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the BEST $34 I've ever spent on ANYTHING!

A Review On: Panasonic RP-HTF600-S Step Monitor

Panasonic RP-HTF600-S Step Monitor

Rated # 52 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $34.00
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Pros: Excellent bass response,clear as bell highs, rich mids, satisfying music listening experience

Cons: For $34 these cans have no cons to me

As many others have, I read the review by Malveax raving about these cans. Being an owner of the JVC HARX700 I of course didn't want to believe that an even cheaper headphone had my beloved bargain King beat.....a headphone that was only fractions away from my Audio Technica ATH-A700. How could a headphone even cheaper and miles ahead actually exist I asked myself?


When I received the package I was actually impressed with the packaging. A clear outer box with a 3/4 sized inner box that covers most of the headphone except for one cup. While it isn't a wood box lined with velvet....who would expect that in a sub $30 headphone? I was prepared to be utterly dissapointed at some low quality Chinese crap made of cheap feeling and looking plastics....but I was blown away. Pictures on the internet can be deceiving afterall.  These things look nice. And I'm not talking $30 nice....they would be nice even if they cost $150.....heck even $200!!! I've seen $200 headphones that looked and felt like cheap garbage....the headphone market isn't as linear as say full size high end speakers or power tools....or vehicles.


I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700 which I believe are a very nicely built and quality feeling headphone of mostly metal construction. I'm actually shocked that Audio Technica doesn't slap a $00 price tag on those cans. While these aren't in that caliber theres nothing that calls attention to itself. The only thing that I would omit is the one step adjustment buttons. They seem gimmicky being silver plastic. But they're really not that noticable. The earpads are nice. Firm. Fairly thick vinyl. Actually bit thicker than the ones supplied with the JVC HARX900....I do like the softer supple feel of those by the way. But these are fine....just a bit more firm. I really like the feel of nice smooth vinyl/pleather pad when I'm handling a headphone. Much better than the ultra thin wrinkly vinyl thats standard on many headphones. I won't even mention that ear[ads make my ears sweat....because first of all I don't wear full sized headphones when it's 90 degrees....that wether is reserved for ear buds. Stop complaining about that poeple.....it make you seem like a bunch of whiners. Certain things in life are givens....and pleather ear pads on a hot Summer day is one of them. I actually feel cooler when wearing pleather ear pads....it's smoother and cleaner to me.


The cord is sufficient. it's long enough to reach across my listening room....and plenty long for my computer desk. I still don't get how ...or why people complain about a cord being too long???? Would these people prefer a cord that 1 foot? Growing up someone told me....."It's better to have more than you need thaan not enough".


I followed the advice when I got these and burned them for at least 20 hours. I gave them a listen.....nothing that impressed me at first except the rich full bass.....but thats not the only reason I would want a new pair of cans....after all I had the HARX700....and the HARX900......which are proclaimed bass monsters by some.


I let them burn for another 20 hours playing bass heavy music. When I finally sat down to test them out with a variety of music on my home system which is a Sony ES CD player....Sony ES DAC......and Adcom preamp used solely for it's headphone out..... within 2 hours something happened...they actually started sounding better to my ears....I remember wanting to check out a particular passage on an album.....before I knew it I listened to the entire damn 74 minute album....without skipping through any songs.


They do everything in a very satisfying way. I'm a drummer and I know what drums sound like.....cymbals are presented in a very accurate manner with the subtle overtones of the ride cymbal and the impact of the wooden stick on the metal.......the snap of a drum head and all the texture of the coated head  is all there.....lips on the reed of a woodwind...breathing sounds. Fingers on guitar strings.....the nuances of a bow on a string instrument. The low registers of the bass guitar on Joshua Redmans Compass reverberate in the studio and it's felt but without smearing any of the other frequency spectrum. Tom Petty's voice on the MFSL remaster of Full Moon Fever sounds like he's in a recording booth and guitars float on the outer left and right hand side of the sound stage.....I'm assuming thats what the mastering technician intended.


Every genre sounds amazing on these headphones. Classical, Chamber, Metal, Jazz, Fusion, Rock, Hard Rock, Pop, Rap. I'm actually amazed at some older recordings and how good they sound on these. To my ears these headphones don't sound veiled one bit. It's a very forward presentation but still giving a good sense of spacial cues.


Some have said while it's a satisfying headphone...it isn't HI-Fi. Well that might be true....but last time I checked we listen to music to enjoy the music. Right now the HTF600 allows me to enjoy my music...they bring me in and they don't make me feel as though as it's a veiled sound as my HARX900's do. I'll have to do a few more mods to those since after getting the HTF600 they just aren't cutting it for me anymore. I just don't know how anyone that uses headphones would not want to own at least one pair of these. I'm buying a second pair before Panasonic jacks the price up to $100 or discontinues this model and puts the new model in the M-50 price bracket.


I haven't dome too much experimentation with different amp setups. Most critical listening was done through my stereo rig. But much of it is sourced from the computer playing Flac files in Foobar2000 to a cheapo X-Fi sound card and into a mid tier Pioneer receiver via a pair of 6Ft long Monster Cables. But I did hook up a higher quality Denon integrated amp with more juice and some higher end Straight Wire RCA's and the sound was more forward and immediate with a fuller bottom end and a blacker background so I'd say that amping does improve or at east change things. The Fiio E10 is next for my computer setup whenever thats released. 


I've said it before and I'll say it again....if someone handed me these cans and told me they were $500.....$600 cans I wouldn't say they were crazy. But if they handed me these and told me the price afterwards I would think they were lying to me...... That says alot.


Very nice take.. Now you remember when I told you they sound more like a $150-$200 HP? People think I am fully joking when ever I say that. These are astounding for the cost folks. Get them and see for yourselves. Some of the guys have already figured out how to mod them to their sound preference but to be honest. Much like Mr. Assimilator702 I find them exceptional without mods. Now the velours. That just adds to the comfort level. Everyone should have a pair IMO.
NO need to mod these cans. They deffinately are performing in the $150 category. I'm still so intrigued by these headphones I haven't listened to my A700 or AD700 once since using these. That says alot since those were my 2 cans are the pinnacle of my collection.....now the HTF600 sits right beside them.
Nice review. Thanx
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