REALM Reference On-Ear Headphones – RH600 / RH656

Earlier in the year we reviewed Scosche’s RH1056 Series of hi-fidelity reference grade headphones. Those particular headphones are over-the-ear style and performed very well. This time around we had the opportunity to listen to a pair of REALM’s RH600 Series headphones. Although its not fair to compare the 1000’s to the 600’s because, well simply put, its like comparing a Civic to an Accord in terms of style and price. Although, its not completely the case with the RH600 and the RH1000. Of course, the construction and materials used are slightly different; but sound wise – they are very comparable with each having its own character.

Overview

Before getting to the sound of the headphones I want to touch base a little on the packaging itself. Packaging is the “first impression” and in the dating world, we all know how important that is. The package is comprised of heavy stock chipboard laminated with elegant matte black and accented with spot UV gloss highlighting the product. Each panel has its significance in explaining the features of the RH600. Bold model numbers, concise explanation of the features, and detailed specs round out the informative panels.

Similar to the the RH1056, a vibrant yellow interior completes the ensemble. A soft case is also included in the package.

We reviewed the RH656md with tapLINE III. TapLINE III is Scosche’s Apple interface that adjusts volume and control audio features such as skip, pause, and play. The tapLINE III also allows for answering and ending phone calls; or  controls volume and iTune functions on Apple computers. On Scosche’s website it details the RH600’s features as:

  • Precision wound copper voice coil
  • Ported sound chamber
  • Rare-Earth neodymium magnets
  • 40mm REALM drivers
  • Viscoelastic memory foam

When handling the RH656, I immediately noticed the Scosche brand on the headband.

The headband was attached to an exposed adjustable stamped-steel band which are attached to the driver housing. I especially like the detailed brushed finish. The back side of the housing was a black-chrome and a permanent 6.5′ flat-untangleable cable attached to each driver.

The “viscoelastic memory foam” comfortably fits on-ear.

Other detail touches are the Scosche “S” at the end of the headband as well as the “Scosche” etching on the housing. Overall feel is lightweight and compact.

The Listening
When listening to them, I could not help but to compare the RH656 to the RH1000, perhaps it was my curiosity to hear the difference. Immediately I noticed an efficiency difference on the RH600’s – they are much more efficient, meaning it takes less power move the driver. It’s easily compared using the same volume, the RH600’s are definitely louder. I was surprised at the vocal range of the RH600’s, they were detailed and showed good range, especially on more vocal dominate artists such as Christina Aguilera. I tend to listen to Christina’s and Mariah Carey’s tracks because their voices are so distinctive and powerful. The RH600’s duplicated all their natural tones and ranges well.

I also cued up a “Staple It Together” from Jack Johnson, I like to hear how much detail there are in the cymbals and various hand percussions. This particular track has a nice mixture of cymbals, bongos, and wood blocks. All were well defined and apparent in their perspective channels.

Reggae is also a favorite in my collection. I enjoy the rhythm of the bass notes that are typically quick and punchy. I happened to have Tribal Seeds’ Tribal Seeds album handy. I really love how the electric keyboard was represented in the song, “Dawn Of Time.’ It was staged left nicely.

I also dropped in a classic, “Nuthin’ but a G Thang” I wanted to see how the bass responded on the RH656. It’s hard to believe how there is so much control over the lower frequencies. Snoops and Dre’s voice was clear and consistent with no drop off even when the bass dropped. On lower quality headphones you can hear a vocal distortion, but this wasn’t case on the RH656’s. The bass was smooth and undistorted.

Thoughts
I have both the RH1000’s and the RH600, the RH600 seems to be a more all-around headphone, it’s more portable for travel or cruising around. A lifestyle type headphone for someone on the go. The sound detail is slightly lower than the more expensive RH1000’s but not by extreme leaps and bound. The sound is well balanced and the vocals are very up front. There is no apparent outside noise that ruins the sound quality even though they are not noise canceling headphones, .

The RH600’s series are available with or without the tapLine III and has white and black as a color option. The RH600 retails for $99.99 while the RH656’s (with tapLIne III) sell for $129.99. As a DaYUUM reader, we can offer you 20% off on your sale of all Scosche products by using “DAYUUM” at check out.

For more information and details, visit www.Scosche.com

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