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$6 Panasonic RP-HJE120. Surprisingly usable - Page 2

post #16 of 29

I've had these Pannys for a while! Initial impressions as I remember was "woah boomy bass!" Then I took the filters off and the bass subsided a tad bit. After some use and burn in (which I'm pretty sure is more of a mental mind set now...) I began to like these a lot. They had good sound for very very cheap! However, here comes the bad part: I got SICK of these. I can't stand these anymore. They're very nice but something is lacking...all the time. The bass is boomy and not very articulate, rather just thumpy and the isolation is mediocre at best. The highs can be shrill and this is definitely a headphone you can't use to just relax. At first the comfort was very good I liked how they where angled nozzles but now after extended periods of time they hurt my ears. I think it has to do with the shape of the bud being a tiny bit to wide for my ears. Maybe if i changed to some hybrid tips it would help. Also in my right ear the fit is very very weird. I have to jam them in to get a good fit and always after plugging them in i have to give them a light tap to "pop" them for the seal to be correct. Another thing: The microphonics are HORRIBLE. They're still there over the ear but a little subsided. Overall for $6 buck I can't complain especially for grab and go. But if you want a dedicated phone I'd definitely upgrade from these as soon as you can. One plus they have going for them is they are very durable the cable is nice and while they can tangle if just thrown in the pocket they're not tangle machines like iBuds. 

Compared to:

Portapros (from memory): The sound signature is sort of similar, fun, engaging and big bass but just lacking...

RE-0's: The complete opposite. Bass is inarticulate and not very well controlled compared to the RE-0's although there is a lot more of it. Microphonics are about the same though tongue.gif. High's and detail's are no where near the RE-0's though. The mids on these little buds are actually pretty descent vocals come clear and loud.

Grado SR-60's: compared to these the buds sounds small the soundstage is almost non existent even against the Grado sound. I did the hole mod to increase the bass on the grado's and it was very much in a separate league to these. Keep in mind these are about $5. 

Sennheiser PX 100: The senn's to me where very smooth and dark sounding, something I liked very very much. They where the perfect background or easy listening cans and went very well with techno/electronica. These don't so much but they do go very well with rock and metal. To me the Senn's sounded a bit better with hip hop just because of the open ness and the tight nice bass. 


So for $5ish these are thumbs up! As dedicated headphones though these are a no go and even over time these can't hold up to better portables 

post #17 of 29

I agree with the Thumbs up, Just had my RP-HJE120s delivered a few days ago.  They were not intended to be my primary headphones and picked them up simply because I busted my Apple earbuds.   They actually sound pretty good, especially for the 7 bucks I paid for them.   If you are on a budget, they are great Apple earbud replacements.   However, a lot of folks have been talking-up the Monoprice 8320 earbuds as being a superiour value. So if I had it to do all over again I would of probably purchased those instead.  I think you can buy them online and get them delivered for under 10 bucks.   

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
The JVC Riptidz is very close in price to the HJE120, and the Riptidz is so much better. The HJE140 is better than the HJE120, however it is around $3 more. I do like the Riptidz better than the HJE140 though. The HJE140 is much warmer than the HJE120. It is in fact too warm, and lacking in detail. The Riptidz($7) and JVC HA-EB75 earbuds with earhooks($8) are imo the best sounding earphones under $10. The JVC HA-EB75 is great for running when you need to hear your surroundings, and want to be sure your earphones won't fall out. The HJE355 sounds great though, but is $20. The main competition to the HJE355 seems to be the JVC HA-FX40, which is also $20. The HA-FX40 is much brighter though. Both the HJE355 and HA-FX40 have amazing clarity and detail. I am surprised at the high level of sound quality these offer for just $20 each.
post #19 of 29

I have these panasonics. I think that they're fantastic for beat 'em up headphones that I can take running with me. They do have shrieky treble and uncontrolled bass, but it isn't so bad at all. Best value for the >$30 headphone market, and I can get them for $6!

post #20 of 29

I recently acquired hje120's (I paid $5.5 for them), riptidz ($7.2) and the infamous 8320 ($6.8).


