TDK MT300

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Added Jun 2013

Details: Entry-level earphone from TDK
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $29.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 89 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: Sony hybrid
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (1/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (3/5) – The metal housings of the MT300 are solid but the thin, plasticky cable is a reminder of the earphone’s low price
Isolation (3/5) – Good, but limited by the shallow insertion of the earphones
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Tolerable, but the MT300 is difficult to wear cable-up to eliminate cable noise entirely
Comfort (4.5/5) – The small, angled-nozzle housings are lightweight and very comfortable, though wearing the MT300 over-the-ear can be tough.

Sound (5.5/10) – The MT300 is an entry-level earphone with a bass-heavy, consumer-oriented sound. It impresses with the depth and power of its sub-bass response, though there is also mid-bass to match. The bass emphasis of the MT300 gives it a full-bodied, albeit boomy, sound. The Philips SHE3580, which is also rather bass-heavy, keeps its bloat to a minimum due to its thinner, quicker note presentation but the MT300 is not quite so capable, sounding thicker and more bloated.

The weighty low end of the MT300 dominates the sound, producing a veil over the midrange and treble. Comparing the MT300 to the aging MEElectronics M9 reveals a lack of mid-bass bloat – and veiling – with the MEElecs but at the same time shows that the MT300’s mid-bass gives it a warmer, fuller sound with thicker, more natural mids. The midrange of the MT300 is recessed compared to the bass, but not too much so. The mids of the Philips SHE3580, for example, appear more recessed, likely due to its thinner sound and slightly more v-shaped response.

The tone of the MT300 has a dark tilt due to a lack of treble energy. The benefit is a nicely non-fatiguing sound – although the treble is not entirely smooth, its features are masked at lower volumes. It is of better quality than the treble of the MEElec M9 but not nearly as refined as that of the pricier Sony MH1C.

While the MT300 is no MH1C when it comes to presentation, its soundstage is wide for an entry-level set. Size-wise, it is about on-par with the M9 and would probably be even more impressive were it not for the mild congestion resulting from the bass emphasis – something the MH1C manages to do a better job of avoiding. As for the extremely low sensitivity figure in the manufacturer specs of the TDKs, it does not seem to correspond very well to reality in this case – the MT300 reaches high volumes rather easily.

Value (7.5/10) – The TDK MT300 is a capable earphone, performing better than entry-level sets from such big audio brands as Sennheiser and Ultimate Ears. At $25, it is a solid but not entirely outstanding budget earphone that is nonetheless worthy of recommendation due to its pleasant sound, great comfort, and good overall usability. Interestingly, it seems to be pricier and more limited in availability in the US than in Canada, for example, so those outside of the States might find a better deal still in the MT300.

Pros: Good bass response; smooth at reasonable volumes; very comfortable
Cons: Lacks a bit in the way of clarity and bass control


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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