It seems that everyone from Dr Dre to Adidas wants in on the headphone market these days, and Jay Z's Roc Nation is the latest entrant to the foray for this premium piece of cranial real estate.
Roc Nation Aviator: Style
Teaming up with long standing makers of aesthetically focused headphones Skullcandy, Roc Nation tossed its hat into the ring with the 'Aviator' edition. Unsurprisingly, the cans are very fashion conscious, with a reasonably luxurious feel to them thanks to the chrome detail finish and padded leather headband. The ear cups are shaped not unlike the lenses of their namesake sunglasses, though it is unclear which inspired which, the name or the design?
Roc Nation Aviator: Build Quality
The afore mentioned leather and chrome is complemented by tough feeling polycarbonate cups and a lusciously soft pair of ear cushions. The attention to style doesn't stop there, with the headphone cable sporting a super tough feeling woven nylon housing. In combination with the all round choice of materials, that gives the Aviators a definite premium feeling, which is enough to justify the £139.99 pricetag. Factor in the brilliant audio fidelity as well and we have a worthy buy.
The cable is longer than your usual set of in-the-box plugs, this is a notable benefit when your media player isn't fixed to you, such as when on a desk - giving you a decent movement range without dragging your valuables onto the floor. One other trick up the Aviator's sleeve is its ability to neatly fold up and snuggly fit in the supplied case for extra protection when not in use.
Roc Nation Aviator: In Use
The first thing your ears will tell you when you put these on it 'Thank you'. The ear cushions are comfy - very comfy. If you wear your phones for any period of time, the Aviators are going to do wonders for you; although your hearing might not appreciate the extra exposure to your tunes - a small price to pay for comfortable music listening though, eh?
The second thing your ears will tell you is how good the audio is, and it is indeed very good. Decent enough bass, with bright mids and highs taking up any slack. There is often an air of suspicion surrounding overly fashionable or co-branded headphones. After all adding a famous face or brand into the mix can be seen as a quick way of charging premium price for standard goods, or a clever way of revamping end-of-line goods. Fortunately this doesn't appear to be the case here, with solid and clear audio when tested across a variety of styles and recordings, proving them to be real contenders.
Roc Nation Aviator: Out Now