Wireless Earphones can be a confusing market to traverse right now. With so many different brands and styles it can be hard to tell what is worth spending the money on, vs what is a fad that looks interesting but doesn’t add any extra value. Having seen some of the wireless earbuds in use around I was curious to see what they were like, and so I was keen to check out the Panasonic RZ-S500W True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones with Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling Earbuds for myself.
It only looks like a ping pong ball in your ear.
First things first, the look. If you are anything like me you used some terrible cabled headphones plugged into your phone with stubborness while other people used their fancy wireless tech. I kept justifying that I would lose the fancy tech or it would break and on the fly it is easier to pick up some cheap headphones, despite the damage being done when my headphones would be yanked from my ears, or the phone yanked from my pocket when they caught a door on the way through.
I was proven wrong when I played with the Oppo Enco Q1 headphones which used the weird collar sitting device handling the battery and microphone, with little cabled earbuds going up to my ears. At first I thought they looked stupid, but quickly stopped caring thanks to the convenience. The change to having ping pong balls jammed in my ears have gone down the same route, at first I thought they looked goofy and silly, and now a week later I don’t want to live without them.
Though they still look silly, the convenience and features easily justify it.
Battery life is Best life.
The first thing is the battery life. When you charge them in their case it first charges the buds, then the case itself. You will carry the case around with you throughout the day and pop them in when they aren’t in use. This means they get topped up every time you aren’t listening, and I easily got two days out of them with some to spare.
If you are wondering about whether you will carry the case around with you, you will. The only way to turn the earbuds off is to put them in the case, so it forces you to treat them as one unit. You won’t lose the buds either because your new learned habit will have you keeping them in that case when they aren’t in your ears.
I thought this would be cumbersome but it absolutely wasn’t. My little white case sat on my desk next to the keyboard, or in my pocket when out and about. Exactly the same as my other Bluetooth headsets, only smaller and more convenient.
Who needs friends when you can cancel out the noise?
The best thing the RZ-S500W earbuds offer is proper noise cancelling. You can choose to use them in Noise Cancelling mode, Ambient sound mode, or none of the above. The most shocking thing was when you accidentally turned on ambient sound which suddenly gives you a bunch of white noise. That caught me off guard a few times when I was readjusting an earbud and left my finger on the sensor pad.
The noise cancelling is outstanding. You will hear some noise like cars and people talking, but barely. I straight up didn’t hear quiet talkers when they were talking to me, and I didnt hear my car start when I had them on.
To get my head around it I tried turning off the noise cancelling as I walked down Featherston Street. I hadn’t realised I was walking past a Big Chill truck parked on the side of the road with it’s units blasting a heap of white noise.
I should probably spend more time looking at my surroundings.
With phone calls they did a decent job when in a building but the moment I was out on the street the caller really struggled to hear me.
Noise cancelling is but a touch away.
The other benefit to the bulky shape is it allows the ease of use. The big circle on the outside of the earbuds are a touch sensor to control settings. Holding your finger on the left one activates google assistant. Holding your finger on the right one changes the noise cancelling mode. Triple tapping the left one turns the volume up, double turns it down, etc.
It takes little time to master, but because of this you need the bulky shape so that removing and inserting them doesn’t change your settings. A few accidental ambient sound modes taught me that, and again once you know it, it’s super easy to learn to remove them with no issues. Keeping them in your pocket and not in the case will also screw with your settings when you fish them back out, so keep that case on you.
The cynic has been converted
RZ-S500W True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones were something I wanted to test out as a cynic of the tech, but I am now converted. Honestly the battery life and quality of the noise cancelling is easily enough to justify the price tag, and the lack of a cable joining them becomes especially useful at times like the gym, or when you are working on physical tasks like cabling a desk.