Pros: Overall sound quality, packaging and accessories, price, design and build quality
Cons: Microphonics and cable
Packaging & Accessories: 9.5/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 9/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 7.5/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
My final Rating: 9/10
Review Date: May 2016
Review Price: £45
First of all I would like to thank Rock Jaw for sending me out the Alfa Genus V2 for review. You’ll be able to find the full specs and more info about the earphones through Rock Jaw’s website. You’ll be able to find them for £45 on Amazon UK and around $45-60 on Amazon USA – as I’m in the UK I’ll be reviewing it at the UK price.
Here’s my video review to complement my written review:
Let’s get unto the review!
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging and accessories provided by Rock Jaw are fantastic and almost flawless. Within the packaging you’ll find the following:
- Soft carrying pouch
- S, 2xM, L silicone tips
- S, M foam tips
- M Dual flange tips
- A pair of bass (on the earphones – silver), neutral (gold) and treble (black) pair of filters
- Chirt clip
- Manual/warranty information
The overall accessories and packaging presentation is truly complete. The only flaw I really found was the pouch, which was slightly on the small size, making the storage of the earphones hard within its own branded pouch. This comes down to the thick wire that’s included (more on that later) – meaning it’s hard to store. If you do manage to get the earphones in, then there’s nothing I could put at fault here!
A truly fantastic inclusion of all the essentials and extras by Rock Jaw – top draw!
The overall build quality is really well thought out, but does have a few flaws.
The earphones are terminated by a right-angled gold-plated jack. The cable that’s included with the earphones is unusually thick for a pair of portable earphones. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cable, but the fact that it’s so thick causes some problems. First of all, in terms of storing the earphones within a pocket or in its own branded soft pouch is very hard – and that’s all because of the cable not easily wrapping around in a ball/circle. The thick cable problems don’t stop there – as due to its big nature creates unwanted microphonics (cable noise) – this thankfully can be solved by wearing the earphones over-the-ear, but should still be noted as a flaw in the cable design. If the cable was less thick, all of these problems would have been a non-issue.
Moving up the cable you’ll notice a one-button remote (with mic) on the left-side driver – this allows you to take calls with ease and control your music. Looking at the earphones, you’ll be able to see a left and right side indicator with their respective letter on the strain relief. Unfortunately, I found it a little hard to see the indicators and this will particularly be a problem when the L/R signs start to wear off. With that said, you’ll be able to determine right from left with ease as the one-button remote is on the left-hand side.
The earphones’ housing is well built with a very pleasant looking black and silver colour scheme. The shiny metal look is fantastic to my eyes and really adds a nice touch of class to the earphones – especially at its price range!
The most interesting feature with the earphones is their filter system – the same type of filters used in the now-discontinued Phonak Audéo range, such as with the PFE 232s. Within the packaging you’ll get three types of filters, silver for bass, gold for neutral and black for treble. These filters do make a difference in the sound and depending on your personal taste and music collection could prove to make the earphones sound perfect for you. I personally liked using the neutral filter as it brought out the best of both worlds without compromising a certain frequency for the other. Speaking of the filters, they are easily interchangeable by hand-screwing them into the earphones’ driver port. I found the process easy to do, but did find that some of the filters’ threads are a little stiff and hard to screw-on, whilst others simply screwed in with ease.
Overall I was really impressed by the build quality of the earphones – I just had wished the filters would be a little more consistently easy to screw in, and would have liked the cable to be just easier to manage.
Design, looks, comfort and isolation
As mentioned above, I found the look of the earphones fantastic – from the overall look to the design of the earphones. I think a lot of people would enjoy wearing them and due to their neutral colour scheme would be nice to wear even in a work environment.
The earphones isolate reasonably well, but don’t passively block out enough external sounds, due to their relatively small driver size. It’s not a big deal for me, as many other earphones sit with the same rating in isolation, but given its price I can’t complain too much.
The earphones are comfortable to wear, with them being suitable for both straight down and over-the-ear wearing. Due to the cable, the earphones do create cable noise which is why I would advise wearing them over-the-ear for the majority of the time.
The overall sound quality really impressed me with the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 earphones – I wasn’t expecting much, but having tried them once from my work colleague’s desk, I was really curious how they would sound after a good amount of burn-in and my own music source. I can safely say that they didn’t disappoint, and given their price tag of £45, left me absolutely speechless! I should mention all my sound quality ratings and review is based on the neutral (gold) filters.
The lows are decent, but are slightly uncontrolled in the mid-bass region, whilst also being slightly cut-off in the sub-bass region. I would have liked just a little more precision in the mid-bass slam, whilst having a slightly better extension – but this is me nit-picking versus earphones more than double its price. At the given price point, I was impressed at the fact that they could do sub-bass and had a decent not too-overpowering mid-bass.
The mids are well presented, but do fee a little pushed back – I’m not sure if this is to do with the slightly uncontrolled mid-bass slam or from the fact that the mids are simply not fully capable of reproducing a perfect mid-range reproduction. It was therefore a decent sound that the earphones were able to reproduce, but do feel that they could have been slightly improved.
The highs were also good, but did roll-off at the top end – thankfully there’s just enough sparkle which provides a decent sound presentation to the earphones.
The soundstage is really well presented, with the drivers having good room to breathe, providing the overall sound quality to be presented with good width and depth. I was also left impressed by the instrument separation and decay that the earphones’ housing provided. On the whole the soundstage was definitely the highlight and provided a fantastic overall good all-round sound to the sound signature.
Sound Quality Ratings
Conclusion & Closing Thoughts
It’s safe to say that I’m extremely impressed by the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 earphones! They provide a fantastic overall sound and package given their price. Taken out of context and put in a price point that competes with the Dunu Titan 1 (the best sub £100 earphone money can buy) which is found at around £90 – I would say the Alfa Genus V2 give them a good run for their money.
Overall, I must give it to Rock Jaw for creating and selling such a fantastic product at an extremely affordable price – not only to mention the overall presentation of the headphones is top notch and their filter system allows you to fine tune the earphones to your liking – truly fantastic!
Hope you enjoyed my review!