Fashion Designers stepping into the headphone arena is nothing new, but when luxury clothing retail company Ted Baker London threw their hat into the ring they decided to do things a little differently. Instead of collaborating and creating an exclusive collection with an already established headphone manufacturer, they decided to create their own from scratch. There is the Rockall – the over-ear headphones and the Dover – the in-ear headphones. Considering their lack of experience in the audio department how could they possibly come up with a product comparable to what’s already on the market?
Rockall’s First Impressions
First of all the packaging was impressive. The box was pretty big which seems to be the standard with most headphones these days. The pair I was sent to review was the White/Gold Rockall heaphones and the color of the packaging complemented the gold nicely.
When you take the headphones out of the box the first thing you notice is that they are beautiful. The headphones are big like most over-ear cans but they weren’t outlandish or overbearing. Nor did they take away from the elegant design that Ted Baker seemed to be aiming for. You don’t hear things like 100% Polyurethane faux leather and 100% Stainless Steel, and think pretty but for the Rockall’s they work.
As mentioned before they are made up of polyurethane and faux leather. The headband is adjustable padded across the top where you will see the name ted Baker written across. The ear cups are big enough to engulf your entire ear but I didn’t find them to be particularly comfortable. The padding help the feel good against your ear for the most part but I found the headband slid up and down as it felt making it hit or miss for me. I could adjust them using the stainless steel slider mechanism but once I got used to how they felt they didn’t remain consistently comfy (if that’s even a thing).
There’s a nob that looks like a screw or wheel-like that appears that you should be able to wind it to adjust but they’re just there for aesthetic reasons and don’t really work that way. The cable is flat and tangle free and feels a bit plasticky for lack of a better word. On the right cord there is a mic and the basic 3-button iOS controller (back, forward, play/pause). They fold down very nicely into their very own carrying case.
To be completely honest these took a little while to get used to. Mostly because they aren’t as bass heavy as you might be accustomed to. They are balanced across the board which works well if you like your EQ on our audio source tweaked a certain way. If you’re a person that likes to just “plug and play” with your cans you won’t hear the full potential of your music. I tried listening to various artist like JLo, Niykee Heaton, Levina Lye, Kendrick Lamar and a few more and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the sound. I would love to be able to say that the lows, mids and highs were all perfectly balanced with the bass and the harmonies were mind blowing but I can’t say that either.
Having said all that considering the price tag of $279 it’s hard to not compare to heavy hitters like Sennheiser and Beats by Dre – if you were looking for something on their scale of bass or fine tuning these won’t be for you.
I love what Ted Baker tried to do here and slack is cut because these are the first shot in the audio department but if you’re someone looking for more than pretty headphones and not in specific NEED to have the gold pair then I wouldn’t suggest these. Not when you can get a better pair of cans from Sennheiser, Bowers & Wilkins, Beats by Dre and few others and even save some coin in the process.