When you first set sight on the new Panasonic Technics, you’ll be stunned at how good they look. Gone is the traditional boring, black headphone design of old: Panasonic have entered the Beats by Dre era, fully embracing the new aesthetic tradition. This means a very nice use of shiny metal and plastic, including some lovely (and blingy) circles on the cups that are supposed to evoke the old Panasonic Technics turntables. Panasonic have made headphones that really do shine (literally and figuratively), and these new Technics are remarkably flashy: definitely made as a fashion statement for any aspiring DJs.
PANASONIC HAVE ENTERED THE BEATS BY DRE ERA, AND THEY’VE EMBRACED IT
The DJ-influenced design influences the headphones’ features as well. They have swivelling cups, which enable easier monitoring and better portability (as they can fold up). They also come with some nice extras: a leather carry case so that you don’t have to worry about damaging them in your bag; two cables, including an extra-long coiled one; and a remote on the thick and resilient cable that contains an inline microphone and music controls, all of which are a necessity in the iPhone age.
Fortunately, the looks and extra features are backed up by what really matters: really, really good sound. It’s rich and warm, engaging and realistic. Admittedly, it’s a little bass-heavy, as with many headphones, but this doesn’t prevent it from capturing the high notes effectively. Compared to similarly styled Beats Studio, a product that Panasonic seem to be targeting, the difference is night and day. Rather than the tinny and distant sound of the Beats, the Technics make you feel present. They really are great.
The Technics are also surprisingly good at blocking out noise, even though they possess no active noise-cancelling technology (another advantage, as no batteries are needed). They can reach insanely loud levels, if need be, but they can effectively drown out external sound even at low volumes.
Unfortunately, all this goodness comes at quite a large tradeoff: comfort. The shape of the headphones, which employ circular ear cups, means that they don’t envelop your ear in the way that oval cups do. Instead, they sit on top of your ears, pushing them into your head in a way that results in great discomfort after long periods of use. The padding is also minimal, further contributing to the discomfort. Not only this, the headband has quite a tight grip, squeezing your head a little, which can lead to some extra annoyance.
However, this discomfort is worth putting up with. For a reasonable price (RRP of £169.99-£199.99), you’re getting headphones that look great and sound great. As long as you’re not leaving them on for hours on end, you’ll probably be fine. With the new Technics, Panasonic have created a very commendable and admirable pair of cans: ones that are well worth your money.
The Panasonic Technics RP-DH1200 are available to buy for a RRP of £169.99-£199.99.
Thanks to One Chocolate Communications for kindly providing a review unit of the headphones.