Review: Panasonic Wings RP-BTS50E

Panasonic gives you wings

It's the inside that counts, and Panasonic is certainly not as stupid as it looks.

Karakter
Panasonic Wings RP-BTS50E
We think
Panasonic’s headphones play well, and feel comfortable to wear.
The design is somewhat untraditional to put it diplomatically. The remote control on the cord is too cheap and the buttons are hard to press.
Specifications
  • Bluetooth
  • Wired remote control
  • Blue LED Light
  • aptX and AAC
  • Water and sweat resistant (IPX5)
  • Weight: 23 grams
  • Battery: 6 hours
  • Price: –
  • Website: panasonic.com
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A number of times I have stood with Panasonic’s official “Olympics in Rio”-earbuds in my hands and wondered how they are supposed to sit. The flexible hoops and winged earbuds are more odd than they are pretty. Panasonic should be given credit for making them sit comfortably in the ears, and they don’t feel at all as clumsy as they look. Due to the hoop, they sit so far out that you don’t feel closed in and you can still hear what’s going on around you. Strangely enough you can turn on some blue LED diodes if you want light in the wings. I don’t see the point of this feature, but it’s an amusing detail. Unfortunately, the remote control on the wire feels rather cheap and you have to push harder than you want to.

Excellent sound

Luckily, the unfortunate appearance and bad remote control are offset by the good sound quality. The headset supports the two audio standards aptX and AAC, and I swear that you hear really well. The RP BTS50E has a wide and well-defined soundscape. They lack neither bass nor treble, and are generally very pleasant to listen to. This can be done at least seven hours at a time before they need recharging, which is quite satisfactory.

Conclusion

The Panasonic Wings RP-BTS50E is perhaps not the prettiest thing that has come out from Panasonic’s factories, but thanks to good inner workings they play incredibly well, and therefore still deserve a chance. The hoops around your ears are a bit weird, and seem unnatural as they stick out from the ears. If you disregard this and the plasticky remote control on the cord, you get a set of Bluetooth headphones that play particularly well at an affordable price.

Also in this test

Bose SoundSport Pulse

Well playing lumps

Bose provides good sound, but disappoints regarding the battery life.

Bose is known for good sound quality and does not disappoint in this aspect. The silicone earbuds are comfortable and fits snugly in the ear.
They are just too heavy, and they have a tendency to fall out of the ears. The heart rate monitor empties the battery too quickly.

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

Sound in the skull

Trekz Titanium does not enter the ear, but instead pumps sound in through the cheekbones.

The Titanium hoop sits as if glued to the head. Because the ears are free, one can still hear everything that is going on around one.
As expected, the sound is not outrageously deep or high. Its use is somewhat limited.

Jaybird Freedom F5

Expected more

Poor fit and flat sound in Jaybird is disappointing.

The design is pretty, and the app that comes along with it is good. When you find the right earbuds, they fit well.
The sound may be a touch flat. The solution with the detachable battery pack works poorly and makes the remote control way too heavy.

Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition

Plenty of bass

Jabra’s earbuds stay where they are meant to be, and play both loud and deep.

Jabra delivers outstanding fit and excellent sound with plenty of bass. The heart rate monitor is also very good – especially at this price.
The heavy bass effects the treble. The tight fit in the ear can feel a little too insulating.

JBL Reflect Contour

As if glued stuck

Even an avid athlete will have trouble ripping the JBL out of the ears.

The fit is wonderfully well, if one likes the hoop around the ear. Price and battery life are also approved.
The remote control of the wire is a little big and complicated. The sound could do well with a little more bottom and bass.

Monster iSport Victory

These play really well

One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

The Monster offers surprisingly good sound, packaging taken into account. Moreover, the price is at the lower end.
If one has to say anything negative, it must be the design, which is perhaps not be the prettiest.

Plantronics Backbeat Fit

Fine Bluetooth hoop

Backbeat Fit is comfortable to wear and plays well.

The headset is comfortable to wear and plays well. It's an advantage that it doesn't sit too tightly in the ear so you can still hear the traffic.
It's annoying that Plantronics has taken away the armband for the mobile phone in favour of new colours and reflectors.

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