headphones

Panasonic RP-HC55 Headphones Review

The RP-HC55s have some issues with comfort since the control pendant is downright awkward.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Tour

The Panasonic RP-HC55 has boxy ear buds with an angled nozzle.

Speaker Image
Note the angled nozzle. This shape lets the ear bud stay in your ear as opposed to popping out and looking goofy.

The back of each bud has six holes for the active noise cancellation's microphone. The outside of the ear buds has a silvery design with some branding and an L or R to indicate the channel.

Side Image
This is the outside of the ear buds, and the part people will see.

The two ear bud cables meet at a block of plastic with an adjustible neck split. After the neck split is the active cancellation control pendant.

Cable Image
The black plunger where the headphones connect to the pendant is the on/off switch.

It looks and controls like a clicky pen; you press the button on the top to turn active cancellation on and off. You can use the clip to hang the pendant off your lapel pocket, the pendant also has a volume switch. The bottom half has a hatch to conceal it's AAA battery cavity. After the pendant is a bit more cable and a standard 1/8-inch plug.

HATS-Front Image
This is a front-on view of the Panasonic RP-HC55s in HATS. If you have a gray head with rubber ears totally devoid of pigmentation, then this is what the RP-HC55s will look like on you.
HATS-Side Image
This is a side view of the headphones in HATS's ears. Note how the headphones fall between the tragus and antitragus, which is ergonomically ideal for most users.

In the Box

In the RP-HC55s' box you'll find the headphones, three sets of sleeves, a AAA battery, a pouch, and airplane adapter, and a cord wrap that snaps onto the back of the control pendant.

In the Box Image
The RP-HC55s come with some nice extras we don't typically see in other headphones at this price point, like the airplane adapter and the cord wrap.

Durability

The RP-HC55 headphones seem durable enough. They have good cord guards, although the in-line pendant means there's two more cord guards then typical. Cord guards stop the cable from bending sharply against whatever hard object it's projecting from. Sharp bends equal wear and tear damage (just ask the original Vibe Duo, which was quietly updated to add in better cord guards).

Another issue we found, which is related to durability, is how well the sleeves stay on the nozzles. In the case of the RP-HC55s, the sleeves could've clung on better. They didn't pop off to become lost on the streets of Boston or anything, but they do have a slightly looser fit than we would've liked.

Aesthetics

These headphones have some severe disadvantages when it comes to aesthetics. First of all, as in-ears, the RP-HC55s don't have a lot of room to impress us. The ear buds themselves are good looking enough, but where we really had a problem was with the control pendant. Like the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC3s, the active cancellation pendant is a bit bulky. The difference between the two headphones, however, is the placement of the control pendant. The ATH-ANC3s place their pendant towards the end of the cord so you can shove it in your pocket. It's out of the way, but still accessible, and no one has to look at it. The RP-HC55s' pendant will only reach your front pocket if you're short. The only real option for dealing with a giant pen slapping you in the xyphoid process all day is to clip it to some part of your shirt, likely your lapel pocket.

Aesthetics Image
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Tour & Design
  2. Performance
  3. In Use
  4. Value & Comparisons
  5. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What's Your Take?

All Comments