Pros: Clarity throughout the whole range, bass extension
Cons: Peak in the highs (8KHz region), slight sibilance, microphonics
Firstly, I want to start off by thanking T-Peos for providing me with the H-300 for reviewing and testing. I have to admit the beta version before mass production got me confused and disappointed but the revised version, I am much more happy. I really respect the way T-Peos is always trying to find out and provide what the people want to hear and I can tell they are putting in a lot of effort. I also want to thank T-Peos for considering the opinions of many head-fiers overseas although their main target is for people here in Korea.
T-Peos began their brand in March of 2013 under a micro-speaker research and development company called SWP Shinwoo Electronics which was established in 1986. They started the in-ear product business in April of 2012 and currently have an impressive range of dynamic and hybrid in-ears. On average, they have been releasing a new product every 2 months, developing a product in half a year which takes most companies a full year. The only thing I understand from this is that they are working twice as hard.
Last summer, I was on my annual leave visiting Busan, Korea and was able to try out their first hybrid, H-100, at a Kyobo Bookstore. Usually, I never really try out any brands that I haven't heard of but something caught my eye when the description said hybrid. This was the first hybrid I tried out and it was a jaw-dropping experience. Immediately, I took interest in all of T-Peos' products and when I got home, purchased the H-200 right away without even doing any research about it.
After the H-100, H-200, H-100J, the H-300 is the fourth in-ear in their hybrid lineup and about a week ago they had their first double dynamic single ba hybrid released, H-150. After the H-200, it is their second 3-way hybrid. The H-300 was developed from the feedback of many users from the H-200. Their aim was to fix the flaws such as the dip in the mids, tighten the bass, get rid of the muddiness in the highs and to create a new standard for the hybrid in-ear market. T-Peos has received a lot of praise on the clarity of their in-ears and it seems that the H-300 has made them a lot more worthy of that praise.
Driver: Single dynamic for low, single ba for mids, single ba for highs
Max power: 100mW
Frequency Range: 20Hz~20KHz
In their product description in Korean they say that they brag of the quality and naturalness of treble that the H-300 produces as well as it's enlarged soundstage.
I will start this review commenting on the sound because I know that's the part everybody's mostly interested in.
Source: HTC One -> Poweramp, Mac Pro -> Cog
Songs used for testing: (all in flac except for one or two which are in 320kbps)
Owl City - Cave In
Panic! At the Disco - Vegas Lights
Skrillex - Dirty Vibe
Taylor Swift - Breathe
Nell - Fantasy
Copeland - Choose the One Who Loves You More
Armin Van Buuren - Pulsar
Boys II Men - Four Seaons of Lonliness
Fourplay - Bali Run
Jason Derulo - Marry Me
Fun. - Some Nights
Coldplay - Swallowed in the Sea
Kelly Clarkson - Catch My Breath
-Bass (Below 125Hz)
I was always impressed with the bass from every in-ear from T-Peos starting from the $10 dynamic one to the hybrid before the H-300, the H-100J. Bass is something they never did wrong so I already knew it was going to be amazing. None of the T-Peos products are considered a basshead in-ear but I feel that it could always appeal to any bass lover and on the H-300 it got better. People in here in Korea said the bass in the H-200 was loose and was over-emphasized so the quantity of bass is less than the H-200 but is definitely controlled and tighter. A little tweaking in the EQ and you can get that sub-bass rumble "club feel" and it makes any EDM genre fun to listen to. I listen to a lot of club music while on the subway to and back from work and it really felt like I was in a club. When I got on the subway listening to my rumbling club music, it was packed with people so I could barely move (as it always is in a Korean club) and they all had their hands up (although they were holding on to the over head hand bars). Only if the lights were a little dimmed down, there would be no difference lol. I'm not saying that it always sounds like this but I'm saying that it could easily sound like this if you wanted it to. The bass is tight with a natural amount of impact as it needs to be in rock genres and it can also have that deep BOOOOOM rumble that's in a lot of electronic music (although this is a little better in the H-200 imo). It does not overpower the mids or the highs and comes across with amazing texture and depth. I can not find anything negative to say about the bass and I never have with any of their products. If I were to change it, I would like a bit more impact on the kick but other than that I wouldn't want to take away or add anything else.
