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Rock Jaw Audio Resonate

Rating:
4/5,
  1. jant71
    Rock Jaw Resonate - Nearly Really Good
    Written by jant71
    Published Apr 30, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Handsome and Ergonomically Solid Design.
    Tuning Filters.
    Removable cable.
    Solid Sound With or Without Amping.
    Cons - Other offerings At The Same Price Offer Two cables.
    Cables Transmits Noise and Likes To tangle.
    Stock Tips Do Not Optimize Fit And Sound.
    Filter Length Is Short For The large And Weighty Housings.
    Pouch Instead Of A Hard Case.
    Today I'd like to talk about the Rock Jaw Audio Resonate in-ear headphones. I was among the lucky few to be chosen for a 7 day slot on the U.S. tour of the Resonate in exchange for my honest opinion of them. Many thanks to Joe of Rock Jaw Audio!

    The Resonate can be found and ordered here:
    https://rockjawaudio.glopal.com/en-..._GB&utm_medium=pr&utm_source=rockjawaudio.com

    The Resonate retails for ~$160(exact price depends on current exchange rate).

    The Specs:
    • Drivers: Balanced armature + 8mm dynamic - Hybrid
    • MMCX detachable cables
    • 3x Interchangeable tuning filters
    • Can be worn as a standard earphone, or upside down with the cable over the ear
    • Compatible with iOS / Android Windows Smartphones
    • Impedance: 16 Ohm
    • Sensitivity: 103+/-3dB
    • Frequency response: 20 – 20000Hz
    • Cord Length: 1.25M
    • Jack type: Gold plated 3.5mm (spring loaded)
    • MIC with universal pause/play button
    • Eartips included: (S/M/L) silicone | (M/L) memory foam | (S) double flange.
    • Resonate comes with a 12 month standard warranty
    The Resonate is an earphone with tuning capability. 3 Pairs of interchangeable filters are include and explained as such (taken directly from the product page):

    TUNING FILTERS EXPLAINED BY COLOUR
    Fusion (Yellow tuning filter) = Reference class. How the artist intended. A fun and exciting middle ground of all frequencies combined.

    Emotion (Blue tuning filter) = Treble. Offering a reduced bass sound signature with more detail on the upper mids and treble.

    Energy (Green tuning filter) = Bass. Whilst keeping plenty of detail in the music.

    The Resonate come in understated yet handsome black box with a magnetic flap and front window panel to display the earpieces and filters...
    IMG_0408.JPG

    Opening the box reveals the ear tip selection...
    IMG_0410.JPG

    The Resonate with it's cloth covered cable attached. The cable has a mic/remote for use with iOS and Android phones...
    IMG_0411.JPG

    In my many years frequenting Head-fi, I have had experience with hundreds of earphones, headphones, and earbuds. The Resonate earphones like to incorporate some of the current trends. I have had experience with them all before. Tuning filters to help adjust the sound to one's liking, They also adopt the current favorite MMCX connectors for their removable cables. They employ a hybrid design with 1 armature and 1 dynamic driver per side. The Resonate also use the offset strain housing design.

    Design:
    I like what they were thinking with the Resonate design. Good ideas but with okay execution. Some may dislike MMCX especially the type that allows spinning like the Resonate do. Assuming you do not plug and unplug often MMCX should be fine. I have had nothing but a perfect connection in my time with the Resonate.

    My issue is more with the Resonate cable. The cloth covering is not the softest and it transmits rubbing noise quite a bit. The cable itself is a bit thin above the Y join and really likes to tangle. A cord slider may have been nice as well. The mic unit is positioned on the left side and a bit lower for both over ear and straight down wearing. The cable does use a nice spring strain relief on the 3.5mm straight plug.

    The housings have an offset strain design that routes the cable entry point off the front and towards the outside edge of the housings making them easy to grasp for insertion and removal. The filters screw in the center of the front of the housings. The housing are fairly large and weightyy so I need to go up a tips size to L for a secure fit since the filters are not quite long enough for me. I am fairly average and usually M size tip person. Certainly necessary when moving about such as on your commute.

