Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
A well-known presence in home audio for decades, Onkyo is aiming to make a name for itself in the world of iDevices with its specialized ES-CTI300 headphones — a set of cans that are a beautiful aesthetic complement to the likes of the iPhone 5s, but are more than just a pretty accessory. Showcasing Onkyo’s experience in audio fidelity as well as component design, they deliver a sound that will thrill all but the most diehard bass junkies, while iPhone and iPod owners will love the inline microphone and music controls.
Available in silver and black, the ES-CTI300s are built from a combination of machined aluminum — particularly attractive on the silver model—and plastic, with padded faux-leather earpieces and headband. This combination of materials makes the headphones extremely lightweight and comfortable, but despite all the plastic, they don’t feel cheap at all (a point in their favor considering the nearly $200 price tag). The fact that the earpieces contain memory foam also goes a long way toward making these headphones ideal for lengthy listening sessions.
Said sessions benefit from the full-range 40mm drivers, which despite not featuring discreet components, do an admirable job of reproducing highs, mid-range, and lows in every type of music we threw at them. Vocals in particular were extremely impressive, making it clear (no pun intended) that Onkyo definitely tuned these headphones toward the mid-range. That’s not a bad thing in the least, since the overall sound remains well balanced. Highs are distinct and lows manage to remain nice and tight, even with particularly bass-heavy tracks. We only wish that the earpieces were slightly more sealing, so that the bass was a bit more pronounced. This can be remedied by tightening up the headband or cupping the earpieces with your hands, but it would be nice to not have to take such measures.
The detachable aspect of the headphones’ design is reminiscent of that employed by industry expert Sennheiser, and is one we’ve always been particularly fond of. The cable can be removed for storage or travel, or in the unfortunate event that it’s damaged, meaning an over-eager small pet or accidental snag won’t be the end of the phones. The cord itself is extremely sturdy, however, making such things unlikely in the first place. The attached mic/remote is an obvious draw for iOS device owners and works as advertised, replicating the functionality of Apple’s pack-in earpods to the letter. The only thing we’d change about the cord is the mini-jack itself, which is overly large and high-profile for headphones designed to be used with portable devices. These minor gripes aside, the ES-CTI300s are worth every penny — and look like it, to boot.
The bottom line. Despite the stiff price tag and slightly disappointing low-end, these exquisitely designed headphones from a beloved name in audio deliver fantastic sound with some handy iOS-geared functionality.
ES-CTI300 On-Ear Headphones
Anything with a 3.5mm audio jack
Well-balanced sound with excellent definition. Extremely comfortable and lightweight. Detachable cord resists tangles and remote/mic is convenient. Overall design is very pleasing and clean.
On-ear design negates some low-end. Mini-jack design is a bit bulky.