Alright, so I know initial impressions are somewhat stupid as burn-in will certainly change the sound. Fang told me to put 60 hours min. on them before I did my final review. So far I only have about 4 hours on them, but already, I have some very positive things to say.
Look and Build:
The build and look of the HE-300 is nice. I know a few weren't a fan of the change from the line's use of metallic grey to the silver, but I think it's very easy on the eyes, and draws a bit more attention. The headband is the same. Comfortable, but certainly not a looker. That being said, it's functional and well built. The driver covers/grates on this are plastic. A big step down from the metal on the HE-500 I had. They look really nice as they aren't reflective, but they are a little bit creaky and scare me quite a bit. Especially in a $300 headphone. Ergo, they're relatively built, don't look that great, and probably won't hold up under super heavy use. Lucky the sound makes up for that.
Again, keep in mind, I'm sure they have quite a bit more of breaking in to be done, but thus far, they are quite good. I was really nervous for Fang and the gang because their move from orthodynamic to regular dynamics. They did a great job though. I think both the cable and the headphones will need to be broken in to rid themselves of their warmness. Right now, they're really tight, and somewhat exaggerated, but once again, and as I was assured, this will change with use. The bass is quite nice. Certainly not a brain rattler, but certainly distinct, and quick paced. The mids are very smooth and rich, but not exaggerated. They're just right (for me). As for highs, they're very nice. I think they need a little work with separation, but I'm expecting to see this with burn in. As for instrument separation, it was impressively good. Some of the best I think I've heard in sub $350 cans. That being said, soundstage is nothing to brag about. It's not bad, but certainly not like the bigger brothers in the HiFiMan, and not even that great for an open can in this price range.
I'll surely put these through their paces over the next few weeks, but I'm already extremely pleased with the cans. They aren't the best headphones in the $300 range (at least not), but they're certainly a tough contender, and being HiFiMan's first dynamic can, I'm very impressed. I highly recommend everyone check them out if it's in their budget.
Edit: I'm sorry! Didn't mean to post a new thread. Quite a fail on my part...
Edited by TSIG - 8/13/11 at 12:03am