The Panasonic RZ-S500W are the third leg of Panasonic’s proposal to gain a foothold in the wireless headphone market, alongside the Panasonic RZ-S300W and Technics EAH-AZ70W. These headphones are spearheaded by their hybrid noise cancellation technology. In addition, we also have ambient mode, compatibility with voice assistants such as Google or Alexa and a good autonomy that borders on 20 hours of use with the charging base that it includes. Of course, there are some points that could be improved, such as the tactile response or the connection to the app. The Panasonic RZ-S500W are already available in stores for a starting price of 180 euros. I have had the opportunity to test them over several weeks, this has been my experience with these headphones.
Panasonic RZ-S500W datasheet
|Colors||Black and white|
|Weight||– Headphones: 7 grams per headphone
– Charging case: 45 grams
|Sensor||Touch sensor, GPS to locate them|
|Battery||Six and a half hours of music per headphone with active noise cancellation
19 and a half hours of total music through the charging box
|Microphones||Two microphones with MEMS structure to reduce the sound of the wind when speaking|
|Compatibility||As of Android 5.0|
|Features||Hybrid noise cancellation, find headphones, stop and play with touch sensor, ambient mode|
|Type of load||Full charge in 4 hours, 90 minutes of music with 15 minutes of charge|
|Smart assistant||Google Assistant, Alexa|
Sound quality as a flag
It is the great claim of these headphones. They have one very remarkable sound quality, thanks to the work of various technologies combined. Starting with the use of 8mm drivers. The Panasonic RZ-S500W surprised me, on the one hand, by the bass power, taking into account the size of the handset. And on the other hand, by the good clarity of voices when listening to music. This experience is complemented by noise cancellation technology, with which you can isolate yourself and enjoy moments of solitude enjoying music completely.
The technology of Panasonic hybrid noise cancellation It consists of the use of two microphones, one of them external and the other internal. The external microphone is capable of capturing noise before it reaches us and processing it through software. The remnants that reach the ear are processed analogically through the second microphone, which is able to hear the noise at the same time as us. The results are good, practically perfect if we have a constant source of noise outdoors (for example, traffic noise across the street). Of course, if we are faced with sudden noises it does go beyond. I really liked that through the app itself you can Set the noise cancellation level you are looking for through up to 50 different levels.
The other way we have is the environment. In this case, the opposite is sought. That we can listen to conversations and what happens around us while still playing the music. As with noise cancellation, we have 50 different levels of ambient mode. This point seems key to me, since at very high levels the voices sound too canned (for example, in the case of the Panasonic RZ-S300W we do not have levels and the experience has less quality).
As in the part of listening to music I have no doubt that they are great headphones, when it comes to using them to make and receive calls has left me with a bittersweet taste. On paper, we have good technology thanks to two MEMS-type microphones that use a labyrinth structure to prevent wind gusts from preventing us from being heard. But in practice there have been several occasions when the calls were not clear (and this has happened to me with the three models that I have tried of the brand), especially on my side of communication. Sometimes I have had to go directly to the speaker of the mobile to be able to continue speaking with sufficient quality and on the other side they have told me that I could be heard from afar. Others the call has worked without problems.
Design with antenna on the touch panel
The design of these Panasonic RZ-S500W does not leave you indifferent. They are well built, with a premium touch on the metallic ring on the top and the rubberized touch of the earpiece. Of course, with a size that will make it notice that you are wearing them. If this is not a problem, you get a very interesting audio experience instead. If you want something more discreet, you should opt for the Panasonic RZ-S300W, which do have a more discreet size. I liked that in the box have multiple ear pads with different sizes to fit your ear. In my case, after trying all the options I have returned to keep the pads that came by default, which are the best suited.
These headphones also feature a small LED light that can be put in red or blue and indicate different states in which the handset is: charging and without connecting, in pairing mode, working … At the top we have the touch panel. From this panel, different actions can be performed, such as stopping and continuing playback, turning on the ambient mode or noise cancellation, and calling the smart assistant that we have configured on the phone. The truth is that I have not finished getting used to the controls (outside of the simplest functions), although it is something that I will talk about later in the review.
One of the points that Panasonic has most wanted to highlight is the presence of the Bluetooth antenna directly on the outside of the headset, around the touch panel. This position is very interesting to improve the connection quality and avoid interruptions. In my experience I have to say that I have hardly had any problems with interruptions or signal cuts, so Panasonic has done a good job in this section. By the way, they have technology Bluetooth 5.0 that improves both the power consumption and the range with which we can listen to the music with respect to the mobile phone without it being cut off. Plus, each earbud syncs separately, for a more stable experience.
Autonomy and charging box
As for the autonomy of these headphones, we have a usage time of up to six and a half hours using noise cancellation mode. This time can take up to 19 and a half hours if we add the extra charge that the box offers. In my experience, the time of use with headphones with a full charge has generally been around five hours, although that time has varied significantly depending on the volume power required (for example, outside the home the time has been reduced to four hours). for the need to put the headphones higher).
As for the box of the Panasonic RZ-S500W, it is fine but quite high, weighing 45 grams. I like the detail of having three LED points on the front with which you can see the approximate state of charge of the box every time you open the lid. Keep in mind that the full charge of the headphones is two hours, while if you want to also load the box you have to arrive until four hours. It is not particularly fast, but the good autonomy of the headphones allows you to plan the ideal time to charge them again.
Connection with the app
And we enter the section that I liked the least about these headphones. Everything that has to do with the connection to the app and some features of it. We go in parts. The The first connection with the headphones is quite simple, because they go directly into pairing mode when you take them out of the box. And if you are only going to use headphones with one device, you will never have the problems I describe here. The negative part comes when you have other gadgets at home with which you want to synchronize and use headphones, such as your partner’s mobile, a tablet, the laptop …
It’s nothing but easy to put your headphones back into pairing mode. Default, keep trying to connect with the gadget they have been paired with even when you turn off the smartphone’s Bluetooth and you put the headphones back in and out of the box. In theory, you have to press the touchpad for several seconds to enter this mode, but it does not always respond correctly and the whole process becomes quite heavy.
As for the app itself, it has lights and shadows. For example, I find it very annoying that it always stays on the notification panel of the phone when the headphones are not connected. Again, it is not easy to get rid of this persistent notification. What I do like is his Simple interface, at first glance with headphone charging status, access to noise cancellation and ambient mode and several dedicated modes for boosting bass, vocals, or setting the equalizer yourself.
Price and opinions
The headphones Panasonic RZ-S500W are already available in stores with a starting price of 180 euros. It is similar in cost to rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds +. What I liked the most is its sound quality when listening to music. Both the sharpness of the voice and the power of the bass are surprising in such a small gadget, and the connection is very stable. Besides, the noise cancellation works great and creates an immersive experience to truly enjoy what you’re listening to. However, it also has some aspects that I did not like so much, such as the occasional failures when carrying out calls and the toothache that synchronizes these headphones with various devices (for example, a mobile phone and a tablet). In this section, it is below the ease offered by models like the Buds + that I have mentioned. The good news is that at least part of these problems can be solved through software updates that improve the experience.
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