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Rock Jaw i3D review

Dual driver earphones for under £50 promise much but deliver little

Our Verdict

They look great, they're very comfortable and people will think you've spent a fortune on them. It's just a shame that the sound quality is worse than bad: we tested three pairs and they were all dreadful.

For

  • They look good
  • Orange cables!

Against

  • They sound really bad
  • Outclassed by cheaper options

Dual driver earphones are usually quite expensive so the Rock Jaw i3D earbuds for a hair under £50 caught our interest.

Rock Jaw says its philosophy is to bring high-end sound quality down into the realms of affordability which is marketing spiel we've heard many times before with varying degrees of credibility - but we like the idea in principle.

"There is the old saying 'that you get what you pay for', but is this strictly true? We don't think so," says the Rock Jaw website alarmingly.

We're big believers in the 'you get what you pay for' adage because generally it's true with gear like this – if you want top-quality sound you have to pay for it. It's about expertise, materials, machining, construction, calibration... those things don't come free of charge, it's just a fact.

And so it's with a degree of predictability that the Rock Jaw i3D earphones disappoint about as ruinously as any sound gear we've used in a long time.

Why so bad?

We tested with a variety of music types and on a number of different output devices but the Rock Jaw i3D's sound universally awful across the board.

We couldn't find a single track that these things don't mangle to the point of sonic catastrophe. Despite each bud containing 6mm and 11mm drivers in an attempt to deliver clarity across the soundscape, the resulting output is murky and unrefined.

We don't expect the world for less than £50, but we absolutely do demand some kind of balance and these things are so unbalanced as to make listening to them very uncomfortable.

There's no definition at the high end at all, with everything squished aggressively and mercilessly into a muddy mess in the lower midrange. Bass bulges and splutters out of control underneath in a way that scratches and rubs instead of soothes and strokes. There is no finesse to the sound, no definition or clarity.

To make things worse, the £50 price point has always been a bit of a sweetspot for earphones - for that you've always been able to pick up a pair of single-driver Shure's or Sennheisers that sound worlds better than this.

But even if you ignore those excellent options, we've used £10 earphones that sound comfortable, balanced and far more preferable in comparison to these from Rock Jaw.

Verdict

The product looks great, they're comfortable to wear and they don't look cheap. The problem is that they sound worse than bad and it's for this reason we simply wouldn't dream of recommending them to anyone.

We tested three samples of the Rock Jaw i3D. The first one was broken and the second two were equally poor in performance

Tech Specs

Product TypeEarset
Earpiece TypeBinaural
Driver Size11 mm
Minimum Frequency Response20 Hz
Maximum Frequency Response20 kHz
Connectivity TechnologyWired
Brand NameRockJaw
Form FactorIn-ear
Sound ModeStereo
Host InterfaceMini-phone
Cable Length1.20 m
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Earpiece DesignEarbud
Microphone DesignOn-cable
FeaturesTangle-free Cable
ManufacturerRockJaw
Product Modeli3D
Product Namei3D Ear Buds
Impedance16 Ohm
Manufacturer Part NumberRJi3DEJGTL
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.rock-jaw.co.uk
Marketing Information

Featuring dual driver designed for a more spacious, defined sound, each earpiece contains 11mm and 6mm drivers to deliver bass, mid and high frequencies.

Our ROCK JAW i3D earphones/buds offer a beautiful detailed sound with sharp highs, detailed mid range and punchy bass.

Beautifully crafted in light weight aluminium with flat wires for less tangle and in-built MIC with on/off function.

Each set of ROCK JAW i3D earphones also comes with 3 different size ear tips to allow the best comfort and best sound delivery.

Do your music justice and listen to your favourite music on a pair of ROCK JAW i3D earphones.

Package Contents
  • i3D Ear Buds
  • 3 x Different size ear tips
MaterialAluminium
Limited Warranty1 Year