COVID-19: the government of Quebec is shutting down non-essential businesses till April 13. Therefore, our lab is temporarily closed and we can't test new products. In the meantime, we will continue to update articles from home.

Panasonic RP-HC56 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 26, 2016 at 12:00 am
Panasonic RP-HC56 Picture
Test Methodology v1.0
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.1
Critical Listening
7.3
Commute/Travel
6.8
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
6.8
Home Theater
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise-Cancelling Yes
Mic No
Transducer Dynamic

The Panasonic RP-HC56 are above-average noise cancelling earbuds. Their noise isolation is excellent and the audio profile is relatively balanced and woks well for most music genres. Unfortunately, they distort audio easily at higher volumes and the in-ear fit might not be the most comfortable.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

They perform moderately well in most use cases and environments, which make for decent everyday headphones.

6.1 Critical Listening

Mediocre for critical listening. Decent audio reproduction but the closed back in-ear design lacks a little openness to create a spacious and natural sounding soundstage.

See our Critical Listening recommendations
7.3 Commute/Travel

Suitable for commuting. They're small, portable and have a strong noise isolation performance. They will reduce a decent amount on a busy commute.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.8 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports use. They have a typical in-ear fit that's moderately stable, and they're also small enough to carry around on your person everywhere you go.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
7.0 Office

Above-average for office use. They will block the chatter of a busy office and also don't leak much even at high volumes, but the in-ear fit isn't always comfortable for long listening sessions.

See our Office recommendations
6.8 Home Theater

Decent for home theater use. If you typically watch your movies on a PC or tablet than the relatively short cable and low latency of a wired connection should be good enough. However, the cable is short and lacks range, so they won't be ideal if you do not have an extension cord.

  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Critical Listening
  • 7.3 Commute/Travel
  • 6.8 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 6.8 Home Theater
Pros
  • Great noise isolation performance.
  • Good audio reproduction.
Cons
  • Uncomfortable "in ear" fit.
  • High distortion.
  • Thin cabling with no adequate audio controls.
  1. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The RP-HC56 are quite stylish, thanks to the well-crafted, pen-shaped control module and the cube-ish angled earbuds. They have an all black color scheme with small metallic accents on the back of the earbuds, which looks appealing.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.08 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

Comfort is average for the RP-HC56. The ear buds are angled but the in-ear design offers nothing out of the ordinary. They're also not as comfortable if you can't find the right fit.

4.7
Design
Controls
Ease of use Mediocre
Feedback Mediocre
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Noise Canceling Control No
Talk-Through No
Additional Buttons No

Control options for the RP-HC56 are lacking. The control module only has one on and off button and a volume control slider. There are no other in-line controls, which is disappointing.

6.5
Design
Stability

These headphones are moderately stable because of their lightweight design, and tips that fit deeply into the ear canal, which is hard to dislodge. However, they don't offer any special stability tips to prevent them from falling out during physical exercises. The long cable and control module are also prone to get tangled or hooked on something, Which can yank the headphones of you ears.

8.1
Design
Portability
L 4.72 "
W 1.97 "
H 1.18 "
Volume 11 Cu. Inches
Stand required N/A

The RP-HC56 are portable headphones. They don't take too much space and will comfortably fit into your pockets, purse or bag. The control module makes them a little larger than basic in-ear headphones, but it's a long pen-like tube that doesn't add too much additional bulk to the design.

5.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch

Comes with a drawstring pouch that will protect the headphones from damage and does not add much bulk. It's small enough to fit into a pocket. Sadly, it will not shield the headphones from physical stress, hard falls and water damage.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is quite decent. The stylishly designed control module is thin, portable and feels solid. The battery compartment is well placed and easy to use. The earbuds are not too large and are angled to fit better within the ears. The cable is, however, pretty thin and the length of the control module makes it susceptible to bending if put in a tight pockets.

9.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.6 C

Design
Cable
Detachable No
Length 4.79 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS

Design
Front

Design
Angled

Design
Side

Design
Rear

Design
Top

Design
In The Box

  • Panasonic RP-HC56-K Headphones
  • Airline adapter
  • Extra Earbud tips (x2 sizes)
  • AAA Battery
  • Carrying Pouch
  • Manual

Sound
8.9
Sound
Bass
Std. Err.
1.63 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
18.61 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.95 dB
Bass
-2.12 dB
High-Bass
-1.24 dB

8.0
Sound
Mid
Std. Err.
2.7 dB
Low-Mid
1.27 dB
Mid
3.52 dB
High-Mid
0.34 dB

4.9
Sound
Treble
Std. Err.
6.05 dB
Low-Treble
-4.95 dB
Treble
3.96 dB
High-Treble
4.06 dB

9.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.05 dB

1.0
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Error
12 dB
Openness
1.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.9
Correlated Crosstalk
0.0 dB

8.4
Sound
Imaging
Phase Error
25.73 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
0.72 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
1.67 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
9.43 °

4.5
Sound
Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
317.386
Weighted THD @ 100
2494.584

Isolation
9.0
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
-24.25 dB
Bass
-19.58 dB
Mid
-19.57 dB
Treble
-34.86 dB
Self-Noise
11.28 dB

One of the best performers for isolation. Isolation starts at 20Hz with more than 10dB of reduction which is great for this range. It passes over the -20dB mark at 100Hz and closes in on -45dB at 15KHz. The weak spot, seemingly typical of in-ear headphones, is the mid-range, where these headphones still achieve a minimum of 11dB of reduction. Passive isolation on these headphones is very good too, outperforming some other headphones with their noise-cancelling engaged. Users should be aware though, with ANC On, touching the headphones in certain areas while trying to push them in the ears could make the headphones produce a high-pitched tone.

8.1
Isolation
Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
32.96 dB

Very good leakage performance, typical of in-ear headphones. The profile is very narrow-band too, limited to 3KHz-7Khz.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Wireless
Type
N/A
Obstructed Range
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
NFC
No

10
Active Features
Latency
Base Latency
0 ms
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

8.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
AAA
Battery Life
79.7 hrs
Charge Time
N/A
Auto-off
No
Audio while charging
N/A
Passive Playback
No

The RP-HC56-K have a surprisingly long battery life that will last well over a weekend's worth of continuous play time. So they will be great headphones to take on a camping or road trip where you don't have access to stores to purchase another AAA. Unfortunately, they don't have any battery saving features. They also can't be used passively when the batteries are dead unlike other models in the RP series.

0
Active Features
App Support

No compatible app.

Panasonic RP-HC56 Price

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion