It's been a while since I gave some of my equipment a review, so here goes another! :)
The pair of earphones I'm reviewing today are a set with a bit of an underground following. Panasonic isn't well known for their earphones, and in fact, most electronics they produce are far from top-tier brands. These earphones however, are some of the best I've heard in a long while.
Appearance: These are supposedly made from zirconia. Hm, never seen that in a pair of headphones before. Whether it's just a marketing ploy or not is irrelevant. These bad boys don't get scratched up. AT ALL. And they glisten in the sunlight and are quite a beautiful blue. The wires themselves are a pretty thick gauge, definitely the sturdiest I've ever used, which is great since most headphones break because of flimsy wires. Speaking of broken wires, with these, you don't have to worry about a short in the wire. Like some DJ style headphones, the cables are actually DETACHABLE, meaning you can just disconnect them from the drivers if they ever short out and pick up a new pair of cables. Pretty fricken sweet, huh? =]
Sound: Very VERY similar to the S4, except more well controlled. The bass is tighter, and with less bleed, and the machine-gun-like drumming and bass riffs of Industrial music is precise in its impact, rather than feeling floaty. The highs also shine, perhaps a bit too much of being harsh (which can be handled by inserting a little bit of foam into the driver nozzle CAREFULLY). My only gripe? The isolation is a littleeeeee poor, and obtaining a good fit is harder for me than the S4 were.
Verdict: These are worth their weight in diamonds (get it? zirconia? cubic zirconia? nevermind >_>). But unfortunately, they're not sold in the U.S. through most retail channels anymore. Last summer they could be found for as low as $70, around the price of the S4, but with better sound! Unfortunately, they're hard to find for under $175, with most being sold for MSRP through ebay now, of $250! Are they worth $250? Probably not. But for $70, they're worth every penny.
Final Grade: 9.5/10