Pros - really good sounding bass, portable, acceptable mids
Cons - not much treble, only comfortable for 1hr
My dad bought these for me in duty free in Korea, and he got and absolute rip off because he didn't have time to shop around or look on amazon. But i'm guessing the average price is about $60 NZD, so i'll rate the value based on that. Treble
The treble on these headphones are quite lacking on these headphones but i guess that's what you get on $60 headphones, however if you boost the treble it can be acceptable because it's still very detailed. Mids
The mids too are acceptable but lacking. I was disappointed because guitars don't seem to sound as thick on these headphones. Bass
The bass is absolutely AMAZING on these cans. It's sure not lacking and it's extremely thick and detailed, but it doesn't get overpowering and annoying. Value
Definitely worth buying since these are so cheap. Comfort
These are only comfortable for about 1 hr, but i only use them for that long anyway so this doesn't worry me. Overall
Overall i'd give these an easy 8/10. they sound great on stuff like nirvana and the red hot chillies, but they are lacking with thickness for stuff like the smashing pumpkins. They sound quite good for hip hop too but i don't listen to that much of it. Drums sound great on these, bass sounds great on these, guitar sounds acceptable and vocals sound acceptable.
Pros - Very good bass, good isolation, acceptable mids and treble
Cons - Very recessed highs, somewhat uncomfortable after a couple of hours, build quality
As english is not my mother tongue, please pardon me for grammatical mistakes (I shouldn't have so many spelling mistakes, but... who knows ).
I bought this as a result of a search to replace my JVC HAS160. This are in a different league, but I didn't want to use my Sennheiser HD 25-1-II as a portable headphone. Though I love how the Senn sounds, its technical approach should not be used on, for example, the subway.
I was looking for a deeper sound of what could be provided by the JVCs, in a closed back format. My 1st gen PX100 certainly go deeper in bass terms than the JVCs, but everything is lost because of the open back format. At first I thought of the AKG K81DJ, which I tested before, but it was too much money for a beater that I was looking for, and I prefer all black headphones (I certainly love the looks of the HD25-1-II). As a cheap alternative I was between Sony MDR ZX100, Marshall Majors and this RP-DJS400.
I would give it a 6/10, but consider it as a preliminary qualification because I still haven't tested these on my day to day usage. Considering I managed to brake the JVC HAS160 at the joint between the headband and the speaker housing, I don't think this are going to endure a lot. The plastic seems a little cheap, and the swiveling articulation is composed of too many parts to last with the plastics it has been made. A better polymer (like the one used on the HD25-1-II) would have been a better choice.
As previously noted, it is not as comfortable as... well as any of my headphones. It is not unpleasantly uncomfortable, but certainly after a couple of hours ears become somewhat uncomfortably pressed against your skull. Nevertheless, it certainly can be used for a couple of hours without seriously feeling uncomfortable. However, my opinion is that it depends a lot on ear size. Given the size of the pads, my guess is that for small ears (significantly small) it could almost be circumaural, on the small size of circumaurals. For average size ears, it would be a somewhat big supraaural, while I think for above-average ears will be a common supraaural. The size is bigger than the size of the HD 25-1-II, which for me is a perfect supraaural. Hence, the RP-DJS400 excers some strange pressure on certain points of my ears. This doesn't mean it is uncomfortable, it's just that my ears are not used to feel anything on those places.
As it has been noted, it certainly doesn't need an amp and is much easily driven by my phone (Nokia E5 and Samsung Galaxy Y Pro B5510) than my HD 25-1-II. I would say that it is even easily driven than JVC HAS160. Haven't tested with my iPod since I'm rockboxing it, but I guess the same applies. These are easily driven
Much above but what I expected, but certainly need EQ. Out of the box and with flat EQ (on the setup given above, which is far from good but for testing purpose I tried the HD25-1-II and the RP-DJS400 on this setup), bass sounds deep but somewhat muddy, mids are present but not good and treble is deeply recessed. For comparison, the HD 25-1-II sounds very detailed but lacking bass.
My guess is that this headphones handle frequencies in a somewhat particular way. The EQ to achieve a good sound is +11dB on 60Hz, -3dB on 230Hz, +2dB on 900Hz, +6dB on 3KHz and +10dB on 12KHz. With this EQ the HD 25-1-II -and every other headphone I have- register a remarked bass, lose mid bass, and excessive treble. I'm not going to make a note on mids because I think mids presence is subject of personal tastes, but for the sake of this review with the EQ noted above voices are plenty.
