The Scosche RH1060 fits well into the current world of headphones, meaning that it shares some popular attributes, like Bluetooth wireless audio streaming, a detachable cable for optional wired listening, and, most notably, some powerful bass response. The $199.99 (direct) headphones are also quite comfortable, though their bulky design won’t be for everyone. Bass lovers looking for a solid, powerful Bluetooth headphone pair have plenty of reason to read on—those who favor a more midrange-focused mix, or a lighter, more easily portable pair, probably don’t need to.
No one would call the RH1060 petite. The headphone frame is chunky, its earpads are large, and most of the surface of the outer panels and the headband is comprised of glossy black plastic. The earpads have some pivot to them at their connection point in the headband, so they can adjust to the shape of your head more easily. Ample padding on the underside of the headband and on the earpads themselves makes the fit of the RH1060 quite comfortable.
The Power button for the RH1060 is on the left earcup—it doubles as the Bluetooth pairing button. As with most Bluetooth headphones these days, the pairing process is simple and quick; our iPhone 4S found the RH1060 quickly and was soon streaming audio to it.
On the right earcup, there are three controls, for Volume Up, Volume Down (these buttons work independently of the volume controls on your mobile device or computer), and Play/Pause. They are large enough that it’s fairly easy to memorize which is which, but you will be operating them blindly. Also on the right earcup: the connection ports for a USB charging cable and a 3.5mm audio cable, both of which come with the headphones.
The inclusion of an audio cable for wired, non-Bluetooth usage adds value to the RH1060—you can use it when the battery’s dead, and you can even replace the cable should it falter down the road. The cable does not have an inline remote or microphone, however.
The RH1060 also ships with a sturdy zip-up hard case, which the headphones fold down into with ease (though the case is still bulky), as well as a cleaning cloth to shine the glossy plastic, and a carabiner that can fasten to a loop on the outside of the case.
It would have been nice to see a dedicated charger, and not just a USB cable, on a pair priced this high, but this is a common omission. Scosche estimates the playback time on a fully charged battery to be about 8 hours.
The RH1060 does not distort, whether in wired or Bluetooth mode, on tracks with serious sub-bass content, like the Knife’s “Silent Shout”—even at top volumes on both the headphones and the sound source (in this case, again, an iPhone 4S). Not only is the bass delivered cleanly, but with substantial rumble. There is significant bass boosting here, and fans of flat response sound signatures probably will find the low-frequency response too intense. Fans of big bass, however, should enjoy the RH1060′s overall sound—there’s enough mid-range and high frequency presence so that things don’t become ridiculously weighted to the lows, but this is clearly their show.
On Bill Callahan’s “Drover”, it becomes apparent that these headphones are mostly geared towards the deep bass fans. Through the RH1060, his vocals lack the treble edge and high-mid clarity that help them stay out in front of the mix. Instead, the lows take over, boosting his baritone vocals a bit too much, and boosting the lows of the drumming too much. Some people will enjoy this sound, but it’s almost as if the drums are competing with his voice for your attention. On a flat response pair, they’d be well in the background of the mix—somewhere in between the two is what most people will gravitate to.
Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” fares better with the RH1060′s sound signature. The attack of the kick drum loop receives enough high-mid definition to cut through the mix, though it lacks the edge it often has on pairs with more mid-range and high frequency presence. And the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the drum loop are delivered with power, but not overwhelmingly so. Clearly, electronic music and hip-hop tracks with prominent low-end fare better on the RH1060 than more subtle singer songwriter mixes.
As for classical tracks, like John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances”, they sound crisper and brighter than the other genres tested, primarily because they tend to have more transparent, flat mixes to begin with. So, the high-mid presence of the higher register strings and percussion is already well intact and doesn’t need much help from the RH1060 to stay out in the forefront of the mix, even when the lower register strings get some serious extra richness in the lows, as they do here. The large drum hits at the end of this piece have some extra thunder to them, but nothing is so over-the-top that it sounds unnatural.
This is nitpicking, but occasionally, we heard system noises in the headphones (when paired with the iPhone 4S)—very faint, and not really loud enough to interfere with the music. But it’s notable because so many Bluetooth headphones and earphones do not suffer from any noises like these when paired. It’s a very faint, brief higher pitched sound that isn’t really loud enough to compete with the music and shouldn’t be considered a deal-breaker for anyone still interested in this pair.
So, obviously purists seeking less bass boosting should look elsewhere, but fans of big bass and the genres that often employ it should enjoy the RH1060—and classical fans who don’t mind a little added low-end presence might like these headphones as well. If you’re looking for a more measured, balanced response with more high frequency definition, the Harman Kardon BT is a solid Bluetooth pair in this general price range. And if more low end is what you crave, the Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless brings it in droves. Sennheiser’s MM 100 is another solid Bluetooth option, but geared more toward the exercise crowd—it has far less bass and a much more workout-friendly design. If you’re looking to spend a lot less money, the Outdoor Technology DJ Slims manage to output a decent bass response and clarity despite their budget price—but don’t expect fireworks. At $200, the RH1060 seems fairly priced, given that it’s well-designed, can be used in wired mode as well, and delivers clean audio, but bass fans are clearly the target audience.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc