Review - Tangzu x HBB Xuan NV

Sennheiser Custom Tips (IE600)

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This is also available in video format on YouTube: Sennheiser Custom Tips

This is not exactly a review but I did want to spend a few minutes commenting on the custom tips that I received for the Sennheiser IE600.

I have mentioned quite a few times how much I enjoy the Sennheiser IE600 IEMs. They became my default set of travel IEMs, the set that I grab first and then think about what else I may want to take with me. They have basically become my go to IEMs for when I am out and about also, due to the fact that they sound great, are very comfortable and are easily stored due to how small they are.

I actually found that I would wear the IE600 on flights underneath a cheap set of ANC headphones (that don’t sound great but have decent noise cancellation).

Earlier this year, at High End Munich, those of us that were present on the press days got the chance to have our ears scanned at the Sennheiser booth and a set of custom ear tips made for the IE series of IEMs. The tips took quite a while to arrive but finally made it some weeks ago and I want to share my experience with them.

I have been interested in custom tips for quite some time, as there are a few companies out there that offer them, but I haven’t really heard great things about them and the price is not cheap (usually around 150€ plus the scan). So, getting a free set courtesy of Sennheiser was a great chance to try them out. I really have no idea what price these tips would retail for, I don’t even know if they are officially available to the public yet, but I guess checking Sennheisers site now and again would be the best way to find out.

I was expecting the tips to be a lot larger than they are. The images I have seen of custom tips by other brands usually fill the ear much more, yet these are tiny and only fit over the actual nozzle of the IE600, fitting completely inside the ear canal.

While it is great that they are so small, making a set of very compact IEMs even more compact. At first it took me a while to get them to seat properly and seal well, mainly due to not ever trying custom molded tips (or IEMs) before, but when I finally found the correct seating, I was amazed at how well they sealed and how the isolation of the IE600 increased 10 fold. I could feel the perfect match to my ear canals and it blocked out almost all of the external sound. 

The issue came when I went to remove them. As they are so small and fit my ear canals so tight, the IEMs come out of the tips easier than the tips come out of my ear! I have since had some practice and being very careful to use the exact angle upon removing does allow them to come out… most of the time. There are still occasions when I will accidently move a millimeter in the wrong direction and the tips stays in my ear. Trying to get the tip out of your ear is not a fun job, although I am getting a little better at it 😊 The first time took around 40 mins to finally get them both out, now it’s just a minute or so of messing around.

As far as sound, these are by far the best sounding tips that I have used on the IE600. I was worried that the deeper insertion would increase the bass presence on a set that is already a little over my normal preferences for midbass levels but I actually find the bass to be punchier and clearer, which gives the impression of having slightly less bass. I don’t think there is actually less bass but the improved clarity gives me that sensation and I find myself liking these IEMs even more than I did. I like a little bit of extra bass when out and about due to it being the first thing to suffer against external noise, yet the increased isolation makes that no longer an issue and I even find myself reaching for the IE600 when just listening for pleasure at home or in the office

As I said, I don’t know the price of these tips but the improvement in isolation and bass presentation are something that I would consider well worth an investment

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