Review of the Panasonic RP-BTD5 Bluetooth stereo headset

The Panasoniс brand does not need to be introduced - it has long been well known to everyone who has at least some

Interested in audio and video equipment. This is the so-called A-brand, a recognized authority in the market. The quality of A-brand products is not in doubt when it comes to the upper and middle price segments. But for a more complete market coverage, more massive, more affordable goods are needed. And here the main question arises - what can be saved? Each manufacturer answers it in its own way. Let's see what the company saved on by releasing the RP-BTD5 Bluetooth headset with a price of 999 UAH, and what happened in the end.

What is included?

The headset is packed in a sturdy cardboard box andsoft case with separate “pockets” for each earphone (so that they do not rub against each other). This part of the package can not be thrown away, but used to store and carry headphones for better safety. A 0.6 m USB cable is wrapped in the same case for recharging. There is no charging unit in the kit, which has already become the rule for accessories - it is assumed that their battery can be recharged from a computer or from chargers already in the household. The kit is supplemented by a thick paper operating manual in 16 languages, which even has instructions for removing the battery for disposal after the end of the life of the headphones.

Appearance, design, ergonomics

The headphone housing is metal-free - and cups, andthe headband is made of a combination of matte and glossy plastic, and the ends of the cups are made of rubber or rubber-like soft material. This fact, complete with a rather simple, utilitarian design, creates the impression of an inexpensive thing, some of the more affordable headsets look more solid and solid. But thanks to this choice of material, the headset was not heavy, and the headband was not too tight, and the pressure on the ears was minimal. Ear pads such as On-Ear (half-open) very little isolate the ears from external sounds.


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The headband does not fold, but for wearing comforton the neck and compactness when carrying the earphone cups are made rotatable, and for a more accurate fit of the ear cushions along with their plastic base deviate slightly from the vertical position.


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The headband size is adjustable to a large extent, even when worn over a light headgear, there is a margin. Adjustment step, moderately tight.


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All buttons, as well as a charging connector, microphoneand the LED indicator are located on the right earphone, electronics and the battery are hidden inside it. Call and music control is placed on the large flat end of the earphone, the buttons are decorated in the form of embossed symbols indicating the corresponding functions. They are far apart from each other and are easy to touch, so the headset is easy to control blindly. They didn’t save on buttons, it’s good - the volume and switching of tracks are regulated separately, rewinding inside the track works (in those applications that support it).


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Wired connection to the sound source, toUnfortunately, it is not provided, so to connect, for example, to a TV that does not have a Bluetooth module, you will have to purchase a separate transmitter (transmitter).

Functionality

Telephone functions are implemented only basic -answering and ending a call, rejecting a call and, sometimes, sometimes, switching the sound between the headset and the phone. The headset remembers up to 8 paired devices, when connected to the ninth, the first is deleted. Simultaneous work with two phones (Multipoint) is not implemented, advanced telephone functions, such as call hold and conference calling, are also not supported. But all this is not necessary here - this headset is primarily for music. To transmit it, by the way, the most common SBC codec is used, which guarantees compatibility with any sound source and is able to provide quite high-quality playback.

Battery information is transferred to the phoneand appears in the switch panel and in the list of paired Bluetooth devices. True, the charge level changes stepwise - for two days of not very active use, it remained 100%, then sharply decreased to 80%.

Like any similar device, a headset canconnect via the HSP / HFP profile to one device (for example, to a phone or computer with Skype), and via A2DP / AVRCP to another (for example, to a TV or media center). If only this headset is used with the phone, then the connection is very fast, almost instantly. If a different headset or speaker was used somewhat and last, there may be a delay, because the phone first searches for the last connected device.

To simplify the first connection (pairing) with other devices, BTD5 has an NFC module. Its sensor is located in the left earphone, and you need to bring the paired device to it.


