FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Hands-on review: Panasonic SC-GN01E Wearable Speaker
Wed, 13th Apr 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Over the past couple of years I have had the chance to review a lot of audio products from top brands in the industry. From headsets to in-ear earbuds, soundbars and waterproof speakers, I thought I had seen it all. That was until I came across the Panasonic SC-GN01E Wearable Speaker also known as “ The SoundSlayer”.

This intriguing piece of tech is like nothing I have seen before. The concept behind the technology is to find an alternative to over the ear headphones and microphones. While this can be used by anyone, gamers specifically sit in front of their devices for extended sessions while wearing headphones. I know I am guilty of doing that almost every single evening. After a while, the pressure builds up on the ears, but until now, that was the best way to get a good immersive sound.

Panasonic's answer to the problem was a wearable speaker that goes around the wearer's neck. The design is ergonomic and is made to fit anyone. It is also extremely light so that users can wear it for a long time without it causing neck or shoulder pain.

A lot of game developers put hours into the sound design of their worlds. It is a big part of the immersion feeling. This makes 3D sound essential for any device aimed at gamers. Panasonic perfected this aspect by including 4-channel full-range speakers. The positioning of the speakers leaves the player exactly in the middle providing a feel of complete immersion. Neodymium magnets are used for the speakers to accentuate the sharp sounds.

Panasonic worked closely with the Final Fantasy XIV team at SQUARE ENIX to develop three different gaming modes:

  • Role-Playing Game mode : This mode is Ideal for role-playing games and is  optimised for FINAL FANTASY XIV Online. It is meant to create a sense of reality and intensity leaving the player feeling as if they were inside of the game's virtual world.
  • First-person Shooter mode: This mode provides accurate audio location which allows users to hear subtle sounds such as footsteps. Such sound detailing will give players the advantage in first-person shooter and third-person shooter games as they will be able to hear their opponents coming.
  • Voice mode: This mode enhances human voices and further contributes to the immersive experience. This is perfect for adventure games, where clear dialogue can provide important clues. I enjoyed this mode wile playing Horizon Forbidden West this weekend. 

The Sound Slayer is also equipped with two additional modes for Cinema and Music that are perfect for either music sessions or just watching movies and TV shows.

Switching between the modes is extremely easy with a small button on the side.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the speaker even has a high-performance noise and echo canceling dual microphone. This allows players to chat clearly with others without being disturbed by the surround sound. It also opens up the uses of the device beyond gaming and makes the device perfect for Zoom sessions and remote learning.

Panasonic did a great job with this innovative piece of technology. They did what all consumers want from companies, and consulted with their target audience to deliver a product that fixes current issues without taking away any positives. I know I will definitely always have it around my neck during my future gaming sessions.