    Overall the design is good in it's ideas but could use some changes to make it perform as well as it could in real world use. SCORE: 7.25 out of 10

    Accessories:
    The Resonate come with a good array of accessories. Different styles of tips(foam, single, and bi-flanges), a clip, a suede look pouch, and of course the filters. I do feel that at the $160 price the quality of these accessories is only so-so. At least a handful of competitor options add a second non-mic cable which is absent here. The pouch could have been a cheap clam shell zip case and both upped the kit's cache and protected the Resonate better and had a pocket to store tips/filters. The included single flange tips are a bit narrow in the front for the previously mentioned short filter / large housing combination. They really don't aid as much as they could in getting the best fit/seal. I also don't hear them giving the Resonate it's best sound. They leave a bit of SQ on the table compared to others I have in my collection. For example, a wider bore will give a more open and airy sound than the stock tips do. SCORE: 7.25 out of 10

    Sound:
    The Resonate sound comes down mostly to the filters. Overall they present a technically capable sound with price equivalent clarity and detail. The bass extension is solid but not special as is the treble extension. The treble is fairly evident regardless of filter. The F.R. also varies with filter. They perform nearly exactly as stated. Green leans to a bass slanted response. Blue leans to a brighter treble slant and the yellow is the most even and also the most cohesive to my ears. The green filters do add a slight bit of low bass extension to it. Blue adds brightness but not more treble reach to my ears.

    The dynamic driver is solid giving tight and quick bass that both provides detail w/o ever really losing the ability to separate and pick out an above average amount of detail up and through to the mids. The green filter adds a just more than noticeable amount that you can discern but doesn't hurt the previously mentioned ability. The bass has both proficient and fun nature. Bassheads may need EQ as 2 of the 3 choices give "reduced" and "reference" bass amount and the green adds a limited amount. The Resonate seem to EQ well enough if you wish to further add to the tunability via that route.

    Outside of the yellow "reference" filter, the armature does come the slightest bit too apparent and can be a bit bright depending on source. Green filters bass is just a bit less clean and clean compared to the high end to these golden ears :) Then on the other end of things the blue filters bass may be bit too light on the presence/impact for some. Not enough bass there to really hit down low though a good amp will certainly kick up the Resonate's overall bass kick.

    The Resonate has a slightly above average stage that does like some power to open up even more. A good amount of separation makes most everything in the mix be able to be picked out. Slight improvement on this ability in the low end with the blue and yellow filters since they take a bit of meat off the bass notes than the green filter.

    The Resonate has a pretty natural tone and has a good blend of fun color with some realism and accuracy. The basic sound should appeal to most and of course can be push some to a particular signature within reason.
    SCORE: 8 out of 10

    Comparisons:
    IMG_0413.JPG

    Resonate vs. Elecom EHP-CH1010:
    Resonate add removable cables and filters but CH1010 is half the price and does come with better single flange tips and a nicer looking leather look pouch. Elecom has a more agreeable cable and the brass housing are more elegant to me. The smaller size is helps the Elecom's similar offset design fit easier and more stably than the Resonate for me.

    Across my devices the two earphones are nearly a draw in SQ except for the Elecom's synergy with Sony Minidisc where it sounds bigger and more natural. Otherwise they perform on technically the same level with the Elecom being darker and with less of a high end lean.
    IMG_0420.JPG
    Resonate vs. Brainwavz B150:
    Different form factors. Resonate is straight down design that can be worn over ear though the B150 trumps it for over ear fit and the B150 can only be worn over ear due to the formed ear guides.

    Even with the best tips that make the B150 brighter and push a bit more detail, the Resonate wins in the SQ dept. They sound a bit cleaner and detailed and bigger in stage size. Bass reach is a win for resonate. The B150 is trying to sound more like a dynamic and the Resonate trying to be tight and a bit bright so the armature powered B150 has no speed edge on the resonate even down low. The blue filter has a bit less bass and bass punch than how the B150 armature is tuned.

    IMG_0415.JPG

    Resonate vs. Pioneer CH9T:
    Pioneer is a bit cheaper at $129 in the US but also has sparser accessories and also a pouch instead of a case. Pioneer has MMCX removable cables and is able to be worn both ways. Pioneer cable is a good deal better than the Resonate cable regarding noise transmission and tangling..
    Sound goes to the Pioneer as a bigger and more natural sound. The wide-band dynamic drivers out reach the Resonate's hybrid set-up a bit on both ends. A bigger stage, more textured bass, sweeter vocals, and smoother but equally detailed treble edge out the Resonate by a bit on most SQ traits. The single driver is more natural and cohesive and can just sound a bit more realistic. Pioneer goes with a single higher quality driver with some higher quality materials like brass and a special air flow design instead of going hybrid.

