18 May 2015

REVIEW: Ted Baker Rockall Headphones

Rock on.

What you put on your ears is just as much as fashion statement as what you wear. So it's no surprise that leading clothing brand Ted Baker have branched out into the audio world to create a range of speakers and headphones. To find out is both shirts and headphones can indeed be cut from the same cloth, we gave a pair of their over-ear cans a whirl, the Ted BakerRockall.

In the past it is the over-ear headphones that has always impressed us the most. Despite usually being more expensive than their on-ear and in-ear cousins, over-ear headphones reproduce a fantastic amount of clarity and depth - regardless of manufacturer - because they completely cover your ears and block out external noise. That is just what the Rockall headphones are, and just like the many other makes out there, the bigger they are, the more gorgeous they look.

It goes without saying that a company concerned with how its products appear would make a very attractive pair of cans, and the Rockall possess a pleasing mix of retro styling and modern curves. The cans and much of the band is crafted from stainless steel, while the ear cushions are softly padded leather. There is enough flex in the band and twist around the headphone joints to make them exceptionally comfortable to wear, with the leather padding forming a nice seal around the lugholes.

The Ted Baker Rockall Headphones are also foldable, which is quite rare for over-ear headphones and very welcome. The included carry case is a clear sign that the fashionistas at Ted Baker would like their customers to use the Rockalls on the go, unlike other manufacturers who might assume over-ear users are doing so at home while reclining on an armchair. Also, as they are wired headphones, you get a cable with a remote included. Weirdly, the cable is required to be plugged into both cans to work, which was a little strange as most modern headphones require just a single wire to snake up to them. Why this is exactly, we don't know, but it did mean that the cable was often a bit more tangled than standard single connections when pulling it free from the case.

However, once that is sorted and the Rockalls are on your head, how do they fare? Well, okay we guess. Despite sounding very good, with the comfortable design lending itself to long listening sessions, the Ted Baker Rockalls are just okay. We weren't massively wowed by the quality of sound reproduction, but we weren't disappointed in any way either. Everything sounded crisp and clear, but the bass wasn't a deep as we would have liked, and the treble wasn't as smooth. When testing them our minds kept constantly drifting back to the price. At time of review the Rockalls are listed on the Ted Baker website as costing £179.95*. We think that might be a tad too much, as the musical quality really wasn't much more immersive than the recently reviewed Sennheiser Momentums at just £129.99.

So, to reiterate, the problem we have with the Ted Baker Rockall Over-ear Headphones isn't with the product itself, which we truly think are a good set of headphones. It is the price that has been slapped onto them that we think has missed, and if they came in at fifty quid less (which might be the case further down the line) we'd be much happier.

*Now down to just £39.99 at www.amazon.co.uk

© The Test Pit

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