Panasonic has officially entered the true wireless headphone fray with two models of earbuds: The active noise canceling-equipped RZ-S500W and the simpler, more compact RZ-S300W. Rather quietly announced during CES 2020 in January, along with the Technics EAH-AZ70W with which the RZ-S500W shares some technology, Panasonic is now making a bigger deal about the pair as they become available globally.
The RZ-S500W are aimed at the frequent traveler with a highly customizable active noise cancellation (ANC) feature. The technology inside combines what Panasonic is calling “Feedforward Noise Cancelling” and “Feedback Noise Cancelling,” which together cancels noise from both inside the headphones and out, plus digital and analog noise filters to keep everything in order. By using the Panasonic Audio Connect app, the noise cancellation effect can be adjusted through 50 levels, and there is an ambient sound mode, too.
This is the main difference between the two sets of Panasonic true wireless headphones, as the RZ-S300W do not have ANC, as well as beamforming technology to improve microphone performance when on a call, which is only found on the RZ-S500W. Both promise a strong, stable connection between the two buds, due to using a left/right independent signaling system and an antenna integrated with the touch sensor on the outside of each bud.
Use the noise cancellation on the RZ-S500W earbuds and Panasonic says you will get 6.5 hours on a single battery charge, with a further two charges from the case for a total of 19.5 hours of use. The RZ-300W headphones offer 7.5 hours of use, and get a further three charges from the case for 30 hours total. Other features include an IPX4 splash-proof rating, Google Assistant support at launch and Amazon Alexa support coming soon, plus a choice of black or white colors, too. Sadly, the fetching green below is only available with the RZ-S300W.
Panasonic has announced the two new headphones in the U.K. now, but a wider international launch is expected to follow in the near future. The RZ-S500W will cost 169 British pounds, or about $212, while the RZ-S300W will cost 109 pounds, or around $137. When compared to some of our favorites the RZ-S500W look like good value, as the excellent $229 Sony WF-1000XM3 cost 220 pounds, and the $299 Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus cost 279 pounds.
The final specification is expected to be released soon, and we will update here when we have it.
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