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Panasonic RZ-S500W noise-cancelling earphones review – great value and audio quality

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  • VERDICT

Panasonic RZ-S500W earphones provide decent value with impressive active noise cancellation normally found on more expensive earphones along with audio quality that will put a smile on your face.

There are a lot of wire-free earphones on the market and  finding the right balance of features, value and quality is tricky but one that ticks all the boxes is the Panasonic RZ-S500W earphones.

Panasonic is usually associated with TVs, cameras and appliances but they also have a rich audio heritage and is also the brand behind audio brand Technics.

The RZ-S500W wire-free noise cancelling earphones are part of Panasonic’s new range of earphones and headphones.

Design-wise the earphones are on the slightly larger size (they have 8mm drivers onboard) compared to other noise-cancelling earphones but they still fit comfortably and securely in your ear.

But despite their size, they hardly protrude from your ear.

To get the right fit you need to attach the right silicon tip. It comes with five pairs – extra small, small, medium (which are attached to the earphones when you buy them) and large and extra large. So Panasonic has you well and truly got everyone covered.

We actually went with the small silicone ear tips – we’re normally a medium but they seemed a touch too big.

Fitting them also requires you to twist them in place after inserting so they are locked in and secure.

This fit provides passive noise-cancellation but the active noise cancellation comes from the two microphones in each bud FF-NC (feed forward noise cancellation) and FB-NC (feedback noise cancellation) which monitors sounds inside and outside your ear to deliver the right balance.

As a result, the RZ-S500W earphone delivers a solid level of ambient noise cancellation – probably among the best at this price ($349).

And you can adjust the level of noise cancellation. Panasonic says there are 50 levels of noise cancellation – our ears couldn’t distinguish all the levels through the companion app but good to know you have some control.

There is also an ambient sound control which can activate the outside microphones so you can hear what’s going on around when you have to.

The outside of the earphones also have touch sensors so you can tap to pause and resume playing, double tap to move forward and triple tap to go back.

You can also tap to answer your calls. Just on the call quality – we could hear who we were talking to really clearly.

But a couple of people asked if we were in the car or something. We were actually sitting at our desk. They said we sounded a little muffled.

When listening the music and other content, the audio quality is excellent.

It has a finely balanced sound with generous bass as well.

Mids and high levels were satisfying and crisp and the bass was at the right level without being too over the top.

The app lets you adjust the bass and the sound of voices on podcasts and audiobooks.

The bass adjustment didn’t do much to change the sound too much and voices were also loud and clear.

There’s even an equaliser within the app if you really want to adjust the sound. But for us we were happy with how it sounded out of the box.

We noticed a small change when we tweaked the level of noise cancellation and ambient noise which slightly reduced the bass and offer improved clarity overall.

Connection-wise, the earphones use Bluetooth 5.0 which provides clearer streaming, stability and performance.

The Panasonic RZ-S500W have an IPX4 rating so you’re good to wear them while sweating it out in the gym or in a run or walk.

We got about five and half hours of playback from the earphones before we needed to place them back in the case for a recharge.

The case, which is average size and can rest on a flat base, can provide an additional 20 hours of charge.

And if you place the earphones in the case, we found it offers enough charge for an hour of listening.

Users can also access the Alexa, Google and Siri voice control through the earphones.

One thing the RZ-S500W earphones don’t have are sensors that stop the music when you take an earphone out so be sure to tap the outside sensor to pause your song before briefly removing them.

The Panasonic RZ-S500W earphones are available now and are priced at $349.

VERDICT

Panasonic RZ-S500W earphones provide decent value with impressive active noise cancellation normally found on more expensive earphones along with audio quality that will put a smile on your face.