I almost cringe calling the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 a ‘budget earphone,’ as that phrase has often been reserved to describe acceptable sound quality. And in this case, we’re talking about an earphone with premium/customizable sound, quality materials, a nice selection of accessories, and it just so happens to cost under $50.
What’s the catch, you ask?
My theory is that we have been overpaying for quality earphones for too many years. It has got to the point where we look for quality sound partially by the price tag because… well, more money should equal to a better product, right? Well, that used to be true, but there are a few manufacturers who are proving this philosophy to be untrue, and Rock Jaw is certainly at the top of that list.
A few weeks ago we sampled the Rock Jaw Kommand, which offered some serious premium sound, excellent fit and wood finish, and all for under $100. And while I really love the extra features the Kommand offers that demand its higher price point, not everyone will appreciate these as much as we did… which is where the Alfa comes into play.
The Alfa Genus V2 is not designed out of wood, but rather aluminum. This gives it the same lightweight feel and sturdy composition – and while it may lack a bit in aesthetics, let’s face it, it’s going in your ear so you probably won’t miss the woodgrain all that much. And while I do believe that wood can offer better sound, this Alfa seems to deliver ‘almost’ as good sound quality as the Kommand.
The Alfa is powered by a set of 8mm dynamic drivers and a frequency response ranging from 20 to 20,000Hz. And to keep up with the popularity of customizing your sound, these also come with three tuning filters to offer either a neutral sound output, increased bass or increased treble. And yes, they do work as you’d expect they should.
While the Alfa lacks the exterior ear support that the Kommand has, it offers two sets of foam ear tips to go along with one set of double-flange (noise canceling) tips and four pairs of silicone. In other words, you should be able to achieve a good fit with what you get in the box. I personally like the external support of the Kommand, but these offer a more compact silhouette and are much easier to put in your ears. And depending on how you intend to use your earphones, you can also opt for a mic on the cord that can be added for a small additional cost.
Overall, we are impressed with this basic set of earphones. Rock Jaw has obviously put a lot of thought into every pair of earphones they design, offering a nice amount of quality features, several models to choose from, and a price point that gives you the confidence to take a chance on a manufacturer that you may not have any experience with.
For a basic everyday earphone that will work with all your tech devices, fit in your pocket and won’t ruin your day should you lose them… we would not hesitate to recommend these Alfa’s. And you can pick them up on Amazon here.
However, if you are looking for slightly more premium sound with exterior support and a nice woodgrain appearance… we’d go the extra distance and get the Kommand. Either way you can’t go wrong – and that is the beauty of a premium ‘budget earphone’ (cringe).