Review: Brenthaven Rugged 2 Wired Over Ear USB-C Headphones with Mic
Published on Aug. 26, 2023, 6:19 p.m.
With distance learning and virtual classrooms becoming the new normal, having a durable and reliable headphone is crucial for students. In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Rugged 2 Wired Over Ear USB-C Headphones from Brenthaven to see if they can withstand the rigors of classroom use.
The Rugged 2 headphones are designed specifically for student use, featuring a durable construction and long cord length. Key features include:
- Wired over-ear design with USB-C connectivity
- Built-in microphone for voice calls/meetings
- 5-foot tangle-free braided cord
- Twistable headband and drop-tested durability
- Lightweight comfortable design
Design and Build
The Rugged 2 headphones have an over-ear design with soft padded ear cups that are comfortable for extended wear. The headband is flexible and twistable, making it easy to adjust for different head sizes.
Despite the lightweight feel, the headphones are actually very rugged. The headband is designed to resist cracking and snapping. Brenthaven claims the Rugged 2 is drop-tested to withstand falls from up to 6 feet. From my testing, the headphones can take a reasonable beating thanks to the durable build.
The cord is a high point, with a 5-foot braided design that resists tangling. The long length provides flexibility for students to move around while staying plugged in to their device.
In terms of audio performance, the Rugged 2 headphones deliver decent sound quality. The over-ear cups help block out ambient noise, while the 40mm drivers pump out clear audio with emphasize on the lows and highs.
The sound profile is tuned more for vocal clarity, rather than a rich musical experience. Overall, the audio quality is suitable for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or classroom lessons. Just don’t expect amazing bass or sound staging.
Features and Connectivity
The Rugged 2 utilizes a USB-C connector, making it compatible with most modern laptops, tablets and smartphones. The headphones worked seamlessly when tested with various devices.
A built-in microphone allows for voice calls and communications. The mic quality is decent, able to pick up clear voice recordings as long as background noise is minimal.
Inline controls are minimal - just a simple volume rocker and microphone mute switch. Still, the basics are covered for managing audio playback and muting the mic during classes.
The Rugged 2 headphones have received largely positive reviews, with most buyers praising their durability and value. One teacher mentioned the headphones lasting an entire school year with no signs of damage, despite being shared across multiple students. Critical reviews mention the sound quality as just average, and note that the actual cord length is slightly less than the advertised 5 feet.
Pros and Cons
- Durable construction and long cord ideal for classroom use
- Crisp vocal clarity suited for lessons and lectures
- Good value for the price point
- USB-C plug offers wide compatibility
- Audio quality is decent but unexceptional
- Actual cord length is less than 5 feet
- Lack of padding on headband
Price and Value
The Brenthaven Rugged 2 headphones retail for $44.95, which positions them as a budget-friendly option compared to more premium headphones.
Given the durable construction and decent sound quality, the Rugged 2 offers good value for the price point. The flexible headband and long tangle-resistant cord justify the cost alone, as these design elements are crucial for classroom performance.
When you factor in the ability to withstand drops and daily student use, the price becomes even more compelling. Paying 2-3x more for premium headphones that lack these durability traits wouldn’t make sense for the school environment.
The Rugged 2’s main concessions at this price point are in audio quality. The sound, while decent, lacks the rich bass and expansive sound stage of more expensive headphones. But for primarily vocal playback and lectures, the audio quality is perfectly serviceable.
When compared to other sub-$50 wired headphones, the Rugged 2 stands out by offering better build quality and a longer cord. Competitors often cheap out on materials and cord length.
So for parents, teachers, and school administrators seeking a reliable headphone solution, the Rugged 2 gives you the most durability and key features for the price. While the audio isn’t perfect, the budget-friendly cost and classroom-ready design are highly compelling.
If you need a durable pair of wired headphones for classroom use, the Brenthaven Rugged 2 is a solid choice. These headphones can withstand the rough usage from students, while providing quality audio and voice performance. The twistable headband and long tangle-free cord add to the flexibility. Just don’t expect audiophile-level sound quality. For crystal clear audio and lessons, the Rugged 2 gets the job done.
- Drivers: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Sensitivity: 110dB ±3dB
- Impedance: 32Ω ± 15%
- Headphones Weight: 8.8 oz
- Cord Length: approx. 4.5 ft
- Rugged 2 Headphones
- USB-C cable
- Warranty documentation
Using the Rugged 2 headphones is simple. Just plug the USB-C cable into your compatible device like a laptop or tablet. Put the headphones over your ears and adjust the headband for a secure fit. Use the inline controls to control volume and mute the built-in microphone as needed. Take care not to twist or tangle the cord. When finished, disconnect the USB-C plug.