January 27, 2017

In our head-to-head comparison, we have two very popular budget headphones, the Panasonic RP-HXD3+ and the Sony MDR-XB450.

Both the budget headphones rank at the top for rendering the best at this low a price point. The headphones pack heavy amount of bass, allows for long hours of music listening and much much more. The RP-HXD3+ has been lauded for the best sonic quality and is the most popular headphone from Panasonic. The MDR-XB450 boasts of a very well-built sleek design and carries on Sony's Extra Bass legacy. Over a long period, these headphones have been hotly debated among consumers as well as audiophiles. Let's see who comes on the top!


CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"If you are looking for super slick designed headphones to use with a mobile device, with exceptional clarity and sound, then the Panasonic RP HXD3+ is your best bet.

If you're a bass head and want to prioritise that over and above all else, then the Sony MDR-XB450 is the one for you at this budget."

-Raghav Somani

Panasonic RP-HXD3+


Headphone-Zone-sennheiser-HD-202-II
IMPRESSIVE AUDIO CLARITY WITH A MINIMALISTIC DESIGN 

Sony MDR-XB450


Headphone-Zone-Sony-MDR-XB450
MOST POPULAR BASS HEAVY HEADPHONES

 


DESIGN AND LOOK: PANASONIC RP HXD3+ VS SONY MDR-XB450

Headphone-Zone-Panasonic-RP-HXD3+
The first thing that comes to your mind upon seeing the RP-HXD3+ is how it has been designed to look sophisticated. Its minimalim inspired design makes the pair perfect to be used every day.  Unlike the MDR-XB450, these don't fold flat, and you may find storage or portability does become an issue. You should probably consider putting them on a headphone stand. However, we love the clean no hassle On-Ear design.

Although primarily built from premium looking plastic, the high quality materials lend the headphones fair amount of durability.You definitely can not ask for more at this price point. The earcups feature a metal casing and the dual tone definitely adds to the headphones style quotient. Panasonic, has not emphasized too much on branding, but the brand's name has been printed in tiny letters just above the earcups on the headband.

EYE CATCHY VIBRANT MATTE BUILD VS METALLIC FINISHED EARCUPS
Unlike conventional headphones that feature soft padding covered with leatherette, Panasonic has gone a notch different with the RP-HXD3+.The earcups and the headband are not typically cushioned. Instead, the padding has been made from a soft silicon material that is puffed up to deliver perfect comfort. It is very thoughtful, moreover if you wish to use the headphones for long hours. Unlike leathertte covered earpads that heat up after a while of listening, the silicon earpads stay cool over long durations and are entirely water and sweat resistant. There simply is no need to ever consider changing the earpards. 

The RP-HXD3+ is available in 5 vibrant colours namely- Red, Black, Tan, White and Violet. 

Sony has taken a direction. The Sony MDR-XB450 has been designed for a younger audience who wish to flaunt eye-catching cans on the go.

The Sony MDR-XB450 proudly sports a sleek stylish looking metallic earcup housing. Unlike, the RP-HXD3+, the MDR-XB450 sports a more flashy design. The swivel folding design allows for easy storage in your bag or briefcase. The earpads are softly foam padded, but the headband does not feature any kind of padding and may thus not be feasible for long listening hours. 

The XB450 lets you make a style statement and you can choose from 5 bold colours: Black, Blue, Red, Yellow and White. However, if you shy away from unnecessary attention, you'l probably want to stick to the black.

USEABILITY: PANASONIC RP HXD3+ VS SONY MDR XB450

Headphone-Zone-Panasonic-RP-HXD3+
The Panasonic RP-HXD3+ features earcups that are comfortable and fit on your ears. Just like the MDR-XB450, these headphones too are sleek and do not feel heavy on the head.

Covered with silicon, they may not have the same familiar touch and feel as other normally cushioned headphones. It may feel a little odd the first time, but you quickly realise it's advantages in long periods of use.The underside of the headband is made of the same material and is helpful in lending headband comfort. The best factor about the silicon padding is that they are sweat and water-resistant and exceptionally durable in humid conditions like those in India. The ears do remain cool, and ear fatigue is eliminated. 
PANASONIC'S SILICONE EARPADS TRUMP SONY'S MORE CONVENTIONAL APPROACH
If noise isolation is your aims, these headphones are not the best. Just like in the case of most On-Ear headphones, decent noise isolation is what you will get. 

Perhaps a great feature of the  Panasonic RP-HXD3+ is that it comes with a one button remote and microphone. The in-line microphone and remote allow for conveniently playing songs, answering calls and also skipping tracks. However, there is no volume control, but not an annoyance at this price point.

