Another relatively new company to the earphone market, Rock Jaw have developed a unique pair of earphones that stand out from the standard sub £50 crowd we are used to reviewing.
Most earphones today tend to be quite bass heavy, often trying to replicate the success of Beats Audio. While there is nothing wrong with this it does limit the appeal of a lot of earphones, and this is where Rock Jaw hope to capitalise on the market. The Alfa Genus earphones come with 3x Interchangeable tuning filters allowing you to change the focus from reference, to neutral, to enhanced bass. This is the kind of feature you might expect to be in a £200+ earphone, but the Alfa Genus retail at just £49.99 and come with a 3 year guarantee!
The build quality of the earphones themselves appears to be decent, they have quite a high end look about them, opting for a nice brown wooden type finish and a plain black twisted plastic cable. The cable is quite thin, and corded would have been nicer but this should not be an issue due to the 3 year guarantee. One minor issue is the placement of the L/R markers, they are hard to read and always takes me a while to work out which way to put them on, again this is not a huge problem.
Moving onto the filters themselves, these are built with an aluminium casing and just screw into the earphones, which makes them very easy to swap in and out. I wasn't sure what I was going to expect with the filter system but it has a very high end feel about it and surely must have increased production costs considerably so keeping the price down at £50 is fantastic. Unfortunately I had one major problem while using these, because they screw in they are prone to coming loose. During my time with them, after I put them in my bag to walk around London, when I got them out I found that I had completely lost the filter and ear tip. This is perfectly avoidable by ensuring they are screwed in firmly but it is a concern, especially for me as I already lose ear tips a lot.
After testing the Rock Jaws on a variety of content from using multiple sources such as smart phones and computers I can say that these are an absolutely superb pair of earphones. They vastly outperformed all the cheaper earphones we have used recently including the SoundMagic E10s and the PUMP audio earphones which we are in the process of reviewing which cost twice as much!
The differences between the filters makes quite a difference and I think it really helps make them appeal to a much larger audience then your standard earphones.
The silver pair is the enhanced bass option and will probably appeal to the majority of people, the bass is powerful and deap but it can be a little bit intrusive with a little bleed into the lower mids. Personally I really enjoyed these filters but it depends on what genre of music I am listening to at the time, great for the gym when I want something a little more energetic.
The black filters are the reference option, which is much flatter offering better clarity, but it can be a little harsh sometimes.
Lastly is the champagne filter which is classed as neutral and sits between silver and black. These filters provided a warmer, smoother, slightly bassier sound. These offered a good compromise between clarity and bass and would suit most people.
Overall, considering the price these are superb earphones, possibly the best I have used in quite a while, and well worth the jump in cost over my previous favourites the SoundMagic E10. As stated previously you will need to be careful with the filters, but thankfully Rock Jaw sell replacements for £10.