Røde NTH-100: What is it?
Røde has been in the market for making more than just microphones for a good while now. With mixers aimed at podcasting and small audio interfaces for content creators, it is little wonder the company should now develop its first pair of headphones, the over-ear NTH-100s.
However, for a company with a reputation for price-beating, high-quality products, coming relatively late to such a swamped market, the stakes are obviously high. Røde needn’t worry though – as soon as you take the NTH-100s out of the box, it is soon all too clear that the Aussie firm has taken its time in creating these circumaural headphones.
The first thing you’ll notice is the shape of those ear cups. Why no one has thought of this before we don’t know, but it certainly makes sense to have the cups shaped similarly to that of the human ear, right? Shod with soft Alcantara and memory foam in all the right places, first impressions straight out of the box were good.
- More of the best studio headphones under $200/£200
Røde NTH-100: Performance and verdict
The NTH-100s are powered by 40mm dynamic drivers that are capable of delivering a frequency response of 5Hz – 35kHz at 32 ohms, with a sensitivity of 110dB/V. They come packaged with one 2.4m straight TRRS cable, the obligatory 3.5mm to ¼-inch adapter, a soft pouch for storage and different coloured end caps for the cable.
Another thing we noticed during unboxing was a couple of trademarks highlighted in the sales blurb. The first, CoolTech(™), seemed a bit like marketing speak for “your head won’t cook with things on” and didn’t grab the eye too much, but the second, FitLok(™), piqued our interest.
We’ve had a long-standing battle with the fit of most over-ear headphones, but most notably it has been a struggle against the adjustment band for all headphone types. Sometimes they slide with too much tension and sometimes too little. Others click into place with spacings either too close together or annoyingly apart. It’s always a struggle to get them to sit right. And don’t get us started on trying to get the cups measured equally on either side – impossible!
Røde’s approach to this particular quandary was to come up with a locking system that allows you to faff about with the fit once and then move on with your life. FitLok is simple yet elegant with two locking points for each side.
It turns out the CoolTech feature isn’t just marketing speak, within seconds of putting the NTH-100s on you'll experience a minty-fresh cooling sensation around your ears. While the initial sensation doesn't last, after several hours of monitoring and mixing in a stuffy studio we found that the layer of cooling gel nestled underneath the Alcantara does the job of keeping the temperature down.
As for the sound, we were happy with using the NTH-100s in all studio scenarios. They produce clarity with an assurance that you can go about monitoring, mixing, and mastering with a sonically faithful representation of your sound throughout. We detected little to no noise at higher volume levels either, and obviously, much attention has gone into tuning those earcups and drivers so that they can deliver a fine balance of focus and width in the soundstage.
The NTH-100s are a storming success for Røde’s first foray into the world of headphones, with innovative design cues, and a clear and faithful recreation of sound, comfort, robust and quality construction throughout. These are some of the best headphones we’ve tested in a long time.
MusicRadar verdict: The NTH-100s are the best over-ear headphones we’ve tried for their price bracket. Go-to cans for all listening scenarios.
Røde NTH-100: The web says
"Rode have married their ergonomic innovations to a level of sound quality that was previously available only in much more expensive models — and I’m seriously impressed."
Sound on Sound
Røde NTH-100: Hands-on demos
The HEADPHONE Show
Røde NTH-100: Specifications
- TRANSDUCER SIZE: 40mm.
- OPERATING PRINCIPLE: Dynamic.
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 5Hz – 35kHz.
- IMPEDANCE: 32Ω.
- SENSITIVITY: 110dB/V.
- MAX INPUT POWER: 1700mW, 1% THD @ 1kHz.
- EAR COUPLING: Circumaural.
- AMBIENT NOISE ATTENUATION: 20dBA.
- CONNECTION TYPE: Dual TRRS Cable Attachments.
- CONTACT: Røde