The Panasonic RP-HXD3+ also comes with a L-shaped adaptor. This means that you can be rest assured that these headphones will be compatible with any and every device.

Both the XB450 and the RP-HXD3+ come with a flat serrated cable. It thereby eliminates the issue of your cord getting tangled. 

The XB450 is definitely not as comfortable as the Panasonic RP-HXD3+. Like all On-Ear headphones, there will be fatigue felt on the ears after long periods of use. The noise isolation is more or less similar to the RP-HXD3+.

The biggest advantage over the RP-HXD3+ is, of course, the flat-type cable that the Sony MDR-XB450 employs. The serrated cord is tangle-free, keeping the annoyance miles away. Perfect for on the go use with your mobile phone.

If you need a microphone and remote, the XB450 comes with a variant- Sony MDR-XB450AP that has a mic and remote specifically to take calls when used with a mobile phone. You can pick the microphone and remote variant if you wish to use your headphones with your mobile phone. Read here to know more.

SOUND: PANASONIC RP HXD3+ VS SONY MDR XB450

Headphone-Zone-Panasonic-RP-HXD3+
The Panasonic RP-HXD3+ delivers the cleanest audio as compared to headphone in this price range. We love the great amount of tonal balance that it delivers. The highs are crisp butnot overpowering. You will find that the bass is just in proportion and not muddy, making the headphones fun to listen to as compared to more studio oriented headphones like the Sennheiser HD 202 II.

The most important feature of the RP-HXD3+ is that it gives you the best rich bass response with absolutely no distortion. The instruments are well accessed and come out very naturally. Perfect if you are looking for a sound signature that is fairly balanced.

The RP-HXD3+ does render perfect brightness wherever needed. The vocals are not buried and details come out clear. Do keep in mind that the pair sometimes gets a little overly sculpted at highs and mids, but you definitely won't be left disappointed if you're listening to genres like Pop, Rock, Bollywood or Jazz.

The soundstage is great and is considerably wider when compared to the Sony MDR-XB450. It will not leave you impressed but does make your music sound real. Undoubtedly, the RP-HXD3+ is a solid performing pair and rates high on the sonic merit chart. 
EVIDENTLY, THE PANASONIC RP-HXD3+ IS VERY VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE SONY MDR-XB450 IN ITS SONIC DELIVERY
The Sony MDR-XB450 headphones have been tuned to sound fun and entertaining without paying too much attention to detail and clarity. 

Very clear from its name, XB450 stands for extra bass and the XB450 delivers just that. Put them on and you will find that they feature sound that is overwhelming, loud and punchy staying true to the characteristics of the XB series. Vocals have a good deal of texture, but the mids are recessed. A little bit of clarity would help the treble sparkle – as it feels a little overshadowed by the overpowering bass.

There’s liveliness and it makes for a superbly entertaining listen.

Tonally, the Sony MDR XB450 aren’t quite balanced; they unashamedly lean completely towards the low end. A great feature, the XB450 has high endurance and does not crack up even at the highest volume levels. If you are looking at a warm controlled sound signature, you are not in to get anything close from these. That being said the sound is smooth and avoids any kind of undesirable roughness. These headphones really shine through energetic genre's like Hip-Hop and EDM, but disappoint on melodic songs.

The imperfections come in with the lack of tonal balance. Sony is proudly unashamed of the same.

Like the Panasonic RP-HXD3+, the Sony MDR-XB450 has an impressively wide soundstage. Not as good as the former, but enough to immerse yourself.

If you are an audiophile in the making, you'd better keep away.

Summary


Panasonic - RP - HXD3+

  • On The Ear Design
  • Sleek Matte Design
  • Will Not Fold Flat For Storage
  • 1 Button Microphone and Remote
  • 1.2m Flat Tangle Free Cable 
  • Balanced Sound Signature 
SONY - MDR XB450  

  • On The Ear Design
  • Classy Metallic Finish Earcups
  • Not The Most Durable 
  • Folds Flat For Convenient Carrying
  • 1.2m Flat Serrated Cable
  • Bass Heavy Headphones
  • Sony MDR-XB450AP Comes With Microphone And Remote

Conclusion

How different is the Panasonic RP-HXD3+ from Sony MDR-XB450? No more should you be confused.

If you are looking for headphones that produce astounding tonal balance, letting you listen to every detail, then we would recommend that you go for the Panasonic RP-HXD3+. 

If you want to experience sound that leans towards the lower end and arguably produces the most entertaining tone, then you should go for the Sony MDR-XB450.


Consult an Expert Now
Still confused? Book a time of your preference and let us guide you through other options, discuss sound and help you make the right choice. Allow us to introduce you to the choicest of products at your leisure. 

 

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