Full range entwined
It’s been a while since a pair of in-ear headphones was dropped on our desks, so you can imagine that we were fairly amused when we see one when it showed up. More interestingly, it was an Onkyo E700M, and it supports High-Resolution Audio.
Now, headphones with support for Hi-Res Audio are getting more and more common, but this is likely the first that we’ve tested in this form factor. And Onkyo went the extra mile to give us the good stuff – the larger-thanusual 13.5mm drivers, and an IEM-esque 1.2m twisted cable with an inline microphone. Unfortunately, this is where we find the first blemish on the otherwise pretty sparkling E700M – where you usually find inline controls consisting of three buttons, you only get one here. While you can certainly live with the omission of volume controls, it does take awhile to get used to – especially after using so many that have them.
Like most in-ear headphones, you get extra silicone caps of different sizes, as well as a single pair of foam tips. We’d have thought these would have already gone out of style considering the speed at which they degrade, but it does provide a level of comfort that you just don’t get with silicone, so at least the option is there for those who prefer it.
Putting the Onkyo E700M in action, it’s pretty clear that it’s an all-rounder performer. It does very well throughout the range, whereby the lows, mids and highs don’t overwhelming one another. This is likely what you want if you listen to a wide variety of music, unless you’re willing to spend on more than one pair of headphones for each type of music you listen to.
The usual first on our list was ‘NY Rush’ by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. The wide range of instruments was clearly heard with great detail, with good resonance on each as well. The same goes for Joanna Wang’s ‘The Best Mistake I’ve Ever Made’ and John Mayer’s ‘Why Georgia’ – the resonance on the guitars were great and the vocals were clear. It performed well on our final test track, ATB’s ‘In Love with the DJ’, but here we realized that while the bass had a good and precise punch, it doesn’t punch as hard as we were used to from an in-ear pair.
All in all, the Onkyo E700M is a brilliant pair of in-ear headphones, with odd quirks of its own that give it character. That said, at its price point, it does face some
CONCLUSION The Onkyo E700M has a few quirks that need getting used to, but otherwise it looks good and sounds good, so it’s easy to recommend.
stiff competition, so while we could recommend this to you, we could also do the same for others of equal price and quality.
There’s also a nice pouch for you to carry the E700M around.