Panasonic RP-HC55 Headphones Review
The RP-HC55s have some issues with comfort since the control pendant is downright awkward.
The Panasonic RP-HC55 has boxy ear buds with an angled nozzle.
The back of each bud has six holes for the active noise cancellation's microphone. The outside of the ear buds has a silvery design with some branding and an L or R to indicate the channel.
The two ear bud cables meet at a block of plastic with an adjustible neck split. After the neck split is the active cancellation control pendant.
It looks and controls like a clicky pen; you press the button on the top to turn active cancellation on and off. You can use the clip to hang the pendant off your lapel pocket, the pendant also has a volume switch. The bottom half has a hatch to conceal it's AAA battery cavity. After the pendant is a bit more cable and a standard 1/8-inch plug.
In the Box
In the RP-HC55s' box you'll find the headphones, three sets of sleeves, a AAA battery, a pouch, and airplane adapter, and a cord wrap that snaps onto the back of the control pendant.
The RP-HC55 headphones seem durable enough. They have good cord guards, although the in-line pendant means there's two more cord guards then typical. Cord guards stop the cable from bending sharply against whatever hard object it's projecting from. Sharp bends equal wear and tear damage (just ask the original Vibe Duo, which was quietly updated to add in better cord guards).
Another issue we found, which is related to durability, is how well the sleeves stay on the nozzles. In the case of the RP-HC55s, the sleeves could've clung on better. They didn't pop off to become lost on the streets of Boston or anything, but they do have a slightly looser fit than we would've liked.
These headphones have some severe disadvantages when it comes to aesthetics. First of all, as in-ears, the RP-HC55s don't have a lot of room to impress us. The ear buds themselves are good looking enough, but where we really had a problem was with the control pendant. Like the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC3s, the active cancellation pendant is a bit bulky. The difference between the two headphones, however, is the placement of the control pendant. The ATH-ANC3s place their pendant towards the end of the cord so you can shove it in your pocket. It's out of the way, but still accessible, and no one has to look at it. The RP-HC55s' pendant will only reach your front pocket if you're short. The only real option for dealing with a giant pen slapping you in the xyphoid process all day is to clip it to some part of your shirt, likely your lapel pocket.
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