Rowkin Ascent Micro review: High value, moderate price

Many of us are interested in true wireless headphones because of their compact form and convenience of cutting the cord. However, you may have noticed that a handful of truly wireless options include robust load cases, which undermines the small structure that listeners want. Well, the Rowkin Ascent Micro includes a carrying case that resembles AirPods and headphones that are comparable in size. But the dangers of Ascent Micro are worth the loss, $ 119 of price?

Who is the Rowkin Ascent Micro for?

With headphones wrapped in the charging case, you get a compact and easy-to-carry package.

  • Athletes. With IPX5-certified headphones and ribbed design on the headphones and case, the Ascent Micro was built to withstand the sweaty workouts of all athletes, except swimmers.
  • Travelers. True wireless headphones are liberating. You have completely cut the cable and you can go to the subway without worrying about the wired wireless headphones getting caught in a stranger's lapel. In addition, the capabilities of noise reduction and echo cancellation make them an excellent option for teleworkers, even if they are omnidirectional microphones.
  • Listeners who prioritize compact design over extended playing time. We've seen many truly wireless headphones that include bulky charging cases, but that undermines the desire for a lightweight and compact headset configuration. The Ascent Micro stays true to its name with a transport case the size of AirPods.

What's inside?

The Rowkin Ascent Micro offers a compact charging box, a USB-C cable, three pairs of silicone ear tips, and truly wireless headphones.

How is Rowkin's Micro Ascending constructed?

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: The headphones rest on a sofa with the case in the background.

If you lose your hearing aids, you can use the Rowkin app, available in the Google Play Store and App Store, to locate them.

The pads themselves are similar to Rowkin Ascent Charge + with cylindrical grooved shells, making it easier to grip with sweaty fingers. In addition, Rowkin Ascent Micro buds retain the same capacitive touch panels and LED indicators. While tactile controls are complete and functional, they are not the most intuitive and require deliberate memorization.

Each earphone is equipped with a perforated silicone ring that is in a gap between the metallic and matt finish. This unique design plays a role by keeping the headphones in place during vigorous movements. Although the rings are effective, they can be irritating if you have smaller ears. Consequently, I limit my listening to an hour before needing a break. Okay, you can remove the rings, but doing so is at the expense of a secure fit.

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: The cargo case with the Rowkin brand in front of the lens. Ballpoint pens, colored pencils and lead in the background.

Charging starts automatically once the headphones are placed in the 870mAh box.

Angled nozzles extend from the boxes at 45-degree angles, a design that promotes a more comfortable fit than straight nozzles. Behind the mouthpiece of each earphone is a dynamic 6mm driver. While 6mm may seem small, the headphones manage a fairly accurate sound reproduction.

Touch controls

There are a series of directives to memorize, but once you have it low, they are useful. Meanwhile, here is a cheat sheet from Rowkin's manual. If you receive a call while you are on the phone, you can press and hold either headset for three seconds to finish the first and start the second. Also, touching and holding any of the headphones for five seconds places the person on hold.

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: an image of the touch controls on the Rowkin site.

The touch controls of Rowkin Ascent Micro. Each hearing aid controls different directives.

Are these good training aids?

If you are one for indoor exercise, they are excellent. The setting is stable and the IPX5 certification means you do not have to worry about breaking the headphones while you sweat. However, if you run out, you may want a pair of more secure training headphones, due to the effectiveness of noise reduction.

Battery life

The battery life of the Ascent Micro is solid. After subjecting the headphones to a constant output of 75dB (SPL), the independent playing time came out at 3.17 o'clock. Assuming that you will be listening at lower levels, you are likely to be able to reach, or surpass, the 3.5 hour mark. And once the earphone batteries have drained, you can insert them into the case to recharge them automatically.

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: the charging case with the USB-C port in focus and the headphones in the background. All objects rest on a black table.

The LEDs indicate the battery level of the housing in 25 percent increments.

You should also be aware of the battery levels in the case. This is indicated by the four LEDs that cover the bottom, flanking the USB-C input. Which, yes, the case is loaded via USB-C, but unlike your older brother, you can not charge your phone as well. In addition, to complete a full charge cycle for the headphones and the case, you will need to set aside 70 and 120 minutes, respectively.

Connectivity

The Rowkin Ascent Micro can maintain a stable connection, but you want to make sure you follow the instructions for the initial pairing: remove both headphones from the case and wait for the right earphone LED to alternate between the red flashes and whites. At that point, you can link to your device. If you try to pair each headset individually, you will encounter some problems.

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: a top-down image of the headphones on top of an open jewelry box.

Noise reduction is much more effective than the echo cancellation technology of the microphones.

Operating through Bluetooth 5.0 means that the Rowkin Ascent Micro maintains a long-range connection. Unfortunately, both my PC and LG G6 are only compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, so I could not directly test the capabilities of 5.0. However, I can walk along my 900sqft. apartment without connectivity interruptions.

Microphone quality

Integrated omnidirectional microphones work well for informal calls, but voice clarity suffers when there is too much ambient noise. When sitting in a local café, which is an echo chamber in a room, the microphones recorded much of the reverberation even with the echo cancellation technology. If you desperately need headphones with great microphone quality, look at the Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC.

How do the Ascent Micro headphones sound?

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: The headphones are in the case that is slightly angled at the distance of the lens. Rest on a bed with a fuzzy guitar neck in the background.

The standby time with the headphones off is 120 days, but if the headphones are active and in standby mode, the battery lasts 70 hours.

The Rowkin Ascent Micro hearing aids sound virtually identical to their larger counterparts, which means that the frequency response is surprisingly neutral until the instruments enter the treble frequency range. If you listen to music full of hi-hats and guitar slides, you may want other truly wireless headphones, since the reproduction of such instruments is hard.

On the cover of San Cisco's Get Lucky the introduction of the sound is well reproduced: the palm hits on the bongos are clearly audible, while the voice of Jordi Davieson is also clear , despite how weak the voice becomes at the end of the word "phoenix" eight seconds in the song. The guitar chords rotate through the Bm-DF # mE pattern, and strumming makes it harder to hear the bongos before the other players join.

During the chorus, the Scarlett Stevens drums sound good. Underline the energy of the song, but cymbal hits are hard to bear when listening through the Ascent Micro. Decreasing the volume will help a little, but it is difficult to ignore the hardness of the treble frequency reproduction. However, Rowkin Ascent Micro transcends the expectations of these truly affordable wireless headsets.

Should I buy the Rowkin Ascent Micro?

  Rowkin Ascent Micro: a headset with the touch panel facing the lens and the LED indicator lit up, while the other vanished in the background.

The Rowkin Ascent Micro is the little brother of Ascent Charge +. While the battery life is not as impressive, the Micro is much more portable.

Yes, the Ascent Micro offers a pair of true wireless headphones with a competitive price, which is still considered a rare feat. Naturally, such a reasonable price comes with sacrifices, namely the lack of high quality codec support and the microphone setup just OK. However, if you can ignore the drawbacks and adopt the compact nature of Rowkin Ascent Micro waterproof, you will end up being a happy listener.

If you like everything about Ascent Micro, but you want something with a better battery life, be sure to read in the Rowkin Ascent Charege +. It's pretty much the same, but it has an improved battery life, a 1,900 mAh charging box and a Qi wireless charger.

Next: Best True Wireless Headphones

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