Yamaha is known for quality audio/video products — heck, I’ve one of their AV Receivers powering my home theater’s 7.1 audio system. But as to in-ear headphones, no idea that they made a high-performance pair. So taking them out and inserting them, first thing I wanted to know is how these headphones could justify their $149.95 price.

First Things First

Physically the EPH-M200’s resemble others of their type: they’re black (although red and white versions are available) and have skinny wires running from each ‘bud that culminates at a small stick-like tab that’s an in-line remote. Working with iOS devices (and others, but I used it with my iPhone) you can answer/talk on the phone, control music playback and adjust volume. But the cord’s construction seems a bit tougher than most and is designed so as to avoid causing audio interruptions. This is a big deal when you’re in the middle of doing something where you can’t reach over to the phone and hit “Play” again because the cords caused the jack to force off the music.

Put It On

The EPH-M200 headphones are inserted into each ear in a conventional manner and stay put, thanks to a laser-cut design despite their somewhat roundish shape (reminding me of a mini-snowman sans head gear). Technically speaking, the 15 mm drivers (which are larger sized than what I’m used to) are housed in a polycarbonate and ABS resin shell that work to suppress internal resonance, even as they minimize exterior noise interference. As to the driver, a sound port (two vents) aids in the flow of air that is being generated. All of this pressing against you means nothing though if listening to junky low-res MP3.

Listen To Something Good

So I don’t. I put the EPH-M200 through the ringer as far as music genres was concerned, starting with rock ’n roll, classical, audiobooks  and even digitized versions made from my old LP collection. Voices came through clearly, be that talking or singing, with no hiss or distorting or “bleeding” of musical instrumentation trying to push in to overpower. I especially appreciated the quality of the bass when listening to classical, something that this genre of headphones aren’t known for doing well at all. That may continue to be true for others, but not the EPH-M200s, they rocked the sound across the entire frequency range. Of course sounding good means you’re enjoying what you are listening to and that’s pretty much all that needs to be said. These are so good that I’m unsure if I want to be taking them out and about rather than keeping them ensconced safely inside.

Marshal Rosenthal

Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.

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