Onkyo's first ES-HF300 headphones look snazzy, cost £180
We wrap our ears around Onkyo's first set of headphones, which are out in the UK on 22 April.
Onkyo is best known for making high-end audio equipment, but now the Japanese tech-maker is trying to muscle into the world of headphones.
The manufacturer's first attempts are catchily dubbed the ES-HF300, and come in black, white and purple. I've had a quick listen through these lightweight cans, and can report that on first listen they're very bassy, but don't sound fuzzy at all, and do justice to Carly Rae's Call Me Maybe.
You'd expect decent sound though, because these cans will set you back a penny shy of £180. If that's slightly too much cash to bear, you can opt for the £150 ES-FC300, which are identical except for the kind of cable they come with.
Onkyo says the HF300's 'audiophile-grade' cable will make a difference to the sound quality you enjoy. I haven't listened through the lower-end cable that comes with the FC300s (it's flattened to reduce tangle), but I strongly suspect there'll be no discernable difference.
That's good news, because it means you can opt for the cheaper cans. If I get a chance to use the headphones using the cheaper cable and notice any difference in sound quality, I'll update this story.
One downside is there's no in-line remote for controlling playback or taking calls with a smart phone. Onkyo said versions with remotes are due later this year, though.
On the plus side, however, the cable itself detaches from the headphones. That means when your cable inevitably gets worn down, you can buy a new one instead of having to buy entirely new headphones.
Onkyo is also making in-ear equivalents, the IE-HF300 and IE-FC300, which cost £130 and £100 respectively. Again, the only difference is the cable they come with.
The over-ear models are out in the UK on 22 April, with the in-ear models to follow a month or so later. Onkyo is also cooking up a partnership with Gibson guitars, so expect axe-themed cans to appear around the summer.
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