This past September Panasonic commemorated the 40th anniversary of their launch of the Technics SL-1200 turntable system with the reintroduction of their Technics Pro DJ Headphones. The Technics name has always been a popular choice for professional DJ’s, producers and musicians. I recently got the chance to take these bad boys for a spin to see if the latest is still the greatest the industry has to offer.
What it comes with
Cracking open the box, the sleek black and silver headset elegantly greets you as it sits neatly folded up front-and center, ready to go. Being geared towards professional DJ’s and sound engineers the kit comes with a 3.9 ft coiled cord that can stretch up to 9.8 ft for ease of use around soundboards and recording equipment.
Also included is a 3.9 ft straight cord for casual listening at home with an attached volume remote. The 6.3mm gold stereo adapter can be screwed onto the coiled version with a simple yet effective twist-locking mechanism; however the straight cord doesn’t offer the stereo adapter option. The kit also comes with a thick, supple leather carrying pouch to pack it all up for when you’re on the go.
How it feels
Unfolding the headset can be a hassle at first, but once unfurled they are a sight to behold. With a sturdy frame built out of hard plastic, you can tell these can take a beating without any loss of performance. Being designed with the aspiring DJ in mind, one or both cans have the option to be flipped around for one-handed audio monitoring or as personal speakers.
I was surprised to find when picking them up that despite the appearance they were incredibly light-weight and easy to handle. The cord-mounted volume remote is a personal favorite feature of mine, but I found it to be located too close to the headset making it awkward to interact with and not to my liking. Being accustomed to headphones intended for gaming I was also weary of the shallow-looking cans thinking it might put too much pressure on the ears. However once they were on my fears were immediately laid to rest; they fit snugly without feeling too tight and with the layer of padding on the headband I practically forgot I was wearing anything at all after a couple of minutes.
How it Sounds
When talking about headphones, comfort and quality of construction are important but sound is ultimately King. I can wholeheartedly say that the Technics blew me away in this department like I never expected, justifying their hefty price tag for the professional audio tech or serious consumers that want the absolute best out of their listening.
Throwing on the unplugged version of Layla by Eric Clapton felt like I was sitting in the same room with the man himself; it was incredible. Sounds are richer and more textural through the Technics, bringing an almost vinyl quality to them while maintaining the high fidelity we’ve come to expect from modern sound systems. Pulling up artists that feature more heavily layered complexity like Daft Punk or Justice, they handled the atmospheric depth of sound like a champ.
The mark of a good pair of headphones is when they offer a kind of rediscovery in songs you’ve heard a thousand times over, with new sounds emerging that you’ve never picked up on before; these cans give you that experience in spades. DJ-focused headsets often come with the stigma of being synonymous with an overuse of bass but I found the Technics struck a perfect balance of all elements. When cranking up the volume I wasn’t met with any semblance of distortion or buzzing whatsoever, the audio held its crystal clarity without fail.
While there are no actual noise-cancelling features included, I was interested to hear afterwards that while I was demoing the headphones my girlfriend tried talking to me from two feet away for a solid five minutes before giving up. Clearly they provide some substantial capabilities in that area just from their impeccable quality of audio output.
If you’re after a solid set of headphones with superior sound quality and a price tag that won’t break the bank, I’d look elsewhere. But for the true audio connoisseur, sound engineer or DJ that wants professional-grade cans I couldn’t imagine a better choice than these.
With unrivaled audio and sturdy, functionally designed features the RP-DH1250 Technics are the finest personal listening equipment I’ve had the pleasure of getting my hands on. If you have the financial fortitude and desire for the very best Panasonic has to offer, I would recommend giving this set a serious consideration for purchase.