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Panasonic RP-HT16 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 89 74.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 16.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 3 2.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 5.9%

  • Total voters
    119

TonyJZX

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early portable CD players didnt have good dacs hey? I seem to recall even 19" component cd players could be terrible

I feel like an era panasonic cd player discman and this set of headphones could really make peoples' ears bleed, and not in a good way
 

fordiebianco

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enricoclaudio

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Anybody with a TPS-L2 in working conditions able to send the headphones to @amirm for testing? That was my first Sony Walkman back in 1979 :)

PC-VR-12472_1.jpg
 

Dmitri

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I can only imagine the shock that would cause!
PTSD* ain’t pretty. Perhaps Amir, you need take a bit of time off to recover. ; )

*Phones That Sound Dubious.
Ok…I know it’s stupid, but it’s the best I could come up with on short notice.
 

muslhead

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PTSD* ain’t pretty. Perhaps Amir, you need take a bit of time off to recover. ; )

*Phones That Sound Dubious.
Ok…I know it’s stupid, but it’s the best I could come up with on short notice.
A like just for the attempt.
 

192kbps

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Once again impressed by the excellent EQ, amirm, when can we see Part 3! I am really excited about this.
 

Robbo99999

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Interesting just to see this review in the context that it's an old old on ear headphone from the 90's, headphone's have gotten way better since then, albeit HD600 was launched in 1997 so that's one outlier but for sure that was more than $8!
 

USER

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early portable CD players didnt have good dacs hey? I seem to recall even 19" component cd players could be terrible

I feel like an era panasonic cd player discman and this set of headphones could really make peoples' ears bleed, and not in a good way
The discmen weren't that bad! And with modern IEMs they'll sound better than they ever did back then. I always found output and headphone compatibility to be their largest drawbacks.

1996 Panasonic SL-S140:
Untitled.png

Good enough for teenage-me listening to Green Day, lol. I remember ditching this type of headphone and replacing it with a Sony MDR-W08L, which I very much loved. They have a cult following to this day and were going for good money a few years ago.

2568885_ra.jpg
 
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USER

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WTH?

Someone must’ve played a prank on you. Why review this? Cheap bundled throwaway headphones.

If we are trying to appreciate modernity; why not go down memory lane and see how portable music used to sound in 1890:
How is this a joke? What's bad about having a sense of what hundreds of thousands of people listened to even if the results suck? These aren't some obscure headphones, they have some cultural significance and were ubiquitous. I think it's always special when Amir reviews something from the past like this. It creates a wonderful historical document, one that is extra special because it is in a way audibly tactile. You can almost hear history. Expand you mind, man.
 

SuicideSquid

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I think the target markets were regions with low gdp. At least consumers could experience some private listening or use them in language learning school labs.
Target market was kids who got a Panasonic portable CD player for Christmas and didn't have money for better headphones so they just used the pack-in set.

I worked at Radio Shack when these or similar models were still being manufactured and they sold well to people who needed something that just worked for under $20. There really weren't a lot of options in that price bracket back then. Now you can walk into any big box store and buy a set of Skullcandy, JVC, or Sony IEMs that sound totally decent for $15. What a time to be alive.
 

Doodski

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Now you can walk into any big box store and buy a set of Skullcandy, JVC, or Sony IEMs that sound totally decent for $15. What a time to be alive.
I bought the Panasonics, Sonys, Skullcandy, KEF and the AKG and they all sucked but the AKG and the KEF. The AKG lasted about 1 year and the Panasonics and Sony lasted about 5 months. The KEF M100 lasted several years and are still in use as a VOIP telephone headset.
 

respice finem

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Target market was kids who got a Panasonic portable CD player for Christmas and didn't have money for better headphones so they just used the pack-in set.

I worked at Radio Shack when these or similar models were still being manufactured and they sold well to people who needed something that just worked for under $20. There really weren't a lot of options in that price bracket back then. Now you can walk into any big box store and buy a set of Skullcandy, JVC, or Sony IEMs that sound totally decent for $15. What a time to be alive.
This, and, back then these 15$ were worth much more than now.
 

solderdude

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One of the few lightweight on-ear headphones that does not totally suck is the € 30.- Koss KPH30i.
Yes, also rolled off in the lows and has a +10dB peak but as 5kHz.
fr-kph30i.png


Its a bit like the SportaPro but different headband and looks.

An alternative (more expensive) would be the Sennheiser PX100-II
 
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USER

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One of the few lightweight on-ear headphones that does not totally suck is the € 30.- Koss KPH30i.
Yes, also rolled off in the lows and has a +10dB peak but as 5kHz.
fr-kph30i.png


Its a bit like the SportaPro but different headband and looks.

An alternative (more expensive) would be the Sennheiser PX100-II
I replaced my broken Sony MDR-W08Ls with Sennheiser PX100s, which were my first over $30 investment. I enjoyed them very much, though too bad all of those headphones were delicate. I had some Koss KSC75s that I liked as well as they were perfect for the gym. The only people I personally knew that invested in Sennheiser HD600s in the early, early 2000s were studio engineers.

Surely those Sennheiser PX100s and others like the Koss Porta Pros must have been among the first internet forum-hyped headphones as we would recognize the them and the market today. Would be fun to see measurements.
 

Robbo99999

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One of the few lightweight on-ear headphones that does not totally suck is the € 30.- Koss KPH30i.
Yes, also rolled off in the lows and has a +10dB peak but as 5kHz.
fr-kph30i.png


Its a bit like the SportaPro but different headband and looks.

An alternative (more expensive) would be the Sennheiser PX100-II
I had the Sennheiser PX100 (can't remember if it was the ii), I had it before I bought my K702 which I bought in 2015, and this was both before I really knew anything about audio (not until end 2019 when I found ASR did I start knowing anything about audio, lol!). But yeah, at the time I really did enjoy the PX100, and a couple of years ago I dug them out again and whacked a Low Shelf boost (IIRC) via EQ (maybe I put a High Shelf on them too) until they sounded as good as I could get them - I think I remember they sounded just about ok after that, but I'm fuzzy on the details, was just a short lived experiment.
 

SuicideSquid

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I bought the Panasonics, Sonys, Skullcandy, KEF and the AKG and they all sucked but the AKG and the KEF. The AKG lasted about 1 year and the Panasonics and Sony lasted about 5 months. The KEF M100 lasted several years and are still in use as a VOIP telephone headset.
I still use the basic Skullcandys as my earbuds for gym and woodworking. A $10 pair typically lasts about six months of getting beat to hell. They sound totally fine - they're not muddy, boomy, or grating. My wife has a cheap pair of Sonys and they also get the job done. I've debated sending a pair to Amir for testing - I bet they track the target pretty decently up to about 2kHz, where they likely fall short.

They're not rivalling high end IEMs, but they're 1/5th the price of even the 'inexpensive' Truthears and they're a hell of a lot better than these Panasonic headphones, or other cheap pack-in headphones or earbuds of the time.
 
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