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Tested: Panasonic RP-HJE120 Earbuds

panasonic sports earbuds in green color

I’m no audiophile. When it comes to headphones, just give me something comfortable that doesn’t sound like total garbage! I don’t need a dramatic listening experience during my workouts – just an earbud that stays in my ear.

With that in mind, I set out to find the cheapest earbuds at Amazon.com. I was expecting to spend between $10-20, but I came across the Panasonic RP-HJE120 earbuds (or, “in-ear headphones” as they call them) for much less!

The price was just $6.39 with free shipping!

The price ranges from $6-7 depending on which color you want – they come in black, red, green, blue, white, etc. to match all the iPod colors. I run with a black Sansa Clip now, and to add some spice to my life, decided to pair it with neon green earbuds.

I figured for the price, even if they lasted just six months, it would be worth it. And with an average 4.5 star rating on Amazon from a whopping 3,784 customer reviews, these must be decent headphones.

Now you might be wondering, are these cheap headphones really an upgrade from the stock headphones?

Well, an ‘upgrade’ was not my concern. I just needed a replacement! The thing with stock headphones on a lot of MP3 players is they are solid plastic with a light foam cover. That foam falls apart in short order, especially if you’re a runner (e.g. you’re out in the sun and sweating all the time).

Plain plastic earbuds are not only uncomfortable, they simply won’t stay put! So I needed new, functional earbuds.

That said, these Panasonic earbuds were a HUGE upgrade!

As for aesthetics, they’re just like the pictures. You get bright green earbuds coupled with a dull yellow/green cord. (I’d like a bright green cord but I’m not complaining.)

The cord measures about 42-44″ long when stretched out, making it a good size for having the mp3 player on my shorts waistband.

They come with the three sets of ear pieces, which is the best part.

They shipped with the medium ear pieces already on, so I tried those first. The buds slipped right into my ears and the outside noise was cut in half. It was like I put ear plugs in!

I tried the large size, but they didn’t fit into my ears completely. They would just kinda sit there. So for me, the medium is better because they just have that “slide right into place” feel.

Once you find the right size ear piece, the ergonomic fit is very cool. This was my first time using anything like it. Basically, the rubber bits slide into your ear, and the rest of the buds rest firmly against your ear lobe.

This fit made them ideal for running!

When running, they stay in my ears, even if I’m sweating. Or if it’s raining! They don’t shift around or anything like that.

The slight noise cancellation effect from the tight fit is also nice. Wind noise is a thing of the past! That’s awesome because it means I can listen to my music at a lower volume and hopefully save my hearing.

Sound quality is perfectly adequate.

Sure, it isn’t quite as nice as with my awesome Sennheiser studio headphones, but I didn’t expect that, nor do I need it. I got a second set of these for my mom (who has a newer Sansa Clip now) and she was VERY pleased with the sound quality. Plus they help drown out the noise of the treadmill for her.

There’s only one small problem I’ve encountered:

Every so often, the sound cuts out and shifts to only one ear or just goes real low. It’s as if the plug isn’t seated fully in the player, but I’ll check and it’s pushed in fully. Eventually it goes back to normal on its own. I’m not sure why it happens, but it’s only a slight annoyance.

I now tuck the cord into my waistband and that seems to keep it at just the right angle so it doesn’t give me trouble. Again, I can’t explain why this helps, but it usually does the trick.

Concerned about durability?

I’m not. I bought these in July 2012, so we’re past the six month mark and still going strong. Aside from the occasional issue mentioned above (which has not gotten worse nor occurred more frequently,) I have not encountered a single problem.

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve already gotten my money’s worth.

My final verdict is…

These Panasonic RP-HJE120 in-ear headphones are a freaking awesome deal! I’m so pleased, I’m going to buy a spare set just in case they go up in price.

No, they’re not the highest quality, but I wouldn’t use expensive head phones during running anyway. If you need some headphones for running, or just want to save money, these can’t be beat!

Official website: www.Panasonic.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Panasonic
Product: Panasonic RP-HJE120 Earbuds
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-03-30
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

Click here if you would like to get your product reviewed on CoachLevi.com.

Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

usa cycling certified coach


pn1 certified coach
Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
Coach Levi's Mom
Hometown, PA

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