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Panasonic RP-HT21 Lightweight Headphones
Light, Portable and Highly Affordable

The Panasonic RP-HT21 lightweight headphones are some of the cheapest headphones on the market, and are highly recommended by customers for their value.

This pair of headphones is known more for its ubiquity than its sound quality.

Nearly everyone has owned a pair or two at some time and while they may not be great at what they do, the fact that they do it at all for the price of $4 is impressive.

You probably don't want these to be your primary set of headphones, but when in need they can work in a pinch.


Panasonic RP-HT21 Lightweight Headphones
The Panasonic RP-HT21 lightweight headphones are about as Spartan as you can get when it comes to over-the-ear, over-the-head headphones.

They don't sound great, they don't look great, but they get the job done.

There's nothing better in this price range, and anything appreciably better is two or three times the cost of these headphones.

Due to their popularity most people have experience with them, so what you're buying isn't a surprise when you finally get your hands on them.

An odd benefit that even many of the most expensive pairs of headphones don't have is the ease of cord management when not in use.

Just wrapping the cord around the ends of the U-shaped headphones themselves makes for a neat way to keep the cord out of the way and decreases the risk of breaking it.

If you're one of the very few people who has never owned, nor used a pair of these, buying a pair just for the sake taking part in this odd cultural phenomenon isn't such a bad idea.

They're also not awful for listening to for long periods because of the quality of the foam speaker covers (the thicker the better). They do however manage to stay attached to your head for long periods without falling off which is more than can be said for many pairs of ear buds.

The adjustment for different sized heads and hair works surprisingly well.

The black color and simple design means they don't call attention to themselves and so wearing them out around town won't make you stand out.

Best price on the Panasonic RP-HT21


The sound quality is tinny in the highs, fuzzy and often non-existent in the lows and OK in the mid-range.

They're far from sturdy, with their plastic over-the-head band flexing, warping and breaking easily.

Stylistically, the Panasonic RP-HT21 lightweight headphones could be described as the quintessential headphone in the same way the Toyota Corolla is the quintessential car. Though it's everywhere, very few would describe it as good looking.

The thickness of the headphone cord is reminiscent to that of angel hair pasta. This does not inspire confidence. It can break after being tugged out of bag with too much force.

It's important to remember that the force required to break the cord on these headphones is far from representative of headphone cords in general.

Unlike with more expensive headphones the parts aren't replaceable, but that's to be expected when it only costs $4 for an entirely new pair.


Despite a seemingly disparaging review, a lot of people actually recommend these headphones.

Not in place or over another pair, but as something that almost everyone can afford when what you need is simplicity and price over audio quality. For teachers who need dozens of pairs of headphones to give out to students when using computers, these would make a good choice.

For an extra spare pair or two of headphones you keep in the drawer should your main pair break, these are an excellent choice. However don't plan on living with them happily day in and day out.

Eventually you'll want better music clarity, sturdier construction, better looks, and more features or some combination of these attributes.

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