    Value:
    There was a nice 40% discount but at the full US$160 price I would like those few things previously mentioned like better silicone tips, a step up to at least a basic zip case, a better cable design, and perhaps an improved filter set that was a bit longer. Sound is solid at the price and tuning is a nice option though I might like another filter with even more bass than the green and another with even more treble reduction for greater versatility.
    SCORE: 7.25 out of 10

    Overall:
    Overall I want to like the Rock Jaw Resonate more than I actually do. For me they could do some things better than they do. The design is good but not quite realized to the full potential. Just a bit more to be had with regards to fit, cable, and the accessory kit.
    OVERALL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10
      Badder and Dsnuts like this.
    1. Badder
      Excellent review. How does the Resonate compare against the CH9T in terms of noise isolation? Thanks.
      Badder, Mar 21, 2018
    2. jant71
      Like pretty much most others categories the Resonate would lose vs. the Pioneer. Pretty clear that one comes from a major brand and the other a smaller outfit. The design is just more mature so fit, isolation, and looks are a notch above with the CH9T.
      jant71, Mar 21, 2018
      Badder likes this.
  2. ngoshawk
    Simple straigtforward filtering system highlights an excellent foray back into the mid-fi market
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Apr 23, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sound stage, 3 easy to use filters (cheap to replace, too), clean lines, easy to fit up or down. Overall sound above average.
    Cons - Cable...It tangles way too easily, cloth bag (but really not a big deal), not really much.
    Initial & information from the Rock Jaw website:

    I happened across the Rock Jaw sponsor page listing the need to review their Resonate BA-Hybrid IEM. Not knowing much about either, I threw my hat into the ring, and did my research. In the course of waiting (which is hard, but kind of a cool game to play), Joe posted more information at the request of some, and updated us on where the tour stood. Before choosing the reviewers, Joe posted a poignant video about what has been happening across the pond (in US, I am…) with him, as well as some philosophical Chautauqua, with us dear readers. It was heartfelt, and much appreciated. I have always been of the opinion, that even if you expose yourself weaknesses, it is better to be honest up front. You know what you are getting, when that is done. And it is much appreciated.

    So after watching the vid a couple of times, and with responses pouring in, Joe announced the tour. I was very humbled to be chosen for the tour. A small, but dedicated group, we turned out to be as it turns out. I find myself on my final listen with the Resonate as I scribe this introduction. I mention near the end, how confused I was as to why I liked the Resonate. I was thoroughly befuddled. I am still, a bit; but this is good. For it shows that I do like the little critter, and accept what it is. A very good mid-fi entry into a crowded Balanced Armature-Hybrid In Ear Monitor. It does not pretend to be some super-new-all-encompassing IEM. It does not promote itself as the next “be all/end all” for a hybrid. In fact, it does not presuppose at all…The RockJaw Resonate lets the filter system guide you down the line of musical choice. And along that path, you will encounter some hiccups, but I consider those to be the bumps on a wonderfully hilly mountain bike ride, adding to the experience. Not taking away. Showing the true character of the Hybrid, just like Joe did, in the video. And that makes it good and well in my book.

    My review sample was provided by Joe all the way from the Midlands in England to the middle of the US of A, for the sole purpose of a proper and honest review. Nothing monetarily was gained from this partnership, just a chance to provide a manufacturer with an open and honest review. My time was short, but well worth it, and by the time you read this, the unit will be on its way back east to the next reviewer. And I will say it is pretty cool tracking shipments such as this on the web. We take that journey with the item in choice, before they take us for their journey.

    Thank you Joe, aka @RockJaw for this honor.

    [​IMG]

    Background from the Rock Jaw English site:

    Liberate Your Listening

    Innovation is at the core of the Resonate, featuring the latest in hybrid technology. A balanced armature combined with our powerful dynamic driver delivers superior sound and immense freedom to enjoy music the way you intended.
    With not one but three signature sounds, your Resonate can adapt to your musical needs with a simple change of the included tuning filters.
    Fusion, Energy and Emotion – you’ve got to experience them all!

    And from the Rock Jaw US site:

    Take control of your music

    It’s a pleasure to welcome Rock Jaw Resonate to the family. We can’t wait for you to get acquainted!

    Liberate Your Listening

    Innovation is at the core of the Resonate, featuring the latest in hybrid technology. A balanced armature combined with our powerful dynamic driver delivers superior sound and immense freedom to enjoy music the way you intended.
    With not one but three signature sounds, your Resonate can adapt to your musical needs with a simple change of the included tuning filters.
    Fusion, Energy and Emotion – you’ve got to experience them all!

    Comfort for Any Commute

    Whether you are super-active or just want to kick back and listen to some great tunes, the Resonate has you covered.
    The earphone casing is designed to effortlessly grip your ear – running, walking, sitting and everything in between.

