As the most affordable brand-name DJ headphones currently available, the Rane RH-1 perform with a quality superior to their price class. Their robust, compact and fairly light design, very soft, replaceable, circumaural earpads, along with a very pleasant wearing comfort, encourage you to spend hours DJing. In terms of sound, they emphasise the bass, which means that the mids and highs have to take a back seat. Certainly, they offer a sound less suitable for pleasurable listening or producing but more for DJing, for which these headphones are ideally suited.
- very reasonable price
- sturdy construction
- very comfortable to wear
- good sound isolation
- exchangeable earpads
- bass accentuated sound
With a retail price of 22 euros, the Rane RH-1 are considered the most affordable brand-name DJ headphones, and they score points with a robust, compact design and pleasant wearing comfort. Their sound will delight DJs with a penchant for extra bass.
The American equipment manufacturer Rane established itself in DJ circles primarily due to its Serato-certified interfaces and mixers. Since then, their portfolio has grown to include several other gadgets, such as the RH-1 headphones, which are intended to enhance their good reputation. These closed headphones look rather plain, but the eye-catching branding on the capsules and earpieces slightly freshens up their monochrome appearance. Despite the low price, they do not skimp on quality, as is evident from the robust telescopic earpieces made of stainless steel and the replaceable, very softly padded oval earpads, which also ensure a comfortable fit.
The headband, which is very flexible and thus suitable for single-sided monitoring, is covered with synthetic leather over its entire length. The headband is softly lined to cushion the headphones’ weight of 270 grams. Depending on the size of your head, the headband can be extended in six stages, but it does not snap into place. However, since the telescopic arms are quite tight, they remain in the set position even when you violently move your head. I found the look of the cable as it runs behind the extensions somewhat unattractive, and in my opinion, this arrangement might be prone to snagging when they are extended. For the vertical alignment of the capsules, the headphones offer a small amount but nevertheless sufficient room for adjustment. The two capsules can be folded through a generous 180 degrees on their suspension. This is an advantage when the headphones are cradled for single-ear monitoring. One trade-off for the favourable price is the 2.7-metre long straight cable with mini jack plug plus screwed 6.3 millimetres adaptor, which ends in at the left capsule and is not interchangeable.
The 40-millimetre dynamic drivers reproduce frequencies between 15 to 28,000 Hertz, their sound pressure is 95dB ± 3dB, and the impedance is 32 ohms.
Tested with frequency tones
Compared to a linear sound image, the drivers exaggerated between frequencies from 15 Hertz to 500 Hertz. At 4,000 hertz, however, the signal collapsed into the double-digit decibel range. It would also be nice if the drivers could devote more attention to the lower and mid-range treble as well as to the super-high frequencies. There was no trace of a linear sound image, but this is not important in the DJ booth. After all, many DJs place particular value on an assertive kick, and this is what the Rane RH-1 delivers.
Music in practice
While DJs rarely turn their attention to jazz, we nevertheless tested it with our old favourite, Bob James’ “Westchester Lady”. The additional bass added a warm character to the organic instrumentation but masked the upper mids and all the highs at the expense of transparency. The punchy bass interlude also suited the drum intro of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, but the synthetic sounds and vocals seemed dull compared to other listens. The darkening of high frequencies could be beneficial to electronic music with its sometimes grating lead sounds and exaggerated hi-hats, although, unfortunately, some details would be lost in the bass.
The Rane RH-1 delivers a powerful signal for output that, thanks to the capsule’s good sound isolation, barely diffuses noise from outside.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)15 - 28.000 Hz
- Impedance49,45 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)100 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head524 g
- Weight with cable269 g
- Weight without cable208 g
- Cable length290 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35mm stereo jack