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Technics Revival

During Panasonic’s formal unveiling of its 2012 audio and video lines here in New York Tuesday and Wednesday, which included more pricing info on its flat panels, the company went retro.Panasonic reintroduced the Technics brand … for headphones.

The Technics brand was around for 31 years and was dropped in 2001 in favor of the Panasonic brand.

Technics was always positioned as a high-end audio brand, fondly remembered by baby boomers. So we asked yesterday why Panasonic chose to revive a line many young consumers wouldn’t know?

Tom Hantson, category manager with the Panasonic customer experience group, said the company did its homework — and consumer research — which showed that even today, “Technics still stands for a ‘high-end audio line’ for many consumers regardless of demographics.”

Technics had been used for DJ turntables by Panasonic for a time, but that ended two years ago. However, second-hand sales on eBay, among other sites, is very popular, Hantson said. He added that Urban Outfitters and others have sold Technics T-shirts, which, in his words, “has reminded consumers that this was a ‘hi-fi’ brand with great sound.”

The three Technics headphones, all made in Japan, are set for shipment in late summer or early September.

The RP-DH1200, with a suggested retail of $229, is the top-of-the-line model for DJ monitoring, with a foldable and fold-flat design, reversible housing for single-side monitoring, a 3,500mW power handling capacity and a frequency response of 5Hz to 30Khz.

In other words, it features plenty of horsepower and a high-performance product, in keeping with the Technics heritage.

The RP-DJ1200, at $199, has a max input capacity of 1,500 mW and frequency response of 8Hz to 30kHz, and the RP-DJ600, at $69.99, has a frequency response of 10Hz to 27kHz.

All three come with travel cases, and they top off a wide-ranging line of Panasonic-brand headphones and ear buds for 2012.

If the Technics headphone line becomes a hit, one wonders if a revival of the Quasar brand will be next? Overhearing the question, another Panasonic exec at the event said, “I’m not too sure about that.”