IE 300 "overdriving" / "clipping"

Hello, my name is Paul and I am from Austria. I’m pretty new to IEMs and audiophile stuff. I recently bought the Sennheiser IE 300, I have them hooked up to the audient Evo 4. They usually work fine, the only problem I have with them is that every time a high-pitched sound/bass comes (like a grenade exploding in Apex Legends, or Someone in discord talking more loudly) up my IEMs start to basically “clip” or “overdrive” and a weird crackling noise comes up.
As I said before I have them hooked up to my Audient Evo 4, the IE 300 has a 3.5mm Jack, and the audient Evo 4 has a 6.3mm audio jack. I bought a 6$ Adapter to connect my IEMs. (My suggestion is that the adapter is causing the problem.) One of my friends said that the Audient Evo 4 has too much “power” for them and I need an “iFi iEMatch+ 3.5mm Male to Female Headphone Jack In-Ear Monitor”, this particular one is 50$ which is kinda expensive. (I’ve already tried hooking them up to my monitor and that works without the weird sounds, but the IEMs are too silent if I connect them to my monitor.) Does anyone of you maybe know what could cause the problem?

PS: English is not my native language so please don’t blame me for that :slight_smile:

To be honest in case of Discord it seems that the other person’s microphone distorting is causing these weird sounds. People often use laptop’s built-in microphones or gaming headsets, so in other words not state of the art microphones, that will distort when someone talks loudly.

I am not sure with Apex Legends (I do not have any experience with this game) but my best guess is that the sounds of explosions are heavily compressed so that they will not deafen the players for lack of better words. When heavy compression happens, the “clipping” and “overdrive” sounds often apper.

I maybe forgot to add that this also appears when I play some loud music or watch a loud youtube video.
Do you maybe know a fix to that?
Thank you for your answer!

Try plugging the IE300 directly into the headphone jack of your computer (if you have one) and see if you experience the same phenomenon. That’ll tell you if it’s something about the interface or not.

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If it happens with music and YT too - to me it looks like a bad unit. If I were you I would use the warranty. Maybe more people will respond, so it would advise to wait a little bit with using this solution.

Hi, thank you for your answer. I already plugged my IEM into my monitor and it worked perfectly fine (just a little too silent). I already plugged my old headphones (Sennheiser 660S) into my interface and everything worked perfectly (no sound problems whatsoever).
Thank you for your answer!

Yeah, so it sounds like the interface is too powerful for the IEM like your friend said. You could either get an IEMatch as they recommended, or get some other DAC/amp for it. One thing you might try is an $8 Apple USB-C-to-headphone dongle, since on my computer and phone the IE300 gets perfectly loud with it and it doesn’t really need anything fancy to sound good.

I’m guessing this is due to the Evo 4 having extremely LOW power and extremely HIGH output impedance of 50ohm. I’m guessing the built in amp (if you can call 45mw into 30 ohms an amp…) is just incredibly weak and you’re pushing it’s limits and it’s clipping. I’d bet part of the reason they have a high output impedance is to avoid the clipping when load impedance is low (meaning more current draw) to avoid voltage drops (that’ll cause clipping). If you have any higher impedance IEMs give them a try and see if they clip as well.

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