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Last week I received Rock Jaw Audio’s latest in-ear headphones, the Alfa Genus V2. The follow-up to their Alfa Genus (which I never tried), they sport improved aluminium casing in place of wood, and the cable is now tangle-free thick rubber, in place of twisted rubber.

I can only compare them with my current loadout – Sennheisser MM 50 iP in-ear headphones and AKG K171 studio monitor headphones. First impressions are of course dominated by the prominent USP – three interchangeable frequency filters.

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Silver offer enhanced bass, champagne (gold) offer a neutral response and black offer enhanced treble. The difference is marked and personally I prefer the default-fitted silver filters which give a response I think most consumers will be used to – a warm, bass-heavy sound which makes the most of rock and dance music as well as keeping podcasts smooth and easy to listen to. The neutral filters are very crisp and balanced in contrast, whilst the black treble filters are far too crisp and I can’t imagine anyone would wear these unless for a very specific, treble-heavy application. Whichever filters you use – and they take only a few seconds to swap out – the clarity of sound is impressive. Detail and separation are noticeably better than my Sennheisers after just a few seconds of listening to familiar tracks. I would expect this from a higher end pair of headphones but given the Alfa Genus V2 cost just £50 I’m impressed.

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You get the usual selection of buds, including some expanding foam ones. The medium-sized rubber ones fit me best and provide a comfy seal allowing all that low-end goodness to fill my head. My only personal gripe would be that whilst there’s a microphone and button on the left ear cord, there are no volume buttons, something I use a lot as I switch between calls, music and podcasts in streets, trains and offices. Also, the right-angle jack is something I personally find less pocket-friendly but that’s a very minor issue.

Overall, I’ll definitely recommend these to people who ask me about good headphones under £50, even under £100.

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