March 27, 2017

The Panasonic RP-HX250  and the Sennheiser HD 180 are two very popular headphones, especially among frugal music enthusiasts. Panasonic and Sennheiser, both these brands have been very popular in the Indian market and continue to make their way to the ears of audio lovers tied down by budget.

Although these headphones will never be able to deliver the melody you deserve, they do a fair job in this price range. Moreover, these are definitely worth replacing the stock earphones you get along with your smartphones. 


CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The RP-HBD250 from Panasonic is an Over-ear headphone that delivers pounding and punchy bass. Great for listening to Bollywood, EDM and other such music genres.

The Sennheiser HD 180 too is an Over-ear headphone but a pair that is better used at home."

-Raghav Somani

Panasonic - RP-HBD250


Headphone-Zone-Panasonic-HBD-250
Over-Ear Headphones with a Thumpy Audio Quality

Sennheiser - HD 180


Headphone-Zone-sennheiser-hd-180
Matte-Finished. Sennheiser's Signature Audio Quality

 


DESIGN: Panasonic - RP-HBD250 vs Sennheiser - HD 180

Headphone-Zone-Sennheiser-CX-180
Headphone-Zone-sennheiser-hd-180

Panasonic, the Japanese powerhouse is one of the most trusted brands in the headphone industry. Offering an array of budget headphones, it lets you choose from fairly good sounding headphones, and yes, without pinching your pocket too hard. The Panasonic RP-HBD 250 is one of these. 

The Panasonic RP-HBD 250 is built entirely from plastic, including the inner frame. Obviously, it is not the most sturdy, but it definitely does not feel too weak either. The headphones have not been designed to look flaunt-worthy and have a very simple design. The headband is matte finished, while the ear cups are glossy. Some would also find the build to be extremely boring. Each earpiece has been embellished with a coloured oval ring on the earcup but this too does not help in making these headphones look premium.

Panasonic has taken a subtle route when it comes to branding. 'Panasonic' in a tiny font has been imprinted on the back of each earcup. It is not like to be noticed from a quick glance but does come to notice when viewed up and close. 

The Earcups have been padded with softleatherette padding but the headband is absolutely devoid of any kind of cushioning. A bit of aletdown

If colour is your priority, the Panasonic RP-HBD250 comes in five different colours - Black, Red, Purple, Blue and White. Do note that, apart from the White colour variant, all other colour variants feature a black body and are distinguished merely by the coloured ring on the earcup.
GLOSSY FINISHED BUILD VS A SUBTLE BLACK FINISHED DESIGN?

Audiophiles are undoubtedly a hard lot to please, but Sennheiser does all the pleasing with much ease. The brand caters to the needs and the wants of music enthusiast with different needs and wants. Proud of a product range that covers everything from the wallet-friendly CX180 to the $55,000 Orpheus, Sennheiser does have a solution for all. 

Targeted towards the pocket-friendly end of the spectrum, the Sennheiser HD 180 does not have a lot to talk about. From the ear cups to the headband, the Sennheiser HD 180, just like the Panasonic RP-HBD250, is entirely built from plastic. The large ear cups feature sophisticated-looking silver finished plate that does make the headphones stand out in a crowd. Sennheiser has gone out loud and about with its branding. Its logo has been imprinted on the earcups, while 'Sennheiser' has been printed in large letters on the top of the headband.

The Over-ear fit ensures that the HD 180 is comfortable enough to be worn for a few hours. Although the material used for padding is not very premium and may tear off easily if not handled with care.

The Sennheiser HD 180, does not come with a colour option and you are left with no option but to choose from black. 

Both these Over-ears are not foldable, a big disappointment if you are looking to carry them along where ever you go.


USABILITY: Panasonic - RP-HBD250 vs Sennheiser - HD 180

Headphone-Zone-Sennheiser-CX-180
Headphone-Zone-sennheiser-hd-180

The Panasonic RP-HBD250 features generously padded earcups. Thus, if you are concerned about comfort these headphones allow you to enjoy music even during long hours. A bit of a drawback, the headband comes with no comfort cushioning at all. Although this does not effect usability to a large extent, you will feel your head feels clamped after a while.

The cable employed is tangle free and seems durable. The coil has been covered in a rubber-like material and looks very durable. However, you will want to take care of the cable in order to keep them going for a long while. 

Since the RP-HBD250 is an Over-ear headphone, it very effectively blocks out external noise. It does attenuate noise even at low volumes. 

PANASONIC'S TANGLE RESISTANT CABLE VS SENNHEISER'S 3M LONG CORD 

Where most of the headphones come with a standard 1.2 m cable length, Sennheiser HD 180 employs a cord that is sumptuously 3m long. This makes it easier to be used with your laptops while you leisure down watching Netflix. Coming to the cable quality, it is decent and nothing to write home about.

Unlike the RP-HBD250, the HD 180's cable isn't tangle resistant and does pose as a nuisance at times. Where we do appreciate Sennheiser's initiative to comfort us with their overlong cord, it does tangle often. Thus, you would direly need a Cord Wrap when you want to stash them away.

The HD 180's headband and earpads are generously padded, making it perfect to be used for long hours. However, do note that the leatherette does to tend to heat up after continuous playback. 

Both these headphones, the Panasonic RP-HBD250 and the Sennheiser HD 180 do not come with a mic and remote. An addition of control buttons and a microphone would be the icing on the cake.


SOUND: Panasonic - RP-HBD250 vs Sennheiser - HD 180

Headphone-Zone-Sennheiser-CX-180
Headphone-Zone-sennheiser-hd-180

Put the Panasonic RP-HBD250 and you will know in an instant that these headphones are biased towards bass. Panasonic has capitalized on the fact that most people in India do love that tinge of bass. The Over-ears do get very aggressive and punchy and do resonate at extremely high volumes.  

It is quickly evident that the sonic tuning is excessive and lacks finesse. The mids and highs drown deep down, while the lower end is extensively boomy. 


Soundstage is just average. The sound is emanated only from one direction, while the imaging is more than ordinary. 

The Panasonic RP-HD 180 is too simple in terms of tuning and lacks characteristics. Very little attention has been paid to the overall reproduction of sound. These headphones are not at all bad, but will not suit your preference if you don't like audio that is particularly boomy. 

RASPY AUDIO REPRODUCTION VS SUBTLE AUDIO WITH A WIDE SOUNDSTAGE

In the case of Sennheiser HD 180, these Over-ears sound just fine. The bass and treble is not overpowering and does not muddy other sound syllables either. Although you'll find that at times, the headphones are simply too soft. This is especially the case when it comes to watching TV and movies, where the immersion can occasionally be inadequate because of this.

The Sennheiser's sound signature is created with the help of their large drivers. Thus it kind of justifies the sound stage expectations but surely doesn't fulfill them. The large drivers allow for a slightly larger soundstage than what we've come to expect from similarly priced products. That being said, imaging feels weak, just about sticking to basic stereo separation. 


 

Summary


Panasonic - RP-HBD250
  • Aggressive Punchy Audio
  • 6 Months Warranty
  • No Remote and Mic
  • Tangle Resistant Cables
  • Colour Options Available
Sennheiser - HD 180
  • Soft Sound with Bearable Sound Stage
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • No Remote & Mic
  • 3mm Long Cord Cable
  • No Colour Options

Conclusion


If you want to enjoy your punchy tracks with an aggressive sound signature, the Panasonic RP-HBD250 should do you wonders.
 
On the other hand, if you like your audio to be more balanced, and to be used at home with leisure, the Sennheiser HD 180 should be your pick.

 if you like this article you may also like:

 What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

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