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Roland RH-200 impressions.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've never seen any impressions (let alone reviews) of these guys and I just opened mine up and plugged them in, so I figured I'd do a little impression of these.

Sorry, no pics of the packaging. I'll upload pics of the phones themselves later.


They come packaged in a pretty standard box, the contents of which are nothing more than the phones and some bubble wrap. Simple and classy packaging.

These things are built like a rock. They're pretty heavy, but there are metal parts absolutely everywhere. I would be shocked to see anything but extreme and utter abuse break these phones. I would say Beyer-like build quality.

They're medium-sized circumaural closed phones with a plain black, utilitarian, monitor-style look. They are after all, monitors at heart. A comfy fake leather and foam padded headband matches the leatherette earpads which are soft and squishy. There's a relatively long and thick coiled cable coming out of the left earpiece and terminates in a gold-plated 1/8" TRS connector (1/4" TRS screw-on adapter comes attached). The cable also has strain relief on the plug.

Comfort and Isolation

The phones themselves are quite comfortable and my ears are happy, but I can't say the same about the rest of my head (at least right now). These things are quite clampy, though I'm sure it's nothing a little headband-bending couldn't fix.

EDIT: Despite the rock-like build quality, wearing these headphones even for a short time loosens the headband adequately. Only a day later they're much less clampy and more comfortable.

The elliptical earpieces are set off at an angle, which is a slightly weird feeling at first. That goes away pretty soon, however.

Isolation on these guys is good, though nothing like the kind of isolation you'd achieve with even rather shallow IEMs. Nevertheless, the isolation is nothing to be scoffed at.

Sound quality

Associated equipment:
FLAC --> Winamp 5.4 --> Creative Xmod --> Denon DRA-835R --> Roland RH200

(following setup tested later)

MP3 on CD --> Numark AXIS4 --> Numark DM1050 --> Roland RH200

I will do my usual and assess song by song.

Basement Jaxx - Red Alert
The first thing to notice here is that the mids are extremely detailed, even if they are a little bit recessed compared to the bass and highs. That's not to say that the bass is bad, because it is absolutely delicious. While the highs don't really reveal themselves much in this song, the bass lick is one of my favorites and my god does it shine. It sounds positively funkalicious (for lack of a better term), extremely musical, yet very detailed at the same time. As was stated before, the highs are rather understated in this song, and they remain that way. They're not overpronounced or exaggerated. Nothing is. Even with a pretty deep bass extension, everything is in balance.

Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400
Already I hear things I've never heard before, even with my Boston Acoustics speakers. Just little background noises hidden up in the high frequencies, in delicious balance with the deep reaching bass. Though the bass may not rattle my head (even on this bass-heavy song), it keeps in balance with everything else. I could see how people with more discerning ears than mine would say that the mids would be overly recessed, but keep in mind these are 100$ headphones and minor flaws should be expected. Personally I don't mind the recession at all, especially since I'm pretty sensitive to listening fatigue.

They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng
Wow, these really bring out a facet of electric guitars I've never heard before. Unlike on previous songs, where the mids tend to seem recessed, the guitars are right up at the front (well, as up front as they get on this song), even if Linnell's voice is a bit recessed still (again, a feature of the song). I honestly have never heard Ana Ng like this, truly an incredible transformation. The guitar just sounds...radically different from what I'm used to. It has a very full, musical, and satisfying sound.

Basshunter - Camilla
The low mids and bass on this song really rock the house, but unfortunately it's not all good news this time. The upper mids and particularly the highs are brought out just a little more and seem just a tiny bit harsh. They don't lose any detail, but the musicality seems to go away and they sound rather dry. The lower registers lose a bit of their fullness as well but overall still sound great. They didn't perform quite as well on this song, but definitely above average in my book.

Pendulum - Hold Your Colour
The mids, though still recessed, take on a pleasant, airy sound to them that seems to open them up well and makes for a very laid-back and calm sound signature (particularly during the very chill intro). But when it's time for these phones to rock, they rock like nothing I've ever heard. The drum line comes to the top with a very speedy yet well controlled and musical line. Despite the detail, the harmony in the mids retains its luscious liquidity, while the vocals are open and airy. And as it should in drum and bass music, the bass beats on with a glorious musicality. A really fantastically strong performance on this song.

These are great phones for 100 dollars, especially if you like detail and get fatigued easily. I can see them performing well on all genres of music, but I'd guess that their weak points would be symphonic classical and jazz, since the mids are generally weaker than the highs or bass. Maybe my ear isn't that well trained, but I really love them.



Do not use these out of a portable player. You will be sorely disappointed, and if you wear them on the street you'll look like a massive idiot (the style factor is down there with the Sennheiser 280).

That being said, the quality of your amp doesn't seem very relevant; these sound equally good coming out of my old-yet-expensive Denon amp as they did straight from my 60 dollar Numark mixer. As long as you have a decent amp these'll sound good, but you definitely need one.
post #2 of 16
Look similar to the Audio Technica M40

Roland RH200
post #3 of 16
Maybe more similar to the M30s instead?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

nuff said.
post #5 of 16
Nice review. Did the RH200 change much during burn-in? Can you give any comparisons to other headphones that you've used? Thanks

Also, you might want to check out a simple mod that I did with foam on my JBL410 Reference here. A small amount of foam positioned under the ear pads may bring the mids forward a bit.
post #6 of 16
Nice review Phox.... Good to see some Zombie Nation love
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I guess I'll update this after a week or so once it's burned in for around a hundred hours. I may try that mod, but the recession in the mids doesn't really bother me that much since it's pretty slight.
post #8 of 16
Thanks for the review, PhoxHound. The Roland headphone line has little exposure around these parts, so this is a welcome addition. They do seem to be a bit more expensive than the venerable Sony V-series, that have a big following & high-value quotient.

Any idea what the difference between the RH-200 & RH-200S models?

I've actually been interested the top-of-the-line RH-300's:

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
The RH200S is the same as the 200, only with a silver earpiece instead of black.

The only phones I could compare them to are the HD25-SP which I don't think is really fair.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay well after some burn in time, some additional testing, etc, I find that even though they're accurate and musical, they're not particularly exciting and on classical music this leads them to occasionally be dull. They perform best on music with plenty of bass, because without the bass to balance out the mids they tend to sound uninteresting.
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by PhoxHound View Post
Okay well after some burn in time, some additional testing, etc, I find that even though they're accurate and musical, they're not particularly exciting and on classical music this leads them to occasionally be dull. They perform best on music with plenty of bass, because without the bass to balance out the mids they tend to sound uninteresting.
Monitor headphones that sound like monitor headphones?
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
Any idea what the difference between the RH-200 & RH-200S
You can read about their differences here.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post
Monitor headphones that sound like monitor headphones?
yeah, exactly. that sums it up well.
post #14 of 16

I just got me some Roland RH-200's from ebay for cheap! I love cheap vintage headphones, like my JVC's! Can't wait to try these out! 5 years since a post on the Roland's too..which makes these vintage!

post #15 of 16

yep. Pretty accurate now as 5 years ago. great detail, strong bass and definite treble presence, and slightly recessed mids. This is a fun headphone, but not a world beater sound wise. Decent for what I got them for. 

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