of the ear canal.

Sennheiser’s no-expense-spared approach also extends to built quality. The 3.5mm cable you get in the box, for instance, is reinforced with aramid — or, to use its more common name, Kevlar. You also get a choice of three sizes for the removable tips, with both silicone and memory foam tips included.

Of course, for all this you’ll likely have to pay at least $300 once the IE 300 are released. That’s not just more than the AirPods Pro, but probably also more than Sennheiser’s own Momentum True Wireless 2, which we note have a higher frequency range (5-21,000 kHz) than that of the IE 300 (6-20,000 kHz).

Then again, the IE 300 look like a bargain next to the $1,000 IE 800 S, so if you’re an audiophile and want to get your hands on a pair of buds with Sennheiser’s XWB drivers, this could be the easier way to do it. We’ll update this story one we know specific U.S. pricing and availability; the IE 300 are due for release thoughout Europe by March.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.