In terms sound quality, they're all better than the $15 Skullcandy smokin buds, which was recommended to me, when I needed something for riding public/company transit, where my ksc75 (leaky and dorky) would not be appropriate. Burn-in affects the riptidz the most, before burn-in it sounds worse (fast but inadequate bass, sibilance galore) than hje120 and after 40 hours much better. hje120 indeed has a loose bass (still deeper and less boomy than the skullcandy). riptidz has the tightest bass of 3, which is great for rock. The 8320 sounds great out of the box for me and the stock tips fit well (medium to small ears). 8320 is in a separate league in terms of sound, which reminds me of HD5xx series (>$100), open and airy, which is unbelievable for earbuds. I think that they sound better than my trusted ksc75. Using joker's review as calibration, which rates the Skullcandy at 3.1 and 8320 at 7.5, the hje120 is a 4.2 and riptidz 5.5.


In terms of comfort, hje120 fits my ears the easiest and never fall out, which makes them good for workout and house chores, where critical listening is not required. Riptidz requires some fiddle to fit well in my ears. Putting on 8320 is a ritual :)

post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by vicaya View Post

Using joker's review as calibration, which rates the Skullcandy at 3.1 and 8320 at 7.5, the hje120 is a 4.2 and riptidz 5.5.


In terms of comfort, hje120 fits my ears the easiest and never fall out, which makes them good for workout and house chores, where critical listening is not required. Riptidz requires some fiddle to fit well in my ears. Putting on 8320 is a ritual :)

Cool assessment, vicaya. Of the earphones you mentioned, I've got the Riptidz and ksc75. Your post made me put on the Riptidz again for a listen. They really sound quite enjoyable. The shallow fit is comfortable and they stay put, and they're cheap and splash resistant to boot.

Edited by gimster - 10/19/12 at 4:53pm
post #22 of 29

I just buy this, bright vocal sounding. 

post #23 of 29

This might be of interest to some of you. I finally damaged my throw-away pair of HJE120s while doing dead lifts at the gym. I opened up the broken pair and took some photos. This is what the inside of some cheapo IEMs looks like.




What's interesting on the HJE120 is that the port in front of the driver has been sealed off from the inside. That's [2] on the photo above. So the opening you see on the outside probably has very little effect on the sound. I wonder if the designers changed their minds at the last minute and decided that they wanted to boost the bass by blocking the port. That's too bad because the HJE120's bass and lower midrange response is excessive. The driver unit also has vent in the rear, but it is also taped shut. I removed the tape to show you the vent ([1] in the above photo). Having both holes blocked is probably why these IEMs are prone to driver flex.


The Sony MH1C has a similar problem. I thought of making some destructive mods on the cheap HJE120 to improve its sound before attempting similar surgery on the more expensive Sony. I considered opening up both ports, putting some dampening material on the cups behind the drivers, and poking tiny holes in the filter. But it's a really delicate operation, and if you make the front port too large, you'll lose too much bass.


A less destructive mod would be to punch very, very small holes near the center of the silicone ear tips, so that we get controlled leakage and an imperfect seal. The problem is how to do this precisely. The kind of holes needed are quite a bit smaller than 1 mm in diameter. Make the holes too large, and you roll off the bass too much.


I may come back to the punctured tips idea later, but there is a quick and dirty work-around if you want a leaky seal, and that is to use the smallest size tips and shallow insertion. The Apple Earpods work in a similar way--you control the bass response with a looser or tighter fit. With the small tips, the HJE120 blocks outside noises even less, but it's no big deal since the isolation wasn't that good even with the medium tips.


Try this with the HJE120; it might work with the size of the openings in your ears. I can adjust mine to make the bass sound more realistic. It also clears up the mud in the lower midrange. I hear a small, wide peak around 700 Hz, but it doesn't make music sound too bad. Normally, I use a parametric EQ, but mobile apps like Pandora and YouTube can't use one. I also suspect higher levels of nonlinear distortion with these cheap IEMs, but that's another story and will have to be verified by measurements.


