So out of my own curiosity I ended up with a Panasonic HJE450 These have 12.5mm Drivers. 6hz-26khz freq response 102 db/mW 16 ohms I ended up with the white version. So what does these offer for $5 more than the HJE350? $15 more than the HJE180?. Priced at $25 for a reason me thinks. These have a very interesting vented design. I don't know if you guys can see the hole on the top of the stem but that is a bass port.. There is also a sound hole on the bottom of the nozzle for the treble and yet another sound hole on the opposite side of the top hole on the stem for the mids. So panasonic is trying out some micro vented sound enhancement on these.
What they do exactly? Well for one the highs sound like they are detached from the rest of the sound. It is a weird sound and not the type that you can get used to. If you like treble these might appeal to you as the highs are their own entity apart from the rest of the sound. This vent hole on the nozzle makes it so you can hear each high note with as much authority as the bass. This does make it sound like you have multiple speakers in your head.
Some might actually enjoy this multi speaker sound but for me some tunes are not as smooth as I know they can sound on other earphones. This multi speaker sound for trance is a weird one. The highs sometimes seem more high lighted than I want..Vocals when crossing over from a low tone to a high one that is when it gets kinda weird and out of place. I am a self admitted noob when it comes to iems so I can imagine this is as close to a multi driver sound as actually having multi drivers in an iem.
The problem? Compared to the HJE350. These just have too much highs that don't blend well with the rest of the sound. I happen to like my highs but these are a bit too detached sounding to me. On some tunes it sounds great but on others this disjointed highs are more prominent.. But believe it or not. I am actually keeping these as they have a very unique sound.
I happen to like different sounds so for the money it was worth trying out. I can safely say for anyone that wants to try out the Panasonic line the HJE350 has the best sound of all of them. The one area that these HJE450 does better is sound staging. I noticed these bigger driver iems also have with the bigger wider stage. But that is the only true aspect that these HJE450 does do better..
Overall the HJE350 offers the best of build, comfort and good sound for the money These would make perfect gym buds. I did see these out of Japan. The HJE600. $80 sold @ Audiocubes. These use same sized drivers and the exact same build and specs of the HJE450. Which leads me to believe. These are exactly the same as the HJE450.. Just with a fresh coat of paint and numbered higher..Panasonic is guilty of renaming their old stuff with new numbers and reselling them.
Considering these are Japan only earphones they can call them whatever they want but I am willing to bet they are the exact same things as the HJE450. What Panasonic needs to do is improve on the HJE350 sounds and do away with this sound porting design..Of course that is just my opinion.
Edited by Dsnuts - 1/24/12 at 1:26pm