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Panasonic RP-HJE900 Zirconia Review - Page 7

post #91 of 599

Buy them used off the head-fi sales board for half that price. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leba View Post

I'm seriously considering buying the CZs except I'm having several problems:

 

 

post #92 of 599

I just want to update my first impressions:

 

  • The cable seems very durable but it's also heavy. I usually don't use shirt clips but in this case it would help if you walk around a lot or make the cable bounce.
  • The included pleather pouch is a joke. I want the good one!  This one:202.jpg
  • Like with everyone, the nozzle dirt filters fell off on day one without even leaving the house. I'll see if I can glue them back on...
  • One of the earpieces actually has a loose contact with the cable. Yep, it's sad, but it's not a big issue as you can easily rotate the cable.
  • I still love the sound! The HJE900 give a damn about genres! They take anything and make it sound great. I stopped listening to Metal years ago because it started to become too fatiguing to me. But with the great separation and airy sound of these I've found new excitement in my old Machine Head records.
  • The bass reaches deep and has an incredible impact if asked for. The cross album by Justice creates a huge bass wall, whereas the bass stays very subtle and precise on Chet Baker's CDs. Wonderful.
  • Soundstage is at least as big as with the Hippo VB. I've read that some people were hoping for more but I am fully pleased.

 

They have definitely made my Hippo VB obsolete (one of the many pairs my ears would never want to fully accept) - the bass extends just as far and has the better quantity (VB just have too much unless you use the bass weakest plate) and soundstage is at least as good.

I do still prefer my HFI-780, though. Mainly because of S-Logic and its out-of-the-head feeling, but also because the highs are a little bit sharper and have more sparkle. The treble on the Panasonics is good but they can't take on Ultrasone.

 

Edit:

It looks like they're also available in white - at least in Asian countries. Might grab a pair for my wife next time when I'm in China.

RP-HJE900 Zirconia white


Edited by Ultrazino - 8/12/10 at 2:11am
post #93 of 599

I haven't had these long enough to add much to the discussion, sound wise, except to say the reviews are accurate... these are really great. The bass quantity is enough. They sound better at low to mid volume. Their detail is... is enough to discern the teensy differences between the sound of successive bongo hits in the background of a song... yet they don't make you pay for this clarity with a boring presentation or no bass.

 

They are gorgeous in person. The pictures are great, but they don't do the material justice. They are grey in incandescent light, blue in sunlight.

 

As far as I can tell, this is a zirconium oxide based ceramic. The way this would be made is to take the almost pure white powdered zirconium oxide, mixed with whatever they are using to give it extra hardness (and coloring for the blue-black version), add water to make a paste, and cast it at about 3000 degrees, then polish it (unless these are glazed)

 

These are very hard, and hard to crack or scratch... but like the ceramic knives they are akin to, they will shatter if hit with a sharp enough blow. 

 

The foam mod is probably a necessity, given that the filters come off... not just to tame the treble, but to protect the drivers 

post #94 of 599
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

I just want to update my first impressions:

 

  • The cable seems very durable but it's also heavy. I usually don't use shirt clips but in this case it would help if you walk around a lot or make the cable bounce.
  • The included pleather pouch is a joke. I want the good one!  This one:


Did you try wearing them with the cable up around your ears? I actually never wore them hanging down, and I have no issues with their weight. Of course that might be an issue for some due to the cable's length, YMMV.

 

That fancy pouch looks quite over-engineered to me - not really practical or fast to use, just like the Sennheiser IE8 case. Wrapping the cable to fit exactly into that tight space, or having to unplug the buds from the cable any time you want to use that case seems like unnecessary wear and tear to me.

post #95 of 599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

  • One of the earpieces actually has a loose contact with the cable. Yep, it's sad, but it's not a big issue as you can easily rotate the cable.

 


Does the earpiece get quiet and sometimes cut out entirely?  At first I found I could get the sound back by rotating the cable, but that stopped working after a couple days.  It got so bad that it took a lot of fiddling to get any sound at all.  After the UE700 deal popped up I realized I didn't want to deal with this crap and returned the hje900s. 

 

Hopefully your problem isn't degenerative like mine was.  Either way, you should talk to panasonic about getting a replacement.  $130 ear buds shouldn't have contact problems almost immediately out of the box.

post #96 of 599
Quote:

Originally Posted by pj325is View Post

 

Does the earpiece get quiet and sometimes cut out entirely?  At first I found I could get the sound back by rotating the cable, but that stopped working after a couple days.  It got so bad that it took a lot of fiddling to get any sound at all.


