Panasonic RP-DJ120 Review

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Panasonic RP-DJ120
Brief: Utilizing the same housings as the EarPollution Nerve Pipes but bearing the venerable Panasonic name, I expected more from these budget ‘DJ’ portables.

MSRP: $49.99 (discontinued)
Current Price: N/A

Build Quality (4/10): The RP-DJ120 uses the same exact structure as the EarPollution Nerve Pipe, minus the funky color schemes and pads. It is made completely out of low-quality plastic but the construction is reasonable for a $20 headphone. The cable is thicker an much longer than that on the EarPollutions and features a proper strain relief at the plug end. The folding mechanism uses a third joint in the middle of the headband to make the headphones more collapsible, just like the Nerve Pipes.

Comfort (8.5/10): The cups swivel and pivot freely for a very comfortable fit. The pads are made of cheap pleather; fairly typical of a $20 headphone. The Zebra pads on my EarPollutions are softer and don’t heat up as quickly but the pleather is not terrible. The headband is unpadded but quite wide and the DJ120s are very light so it exerts nearly no pressure. There may not be enough clamping force to provide a secure fit for some users.

Isolation (5/10): The RP-DJ120 are vented at the back and leak a surprising amount for semi-closed headphones that cover the entire ear.

Sound (3.5/10): I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Panasonics shared drivers with the Nerve Pipes in addition to the housings, but they don’t. Compared to the Nerve Pipes the RP-DJ120 sounds distant and veiled. Bass response is tighter and treble extension is improved but the mids suffer. The dry, recessed mid-range makes male vocals completely unconvincing. Like the smaller Panasonic Slimz, the DJ120s sound flat and a bit lifeless. They are smoother and more balanced than the Slimz but lack the detail and clarity. Not a worthy trade-off in my book but for a listener with treble sensitivity the DJ120 might be a better choice.

Value (4/10): The Panasonic RP-DJ120 provide a different sonic flavor to the EarPollution Nerve Pipes in the same housing. Though comfortable and collapsible, they utilize a cord that is far too long for portable use, don’t turn any heads with their plain black or plain white color schemes, and are generally difficult to recommend over the similarly-priced JVC Flats and Panasonic’s own RP-HX50 “Slimz”.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response: 14-24,000 Hz
Impedance: 24 Ω
Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 6.56ft (2m); Straight Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: 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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