You can also reduce the bass response of the Sony MH1C using the extra small silicone tips, and for me, it makes them sound pretty good without EQ. The problem with my ears is that it's harder to hold the shallowly-inserted XS tips in place, especially with the flat J-style cord. I may have to try the punctured silicone tip mod on those.

post #24 of 29

I just got a set of these for my wife and when I tried them out I noticed a little more hissing than I get with my nicer IEMs and headphones.  Anyone else notice more hissing with these HJE120s, or is it just me?  I'm considering getting a second set for myself because I find them to be much more pleasant out-of-the box than my AKG IEMs, which is a bonus for watching streaming video on my tablet and working out with my iPod shuffle, since I can't EQ my tablet or my shuffle.

post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

Don't have the HJE120 but I do have the HJE180. According to Panasonic the HJE180/255/355 are the latest ones. I also have a 355 coming since I like the HJE180 so much. Even at $10 some of the nicest mids on the 180's. Best mids I've heard in a $10 phone. Bring to mind some of my favorites for mids(AKG mids, Sony bio-cellulose mids, Shure old school mids).


You have to get the right tips on the HJE180 but they really are in the super engrossing/enjoyable category along with the likes of the DDM1 and SM3. They won't perform near on that level but I find the Panny's more enjoyable than either. Just a nice little bit of syrup over the sound in the right places makes them quite sweet sounding. Nice groovy low bass lines, aggressive guitars, syrupy sweet mids, and quick lively treble with a realistic timbre.


Not a paragon of clarity or transparency but always a toe tapper and they blossom with the right synergy when used with my iriver E300 or Rocoo P. My Sony S639 while still one of the better sounding players is not as good sounding or as good a match(less analytical/clean sounding) but the HJE180 is still a toe tapper, just not as clear or detailed or open sounding as with the other two players.


I know the Philips SHE3580 gets a lot of play on head-fi lately but after having both, the Philips would get zero ear time. The Panny's are totally ergonomically superior and I think how the HJE180 presents the sound is easily more enjoyable to me. I agree that the Philips bass is good and maybe goes a bit lower than the HJE180 but the Panny bass grabs me more. It just has a hook that is better. The 3580 mids are kinda emotion-less in comparison and the treble is not as lively and doesn't sound as real even though the Philips treble has more clarity and can show more detail on the high end. Guitars just grab you on the Panny and are only pretty good on the Philips. Just my two cents but they are my all time favorite $10 phone and one of my favorite all-time sound signatures at any price.

I agree I've had multiple pairs of the Panasonics mainly because they break kind of easily and I also lose them so easily because they're like $6 on Amazon! When the latest pair broke I decided to try out the Philips SHE3580. And while the Philips is superior in clarity and separation, they just are way to fatiguing and trying too hard for a $10 headphone. The Panasonics have a much more relaxed mid-heavy sound spectrum with decent treble and bountiful but muddy bass. Really though it depends on your music, the kind of music I listen to, metal, is just too fatiguing for my ears to be listening to $10 headphones that are trying to sound like $100 ones (Philips).

post #26 of 29

Yeah, I really should grab an HJE-190 when they drop to $10 shipped. $12 at B&H now but with tax and shipping :) for the blue. We'll see what Black Friday brings.

post #27 of 29
post #28 of 29
Which one is best ?
SHE3590 or RP-HJE120
Which is best and value for money headphone.....if
you know any other phone please let me know
post #29 of 29



Does anyone still have an original rp-hje120 copy from when they were first released in....well, way back when? At that time they were far superior for the same price. Higher quality and longer cable, better isolation from the included tips, and an overall better signature sound.


Mine finally broke after using them on and off over the last five or so years, so I picked up a new pair. I was shocked at how much of a downgrade was applied to the newest version. They are still a great buy for under $10, but....man it was disappointing to open up the package and see them.


I tossed my original pair, which is too bad. Comparison pics would have been nice to post.

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