I went to Long and McQuade today - a pretty large audio store here in Toronto - and came across these Roland cans. They sell these for about $185 CAD I believe and after giving them a brief audition, I came to the conclusion that depending on the application and listener's preferences this may well be the best closed can for $200 and less. To begin with, these cans look a lot like Audio Techinca ATH-M50. In fact, the cable plug is identical and the cable and earpads are seemingly made of exactly the same material. The housing itself is also very similar, maybe even identical in shape and size. RH-300 uses a different headband though - very similar to that of Sony MDR-V6/75** series and, of course, different logo and colors as well. Naturally, since these look so much like the M50, I just had to compare the two to see if they may indeed sound similar as well. Luckily, the store also stocks ATH-M50s and I was able to do a brief comparison. After listening to both, I concluded that they appear to use the same drivers, but do not sound alike. The sound character is very similar, but there are also some obvious differences. The most obvious difference in sound between the two, in my opinion, is in the treble. Whereas M50 has a somewhat elevated upper range which can lead to a somewhat harsh and fatiguing sound with certain amps and sources, RH-300's treble is almost perfectly in line with the mids and the bass and should never sound harsh unless these are used with very bright and/or very poor quality sources. The next most significant difference appears to lie in the bass. Once again, the M50 bass is elevated compared to RH-300 and can sound a bit boomy and uncontrolled on songs and sources, where RH-300 sounds quite tight and punchy. Other differences include the midrange which seems to be flatter, fuller and more natural on the RH-300, whereas M50 can sound a bit hollow and lifeless in the mids with some recession in the low and upper midrange. Also, RH-300 seems to be quite a bit easier to drive than M50 (sorry, I haven't compared it's impedance and sensitivity rating to that of M50) while M50 doesn't sound so good without an amp. For example, straight out of my Sony walkman (NWZ-A816), RH-300 sounds significantly more controlled and richer than M50 and seems to get louder. Finally, detail retrieval seems to be better on the RH-300, but I suspect that the details are just more obvious than on M50, because the Roland is more balanced sounding. The similarities in sound between the two are also numerous - both are very dynamic and have excellent separation. Both have very deep bass and very well extended treble. Both have very good imaging and soundstage size for closed cans that rivals imaging abilities of many quality open headphones. However, both also have a somewhat closed in and clinical sounding treble, but that's just IMO as everyone hears differently. Don't get me wrong though - treble is very good on these cans, especially on the RH-300, but it just sounds a bit unnatural to my ears compared to good open headphones for example. I guess am just nitpicking here though. So in conclusion, I believe that RH-300 is worth the extra money over M50 if balanced sound is your priority. RH-300 takes all of the strengths of M50 and eliminates most of its weaknesses. In fact, I have yet to hear a closed dynamic driver headphone in this price range that is a better all arounder than the RH-300. Shure SRH840 is pretty close, but compared to RH-300 it sounds a bit too dark and mellow and certainly needs an amp, whereas RH-300 will sound great even out of weak portables and built-in soundcards. Oh and regarding ergonomics, RH-300 is about as comfortable as M50 (which has good comfort for closed headphones) but it has somewhat smaller and shallower holes in the earpads than M50 and so may not be as comfortable for people with large ears. Isolation is not quite as good as on M50 either and similar to Sony MDR-V6 in this respect. Build quality however seems to be better on the Roland, especially in the headband. Roland just seems to have a sturdier design. Ok, this is the end of my brief impressions on the Roland RH-300. I highly recommend giving these a try if you need a quality, but reasonably inexpensive closed headphone for all around use.