Pros: Clarity, detail, transparency, detachable cables, light weight housings, excellent bass, 3D soundstage.
Cons: Maybe a little bright for some, packaging could be a little more fancy.
I must admit It's been quite a journey with the company T-PEOS since I tried their H-100 going way back to October - 2012. Since then I've heard most of T-PEOS mid tier line up including H-200 hybrid released around March - 2013 which grabbed quite the attention on Head-Fi and probably for good reason as it scored notably high in some reviews other than mine. I still rate H-200 one of the better hybrids for the price range, under $300. The features including detachable cables with consumer friendly price was most welcomed from T-PEOS.
Moving onto March - 2014, we meet again with T-PEOS brand new H-300 hybrid, lets see if T-PEOS set the bench even higher with their new 3 way hybrid, I think they have indeed but with a different flavour and although the unit isn't perfect it's very close. I must report the unit I have wasn't a review sample, I paid pre sale price of $250 USD + $20 USD shipping. There is one other H-300 unit coming to Australia for a Head-fi members tour so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those impressions and reviews arriving soon.
The tour link with impressions / reviews can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/708754/tour-t-peos-h-300-3-way-hybrid-australian-tour-thread-impressions-reviews
T-PEOS Website: http://www.t-peos.co.kr/
Price currently on Pre-Sale: $250 USD + $20 USD EMS shipping
Presale link: http://www.head-fi.org/t/704283/t-peos-announce-a-releasing-of-h-300-and-start-pre-selling-compensation-sale
T-PEOS H-300 - 3 Way Hybrid:
H-300 is a 3 way hybrid design which consists of dual balanced armatures for the mids and highs and a separate dynamic driver to handle the lows. Up until a few years ago hybrids were far and few between however most recently we're really seeing them come into the spot light, with the likes of AKG, Dunu, Tralucent, Rhapsodio, Aurisonics, Sony, just to name a few bringing out some inspiring hybrid designs.
Specs and Features:
- Aluminium and stainless steel sus303 body
- Covered flaw of H-200 and strengthened bass more
- Attached detachable cable with 2.5mm DC jack connector
( compatible with H-200 )
-Driver Units : Double Balanced Armature & Dynamic Driver
- Impedance : 22 Ohm / 1 kHz
- Sensitivity : 105 dB / 1 kHz
- Power : 100 mW (Max.)
- Frequency Response : 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
- Connectors & Plugs : 2.5mm DC Jack Connector and
3.5mm / 24k Gold Plated L-Type Plug
- Cable : Non-PVC Detachable Cable with Microphone & Non- PVC Detachable Cable with 3 Pole Plug
- Weight : 16g
- Carry Pouch
- Foam Tips & Ear Tips
- Extra Cable with 3 Pole Plug
- 6.5mm Audio Adaptor
Because there's going to be a head-fi members tour for H-300 which will take about 3 months to complete with a full 10 members participating this review will be shorter then ones usually found by myself as I believe I am only person with one opinion. As I said in my H-200 review the full decision of H-300 becoming a worthy competitor lies in the hands of members. I believe H-300 has what it takes to become popular personally just like H-200 did before it.
T-PEOS have been known to outfit their packaging and H-300 is no exception, although we're no longer greeted with the popular wooden storage box once found in the original H-100, instead a consumer friendly approach similar to H-200's packaging last year. It seems many companies have adopted an open box experience similar to Beats Tour or the Monster line up, I found similar in Dunu DN-1000 hybrid packaging. As you can see in the photo, theirs little inserts for the IEM and a foam lined inner carton.
Here's a series of photos showing an unboxing:
Now we've finally reached the bottom of the box lets see what's inside. Firstly, you're greeted with a much larger carry case than previously found on H-200, does anyone remember the rather under sized storage case that came with H-200? Well I do, it was something many people mentioned being to small for even storing H-200 inside. T-PEOS have listened bringing us a considerably bigger carry case with a zipper feature which easily stores not only H-300 but all the accessories to boot. Inside there isn't a second sleeve or pocket for placing tips in although the extra dimensions this time round more than welcome. Great to see!
