Rock Jaw Resonate IEM full review
If you’re spending under £50 on a pair of in-ear headphones, you’d be hard pushed to find anything better than Rock Jaw’s Alfa Genus V2. In fact, there isn’t anything better. But what if your budget is over £100? Well that’s where the Resonate comes into play. See also: Best headphones
Rock Jaw Resonate review: Price
Some may think £125 is a lot to spend on a pair of headphones, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t. In fact, you can easily spend more than double this, but as with a lot of things, it’s a case of diminishing returns.
And at £125 from Rockjaw, the Resonate is actually very competitively priced.
Rock Jaw Resonate review: Features and design
The Resonate is in a completely different league to the Alfa Genus, and you’d expect that at almost three times the price.
The buds are hewn from aluminium and have a reassuring weight and quality to them. The cables are detachable, so even if you do damage something, the fix is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Inside the buds are multiple drivers: a balanced armature and an 8mm dynamic driver to be precise. Put simply, this offers the best of both worlds: lots of detail but also plenty of bass.
As with most of Rockjaw’s other earphones, the Resonate has removable ‘tuning’ filters. Gold is for ‘reference class’ which essentially is a flat EQ so you hear music the way the artist – or producer – intended.
Blue is for treble, and accentuates high frequencies for those who prefer their music to have extra detail, while Green – our favourite – is for bass and this increases the volume for lower frequencies.
Oddly, on the box, these are confusingly described as Fusion, Emotion and Energy.
Since the filters unscrew easily, it takes but a few seconds to swap them out if you want a different sound signature. The only issue is that the filters are tiny, and easily lost in the bottom of the soft carry pouch.
There’s a remote control on the left-hand cable and this has a universal pause/play button (marked with a phone receiver since it can also answer calls) along with volume controls and a microphone for hands-free calling.
Rock Jaw Resonate review: Sound quality
In the box you’ll find small, medium and large silicone tips, a pair of small double-flange silicone tips and medium plus large memory foam tips.
It can take a while to find the best fit, but you’ll only get the best sound if you select tips which form a good seal in your ear. This is also necessary to prevent the buds from falling out when you’re moving around.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be amazed as the sound quality. Even with the green ‘bass’ filters installed there’s still a fantastic level of detail, regardless of the genre of music you choose.
What’s particularly noticeable compared to, say, the Alfa Genus V2 is the sheer separation of instruments. Listen to a classical piece and you’ll feel like you’re sat in the auditorium, able to pick out individual instruments, such is the Resonate’s soundstage.
But they’re equally at home with pumping dance music, which is where those green filters really come into their own. Bass is bold and powerful without ever being sloppy or overpowering.
Put on some jazz and you’ll hear the micro-detail in vocals which – chances are – you’ve never heard before unless you’re coming from even more expensive in-ear-monitors which have even more drivers.
If there’s slight criticism it’s that the highs can be a little harsh with the blue filters installed, but if that’s the signature you prefer, it’s not fatiguing. And if you don’t like it, just swap the filters.
Rock Jaw Resonate IEM: Specs
- Drivers: Balanced armature + 8mm dynamic (Multi driver)
- Pro MMCX detachable cables
- 3x Interchangeable tuning filters
- Compatible with iOS / Android / Windows Smartphones
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 103+/-3dB
- Frequency response: 20 – 20000Hz
- Cord Length: 1.25M
- Jack type: Gold plated 3.5mm (spring loaded)
- MIC with universal pause/play button