Head­phones of the Year un­der $500

Sound+Image - - Contents -

“Yamaha’s $249 head­phones de­liver ca­bled sound and qual­ity of build that far ex­ceeds their price, and there’s Blue­tooth as well for con­ve­nience.”

This award seemed to take even Yamaha by sur­prise — we don’t know why, as we reg­u­larly find high-value head­gear from the com­pany, and we still hold a par­tic­u­lar flame for the HPH-200 in 2011, and the quirky yet rock solid HPH-M82 back in 2014. Though th­ese are sim­i­larly priced at $249, the new HPH-W300 are rather su­pe­rior to ei­ther of those — Blue­tooth-equipped fully overear de­signs with im­pres­sively black pack­ag­ing and a stu­dio-level feel of build, es­pe­cially the solid steel ad­justers that slide into the well-padded and com­fort­able head­band. The black head­shells them­selves are pre­dom­i­nantly plas­tic, yet con­ceal a care­ful two-cham­ber de­sign, the cir­cuitry all in an outer cham­ber and the 40mm driver iso­lated within.

We’re pleased to see the main con­trols are kept on hard but­tons for pow­er­ing up and for Blue­tooth pair­ing, re­mem­ber­ing that they can be also be used un­pow­ered with the pro­vided ca­ble — in­deed the ‘Hi Res Au­dio’ logo on the box refers to their ca­bled abil­ity to de­liver a fre­quency re­sponse quoted to 40kHz, whereas of course via Blue­tooth you’re lim­ited to be­low CD qual­ity, al­though you’ll get the best pos­si­ble re­sult here given the in­clu­sion of both the AAC codec for iPhone users and the aptX codec for An­droid phones which sup­port it. We cer­tainly pre­ferred the ca­bled sound to Blue­tooth, but the lat­ter was fine enough for mu­sic on the go, while via ca­ble they were punchy, pow­er­ful and mu­si­cal far be­yond their price. While there’s no ac­tive noise­can­celling, the firm fit of the cush­ion­ing seals you well enough for earth-bound travel noise to be min­imised, while their midrange strength cuts eas­ily through any back­ground noise. Big bar­gain, right here.

More info: au.yamaha.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.