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on 8 June 2009
It is going to be review of both Panasonic RP-HC31E-K and Philips SHN2500
I wanted some headphones before my travel and I ordered both items hoping one would arrive on time, and of course both of them were dispatched the very same day. But thanks to it I could test them all.

Generally noise cancellation works, I can finally watch movies in comfort on my iPod when flying and it was the main reason why I bought them.
However, 90% of the effect comes from just the earphones not from the active system!!!!!!

So it is probably better to buy cheaper and smaller passive earphones like for example Creative.

Active system is disappointment, I expected more from it, and it looks like it is not worth the hassle of having extra piece of equipment hanging from your neck.

Just to compare.
Philips active noise cancellation works better than in Panasonic, you can actually hear the difference whereas in case of Panasonic it is more like wishful thinking.
But Philips design is terrible, the unit is huge and ugly. Panasonic looks much smarter, is smaller, almost cool and if not that it barely works I would prefer it.
Also the earphones of Panasonic have better design, they are bended and fits nicely into ears without sticking out like in Philips.

To sum up:
- active noise cancellation not good, better in Philips
- design better in Panasonic
- earphones better in Panasonic

My advise go for the passive earphones and check maybe the effect will be enough for you!
If not and you need the headphones only on plain/train where you don't bother how the unit looks and how big and clumsy it is, go for Philips.
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on 31 March 2010
I bought these Panasonic RP-HC31E-K Ergo Fit In Ear Noise Cancelling earphones for two reasons A) Reputable manufacturer & B) price. As a postman, when playing my MP3 player outside as I deliver mail I want my earphones to be 1) comfortable 2) produce easily audible detail 3) to allow external noises to be heard eg approaching traffic or an old lady trying to cath my attention and 4) be easy to use.

My delivery route is, at times, near to a motorway and near to a railway track, thus my need for a noise cancelliing feature.

I typically wear my earphones for 3 - 4 hours per day and I'd give them 8 out of 10 for comfort & easy of use. I find they give a good rendition of most of the music, radio progs. & audio books that I listen to; so again 8 out of 10.

The best proof of their effectiveness at noise reduction usually happens when a programme on the MP3 player has finished and I decide I have finished listening; I then swith off the earphone power & immediately hear the intrusive backgrounds that have been eliminated. Probably not as effective as "Muffler" earphones but ideal for my usaGE. aLL IN ALL PRETTY GOOD VALUE FOR THE MONEY
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on 14 April 2009
I have just bought a pair of these and although the sound quality is very good,especially on the base, the noise cancelling aspect is somewhat pathetic towards non-existent. I wanted these for travel and they do nothing to cancel out engine noise on trains or planes. Also the rubber 'ergo fit' grommets are nasty and uncomfortable.... still I suppose you get what you pay for!! Wish I had spent more!
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on 5 December 2009
These have been the best noise cancelling phones I have found at a reasonable price - I didn't want to spend too much because I have a habit of losing them (leaving them on aeroplanes, dropping them out of shoulder bags etc). The sound is greatwhen flying or in a car or train, and they are comfortable to wear for long periods.
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on 17 December 2009
bought it for reliability of the wires. panasonic seems to be very good at this point where usually other brands have a lifespan of 6 month.s in addition the sound is very good, the noise canceller really good and not too big.
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on 7 January 2011
I bought these at an airport at a higher price. I had forgot the detachable cable for my other phones. I can see no difference between when the noise cancelling is turned on or off. The sound is not particularly warm or suitable for those who like plenty of bass. However, they provide a clear, distortion free sound. The sound of cymbals is very good. I do like the clip that attaches to my clothing and stops the noise cancellation unit from swinging from my ears. I also like the ability to press a button on the unit when talking to the air hostess rather than having to remove and refit the earphones. The wires seem very thin and only time will determine their durability. They do go into a small bag and as I have several other earphone/headphone sets, I will permanently keep these in the backpack I use for my hand luggage when traveling.
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on 18 September 2011
Comfortable, clear sound, but don't waste your money they don't cancel out noise. The only reason you get some reduction is because they fit snuggly into the ear canal, (like sticking your fingers into your ears). I don't know how Panasonic can get away with claiming an 83% reduction, it's more like 3%.
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on 12 February 2011
I bought one of these today, and after some initial playing I came to agree with some of the other reviews here that said that the 'active' noise cancellation wasn't of much value.

Then I went for a drive in my car.

The noise cancellation is excellent at removing "drone" noises, but not much cop at removing general ambient noise.

The audio quality is excellent, when the noise cancellation is on or off.

The noise cancellation box is a little cumbersome, but I'm basically quite impressed and pleased with the purchase,
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on 26 February 2011
i used these head phones for about two months, they really were fantastic, blocked out loads of noise, great bass really loud, couldn't fault them. after two months they had fallen apart, the ear piece had broken and wires were sticking out. tryed to superglue it back but it wouldn't work. now only one ear work. Useless now.
Disappointed
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on 15 January 2013
Bought these again to replace a lost pair and they are good at taking out the low heavy drone on aircraft, letting me have a more peaceful journey and enjoying the film/music I want to listen to. Even good if just turned on with no music/film as reduces the plane drone whilst still letting you be aware of other noises/voices unlike good earplugs which takes away all sound.
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