Added Oct 2012
Details: Entry-level earphone from Rock-It Sounds
Current Price: $20 from rockitsounds.com (MSRP: $19.99)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.2′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: N/A (oval) | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges, generic bi-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear
Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), airline adapter, and clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The R-10 utilizes a plastic housing with a rubber bumper, integrated strain relief, oval nozzles with metal filters, and a plastic-sheathed cable. The molding is a little rough around the edges but durability should be excellent for an entry-level product
Isolation (2.5/5) – Isolation is limited by the shallow fit but is sufficient for general use
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Cable noise can be coerced with cord-down wear but is nonexistent in the intended over-the-ear configuration
Comfort (4.5/5) – The housings are lightweight and highly ergonomic. The rounded shells and rubber bumpers are reminiscent of the highly-acclaimed JVC AirCushions but the over-the-ear fit makes the R-10 more secure and reduces cable noise
Sound (4.7/10) – The sound signature of the R-10 is a warm and consumer-friendly one, with enhanced bass and relaxed treble. Bass extension is decent but the low end is a little boomy compared to similarly-priced sets such as the UE100. Impact is similar to the MEElectronics M9, though the M9 has more subbass and less upper bass for a less bloated sound. Midrange bleed is noticeable but the R-10 displays mids very prominently and could even be called mid-centric. Detail and clarity lag slightly behind the more balanced-sounding UE100 and are no match for the higher-end Rock-It models.
The treble is laid-back and lacking in both sparkle and extension. There’s not a whole lot of air to the sound as a result and the R-10 gets congested easily. Still, the presentation is forward overall and the strong, upfront midrange prevents the earphones from sounding distant and uninvolving as some other entry-level IEMs, such as the Panasonic HJE120, can.
Value (7.5/10) – Priced at just $20, the R-10 is a decent-sounding and very well-designed option for the general consumer. The lightweight, over-the-ear form factor allows the R-10 to be comfortable, secure in the ear, and low on cable noise and the bass- and midrange-heavy sound is non-fatiguing, if somewhat muddy. First-time IEM owners will be happy with the bass and the R-10 makes a great disposable set for the gym. Just don’t expect it to deliver the refinement of Rock-It’s higher-end models.
Pros: Comfortable over-the-ear fit; nearly no cable noise, well-built and accessorized for the price
Cons: Lackluster sound heavy on the bass and midrange