If you are serious about making and editing music, you can buy studio headphones that promise flawless sound, advanced features and design. This pair of RP-HT161-Ks from Panasonic doesn’t promise this – but then again, they don’t require you spend much more than a large pizza to buy them! In fact, this set is the cheapest pair on our list of the best studio headphones under $50 – so what do they actually have to offer?
You know what you are getting with a pair of sub-$20 Panasonic headphones – nothing groundbreaking, but overall a solid and sophisticated closed-back design. It features a simple matte black plastic headband along with two plush-padded earpads. These fit nicely over your ears and do quite well to block out external noise, while feeling quite comfortable and lightweight, which is essential for prolonged periods of use.
Emerging from the bottom of both cups is a relatively thin 2-meter cable – not the most robust of cords, but no worse that we expected. However, the overall build quality is surprisingly good for the super-budget price. Of course, the plastic and materials used are cheap, but it doesn’t feel as if Panasonic has cut many corners in producing the RP-HT161-K.
As with the design, we weren’t expecting much from this affordable pair, but Panasonic deliver a solid little package for the price. We should mention that the headband is fully adjustable, so will fit most users comfortably (although they are a little tight on those with bigger heads, so be warned!). It’s a shame there is no padding on the band itself, but – for the price – we can live with this.
In terms of power, these headphones are run by dual 30mm neodymium drivers, with a maximum power input of 1000mW. Finally, there is a quite a wide frequency response of 10Hz-27kHz, which is decent for this price range.
By now you will probably not be surprised to hear that the RP-HT161-K are very solid in performance too. Of course, they don’t compare to a high-end pair of headphones and they certainly won’t win any awards for their output, but they do pack a decent punch for the price. The sound quality is clear and offers well balanced bass, mids and highs for both music and vocals.
For home and studio monitoring – in addition to a flexible pair of headphones for movies, music and gaming – a pair of Panasonic RP-HT161-Ks should give you what you are looking for. Put it this way – when brand-name headphones with this level of quality come in at around $20, why would you put your money into a pair of no-name headphones?