With the IE 200, Sennheiser present all-rounder in-ear headphones with convincing sound at a decidedly attractive price. It’s not only cable operation that makes the difference, but also high-quality drivers.
Wired in-ear headphones from Sennheiser are available for professional clientele (Pro series) and for the “pure” music listener. The new IE 200 fits into the latter “audiophile” class as an entry-level model and is half the price of the IE 300 model.
Technology of the Sennheiser IE 200
The Sennheiser IE 200 is designed as a dynamic in-ear system. The built-in, low-distortion TrueResponse driver has a diameter of 7mm and is used in the same form in the more expensive models IE 300, IE 600 and even in the IE 900. However, some compromises have to be made with regard to the design of the housing and other components. For example, Sennheiser does not provide a separate resonator for the vented housing like with the IE 300. And unlike the IE 600, the lightweight black housing of the IE 200 is made of plastic rather than zirconium alloy. The braided connection cable is equipped with MMCX connectors and is thus interchangeable; it has an angled mini-jack plug.
The IE 200 come with a carrying pouch and three pairs each of silicone and memory foam fitting pieces.
The Sennheiser IE 200 in practice
The functionality is completely straightforward: the Sennheiser IE 200 are classic wired in-ear headphones for pure music enjoyment. There are no extras, such as a remote control or an integrated microphone. So in principle, you don’t have to deal with empty batteries, but you do have to deal with the necessary adapters for certain smartphones that have declared the jack connection obsolete.
The lightweight plastic construction is pleasant and sits securely and comfortably in the ear, thanks to its ergonomic, rotatable shape. At the same time, the bendable ear hook provides additional fastening so that the earpieces remain in position even during fast movements and sports – however, no IPX certification is mentioned. It also has to be said that putting on the IE 200 is definitely less comfortable than a TWS solution.
Sennheiser offers a dual tuning function. This means that the intensity of the bass response can be made a little leaner if the fitting pieces on the sound tubes are not positioned wholly in the direction of the driver.
How does the Sennheiser IE 200 sound?
After just a few seconds, it becomes clear that the dynamic 7mm driver with cable connection easily outperforms Bluetooth competitors in the same price range in terms of detail resolution and dynamics. The Sennheiser IE 200 sound balanced and open, with a lot of detail. They deliver neutrality and, at the same time, a deep bass foundation – but as always, this depends on the right fitting and positioning in the ear canal. I might go so far as to call the IE 200 an audiophile solution for “beginners”.
The bass range was precise but not exaggerated. The tonality, dynamics and decay were always recognisable. Added to this was a capacity for real low bass, especially in the more bass-intensive sections of the music.
In the midrange, the IE 200 maintains a good balance between warmth and analytics. When used with voices, the result was a high level of speech intelligibility and, when needed, a beautiful intimacy, where voices could be heard surrounded by the appropriate reverberant space in the production.
Acoustic instruments and symphony orchestras were reproduced with confidence. The same applied to distorted guitars. Rock and metal productions had thrust and sounded consistently coherent. However, the Sennheiser IE 200 did not prettify.
The highs were airy and fast, revealing a lot of details and at the same time resulting in a reliable reproduction of time-critical elements, the stereo panorama included relevant dynamics as well as the soundstage. The Sennheiser IE 200 can be forgiven for not quite reaching the transparency of much more expensive designs. The result was nevertheless impressive. I didn’t notice any harshness outside the mix. On the contrary: the Sennheiser IE 200 reveals the borderline of harshness well and also exposes potential background noise in the recording. There was a noticeable effortlessness in the IE 200’s handling even at high levels, and they did not overload when listening to bass-heavy material such as Goldfrapp’s “Systemagic”.
With a recommended retail price of 149.90 euros, the Sennheiser IE 200 marks an entry point into the audiophile headphone class from the German manufacturer. The harmonious and airy-sounding in-ear design uses the same low-distortion TrueResponse driver that is used in their larger models. With these headphones, Sennheiser succeeds in bridging the gap between listening pleasure and balanced sound quality. With this concept, the device we tested receives our recommendation for cross-genre mobile use.
- transparent sound
- reasonable price
- interchangeable cables with MMCX connection
- somewhat awkward handling with ear hooks
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)6 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance18 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)(1kHz, 1Vrms): 119 dB
- Weight without cable8 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Braided cable with MMCX connectors and 3.5 mm plug
- Silicone and memory foam padding (S, M, L)
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