There's no other way to say it: these are terrible headphones. There's no use sugar coating it, spinning it, or soft selling it. Everyone except for me ranked them dead last, and I ranked them second to last. My notes actually said, "Wow these are bad."
Featuring an attractive design that Will called "modern," the SL300WB feel like cheap plastic with soft leather innards. They are, admittedly, quite comfortable. Will and I rated them second in comfort, Brent third. Lauren, who was less impressed, ranked them fourth.
Unfortunately, the comfort ends once you start listening. I found the treble to be unpleasantly harsh, the bass boomy. Will thought they sounded tinny and hollow, like they weren't even reproducing the full range of what he was listening to.
Brent disliked the midrange, finding it colored and closed in. He compared it to a cupped-hands effect, almost like the drivers were firing through a flimsy plastic tube. He didn't mind the highs, though.
The noise reduction further colored the image. I found turning off the noise reduction made them less objectionable, but they remained an auditory mess. Brent felt that in passive mode the mids became very recessed, making them even worse than they'd been in active mode.
Lauren said it best, perhaps: "I HATED these." She went on to explain that they were muddy sounding, and sluggish in their response, but there wasn't much need for her to elaborate.
I'm not sure how a product this bad gets out the door at any company.
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