Whether you prefer shredding the park, hitting the street spots, or taking your powerblades out for an intense spin, your favourite tunes can push you and give you that extra inspiration and juice for your session. It comes as no surprise that many electronics manufacturers are bidding for your head space, while trying to create the best headphones and provide a reliable product which can resist the daily wear and tear which as we all know, in the case of blading, can be very intense, from the regular impact to having your wax stash fuse together with the headphones in the hidden crevasses of your backpack.
Words & photography: Boris Brkovic
We partnered up with Panasonic to test a new product the Japanese electronics company has brought to the market. The headphones in question are the Panasonic Wings, and you will have the chance to win a pair. We tested the Wings to make sure that these headphones can brave the elements, fight off sweat, rest securely in the ears, deliver excellent audio and have enough battery to endure the longest of sessions.
Wings are Bluetooth connecting in-ear headphones with a 3D Flex Sports Clip designed to give you the freedom to custom fit the headphones around the sphere of your ear. This means no more getting tangled up in the cables while blading. Of course the first thing I did after receiving a pair was to take them out of the box as fast as possible and…well I got a bit confused about how to put them on. However, wisdom comes with age so I went straight to the User Manual. After a quick peak in the manual and some adjustments to the incredibly flexible yet sturdy Sports Clip, there it was, the perfect fit. I had countless earplugs in the past, but once I found my niche with the Wings’ Flex Sports Clip I started wondering why I never had anything like them before. Generally, these headphones are super lightweight and once you fitted them correctly you are basically only aware of the earplugs, the Clip going around your ear is in some sort of a “levitating” state making you unaware of its presence.
So now that we figured out the first step, putting the headphones on, comes the part we are more familiar with. Wings can be paired with Android or Apple smartphones, we also paired them up to a Bluetooth equipped laptop and tablet. Everything worked flawlessly. With the on-cable mic and controls you can mix up that playlist of yours, answer calls and so on without the need of stopping to grab your phone or wedging it out of your pocket while on your skates. The added bonus is that you will never miss a call of your mates who are trying to figure out which spot you are currently at.
The Panasonic Wings pack a hell of a punch when it comes to both audio depth and clarity. We noticed that the headphones go a bit more towards the clarity side rather than deep bass. Audio quality is very dependent on getting a really good fit with the earpiece in your ear (three different earpieces come with the headphones) and once you do get the right fit the audio quality is fantastic. Being in-ear headphones they efficiently block out the outside world, combined with the volume independency from the phone it proved to be excellent for those moments you want to focus in on your next trick.
When it comes to battery life you really don’t have to worry about getting the ‘low power’ indicator in the middle of your session. On day one the headphones outlived the the battery of my phone by a long run. Another detail we liked very much was the Quick Charge function. You can hook up the Wings to a charger for only 15minutes and the battery will last another 70. Being forgetful is not that much of a problem as the time necessary for the Quick Charge to complete pretty much matches up with what you need to pack up for your session.
If you prefer blading at night, the Panasonic Wings are equipped with LED Active Light, which is next to being a stylish feature also practical for those of us who like to take it to and in-between the traffic. The LEDs are placed in such a way to be visible to bystanders, car drivers, or anyone else on the sidewalk or the road from any direction. At night, especially on dark roads, this can significantly increase your safety.
During the 7 sessions we had since receiving the Panasonic Wings, the ear plugs did not give or pop once, even on heavier bails or some spins the headphones stay nice and snugged behind your ears. The absence of a long cable just made us realize what a difference such a Bluetooth audio device can make, no more tangling of the cords, unplugging the headphones from your phone, having the cable glued to your body while blading etc. Yes, these are all first world problems, but most of our previous headphones met their demise because of the cord alone. During one of our sessions we had temperatures of 38°C/100°F (the sky and earth were burning), and sweat starts becoming a serious issue. We know that the sweat drops easily find their way down your hear directly to the earbuds, which can damage your headphones. These silky and slippery conditions were no match for the Panasonic Wings, being water resistant even the sweat provoked by 38°C/100°F did not influence the headphones even a bit. Water resistant does not mean water proof, so you shouldn’t really go for a swim, but you can clean them with no worries.
No matter what your intended use, park, street, or powerblade, the Panasonic Wings are a tight comfortable fit that will have you tuning out of your surroundings and in to your next session. With a bit of luck, you can be a proud owner of a pair of Panasonic Wings, to be a part of the giveaway just enter your name and email address here until the 30.07.
Enter our raffle & win a pair by signing up:bit.ly/28PP6cg Learn more about the Panasonic Wings HERE.