Good-value earphones offering decent sound quality and plenty of accessories.
- Good sound quality
- Useful media button
- Sturdy build
- Plenty of accessories
- Number of tuning filters seems overkill
- No volume buttons
- UKRRP: £29.99
- Tuning filtersA choice between bass, neutral and treble tuning filters to adapt the sound
Earphones with a customisable sound signature might sound unlikely when you’re paying less than £30, but that’s exactly what you get with the Alfa Genus V2s.
While having a choice of output is nice, once you’ve picked a setting, you’re unlikely to chop and change on a regular basis. Still, on good headphones with an excellent array of accessories, more choice is never a bad thing.
Design and features
- Good looks
- In-mic control
- Cable can get tangled
The Alfa Genus V2 offers most of the features you’d want from a budget pair of headphones. The buds are made from metal and feel sturdy, without being too heavy in your ears. They look good, too, with a grey and silver finish and red highlights inside the silicone tips.
You get a choice of six tips, including three sizes of silicone ones, two pairs of memory foam tips, and a pair of small, double-flanged ones to boot. I went for the vanilla choice of medium silicone tips, and they felt secure and comfortable. There’s likely to be something for everyone here.
The rubber-coated cable is thick and sturdy, but it tends to become tangled regularly, especially if you’re careless and stuff the earphones into your pockets. If you’re more the careful type, you’ll appreciate the drawstring bag Rock Jaw provides. You can keep the cable from bouncing around with the provided lapel clip.
There’s also a single button for answering and ending calls, which doubles up as a play/pause control when playing media. Double-tap said button to skip tracks and triple-tap to go back. This works on both Android and iOS devices. A volume rocker would’ve been a welcome addition, but it isn’t something you’ll find on many headphones of this price.
- Bass tuner is unpleasant
- Neutral the best choice
- Sibilance at higher volumes
You get a choice of three tuning filters on these earphones, which can be removed by unscrewing them from the buds. They screw in nice and tightly, so there’s no danger of them coming undone in your ears. I used them for several weeks without incident.
Out of the box, it’s the bass-centric filters that are installed. These are by far the worst of the bunch for most listening tastes – they are specifically tuned for rap, hip-hop and electronic music. If you’re not listening to that type of music, then tracks can sound messy and a little unpleasant with hard noticeable ‘kick’ to bassy elements. A treble-boosting pair weren’t really to my taste, either.
It’s the Neutral pair that are the best option for those with mixed listening tastes. There’s plenty of bass presence when the buds are properly in your ears and mid-tones are nice and rich. At higher volumes there can be some sibilance and distortion, but that’s common enough for cheaper earphone and for the money it’s hard to complain about these shortcomings.
The in-line mic is loud and clear. I used it to make calls on both busy streets and from echo-ridden office rooms and no-one experienced any issues understanding what I was saying.
Should you buy it?
If you’re after a cheap pair of wired earphones Nothing beats a pair of wired earphones for quality and consistency, and the Rock Jaw work well for video/voice calls
If you want wireless convenience Features are short with wired earphones, so if you want volume control, voice assistance and perhaps even noise cancellation, then look elsewhere
If you’re looking for sub-£50 earphones, the Alfa Genus V2s are a great choice. My only reservation is over the use of the extra tuning tips, which don’t really enhance sound quality but surely add to the cost.
How we test
We test every headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested for several weeks
Tested with real world use
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The Alfa Genus V2 come in two flavours, one with a microphone and one without an in-line mic. Both can be bought from a retailer such as Amazon UK.