2018 has been the year of true wireless headphones. While true wireless headphones have been available for a few years now, they haven’t really been as wide-spread as they are now. In fact, plenty of manufacturers, like Rowkin, have finally started unveiling affordable true wireless headphones that are still relatively high-quality — like the $100 Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones.
But at $100, it’s still worth considering the options — and finding out whether the headphones are worth buying. We’ve reviewed other Rowkin headphones before — and found that while they offered some nice features, there were some serious trade-offs. Does the same hold true for the Rowkin Ascent Micro? We put them to the test to find out.
There are a lot of design similarities between the Rowkin Ascent Micro and the Rowkin Ascent Charge+ headphones when it comes to design — and as the name suggests, the headphones themselves are actually the same. While the comfort level and sound quality will ultimately be the same, however, there are a few differences in the design of the charging case and the accessories.
The earbuds themselves feature a small black design with a silver bulb towards the tip. On the end, you’ll find the Rowkin logo. The overall design isn’t all that exciting, but it’s not necessarily ugly either.
The charging case features a similar design sensibility to the earbuds. It’s all-black save for the Rowkin logo. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB-C port — which we really appreciate. It’s nice to see companies like Rowkin finally adopting standards like USB-C.
Apart from the headphones themselves, in the box, you’ll find a USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A adapter, and a total of three ear tips, including the ones that come pre-installed on the headphones. That’s really all you’ll need — though some memory foam tips might have been nice.
As mentioned, the earbuds themselves are the same as the Rowkin Ascent Charge+ — and as such they feature the same comfort-level.
Thankfully, these headphones are relatively comfortable and pretty good at staying in the ears, as long as you insert them into your ears the right way. They’re a little awkward when you put them in, and you might have to tweak them a bit to get the right fit, but once you do they’re not bad. That’s not to say they’re perfect for every situation — you won’t want to take these running or to the gym, but they’re still not bad at remaining in place.
As with any in-ear headphones, we recommend experimenting with the different types of ear tips to ensure that you find the right fit. For many, the medium-sized earbuds that come pre-installed will be perfectly fine — but it’s still worth experimenting.
As with any pair of headphones, sound is the most important thing to consider — and thankfully, the Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones don’t sound all that bad.
The bass, for starters, is relatively deep, delivering enough kick in the lower drums, and a smooth bass guitar tone too. The bass extension isn’t quite as deep as we might have liked — but that’s relatively common for true wireless headphones.
The mid range is decently tuned, but there are some quirks. The low mids sound fine, offering some warmth, though we found that the high mids did get a little shrill in some situations.
The high end sounds good, though we did find that it seems to distort a little more easily than we might have liked. The detail and clarity is fine, but like the lows there’s not a ton of extension.
In the end, the Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones sound good, but not amazing. There are some troublesome frequencies, and the stereo separation isn’t great. Still, for the price, the headphones aren’t bad.
True wireless headphones generally don’t offer as long of a battery life as other headphones, and the Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones are no exception to that. The headphones themselves have a battery life of 3.5 hours, though the charging case will get you an extra 4 charges — equating to an extra 14 hours of use. The battery life is fine, but a little on the low side here.
When it comes to connectivity, the headphones connect through Bluetooth 5.0, which is a nice touch. We found that they retained a generally good connection, with few skips or jumps in the music during listening.
For the price, the Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones have a lot to offer. They’re relatively comfortable, and while they have a slightly boring design, they don’t sound terrible for the price. But are they the best option? Well, that depends. We like the addition of USB-C and Bluetooth 5.0, but in general the $100 Jam Live True headphones perform better, and if you can afford them the $150 Soul X-Shock headphones are even better.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should avoid these headphones altogether. In fact, thanks to their good value for money, we’re awarding the Rowkin Ascent Micro headphones the Headphone Review Silver Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||3.5 Hours (+17 Hours)|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 5.0||Cable length||N/A|
||No||Case type||Charging case|