Panasonic RP-HX50 “Slimz” Review

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Panasonic RP-HX50
Brief: Although Panasonic is not well-known for their headphones, I thought these looked pretty cool and deserved a shot here, if only for their mini-ATH-ES7 styling


MSRP: $49.99 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: N/A

Build Quality (5.5/10): The most notable thing about the Slimz is the packaging – they come in a translucent plastic double-wide DVD-style case, which doubles as both the retail box and a travel case. The cups of the headphones are quite small and have a nice “sandblasted” plastic finish and soft pleather pads. The Slimz definitely don’t look cheap but the whole construction feels miniature and fragile. The plastic isn’t as nice as that on the Sennheiser PX100s and the assembly isn’t as solid as that of the JVC Flats. 

Comfort (9/10): The Slimz are very, very light and their fitting mechanism is very versatile – the cups have freedom to rotate about both the vertical and horizontal axes. The headband doesn’t clamp very hard, relying instead on the cup joints to provide a secure fit. I find these about as comfortable as the Soundmagic P10s for long periods of time, but nowhere near as frustrating to put on/take off. They can also be worn around-the-neck very comfortably with no tendency to choke.

Isolation (4.5/10): Though the Slimz are supposed to be closed headphones, the earcups aren’t quite big enough to provide serious isolation. Leakage is minimal.

Sound (4.5/10): The bass is in short supply and somewhat flat- many other small portables in this price category have more impact. However, they are still pretty fun to listen to and the clarity sometimes shows itself very nicely. They are about average in the group on detail and slightly above average in the upper reaches. The good top-end extension, combined with the relatively flat bass, gives a sound signature biased towards the upper end. The most striking thing about these for me was the presence of a soundstage. I expected these closed-back portables to have a closed-in presentation resembling that of the ATH-ON3 but they actually sound quite open and airy for a closed-back design. 

Value (7/10). (MSRP: $49.99, Street Price: $20). With their sharp looks and innovative case, the Panasonic RP-HX50 provides more than enough utility to warrant a purchase. As travel headphones that can be conveniently stored and don’t bother those around you, they do the job. However, if sound quality is the primary consideration, the good treble quality doesn’t quite bridge the overall gap between these and the leaders of this market segment.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response: 12-24,000 Hz
Impedance: 36 Ω
Sensitivity: 108 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 3.94ft (1.2m): Angled Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: Flat-folding, collapsible


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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