Pros - Tank like build, Detachable cables, Fun & detailed sound signature, Good soundstaging, Decent clarity, Extremely well priced- almost a steal.
Cons - Abysmal fit with bundled tips, Zirconium shells can be heavy, Mesh earwax filters fall out, Springy cable, Slighlty recessed mids, Sparse availability
The shells made of cubic zirconia is easily the most distinct aspect of the HJE900. It is almost indestructible and according to the literature, can only be scratched by diamond. The shells feel rock solid, has a cool blingy finish, looks and makes you feel good about your buy. The detachable cables with the non-proprietary connectors are a big bonus too. The solid build quality doesn't stop with the shells. The cable cinch has a brushed aluminum covering and the 3.5 mm jack socket is of the same material too. Ditto for the strain reliefs. Very classy.
The cable is a mixed bag. I'm nitpicking here- the cable is well made, but after being spoiled by the Westone 4's stellar braided cables, I found the cables on the HJE900 to be on the springy and energetic side. This can be a boon as there is not much memory for the cables and it doesn't get tangled easily. The cable cinch lacks sufficient grip to hold the cables for long.
Another drawback is that the mesh earwax filters at the tip of the nozzle have a tendency to fall off easily. However, this can be fixed by stuffing a small ball of foam just to cover the nozzle and gluing the mesh to it (or not).
Overall, there is nothing to fault with the tank like build quality that you get with the HJE900. In fact, it's better than most iems that cost much more than the HJE900.
One Panasonic branded drawstring pouch, One Sony 'Amazing Spiderman' branded zippered pouch, 3 pairs of single flange tips.
None of the bundled tips were able to provide a good fit and seal for me and my brother. With UE single flanges, it is possible to get a reasonably good fit and seal.
Comfort, Isolation & Microphonics
Best worn straight down. I was unable to wear it over the ear like I wear my W4 due to the springy cable and the longish strain reliefs. Speaking of the strain reliefs, I found them a bit too long and this prevented me from inserting the iems deeper. The shells can be heavy for some people. A friend of mine who tried out the HJE900 found it too heavy for her ears and complained that they kept falling out. Neither me nor my brother experienced this issue with UE tips.
We found that using UE single flanges yielded the best results in terms of fit, comfort and isolation. The UE tips are really soft and comfortable- one forgets after sometime that they are present in your ear. Isolation is tip dependent as usual. Fine with UE tips- not as isolating as my W4 with the triple flanges. I'm thinking of trying Shure triple flanges with the Panas- has anybody experimented with this combo?
Microphonics was minimal. Again, not as non microphonic as the W4, but easily the best among everything else I've tried.
Bass: Strong, has decent air, slam and impact. Extension is also good. The speed is also there- drums sound great with metal genres. I think that there is a mild mid bass hump, but I'm not too sure. In a nutshell, the low end sounds quite natural. The quality is hard to fault too. Mids: A bit recessed, as is usual with iems with v-shaped sound sig. I wasn't too impressed here but that's because I've been spoiled silly by the W4 and the Grado SR60i. For a person who's upgrading to the Panas from lower end iems/earbuds, they are bound to be impressed by the warm, natural and detailed tonality of the mids. Distortion guitars and basses sound great. Highs: Can be siblant and sharp for folks used to darker sound signatures. The highs are quite sparkling, but they aren't as detailed as that of higher end iems. Still, very entertaining to listen to.
Instrument separation is impressive.
I think 'Fun First, Details next' sums up the sound sig of these Panas. The sig makes it a great choice to listen to rock & metal. However, even though the SQ is very musical and entertaining, that doesn't mean that the details are bad- infact, it's pretty good for its price range.
The Panas are quite sensitive and doesn't require you to pump up the volume to hear things. They don't hiss with my Clip Zip, but when used with my SE X8 cellphone, I can hear the background hiss. The gigo rule applies here- the HJE900 is revealing of the deficiencies in poorly recorded low bit rate tracks.
For $120, I would say that the HJE900 punches far above its weight. On the build quality alone it scores a lot compared to the competition. It's no slouch in the SQ department either. A very entertaining v-shaped sounding iem, it gives most competitors a run for their money. The only flaw I can see is the sparkly treble, but with the foam mod or after burn in, it might settle down. As far as I'm concerned, the HJE900 makes a great backup pair that you can use everyday, anywhere. As my friend vik1980 rightly remarked, they can even take the front line for non audiophiles.
The catch here is the availability. It's not readily available here in India. I was lucky enough to see it being listed at the low promo price online and to buy them. The normal price is twice what I had paid for- at that point however, I would take a long, hard look at the competition before buying. But for $120, it's a steal and one of the best purchases I've made.
Cons - Little too much bass & treble, expensive now
I really like these IEMs. The casing is almost indestructible, they have detachable cables, and the sound is great and very clear for dynamic drivers.
The casing is made from Zirconium. They're advertised as being related to diamond, which isn't true and a little too much marketing speak, they are indeed very very hard.
