March 27, 2017

On our comparison wheel today, are two audio delivering companies one of which has stayed long around us due to their consumer electronic products whereas the other has managed to get studio-monitoring in budget. They don't have much in common except the fact that they are determined to deliver best audio quality under budget.

The
RP-HXD5+ from the Consumer Electronic Giant Panasonic and theAudio-Technica ATH-M20X from from a Japanese corporation Audio-Technica that designs and manufactures professional microphones, headphones, phonographic magnetic cartridges, and other audio equipment.
 
CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The Panasonic RP-HXD5+ is made for keeping your comfort and long commutes in mind and comes with an additional mic and in-line remote as compared to its previous model RP-HXD5.

But, If you are a budding DJ and want a pair of headphones to start with studio monitoring, then the ATH-M20X is perfect to start with.

-Raghav Somani

Panasonic RP-HXD5+


Headphone-Zone-panasonic-rp-hxd5-plus
Minimalist On-Ear Design
Audio-Technica-ATH-M20X


Headphone Zone Audio-Technica ATH-COR150
Entry-Level Studio Monitoring Over- Ear Design

 


DESIGN: SONY - MDR-ZX110 vs SENNHEISER - HD 180

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Headphone-Zone-panasonic-rp-hxd5-plus-Product

Due to the large range of products Panasonic has produced, there'd hardly be any headphone enthusiast who doesn't recognise this brand. It has successfully delivered products ranging from Rs. 600 to Rs. 50,000, thereby catering to a wide array of audiences.

The Panasonic RP-HXD5+ is made keeping minimaist design with better sound quality in mind. Thus, they come in only two colours that is black and white. Although it looks minimalist, its comfort and convenience hasn't deteriorated a bit.

The HXD5+ features a padded leather headband that gives the headphone a sophisticated look and makes it comfortable to use. It has a ring-shaped reflective colour band that brightens up at night or in dim light.

One of the most unique feature of these earphones is that they glow in the dark. Now, you can spot your headphones easily in the night.
FOLDABLE ON-EAR DESIGN VS COMFORTABLE OVER-EAR DESIGN?

The ATH-M20X is an upgrade to the ATH-M20 and thus sports a slightly upgraded design as well. The black ATH-M20X is mostly made of plastic and has oval-shaped earcups unlike its predecessor, the ATH-M20, which had a distinctly round shape.The M20X has all that can grab the attention of budding audio enthusiasts in a budget. 

On the design end, the ATh-M20X features a stern design true to its aspects and does not aim on turning any heads. We couldn't help but love the placement of Audio-Technica's logos on each Ear-Cups though. A rather large Audio-Technica logo runs along the headband which is quite off-putting.

The rexine cushions on the earcups are soft and cover the ears completely. Even the flexible headband has the same rexine material. Making them wearable on hours to go.


USABILITY: SONY - MDR-ZX110 vs SENNHEISER - HD 180

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Headphone-Zone-audio-technica-ath-m20x-Product

When it comes to comfort and usability, Panasonic has always managed to keep their customers in mind. With an adjustable head strap and cord cable that is flat so that it doesn't tangle a bit, these over-ears are sure to keep you indulged for hours.
The cups are nicely padded as well,  thus ensuring that your ears don't suffer from a listening fatigue. 

The cable length is standard and good to be used on the go. The RP-HXD5+ is an upgrade to their RP-HXD5 with a mic and remote and is compatible with all the devices.

RELATIVELY TANGLE FREE VS AN OVERLONG CHORD OPTION? 

We need to considering that the ATH-M20X is being sold as professional monitor headphones and hence have a high impedance rating. While such high impedance rating can help increase clarity, it is not easily derivable with low-end devices like your smartphones and iPods. Thus, you will be needing a suitable Amp to power it in full capacity.

There are two cables which are bundled with the headphones. One of which is the 3 m long cable which has a thick outer covering for the copper-clad aluminium wire, making it quite sturdy. The other one is the 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack. Audio-Technica also bundles a 6.3 mm adapter which snaps on to the 3.5 mm jack making the  ATH-M20X work with a wide range of audio equipments.

When talked about warranty, both Sony - MDR-ZX110 comes with 1 and Sennheiser- HD 180 is enveloped with 2.


SOUND: SONY MDR-ZX110 vs SENNHEISER - HD 180

Headphone-Zone-panasonic-rp-hxd5-plus-Product
Headphone-Zone-audio-technica-ath-m20x-Product

When it comes to the sound, Panasonic hasn't really impressed us that much. Most of the headphones that lie in the same price category as the RP-HXD5+, are made for basic studio monitoring and have a wider sound stage. While the sound of HXD5+ is okay it lacks warmth.

The Sound emanating from the Panasonic HXD5 are produced by 40 mm drivers that deliver a solid balanced sound; starting with a strong base, good mids and clear reproduction of vocals.
BASS DRIVEN VS TRUE-TO-LIFE BALANCED AUDIO

When it comes to the sound, the ATH-M20X sounds very soft and muffled when not used with an Amp or any other high-end device. Amp it up and you will immediately notice a stark difference.

Considering that they are made with studio monitoring in mind, ATH-M20X is not meant for folks who like drama in their sound definition. In fact, it produces a flat sound with absolutely no distortion. When used perfectly, the headphones get really loud and produce crystal clear sounds. They are also able to handle bass and treble perfectly.

The sound staging is good but not great. We've noticed that this is the case with other low-end professional-grade studio headphones as well. Owing to the fit, the passive noise isolation is enough to suppress most ambient sounds with ease.

 


Summary


Panasonic-RP-HXD5+

  • Balanced Sound But Unimpressive Soundstage
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • No Mic & Remote
  • 1.2 mm Long Cord Cable
  • Tangle Resistant Cables
Audio-Technica-ATH-M20X

  • Soft Sound with Bearable Sound Stage
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • No Remote & Mic
  • 3 mm Long Cord Cable
  • Relatively Tangle-Prone


Conclusion


Well one of them is On-Ears and easily portable, while the other is Over-Ears and is best to be used when you want to leisure down. There is no Mic and Remote in both the models and you might want to consider an upgrade if that's your utmost priority. 

There's not much about the soundstage we could tell in this price range, and sound just normal.What might impress you is the warranty, which is of 1 year in case of Sony, whereas 2 for Sennheiser HD 180.

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

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