The strong point of this headphones is bass. It is there, plenty of it, deep, controlled and with a good transition to mids. Certainly it is a goog headphone for bassheads, but I think it is more than acceptable for other kind of genders. I've listened to very different music (some MP3@256kbps and some audio CDs) and certainly amazes me how versatile are this headphones:
Jamiroquai: Live in Verona
Playing for Change album (directly from the original audio CD)
Marcelo D2: Acústico MTV
Morcheeba: Fragments of Freedom
Paul Tortelier: Bach Cello Suites
Prodigy: Greatest Hits (CD1)
The Police: Outlando's d'Amour
Dave Grusin: Homage to Duke (specially Satin Doll, which is awesome)
Certainly RP-DJS400 do not excel with all those, but all in all is gentle enough to be good to listen to an ample range of genders. The bass, while clearly present, isn't bloated but precise -not at the level of, say, ATH-M50, but precise enough- and on the deepest notes of each song you can almost feel it on your ears. My believe is that this behavior with low frequencies is an important part of what make this headphones fun to listen to.
The transition from lows to mids is good, and since the treble is so recessed, the transition from mids to highs is gentle enough to not sound harsh (again, compared to HD 25-1-II, which sometimes it is too cold and harsh). EQed with this in mind the highs are all there, and detailed enough, but always kind of recessed. Without doubt I would characterize the RP-DJS400 is a warm headphone. EQed adequately is very gentle and easy to listen to.
Isolation is good, but not excellent. It is better than JVC HAS160 because it is bigger and clamps stronger, but it is not as good as the HD 25-1-II. I would say nevertheless that it isolates a tad better than Senns HD 202 and similar. I used them at the subway and I didn't need to turn up the volume to ridiculous levels, in fact I used them lower than JVC HAS160, but as I said, RP-DJS400 are very easy to drive.
Compared with JVC HAS160 which they are meant to replace, sound signature is very different, but this is clearly given by the different format. While the JVC is a small supraaural headphone with 30mm drivers, the difference in size is clearly noted, with the RP-DJS400 having a much deeper bass signature and a more ample soundstage.
Compared with AKG K81DJ, to my ears the sound signature is kind of similar. The AKG K81DJ sounds very good out of the box, and doesn't need too much EQ to be easy to listen to. The Panasonic RP-DJS400 can also be very easy to listen to and can sound really fine, but needs to be EQed.
Compared with the Senns HD 25-1-II, they are on different leagues. While the HD 25-1-II is not an always easy headphone to listen to, the warm sound signature and very deep and clear bass of the Panasonic RP-DJS400 makes it for a fun and easy headphone to use, but nevertheless it is not able to perform any kind of monitoring task or such.
I know that equalizing for testing purposes is almost senseless, but I mentioned it and tested them as this because we're not talking about an audiophile's headphone but about a consumer headphone which can sound very good. Hence, EQ comes in play since it can be used to more or less adequate the way a given headphone sounds to listener's taste.
Comfort aside, I would give the Panasonic RP-DJS400 an 8,5/10 because as previously said, it is a very easy to listen to headphone. It's price/product ratio is very good, considering it costs 10% of what the HD25-1-II costs here in Argentina, but they are different headphones.
The main issue with these headphones is comfort. I find myself moving them a little every 30 minutes or so because of those strange points where it presses my ears. After a couple of hours, I need to take them off for a minute or so. The second issue is build quality, and it really seems cheaply made, or at least, not at the level as the sound quality it has. Let's see what time says.
Anyway, given the very gentle and fine sound signature with almost any kind of music thrown at it, these headphones are a very good choice, specially for those who prefer warm sound signature, and deep and precise bass (certainly not a la Aiaiai TMA-1, which for me has a powerful bass but completeley uncontrolled, although for some it has a good bass).
Please feel free to leave any comment, I hope this review helps.
Cons - While Treble is detailed it seems almost "lower pitched" than it actually is, and while the mids are quite precent, it's nothing special.
The first thing I want to say right out of the box is that I paid 78$ for these headphones on CANADIAN Amazon, so if you're in Canada, expect to get these headphones for double the price.
So let me go over this review in a modular way, it just seems to flow much easier for me.
