At around £120, the Sennheiser IE 60 earphones are aimed at those who care a lot about how their music sounds. The good news is that, as a brief summary, they sound great. They offer the forthright bass and mid-range of the best Sennheiser earphones, producing a powerful sound. Performing remarkably well at low volume too, they're a good choice if you like to keep your player's volume fairly low without leaving music weak and limp.
They use dynamic drivers, rather than the balanced armature type commonly seen at this high-end level. However, this is common to all current Sennheiser in-ear models - the £250 IE 80 use the same type of driver.
There are some sound compromises that you won't hear at that top-end level, though. There's some thickness to the upper-mids and low-bass. This helps to give the earphones warmth, but also can confuse more complex arrangements or those that have a particular emphasis on this part of the frequency spectrum.
High-end detail and resolution is also not a patch on the Sennheiser IE 80, which provide a more open, clear sound. Comparing with earphones twice the price is rarely a favourable comparison, but this lack of top-end focus married to the low-mid bump results in less clarity than some cheaper sets, such as the Nocs NS400. Sennheiser's lower-end sets are often accused of having a "boxy" sound, and this is a fairly true description of the sound signature here.
A mid-range focus does have some benefits, though. Vocals are pushed right to front of a mix, avoiding getting submerged under other sonic layers as they often are in bass-centric sets.
Vocals do miss the lighter touch of more refined, insightful treble. And this is something you can find in some similarly priced earphones - not just the big-daddy Sennheiser IE 80. Both the Phonak Audeo PFE 112 and Nocs NS400 have that extra touch of grace and fidelity, and are available for the same price or less. A hearty mid-range is admirable, but isn't enough to win out over the current class leaders.
With strong mid-range and bass performance, the Sennheiser IE 60 offer good sound whether you're listening at low volume or ear-splitting levels. However, lacking the treble finesse of some similarly-priced sets and Sennheiser's higher-end models and removable cables, they don't quite win our full recommendation.
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