Pros Good noise reduction, quite comfortable
Cons Very bad manufacturing quality, The soldered power switch (inside) came off after 9 months of frugal use (I repaired it myself, see below), and the volume slide started to emit scratching noises after a couple more months.
Summary The soldered power switch suddenly came off and when I tried to contact Panasonic they told me to contact the seller for refund/repair. Easily done when it was an airport seller on the other side of the world. I repaired it soldering another switch, after a while the volume slider started to emit scratching noises (in the earpieces). The last thing now is the earpieces themselves have this noises.
Price is too high to be a throwaway.
DONT BUY THIS PoS!!!!
Pros Average performance, good value, economical, comfortable, very good noise cancelling
Cons Cord too short, weakest at lowest, highest spectrum, a little awkward to use
Summary I've used many headphones/earbuds over the years at a range of prices. This one is the least expensive. It is also the weakest in performance, i.e. weak at both lower and upper spectrum ranges. If that doesn't bother you, this is a great choice. If it does, you will have to pay minimum 2x to 4x the price for higher performance. It's great to get decent noise-cancelling at $40. You will need to use a cord extender because inline battery/volume control unit (w/AAA battery) needs to be near you and there's only 30 inches of cord from controller to device you plug it into. Bottom line: a great value if you are OK with compromises. Manage your expectations and you'll be happy.
Pros When it works, no problem.
Cons When it doesn't work, it may kill your ear. No service in outside of country.
Summary Panasonic sells audio and video systems to passenger airplanes. Airlines too often have problems with Panasonic NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES with squeak noise. One of my two HC55's I purchased a few months ago has the same problem but can't get it fixed as I gifted it to a friend in Japan, where Panasonic does not warranty.
I greatly regretted to have purchased.
Pros It does reduce noise when they work.
Cons Can't tell when they will emit a very loud, deafening, squeal.
Summary I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO ANYONE! I had nothing but problems with this item. The headphones emitted an intermittent high frequency "squeal" (sometimes when walking and sometimes just when turning my head) so loud that I'm afraid it has damaged my ears. Got a second pair of refurbished headphones from the factory but, after a few uses, the squeal came back. When I called the company they told me there was nothing they could do about this problem. I tried to use them again when I recently read a highly rated review from Consumer Reports but very soon the problem returned. I will never recommend this product to anyone.
Pros The price is great, the sound is great, noise isolating is great with great ear piece fit , and noise canceling should be great for air travel.
Cons The noise cancel piece is a bit awkward when you are standing because of its placement, but once clipped on shirt feels fine & light, but gets bit heavy if wrapping the cord around the (removable) extra-cord wrap piece that comes with it.
Summary I just got this and used it for first time. I would definitely recommend this to air travelers. This price is so much more reasonable than the ridiculous price of the Bose noise canceling headphones. The package is pretty cool when it arrives. Sound is very good too. If not interested in air travel use/noise canceling headphones, you may want to check out other headphones since the noise canceling piece is a little inconvenient in its placement and having to clip it on. Should be great for air travel. The sound quality was excellent and worth the price. The sound quality was way better than my $20 Sony earbuds that I bought years ago (and thought were good back then) and much better than the earbuds that came with my MP3 player. At first they sounded ok, and then I adjusted the equalizer and they sounded awesome. Bass was really good and rich sound for such a small package. Also, the noise cancellation was pretty neat. In my laundry room it totally canceled out my dryer's hum, while at the same time leaving the sound of our fan in place and I could also still hear my son talking. This must have been designed specifically for air travel and I am excited to see if it works by canceling the annoying engine hum on the plane next time I travel! These are not noise eliminating, just certain noises canceling. They also fit very well in your ears with the 3 size ear pieces, so they are also very good at noise isolating and physically quieting out other noises with the good fit in your ears, similar to ear plugs.I finally had a chance to use these on an airplane and the noise cancellation worked exactly as I hoped-- totally removed that airplane engine hum. So, I was very pleased. If you will be running or moving around a lot, these would not be good though since earpieces will bob around. Still very happy with this purchase after much use, sound is great. I use them on walks regularly and would recommend them.
Updated on Aug 21, 2010