Yikes! It's exactly like that! First time I tried them out I didn't get any sound at all from one side. I already sent a mail to Panasonic prior to your reply but now you're scaring me!

I did check out Panasonic's warranty and, unlike stated somwhere in this forum, they do give a two year warranty on all audio products. Maybe the 3 months are limited to USA?

 

BUT, these even grow more an more on me! They're the perfect portables! I will definitely get another pair for my wife to use, e.g. as backup. I'll try to see if I can get the white version for a reasonable price (which can be up to 150 €)...

 

Edit:

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfkt View Post

 

Did you try wearing them with the cable up around your ears? I actually never wore them hanging down, and I have no issues with their weight. Of course that might be an issue for some due to the cable's length, YMMV.


D'oh! *facepalm*

Of course, works just fine! I didn't think of it because microphonics are very low with the HJE900 already. I do prefer cable down, but I'll switch to cable up when I'm on the move. Thanks!


Edited by Ultrazino - 8/12/10 at 7:11am
post #97 of 599

DFKT: without a doubt, pure you. Wonderful review, perfect pics, and great rundown. Thank you.

post #98 of 599
Quote:

Originally Posted by pj325is View Post


Does the earpiece get quiet and sometimes cut out entirely?  At first I found I could get the sound back by rotating the cable, but that stopped working after a couple days.  It got so bad that it took a lot of fiddling to get any sound at all.  After the UE700 deal popped up I realized I didn't want to deal with this crap and returned the hje900s.

 

Hopefully your problem isn't degenerative like mine was.  Either way, you should talk to panasonic about getting a replacement.  $130 ear buds shouldn't have contact problems almost immediately out of the box.


Panasonic was quick to reply and said that they'll cover it even though I mark2410 bought them from Play.com. But like some kind of miracle, the issue is completely gone today! I can fiddle as much as I want, I can't find the loose contact anymore! *knocks on wood*

 

Did I say that these are amazing?

The sound is extremely natural to my ears. The volume of the mids is tuned down, yes, but the sound itself is just too real to be true.

 

Now if only they had an official cable with microphone for the iPhone...


Edited by Ultrazino - 8/13/10 at 6:58am
post #99 of 599

I'm going to go a bit off-topic here, but it's always interesting seeing how different people hear things, and how different persons have different ideas about what sounds "real". Like, intuitively speaking, shouldn't there be one sense of music sounding "real", that in which the sound reproduced most closely matches the sound waves of the original music? Obviously there are other complicating factors, such as the recording method, your own source and etc, but it's just interesting thinking about our own preferences. Sometimes I wonder how much of it is actually approaching the sound of "reality" and how much of it is approaching our own partialities to reality. And then there is the issue of how many of the sounds in today's music is digitally produced in the first place. What is the "real" sound for a chiptunes track, or some other formed of mostly or completely synthesized music? There is no actual representation for these sounds without being digitally processed first. Even for electric guitars this applies; though based off of the sounds of a physical instrument, their essential sound is revealed by how their sound is amplified and distorted. And then bass: in techno and hip hop it is often used simply for adding a physically tangible sensation to the music. So which is more real? The thumping dynamic driver that produces that physical sensation, or the gentle balanced armature that so precisely replicates the intricacies of the sound?

I know I may not be making much sense here; I'm typing fast and half just brainstorming. But these headphones got me thinking about how intriguing the role our own psyche is in determining our acoustic preferences. To some, like me, these have a very real sound signature, while to others they sound very artificial. Some get used to it, others don't. This issue occurs with most headphones, but it's still interesting to think about. It makes me wonder, given the limitations of recording technology and the sources that relay their stored sounds, what the "best" possible sound one can achieve in a sound system is. Where do you make compromises, if you have to at all? I'm sure that's a question many professional sound hardware engineers ask themselves every week.

post #100 of 599

I was thinking about the same things, while listening to these.

 

There are so many things we know about that color our perception of music, and then there are all the things we don't know about how we hear. And most of those things that affect hearing are individual traits. 

 

I think the best sound an engineer can shoot for would be the widest level of contrast and detail in a reproduction that is accepted by the most people. By accepted I mean not rejected, and listened to for a while.

 

I'm a huge believer in brain burn in... your mind adapts to pick out the detail in whatever it hears. After a short time, whatever you hear becomes natural, and you adjust your perceptions to hear the source better, and get the most information from it. 

