Reviewing audio products is usually very simple. Audio performance is a rigid entity and the character of various equipment can change little once soldered. This is why the British designed Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 earphones are so extraordinary, because they offer adaptable sound through 3 sets of interchangeable filters. So are they the ultimate ear pleaser?
These are aesthetically really straightforward, sharing what we like to refer to as ‘bullet’ styled earphone design. They’re light, with a solid aluminium construction; and importantly this material has a good track record of adding flattering acoustics to sound output. Additionally the cable at all end pieces has extra coatings to prevent them from splitting. This 1.2m cable is unusual because it’s so thick that it assists in not tangling itself in your jeans' pockets.
The first issue we have with the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 earphones is the absence of a remote for playback controls. But what gets our heads scratching even more-so is that there’s only £1 difference if you opt for the remote/mic option? On a more positive note, memory foam tips in medium and large sizes are bundled in the box - safe to say we used nothing else and our ears enjoyed the moulded experience throughout. Alternatively four sets of silicone tips (encompassing XS/S/M/L) are also bundled.
Each is colour coded: black=treble, gold=natural and silver=bass. They’re tiny little screw-in contraptions that have a habit of dropping on the floor and getting lost - we’d strongly recommend never to attempt interchanging on public transport or in open outdoor areas! We keep ours in the supplied carry pouch for safe keeping and whilst they’re not overly complicated to attach, you wouldn't want to be doing this to suit your every song choice, because you have to pull away the ear tip and unscrew and re-screw the filters twice.
Silver Bass Filter: We can say with confidence that this system works and it’s kind of like having three sets of earphones in a weird way. The silver bass ones definitely increase the bass frequencies so that they’re deeper and more resonate - they can consequently occasionally be guilty of drowning out the other frequencies. The song ‘Grace Kelly’ by Mika exhibits tinny instrumentals and vocals that sound a bit dull and really the treble is too often hindered for us to consider this filter as worthy for general listening. Simpler tracks that lean in overall tone towards the darker end of the sound spectrum like ‘Need Somebody to Love’ by Andy Suleiman have phenomenally rich vocals and deep bass lead instrumentals when using these filters.
Black Treble Filter: Basically the black tips evidently dilute the degree of bass response and the by-product of this is more treble. We’re not overly keen of this style, and if it was the default style of the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 we’d only award them a 2-3 star rating. However, we’re more than aware that certain styles of music deserve weaker bass to be truly appreciated. In general, though, they’re too screechy when all audio frequencies are busy and the bass sounds exceptionally thirsty.
Gold Natural Filter: And with the gold ones equipped we’re supposed to be left with a natural balanced sound; but we’d argue that these definitely lean on bass response and deliver an exciting sound with more volume. Not at all a bad thing, and incidentally, they’re our favourite filters for general broad spectrum genre listening. The balance between the frequencies is more coherent, and if we play the erratic ‘Grace Kelly’ by Mika again, it doesn't sound anywhere near as tinny or dull as it did with the bass filter. Stereo performance is also better understood, and the soundstage encompasses the stereo fairly well given the £45 price range. We were particularly taken by the vocal pronunciation and its separation from other instrumental elements. The intro to the song ‘Hit ‘Em Up Style’ by Carolina Chocolate Drops was a remarkably ambient and exciting playback.
The three sets of interchangeable filters do genuinely alter the mood of audio playback, so the Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 earphones achieve what they’re specifically designed for; allowing for the fact that whilst two of the three filters offer the stated reward, they also remove other areas of audio playback. For the £44.99 price, we’d recommend options with less complicated straight out of the box rich sound - like the £50 FIDUE A65 earphones.