Design - 9/10
Comfort - 9/10
Sound - 9.5/10
Rode is expanding its business a little. Rode has been known for decades now for its incredible microphones, for all kinds of different situations. But now it’s moving into a new market — the headphone market. To that end, the company has developed its first pair of headphones — the Rode NTH-100 headphones.
The new headphones are built specifically for creators — whether they be studio musicians, filmmakers, or podcasters. They’re not as full-featured as many of the consumer headphones we’ve seen over the past few years — but they’re not built to be. Instead, they’re made to offer a comfortable fit and quality sound, in a package that looks pretty cool.
But the world of studio headphones isn’t easy to break into, either. The likes of Sony, Sennheiser, and Shure have dominated the market for years now. Do the Rode NTH-100 do enough to compete? I’ve been using them to find out.
Rode NTH-100 headphones design
The Rode NTH-100 headphones look like studio cans. They’re built with black plastic and a metal frame, with a nice-feeling Alcantara covering the ear cups and headband. I find the black to look sleek and stylish, especially for a professional setting — but you can swap out the ear cups, headband, and cable for something more colorful.
Unlike some other headphones, these offer a triangular ear cup shape, which helps make them look a little more unique than some others. Thankfully, this doesn’t negatively impact comfort, which we’ll get into a little later.
On each ear cup, you’ll find the Rode logo, along with an input for the cable. That means that you can insert the cable on either side of the headphones, which is definitely helpful for musicians who may want to put the cable out of the way.
Rode has included methods to ensure the ear cups stay in place too. There’s a locking mechanism on the ear cup slider, letting you adjust them, then lock them in place. Rode calls this mechanism FitLok, and I found it to be very easy to use.
In the box, apart from the headphones and 2.4-meter cable, you’ll get a 1/4-inch adapter, a carry bag, and color clips that can be attached to the cable.
Rode NTH-100 headphones comfort
The Rode NTH-100 headphones don’t just look good — they’re pretty comfortable too. As mentioned, the earcups and headband are covered in Alcantara, and it’s soft to the touch. It definitely helps give the headphones a premium feel, both in the hand and on the head. Under that covering is a memory foam that helps keep the headphones cool and comfortable, even for longer listening periods.
Generally, the Rode NTH-100 headphones are quite comfortable, especially after you’ve worn them for a bit and gotten used to how they sit on the head. They also have a decent clamp that ensures they remain firmly on the head.
Rode NTH-100 headphones sound
Of course, the most important thing about these headphones has much more to do with how they sound than anything else. Thankfully, Rode’s first attempt at a pair of studio headphones sounds excellent.
Because these headphones are built for studio use, they’re aimed at being relatively neutral, and they achieve that. They’re not perfectly neutral, but you wouldn’t expect that from a pair of headphones in this price range. Instead, they offer a solidly flat frequency response that allows you to get a good idea of how what you’re working on sounds. And, like any pair of headphones you use in the studio, you’ll want to spend some time getting acquainted with how they sound before using them for music production.
Unlike some consumer headphones, the bass response on the NTH-100 headphones is well-defined and slightly laid back. That extends into the low mids, which are warm and present, and avoid getting muddy. The low mids are perhaps slightly accentuated, but only the tiniest amount, and not enough to call the headphones not neutral.
The highs on these headphones are clear and detailed, with good sibilance. They don’t go over the top in the high end, which is good for music production headphones. They don’t offer the same level of high-end extension as more expensive production headphones, but you wouldn’t expect them to either.
The Rode NTH-100 headphones are an excellent buy at an affordable price. They’re stylish and comfortable, plus they sound great. They’re not without their competition — but ultimately, they’re able to compete with the best options in this price range, and if you’re looking for a pair of production headphones in this price range, you’ll love the Rode NTH-100 headphones. You can buy them for yourself using the links below.