Rock-It Sounds R-11 Review

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Added Oct 2012

Details: Entry-level earphone from Rock-It Sounds
Current Price: $25 from rockitsounds.com (MSRP: $24.99); $29.99 from Amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 105 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.2′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), removable rubber bumpers (3 sizes), airline adapter, and clamshell carrying case
Build Quality (3.5/5) – The R-11 utilizes plastic housings with a trio of removable rubber bumpers that slide onto the nozzle before the eartip. The cable is twisted, identical to those found on Rock-It’s higher-end models and the MEElectronics A151 – very impressive for an entry-level set
Isolation (3/5) – Isolation is improved compared to the R-10 model. A deeper fit is possible with the front bumpers removed (shown)
Microphonics (5/5) – Cable noise is nonexistent with the excellent twisted cable
Comfort (4.5/5) – The housings are lightweight and highly ergonomic. Over-the-ear fitment makes the R-11 secure and the twisted cable is a pleasure to use. The rubber bumpers can be used for stability with a shallow fit or removed entirely for a deeper seal

Sound (4.2/10) – The sound of the R-11 is reminiscent of the cheaper R-10 model, but while the housings of the R-10 are vented, the R-11 appears to be sealed. This has a negative effect on the sound – the R-11 is still a warm, bass- and mid-focused earphone but its sound isn’t as clear and well-defined as that of the R-10. The bass is noticeably heavier but also boomier and more prone to bleeding up into the midrange. Bass extension is improved but the cost to the overall sound quality is too great.

The heavier bass bleed causes the midrange to sound more muffled compared to the R-10 and sacrifices even more of the clarity. Treble response seems to be less affected by the sealed housings of the R-11 but is still drowned out more by the heavier bass of the R-11. The presentation is intimate and the R-11 has the same tendency towards becoming congested as the R-10.

Value (7/10) – While the R-11 improves on the R-10 in several areas, its non-vented housings result in sound that is less suitable for the discerning listener. The bass is deeper and heavier at the expense of clarity and accuracy and the entire experience becomes more muddy and bloated. The interchangeable front bumpers and excellent twisted cable – a definite luxury in this price bracket – are worthy of a thumbs-up but aren’t quite enough to make the R-11 worth recommending over the R-10.

Pros: Comfortable over-the-ear fit; excellent cable; no cable noise, well accessorized for the price
Cons: Audio quality lags behind cheaper R-10 model


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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