Provides: On-ear audio with inline mic and remote control
Developer: Ferrari by Logic 3
Inspired by the speedy racecars and relentless pace of technological progress achieved by the Ferrari F1 team, the Scuderia Ferrari collection of headphones is a much more affordable way to say you own a Ferrari (you needn’t specify sports car or headphones, just name drop judiciously). Featuring a stunning design and active noise cancellation (ANC), the Ferrari R300 on-ear headphones combine high technology and design into an attractive package.
The first thing anybody’s going to look for in a Ferrari—whether it has wheels or earcups—is impeccable design (I tried to work a pun about drivers, but the sound quality kept distracting me from my wordsmithing). The R300 does not disappoint, from the carbon-fiber texture on the carrying case to the dramatic swooping headband as the machined metal arms pivot 90º to meet the ear cups. Bold swaths of red on the headband and inside the earcups give you a restrained but definite sense of speed and energy.
The R300 earcups feature a dual pivoting design that lets them move in four directions, so they mold easily to a variety of head shapes. The headband features an infinitely variable sliding design rather than the more traditional click-style defined adjustments…more on that later. Included in the box are an Apple 3-button remote, single button universal remote, and airline adaptor for the jet setters.
Reviewing sound quality for headphones with ANC can be tricky, as the ANC feature works by playing sound that cancels out external noise, thereby altering what you’re listening to. In general, the R300 sound is excellent, with strong performance across the range from bass to treble, and the sound is always well defined and excellently balanced. Clarity is a standout feature, and the drivers perform well with a wide range of music; in testing, acoustic tracks with subtle details like individual guitar strums were especially vivid as the noise-cancelling really lets you focus on the details of your music. The closed back design obviously reduces some of the spaciousness of the soundstage, but that is a necessary sacrifice for the noise cancellation.
ANC helps to reduce repetitive background noise, so if you need to silence the droning of a fan, constant rumble of traffic, or other continuous noise, the R300 can help you create a fantastic, private listening space. During testing, the noise of a dishwasher, oscillating floor fan, and subway car were each reduced to the point of being imperceptible. ANC does not cut intermittent noise like the ringing of a phone or chatty coworkers, so don’t expect a busy office to suddenly fade away when you turn the R300 on.
Speaking of turning them on, they do require 2 AAA batteries, which in testing lasted for about 40 hours (one week of use at the office). Like most noise canceling headphones, they require power, so when your headphone batteries die, so does the music.
Unfortunately, the R300s have a few minor drawbacks that prevent them from being truly fantastic. Like a sports cars or Italian supermodel, form may take a backseat to function; although you’ll look hot in public with either, neither is a good choice when you need help moving to a new apartment.
The R300, just like an F1 racecar, performs very well in a specific circumstance, but isn’t well suited for other uses. That infinitely adjustable headband makes it easy to find the perfect fit, but it also makes it tough to find that fit again. The R300 also features a bi-fold design ostensibly for portability, but the included hard-side carrying case only holds them in their unfolded shape. The hinges are really wasted unless you’re willing to throw $350 headphones into your bag with no protection; these headphones are best suited for use in one location by one person, as they don’t travel well and have trouble adjusting.
Ultimately high maintenance, the R300 make up for it with genuinely impressive sound quality and a design heritage unmatched by any other headphones. If you need active noise cancellation and want the slickest style possible, the Ferrari R300 headphones are an obvious choice.
Buy the Scuderia Ferrari R300 Headphones