- Smooth overall sound, good noise cancelling
- Clarity issues, a little too strong in the mid range
A solid entry into the noise cancelling headphones space, Panasonic's RP-HC500s offer good value for money, although those willing to pay a premium should look towards high end IEMs for better sound quality.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Finally we have a pair of active noise cancelling headphones that offer some competition to the Bose Quiet Comfort series. Panasonic's RP-HC500 are over-the-ear headphones that offer reasonable sound quality combined with active noise cancelling. Audio purists won't be satisfied with the sound quality, which lacks the clarity and detail of more advanced Hi-Fi headphones, but the HC500's produce quite smooth audio that is more than adequate for the average listener.
The primary feature of these headphones is their noise cancelling capabilities and in this regard they perform quite well. External sound is blocked out in two separate ways. First the headphones completely enshroud your ears, so little sound can actually penetrate. Secondly the RP-HC500 also has active noise cancelling, which works by using microphones to record external noise, and then the headphones play opposing sound through the drivers in order to cancel the sound out.
Our tests showed the active noise cancelling on this model worked quite well. In our office environment, simply wearing the headphones blocked out a good quantity of external sound. When we fired some tunes up, everything else completely disappeared. We did however notice a little sound leakage, even when wearing them properly, which is strange for a pair of noise cancelling headphones. It was still better than the leakage from many other pairs of headphones, but if you're after absolute silence so as not to disturb your colleagues, then you may need to look elsewhere.
We also took them on the road and tested them in a variety of different and more practical scenarios. While unfortunately we couldn't use them on a flight (one of the key areas where noise cancelling products shine) we did manage several rickety bus trips, which are almost as demanding. The RP-HC500 performed quite well in this regard, shutting out a lot of the rumbling of the engine. However it didn't manage to remove it completely and overall we found the noise cancelling slightly inferior to that of the high-end Bose headphones.
Sound quality is an area of slightly less importance when it comes to noise cancelling headphones, however we still rate it as an important factor. Our first impression of the RP-HC500s was quite good. They produce a smooth, flowing sound that makes for great background listening. However a more detailed analysis revealed a lack of refinement across the whole sound-scape which detracted from the overall experience quite a bit.
There was a general lack of clarity or finer definition across the bass and mid range, which meant the overall sound wasn't as detailed as we'd like. There was a good amount of bass and it extended deeply, although it could have been a little tighter. Meanwhile the mid range was a little too strong for our tastes although it was the best sounding element of the music. The highs were quite good with a relatively sweet sound, although they did get a little bright at some points.
The soundstage was decent but not noteworthy. We have noticed a tendency for noise cancelling models to struggle a little in this area compared to their Hi-Fi brothers, and the RP-HC500s were no exception. Our music sounded a little two dimensional, comparable to a small room or studio.
As with most noise cancelling headphones, comfort was somewhat of an issue. The suction effect commonly felt in other, similar pairs, was again present here. It isn't a huge issue, but it does take a little getting used to. Aside from that they were quite comfortable, resting snugly on the ears and providing adequate padding.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Apple iPhone X
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Sony Offer Some Hush in the Christmas Rush For Chatswood Shoppers
- Harman ANZ relaunches AKG into the consumer market with new range
- Plantronics Expands its Award-Winning BackBeat FIT Family
- Google marries AI, hardware and software with Made By Google
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCTest Engineer - Insurance BackgroundQLD
- CCSystem Analyst - AxwayACT
- CCThe job "Automation Test Analyst Guidewire " is now ExpiredQLD
- FTApplication Support ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior .Net Developer - (Australian Citizens Only)Other
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCNew Relic Integration ConsultantNSW
- FTSolution Architect - infrastructureACT
- FTApplication Support AnalystOther
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Developer - Node.js - APINSW
- FTPlatform Software Engineer (Data Warehouse/Big Data) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCWintel Engineer - BrisbaneVIC
- FTLevel 2 and 3 Support TechnicianOther
- FTIT Audit & BCM AnalystNSW
- FTAgile Business AnalystOther
- FTSenior Solution ArchitectOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTJava Software Engineers wanted (Melbourne CBD location)VIC
- FTChange ManagerSA
- CCSenior Data AnalystNSW
- FTData AnalystOther
- CCRPA DeveloperVIC
- FTFacilities/Capacity EngineerOther
- TPSenior Test AnalystNSW