Panasonic’s wearable speaker doesn’t do Final Fantasy 14’s soundtrack justice

Panasonic’s wearable speaker doesn’t do Final Fantasy 14’s soundtrack justice

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Panasonic SoundSlayer Final Fantasy 14 constricted  edition
(Image credit: Square Enix / Panasonic)

Recently, I was fortunate capable to trial retired the Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker, oregon much specifically, the Final Fantasy 14-branded version. And arsenic an avid subordinate of the fashionable MMORPG, I was anxious to perceive however the game’s eclectic soundtrack would dependable done a bespoke talker that’s much than a small antithetic from your  traditional brace of headphones.

The FF14 mentation of Panasonic’s instrumentality is the aforesaid GN01E neck-mounted speaker, however, it’s emblazoned with Final Fantasy 14 iconography and features recognizable dependable effects from the crippled upon powering the instrumentality connected oregon switching betwixt the assorted dependable profiles. 

First impressions of the Panasonic GN01E-FF were strong, mostly owing to the fantabulous physique prime and comfy, lightweight fit. However, aft investigating the talker connected some PS5 and PC versions of Final Fantasy 14, arsenic good arsenic for listening to euphony successful general, the wide acquisition is alternatively disappointing.

Unbreakable

Panasonic SoundSlayer FF14 edition

(Image credit: Future)

To code the elephant successful the room, yes, Square Enix apt partnered with Panasonic to connection an audio merchandise that Final Fantasy 14 players would get a footwear retired of using, mostly owing to the game’s wonderfully divers soundtrack. We’ve seen the 2 companies collaborate earlier with the SoundSlayer HTB01FF Limited Edition Gaming Speaker. In reality, though, the Panasonic GN01E-FF doesn’t truly look similar it was designed with Final Fantasy 14 players successful mind.

As mentioned, this Final Fantasy 14-themed talker is an existing Panasonic product, the GN01E, which means it has identical specs, from its 4.0 situation dependable transmission speakers to the assorted dependable profiles disposable astatine the interaction of a button. As such, that loftier $249 / £199 terms tag for the constricted variation talker gets you thing but a logo plan and immoderate fancy dependable effects taken consecutive from Final Fantasy 14.

The large upside to utilizing the Panasonic GN01E-FF, though, is the speaker’s fantabulous physique quality. The instrumentality is impressively lightweight, and rests casual astir your neck, astir similar a question pillow. It’s comfy, excessively — not erstwhile did the instrumentality strain my cervix oregon enactment undue unit connected my shoulders during extended periods of listening. In that regard, the GN01E-FF tin beryllium viewed arsenic a coagulated headphones alternative, particularly if earbuds oregon over-ears tin sometimes irritate your ears aft agelong play sessions. 

In the Balance

Panasonic SoundSlayer FF14 edition

(Image credit: Future)

With fantabulous physique prime to its name, then, the Panasonic GN01E-FF was acceptable up for a location tally if it could nail the sound. But this, sadly, is wherever it each falls apart, due to the fact that the GN01E-FF’s audio prime is serviceable, astatine best. While definite dependable profiles similar Stereo and RPG diagnostic strong, enjoyable bass, others often dependable level oregon cramped.

This was particularly noticeable with immoderate of Final Fantasy 14’s dense rock-infused tracks. The chunky guitar riffs of Footfalls (the Endwalker main theme), On Blade’s Edge and The Black Wolf Stalks Again weren’t arsenic pronounced arsenic they should be, portion different notes weren’t adjacent picked up by the speakers astatine all. This meant that these usually adrenaline-pumping tracks were near sounding much than a small muddled and somewhat anemic.

Orchestral tracks similar The Worm’s Tail and Revenge of the Horde besides brought attraction to the Panasonic GN01E-FF’s mediocre equilibrium crossed each audio profiles, with the usually pronounced choirs drowning successful the premix of the different instruments playing.

It’s not each atrocious news, thankfully. Tracks with a single, pronounced vocalist similar In the Balance and Return to Oblivion dependable great. Vocals are overmuch clearer and cleaner than the backing instruments, truthful if (like me) you bask singing on to the Final Fantasy 14 songs that person lyrics, past the Panasonic GN01E-FF wearable talker mightiness beryllium a bully acceptable for you.

Interestingly, Panasonic’s wearable talker besides features a microphone, allowing you to dependable chat, but we perfectly wouldn’t urge it. In my testing, I recovered that the talker made nary effort to isolate my dependable oregon dampen crippled audio portion I oregon idiosyncratic other was talking. 

This meant that the different idiosyncratic was practically inaudible during gameplay, and worse still, my dependable was accompanied by abrupt outbursts of the Final Fantasy 14 soundtrack. Still, voices had clarity erstwhile nary euphony was playing, truthful the talker presented a decent dependable chatting solution, truthful agelong arsenic you’re not playing euphony done it simultaneously.

Echoes successful the Distance

Panasonic SoundSlayer FF14 edition

(Image credit: Future)

One past happening to enactment is that the Panasonic GN01E-FF really fared overmuch amended connected PC than it did connected PS5. So overmuch truthful that if you lone play Final Fantasy 14 connected console, I wouldn’t urge you acquisition the speaker, particularly erstwhile the PS5’s 3D audio capabilities mesh truthful good with the game’s in-built equalizer settings.

On PS5, the speaker’s audio is frustratingly quiet, adjacent with volumes acceptable to max successful Final Fantasy 14 on with the PS5’s audio settings. Audio from the speakers tin spell overmuch louder connected PC, which volition let you to truly get the astir retired of it, those being the superb bass and vocal clarity.

Ultimately, though, the Panasonic GN01E-FF neck-mounted talker is simply a disappointment. All-round muddy audio betrays the device’s incredibly comfy fit. The comparatively precocious terms tag doesn’t bushed the best wireless headphones, which are overmuch cheaper and dependable a full batch better, specified arsenic Sony’s last-generation WH-1000XM3s and adjacent Sony’s ain Pulse 3D wireless headset.

Even if you’re a monolithic Final Fantasy 14 fan, then, I deliberation you should steer wide of the Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker. Its novelty rapidly wears disconnected successful the look of subpar, muddy audio prime and practically unusable dependable chat portion you’ve got euphony playing. On some PS5 and PC, I’d inactive urge your favourite brace of headphones implicit the GN01E-FF, which portion of maine thinks is simply a monolithic shame for a instrumentality that had bags of potential.

Rhys Wood

Rhys is simply a Staff Writer for TechRadar, and portion comparatively caller to the role, he's been penning successful a nonrecreational capableness for years. A Media, Writing and Production graduate, Rhys has anterior acquisition creating written contented for HR companies, restaurants, app developers, IT sites and artifact sellers. His existent passions, though, prevarication successful video games, TV, audio and location entertainment. When Rhys isn't connected the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14.