Scosche Realm RH656 Headphones: Good Sound Without Fuss [Review]

These Scosche Realm RH656 ($130) headphones compete in the same league as with headphones like the Beats (formerly Monster) Solo HD, the Incase Reflex and the Fanny Wang 1000 Series. These ‘phones have a lot in common: they have smallish earcups that sit on the ear, instead of over; they all have track and volume controls (remember though that the volume control won’t work on Android devices); and they’ve all had a dash of fashion added.

But there are some key differences too. And as you’re about to find out, the RH656 does pretty well against its competition.

The Good:

The RH656 is the classiest dresser in this crowd. The earcups and headband are wrapped in a plush faux-leather fabric that brought to mind Ricardo Montalban’s “soft Corinthian leather” shtick. The rest of the set is a simple metal band with metallic highlights girding the outer edge of the cups. Very muted, very classy. The set also had a satisfyingly solid feel, apart from the thinness of the cables where they entered the cups.

Comfort was close to outstanding. The headband was tight at first, but this was easily taken care of by bending the band a little. The soft, memory-foam-covered earcups and headband made it easy to wear the set for extended sessions of up to about three hours (again, bending the headband was key here). The inline controls were  easy to use, with a nice, flat plane and big-ish buttons. Because of how the buttons are situated on te remote housing, they weren’t the easiest to use with gloves on. But that’s a small quibble. The microphone is situated further up the cable, closer to the mouth, and it worked pretty well in this position.

While the RH656′s performance didn’t blow my socks off, they still sounded nice and punchy. The set’s signature fell somewhere between the Incase Reflex and the Beats Solo HD, though closer to the Solo side of things: deep, smooth bass with muted mids and pronounced highs. Really not a reference set as Scocshe suggests (that’s what their “Realm” series is all about), but still a good sound. They worked best for rock; movies or video games sounded fantastic.

Compared to its competition, the RH656 is on the lower end of the price spectrum. For instance, the Fanny Wang 1000 Series is $160, and the Beats Solo are even more expensive at $200.

The Bad:

If you pick up this set, you’ll have to make do with a few downsides — but just a few. Not to be repetitive, but the set is pretty tight out-of-the-box, so you’ll more than likely need to adjust the headband — not a big deal. Unlike its higher-priced brethren, the RH656 doesn’t fold. Again, not really a big deal, as the set forgoes the massive plastic trim that seem to accompany its folding competitors. And I missed having a single cable detachable — a feature all its competitors have, and one that is more convenient (less tangle) and potentially cheaper (if the cable ever breaks, simply replace the cable). Instead, the RH656 has a more conventional twin-lead setup, with a cable for each earcup — and in this case, thin leads that made me a little nervous.

Verdict:

There’s not a lot of nonsense here, just a smart, sharp-looking, comfortable set with good sound at a reasonable price.

Rating: ★★★★☆