There's an assortment of tips including those popular red foam tips seen with H-200 accessories and silicon tips of various sizes (S/M/L). There's also a rather large shirt clip that works well along with one 6.3mm adapter for those who like using their H-300 in a home environment or with home amplifiers.
Moving forward to the earphones themselves you have two cables, one mic cable / one non mic. I'm rather intrigued by the spectrum colour coding on the non mic cable, still lets get back to the mic cable for a minute. I haven't been able to test the controls, however there is only one button and a mic present, I have no idea if this works with both Apple and Andriod. Moving on If you have a close look at the connectors this time round, T-PEOS have changed the design from square plugs previously found on H-200 cables to round. I have no strategy what the reason for this was though it seems to operate just as well.
The detachable cables and housings are backwards compatible with any H-200 cable/housing, a slight push followed by a light click can be heard when pushing the connector in. I will say when removing the cable please be careful, do so in two part process. Hold the housing carefully in one hand then pull the plug delicately with a little twist, it should come out about 3mm, after that's done moderately pull the cable away from the housing. Never clean jerk the plug continuously from the housing, slowly and discreetly is your friend. Each cable is terminated with a right angle jack basically identical to that found on H-200. Microphonics are present slightly on both cable and they can be worn over the ear without a problem.
H-300 housings are constructed entirely from aluminum and stainless steel, each housing weighs a miniature 4.5grams, (with cable attached) which is terribly light for a hybrid design, they weigh much less compared to Dunu DN-1000 at 7.5grams, you really feel the difference when wearing them too.
How T-PEOS managed to keep the net weight down I don't know except they sure have made one of the lightest hybrids I've held in my hand which is almost entirely un- felt after a short period wearing them. You can also see they have lost the ring fit guide previously present on H-200. At first glance you would presume the housing are rather lengthy which is correct they're indeed longer than H-200 by a few millimeters however they do something very handy for your user experience when wearing them which I will explain. Each nozzle is the standard size so after market tips fit no problem.
I think the housings have quite an executive appearance to them, quite the business man approach. Sleek and user friendly for a majority.
When wearing the housings they angle backwards towards the outer edge of your ear, if you see this diagram the rear of the housing locks into the section of my ear highlighted, if you feel with your finger there's almost a little cavity there, this stops H-300 moving around keeping it considerably secure for me. I really like the way the housing seats into the ear staying put. I have no problems walking, or jumping. T-Peos
seem to have used the human anatomy for H-300 fitting implementation. It works quite well and hopefully for you too.
(For those wondering, no that is not me in the photo)
Isolation and insertion depth:
H-300 don't require a deep insertion, it's rather shallow to medium, isolation is only average but far sufficient to cut out most outside noise. You won't be producing anywhere near Etymotics isolation levels though more than adequate for outside use. I actually find H-300 very comfortable, tips fit snuggly, the way that housing locks in really amounts to them feeling secure. It's high fives all round for the design, build, and present usability of H-300. I have encountered no driver flex with this pair, none.
H-300 takes a different transformation to the earlier H-200, the tonality being a fraction bright cool and very clean, there's absolutely no veil what so ever, it sounds rather lean compared to something like TF10 or H-200, and edges closer towards the tonality found on my Rhapsodio RDB Mini hybrid. This is good thing for most listeners as the clarity just melts on through with ease, H-300 really is very clean, highly transparent hybrid, if you've ever heard a DBA-02 and can imagine a dynamic driver supporting the low end you have close to what H-300's tonality sounds like. Those who prefer warmth may need a slight adjustment period, though I can assure you it's well worth the time.
To be quite frank the dynamic driver used on H-300 is some of the best bass I've heard period, on any hybrid or IEM even some passing the $600 mark. it leans more towards the neutral side of things but has wonderful speed, texture and clarity, you can effortlessly hear each bass note well defined and separated from the spotless mid. there's very little if any mid bass bloat and no bleed, just tight, spotless clean low end detail. The bass on H-300 was one of the first things to jump out at me, like I'd been missing something in my music all this time. it really has taken my expectations to a new level. The way you can hear each bass note executing bouncing onto the next and the actual shaping of each note is by far close to the best I've heard besides possibly Tralucents revised 1Plus2, and that'a big call considering some of the gear I've heard.
