Onkyo may be a manufacturer of high-end audio products aimed at audiophiles, but its latest offerings bring excellent sound to mass consumers at very reasonable prices.
The Onkyo E700M in-ear headphones are well worth their price tag of $149, as their sound quality and construction are superb. They support high-resolution audio, although this does not mean your regular compressed MP3 files will magically sound better through them.
Even so, the impressive audio quality of the earphones makes for a very pleasant listening experience.
Music sounds very balanced, with little artificial bass or highs, and nuances come across very clearly. There is the distinctive Onkyo warmness, which gives songs a sense of spaciousness and sufficient punch.
The earphones were able to rock the opening number of the soundtrack of hit musical Hamilton, with ample bass that does not overpower the vocals or strings.
The earphones come in a larger body that seal them into your ears, providing a firm fit that can withstand the most vigorous of headbanging. The fit also has an added benefit of isolating outside noise, and does a pretty good job of keeping ambient noise out, so that your music comes through louder.
DRIVER DIAMETER: 13.5mm
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 6Hz - 40kHz
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5
The larger body also allows Onkyo to house a 13.5mm high-powered driver in the earphones for more powerful audio performance. This allows the earphones to deliver hi-res audio of up to 40kHz when paired with a digital audio player playing uncompressed hi-res files.
In terms of build quality, the E700M earphones sport very solid construction. They are housed in aluminium, giving them a light and sturdy feel.
Onkyo opts to keep things simple by offering the earphones in only two colours: black and white.
The tangle-free braided cables also add a nice premium touch. Attached to them is a rather large in- line microphone and a single button to pause music or receive calls.
I would have preferred to have volume controls there as well, given the size of the in-line control.
- Verdict: The E700M is a stellar buy, performing way above its price tag.