With these wireless RP-BTS55 headphones, Panasonic delivers a sweat and water-resistant set of in-ears for sports applications that combine a stable fit, innovative LED lighting for enhanced visibility and a quick-charging function that’s bound to impress. Furthermore, these in-ears have a powerful sound profile, while a 3-button remote provides easy access to features and functions for both iOS and Android systems.
The modern design of these sports headphones is reflected in the rather large earpiece components, with parts sitting behind the ear to ensure a high level of stability that will withstand more aggressive vibrations and movements. Although it takes some patience to fit and secure these in-ears for the first time, a little focus pays out with high wearing comfort and a reliable fit that’s not impeded by pressure problems. The end result is plenty of freedom of movement when listening on the go.
Those looking to train in the winter months or work out at night while listening to their music will appreciate the optional safety lighting functionality of these headphones. Blue LEDs are integrated into the housing of these headphones, with the lighting enabled or disabled by pressing and holding the plus and minus buttons simultaneously. Another practical per of this model is its IPX5-certified construction, ensuring protection against weather-related moisture and water splashes. This also makes cleaning and maintenance all the more easy. Although these in-ears are primarily plastic in their construction, they look remarkably robust. However, they don’t have a high aesthetic appeal, with the plastic exterior appearing quite susceptible to scratches.
When it comes to keeping things running, there’s a lithium polymer battery with a 90mAh capacity on hand. According to the manufacturer, a full charge should allow for six hours of runtime. When tested, a runtime of up to seven hours was proved possible, even with the device operating at higher settings. The quick charge function is also more powerful than advertised, with fifteen minutes of charging via the supplied USB cable providing enough battery capacity for playback of approximately three hours. This is far beyond the 70 minutes advertised by Panasonic. A complete charging cycle takes approximately 1.5 hours.
The RP-BTS55 uses Bluetooth 4.1 technology as standard. During our test with a variety of Android and iOS devices, stable ranges of between six and eight metres were measured. However, occasional dropouts in connecting were noted. As such, the RP-BTS55 falls somewhere in the lower midfield of the market when it comes to stability and signal range. Pairing is initiated by holding down the central remote button, which serves to switch on the system and directly trigger pairing in the process. This same button can then be used to control play and stop functions during playback, as well as accept and terminate phone calls. Digital assistants can also be activated by a double click of this central button. You’ll also find designated plus and minus buttons for volume control. Pressing and holding each one of these skips tracks forward and backwards through playlists. Of note here is that while the buttons have fairly firm pressure points providing a good level of reliability, handling them effectively will take a little effort and some practice. An integrated microphone provides acceptable speech intelligibility for call functions, although the person on the other end of the line may perceive the voice of the caller as relatively quiet and difficult to differentiate clearly from background noise.
The powerful sound specs of these headphones are backed by good reserved, while there’s a contemporary feel to the bass tuning. While the lower bass range has a slight dullness to it, the mid and highs are pleasantly clear and lively, despite a somewhat soft sound character. The highs, in particular, are punchy and present, with a more rounded edge, rather than sharpness. The stereo image is not too narrow and boasts enough structure, producing a sound that’s harmonious and balanced. There’s sufficient potency and assertiveness to the output here, making these headphones ideally suited for listening when driving, sporting activities or workouts. The price is definitely very reasonable considering the level of sound quality here, making these in-ears a worthwhile investment.
For those seeking wireless sports headphones with a rounded, powerful sound output and stable fit, the Panasonic RP-BTS55 will definitely deliver. Although there’s a somewhat awkward set of control buttons and a Bluetooth range that’s a little on the limited side, these everyday headphones score points for their quick charge function, illuminating lighting feature and a very convincing price/performance ratio.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Impedance32 ohms
- Weight with cable22 g
What's in the box
- Ear tips in 3 sizes (S/M/L)
- USB charging cable
- Travel case
- Available in black and white
- BT version: 4.1
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP