I mean, sure, if you’re wearing wired in-ear headphones in 2023, you could absolutely buy a pair with the cables going straight down. Or you could get a pair with wires that go up and swoops backward behind your ears like Sennheiser’s latest pair of earbuds, the IE 200, and pretend you’re a musician onstage at Glastonbury every time you’re wearing them.
At $149.99, these in-ear headphones (or, I guess, in-ear monitors) sit at the bottom of Sennheiser’s IE range, which goes up to the eye-wateringly expensive $1,499.95 IE 900. But the fundamentals are (ostensibly) the same. They have that premium-looking cable-up form factor and are equipped with the same sized 7mm “extra-wide band” transducers. Sennheiser claims these offer “superbly balanced and realistic audio” and a “natural frequency response curve typically found in earphones costing significantly more.”
Other features include a selection of both foam and silicone ear tips that can be mounted in one of two positions to find the right fit for you and detachable cables for when the wires inevitably wear out over time. As What Hi-Fi? notes, there doesn’t appear to be any sign of an in-line remote on their cable, likely because these have a reputation for harming sound quality on wired headphones.
“With balanced, true-to-life audio reproduction, users will be able to hear the details that they’ve been missing in ordinary headphones,” says Sennheiser audiophile product manager Jermo Koehnke.
Sennheiser’s IE 200 headphones go on sale on January 31st.