H-300's mid range is airy, clean, transparent and as we've spoken about a touch bright with very generous detail extraction levels far above that of H-200 and leaving IEM like the Dunu DN-1000 behind sounding remarkably pure and coherent, I hate to say it but H-300 does start edging into detail levels my $650 hybrid can reach. The mids are a fraction recessed, I can hear vocals sitting a little further back however it sits in well with the signature. Because of the transparency and refinement the ability to hear samples on the left/center/right channels during busy passages is almost effortless and slow passages the hybrid doesn't even need to think about it.
For example when you listen to an acoustic track you will often hear guitars playing in the background or off to the back left, often with many IEM's you can hear these somewhat but not imaging very clearly, meaning they tend to get lost in the background or smear, what H-300 does is make every sample come into the spotlight, you can pick out instruments at ease following their rifs. it's mainly due to the high level of transparency. Clairty levels are right up there and surpass H-200 and Dunu DN-1000 quite easily, as is the micro detailing, you can pick out little nooks and crannies on songs many other IEM in the price range smear or don't uncover. I have however found a little bit of vocal sibilance if you push them really hard though the way this hybrid is tuned to be lean, you really get a good listening session at lower volumes, you don't need to crank them up to enjoy them.
If I had to sum up the midrange in a few key words they would be: Transparency, Detail, Clairty, Airy, Cool (fraction bright)
As we move up to the highs, they're well detailed with good extension, and contribute to the airy mid range, it's not what I'd call hot treble though certainly a little hotter than H-200 or the DN-1000, for my preferences, the high end is just about right for me, it can sometimes get a little hot on some tracks though it never pushes that boundary where it treads to far out and spikes you. I do think some people may find it a little peaky in sections, it could be a touch smoother however considering the rest of the presentation it sits in well. I want to get some more members impressions on the treble and we'll get some answers from the tour members, but I cannot detect any glaring faults.
Excellent separation. As we've spoken about the mids transparency. When working in conjunction with the instrument separation that's partly why we're hearing samples so clearly, the separation on a technical level is again approaching levels my Rhapsodio RDB Mini can achieve and really isn't a force to be reckoned with, one of H-300 real strong points. It makes many other IEM I have heard in this price range sound like a toy. (yes Westone I'm looking at you) I think it's a sure sign T-PEOS have spared nothing for H-300 on a technical level.
Again, H-300's soundstage reaches widths that are close to excelling Dunu DN-1000 Hybird and already bettering my RDB Mini, it has good depth and height to boot but the best thing about this is H-300 has a rather magical trick up it's sleeve coming across as very 3D, something DN-1000 has a certain aspect of but not to this extend. When a song often busts into the chorus and many instruments start playing the stereo imaging bursts outwards from the left/right channels, almost like they form a kind of hologram around the stage, when you add this with the transparency, clarity and slightly bright tonality it can be almost instant eargasm with the right tracks., it's rather impressive to hear and I really hope others find the same thing.
What you have here in H-300 is a rather cool sounding hybrid with high transparency levels a wonderful soundstage and far above detail levels it's price suggests, then to boot a very capable dynamic driver downstairs. Now it's not perfect, it can exhibit some vocal sibilance if you push them hard though not terrible needs a mention, and please note the mid range is a touch recessed however I think what this hybrid does right is really a no brainier for people looking to purchase.
For me to say H-300 has technical levels on similar standards to my $650 hybrid is a big call but something I really think H-300 pulls off. The soundstage and transparency is genuinely quite magical to listen to, and I highly recommend giving H-300 a try. As I say in my reviews I'm only one person and the members will judge H-300 in it's entirety, though for me, It's an instant keeper and will be staying in my collection for some time. It has already brought me many fun listening sessions and will do so for many more to come.
I'd like to thank T-PEOS for putting the tuning effort in with this one, it really has paid off.