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Home / Reviews / Audio / Headphones / Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer review: shake ya neck

Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer review: shake ya neck

Are wearable speakers the next must own gaming accessory?

Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer

Stuff Verdict

Mixing the best of two audial worlds, the Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer wearable speaker offers a rare and genuine alternative for gaming tech.


  • Delivers 3D, immersive sound without the wires
  • Unique design, but not over the top
  • A delightful accessory for casual players


  • A little pricey
  • Simply won’t be for everyone


Not long ago, I read about an internet-born medical condition called the ‘gamer headset dent’. This progressive ailment was discovered after long-time gamers found sausage-like dents in the top of their heads, exactly where a gaming headset strap would sit. They attributed this to years and years of prolonged headphone use.

Is the gamer headset dent a real thing? The short answer is no, but it kept Reddit boards laughing for a week or so. But what if there was a gaming alternative to the headset? In the Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer, there may just be.

How we test headphones

Every pair of earphones and headphones reviewed on Stuff is used for a minimum of a week’s worth of daily listening. We use a playlist of test tracks made up of multiple genres to assess sound, and use our years of experience to compare to other models. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products.

Find out more about how we test and rate products.

Design & comfort:

When first taking a look at the Panasonic GNW10, my first thought was ‘this surely cannot be comfortable’. At best, I thought, I’d last about half an hour before chucking them to the side and plugging in my headphones.

It hangs around your neck like a flight pillow, which doesn’t look as ridiculous as I first thought. Would I wear them out the house? No, but I quickly forget they’re there. I’m quite comfortable playing Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 for a few good solid hours, without feeling any annoying changes to my posture.

There’s no friction on the back of my neck, thanks to an incredibly flexible, yet thick rubber that binds the left and right sides together. But the rubber band could be more rounded to provide extra comfort. An moulded ridge at the back is annoying as it’s quite unnecessary.

Sound quality:

3D audio comes from four 38mm speakers, which are placed from front to back. This delivers a more encapsulating sound, and the additional depth is immediately noticeable. Ordinarily, gaming headphones deliver everything from music and sound effects to dialogue and voice chat through two left and right channels. A speaker setup, meanwhile, can produce the clearest sound without limits, but is restricted by budget and space.

The Panasonic GNW10 is something of a middle ground between the two. This takes a little getting used to at first, but quickly comes into its own. The wearable wraps you in sound that’s closer to your ears than a speaker setup, but doesn’t pump noise directly into your ears from point blank range. As someone who pays for past ear health ignorance, this de facto safety feature is a welcome one.

I’m impressed with how even simple games are improved. The survival role-player Medieval Dynasty is not exactly known for its expansive sound design, but hearing rain drops from the top of my ears and the land crunching below my feet makes for a great experience.

I imagine a stickler for a few potential customers will be in the competitive gaming realm. The Panasonic GNW10 can’t compete with a gaming headset when it comes to noise cancellation, either. It has none. There’s far too much outside sound bleed to provide a truly plugged in playing experience.

I’m not that type of player, though. I don’t enjoy being completely isolated from the outside world. I don’t want my audial senses to be completely taken up by explosions or, more accurately, a random stranger calling me mean names on EA FC 24. It’s assuring for me to know I can still keep in tune with the outside world. Speakers will, of course, do this too, and a wearable speaker can’t compete with a well positioned stereo or surround setup. I don’t have the space for that amongst the clutter of consoles and wires strewn across my gaming setup, though. In that, I easily see the benefit of the Panasonic GNW10.

But while it may falter in some ways to deliver full immersion, there are times when it creates something of a new experience altogether. Rolling through the streets of GTA V in a Bravado Banshee sounds much more like the real deal. That is, what I imagine a Bravado Banshee to sound like. The noise of traffic zooms past my ears as the sound of the radio resonates around me. The music isn’t being pumped through my headphones, which I can do by simply logging into iTunes. Rather, I revisit the game’s magnificent soundtrack in a new way, over a decade since its release.

Features & battery life:

The Panasonic GNW10 is compatible with Windows PCs, PS4/PS5 consoles, and the Nintendo Switch (but only in TV mode). The only console missing out here is the Xbox Series X/S, with is a dealbreaker for anyone who owns either.

The GNW10 offers a few audio modes designed to improve game play. There’s the Role-Playing Game mode, which heightens audio reality and intensity for greater immersion. First-Person Shooter mode is designed to accentuate faint footsteps and enemy movements for more accurate scoping and sniping. For dialogue heavy narrative games, voice mode enhances the human voice.

PC users can make more detailed tweaks through the dedicated Sound Slayer app, which provides fine tuning through an equaliser, chat volume, and the opportunity to save up to three different custom presets. They’re all nice features, and are there to be tweaked for the optimal experience. But I mostly found myself using the more balanced, straight out of the box presets.

Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer verdict

Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer

The Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayers won’t be for everyone. Headphone purists may not be convinced that these wrap arounds can offer anything better than what they already own. But for me, they offer a best of both worlds that few other gaming headsets can. I get the convenience of headphones, without the heightened ear damage. I’m transported to 3D sound environments, without the wires.

The price may dissuade some potential buyers. However, if you’re after an alternative to a traditional gaming headset, the Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer is a good place to start.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

Mixing the best of two audial worlds, the Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer wearable speaker offers a rare and genuine alternative for gaming tech.


Delivers 3D, immersive sound without the wires

Unique design, but not over the top

A delightful accessory for casual players


A little pricey

Simply won’t be for everyonee

Panasonic GNW10 Sound Slayer technical specifications

Frequency response
Battery life
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A writer of seven years and serial FIFA 23 loser, Jack is also Features Editor at Stuff. Jack has written extensively about the world of tech, business, science and online culture. He also covers gaming, but is much better at writing about it than actually playing. Jack keeps the site rolling with extensive features and analysis.

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