Pros: Good bass impact and treble extension, soundstage and instrument separation surprisingly good
Cons: Coloured sound, bloated bass, terrible microphonics, flimsy plug, poor build quality
These cans come free with HTC phones released in the past year. This version, known as the MAX300 in China, can be found online for under $15 (as far as I know, they're not sold on most of HTC's online stores except China or Taiwan). There are also Bluetooth and three-button in-line versions being sold officially on HTC's site.
The design is reminiscent of Beats headphones. They look good if you put Beats Logo stickers on the side. (...)
Isolation is very good, better than my CKM500, but due to the design of the driver housing, inserting them into your ear gives off a "squeaky" or "sucking" sound while music is playing. I tried my CKM500 tips and they still do this, so it may be a case of driver flex or air pressure building up on the eartip being pressed back. Putting them into your ears may hurt a bit if you're sensitive to pressure but the fit is generally quite comfortable.
The cable is flat and does not tangle very easily, but it is VERY microphonic; even wearing over-ear (which is awkward because the button controller on the right cord is now right beside your chin). Wear with a clip if you have one. Additionally, the plug is very flimsy and with my phone it likes to be "half-plugged" thus removing the vocals.
Note that these are my impressions from a few months of use, without burn-in as these are not the headphones I regularly use.
At first I was somewhat turned off by the sound. The bass is way too heavy. The sound signature is very coloured and they are sometimes likened to an unbranded Beats. These are definitely bass-heavy and the bass impact is very good. However, at the same time, the bass can be bloated and muddy. They are not ideal for bass-heavy tracks but they do give more life to tracks that lack bass. The mids aren't dry or recessed, and have a slight bit of warmth, but they are slightly veiled and may sometimes be drowned out by the bass. The treble is a tad thin but seems to extend very well. Although there is some occasional sibilance it doesn't sound harsh, and separates very well. The soundstage is quite good; it is quite wide, though it is more average in depth. There's quite a bit of layering and I sometimes pick up new details that I don't notice with some of my other headphones. In fact, I find myself listening to these cans more and more. To conclude, the MAX300 is far from balanced, it serves the bassheads well, without sacrificing the highs or soundstage.
For under 15$ these are not a bad deal. They can't compete with Sony and LG's options. However, except for the bloated bass and the awful microphonics, I was rather impressed with these cans considering the price. The are not for audiophiles but may be good for bassheads who would like a bit of detail and soundstage.
Update: One of the cans broke. The build quality is a big problem unfortunately.
Note: I changed the ratings considering the price point