Review: Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 in-ear earphones

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Early this year, Rock Jaw, a small British upstart that comprises of audio enthusiasts making inexpensive yet high quality earphones, wowed us with their Alfa Genus in-ear earphones. Priced at around Rs.5,000, these earphones came with special tuning filters for enhancing a certain frequency range. What’s interesting to note here is that even certain exorbitantly priced earphones do not provide such an option, so we were really impressed. But most importantly, the sound quality was outstanding.


Rock Jaw recently launched the second edition of its Alfa Genus headphones that is aptly called the Alfa Genus V2. What’s new you ask? The changes are mostly cosmetic, which we shall explore in due course in the review. We used the Alfa Genus V2 earphones as our daily driver for more than a week and here’s what we thought about them.

 

 

Design and specifications
For the Alfa Genus V2, Rock Jaw decided to do away with the twisted cables as seen on its predecessor, and it now sports a solid rubber cable that resists tangling very easily. The cable is 1.2m long and uses an L-shaped 3.5mm audio plug. Additionally, the wooden casing of the earphones is replaced by aluminium now. This makes the earphones more sturdy and is also likely to increase their longevity. Regardless, we thought that the casing was slightly big and that it juts out. This only means that you won’t able to lie on one side of the bed and listen to music without feeling some discomfort.

The Alfa Genus V2 is available in two variants: one with a microphone and one without. We got the one with the microphone for review. The cable has a single button in-line microphone for calls. This button can be used to play, pause and skip tracks. We’d have ideally liked volume controls on the Alfa Genus V2 as well. The earphones continue to use the same 8mm drivers which have an impedance of 16 ohms, meaning they can be powered by any portable device. In the box, Rock Jaw provides a plethora of ear tips – three silicone (small, medium, and large), two memory foam (medium and large), and one double flange (small). You won’t face any issue finding the right fit for your ears.

What sets the Alfa Genus V2 earphones apart from the rest of the earphones is the fact that Rock Jaw provides three tuning filters in the box. By default, the earphones are fitted with silver ones that are tuned for enhanced bass. The black ones offer a reduced bass with more emphasis on the upper mids and treble. If you want a neutral sound signature to monitor music, then you might want to use the gold ones.

Performance
First things first, the three tuning filters that come with the Alfa Genus V2 are not mere gimmicks and actually make a difference to the sound signature. We tested James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘21 Guns’ by Green Day to gauge how the earphones sounded with the different filters. But before we get into details of the sound signature, it must be known that the mid-range performance of earphones stays constant across all the filters. Furthermore, these earphones really excel in the mid-range so much so that they rival the performance of some really expensive headphones.

In both our test songs, we noticed that the neutral filter had the most accurate sound reproduction and we felt that these earphones were comfortable for long listening sessions. At loud volumes, the treble filter with its boosted high range performance sounded really shrill, so much so that it forced us to switch the neutral filter. However, the treble filter sounded really good in ‘You’re Beautiful’ as James Blunts’ falsetto sounded crisp. The bass filter is for folks who prefer a lot more fun. But do note that the bass is of the tight and punchy kind, and doesn’t sound bloated, which is actually great.

The soundstaging and imaging of the Alfa Genus V2 are both above average and nothing out of the extraordinary. In our opinion, the much cheaper Brainwavz Delta has better soundstaging. The microphone of the Alfa Genus V2 is crystal clear and works well with both Android and iOS devices.

Conclusion
The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 is available only on the company’s website. It is available for around Rs. 5,000 and Rock Jaw ships it for free as well. At this price, the Alfa Genus V2 is a steal thanks to its stupendous performance. Most of our complaints are nitpicks and can be easily overlooked. The other alternatives that we like are the Beyerdynamic -MMX 102 iE and the RHA – MA660.

Conclusion
The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 is available only on the company’s website. It is available for around Rs. 5,000 and Rock Jaw ships it for free as well. At this price, the Alfa Genus V2 is a steal thanks to its stupendous performance. Most of our complaints are nitpicks and can be easily overlooked. The other alternatives that we like are the Beyerdynamic -MMX 102 iE and the RHA – MA660.

Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2

Rs. 5,000
9

Design and fit

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10