Onkyo headphone and earphone ranges launched in UK

The Onkyo headphone range, first previewed in Japan last year and at CES 2013, has been launched in the UK.

The first Onkyo headphone models are two closed-back designs, the £150 ES-FC300 and £180 ES-HF300: both models use wide-range 4cm titanium drivers designed for clarity in the midband and treble, while ported sub-chambers give the headphones what Onkyo describes as 'a deep, muscular bottom-end response'.

The aluminium housings are shaped to resemble the volume control on Onkyo's AV receivers and amplifiers.

The ES-FC300 comes in a choice of three colour options, with a tangle-free flat elastomer-coated cable: you can have black with a white cable, white with a white cable, and violet with a matching cable.

Meanwhile the ES-HF300 is supplied with an upgraded 6N-purity oxygen-free copper cable in a clear elastomer coating, with gold-plated MMCX connectors and 3.5mm stereo plug.

All the cables will be available separately, allowing users to customise or upgrade their headphones, or just extend the life of the product with a replacement cable. The HCMX-FC120 'standard' cable is £30 in red, violet or white, while the HCMX-HF120 audiophile cable is £50.

The two earphone models – the £100 IE-FC300 and £130 IE-HF300 – follow a similar pattern, the less expensive model coming with a choice of red, violet or white cables, while the upgrade version comes with a 6N OFC cable. Both are powered by 14.3mm drivers, said to 'balance silky bass with an open and natural midrange'.

Onkyo is also developing a headphone equaliser app for smartphones and tablets, allowing users to adjust frequency response to suit their own taste.

The headphones were announced at an event held earlier this week at Gibson Guitar's London showroom – Onkyo has formed an alliance with the Nashville-based instrument manufacturer, which is also set to buy TEAC (in which Onkyo has a stake) – at which the company also revealed the forthcoming availability of Gibson-branded headphones.

The London launch was attended by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham (above), now with new band Black Star Riders, and singer/songwriter John Ainsworth – both of whom are now Onkyo ES-FC300 users.

MORE: Read our full Onkyo ES-HF300 review

Written by Andrew Everard

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.