 

All these sounds are real... are they transparent reproductions of the source? My answer is no, not even close. A really transparent source would mean you couldn't tell the difference between live and recorded. Not even close.

 

All that doesn't account for opinion. I prefer IEMs to full sized headphones. My girlfriend prefers the sound of the $19 Playaz to my HJE900s. These preferences go beyond right and wrong.

 

 

 

post #101 of 599

At first, I thought you (edit: Napilopez) wanted to jump at me because I said that they sound "extremely natural to my ears." But then you said yourself, that "to some, like me, these have a very real sound signature."

 

I've listened to a lot of Michael Jackson in my past - from many many different sources. Of course I've never met him personally and sadly I've never seen him perform live, so I really don't know what his real voice sounded like. But my brain has decided that the average of the plethora of different voices will probably sound very similar to the real one. And the HJE900 just hit that voice which my brain says that it's the one!

The majority of head- and earphones just sound way too dark and warm to be real, my Zino are way too bright and thin and while the HFI-780 has the correct warmth (and sound very good), IMO, I do need the other recorded sounds in relation to adjust my ears to be sure it's the real Michael. When I pop in the HJE900, though, my head just shouts "that's him!" (The same goes for several instruments and other voices, too.)

I'm not even a musician, nor did I ever set foot into a studio, so please don't quote me, but for me, the sound of the Panasonic is just right!

 

On another note, I've tried out the L sized tips, just for fun. While the M sized tips are just barely large enough to completely close the ear canals, the L sized ones do remain comfortable but add too much of a seal. Isolation gets better but the bass is just overpowering with these - I really don't hope that Panasonic was aiming for that amount of bass!

So if you're searching for the right tips, I'd suggest to be careful and maybe go with a more lightweight tip than what you use on other earphones.

 

BTW, I like how these (both M and L tips) slide in effortlessly without building up any air pressure. I think this is because of the air vents and it improves comfort even more. I don't have to take out my IEMs anymore if I chew on something - great!

 

I also don't see any reason at all to perform a foam mod or to tame the highs. Not once did I found a tone to be harsh or too high - but maybe that's because I'm used to Ultrasone headphones...

Boy, look at me, I've become a fanboy! So now I have to mention something negative: the cable is too short, isolation is insufficient, bass is too strong (not with the correct tips), ... ... ah, the volume of the mids is recessed!


Edited by Ultrazino - 8/14/10 at 12:30am
post #102 of 599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leba View Post

I'm seriously considering buying the CZs except I'm having several problems:

 

1. Local retailers sell these for around $200, for that price I was expecting them to be the Japanese version with the nice carrying case but I went to the shop earlier and apparently for that price I would be getting the American version only.... Amazon.com do not ship worldwide, is there any other online stores which do ship these earphones internationally?

 

2. I have say 1/4 of the songs in my library being iTunes imported 128kbps AAC files. Since the CZs are fairly revealing would it be a bad idea to listen to these files through them?

 

3. The replacement cables are a pain to find too. Seems like the SA6 cable can be used on the CZs but they arent much easier to find in Hong Kong :/ Good news is that the cable that comes with the American version is likely the better quality ones that Panasonic sell seperately in Japan.

 

Try getting from JR.com.  Try this coupon code (GEICO10) and if you are lucky, you could get $10 off.  The price on JR is $129 before discount.

 

Did anyone notice that the price of this IEM fluctuates a lot, and consistently out of stock?

On Amazon, the price was $129 (delivered by JR).  But for a couple of days, it was sold out.  When stock is available again, the price went up to $139 and then $149!  Quantity again is limited.
 

post #103 of 599

Amazon has analysts who gauge the interest of the HJE900 on Head Fi and then matches the price accordingly :D

post #104 of 599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post

Well, over the weekend I found out how horrible the stock tips are. They kept falling straight out of my ears. I got my Sony Hybrid tips today and have been trying the small and medium sizes. So far I like the smalls more but I haven't made up my mind yet.

 

Silly me ordered 7 pairs of mediums and only 2 pairs of smalls. I guess I'll put the mediums up on the FS threads and see if anyone will trade for some smalls.

 

For the Sony hybrids you mentioned, are you referring to those that can be used for Sony EP-EX10A or the likes?  Thanks!

post #105 of 599

Do the Panasonics change with burn in or is it just me? I notice the bass has been tamed a bit. I can't agree with my initial impression that the bass stands in front of voices anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm still getting used to these even more.

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