Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Excellent but you could do a lot better
on 15 June 2014
About this review:
I'm an editor of both sound and video.
I listen to music: classical, jazz, classic rock, instrumental.
I appreciate high quality products.
About the earbuds:
I've been going backwards and forwards on this one...
So many people liked the 'Panasonic RPHJE120K'.
They're dirt cheap, quality of sound (for the price) is brilliant and they're decently comfortable.
In fact, some YouTube videos put them at the top 5 list where their companions are 200$ earbuds.
These ones are even better.
The driver is bigger, the frequency response is (on paper) brilliant. In fact, One could argue that it's basically professional.
They're still very very cheap.
They're light weight and comfortable....
what more could you ask for?
So here are my "problems":
The wires are insanely thin! But... then again, that's part of the reason why they're so light weight and why you don't feel them at all. So is it a plus or a minus?
Certainly a plus on the comfortably department but surely a minus in the durability department.
The base (which has been described as high quality by many reviewers) is, honestly, cheap.
It's not very full, it's quite hollow and although it does "vibrate" it does so no better than a really bad speaker would when turning the volume too high... if you're getting my point.
The sound isolation is... "OK".
I certainly would not describe it as good and would definitely not sell these set under such claim (which Panasonic do since they say so on the box).
They're really freaking comfortable! light weight, stay in the ear while not causing any discomfort and you hardly feel them at all.
So, they're not pampering-comfortable but they are "you-don't-feel-them-comfortable".
One issue (compared to earphones that rest on your tragus) is that if they get pulled they fly right out but that's a problem a lot of buds have.
Now... about the sound quality:
It's decent and acceptable for the price. It's lively and natural but...
The frequency response, I'm sorry to say, is quite BS.
I know what wide FR sounds like and these pair certainly don't come even close. In fact, I'd say the FR is quite poor and static.
Plus, because the base is cheap it over acts on many aspects of the audio that would otherwise be better and clearer.
So here's my opinion on the sound quality and what it's good for:
I don't think it's for audiophiles, at all.
It's good for people who listen to electronic music and heavy base music and, no offence, people who simply don't have the ear to appreciate the difference between high quality and medium quality.
That said, if you're looking for cheap, comfortable, light weight, excellent for sports earbuds that would be excellent for listening to lectures, podcasts and recorded lessons this set is brilliant!
In my case it's somewhat unclear.
I enjoy watching films with headphones more than I do with speakers and quite often I'll fall asleep with earphones because I fall asleep several hours after my wife =]
So, for me, in terms of durable earphones that will not be ruined from me sleeping on them and pulling the wires unconsciously - these are no good.
Also, in terms of listening to classical music, again, no good.
Enjoying films - umm, sure, they're fine(ish).
listening to recordings and podcasts while running, lifting weights, shopping for food - absolutely fantastic!
Plus, I bought them on eBay for the same price as the Panasonic RPHJE120K so all in all, these are cheap earbuds.
Here's my problem...
Yes, they're cheap and yes, they're not 100$ or 200$ but at the same time, by spending just a little more you get much much much better earbuds!
So this is where I feel the real problem is.
If you are really "that" poor that you can't spend 10$ more than sure, buy these earbuds and be happy but honestly, the list I'm about to give below consists of earbuds that are slightly more expensive but are far better and with a little patience you can get them for great prices if you are tolerant and spend time eBay hunting.
List of better but slightly more expensive earbuds:
Sennheiser CX 300-II (seen them on eBay for 15-20$ a thousand times)
Bose MIE2 (I found them second hand for 15$ on eBay many times)
And the list goes on and on.
Primarily, I just think that especially the Sennheiser CX 300-II that you can almost always find for sub 20$ new on eBay are just gazillion times better for basically, what... a few more dollars?
So as much as I love the Panasonic RP-HJE190E, and I really do, this is a positive review despite the critical points... I just can't see a reason to buy them when you could buy better things for sub 30$.
*** UPDATE ***
*** 3/12/2014 ***
After a while with my earphones I have to say that they're holding up a lot better than I expected! I fall asleep with them, pull on them, work out with them and they're a lot tougher than I expected.
I haven't changed my mind about the sound though. Excellent for lectures, podcasts and background music but not the best for true audiophiles.
I will now up the stars from 3 to 4.
*** UPDATE ***
*** 3/12/2015 ***
First of all... WOW!!
What a "weird" coincidence that this has happened exactly one year to the day since my last update!
Anyway... The right side has diminished in strength. This is a known problem in earphones in general.
They are still usable for some things but it's seriously annoying and for obvious reasons I had to make in into an update.
They held together for a decent amount of time but honestly, not even two years.
I will say this, I use them every day and fall asleep while they're in my ears almost every day and i've woken up more than once when they are tight on my neck. Needless to point out that they were used a lot and pulled on a lot.
All things considered I will still leave them on 4-stars because I have used them a lot and they are worth the price.