    Dependable Design

    Rock Jaw Resonate headphones are British-engineered, utilising an elegant, lightweight aluminium housing.
    For the first time in a Rock Jaw IEM we are pleased to include a detachable micro-miniature coaxial (MMCX) cable, delivering premium sound isolation combined with limitless upgrade and customisation potential.
    "Our tuning filters are colour coded and each offers a different sound 'signature' to help you fine tune you're listening experience."

    The reason I post both (and it was hard to get the UK version to show, I kept getting re-directed to the US site) is that they contain different information, both of which are pertinent to the character of the Resonate. The complimentary information was much appreciated, as each side of the pond, so to speak provided necessary info. Take a look back, and I do believe you will agree. Enough said there, enjoy the reading.

    th-1.jpg


    Upon receiving the Resonate, I was a bit taken aback at how small the package itself was. I love getting packages from overseas, because of the different packaging and this was no different. I keep the envelopes, and reuse them when I send the units on to the next, as packing material. Call it a souvenir from its journey into the heartland, and before.

    Opening the simple package, one is presented (as you open, you can see the IEM through a plastic pane) with the IEMs, the two non-mounted filter colors, and a total of six pairs of tips (one mounted). On the pair I received, the double-flange silicons were mounted. Not one to question a manufacturers choice of tips mounted (my Nova review covers that what with the mounted Complys, Ken provided…), I left that alone until I had a chance to audition for a fair bit of time

    Lifting the two-piece foam out you are presented with a foam lined tray, the instruction manual, a clip for working out, the storage bag, and the cable; complete with a three button microphone system. Nothing exotic or fancy, just the goods. Too often, I do believe we are spoiled by the wares manufacturers shower upon us within their packages…not here. Just the real deal, which to me means the they care more about the IEM itself as opposed to the “boutique” items. Simple in presentation. I like it.

    DSC_0190.jpg


    A word about the cable itself. Covered in a tight-weave fabric, and fairly thin, it is a nice cable with a reinforced spring at the jack end…and, once you determine how it should be rolled for packing it is much better. I did a fair bit of cursing at how tangled it would get, until I figured rolling the cable on three fingers (the way I do all of my IEM’s) was the most efficient, and allowed for a non-knotting cable. Once this is done, one needs only be aware that the MMCX cable fits rather snugly in the drawstring bag provided as protection. I would have preferred a case, but when you factor in the cheap cost of a reasonable case, you really do not mind. Again, simple in presentation, and functional. The cable, once you are careful is quite nice. But be aware, tangles are lurking…

    DSC_0189.jpg


    On first listen, I worked fit, and cable placement trying to determine what the best fit/placing would be for me. I will say, that I had a fair bit of confusion, and trouble determining what exactly would be best. The mounted double-flange silicons did not work for me. They were thin sounding, weak, and with much less than ideal isolation. I will say that most manufacturers take the middle ground when mounting tips…they go medium, and unless specified, usually silicons. My right ear canal is slightly wider, and I have often thought of trying two different sized tips…but not today.

    Taking the silicons off, and mounting the appropriate sized Complys, I fiddled with fit and placement again (getting better, and now after my time easy-peasy to do), then turned on the sound…Aaaaahhhh much better. Isolation was good (above average), fit was very good (cable run over ear) MMCX connection at 40-45 degrees forward, I sat back and enjoyed. And enjoy I did. Fit in-ear is easy for my average sized ears, and comfortable. The IEM stays put, too. No movement, even on the one run I made with them in. I never had to adjust the IEM. The cable? Until I had that placing down pat, I was constantly adjusting the over-ear run. Almost like tucking bangs of hair behind my ear, it became habit. Until I reached the 45 degree forward placement of the IEM. Then all was good, and even the cable stayed in place.

    So long story short (too late…), the Resonate takes a fair bit of adjusting to get right, but in the end, I consider that a minor annoyance on that journey the Resonate is taking me on…There is a fair bit of microphonics with the cable run down. Much less when the cable is run over-ear.

    The Green filter bass oriented, but still quite hot up top, to me. It was the tip I used for 90% of my testing. My hope is that the other two reviewers will test the Blue and Yellow. I did enjoy the other filters, but preferred the Green.

    DSC_0181.jpg
    DSC_0191.jpg


    I was wowed by the excellent sound stage. A wide, tall and deep stage it is while the IEM itself is quite easy to drive. Instrumentation is not the most clear, providing not a lot of separation. That said, you can still pick out the finer details of the music in question. Just not as easily as with my Aria or FLC8S for instance. The Resonate does combine well with the iFi iDSD BL and MacBook Pro. Easy to use…once you get past the initial trials with fit and tip.