For whether these headphones need an amp or not, I can definetely say NO. An amp is NOT required at all! These phones drive very easily and cleanly, and while they could benefit from an amp (I feel like they're holding a bit of their potential back), they definetely can be driven quite well without any amp whatsoever.
As for comfort, the pads of the headphones are... Okay. It's nothing uncomfortable and the angle at which the headband forces the cans to your ears are adjustable to about 90 degrees. Which is nice. So they're reasonably comfortable, but the material of the pads itself are acceptable. Nothing amazing, but nothing bad. And the force the headband puts on your head after long periods of wearing them are DEFINETELY apparent. After two or three hours of continous wear, your ears will almost feel "pressured and pressed in", and it's uncomofortable, espiecally if you wear glasses.
The bass of the headphones are quite clear and concise. I feel an amp would let the bass run to it's full potential, but without one, it's quite good. It's not muddy and it is quite accurate. Notice how I said quite; while the bass is enjoyable and not overpowered or underpowered, I feel there could've been a bit more tweaking; now, it could've just been my EQ, but seeing as my EQ is always flat, I'm pretty sure it's the headphones. Overall on the bass, it is quite good for the price range, but it wont compete with bass above the price range... Which is expected of course.
The mids are very present, and you can hear them quite well, but only if you pick out the bass and treble to listen to just the mids. The mids are quite acceptable for the 40$ price range, but not the 80$ price range in Canada. Dont get me wrong, the mid's are good and crisp, but a lot of the mids almost feel "blended together" sometimes and you lose track of the mids eb-and-flow.
The treble is another highlight of the headphones. While detailed and ornamented (to an extent. It's quite good treble for the price range), the treble is almost always brought down to a warmer register, and a bit of a lower pitch. It's nothing "song-breaking", but it's apparent that the treble is not exactly as the mixing master had mixed it to be. Though for the price range, it's very adequate.
The styling of the headphones are quite nice, sporting many vibrant colours and sleek designs all around, it almost looks "futuristic" to be honest. Unfortunately, while wearing them, the space above your ears seems to be very seperate from the rest of the headband, causing a very noticeable gap just above your ears, which can look a little goofy sometimes if you dont have thicker hair.
The sound signature of these headphones are quite soft; not the softest I've heard, but it is nice and pleasant to the ear, and it'll leave a lasting impression on you of almost a "gentle lion". The headphones make you feel immersed, yet it's not harsh at all and even music that is supposed to be disjunct sounds a little more conjunct; but in a good way.
The sound stage is quite good for the price range. Sometimes I have a hard time picking out instruments that are playing in a much lower register than other instruments, but make no mistake, ALL the instruments are there, and they're ALL audible, they just are sometimes hard to pinpoint.
One thing I have to point out is that when they are resting on your neck, the swivel of the cans to the headband is very sensitive. They'll easily flop about into any position and can sometimes hurt if you run with them on or are just plain uncomfortable.
The chord of these phones are quite nice actually. It didnt advertise a "no-tangle" chord like the iBudss advertise (yet those things tangle like it's their sole purpose), yet I rarely found myself having to untangle 14 knots.
Though one BIG problem I MUST address if you plan to buy these headphones is the build quality! While I would mostly NEVER expect to be blowing the drivers or scratching or breaking the plastic that surrounds the cans, the headband as a whole is VERY brittle. I've had these headphones for about 2-3 months. I've had to return them twice already to amazon for replacements BOTH because of a snapped headband, and I was by no means at all abusing them, or putting any big amount of pressure on them.
If you plan to take these headphones outside with you and you are reasonably active, then either get a warranty, or leave them inside. The headband is very VERY brittle when extended at all. If these headphones are just for home use, then they're great for that, I doubt you'll find a situation where you'd actually be able to break the headband easily, and like said before, the drivers are very durable.
A side note I must make is that these are bad for modifying. They dont have any screws or latches to get into the driver's compartment without having to pry it open and glue it back shut. I dont reccomend modifying these cans.
Overall, they're quite decent cans with a soft sound signature for a very fair price. Though unfortunately, running with them can actually hurt as the hard plastic hits your collar bone irritably hard, and wearing them for long periods of time can cause discomfort to your ears, and most importantly, the headband is VERY brittle.
I hope my review was useful If you hand any questions or comments feel free to ask!