Yamaha HPH-W300 headphones – just avoid

I bought these a couple of months ago, as a replacement/spare for my Sony MDR-1RBT headphones.

I surely would not do so again.

The Sony headphones are great (especially for BT headphones). I really like them. So, the bar is set pretty high.

The Yamahas sound pretty good, but the control system is abysmal. This would be OK if you never want to skip tracks or move forward through a podcast, but if you do, then these are useless. You have to carry the phone around in your pocket/hand in order to do these things on even a moderately-successful basis.

It’s a weird setup. For things you do infrequently, such as turning them on/off or BT pairing, they have solid and dependable physical switches. For things you do ALL THE TIME, like skipping forward/back or pausing or changing the volume, they have ridiculously flaky “touch” controls. “Touch” is in quotes because touching is, at best, a hit-or-miss event. And even if you get it right, the processing is so slow that you’ve often touched it again (invariably getting this touch perfectly correct) so that you’re back at step 1 and having to try again. What this means in practice is that you’ve now listened through the full ad on the podcast for some stupid American service or product we’ll never see down here, or you’re still trying to pause them 15 seconds into your wife wanting to tell you something (file this under “how to win friends and influence people”).

They also don’t play the alert sounds – they just give you a blank space with no sound for the time of the alert, then go on with what they were doing. This, again, requires retrieving the phone to see what’s happened (again, no problems with this with the Sony).

They are comfortable enough to wear (Sony is better, but not by a lot), and turn on and link to the phone far more quickly than the Sony.

When I bought them I was having issues with my phone so I waited several weeks until I received my new phone, but the exact same issues occur with the replacement, and with my wife’s phone.

These are very very poor in all ways that actually matter in operation besides actual sound quality.

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