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Panasonic RP-HC101 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Apr 06, 2016 at 12:45 pm
Panasonic RP-HC101 Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
5.9
Mixed Usage
6.3
Neutral Sound
5.8
Commute/Travel
6.4
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
4.4
Wireless Gaming
5.9
Wired Gaming
2.0
Phone Call
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Panasonic RP-HC101 Slim Z are subpar on-ear headphones. They have a lightweight design and decent audio reproduction but feel flimsy and cheap. Ambient noise easily seeps into the ear cups and the weak noise cancelling is insufficient for even moderately loud environments.

Our Verdict

5.9 Mixed Usage

The Panasonic RP-HC101 Slim Z are below-average mixed usage headphones. They feel flimsy and cheap and let a lot of ambient noise seep into your audio they're not the comfortable but have a decent audio reproduction.

6.3 Neutral Sound

Average-at-best for neutral listening. They have a poorly balanced sound that lacks clarity and soundstage for neutral listening.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.8 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. They're compact and easy to carry around but the noise canceling is not efficient enough for a busy commute or a noisy flight.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.4 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports, They're lightweight and compact. However, they're a little unstable for high-intensity exercises. Also, the control module on the cable is cumbersome and sways a lot.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.0 Office

Average-at-best for office use. They don't leak too much but also won't block ambient noise or office chatter effectively.

See our Office recommendations
5.9 Wired Gaming
2.0 Phone Call
  • 5.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.3 Neutral Sound
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 6.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 4.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.9 Wired Gaming
  • 2.0 Phone Call
Pros
  • Lightweight, compact design.
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Flimsy build.
  • Poor isolation.
  • Small, uncomfortable ear cups.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The RP-HC101 look a little cheap and flimsy. They have a compact, understated design and an all-black color scheme accentuated by the silver of the metal frame running through the headband. The backs of the small circular ear cups have a glossy finish for added flare and style.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.13 lbs
Clamping Force
0.39 lbs

The RP-HC101K are so lightweight that they do not exert much pressure on the head or ears. They are unfortunately poorly padded and the thinness of the headband causes stability issues, which can make these uncomfortable if you listen to your audio a lot while on the move.

6.0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Subpar
Feedback Subpar
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
Yes
Additional Buttons No

Button layout and the control options provided are functional but limited. The control options include a volume dial, a power switch and a monitor button that allows the user to temporarily suspend the noise cancelling to hear the outside world. However, the absence of call/music or track skipping controls is disappointing, as those options will have to be changed directly on the audio source or device.

8.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 1.1 C
7.6
Design
Portability
L 4.53 "
W 5.12 "
H 0.79 "
Volume 18.29 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The RP-HC101 are very portable on-ear headphones that are compact enough to fit easily into a bag, purse or pocket. They also fold up to take up less space. However, the control module can be a little cumbersome at times and can be a little frustrating to carry around.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

Comes with a soft pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches but will not prevent them from getting damaged from falls.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is subpar for the RP-HC101 Slim Z. They're lightweight and the frame is relatively flexible but they feel cheap and flimsy. The metal headband is extremely thin and susceptible to warping under moderate physical stress. Also, the small ear cups are held to the frame by weak-looking joints that do not feel durable.

6.0
Design
Stability

The RP-HC101 are decently stable but may fall off your head relatively easily. They are lightweight and have small ear cups that apply enough pressure on the ears, to maintain a stable fit during casual listening sessions. Unfortunately, they slip off your ears, while running and jumping. Also, the non-detachable cable is long and with the addition of the noise cancelling generator, easily gets tangled or hooked by something in the environment.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Panasonic RP-HC101 Slim Z Headphones
  • Airline adapter
  • Carrying pouch
  • AA battery
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-5.77 db
Treble Amount
-4.37 db
6.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.84 dB

The frequency response consistency of the RP-HC101 is mediocre. These headphones showed more than 6dB of deviation in bass delivery across our 5 human subjects. This is significant and noticeable, however, their treble delivery is quite consistent.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.13 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
46.21 Hz
Low-Bass
-6.41 dB
Mid-Bass
2.11 dB
High-Bass
4.09 dB
6.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.54 dB
Low-Mid
5.79 dB
Mid-Mid
4.03 dB
High-Mid
1.61 dB
5.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.32 dB
Low-Treble
-2.9 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.08 dB
High-Treble
-2.57 dB
6.5
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.15 db
Dips
2.27 db
8.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.41
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.56
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.52
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.5
5.0
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
5.03 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
-1.32 dB
PRTF Distance
13.69 dB
Openness
6.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.6
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.226
WHD @ 100
0.143
Isolation
3.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-7.8 dB
Bass
-0.61 dB
Mid
-7.55 dB
Treble
-15.91 dB

Poor isolation. These headphones don't provide either good passive isolation or good active isolation. Their performance is poor in all isolation categories.

7.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.08 dB

Average leakage. Being on-ear headphones, it is common for the leakage to cover most of the mid and treble ranges. And as expected, the majority of leakage here is spread between 600Hz and 6KHz, but the overall volume is not too loud.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
8.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
AAA
Continuous Battery Life
143 hrs
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
143 hrs
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port N/A

The RP-HC101 Slim Z have an incredibly long battery life. They lasted up to 5 days of continuous playtime, which is excellent for long trips where you won't have access to a store, to purchase new batteries, for a couple of days. They can also be used passively by switching the noise canceling off when the batteries die. Unfortunately, they don't have any battery saving features.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 5.2 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Panasonic RP-HC101 Price

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