The Panasonic RP-HC800 are solidly designed headphones that deliver great isolation. Unfortunately, they sound average at best, are a little uncomfortable and the stiff ear padding lets a lot of sound escape.
- Sturdy build.
- Great noise cancelling.
- Poor seal, leaks a lot of sound.
- Uncomfortable padding.
- Bass-heavy audio profile.
The HC800 are well-designed but not-so-comfortable headphones. The large earcups fit most listeners and the build quality feels solid and sturdy. They are however, a little unexciting esthetically and the padding used for the earcups fails to cushion and mold around the ears comfortably.
The ear cups are large enough to easily fit around most people's ears and flexible enough to not feel rigid when on the head. The issue is with the padding used to cushion the ear cups. It's not soft, feels unpleasant and definitely could be improved. This reduces the HC800's comfortability significantly.
Button layout is simple and easy to use. There is only one noise cancelling button on the ear cup and the rest of the controls are relegated to the in-line controls of the provided TRRS-TRRS audio cable. The in-line controls are good but would be better if they could deliver a little more tactile feedback when clicking.
The Panasonic RP-HC800 are decently stable headphones. They stay in place during casual listening sessions but are unideal for gym use. The large ear cups sway too much while running and slip off your ears during high-intensity exercises. On the upside, the audio cable is detachable and won't pull the headphones off your head if it gets hooked on something.
The RP-HC800 are a little on the larger side for over-ear headphones. They are below-average portable and do not fold into a more compact format. They won't fit into your pockets and are a little cumbersome to carry around comfortably. On the upside, the ear cups lay flat to take up less space in a backpack.
The HC800 have an odd audio profile that won't please everyone. The bass and treble are a little over-powered and he rest of the profile dips throughout the mid and high ranges. This makes the HC800 sound exciting but causes vocals and lead instruments to not sound as clear. On the upside, distortion is rare even at high volumes.
Decent, yet overly hyped performance. The bass response is virtually flat from 20Hz-250Hz, but consistently 7dB over the target response. This makes the sound quite muddy and boomy, overpowering the mid range.
Decent performance. The over-emphasis in the bass range extends well into the low mids, adding a boxy quality to the sound. The dip in the mids and high mids, combined with the over-emphasis in the bass, greatly affects the forwardness and clarity of the lead instruments (including the vocals) and shifts the tonal balance towards the low end.
Poor, inconsistent performance. The treble is nearly as hyped as the bass, overpowering the mids and high mids. This gives the headphones an exaggerated "smiley face" curve, which is not very pleasant.
Relatively low distortion, especially at lower volumes. There is a rise in distortion at 100dB SPL, starting at 20Hz and extending up to 600Hz.
The HC800 are great at isolating the listener from ambient noise, but leak a lot of sound. The padding on the oval ear cups is not soft, does not mold well around the ear and are responsible for the poor seal and the escaping sound. The active noise cancellation, however, does a very good job of nullifying the ambient noise and would handle a busy commute well.
Very good noise cancellation overall. With ANC set to Off, reduction starts at around 300Hz and gently reaches -40dB just before 20KHz. The active noise cancellation starts at 20Hz with more than 10dB of reduction, peaking at -20dB at 50Hz, and consistently remaining below -14dB.
Poor leakage performance, considering these are closed, over-ear headphones. The profile of the leakage is quite broadband too. It starts from 300Hz and up to 7KHz.
The RP-HC800 only have noise canceling as an active feature. They won't be the most versatile headphones as they are neither wireless and do they have an audio enhancing app. Luckily they can last up to 2 full days of continuous playback but take two AAA cells.
The Panasonic RP-HC800 have a satisfactory battery life of 20.5 hours. This gives you enough continuous playtime for long flights, but you will still need to change the battery after a full day of continuous use. Unfortunately, they do not have any battery saving features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Panasonic RP-HC800 Headphones
- Carrying case
- AAA battery
- Audio cable
- Airline adapter