    To me, I heard a big push of mids. Not forward, but bulbous in nature…bleeding into the treble and bass, but almost caressing them, enveloping them…A nice arms-around to the highs and lows feeling is a good way to describe the sound.

    A microphonic cable-but a well built one is included. I heard fewer microphonics, when run over ear, though…The cable is a thin, mostly tangle free set up using the standard MMCX connections. This is a nice benefit, because one can upgrade to a really nice MMCX cable in the future, should one desire. there is a spring attachment at jack end, which helps prevent stress from wearing the cable too quickly...I like it. A sure and easy to attach cable is the result, and it is labeled with their logo, too. When run down, microphonics are present, and fairly noticeable. Upon initial unwinding of the cable, it becomes a web of tangled spaghetti…not what I really like (the tangle of cable that is...). That said, I DO really like to tactility of the cable, but it just becomes a hot mess, when trying to undo…Once I started folding it over three fingers carefully, the tangled mess disappeared. So you can work around the mess.


    Later listenings:

    Approximately 10 hours into my sessions, SOME settling in was heard…Bass is more controlled, and fairly tight. Decay was still rather slow, which bled into the mids. More detail is listed below.

    Specs:


    1. Drivers: Balanced armature + 8mm dynamic - Hybrid
    2. MMCX detachable cables
    3. 3x Interchangeable tuning filters
    4. Can be worn as a standard earphone, or upside down with the cable over the ear
    5. Compatible with iOS / Android Windows Smartphones
    6. Impedance: 16 Ohm
    7. Sensitivity: 103+/-3dB
    8. Frequency response: 20 – 20000Hz
    9. Cord Length: 1.25M
    10. Jack type: Gold plated 3.5mm (spring loaded)
    11. MIC with universal pause/play button
    12. Eartips included: (S/M/L) silicone | (M/L) memory foam | (S) double flange.



    Filter system:

    From the RockJaw website:

    TUNING FILTERS EXPLAINED BY COLOUR
    Fusion (Yellow tuning filter) = Reference class. How the artist intended. A fun and exciting middle ground of all frequencies combined.
    Emotion (Blue tuning filter) = Treble. Offering a reduced bass sound signature with more detail on the upper mids and treble.
    Energy (Green tuning filter) = Bass. Whilst keeping plenty of detail in the music.

    There are 3 filters; Fusion, Emotion and Energy (Gold, Blue, Green respectively) supplied with the Resonate. Each filter screws into the head of the driver nozzle in a few quick seconds. They care quite slippery, though…Fusion is a most neutral sound of the three (my least favorite) while Emotion provides a reduced bass and increased treble signature. Energy - increases bass response and reduces some of the treble energy. Just like @Takeanidea, I too like this filter the best.

    I will say that when using the green filter in conjunction with an amp, bass can become quite untidy and boomy. I found this to be the case with my iFi Black Label, and the Bass Boost switch turned on. With Emotion (blue), I found myself pleasantly surprised. I really liked this treatment in conjunction with the Black Label. The bass became tamed, with enough thrust to satisfy me. I was also able to listen to the songs a bit easier…less rumble from the Bass Boost/Green combo was a satisfying result.

    The ability to quickly (but CAREFULLY) change filters is a nice alternative to EQ’s. In a matter of 30 seconds, I could change, and be back to listening. I could see using the enhanced bass filter (Green), in home listening; while the Blue (decreased bass, enhanced treble) would be good for a workout session with a lot of background noise.

    Speaking of which, I did find the isolation to be quite good. After a quick listen, which I found to be quite weak with the mounted silicons, I switched to the Comply’s…aaahhhh….much better. Isolation, emphasized bass, a better fit and an excellent wide, high and deep sound stage was the result, TO ME.

    DSC_0180.jpg DSC_0179.jpg





    Gear used/compared:

    MacBook Pro/iFi iDSD Micro Black Label
    Fiio x5iii/A5
    iPhone 6+

    Vibro Labs Aria
    FLC8S
    thinksound ON2


    MBP/BL:

    What a lovely combination! The Resonates simply sing through the BL. Whether flat, or with the Bass Boost on or in conjunction with the 3D switch on, the combo is just superb. My only qualm is that with my favored filter (green), the upper mids/treble still run too hot for my taste, and the aforementioned bass-bleed (a bit). So, as a result I could not really drive the Resonate’s the way I would have liked. There is something said, for a lower volume, especially if it is a quality sound coming out!