The sound is a little bit V-shaped with too much emphasis on the bass & treble. It can be fixed through the use of an equalizer, but it'd be nice if it were more neutral out of the box. But the clarity is fantastic, the bass extension great, the treble very lively.
The cable is very high quality. My only qualm is that it is a bit on the short side. If I use these with my iPhone in my pocket the cable barely reaches and will tug if I turn my head while wearing them over the ears. It really could be about 6" longer, but you can fix this easily through the use of something like the iLuv EA15, an iPod/iPhone remote that adds 7". Or you can just replace the cables with Sleek Audio SA6 replacement cable, the port is the same.
Durability anecdote: My Corgi likes to eat my IEMs and he got a hold of these once. The earbud came unattached from the cable, he chewed on and he swallowed it. I made him throw up with some hydrogen peroxide per my Vet's advice. 5 minutes later out the missing earbud came, covered in foam but absolutely scratch free. I cleaned it up in some rubbing alcohol, let it dry out and put a new tip on it. Much to my surprise it worked fine! The screen mesh on the nozzle kept all moisture out and the driver was undamaged. Can't say that about any other IEM - surviving 30 minutes inside a dog's stomach.
Pros - good dynamic range, durable, replaceable cables
Cons - tough fit, hard to find, slightly recessed midrange
These were just the second set of IEMs I bought, the first being Etymotic's 4S about 10 years ago. This was my first purchase intended for portable use (with a Clip +). At first, I was blown away by the low end, not in comparison to a real headphone set up, but to my 4S plugged into a laptop watching Netflix. Hey, I'm just being real. My Etys were, at first, a curiosity, nice for the occasional foray into 80s new wave, then essential to avoid pissing off the wife while I watched deeply disturbing Korean films. So I'm not use to hearing bass and was blown away with the impact of the RP-HJE900. I've since pulled back my enthusiasm. I can, however, unequivocally say these do not suck b*lls. And depending on your musical tastes, source recording quality, and personal proclivities, you may find these one of the all-time great steals. These phones are frequently accused of being sibilant. Depending on the listener and source, they can be. People have different ideas of what sibilance is. I did find the highs harsh on certain recordings but constrained with EQ and a little foam, and more importantly, proper fit. These earphones will always have a place in my collection, if nothing else because they make for the perfect backup. They do a lot right and little irreparable wrong. I think a lot of us owe dfkt a six pack for bringing these to our attention. Thanks for being reddish and not always grumpy. dfkt
i have this long review in my views regarding the pannys.
i got the earphones today...in me.
and they are just as amazing as my ue700!
but in a different way.
they are colored for me.
there's a lot of echo...air moving...and vibrating inside...something heavy... not the bass...but the overall music. the heavy thing is going to smash into your ears just like that!!! BAM! pushing air and sound into your ears.
for me, its bad.
its like messing with some of the instrument's sound...but its not that very bad...but i really dont like it...i mean that heavy thing.
its always there no matter what track i played.
there is an echo. something that makes the sound more INTIMATE.
i think...that echo gives the spectrum the body it needs.
after a minute...that heavy thing is making me feel good.
maybe its rather good in the end.
...but very musical, very very musical indeed!
but i dont think i can stand listening to them for a longer time...they make my head ache...but only for the first listening.
until in 5 minutes, thats when my mind learned to adopt its sound sig.
they were heavy and full bodied.
the highs were good. not too bright. not recessed. its there but not sparkling.
the imaging is very very nice...
the soundstage is like in a recording...honest.
but not like a 3d. maybe a 2d.
the lows were a little deep and yet detailed...but not slamming. not boomy. not for bassheads.
the mids...have the airy effect.
one word on the mids to explain them: DREAMY " border="0" class="smiley" src="http://www.headphiles.org/Smileys/default/wink.gif" style="vertical-align: bottom; " title="Wink" />
the echo helps a lot...to make the music intimate.
the heavy thing is part of the overall sound...after listening for barely 10minutes now...its gone...how is it like that???
comparing it to my klipsch s4, i prefered the sound of the pannys much!
very well rounded bass.
very detailed and full than the creeping bass of klipsch.
an unfair comparison.... DUAL BA DRIVER vs. DYNAMIC comparing it to my ue700, it blew the panasonic in many ways.
the ue700 soundstage is in 3d, more nicer.
the highs are sparkling on ue700.
the voice of the singer is upfront.
in short, the sound is more lively and more intimate than the pannys!
by comparing both, when i have my ue700, it feels like i dont want to put the pannys in my ears again...there is something that is unmatched with the ability of the ue700...
or maybe its because of my ears, i really like beautiful highs in 3d soundstage.
the build of this iem can blew my ue700 to dust!
its like a tank! while my ue700 is just like a scooter.
returning back to pannys, the voice of the singer is smooth.
the heavy thing is there...making the sound fuller.
punching my ears, with pacquiao's fist.
when i take the pannys out of my ears...its like...i tell myself...haay... salamat.
parang nakahinga na tenga ko sa sound.
hahaha...something like that.
its like im back in to the real world...and its nice to be back.