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Impressions of use

Given the famous brand and yet not the mostlow price, I expected a more or less decent sound. Characteristics also hinted at this (18–20,000 Hz, speakers 40 mm), but, alas, I was very disappointed. In these headphones, the music sounds muffled, pinched. The first analogy that comes to mind is as if you were listening to sound from a speaker through its back wall. The sound is some kind of unnatural, “plastic”. Bass and treble are reproduced quite cleanly and accurately, but exactly until a vocal or some mid-range instrument is connected - an acoustic guitar, piano, cello, electric guitar (rhythm or solo), saxophone, etc. Such instruments play noticeably louder, against their background and bass, and “cymbals” of drums sound as if very far away. Quite often, extraneous sounds appear, caused by the resonance that occurs in the headphone casing. The sound of medium frequencies as a whole is somehow unpleasant, the vocals are inanimate, without nuances and details. The sound quality loss during transmission is very audible even in compositions in loseless formats, and mp3 files already compressed with losses are distorted even more. Perhaps a wired connection would save the sound, but there is no such possibility.

The claimed frequency range is from 18 Hz to 20 kHz. The test using a special audio file containing a sinusoidal signal with an increasing frequency from 3 Hz to 20.5 kHz showed that I hear sounds with frequencies from about 30 to 14600 Hz in these headphones, which is noticeably worse than in other headphones that I tested. This indicates a rather strong obstruction of the frequency response at the edges, that is, a low level of reproduction of both the lowest and the highest frequencies relative to the average. Which is confirmed when listening to music.

What else is interesting - at the sound stage completelythere is no volume, all sound sources are perceived as sounding inside the head or around it, but strictly in the same plane. Yes, headphones are not an acoustic system that is correctly positioned relative to the listener, it is difficult to get full localization here, but there was at least some volume in other headphones. Of course, a headset worth up to 1000 UAH is not a device from which you should expect Hi-End sound, but many even cheaper alternatives that you have heard have sounded much better. I don’t dare to judge why it is so - either the speakers are unsuccessful, or the case is made of inappropriate material - but if you consider yourself a music lover and a connoisseur of quality sound - look for other options. On top of that, the power reserve of the built-in amplifier is small, coupled with poor sound insulation, this forces the volume up to a maximum on the street or in a noisy room, which also does not affect the sound purity in the best way. If you look in the context of musical genres - these headphones are definitely not for rock and not for orchestral classics, the vocals in them are also not fully disclosed. In them you can listen to light, not too rich in instruments and parts music. Well, of course, for audio books, podcasts and YouTube videos with predominantly speech content, they are quite suitable.

In telephone mode, the headset works well. The microphone is sensitive enough, the interlocutors heard me without problems. The claimed range of the connection (10 meters) is confirmed, in open space - even with a margin. In a two-room apartment, sound was transmitted without problems between the opposite ends of the apartment through two partitions.

Autonomy claimed impressive - up to 40 hoursreproduction. It even seems like the truth - one full charge was enough for two-plus weeks of testing. But there is a nuance. Such “longevity” is achieved, among other things, with the help of very intrusive energy saving. If nothing is transmitted to the headset within 5 minutes, it gives a short beep and immediately turns off. This is all the more offensive because the headphones are very comfortable and you can not remove them for a long time. This feature makes the headphones unusable in standby mode - when you sit in them at work, periodically listening to something from the Internet, or simply do not want to miss an important call. Unfortunately, I did not find how to disable this or at least change the duration of the wait.

In the dry residue

I myself wouldn’t buy a Panasonic RP-BTD5, but ifwhen buying it was not possible to listen, then, most likely, would return. With all due respect to the brand, it was better to save on anything, but not on the sound quality - that is, on the main characteristic of the headphones. If you get them in the store, still listen to them, maybe I'm too categorical, after all, sound quality is a subjective thing. But the market is full of alternatives for the same price or cheaper, which definitely sound better and more solid - and at least the same ACME BH203 from my previous review.

2 reasons to buy Panasonic RP-BTD5:

  • outstanding autonomy;
  • convenient management.

2 reasons not to buy the Panasonic RP-BTD5:

  • mediocre sound quality;
  • paranoid energy saving setting.

Technical Specifications for Wireless Stereo Headsetss Panasonic RP-BTD5

Weight (without battery)
155 g

frequency range
18–20,000 Hz

Sensitivity
94 dB ± 3 dB

Connection
Bluetooth 3.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP);
Micro USB Nfc

Codec
Sbc

Speaker size
40 mm

Impedance
32 ohm

Nutrition
Li-ion battery (300 mAh)

Stated battery life in stereo
up to 40 hours