Audio Technica has been on-point with their line of headphones and IEMs making them one of the top contenders for many years. This year audiophiles have been eagerly awaiting some of the brand new headphones that were show stoppers at recent tech and headphone expos. Their latest IEM is a series that features multiple drivers and headphone fanatics can’t wait to get their hands on them. The ATH-LS300iS in particular is a triple-driver IEM that stands to rock the foundation of in-ear headphones because of its under $400 price point. But there’s only one way to find out if the ATH-LS300iS in-ear headphone lives up to the hype. Let’s listen and find out.
Audio Technica ATH-LS300iS Review
IN THE BOX
The ATH-LS300iS comes with everything you need. In the box you’ll find the LS300iS triple driver earphones, detachable (3.9 ft) cable with 3.5mm (1/8″) connection, heavy duty carrying case and 6 extra pairs of eartips. The cable has a standard 1-button control and mic for use with smartphones.
As with all Audio Technica gear, the ATH-LS300iS IEM feels exceptionally sturdy and well built. The aluminum and Tritan resin housing for the earphone is a little big but it’s not bad considering the over-ear hook design that will keep it solidly in place. I’ve never been a big fan of the over-the-ear wire style in IEMs but Audio Technica may have changed my mind with these. The form fitting wire is one of the nicest I’ve ever used.
The detachable cable feels good and seems like it will last quite a while if taken car of. I did notice the earphone connection on the cable isn’t the standard MMCX cable connection that you see with other IEM’s like Shure and Westone. Instead they use their own A2DC (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial). This is both good and bad. Good because Audio Technica can keep a certain level of quality control with their own cable. Bad because unless it becomes a new standard you’ll be only able to get the cable from Audio Technica. The bottom line is they didn’t want users to buy a cheap MMCX cable and then blame the subpar sound on the earphone. Probably a smart move.
Overall I’m pleased with the quality and build of the ATH-LS300iS. It fits comfortably in my ears and the over-ear form fitting wire keeps everything steady and in place. The most noticeable part of this IEM is the solid construction. I’ve seen other brands that sacrifice durability for better price but the ATH-LS300iS is a nice piece of gear that doesn’t compromise durability or sound.
When Audio Technica puts 3 balanced armatures in an IEM it means something good is about to happen. Determining the overall sound signature and what kind of music the LS300iS sounds best with is really the only thing left to figure out.
Looking at the specs I immediately notice the 18 Hz – 18,000 Hz frequency range and 15 Ohms impedance. Digging into some tracks I notice right away how clean the sound is even on streaming compressed audio files. The mid-frequencies and highs are crisp and clear but it’s the low end here that’s making me do a double-take. There’s really only one way to describe the bass in this headphone…. Wow! I’m certain much credit is due to the triple balanced armatures in making the sub-frequency bass kick hard and it definitely adds life to the music.
Don’t get me wrong here though, too much bass is no fun and the Audio Technica ATH-LS300iS serves up a tight, well-rounded frequency response with a pleasing amount of bass without killing the party. Rock music sounds like a live concert, Top-40 pop music beams with beat popping magic. And EDM lovers looking for that in ear with “bass to die for“…. look no further. I found this fact to be so noteworthy that I put together a killer playlist just to prove my point. I call it EDM for IEMs.
You can listen to the playlist here: EDM fo IEMs Spotify Playlist
As with any music listening experience you’ll find that uncompressed FLAC, WAV and AIFF type files will give you even greater clarity and satisfaction. Rocking the ATH-LS300iS IEM with your Fiio X5 or Anstel and Kern AK100II will have you climbing the walls with excitement over the intensity of this earphone. With that being said it’s still totally worth it if you use compressed or streaming files. This IEM is made for everyone.
Summing up my experience with the new Audio Technica ATH-LS300iS in-ear headphone I’m once again impressed at how good Audio Technica is at making headphones that sound spectacular and will last a long time. The LS300iS is an incredible new triple driver in-ear headphone that’s guaranteed to have music lovers and audiophiles clamoring to get a pair and enjoy the solid sound and deep bass this IEM puts out. Base on quality, price, durability and sound I give the Audio Technica ATH-LS300iS a resounding MajorHiFi Gold Award.
Type: Balanced armature
Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 18,000 Hz
Maximum Input Power: 3 mW
Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
Impedance: 15 ohms
Weight: 11.0 g (0.4 oz) (without cable)
Cable: Detachable 1.2 m (3.9′) with A2DC connectors
Connector: 3.5 mm (1/8″) gold-plated stereo mini-plug, L-shaped
Accessories Included: Silicone eartips (XS/S/M/L), hard carrying case