PANASONIC RP-HTX80BE-C

Panasonic RP-HTX80BE-C

I had a good hard think about getting these headphones, looks wise they’re right up my alley and the price point seemed like it would be fair if they could deliver some decent quality. 

Well I decided to go ahead in the end, so here we are… 

First impressions

PANASONIC RP-HTX80BE-C

These headphones come nicely boxed, as I’d expect really. When I pulled them out I was instantly impressed with the looks – these are the kind of item that comes right out of the product picture and in to your life. The matt finish on the cups, the excellent detailing and the colour choice (tan in my case) make these an object that really pops visually. 

They’re relatively light in your hand and on your head and while the simple, spindly looking adjustment mechanism looks like it mightn’t be up to much it works really well. 

The ear cups are are soft and don’t seem super plush on giving them a squeeze. They are however comfortable and capable of enveloping my biggish ears. 

Using Them

The comfort I expected from putting them on remained throughout my use of them, even when I wore them all day while working from home on things. The reason I did so was mainly because the battery life claims are, if anything underselling the headphones, my commuting alone wasn’t like to run these down. 

PANASONIC RP-HTX80BE-C

Navigating music with these took a little getting used too, the buttons aren’t in a particularly common layout, however I ended up liking the set up where the skip and play controls are intuitively landed on by your thumb once you know where they are. 

Those buttons by the way. They have a soft click that’s easily detected by your digits. That soft click is a soft click inside the ear cup too. They’re not mushy and hard to press right but they don’t produce an annoying snap by virtue of being a clicky button inside a headphone. These are buttons done right. 

The general behaviour of these headphones is good, haven’t had any glitches or issues and the range is more than good enough, walking a room away isn’t a problem. Which begs a bit of a question about these. I’ll get to the sound quality separately but these almost certainly have an off the shelf chip shared with many cheaper headphones running the show. The rub being that these headphones have obviously better implementation. I could be wrong but I don’t think there’s anything too special on the electronic side going on here, however they perform consistently and behave well.

On wearing them they are comfortable but there are a couple of considerations to take in to account. The matte finish and one piece cups mean anything that touches them is very audible in the ear cup, a natural thing for headphones but very pronounced in this case. 

Which ties in to the other bit about these, they’re deceptively large, they don’t look or seem big when you have them on but they protrude enough that I clipped them on the odd door and cupboard door I was passing. This produces a very jarring thump. 

As a headset

These aren’t much cop as a headset, they suffer the same call quality issues as every set of headphones with this layout, it doesn’t work well for calls, the mic faces the wrong direction for speech. Until somebody susses out a cheap reliable popout mic that doesn’t look awful this is the state of play. They’ll do in a quiet environment but that’s about it. 

The sound

This is the biggy, these have premium looks and they have a price that puts them awkwardly close to come excellent headphones and rather far away from some pretty impressive budget offerings. 

The isolation, it’s pretty good, cycling with these in traffic doesn’t require massive volume and they don’t suffer from wind noise. When you have the adjusted nicely snug, they perform well at blocking out the world. 

The sound itself is good, I was relieved when I put these to the test, I wanted them to be good. The sound is bright and punchy, the bass is there but they promise sharp bass and deliver on that, clean clear, not for those that want their heads shook. 

There’s good separation and the details are all there. I’m happy overall. There is room for improvement on dynamics but at the price, they do sound good. 

While it’s not me to be asking for a little more punch on the low end, these could do with it if it could be done without sacrificing clarity. 

The egregious design flaw

These have a bright blue LED glaring away, front facing, destroying the aesthetic that tends to grab attention, people like these, they notice them. 

This is 2019, we know fine fucking well that headphones without wires are bluetooth, a soft amber or diffuse white LED, hell even red would resolve this massive hole in some beautiful industrial design. 

On the Whole

I like these, they’ve been my daily headphones since I got them. 

They deliver well enough and look great doing it, though the tan model garners a fair amount of attention, I’ve had a surprising number of compliments and enquiries about them. 

For now these comfortable, beautiful headphones are likely to be my dailies. If they don’t last – you’ll hear about it here but so far the horrendous rain storms, several knock and drops have yet to mar the finish or impair them in any way. 

Basically if you love the look, have anywhere from a small to gigantic head and aren’t looking for thunderous bass, they’re a good buy. 

Now if they’d just get rid of that blue LED…