SENTIO – World’s First Open and Closed Headphone
The guys from Rock Jaw Audio claim to have developed the first all in one open and closed headphone in the world.
Why is this important, you say? Well, for one thing, it makes these headphones useable in public places AND in your private listening environment. By turning the knob on both earcups, you can either switch to the open or closed stand.
The Closed Stand is ideal when you are, for example, sitting on the bus. This would allow you to listen to your music without disturbing others, because of the sound leakage of an open headphone. Thus no need to turn down the volume. Also, you isolate yourself from the noise coming from other people on that bus. Thus no need to turn up the volume.
The Open Stand is great for when you’re at home listening to your favorite music in a private surrounding. You’ll get the great stereo separation and open soundstage that is typical to an open headphone.
It looks like the ultimate double duty headphone 🙂
Closed vs Open
A closed headphone has the outer parts of the headphone completely closed. it provides more isolation from environmental noise and will also not leak out as much sound. This makes them excellent for use in noisy places.
An open headphone has the outer parts of the headphone open. Most of the times a perforated grill is in front. It provides – generally speaking – better sound quality BUT they are unusable in public places. Because you’ll hear everything around you and, therefore, you need to increase the volume (which is not always a good idea). Also, you will disturb everyone around you, especially if you increase the volume.
I wrote a more detailed comparison between the two designs HERE
More than One Driver?
The driver in a headphone is what generates the music. The bigger the driver, the more powerful the sound can be. Most headphones have 40mm drivers, one in each earcup. Some smaller portable headphones will only have 30mm drivers.
The Rock Jaw Sentio has two drivers. A 50mm and a 30mm driver. According to Rock Jaw, the 50mm provides the Sentio with the ability to create a tight punchy bass without bloating the rest of the track. The 30mm driver should provide a refined treble without being piercing. Now the combination of the two drivers is used to provide a mid-range that has great separation and texture on vocals and instruments.
All this sounds very interesting and makes me think these headphones are more like traditional speakers than headphones.
Rock Jaw Audio… Who?!
Let’s see who these guys are. Are they an established brand? What other products, if any, do they have.
When visiting rockjawaudio.com, I immediately notice they have a nice professional looking website. They are a UK based company and pride themselves on this fact. All their products seem to be Brittish engineered and designed. Nice!
Looking at their products they seem to be more focused on IEM (In Ear Monitors) earphones at the moment. Their shop has 4 IEM’s for sale:
- Alfa Genus V2
- Arcana V2
- Hydra V2
I’ve checked a few reviews on all their current products and they’re pretty good. More than pretty good! All four products seem to be getting raving reviews all over the internet. There’re even some great reviews coming from users on the Head-Fi forum. And those guys mostly know what they’re talking about 😉
They seem to offer very good sound quality for a small price tag. Which is something I always love to see, as it gives everyone the chance to own a nice pair of headphones, without paying hundreds of dollars!
So basically, it seems we’re dealing with a quality brand company that is going for their first full-size headphone and they’re not afraid to innovate!
For an additional cost you can pledge for some extra’s to be provided with your Sentio headphones:
- A gaming microphone
- An additional set of velour or protein leather earpads
- An Xbox One or PS4 adapter
- A Bluetooth module
While writing this article, I suddenly noticed that Rock Jaw Audio canceled the project! First I feared for the worst, but then I noticed in the campaign update that they will do a relaunch.
The reason for this is that they were able to negotiate a better contract with the factory to offer the headphones for an even lower price than initially thought. Because of Kickstarter rules, they had to relaunch the campaign to implement the price changes.
So instead of paying £130.00 you will be able to get in at a price of £95.00 for the Super Early Bird!
I for one think that this headphone has a lot of potential.
For me personally I don’t mind having multiple headphones since that’s my hobby 🙂 But for people that want to enjoy the best qualities of both worlds, open and closed headphones, without spending a lot of money on more that one headphone, the Sentio seems to be the answer. And with the new price, this deal is even better than before!
Only time will tell if they’ll be able to pull it off and create a product that has indeed great sound in both open and closed stand. But looking at the quality of their current products, I think Rock Jaw Audio deserves the confidence from consumers. I’m very interested in what the final product will be!
The estimated shipment date is September 2016 and they’ll provide worldwide shipping!