- Editor's Rating
- Vintage Technics DJ style
- Great aural depth
- Solid focus on low-end and vocals
- Dual interchangeable cables
- Too expensive
- Uncomfortable after semi-prolonged usage
- Lack fine details on mid-range sounds
- No noise-cancelling at all
The Technics RP-DH1250s would be an obvious recommendation if they were $100 cheaper. They certainly exceed what most consumers are listening to these days, but that pesky $270 price tag forces them to meander in a low value middle ground for the time being.
Technics is a name that’s near synonymous with classic DJ equipment, so it only seems fair for parent company Panasonic to honor the 40th anniversary of the brand’s landmark SL-1200 turntables. As part of the celebration, Panasonic has released the Panasonic Technics RP-DH1250 Pro DJ headphones – a pair of DJ-style cans (surprise, surprise) that pay homage to the Technics aesthetic and provide quality sound for both everyday listeners and budding DJs alike.
At $270, though, the RP-DH1250s do come at a somewhat hefty price for casual consumers. So does the good outweigh the cost? Let’s take a look.
In the Box
Certain Panasonic headphones enthusiasts may do a double take upon first glancing at the RP-DH1250s, since they look exactly like the RP-DH1200 cans that were released by the company multiple years ago. The reason for that resemblance is simple: they’re almost the exact same thing. Panasonic tells TG that the RP-DH1250s are in fact a slightly upgraded rebranding of the RP-DH1200s with a few additional features and new packaging.
A note about this: Panasonic has officially discontinued the RP-DH1200s, but Amazon and a few other retailers are still selling leftover inventory of the headphones for as low as $99 as of this writing. This is important, since one of TG’s biggest gripes with the RP-DH1250s is their relatively high price tag. TG hasn\’t tested the older pair, but ultimately anyone choosing between the $99 RP-DH1200s and the $270 RP-DH1250s should consider going with the former while they still can.
With that being said, the insides of the RP-DH1250s’ slick, iPhone-style black box consist of the headphones themselves, a soft leatherette carrying bag, and two detachable and interchangeable 3.5mm cables that connect to the left earpiece.
The straight one of those cables comes with a built-in microphone for iOS devices, while its coiled cousin features a 24K gold tip and a ¼-inch screw-on adaptor. The mic-enabled option, by the way, works just fine, and sports the expected volume up and volume down buttons. The coiled cord, meanwhile, will likely be the choice of most DJs or professional users, as it can be stretched out almost 10 feet. Extra accessories like these won’t make or break the whole package, but they’re welcome additions nonetheless.
Classic DJ style is plastered all over the RP-DH1250s, from their black and silver color scheme to the giant Technics logo plastered across their headband to the silver dots surrounding the earcups which make them look like a mini pair of turntables themselves. They’re mostly made of hard plastic and are rather shiny around the ears, qualities which don’t exactly scream “premium” construction for DJs but will provide enough style and durability for most users’ needs.
As should be expected with most pairs of DJ cans, these Technics are big and bulky – but there’s something undeniably earnest about their classic commitment to surrounding users in sound. There are no flashy design bells and whistles here; they’re all about the user and the music, and that’s refreshing. Choosing a particular style of headphones will always be subjective, but these Technics have that textbook DJ-style look down pat.
Furthermore, the RP-DH1250s are flexible, with flip-up earcups that allow for freeing up an ear without having to take the entire headset off. Their black leatherette headband is fairly movable as well, letting both cups fold in for more compact storage and carrying. And despite the whole package being so sizable, TG rarely experienced any instances of the cans slipping off the head after quick movements.
But while the RP-DH1250s’ nostalgic style and flexibility are nice, TG had issues with the headphones’ comfort over moderately long periods of time. The leatherette cushions inside the earpieces gently melt over and surround the ears for about the first 90 minutes of use, but almost anything longer than that and these things start to hurt.
This is when the RP-DH1250s’ heft comes back to bite them, as their noticeable weight only tends to strengthen the discomfort once the plush padding within the earpieces inevitably begins to sink away. Considering that these aren’t the most portable headphones in the world, this is a little bit expected, but still disappointing. They’ll feel fine for a decent amount of time, but one shouldn’t expect to make it through, say, a whole flight without giving his ears a breather.
One also shouldn’t expect to fully ignore his surroundings when wearing the RP-DH1250s, since there are just about no noise-cancelling capabilities to speak of here. Outside noises can be heard pretty clearly at even mid-high volumes, and others will clearly be able to hear whatever it is the user is listening to if he turns it up loud enough.
And despite TG’s overall enjoyment of the RP-DH1250s\’ big and bulky frame, it’s worth mentioning that users will likely always be aware that they’re wearing these headphones. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it goes to show that there are ups and downs to having a stylistic personality as bold as these Technics.