sometimes with panny i feel like nalulunod ako...its like there is something that is overly done in the echo and the heavy thing. but giving it a little time, the heavy thing makes the sound beautiful. more with a spirit. more intimate and lovely...dreamy in fact.
the air is covering the whole spectrum.
making it in a dreamy stage.
well...it is good. making it more relax.
and it is also bad. making you dreamy and noot in a manner of lively...
i played the acoustic, corrs.
there were instruments in the sides, the voice of the singer is in my head....centered. it is not upfront.
the instruments are alive....with a body to them.
swooshing from left and right, sometimes at the back.
they are very detailed even in micro details.
overall, the sound is very intimate...to me.
they sweet, relaxing and kinda involving...
but hey!!! i didnt mean they were bad, that heavy thing makes you realize that your in earphone is its one sig.
its really nice. nicer than that of my klipsch.
the sound is clean. dreamy. very detailed. heavy. airy.
making it intimate. and relaxing.
well it is good!
and very good than any of the 5k range earphones on the market today.
and i guarantee you, you will never miss any iems in your possession when the pannys are in your ears.
in another manner...
if pannys and ue700 will be a person, and saying the word BEAUTIFUL, it will be like this:
PANNY: BEEOOWOOTIFFFOUUUWWLL. UE700: VIEWTIVFUL.
and its like that.
i know now the reason why people are crazy for this iem.
the details. micro details that is very very present in your face!
and the rounded sound. the bass is amazing.
just enough to keep you upbeat...to keep you involved.
well for a thing...this is one of the best. keep that in mind.
cause it is worth mentioning.
grab one while you still can...
they are priced at $200+ from the beginning but now...
$79!!!!!!! at amazon.
note: the earphones are very very good, considering the price, it is a steal!!!
considering the build, the wires...impressive and outstanding also.
the sound is very musical...if you can live with the heavy one im saying, well they are a bang for your bucks.
by the way...owning this iem is like owning ONE OF THE HIGH END iem.
i am very very serious with that!
it can compete with my ue700.
it has a lot of muscle to punch you with micro details!
it wont make you bleed.
it will make you dreamy!
the sound is just...simply amazing.
it is arrogantly dreamy.
if you are looking and still searching for a very very good iem...
PANNY is your answer.
details are excellent. perfect.
the whole spectrum is clean.
nothing is creeping on the mids, or messing with any frequency.
this is a hi-end in ear of panny that never make it to the top...but can be one of the top.
for a is very very cheap price.
in the end...it is hard to be seperated to this iem...since it is just borrowed..
i kept saying to myself...such a very nice iem.
its hard to let go...
it seems like napalapit na sya sa puso ko.
and id like to own one...for me.
i would really really miss that magic...that dreamy signature.
my sources for review:
mp3 320kbps files.
shuffle 4th gen.
macbook pro itunes.
i am very sorry people for my first impression...
right now...i have to correct things i posted and said on this thread.
again...im very very sorry.
right now...burned zirconias have really improved.
my first review is a zirconia that hasn't been burned, that is why i told in my review about the HEAVY and ECHO that is messing around the frequency...
right now..this iem has beaten my ue700 in details and definition.
honestly, i love my ue700 for their details.
but it seems...
the PANNYS captured my heart 100%.
yes, i still love my ue700 but i love the pannys more!
glad to inform you that!
they sounded awesome.
they sound now more realistic!
they reproduced instruments more in an honest way.
the moving air, the warmness is now gone...
but now..what i hear is honesty.
each instruments are heard far enough.
it is only now...that i heard a real bass.
a bass with definition.
a bass with details.
not a bass that is hard on your ears.
but real bass.
something that is my ue700 cant reproduced.
even the aiaiai tracks, the klipsch and the philips i owned.
i really like them now.
the soundstage is still in a 2d manner.
but when i have this on my ears...i dont miss the 3d soundstage of ue700 anymore.
this pannys make me more satisfied...NOW.
i want to share this with you.
not even my ue700 cant make a realistic details.
those details i am now hearing with the pannys have air with them.
unlike my ue700, the details seems to be made by the earphones only. i mean they dont sound realistic....but a little artificial.
i dont know...what happened.
something that is not lifeless...like my ue700.
considering the build made by the company...
i can now confirm to you...
this panasonic company is really serious about their word....
this iem is a REAL high definition, high resolution iem.
Pros - Fantastic build, excellent sound all around
Cons - Stock tips are terrible, stock cables are difficult to wear over-ear, sometimes sibilant
Not much needs to be said about these phones that isn't in the listed pros-and-cons. The build quality is superb, all phones should be built this well. The sound is great and exceptionally dynamic/punchy; there are plenty of other reviews which describe it in detail, so I won't bother here, but I will confirm that the only real fault these have is they can be sibilant especially when your music includes compression artifacts.
For tips, don't bother with the stock ones; they are truly awful. Use these, they're well worth the additional $5: http://www.meelec.com/MEElectronics_Original_Eartips_for_M11_Earphones_p/tipset5-m11bk-mee.htm