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Yamaha Pro 300, Overview
Anyone familiar with the Yamaha brand will tell you their products are world famous for their finely tuned instrumentation, fitting given that their logo is a stylish tuning fork.
It comes as no surprise then that the Pro series of headphones recently released by the company has gained prominence as one of the best street style headphones in the game.
The series boasts 3 sets of headphones specifically designed to gain a foothold in an ever growing market and the Yamaha Pro 300 is the entry level headphone of the series. Stylistically it bears a suspiciously striking resemblance to the famous Beats By Dre headphone lineup but thankfully that’s where the resemblance all but stops.
I’m not kidding when I say stylistically these headphones resemble Beats’, in fact the resemblance is so eerie that I’ve gotten used to the surprised exclamation of “Oh I thought these were Beats” from friends and colleagues alike when they get close enough to realize the tuning fork emblazoned on the ear-cups is not a Beats’ logo.
The headphones come in three colors, namely racing blue, all white and piano black, on all of them the monochrome is broken only by the silver tuning fork that is the Yamaha logo. The end result, I must say, is quite stunning and it’s no surprise that so many brands are opting to outright copy the signature Beats look in this respect, Yamaha being one of them. Put quite simply, the design scheme works and the number of random conversations that have started because I was wearing my racing blue version more than proves it.
The actual ergonomics of the headphones unfortunately are not as impressive however because from the moment you put them on you will feel how tight fitting the Pro 300’s are.
The earpieces attach by a ball-joint type mechanism at the extendable sections of the band, while this is usually a good thing the problem here is the spring that holds them together is pretty stiff and as such they don’t really loosen much when you extend them. Even if you extend them to their limits the end result will just be pressure on your lower ears so there really isn’t much you can do to improve the tight fit.
That said the ear cushions are actually comfortable and go some way in ensuring that you’re comfortable for at least a couple of hours before you have to take them off.
The padding on the headband itself is also quite cushy and will lessen the strain on your head.
A flat, tangle free 4 foot long cable attaches from the left earpiece, while it’s nice enough in and of itself, it would have been even better if it had been removable as that would make it easily replaceable if need be. But really that’s just me nitpicking here, most headphones in this price range don’t have detachable cables anyway.
The remote control that sits on the cable is ios optimized, meaning it’s not compatible with any device that isn’t from Apple, a crying shame given how many such devices there are in the world.
An industry standard 3.5 mm jack is attached to the end of the of the cable and included in the box is a 1/4 inch adapter as well as a padded zip up carrying case.
These headphones are relatively portable and can be folded up and carried in the case that comes with and at just 200 grams you won’t have much weight to carry around as far as supra-aural’s go.
Like I said earlier the resemblance to Beats’ headphones ends on the visual side of things, in terms of sound these couldn’t be more different.
The Pro 300’s provide a much flatter response than the enhanced Beats’ headphones that are every bass head’s wet dream. That’s not to say they have bad sound or lack bass, far from it, the Pro 300’s are probably some of the most well balanced headphones you will ever have the pleasure of listening to and their sound reproduction is second to none.
The fact is they just won’t add bass where it originally wasn’t there and they won’t boost any bass that was there either. You’ll get what the producers of the song intended with no extra frills.
The bass response on tracks that do have bass is formidable and authoritative without overpowering any of the other sounds.
The mids and the highs are given a chance to shine and on tracks like Imagine Dragons ‘Round and Round‘ they really get the chance to do their thing and the sound reproduction is so good that you’ll actually get to enjoy the instrumentation in all its luxuriant glory.
The treble also hits really well and has a certain depth to it that’s not common with flat response headphones.
At it’s highest volume setting the Pro 300 is very loud but impressively has almost zero in terms of audible distortion which only serves to heighten the sonic pleasure these bad boys produce.
In terms of sound the unnaturally tight fit of the Pro 300’s actually works in their favor as their noise isolation is very good and you won’t need to hit high levels of volume in order to drown out external sounds.
When all is said and done, the sound quality is pure and exceptional without trying to boost its way into your ears and I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a couple of producers use these as studio headphones.
Great headphones come in all shapes, sizes and formats but they all have at least 3 things in common, great sound, durability and comfort. The Yamaha Pro 300’s are pretty good at 2 of the 3 but unfortunately that lack of comfort is what will keep them from being described as exceptional.
It’s safe to say with the Pro 300’s, Yamaha took a stab at greatness and came surprisingly close to achieving it and that alone is commendable and at their price, many will undoubtedly be willing to put up with some discomfort to enjoy the benefits that they come with.
If you’re one of those people willing to do so, these headphones will definitely be worth investing in.
Questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Comfort & Design
While the Yamaha Pro 300 does a lot of things right, they painfully come short on comfort.