Price: $32.24 (Amazon)
Oh headphones, how we love thee! To listen to music in one's own little world on one's own sound isolated terms can be pure auditory bliss...if done correctly. I'm always on a constant search for better tools for listening, and today I found a candidate for evaluation combining style and performance at a very nice price.
Let's talk a bit about Panasonic. They've been in the business for a long time without any product icons of note. Sure, they have their Lumix cameras, as any shutterbug will remind you, but what have they invented or pioneered? (feel free to chime in in the comments if you feel there is something we've missed).
Don't get us wrong, Panasonic offers some fantastic home electronics: their televisions come to mind, and they're a first tier company in many home device categories. They just don't have a real defining product line with instant public brand recognition yet. Well, things may be about to change.
Looking at the melodically named RP-HTX7 headphones, you could be forgiven for mistaking these cans as models from the 1970's. They have all the right styling cues and they are carried out as if the designers actually designed them from their polyester-loving time period. Genuine in their execution without any superfluous decoration, they seem "real": The cord wrapped cabling, the generously sized earcups, the sewn leather "style" headband, the simple appointments which all serve a function. The design is nothing if not an ode to pre-digital age detailing.
I've owned a pair for several years, as evidenced by the discontinued beige edition, and at this point I can attest to their quality construction. The photos show how well they've held up physically despite daily use (except for the minor cracking on the foam surrounds). The slides for the head adjustments are definitely looser than when new, but they still function beautifully.
I had originally purchased these headphones to create a buffer zone between office politics and my oft easily distracted brain. Music can be a great way to create some focus in your life while also advertising " I'm busy" signal to those who might try to sidetrack your intent.
The sound is quite good, and as you can see from the specs below, offers a broad range of sound reproduction. Soundstage is limited but present. Bass reach is good and it's reasonably tight. The upper-mids can be a bit harsh and ear fatigue will eventually set in, but the overall delivery across the frequencies is quite even.
One of the benefits of closed, over-ear design is the option to listen to them at lower volumes. Detail is not something these shine with, but listeners will never feel cheated while listening to a wide range of musical genres. Of course, the earth will not move when you put on a pair, but for around $30 with a strong construction, you could do much worse than these style+performance models.
These were once $50 or $60 headphones but now you can buy them new for around $30 online, making the Panasonic RP-HTX7 headphones and affordable pleasure.
- Type: Encapsulated, Dynamic
- Driver Unit: 40mm
- Magnet: Neodymium
- Impedance: 40 ohms
- Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW
- Power Handling Capacity: 1000mW
- Frequency Response: 7 - 22,000Hz
- 1.2m cord with gold-plated stereo straight mini-plug
Pros: Affordable, solid audio performance with moderate sound isolation, very well constructed, stylish retro design.Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was purchased/owned by the reviewer for testing and review purposes.
Cons: A few shortcomings in soundstage; foam surrounds will crack over time.