It takes a brave company that launch a new tech brand nowadays, particularly when so many industry standards are readily available. The world of headphones is dominated by the likes of Sennheiser and Beats (if you’re that way inclined), however with such incredible saturation in the market, other brands still offer valid options. London-based Bloc & Roc enter the game with stiff competition then, but with 2 years of development and a focus on quality materials – British aerospace-grade aluminium in this case – the new kids on the block (excuse the pun) aren’t messing about.
First things first, the look. The S1s come in three colours: red, black and grey (plus a deluxe gold-plated version if you really feel like splashing out). Modern and sleek, the cans are stylish without drawing too much attention. Plush lush leather pads sit comfily on the ear and offering a sufficient level of noise reduction, even at low volumes. The faux-leather headband contains a small amount of padding too and sits tightly on the head, reducing chance of slipping. Unfortunately the S1s are slightly on the heavy side at 215g, and so combined with the tight fit, they could benefit from being a tad more comfortable during extended listens.
With the full 20Hz-20kHz spectrum promised and standard 40mm dynamic neodymium drivers, the headphones offer all you’ll need on paper. In reality, audiophiles will find the S1s could do with a tad more power, particularly in the low end, but for everyday listening they create an encapsulating sonic space that is certainly above average.
One real issue (depending on use) is the wire. A fixed nylon cord, the cable looks great but the lack of stretch and detachability is rather frustrating. At over a metre long this isn’t too much of a problem when using in the house or around town (as intended by the manufacturer), but those looking to DJ with the S1s may want to look elsewhere.
Overall, the Galvanize S1s present a strong entry for Bloc & Roc. At £120 they are competitively priced, that seemingly being around the average price for many headphones these days. With small improvements to comfort and usability, expect much more from Bloc & Roc in the future.
Speaker: 40mm dynamic neodymium
Sensitivity: 116 ± 2dB
Impedance: 16Ω ± 15%
Cable material: nylon-type fabric
Cable length: 1200mm
Audio connector: 3.5mm gold-plated
Total weight: 215g
Words: Ben Hindle