Accessory maker Boat has been launching affordable smartphone accessories in the market for quite some time now. Some of its products have the Amazon Choice tag and have managed to rack up a lot of customer review and ratings. We recently tested the ultra-affordable Boat Bassheads 225 earphones and found them to be good for the asking price. Now, we have the Boat Rockerz 400, a pair of Bluetooth headphones that is priced at Rs. 1,499. Are they good value for money or has the company made a lot of compromises to hit that aggressive price point? We find out.
Boat Rockerz 400 design and features
The Boat Rockerz 400 is available in four colour options; Carbon Black, Black/ Red, Black/ Blue, and Grey/ Green. Apart from the Carbon Black, all the other options have a two-tone finish. We had a Grey/ Green unit for this review.
The neon green finish on the ear cups and headband cushion (a good addition at this price) might appear gaudy to some. Boat has finished the headband and the earcups in grey plastic, while the slide bar for the headband is made out of metal.
Looking closely at the build quality of this pair of headphones, we can see that it has been built to a cost. Both the earcups have Boat logos on them. The right one has three buttons (finished in neon green). The center button is for play/ pause as well as to power these headphones on. The other two buttons are for skipping to the next track or the previous track and controlling the volume.
There is a Micro-USB port for charging these headphones and an LED light that blinks blue intermittently when the headphones are paired to a device. While charging, the same LED glows red. The left earcup only has the microphone. Next to the Micro-USB port is an auxiliary input which you can use to connect these headphones to a source with an aux cable. This is handy for times when the battery has run out or your need to use a source device without Bluetooth.
The ear cushions are made out of cloth. This makes the Rockerz 400 comfortable to wear, but it will soak up sweat if you use it while working out. The Carbon Black as well as the Black/ Red colour variants have rexine ear cushions, while the other two Black/ Blue variant also has cloth. At 110g, we found the headphones to be light and the headband had enough clamping force to stay in place. This pair of headphones has an on-ear fit and we did notice that our ears got warm after about 20 minutes of using these headphones.
The Rockerz 400 has 40mm drivers with 32 Ohms impedance ratings and a frequency response range of 20Hz-20KHz. It has a 250mAh battery and a claimed battery life of 8 hours.
Boat Rockerz 400 performance and battery life
Power on the Boat Rockerz 400 and you hear a verbal cue that goes “Powering on, you've plugged into nirvana”. Once you pair a device with the headphones, you'll hear “You are now connected to Boat Rockerz 400”. Long-press the power button and the device has yet another quip, “Adios amigo, powering off”. These are quite annoying and there is no way to disable them. A simpler system of beeps to notify users about the status of these headphones would have been much better.
We used these headphones with a Google Pixel 3 and a Macbook Air for our review. The Boat Rockerz 400 was comfortable and the cushioning on the headband was helpful. The slide bar does not have ridges so it is not easy to adjust the two sides to at the same level. Thankfully, the earcups swivel and we could adjust them easily.
The buttons that Boat has used on these headphones jut out slightly from the right earcup, which makes them easy to find and convenient to use while wearing the headphones.
The Boat Rockerz 400 delivers good audio quality but is quite bright at higher volumes. As expected, the Rockerz 400 doesn't have very good instrument separation and the soundstage is also narrow, but this is acceptable at its Rs. 1,499 price. These headphones leak a lot of sound and anyone sitting next to you will be able to hear even the lyrics of the songs you are listening to.
We also found that the volume does not sync with the phone and you have independent volume control on the headphones. Long-pressing the track skip/ repeat buttons changes the volume on the headset while a short-press changes the track. Ideally, these should have been the other way around. Since this control is inverted, it is really hard to fine-tune the volume.
When listening to Somewhere I Belong by Linkin Park, the Rockerz 400 failed to manage decent separation between the electric guitar and the drum set. These headphones have a decent amount of bass and mids but the highs do sound shrill at higher volumes. We mostly used these headphones at 80 percent volume since the highs were manageable up to this point.
We used the Rockerz 400 for watching a couple of videos and found the performance to be acceptable. The noise cancelling microphone was average on calls and our callers said that we sounded distant.
Battery life is rated at 8 hours of continuous music playback but we managed to get 9 hours . The charging time quoted by the manufacturer is 2 hours, and the headphones took around that much time to charge fully. The LED light glows red while charging and goes off to notify you that charging is done. There is no quick charging.
The Boat Rockerz 400 is an affordable pair of Bluetooth headphones that offers decent audio quality for the price. If you aren't going to blast audio at full volume, you won't really be bothered by the highs sounding too shrill. It isn't the best for calls so we would recommend using it only for casual audio listening.
At Rs. 1,499, the Boat Rockerz 400 does not have a lot of competition, making it easy to recommend.
Price: Rs. 1,499
- Light and comfortable
- Good bass and mids
- Decent battery life
- Plastic body doesn't feel premium
- Highs sound shrill at high volumes
- Below-average call quality
- Annoying verbal cues
Ratings (out of 5)
- Design/ comfort: 3
- Audio quality: 2.5
- Battery life: 3
- Value for money: 3.5
- Overall: 3
Realme Buds, Mi Earphones, or others: Which are the best headphones under Rs. 1,000 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.