Onkyo has entered into the headphone market with the ES-HF300 and near identical ES-FC300. The only difference between the two is the lack of a premium detachable cable on the FC300, so for the purposes of this hands-on, we will look at them both under the same guise.
The headphones are going on sale in black, white and purple. Of the three, the black is easily the best looking. The contentric circles on the side of each headphone reminds us a lot of the effect Asus employs in its laptops.
They are fairly chunky, not Beats sized but definitely big enough for you to notice them sitting on your head. Comparing them to the much more compact Bowers & Wilkins P3s, however, we could see size could be an issue if you want quality portable headphones.
Build quality is to Onkyo's usual standards. Everything is fit and flush and the detachable cable on the headphones clicks in satisfyingly. The flat cable on the cheaper FC300s strikes us as being a bit flimsy.
Comfort could only be an issue depending really on how big your ears are. The headphones definitely sat nicely on our head and we can't see them causing issues after lengthy plays on the top of your head, provided you aren't an elf.
As for sound, it's definitely good. Onkyo's stand was particularly noisy - loud enough that we can't really comment properly on how nice the HF300s sound. They did have a touch too much treble from what we heard, but there was plenty of warmth and bass wasn't overblown. They sound like how much they cost really, which is $129 in the US.
We are really looking forward to spending more time with the new Onkyo headphones. They produce great home Hi-Fi kit and we hope the same quality and sound has been passed on to the HF300s. We can't fault the design and initial listens point to them being good.
The Onkyo ED-HF300s will cost $179 and the cheaper FC300s $149. A cable is going to be around $50. The headphones should go on sale in Q1.