    Kitchen Sink by twenty one pilots, was almost magical in quality. That soft underlying Far East sound belies a song with huge lyrics. Brought together by not only Tyler, but his brother; the end result through the Resonate is an excellent example of why the Rock Jaw interpretation is pretty darn good. The soft bass tone brought together by Josh’s drums, the soft undertone of female voice, and the piano, oh the piano. You wait, on the edge for each note, almost falling off when it saves you at that precipice. And you are glad, because you get to enjoy the rest of the song, in that solitary moment…then you hit replay, just so you can feel that again...and again.

    I must say, that the Resonate excelled here, showing its true color (green, if you have to ask). Bass was solid not bleeding too much into the mids, with faster decay, mids retreating to where they should be, in this song…support for the exquisite vocals, and…that…piano…at the front, only trumped by Tyler’s far reach of voice coming in distorted, but the way it should be…falling back to true. Ended by the piano, of course. An exquisite song, and an exquisite listen through the Resonate. I am impressed.

    DSC_0179.jpg


    FiiO x5iii/A5:

    A pleasant change streaming Tidal through the x5iii. Having recently just picked up the FiiO L17 cable, I decided what a better way to audition the cable than with the Resonates….And quite the audition it was!

    Guns for Hands, by twenty one pilots was quite satisfying. Full, deep rich of tone, good reach of bass, with the bass boost switch turned on the A5, my initial reaction was that this combo provided a slightly warmer set up than the MBP/BL. Nothing Scientific mind you, but quite pleasing and an excellent portable sound coming out of all three. The Bass Boost switch overcame the lack of Tidal-streaming bass quite nicely. I enjoyed this combination, and would happily settle for such a set up on on a commute; or as an office portable unit. The trio would make a wonderful traveling kit, all had for less than $750 US. quite a bargain.

    Listening to my native SD music on the Resonate/FiiO trifecta was a treat to be cherished. Sifting through on shuffle mode, I was treated to Los Lonely Boys, Dire Straits, Ziggy Marley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan all on my time playing the Resonate. All sounded true to the musician, albeit the Bass Boost I added and the green filter. In a nutshell, this is a very nice affordable combination, which will last you a good bit of time...Favor EDM? change to the Blue filter. Orchestral or Spanish Guitar? Yellow. Heavy Metal? Go Green. Yet again, the ease of changing filters makes tuning an ease.


    IEM Comparisons:


    FLC8S ($309) v Resonate ($157):

    To me, there is better grab and bass from the FLC8S, as expected. Mids more forward, but treble, toned down and less prominent with the FLC8S. Resonate holds its ground here. Both systems used bass-oriented tuning. Green for Resonate, black/red/gunmetal (out to in) for FLC8S. The Resonate held up well here, but suffered from a less-than-full sound to me. The FLC8S provided the full meal so to speak, while the Resonate might be considered drive thru. Nothing wrong with that on occasion, though.

    A more “brittle” sound was had by the Resonate v the FLC8S. Bass was good and solid, but the mids/treble tried too hard to compete sounding, to me as if they were straining to keep up. Kind of like that runner, who knows they are outmatched, but darned if they will quit! I applaud the Resonate here, because without a side-by-side with the FLC8S, they are quite acceptable. A quite decent sound, in their own right, they do provide. Only in comparison (albeit not fair, what with 2x the price and a multitude of more tuning options), do they fall behind the FLC8S. Standing alone, the Resonate has nothing to be ashamed of, not at all.


    Vibro Labs Aria ($499) v Resonate ($157):

    Again, not a fair comparison, but when you want to run with the big dogs, you aim high! Again, through no fault of the Resonate, the Aria provides a much more full sound. Better at bass, mids and treble; one would think this is a walkover. Almost, which should be applauded because the Resonate tries very hard (not like the runner in the FLC8S comparison) to mimic the bass signature of the Aria. And to me it does so, pretty well. While the Aria has more bass, is better contained, and of better quality; the Resonate comes so close, that one would be pretty satisfied knowing you spent 1/3 the cost, for a really solid sound signature. To be applauded, indeed! Again, acceptable and appreciated.


    RHA CL750 ($140) v Resonate ($157):

    I like the RHA, quite a bit. It provides a cleaner, more crisp sound than the Resonate, but at the cost (to me) of near-sibilant treble, and an OOOHHH so hard to drive stance. Clarity really is quite good with the RHA, but unfortunately, for me it is overshadowed by the two discrepancies I mention…drive-ability, and sibilant trebles. While maybe sibilant is the wrong word, but those trebles are hot. Too hot for me.

