When you’re in the market for a set of Bluetooth earphones, what are you really looking to get? This is an important question and one that the UK company, Rock Jaw, asks itself each and every time it settles in to design a new pair of headphones or earphones. And it is this very reason that whenever they come out with a new design, we are happily waiting for the opportunity to take the newest model for a spin. This past year the T5 Ultra Connect has been on our wish list and considering it is December, and we don’t like waiting until the last moment – we were cutting it a bit close this year, but in this case, we found the wait to be worth it.
What is the Rock Jaw T5 Ultra Connect?
It is most of the things you’ve been looking for in a Bluetooth earphone. To sum it up as raw and honest as we can – it is a modern (BT 5.0), weather/waterproof (IPX5 in the newest model), robust (aluminum and titanium), sleek, tunable (3 tuning filters), customizable (multiple ear tips for multiple ear sizes), comfortable (Comply foam tips), energetic (11 hour battery life), and reliable earphone that will hold its own in competition with the elite but still manages to price itself for the common man ($99 US). And yes, that is a long and bold statement, but we’re prepared to back it up.
The T5 Ultra Connect is backed by Bluetooth 5.0, which means that it can broadcast higher quality audio sound despite being born without an umbilical cord. Previous generations of Bluetooth have been plagued with lagging audio latency, disappointing battery life, and audio quality that was not quite up to par with wired models. But you won’t have to worry about that here, as most all of these negatives have been reduced to levels that are practically unnoticeable.
We can’t wait any longer, so let’s get right to the sound. The T5 really delivers here with its Titanium-coated diaphragm and copper-aluminum voice coil with a frequency response of 15 – 25,000Hz. And while the fit of an earphone generally lays in the category of comfort, we think their custom assortment of ear tips really helps to insulate the sound within the grand auditorium of your ear canal.
Even though we have been playing with Rock Jaw’s tunable filters for the last five years, we are consistently tickled by the gimmick of having the power to pump up the treble (black filter), bass (silver filter), or leave things neutral (gold filter). And while we generally go with the neutral for most genres of music, we do kick around the other filters from time to time just to change it up. So, yeah, we do think the filters are fun, make a noticeable difference, and are highly recommended.
Comfort, Design, Battery, and Durability
Despite its robust build (remember the aluminum and titanium we mentioned before) the T5 Connect is comfortable to wear. The Comply (memory foam) tips are fantastic, and the standard silicone is not bad considering you have three sizes to match your ear as close as possible. A small but nice touch to these earphones is they are magnetic so they secure around your neck when not in use.
And speaking of fastening around your neck, we should mention the obvious that these earphones are connected via a wire, so they are not completely standalone. However, there are some very good reasons for this – so you have to weigh the pros and cons before passing judgment.
On the pro side, the wired design is well-balanced, so it is not that noticeable. It allows for volume control, a mic, the ability to change songs, and also allows for a bigger battery and therefore more battery life. We calculated about 10 hours of battery life per charge, which is in line with Rock Jaw’s claimed 11 hours. Charging these with a standard USB Type C comes quick and trouble-free. This design also makes it a lot less likely that you will lose one while nestled in either your pocket, bag, or ear.
For the cons, the wired connection makes the earphones not as hidden from view if you like to listen to your music incognito. The wire may also bother you if you are used to a standalone design. And while we did not have any problems using these at the gym, the more active you become, the more noticeable the wire shifts back and forth (obviously).
Speaking of the gym, the newest version comes with an IPX5 rating, which would hold up during an Arctic fishing excursion. The ones we tested were from a previous version with an IPX4 rating, but they seemed plenty sweatproof. One thing we’d mention is that we preferred the silicone tips during extensively sweaty sessions, as memory foam and oily water tend to have mostly a hate/hate relationship. So, we’d say these are more sweatproof than most would ever need them to be – and comes at no cost of quality, price, or comfort – so it’s a win-win.
Let’s be honest here, there was little chance we were not going to like the T5 Ultra Connect, considering that we have never been let down by a release from Rock Jaw. Our experience with them goes all the way back to 2015 and their ultra-impressive Kommand and Alfa Genus V2. And while we did receive this pair to review without cost, we are not being paid, and the praise is all our own.
Sorry Santa, Urbasm is now going to resume our normal naughty behavior… as we have already received everything on our wish list minus an interview with Helga Lovekaty (but that’s in the works).
Available on Amazon.