In August last year, we first looked at the British brand RockJaw Audio, Joe Watts contribution to the IEM scene. Back in my initial review of the company, we looked at all they currently had to offer, the Clarito (£24.95) and the Alfa Genus V2 (£43.90) and I was left concluding that RockJaw are a safe bet for low budget IEM’s. That may have been the case then but as of 2017 RockJaw has been stepping on the gas and expanding their reach.
The first but certainly not last earphone to do that is Resonate. Costing £124.95 on their website, Resonate is everything that is cool and hip in the current market. It has a hybrid driver design, tuning filters and even removable cables. These are things that people are certainly eating up right now but I can’t really say I detect any innovation with this product. Regardless of this, it seems to be doing quite well, it is currently out of stock!
Upping the Game
This is packaged in a cute little box with a window peeking in and a magnetic flap letting you into the goodies. RockJaw has done a great job with the tip offering on this one, giving a plethora of options to really let you toy with the seal you are getting, providing yet another method to adjust sound beyond the filters. You have four pairs of silicone in three sizes, two sizes of foam and even a double flange if you seek some additional isolation. Other than the tips the included accessories are quite lacking, with the same little sack as I got with the much cheaper RockJaws and a shirt clip. No jack adapters nor a more premium feeling carry pouch with the additional cost.
I am not sure if this is standard but inside the shipping box I got from the courier, I received the retail packaging and also a loose cable. I am not sure if everyone gets a spare cable as I can’t find any reference on their website but if this is the case I think it is an opportunity missed as my two cables were identical. If you do include two that is nice for piece of mind but should be used to give an extra use option. What we do get lacks memory wire and has a remote/mic unit in line. I mostly wish they included one without the mic, or even let that be a checkout option, I am a purist and don’t like anything I don’t use in my signal path.
The cable is pretty well executed. It is sheathed in fabric and uses metal on the Y-split and once again on the spring loaded jack. It would have been nice if they had gone all out with a metal mic and MMCX connectors as well but that would have only scored extra points in this department. I am super happy they took the time to make the cables detachable, even if they were swayed by the dark side (MMCX).
The housings actually remind me a lot of Dunu’s hybrid series, namely the DN-1000, which features a similar internal construction of a single balanced armature and dynamic driver. I don’t have any issues with shape but there is no denying it lacks the ergonomic expertise of the almost custom styling of models like the Oriveti New Primacy and InEar’s StageDiver series. Still, they played nice with my ears during all my listening sessions. Considering these are made of metal, they do have some heft to them as well. The main pro for their barrel-like body is that they work just as well cable over the ear as they do worn straight down. That being said with a fabric coated cabled you are best off going with an over the ear style to reduce the microphonics and also support the weight.
Turn the page for more….