December 16, 2019
“When a show or gig is underway, monitoring is crucial,” said Jannik Schentek, product manager with Sennheiser. “Beyond connecting you with other musicians, in-ears connect you to yourself, allowing you to improve the way you perform. The IE series has been designed with this goal in mind, and the new models offer several stunning features that let users excel in their art.”
THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE DESIGN
“For the IE 400 PRO and IE 500 PRO, we have reinvented the single dynamic driver principle. Other in-ears in the same price range work on the balanced armature principle, which we find to be inferior to a wideband dynamic driver,” explains Schentek. “Balanced armature earphones – a technology borrowed from hearing aids where small packages are crucial – require multiple drivers to reproduce the frequency range, and this may lead to cross-over effects and phase differences between the individual drivers. The IE 400 PRO and the IE 500 PRO, on the other hand, use a single high-performance dynamic driver that covers the entire frequency range with ease, resulting in a distortion-free, detailed and accurate sound reproduction.”
This single-driver technology, termed TrueResponse, ensures a completely natural, clear and spacious sound stage with a total harmonic distortion (THD) as low as under 0.08% at 1 kHz and 94 dB. When the sound is so precise and detailed, the acoustical stress for the wearer is reduced, and they discover that they can set their monitors to a lower level. Even so, the sound still has punch – even in the loudest of surroundings. This enables musicians to critically monitor their sound and to fully concentrate on their performance.
COMFORT & FIT
With the driver measuring only 7 mm in diameter, the IE 400 PRO and IE 500 PRO feature a comfortable ear mold, which is ergonomically shaped, has a low profile and is extremely lightweight.
The in-ears come with silicone ear adapters in various sizes and a pair of special ear tips made from memory foam, which expand to perfectly fit the ear canal. In addition, the earphones’ ‘sound tunnel’ has two rest positions to attach the ear tips to, to accommodate the variances in length of human ear canals.
This results in a secure and comfortable fit that comes very close to custom-made ear molds. Moreover, the perfect sealing provides powerful bass reproduction and a reduction in ambient sound by up to 26 dB, protecting the wearer against excessive stage sound.
PATENT-PENDING AUDIO CONNECTION
Like every in-ear in this professional series, the IE 400 PRO and IE 500 PRO are fitted with a break-proof inner cable duct (patent pending), that has the cable’s sturdy anti-kink sleeve sit directly on the ear mold, providing a long-lasting solution for the rigors of stage use. For easy distinction, the right ear mold has a red ring at its cable connection.
Both new models have a detachable cable with a reinforced ear hook. While the IE 400 PRO comes with a black, straight cable, the IE 500 PROs are fitted with a clear, twisted-pair cable which provides optimized resistance to structure-borne noise.
IE 400 PRO VS. IE 500 PRO
Asked about the difference in sound between the two models, Jannik Schentek commented: “The biggest difference is in the mids, really. Between 1 and 2.5 kHz, the IE 500 PRO has more presence and sounds much more direct, thus opening up a very wide and deep sound stage that allows artists to more easily localize themselves in the mix. Furthermore, it has a wider frequency response and a few extra dBs of sound pressure level – which can be crucial on loud stages.”
The IE 400 PRO and IE 500 PRO will be available from March and retail at EUR/USD 349 and EUR/USD 599, respectively. Both models are available in a clear and a smoky black version. They come complete with a handy transport case, memory foam and silicone ear tips, a cleaning tool, and a 3.5 mm (1/8”) to 6.3 mm (1/4”) jack adaptor.