Rock Jaw is a brand that we've featured here a number of times before, and they're back with their cornerstone release; the Alfa Genus V2. Designed to be an all-round set of earphones for everyone with excellent value for money, this second version has been cleaned up, there's a new cable that's more durable and less prone to tangling and they still keep an excellent low, low price tag. Rock Jaw strives to deliver high-end sound in everyday situations without the associated price tag, so let's read on to see whether or not they've done just that with the Alfa Genus V2.
The Alfa Genus V2 are designed to be budget-friendly, but there's a lot going on here and the British brand likes to pack in as much as they can so, here's a rundown of the specs and pack-ins:
- 8mm Dynamic Drivers
- 20 – 20,000 mHz frequency response
- 16 Ohm impedance, 108+/-3db sensitivity
- 1.2 meter cable with gold-plated 3.5mm connector
- Choice of either an inline mic or no mic
- Fabric carrying pouch
- (S/M/L) silicone, (M/L) memory foam and (S) double flange eartips
- Three interchangeable filters for more bass (silver), a natural sound (gold) and more treble (black).
Design and Comfort
The Alfa Genus V2 is a fairly unassuming pair of earphones, with a black cable and metallic earbuds, there's not much to the design here. Still, this means that the new Alfa Genus should suit all styles and fashions, and the stainless steel look on the rear of the earbuds is non-committal yet classic all at the same time. The cable has changed from the old cable which was a glossy black covered braided wire, to a thicker, more durable option. The cable is just the right length and as it's so thick it gives me confidence that these aren't going to break any time soon, and they won't get too tangled if you just shove them in your bag or pocket. Plus, for those that really don't take care of their earbuds, the stainless steel shells should ensure that they last a long time as well.
As far as comfort goes, these are pretty satisfying. They rest in your ear quite nicely, and they're not too heavy either, so there's no tug effect on the cable. The extra tips included here should offer tricky customers some extra help and it's definitely a step up from what you'd normally get in a pair of earphones for this sort of price. There's a lot on offer here, and while I wish there were some colored options here, at least these are fairly neutral for both men and women, which is not something we can say for all earphones available today.
For this sort of price tag, you wouldn't expect much and in this sort of price bracket you often get a lot of colored sound. More emphasis on the lows to cover up a fairly limited driver, for instance. With the Alfa Genus V2 however, there's none of that. There are incredibly capable drivers, and while most of my listening was using the 'Natural' filter, I was pleased with some tight, controlled bass and some sweet highs as well. It's a very balanced sound signature here, and if you venture into the included filters, the bass adds a little more rough and tumble, bloating the bass a little bit while the added treble filter sadly just added some sibilance to the whole affair. If you're looking for a set of earphones with some serious bass on a budget, the Alfa Genus V2 with the bass filter will not disappoint.
There's more to them than just that however, as these are very impressive for their cost with just the natural filter installed. They have a balanced signature that doesn't put too much emphasis on anything, but still has some good bass reproduction many of us enjoy in moderation. I did at times find a little distortion or sort of added noise would come through here and there, as if the driver was struggling a little, but these times were few and far between. Nothing is going to be perfect at this sort of price, but these are very pleasing everyday earphones. Great for the commute and such, the Alfa Genus V2 can take a beating and they can be adjusted to suit your preference no matter what music you're into.
Pop from like likes of Carly Rae Jepsen and rock from the Foo Fighters sounds great with these, and even some of my favorite music from Jimmy Eat World (no judging!) that I'm more critical of sounds good. Granted, there are better options for outright sound quality out there, but they're hard to find at this sort of price range.
There are times when you don't want or need a super-mega-amazing pair of earphones, especially if your budget means you can't stretch to such niceties. For everyday listening on the daily commute and so on, it doesn't exactly make sense to take the absolute best with you every morning and for everyday listening these are great value for money. The driver is balanced and very clear, and with the added tuning filters, you can bring the bass up and bring the treble up if you want, but a holder would be nice for these. All-in-all, these are excellent value for money, they sound good, the cable is going to last a long time and they look the part as well. The Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 are in a class of their own for this price.