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Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT

Comfortable, durable Bluetooth over-ears with hybrid ANC

In a nutshell

Audio-Technica’s ATH-S300BT wireless over-ears offer a long battery life and feature Active Noise Cancellation plus an ambient mode. They support multipoint connections with two devices at the same time, and this compact model excels with impeccable speech intelligibility when making calls.

Pros:
  • Wearing comfort
  • Simple, reliable operation
  • Long battery life & quick-charging function
  • Speech intelligibility when making calls
  • Multipoint connections
Cons:
  • No foldable design
  • Without app connection
  • Background noise in ANC and ambient mode
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Available in beige and black, the Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT weigh in at 256 grams and they can be flexibly adjusted with their swivelling and tilting ear cups.

The size adjustment of the headband covers a wide range, making these headphones suitable for both narrow and wider heads. The fit is loose rather than tight, and this offers a high level of wearing comfort overall, so it does not lead to any pressure discomfort even during prolonged use. However, it is a shame that these closed over-ears cannot be folded away to save space during transport.

Battery life – the Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT last a long time

The battery life is exceptionally long, with a good 84 hours in standard mode at a high playback volume. And if you use the noise cancelling function continuously, you can still plan for up to 62 hours of listening time.

The headphones also have a quick-charging function, which provides enough power for more than three and a half hours in basic mode after just three minutes of charging. Even a full charge only takes around two and a half hours, which is quite quick. As an alternative to Bluetooth operation, it is possible to use these headphones wired, making them purely passive with the electronics switched off; this means that noise cancelling and the hear-through function are not available. A mini jack cable with an integrated remote is supplied for this purpose. A USB-C to USB-A charging cable is also included in the package.

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Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT – Bluetooth specs

In addition to Bluetooth 5.1, the Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT support multipoint connections, so that two devices can be paired simultaneously. In addition to SBC, the higher-quality AAC format is available when it comes to audio codecs, and the headphones are therefore equipped with a low-latency mode for watching films or playing computer and mobile phone games. The stability of the wireless connection made a very positive impression during our test. While it was possible to cover 30 metres in the garden without dropouts, these over-ears could be used indoors across several rooms on two floors.

Operation of the Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT

The manufacturer relies on a simple, coherent button control concept that works reliably even with sweaty hands. The three buttons on the left side of the shell are used to control playback, make phone calls, adjust the volume and skip forwards or backwards when selecting tracks. A separate button on the right ear cup can be used to switch between basic, ANC and ambient modes. A combination of buttons also enables you to switch the low-latency mode on and off.

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There is no app for these headphones to connect to, which means that no sound or headphone settings can be made.

Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT: speech intelligibility during phone calls

The Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT performed surprisingly well when communicating. Given the price range, voice transmission sounded extremely clear and natural. In addition, the microphone technology cancelled out wind noise outdoors, even in strong gusts. In this case, the quality of voice transmission was noticeably reduced by the filtering while retaining intelligibility. However, ambient noise was perceptible to the person on the other end of the line, but your own voice was in the foreground, making it possible to be understood even with louder background noise.

Noise cancellation (ANC) and hear-through function

In ANC mode, there was a background noise that intensified further in ambient mode. We also noticed that the bass range was amplified during noise cancellation and the playback seemed somewhat fuller overall. Otherwise, the noise cancelling effectively attenuated the low-frequency bass range. There was also a noticeable reduction in keyboard noise, street noise and even a lawnmower. In contrast, the effects on voices, which were slightly muffled and lost some of their depth, were rather minor.

Intensive amplification of external sound in transparency mode clearly improved the perception of the surroundings during listening and made the sound more responsive. In addition, announcements could be understood, and conversations could be held without having to take the headphones off when playback was paused.

Sound – how does the Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT sound?

The Audio-Technica ATH-S300BTs offered a full, warm reproduction and provided an impressive depth of bass for watching action-packed media content without overdoing it. The rich bass reproduction also harmonised well with the vast majority of music styles. When we were listening to club-orientated productions, the bass seemed a little spongy and it could have sounded more powerful for this kind of music.

The presentation in the mid-range was appealingly clean and structured, and was also powerful. Voices were emphasised pleasingly and also benefited from excellent speech intelligibility. Despite the richness of the sound, vocals remained easy to understand even in more complex arrangements and had sufficient space to develop. Something that can make listening to music a lot of fun.

The treble reproduction conveyed a very good-natured and rather restrained impression, meaning that the upper registers were not perceived as tiring even at higher volume levels and did not tend towards harshness. Sensitive ears should also benefit from the fact that sibilants were skilfully rounded out.

Conclusion

The Audio-Technica ATH-S300BT prove to be comfortable, rock-solid Bluetooth over-ears with a user-friendly button control concept that does not require connection with an app. The plus points include a long battery life, support for multipoint connections and high-quality voice transmission when making calls. The option of wired use also enhances the appeal of these bass-emphasising all-rounders.

However, it is not possible to fold them to save space during transport. In ANC mode, you will also have to accept a background noise, and this was amplified in ambient mode.

2 weeks ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4.13
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Impedance44,5 ohms
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)103 dB
  • Weight without cable258 g
  • Cable length120 cm

What's in the box

  • Cable with mini jack
  • USB-C charging cable (30 cm)

Special features

  • Available in black and beige
  • BT version: 5.1
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC
  • BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP

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