5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not good for voices,
This review is from: Panasonic RP-HJE450E-W Ergo Fit Ear Canal Headphones - White (Electronics)
A few years ago I bought a pair of Panasonic RP-HJE170 earphones and have loved them ever since, but the earbuds have worn out and as a budding audiophile I decided to move up a stage in quality (not least because my beloved 170s are no longer produced). So I bought a pair of 450Es, trusting that if Panasonic made their starter earphones so well, these would be even better.
The fit is comfortable, the adjustable earbuds doing a lovely job. You won't bug anyone around you with your music because there's hardly any sound leakage - even at full volume. The slider thingy on the cable is quite slippery, if that matters.
There's no doubt that the sound is sharp and detailed with a good sense of depth. But while my 170s made music sound like it was playing live in my brain, the 450Es make it feel a bit like I'm hearing the music playing through the wall from a pub nextdoor. The bass tones are too high and the mid-tones are too low; choirs (tested using the film scores of John Williams) and higher female singers (Ellie Goulding) are drowned out, male singers sound as if their mouths were pressed right against the microphones when they were recorded(Badly Drawn Boy). Orchestras sound cumbersome, lacking the rich, energetic mixture of the juicy mid-tones and missing emphasis from what what would otherwise be a passable treble ("Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin). That said, the bass isn't overpowering and won't give you any headaches. To use another analogy: my 170s were like listening to honey while the 450Es are like listening to treacle. Golden syrup would count as perfection, but given the alternatives I'll take honey. The box says "Acoustic Precision Control", but the simple fact is that they got it wrong.
I could have given the 450Es three stars because their performance on rock and grunge sounds was pretty good (The Cardigans sounded fantastic) but, for me, if you can't make everything sound good then why bother? So the 450Es only get 2 stars.