Although the mids are a lot more full on the H-300 than the H-200, I was able to notice some flaws. The fullness in the mids coming from instruments were done nicely and I liked the way they came across but I felt the vocals were slightly veiled and dry especially in the lower vocal range (I do have a tendency to like very vocal forward sounds). I felt a slight dip in the 1KHz region and it sounded like the vocals had no firm foundation when lacking in the lower range of their voice. However, sounds of synthesizers and electric guitars were expressed with excellent tonation and color. The sustain and reverb expressed on the toms coming from the lower mids give an a wonderful sense of space and made genres like indie rock listening a lot more enjoyable.
-Highs (Above 4.5KHz)
This is where I felt it was the most different from the H-200. If you felt the amount of treble on the H-200 just right, then you will find the H-300 too bright and maybe a bit sharp. The highs on the H-300 lean towards the upper highs and their I noticed that there was a peak somewhere near the 8KHz region that can cause some sharpness and sibilance. With female vocals like Taylor Swift I was able to hear some sibilance but with some female vocals like Kelly Clarkson, I wasn't able to find any. I guess it depends more on the mastering and vocal tone. After a week of burning into my ears I found myself quite satisfied with the treble. The overall treble was just so clear and refreshing with the amount of air it had in it. The details and texture in the snare, high hat and ride cymbal made the rhythm music come alive and it just makes any band music more fun. After listening to the H-300 and trying the H-200 again, the treble did sound a bit muddy.
-Separation and Soundstage
Instrument separation was improved and had a larger soundstage than the H-200. Being a lot more clear in the mids and highs, it is easier to hear and notice the special characteristics of each instrument. Soundstage is larger but isn't on the impressive side with being very wide.
So is it an upgrade from the H-200?
For everyone, this will be different because it depends on what you consider an upgrade. I do consider it an upgrade because it is able to produce a sound with a resolution that sounds more expensive than the H-200. How can I put it...the overall sound signature just sounds more rich. Luxurious? haha.
The boxing is not as nice as the H-200 with it's hard case.
-Set of black silicone tips and grey silicone tips
-1/4" gender jack
-Cable clip (exactly the same as the one that comes with sony xba series)
-Non-mic cable (color coded)
-Soft zipper pouch
I liked the accessories of the H-200 better as it came with foam tips and the bottom half of the mic cable was not made of rubber but some kind of nylon fabric. The zipper pouch also seems to be made of some kind of nylon fabric and it is very well cushioned inside. It's a lot nicer than that stiff fake leather pouch thing that came with the H-200.
The H-300 like the H-200, are built like a tank with a steel and aluminum housing. It looks and feels really strong. However, there is nothing special to the design and falls behind on aesthetic quality. It just looks like a cylinder chunk of grey metal. It is quite heavy as well so it may weigh down a little inside the ears. As for comfort, there is nothing that feels uncomfortable when inside the ears although it has a lot of microphonics no matter what tips or cable you apply. There is a lot less with foam tips however but you will have to get those separately. Although you could wear them over and behind the ears, it would be a lot better if they were ergonomically designed that way since there is a bit of microphonics and weight to these.
*H-300 left, H-200 right
*H-300 left, H-200 right
Well to conclude, it seems that T-Peos is on the right track. The H-300 are a one of a kind. They have been doing this business for less than 2 years and already they have created such a fine line up with adding the H-300 to it. I am impressed. If they were invest a little more in the product design, I'm sure that they would receive a lot more public attention. I strongly believe that not just the H-300 but many of their products can easily challenge top tier IEMs that cost twice three times their price range and they have a unique charm in it's sound that has me mesmerized and wanting to try every single product they make. My expectations for the H-300 were great and now I have even more expectations for the hybrids to come in the future. I'm not sure what will come out next but I have heard rumors of a 4-way hybrid and I feel like a little kid who just can't wait for his parents to bring home his Christmas present.
I just want to thank T-Peos again for this opportunity for providing me with not just the H-300 but many others like the H-100J, DD-200 and a couple other lower end dynamic driver in-ears. It was my honor to test/review them and I hope you will become a greater company with greater products which many people from all around the world will appreciate and respect!
*SPC cable was purchased separately from T-Peos. They are both compatible with the H-200 and H-300.
Feel free to ask me any questions concerning the H-300 or any other T-Peos product and I will try my best to answer you asap :)