It was a couple of years ago when my husband declared that he wanted to buy a good pair of headphones. We do a fair amount of travelling and I think he thought that they would come in handy on those occasions when we wanted to relax on a flight and zone out the noise from other travellers. Having not myself spent too much money on headphones in the past I went on a hunt for the best pair and scoured the internet to compare my choices. One pair which I kept seeing get great reviews were these Panasonic RP-HC700 noise cancelling headphones and, as we have a good amount of Panasonic electricals already in our home we trusted these to be of good quality and so purchased a pair from the ever reliable Amazon.
~The Product and Packaging~
Once home, I was impressed with the packaging which these headphones came in and thought that they looked worthy of the £94.79 price tag I had paid. These headphones come presented in a large black box which is transparent on one side allowing you to see the headphones within. On the front of the box we are told that these are noise cancelling headphones and that they reduce background noise by 92%. Opening the box via the flip open lid, the headphones are neatly packaged inside the box and come with a 1.5m long cord and a hard carrying case. The carrying case is, in itself quite a godsend in my opinion as it ensures that when travelling the headphones are conveniently stored in a hard case which ensures that they are well protected from knocks plus it is a case that fits neatly inside our rucksack whilst running through the airport.
Giving the headphones themselves a good look over I like the look and feel of them. These headphones are predominantly black in colour and have an adjustable plastic arch which goes over the top of the head which is padded for comfort. The ear pads themselves, though quite large in construction are padded in a very soft and comfortable black cushion and this ensures that they sit firmly and snugly around the ears without causing any aching which I often find to be the case with cheaper headsets. Either side of the ear pads is constructed from leather and mirrored giving these headphones a particularly cool look in my opinion. They are also illustrated with the Panasonic logo and a small letter (L or R) which indicates which ear each one should sit on. The ear pads are powered via an AAA battery which gives up to thirty hours of lisetening time and once inserted and switched on a blue light appears on the left earphone to indicate that they are being powered.
~The Technical Bits~
In terms of technical features these headphones feature an insulating effect which ensures that you can only hear your music playing rather than background noise. Panasonic state that these headphones have a bio-cellulose diaphragm which plays pure and precise sound as well as having a frequency of 10Hz-30KHz and 22dB. The sound quality of these headphones is said to be very clear on treble notes and rich on bass notes and I thought that these very qualities sounded ideal for the quite eclectic mix of music we have on our iPod.
~Set Up and Use~
We intended these ear phones to be used for both travelling on flights and for general day to day activities such as listening to the iPod whilst on the go. The set up required was quite minimal in my opinion and just required a battery to be inserted into the left earphone, the cable to be positioned in the right ear pad and pushed in to the iPod before playing. The cable connection sits quite happily inside our iPod slot but is also a standard size to fit within the small hole on the arm rests of the plane. There is a small slide able button in the left earphone which turns the headphones on and once ready to go it really is case of selecting the music that you want to listen to on the iPod and adjusting the volume settings accordingly.
~My Experience and Opinions~
Once positioned on my head I like the fact that these headphones are quite bulky and therefore it is quite obvious that you are listening to music and won't be responding if someone shouts for your attention. The look does remind me somewhat of the large headphones which were fashionable in the eighties and yet I like the look and would say that the comfy feel more than makes up for this slight bulkiness. When I have adjusted these headphones to my head size I have to say that they are incredibly comfortable to wear, so much so that on a flight I can lean my head to one side and listen to them with my eyes closed and this feeling is not hindered by the amount of time that I listen to music which often gives me a slight earache.
In terms of sound quality, I have to say that these headphones really are excellent in my opinion and having tested them on the noisiest of flights back from Washington I can truly say that they are very effective a blocking out the children sitting in the chairs behind us. This is true even when I am not playing any music through these headphones, as the sound is still incredibly muffled making them a great accessory for a quick nap on the flight. The speakers themselves produce a very clear amount of sound which ensures that I hear every lyric of what the artist is singing about and can really appreciate the orchestral sounds in the background of the song. Indeed it wasn't until I listened to my Ellie Goulding album through these headphones that I could truly appreciate all the instruments playing in the background. These headphones can be adjusted in volume to suit the listener however I usually find a medium setting more than adequate for my needs and would assume that any louder and I might be deafened by the quality of sound.
My only minor gripe with these headphones comes from ordering them through Amazon. At the time of ordering I was advised that I would need a socket adaptor for flying which cost an additional £1. Upon trying these headphones on the plane I found that actually the cable supplied with these headphones was a standard size to fit within the arm rest socket and therefore I really hadn't needed to waste my money.
~Price and Availability~
When we purchased these headphones through Amazon back in 2012 they were priced at £94.79 which, though expensive, was a price that I thought it was worth paying. They are currently priced at £121.15 on the Amazon website which is indicative of such a good product in my opinion as the price has not gone down.
~Summary and Recommendations~
Overall I believe that these are an excellent pair of headphones and I have really enjoyed using them over the past couple of years. As a result they score a well deserved five stars from me and do come recommended.
I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x