I have a tendency to beat headphones into the ground. The only USB headset that I own only has one working side. You can hear something rattling around in the other side when you move them, which is most likely related to it not working. I own a pair of traditional headphones too, but the padding on one of the sides regularly falls off, exposing the hard surface underneath. And then there's another pair with padding that's tearing away a little bit at a time and those bits stick to my head and neck.
I don't do well with headphones.
Enter the Rosewill Sonas, as part of their R-Studio line of audio products. They're not as big as my big pair of headphones, but they're certainly bigger than my smaller pair. This mid-size form factor, coupled with their ability to fold up nicely, makes them easily portable while still feeling well made when you hold them in your hands.
The Importance of Comfort
I prefer using headphones over traditional speakers. I use my computer to play games and watch movies and television shows, and I think headphones do those experiences proper justice more than standard speakers do. Since I use them for everything, I'll often be wearing them for hours at a time (I should really get outside more), so it's of the utmost importance that the headphones feel comfortable even after hours of use.
The good news is that Rosewill Sonas doesn't skimp on the padding. The cups are very soft. There’s also padding along the underside of the headband, so that you’re not pressing your skull into hard plastic. Unfortunately, I have large ears and the cups don’t quite cover them completely. My ears are pressed against my head which leads to extreme discomfort after extended periods of time. In fairness, Rosewill does not advertise that “one size fits all,” but my ears aren’t comically huge and I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who will experience this issue.
In short bursts (and by short I mean no more than a few hours), the headphones feel great. That said, I’m sure there are those out there who feel that they should be able to wear their headphones practically indefinitely and not have to worry about their ears getting mangled.
While the sound is crisp, I did experience minor issues with the bass being too heavy, though this doesn’t come into play unless you’re blasting audio at eardrum-shattering levels. Save your eardrums, kids. It will stave off the inevitable failing of your ears and sound better!
The Sonas come in a sleek package that they can be folded into comfortably, but there’s really no reason to put them back in the box when Rosewill provides a nice velvet bag for carrying them around. The audio cable detaches from the headphones, which is surprisingly convenient for walking around and listening to music, as I can quickly pull the cord out and wrap the headset around my neck when I need my ears and I don’t have this wire dangling in front of me. It also comes with an extension cord, which has been a lifesaver given that my PC is just out of reach of the normal cord length.
There’s also an included microphone for making phone calls and whatnot. The reason I didn’t give this feature its own section is because it shouldn’t factor into your decision to get the Sonas. It’s an afterthought. It’s functional and will work in a pinch, but I preferred simply taking the headset off when I got a phone call. To each his or her own, of course, but these headphones are about receiving sound, not sending it.
Thumbs Up for Rosewill Sonas
The Rosewill Sonas can be purchased for around $60, depending on where you look. While that isn’t cheap, it’s certainly more affordable than some of the high-end sets available and they perform more than adequately. The issues I’ve mentioned – the so-so mic, the heavy bass, my elephant ears – don’t do much to hurt the overall quality of the product. Keep your sound at a reasonable level, forget the microphone, and take them off every two or three hours and you’ll be completely satisfied with the Sonas.