The new Rosewill headphones that just hit the market are the Prelude RWH-001 ($79.99) and RWH-002 ($59.99). The model scheme is quite easy to decode and remember, with RWH standing for RoseWill Headphone, with 001 being the higher end version, 002 being a very slight step down. The word Prelude is an interesting name choice but it makes sense. The very definition of Prelude with regards to music is, “an introductory piece of music”, or more generally, “an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important”.
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Take it for what you will, but this is certainly the beginning of something grand. For those who follow the site, you’ll remember me reviewing the Rosewill SP-7260 2-channel speakers a while back (LINK HERE). If you missed it, be sure to check it out. See, lately Rosewill has made a big push in the audio department. The 2 channel speakers, though lacking a little in low frequency response, blew me away with vocal quality and clarity. For the money, they are truly incredible. So I had high hopes when I was told the new Prelude RWH-001s were on their way to me. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
First and foremost, the biggest difference between the 001 and the 002 models are that the 001 headphones swivel, and have a nice chrome plated mount for each ear cup. The 002s are slightly cheaper, and feature a more traditional plastic aesthetic, with a lower price point. The sound quality should be nearly identical though, as they both have the same driver size and frequency response (5Hz to 50KHz).
So let’s talk about sound. Putting it bluntly, these things kick ass in the audio department. It completely blew me away, especially when you consider the price point. For $80, it absolutely destroys the sound quality of anything else I’ve tried in this price range. The bass is incredibly deep but jazzy smooth. The highs are clear, but not overly bright. It’s kind of the sound profile you expect when you step into a Mercedes S class sedan, not a Corolla with a JBL upgrade. Most audio-heads will agree that flat frequency response is ideal for speakers, because you can always adjust the EQ later. Good natural bass, clear vocals, and distinct highs mean you ears won’t hurt after hours of listening. I found that the headphones were well suited for various genres of music, movies, and web browsing.
And while we’re discussing comfort, let’s talk about build quality. These things are solid. With a heavy duty plastic and equally strong mounting points, I feel these will hold up for a long time. The padding material seems to be from a different planet. To put this into perspective, I bought and still use the Astro A50 headphones ($300). Although the feature set is excellent for gaming, the new Rosewill headphones make me feel like I got ripped off by Astro when I compare the ear cup material and comfort to each other. To step the visual appeal up even further, both headphone cups are made of Beachwood. Beachwood not only looks unique, but it gives the impression of quality (less plastic). Wood naturally sounds better than plastic as well (resonant frequencies) so it certainly doesn’t hurt! The premium feel and design of the new Rosewill is excellent, but there is one tiny nit-pick I have with one aspect of the design. I don’t have a huge head. Think size 7-7.25 when measured with a baseball cap. With that being said, even at the smallest possible size setting, the headphones are still slightly loose on my head. When I’m sitting at my desk it’s fine, with just enough tension to maintain comfort. Any sudden head movements though may knock them off my head, due to the lack of pressure. If you feel like your head is big enough for them, seriously give these a strong consideration. The last feature to mention is the detachable headphone cable. There are two, four-foot-long, braided headphone cables included in the box. One is a traditional headphone cable for whatever you plug it in to (3.5mm). The second is a 3.5mm headphone/microphone system, which means you can use these in a phone, tablet or Ultrabook. There aren’t any adapters included to separate the mic and headphone into two separate jacks, but these aren’t marketed as computer gaming headphones so it makes sense. The insertion/detachment tension is just right, which means no accidental unplugging, or breaking them when reconnecting.
Perhaps the fact that the headphones are so good is the only reason why I noticed any fault in sizing at all. I have reviewed and owned many headphones in the past and some sounded so bad that I never realized how poor the comfort was, because I didn’t use them long enough to find out. With these headphones, my new go-to headphone IS the Rosewill RWH-001. The only time I touch my Astros now is when I play Xbox with some friends. Rosewill seems to be on a huge winning streak with audio lately. The speakers I reviewed before were excellent, and these headphones are even better. Perhaps the Prelude model name choice is well-suited, as this truly seems to be the beginning of something excellent at Rosewill. This seems to be the new beginning, of a revitalized brand, with a clear vision and goal of excellence in the audio industry. The best part? They haven’t lost focus on the core customer base. Rosewill keeps the prices in check, and often undercuts any viable competitor. Because of that, I have to give this a strong buy rating. For the money, I can’t imagine finding something that looks, sounds, and feels as good. Check them out here: Newegg.com.
• Model: Prelude – RWH-001
• Color: Black / Light Brown
• Driver Unit: 40mm Composite Dome Type
• Headphone Frequency Response: 5Hz-50KHz
• Connector: 3.5mm
• Cord Length: 3.94 ft
• Microphone Frequency Response:50Hz-16KHz
• Weight:0.38 lb