My Weird Ears
I've always had weird ears. And because of this I've never been particularly happy with headphones. The moment I've inserted them as firmly as I can into my lugs then they pop out again of their own accord. This makes listening to music on the go particularly difficult. It looks odd walking along with your hands over your ears. I've even taken to wearing a hat to keep them in which is fine in winter but a little uncomfortable in summer. To cap it all I've taken up running, and the jolting that headphones receive from my every awkward bounce makes normal sets less than useless.
So a good time ago I asked my wife to keep an eye out for 'the ones that have a loop around your ear' when she was out shopping in the hope that they might be secure enough to be of some use.
She came back with these Panasonics, they were on special offer at £2.99, and they have lasted me longer than any others I have tried.
The Lobe-down - How they look
These earphones have a somewhat strange look. They are grey in colour and apart from the usual, small speaker they have a plastic loop which is designed to fit behind the ear and achieve a firmer fit. This loop fits snugly around the whole ear and stops the speaker bouncing out. I couldn't describe them as comfortable, though, and one can feel them not just in the ear but all the way around it.
The way they have been designed means that only the right earphone can fit in the right ear and the same with the left. This may be seen as an advantage to purists as that prevents some kind of hideous reverse stereo effect, but I am less bothered and this is the one minor frustration with this device. (Another frustration would be the cables getting tangled but I cannot blame Panasonic for my messiness).The individual ear phones are clearly labeled on the main silver part with a L for left and an R for right.
The phones do not look the strongest, the plastic is thin and brittle, but they have lasted some years now and only this afternoon did I treat them too roughly and may need to consider a replacement. They seem to have been remarkably enduring for which I'm thankful, other headphones fall by the wayside as the wires become loose and the connections do not work so well, producing interrupted sound, but these have not failed in any way.
When in place they still seem to stick out of my ears more than when other people wear them. The main shaft in particular seems to be a good couple of centimeters from my cheek and I still feel self-conscious wearing them but that's the nature of having my ears and, having tried so many headphones, at least these ones are usable.
They are also neat and light, they are only 20g, and so this makes them very transportable. The heads themselves have two sets of holes, I presume one (the central) for the higher pitches and the other (the outer) for the lower bass sounds.
Ear-drum and Bass - How they Sound
The sound quality is not fantastic compared with larger headphones but I wouldn't want to go running in those; these are designed for a very different task. And given what they are designed for then they are perfectly adequate. Sure, if listening to classical music you will not hear every nuance of the tweeting of the flutes or the vibrato of the double bass, but for a bit of rocking out or for speech (my personal preference) they satisfy.
The quality has diminished a little in recent months, perhaps they are getting clogged up with the inevitable (sorry, not a nice image), but with a good clean I am sure they will be back to their best.
For the technical amongst you (not me), the details are:
Response bandwidth 10-25000Hz
One Final Auricle - the summary
If, like me, you struggle with headphones staying in your ears then I recommend these to you. At only £2.99 they are a good, value and portable headphone and have endured remarkably well given their price. I'm sure you could pay more and get better sound quality but these are of a solid build and good quality.
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