Rock Jaw T5 Ultra Connect wireless earphones [Review]
Previously when we've reviewed earphones from Rock Jaw we've found them to be a good compromise between affordability and performance.
The T5 Ultra Connect is the first wireless product we've seen from the firm, so we were keen to find out how they measure up.
As always with this brand the packaging makes you feel you're buying a quality product. In the box you get the earphones themselves, three sets of different sized rubber tips, plus three sets of 'Comply' noise isolating memory foam tips, a mesh pouch, a USB cable and -- as with other Rock Jaw products we've looked at in the past -- three sets of interchangeable filters that allow you to fine tune the audio experience.
The manufacturers claim 11 hours of battery life on a full charge. They are also IPX5 water resistant which means they won't be harmed by sweat or rain when you're out and about. Although 'wireless' there is of course a wire connecting the two earpieces, but crucially there's no wire to your phone to get tangled or snagged.
The earpieces themselves are made from aluminum so should be durable enough to stand up to regular use. The control block has a rubberized finish with a simple three-button layout allowing you to take calls, skip tracks adjust the volume and so on. There's a small flap covering the USB socket which feels a bit flimsy and you'll probably end up losing eventually. It uses a USB-C connection so there's no need to fiddle around to get the plug in the right way which is a positive.
One neat trick here is that rather than having one bulky block on the cable, the T5 Ultra has two smaller pods. One has the control buttons on it, the other houses the battery. A tiny LED on the control pod lets you know when charging is working by glowing red and turning blue on completion, it also flashes blue/red for pairing. You'll need to learn to identify the controls by touch as you can't see them with the wire round your neck.
The earpieces are light enough to be comfortable but heavy enough to keep them hung around your neck on the wire when not in use. This also cuts the risk of you losing them if they fall out -- Airpods take note!
So, what about the sound? Bluetooth earphones are never quite as good as wired versions because of the encoding and transmitting of the data. Even so, the T5 Ultra provides an acceptable audio experience for everyday use, though you probably wouldn't choose these for serious listening. You can of course vary things using the filters. The standard gold filters offer a decent compromise for day-to-day listening. You can switch to the silver ones to give better bass response, or the black if you'd prefer more treble.
At just under $98 (£75 in the UK) these aren't cheap. They are well made though and -- USB cover aside -- feel as though they'll stand up to the demands of an active lifestyle. They won't appeal to hardcore audiophiles, but for regular use without the hassle of wires they are worth considering. You can find out more and order from the Rock Jaw site.