Bloc & Roc are relatively new arrivals in the headphones world; hailing from London, they may have just been delayed in traffic - but they're here now with models such as the Galvanize S2. Aerospace-grade aluminium and 40mm drivers promise a well-built and impactful experience; so does the Bloc and Roc Galvanize S2 soar like a bird, or blow up during launch?
Solid, yet light construction Fabric cable Decent quality jack Sturdy carry case
Cable is not detachable Some may prefer more brightness
Design and appearance
Like those planes and rockets, the Galvanize S2 is designed to be light and functional with a no-nonsense approach and spartan design ethic. Everything within its payload has been justified and the design whittled down, making an incredibly light and comfortable pair of headphones. However for those not intent on staying within their baggage limit, a 24 carat version is available - we have the 'plane' black version here for this review.
Durability & build quality
Despite the lightweight construction and materials, the Galvanize S2 gives a strong impression of ruggedness. The fabric cable again gives a nod towards hardiness and the jack has a strong metal construction, much like the best jack plugs out there.
A lot of portables either suffer from poor isolation or too much in terms of clamping force, but the Galvanize S2 gets it just right. These headphones can be worn for extended periods without any problem. Those with glasses may have issues much like with any on-ear model, but glasses can be readjusted once the headphones are in position, to avoid any discomfort.
Very good for an on-ear model - the Galvanize S2 attenuates rather than blocking everything out; but particularly with music playing, the outside world is effectively sealed off. People nearby will not be disturbed by your music. There's not much sound escaping the earcups even at higher volumes.
The Galvanize S2 can go wherever you go - Hifiheadphones will stock the version with a strong outer case included, so the headphones are very well protected in a bag or case.
The Bloc and Roc Galvanize S2 is a warm-sounding headphone, but mid-range detail is definitely present with a decent amount of control.
Bass is plentiful but tight and well textured; it doesn't get on the wrong side of the music and puts in more of an appearance when the music calls for it. It can go down very low too; dance music and similar bass-driven genres will be well enhanced.
- Mids (e.g. vocals, acoustic instruments):
The relatively smooth top end opens up the midrange for harmonics and vocals; acoustic tracks are a treat along with those featuring wind instruments and strings.
- Treble (e.g. high hats):
Although the treble end of things is toned down a little, details are not sacrificed. Bells still jingle, and cymbal crashes still smash, but without impinging on the excellent midrange and lower frequencies.
- Soundstage & Separation
As well as the clear midrange on the Galvanize S2, there's a tremendous sense of space which goes along with it; reverbs make us almost agoraphobic. Soundstage is very good for a closed-back headphone, and separation is excellent.
Music genres good for and why
As mentioned above, the Bloc & Roc Galvanize S2 is well suited to many genres; dance and rap music both benefit from the midrange and bass emphesis, while acoustic tracks are enhanced by the excellent sense of space and harmonics reproduction within the midrange. Rock music too. Right now I'm trying the Galvanize S2 with some classic Italian cinema music - Armando Trovaioli's theme to L'Arcidiavolo - and there's woodwind jumping right out at me. It's as good as I've heard.
The Bloc and Roc Galvanize S2 is one of those headphones which gets better the longer it's worn. The way it brings instruments and performances to life is quite something for an on ear portable - quite uplifting! With this sort of power and finesse, the Galvanize S2 can certainly rocket.