    Where the Resonate wins here, is in its overall signature. Almost like the Midlands winning over the Scottish Highlands, if you will. A more pleasant rolling character, versus those jagged peaks of the Cuillin Mountains. While beautiful to look at, they are quite sharp in nature. Mind you, I wouldn’t turn down a trip to the Cuillin’s, as I’ve never been, but are quite an extreme environment, watching Danny Macaskill’s excellent video of the region. I could happily listen to the Resonates for long periods…the CL750’s? Not without pretty severe EQing.

    1176906406th.jpg 1959159282th.jpg

    English Midlands vs Scottish Cuillin's




    Finale:

    I find myself torn…I do like the Resonate, but cannot really fathom why. It is not that I am puzzled why I like them, I just don’t understand. This is not a knock, that I wasn’t expecting to like them, or that I shouldn’t, or that I think it is not a good set (oh no, they are quite nice). I find that I was torn until that song…that near-perfect twenty one pilots song. Indeed Kitchen Sink threw me over the edge, but as you read, the piano saved me; so that I could scribe across to you, why. Why I do in fact really like the effort wrought by Rock Jaw, and why the Resonate is a very fine addition to the mid-fi hybrid market. One listen to the song (me using Green) drives you to understand.

    Maybe I understand the whole damn world after listening, but that would be the wrong praise to lump so heavily upon the Resonate. That would be out of character, based upon what I know of the company. More like, an appreciative stroll through not only the Midlands, but up to the Cuillin’s (or for me Lake Superior in the US) to fully understand why. In conversation with Joe, via the thread, his heartfelt video and PM I get the impression he is humble, and working things out. That to me, seems to be the key. Give people the chance to listen, and they will understand. But it must be in their way. And through that humbleness, I come to appreciate that sound permeating through me as Tyler continues to sing. Continues to craft a near-perfect song. You see, Joe and company didn’t need to craft the perfect hybrid IEM; they simply needed to give us the tools with which WE could craft that perfectness.

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    I do not know of a perfect IEM (albeit my short list experience), but isn’t it the goal of any good manufacturer to provide us the tools needed to pursue that end? I do believe it is…that would be why I dearly love my Aria’s, and the excellent FLC8S. To me, they give ME that option to pursue what I believe to be the perfect (or journey to…) opportunity to listen. To experience. To understand much from a listen. And in that regard, I do believe Joe and Rock Jaw have succeeded. They have given us their interpretation of a pretty good IEM, and given too the option to change. To change the sound matching our sound characteristics better…more closely to what WE want.

    I have said in other reviews, that to me the highest respect I can give to a manufacturer, or their wares, is the ability to function without regard to ones self, in the background; only showing oneself when called upon. And in the Kitchen Sink the Resonate called upon me. Softly stating, that I am not perfect, but I will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy your music. To help you understand why you like what you do…and I will do so, unassumingly; much the way I interpret company. They just want a chance to prove to you it is worth it. And with that regard, I highly recommend a listen. Competing quite well in the crowded mid-fi sub $200 market; the Resonate does well, and in its own regard.

    Well done, and thank YOU for this tremendous opportunity to participate in the tour. I am honored.
      B9Scrambler likes this.
    1. voxie
      Thank you for sharing and writing a very interesting review. 
      voxie, Apr 24, 2017
    2. ngoshawk
      @voxie: thank you for the kind words, it was my pleasure to review this wonderful hybrid.
      ngoshawk, Apr 24, 2017
  3. Takeanidea
    They're back! The Resonate marks a return to headfi for Rock Jaw - and a return to form
    Written by Takeanidea
    Published Apr 11, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass with punch mids and highs with clarity On the ear or over the ear fit
    Cons - Fit is tricky for vigorous workouts
    About the review
     
    With thanks indeed to Joe of @Rock Jaw Audio for arranging a Grand Tour of the new hybrid flagship IEM , the Rock Jaw Audio Resonate. The Grand Tour is well underway, whether there are more places left to be booked is a debatable point in itself. If you are interested, LOOK NO FURTHER! Navigate to http://www.head-fi.org/t/834075/rock-jaw-audio-resonate-iem-the-grand-tour , see what you think, and send @Rock Jaw Audio a PM pronto. This and any other review would not be possible without the goodwill of the manufacturers. I accept that we give our time freely in return for a taste of the latest flavours. The market is always hungry for new stuff and as headfier's many of us are too. This gives us an opportunity to sample what's out there and bring it to you. I have listened to stuff hitherto I'd not have come across any other way and as hard as it is it's always an interesting experience.
     
