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Roland Headphones Underrated?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

There are incredibly few reviews of the Roland headphone line.  Here are some of the ones I've found.


Roland RH-50 (~$50):


"Simply put these are one of the most balance, flat response headphones i own bar my Stax SR-001 MKII headphones. The sound is so well balanced Bass, mid and treble, all are working together. None of them are trying to steal the show. These are not drum and bass, big bangs and crashes gaming headphones, use these if you want to get away from the usual name in commercial headphones. In fact after listening to these, you'll quickly realize how tainted other commercial headphones are.  Just try a pair." - Amazon Review


"He's wearing some highly underrated headphones tbh. Highly underrated. Roland RH50 are fantastic for the cash tbh, much better than Sony 7506 / V6." - Other Head-Fi thread


"The irony of the situation is, the RH-50 are somewhat like the "toy K-240 Studio" the K-81 thread suggested the K-81 are. Slightly elevated midrange, polite, unexaggerated, but powerful bass, clear spatial detail. They're cheaper than the K-81 (the "-50" index is the suggested price). So they fill the role the K-81 was supposed to get - "street", cheaper K-240-like headphones. Of course they don't have the detail and resolution of recabled K-240 Studio, but they're more efficient, and can work ampless with a portable player." - Head-Fi


Roland RH-300 (~$160):



A Japanese review rated this headphone 4/5 for SQ, which is very good on his scale for a sub-$300 headphone.


"So in conclusion, I believe that RH-300 is worth the extra money over M50 if balanced sound is your priority. RH-300 takes all of the strengths of M50 and eliminates most of its weaknesses. In fact, I have yet to hear a closed dynamic driver headphone in this price range that is a better all arounder than the RH-300. Shure SRH840 is pretty close, but compared to RH-300 it sounds a bit too dark and mellow and certainly needs an amp, whereas RH-300 will sound great even out of weak portables and built-in soundcards." (This reviewer noted later that the sound gained a warmer, perhaps darker tonality after burn-in) - Head-Fi


"These are the best studio phones I've ever used. Reluctantly, I purchased these without any other reviews, but my skepticism was immediately proven wrong. These Phones are the best I've ever used, owned, listened to etc. The price is pretty step, but you definitely get what you pay for. The sound is impeccable, Roland has outdone itself on this one, the comfort is outstanding, for anyone with large earlobes these are the phones, lightweight, listen for hours withouy dicomfort. Back to the sound. For studio work these perform magnificiently, every nuiance shows itself without any boost, couldn't tell any distortion when cranked up a little loud(although no need for the boost). Plus the recovery rate for a large number of fast tempo instruments is none existent. Thank You Roland for a fine piece of hardware" - Musicians Friend



Roland RH-200 (~$110):

"These are comparable to my dt 770's as far as sound quality goes, but as far as build quality, the fake leather and cheap plastic would be where they lack. Otherwise for the price, they are very accurate with a nice low end" - Musicians Friend


(There are many complaints about the build quality of this one so I won't stress this.)



Roland RH-D20 (~$160) and D30 (~$250):






Roland RH-A30 (~$210)



...NO REVIEWS!!  (what an awesome-looking headphone, though!)


Am I missing something here?  Head-Fi threads about these headphones die out quickly, and I wouldn't be surprised if this one does too.  But despite the fact that the RH-50 and RH-300 get pretty good reviews, they are rarely mentioned here.  Are there really so little people who have ever listened to these headphones?  Is it because Roland has some shady past or taboo that we boycott their headphone line? XD


Please, anyone who has these headphones, give your impressions!!  If you don't have them, at least bump this thread so people will start buying them XP

I might buy a pair of RH-300 and see for myself.

post #2 of 20

Well then, why not one take for the team and try one out and give us your impressions?  If their headphones are as impressive as some the reviews have stated then we'll a new brand to seriously consider.

post #3 of 20



Roland RH-200 ~110$





Audio Technica ATH-M30 ~$50 (according to amazon)


You decide...


post #4 of 20

Everyday i see more brands at head-fi, thats pretty interesting.

Im learning all i wanted on headphones. 

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Blindness, I totally noticed that too.  Could AT be the OEM here?  That would be interesting...

Telling from many reviews of the ATH-M30, the flatter sound signature compared to the M50's slightly emphasized bass and treble sounds in line with reviews of the RH-300.  Yet no one ever says they like the M30s better than the M50s, but one reviewer does say they like the RH300 over the M50s.


Considering that the AKG241 design is copied by many, MANY other companies, while having a completely different sound, I don't think it's definite that the RH200 and the M30 are the same headphone.

post #6 of 20

I think Roland is a bigger name in the audio industry than to simply make copies. If they'd really want their own cans they would make their own design. IMO they had these cans made by Audio Technica since they can sell it for some extra $. Also the technical specifications are the same to the last detail, impedance, response, weight, cable length, everything. Could be a coincidence but find it highly unlikely.

post #7 of 20

I think Roland really is underrated.


What's the difference between the RH-50 and RH-5?

post #8 of 20

I just knew roland had headphones two days ago in the "5 most underrated headphones brand" thread.


but now that OP details them, those are too expensive for unknown headphones. if they were cheaper Im sure there would be reviews about them. at that price and knowing nothing about them. i wont take the risk.

post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by Blindness View Post

I think Roland is a bigger name in the audio industry than to simply make copies. If they'd really want their own cans they would make their own design. IMO they had these cans made by Audio Technica since they can sell it for some extra $. Also the technical specifications are the same to the last detail, impedance, response, weight, cable length, everything. Could be a coincidence but find it highly unlikely.

x2 on the highly unlikely,


and i have heard the M30s M40fs (a friend owns them) very flat sound, but not dead flat as some i have tried. it was very detailed and easy to EQ with the computer, most comfortable full sized i have tried. ever.


edit: not M30 but M40fs lol

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

The RH200 seems to be a very obvious match.  Design, specs are pretty much identical (specs are completely identical)


But the RH300-I can't find a perfect match with AT's headphone line.  The 45mm driver is only matched by the M50s, but the impedances are different, as are the sensitivities (this one not by much though).  None of the Audio-Technica DJ series headphones have 45mm drivers, nor do the audiophile line cans.


The RH-200/M30 commonality is so strong though, so maybe the other Roland headphones are just like different AT products?  That sounds promising in its own regard if true.


By the way the R50 doesn't resemble any AT headphone I've seen...

post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by Hayang View Post


By the way the R50 doesn't resemble any AT headphone I've seen...



maybe? but the roland seems to be semi open.

post #12 of 20

I'm a happy owner of the RH-300. Indeed the RH-200 and the Audio Technica ATH-M30 must be the same, judging by the looks and specs. The RH-300 uses the same headband as those models but the driver is clearly different (45mm instead of 40 mm), and the earcups are a bit bigger.

The specs of the RH-300 and the ATH-M50s are very similar too, I wouldn't be surprised if their drivers are the same.


As for the sound, I only had an opportunity to compare the RH-300 with the ATH-M30 (RH-200) at home. The ATH-M30 sounded very well for such cheap closed cans, I thought. Nice quantity of bass, mids were clear and treble not too harsh, overall pretty neutral sounding. But if i changed to the RH-300, the sound was much more impressive. The bass goes much deeper and is very well controlled, the mids got some air around them, sounding more 'transparent', and the highs are going higher and are more defined. Also remarkable is the difference in soundstage; the ATH-M30 sounds a bit flat/ dry, the RH-300 adds some really nice depth to the sound, making it sound more like an 'open' headphone. My old Grado SR-60 offers better soundstage naturally , but for a closed headphone I think the Roland sounds great.


I was using a Beyerdynamic DJX-1 as closed cans before, and with it's 50 mm drivers the bass was evenly impressive. Those headphones where a little too dark sounding though, so when they broke down after 4 years of use I had to find another type/ brand.  In shops I compared the;


Sony MDR-7506 (exaggerated fatiguing highs, not such a deep reaching bass)

Sennheiser HD 280 pro (too hollow/ distant sounding)

Ultrasone Pro 550 (don't like their 'natural' surround sound at all)

Shure SRH440 (impressed with the sound, but Roland was more balanced and design is lighter)


with the Roland RH-300, and the decision to go for the Roland was quite easy... The RH-A30 will offer even better sound as it uses the same driver but with an open design. Anyone tried the RH-A30?


post #13 of 20

Yeah, I have them and I had RH-300 before them. They are great. Sparkly (too sparkly?), well balanced. I wish I could compare them to Sennheiser HD595, but I don't have those anymore. I think in some ways they sound similar (I might be wrong though - I know how fragile and subjective our memory can be), I liked HD595 very much, but they were too veiled in the highs and I could not use them for judging mixes, but sheer music enjoyment was immense with them (as well as watching movies).

RH-300, on the other hand, was a little subdued in the highs and maybe a touch too exaggerated in the "mud" spectrum (around 500 hz), so overall presentation was a bit too "dark", if I can use this word. I have written a full blown comparison of 7 closed headphones way back, and wasn't quite sure which one is better: ATH-M50 or RH-300 (RH-300's sound signature seemed to match my Dynaudio BM15 studio monitors a bit more closely, except for less prominent highs on the phones). Anyway, since then I've sold RH-300 and got RH-A30 instead, and still, kept my M50 (these seem to work best for judging mixes (as a different perspective to monitors)). RH-A30 are more bright (maybe even too bright for my taste, but sometimes it's good - i.e. using them with the darker sounding albums), not "boomy" at all, although they have bass in them.

Here's my comparison, for anyone interested: http://www.head-fi.org/t/575445/7-closed-headphones-vs-dynaudio-bm15-monitors-srh840-ath-m50-ath-a900-rh-300-q40-hfi680-pro-dj100-etc         

post #14 of 20

I'm familiar with the Roland brand...but mostly for their synthesizers, specifically the MT-32 LA synth and its deriatives (CM-32L, LAPC-I) that 1980s IBM PC-compatible DOS games generally used for the best sound quality. Then they brought out the SC-55 Sound Canvas and pushed the General MIDI spec, although General MIDI devices like that wouldn't sound right on games made for the MT-32 (sound effects would sound like piano keys and so forth).


As for these headphones...they might be worth a shot, especially the RH-300 (for portable use), but I'm trying to save money right now, and for what I'm looking at, even $500 may not be enough.

post #15 of 20

Yes, I have it, the RH-A30. In some reports the rating is expressed in a positive way, like that: It has a light silvery character or some light ringing for some tones. I think I can confirm, but this should be put into the right light. IMO it puts therewith some very own character to the music which is like an own timbre, so if you listen to a Yamaha piano sound it might be modified in the direction like a Steinway sounds. No recommendation therefore from my side, if you like to hear the sound close to the original. Try it before you buy it. For those who like this way of modifying the music it can be fine. I can compare it to the shure srh750dj, which has a similar brilliant sound, but performs better in the respect to reproduce the input. Nevertheless, its all IMO and may be after some hours of listening it may improve.

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