Pros:Only slightly less refined than my $250 EX700 headphones these are a HUGE bargain!
Cons:Need to be burned in first for about 30 hours for optimum sound. Worth it!
The Bottom Line: In a price range around $50 I don't think you can find a better sounding headphone. A very good value and comfortable.
I recently purchased the big brother to these headphones the MDR-EX700. I was so impressed with them that when I saw the EX300's from less than half the price I was more than curious how they compared.
Recommend this product?
The Sony MDR-EX300SL is a bit more compact version of the EX700 with a similar side-firing driver setup. Both are in the "Premium" line of Sony's ear-bud style headphones. I burned these headphones in for about 40 hours before doing any serious evaluation.
It's a bit unfair to compare them to the more expensive EX700's but I can honestly say that they hold their own. They have very a very tight and expressive soundfield with no major flaws. The bass is slightly punchier than the EX700 and they do sound different. Not better or worse just different. Slightly more focused than expansive is the best way I could describe them. More like having two good full range monitors in front of you rather than a sub-woofer & satellite system around you.
Cranking some Buckcherry the mid-range and treble was very detailed with no distortion or slack. They handled Depeche Mode - Violator with the same focus and crisp clarity as the EX700 but with noticeably less bass responsiveness. Adjusting the EQ handled this quite easily and the bass was easily pulled into line with the overall balance. They provide high-resolution sound and very clear vocals while keeping punch in the bass at high volumes. Not an easy task and most cheaper ear-buds with smaller drivers fail at this. When EQ'd properly even heavy electronic bass lines were reproduced easily and very accurately.
The Sony MDR-EX300 is an excellent value. They are the easy choice to take rafting, skiing, mountain biking, or fishing where my other more expensive headphones might get damaged. They are light, comfortable, and have a good quality plug and cord with a cool little carrying case. They have a left side drop cord that is very sturdy and does not tangle easily. The hybrid silicone ear-buds achieve a very comfortable fit and although there is not complete sound isolation it it adequate. If the EX700's are the Lexus of headphones then these would be the Subaru WRX Sti!