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    About Rock Jaw Audio
     
    Joe has come back to the audio community here on headfi and has serenaded us with a new flagship for which there is this the first review, an impressions thread, a question and answer thread, as well as a taster for things to come pre register thread. Rock Jaw has no intention of being left behind by headfi and they've started the Year in earnest. The previous offerings, the Alfa Genus and Kommand and Kontrol all got plenty of good press. Unfortunately, as is the case with 1000s of IEMs out there, I've never heard them. A British Brand should never have escaped my attentions for this long!
     
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    About the Resonate
     
    The Rock Jaw Resonate comprises the hybrid dual dynamic and balanced armature driver designs previously shown in the Kommand and Kontrol IEMs.  It is 16 Ohms impedance. It's frequency range is 20-20 Khz. It can be worn on or over the ear. The cable is detachable. There are 3 filters supplied with the IEM to colour the signature to your personal preference. Comply style tips are supplied alongside the standard types. The Resonate is a bullet shaped driver shell that will make a decent ingress into the ear canal, certainly for my ear canal, which by the usual standards is quite small. The finishing on the terminations of the Rock Jaw are strong , so these should last at least a little abuse. The 16 Ohm impedance makes the Rock Jaw phone friendly. The inclusion of a hands free cable facility is a giveaway to Rock Jaw's intentions. They want you to be using these on everything. Everywhere.
     
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    Resonate in use
     
    There is plenty of juice in these, even through the headphone out of a smartphone, maximum volume is a no go area. The Resonates will raise their game when put through something a little more sophisticated such as my loaner Cayin i5. The volume is therefore not in question, and more later on will show my opinion of the sound signature. The fit of the IEMs in normal use is extremely comfortable and relatively quick and easy to achieve, both in down from and over the ear styles.  When taking them out for a run(surely the ultimate test for an IEM) the cord's natural position of not quite fitting perfectly up and over the ears began to show itself, and on my left ear the cord worked it's way off behind my ear and needed readjusting. I pushed the earguide under the lip of my earlobe and that kept things into check.
    There are 3 filters supplied with the Resonate.  Each filter screws into the head of the driver nozzle in a few seconds. The 3 grades - Fusion, Emotion and Energy. Fusion is a middle ground or neutral sound signature. Emotion is a reduced bass and increased treble. Energy - my personal favourite, increases bass response and reduces some of the treble energy. 
    Microphonics are pretty much non existent. The cord is thin and light and doesn't take much controlling. Any problems are taken care of with an over the ear fit. Isolation is not class leading. The barrel is pretty much everything that goes anywhere near the earlobes. Therefore there is a significant proportion of the ear which is left to it's own devices and background noise comes through relatively easily. Some may find this a good safety feature as a pedestrian negotiating their way through the heavy traffic of our city streets.
     
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    Sound Quality v Trinity Audio Phantom Master 4
     
    I have had both IEMs in my possession for just under a week. I have gone through all 3 filters for the Resonate thoroughly enough to know my favourite. There are a dozen filters for Trinity! Who knows which one will eventually become my favourite? I have tried 4 of them so far. Of the 4 sets of filters I have tried - I prefer the sound quality of the Resonate. The bass has more impact and the mids and treble have more clarity than the Phantoms. Even on the emotion filter, where I found the treble energy was too much for the driver to handle and the higher frequencies were distorting, even then there was much to admire in how much detail was being thrown at you. The fit of the Resonate's is really helping the bass impact - the size of the driver shell for the Phantom's ; as beautiful as they are, is not helping. The Phantoms are trying their damndest to push out of your lugholes every chance they get. The Phantom's essence is of a fundamental move away from the hot treble signature of their predecessors. I find the old PM4s unlistenable with any of the filters because that treble always finds it's way through. The Resonates, compared to the very best money can buy, have a slight thinness to the mids and treble. Nevertheless for just over £100 there is very little to criticise here. 
     

    Size comparison Resonate & Phantom Master 4
     
    Conclusion
     
    It was a fascinating introduction to a British Audio Company that are firmly headed in the right direction. Build quality is solid, an accessories package that should please most, including some filters that really can change the sound signature in a decent way,  a detachable cord cable that can be used for hands free on IOS and Android. The hybrid BA and Dynamic work well together, they beat the rather more bland delivery of the more expensive and flashier looking Phantom Master 4s, certainly to my ears. I wish they worked better over the ears for running although it may even be argued these are too good to wear as workout earphones!
     
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      Arh Rao, glassmonkey and hqssui like this.
    1. chaturanga
      Nice review! Good job friend. 
      chaturanga, Apr 12, 2017
    2. voxie
      Appreciate the review..very informative and to point. Thanks for sharing.
      voxie, Apr 21, 2017