Onkyo have made their first steps into the headphone market, launching two over-ear and two in-ear models, as well as announcing a headphone partnership with Gibson guitars.
The top-end model from the brand most widely associated with AV and Hi-Fi gear is the ES-HF300. A closed-back, over-ear design with wide-range 40mm titanium drivers and a unique bass-sub chamber design for clean low frequencies, they come complete with a detachable oxygen-free audiophile grade copper cable with gold plated connectors. They’ll set you back £179.99.
Next up are the over-ear ES-FC300. They’re almost identical to the HF300 cans in terms of internal specifications, but swap out the audiophile cable for a simple detachable non-tangle one (though Onkyo will offer the audiophile HCMX-HF120 cable as a separate £49.99 upgrade for those interested). Available in black, white and violet shades (with red, white and violet cables respectively), the ES-FC300 headphones will cost £149.99. Again, the non-tangle HCMX-FC120 cables will be available to buy separately at £29.99 for those looking to match the headphones to an outfit.
Moving on to the in-ear models, both the £129.99 IE-HF300 and £99.99 IE-FC300 earphones offer 14.3mm dynamic transducers and a balanced sound. Again, the only thing separating the two is the cable used and again all cables are detachable, and the aforementioned cables for the over-ear headphones can be bought and used with the in-ear models.
The Onkyo-branded headphones will be available in stores by the end of the month. Versions with in-line mics will launch at some point in Q3.Perhaps most interesting of all though was Onkyo’s announcement that they’d be extending their partnership with Gibson guitars to offer a range of Gibson-branded headphones. These look set to match the specifications of the ES-HF300, but will come in classic Gibson guitar finishes (Black Beauty, Gold Top and Vintage Cherry Burst), and come in a collectible package. These will launch with a Gibson-branded smartphone EQ app some time after July.
We’ll have a full review of the Onkyo ES-HF300 headphones in the coming days, so check back soon for more.
By Gerald Lynch | April 17th, 2013