Sennheiser has launched its latest wired in-ear headphones, and they come with a price tag that could put off all but the most dedicated audiophiles.
The Sennheiser IE 900 are the brand's new flagship earbuds, and they'll set you back $1,299 / £1,099 / AU$2,099 when they're released in June – far pricier than most wired earphones.
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So, what do you get for that four-figure price? Well, according to the company, every aspect of the IE 900 has been "engineered to work in harmony to achieve the desired acoustic tuning and to reduce resonances and masking effects."
Inside each earbud is Sennheiser's proprietary X3R transducer, which features a triple-chamber absorber system. This apparently ensures "brilliant, natural high-end sound reproduction and reveals even the finest details in the music."
Those chambers work alongside an acoustic vortex to form an absorber system to counter the masking effect – which arises when your ears can't perceive high frequency sounds at a low volume if you're hearing louder low frequency sounds at the same time. According to Sennheiser, this absorber system stops unwanted peaks, "making even the subtlest nuances of sound audible."
And, with a frequency response of 5 Hz – 48,000 Hz, the IE 900 should be able to reveal lots of detail in your music.
As you'd expect from audiophile earbuds, the IE 900 come with an unbalanced cable with a 3.5mm connector and balanced cables with 2.5mm and 4.4mm connectors.
You should be able to find a secure fit too, tanks to adjustable ear hooks, and a selection of silicone and memory foam ear tips.
Of course, these earbuds will have to sound astonishingly good to justify that high price tag. They're significantly more expensive than most earbuds on the market, including our favorite wired earbuds, the 1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones, which cost $89 / £70 / AU$100.
Still, they're not the priciest earbuds we've ever seen. Back in 2020, Chinese in-ear monitor manufacturer qdc launched what may be the most expensive earbuds on the planet, coming in at a whopping $12,580 / £12,199 (about AU$18,000).
The lavish Blue Dragon in-ear headphones are encrusted with 800 sapphires and feature an audio cable made with gold-plated sterling silver conductors, silver-plated single crystal copper, and a copper / palladium alloy.
Sadly, you won't find any precious stones on the outer housings of the Sennheiser IE 900 – but if they deliver the kind of sound the company promises, it won't matter.