The Roman S530 is a pair of in-ear stereo bluetooth earphones with separate ear pieces that can operate in tandem or as a singular unit. Shenzhen Roman Technology Co., Ltd is from China, and manufactures quite a number of low price Bluetooth devices like headsets, earphones since 2008. Bluetooth earphones are good accessories for mobile phones due to their wireless convenience. There’s no tangled wire mess or wires getting in the way when you are in the gym or out for a run. I received the Roman S530 from Gearbest as a review unit and here’s my two cents worth.
They are currently available from Gearbest for $13.99 with coupon ‘s530’, and available in colours Red, White and Black.
The Roman S530 are actually two separate ear pieces, with the right unit being the master device with the on/off switch, volume controls and microphone. Both ear piece sport a micro USB port which is connected via the provided flat micro usb to micro usb cable. The flat cable is meant to reduce cord tangles. It’s about 40 cm long, which is a comfortable size to connect the two ear phones together or to just unplug and let them dangle around my neck.
The micro USB port is also for charging, and both ear pieces needs to be charged. That’s where the Y USB cable comes in, which allows you to charge both pieces concurrently. No wall adapter provided, but any phone charger or computer USB would work. Pairing the ear phones to my LG G Pro2 was pretty simple. There’s no NFC feature and all that, but it starts searching for nearby bluetooth devices when you power it on and it pairs easily even when switching to other phones. The range is about the rated 10m, as long as there is a direct line of sight.
The ear piece is a cylindrical T-shape with chrome like finishes at the ends and finally, the ear hooks extends from out the top. You can remove them if you want, although they really help keep the ear pieces in place especially if you use them for sports, e.g. running. I tried them out at the gym and out for a run and overall, it held up pretty well. The ear hooks are also adjustable, such that you can customise the curvature so that it fits better around your ears. They are covered with a soft rubber, similar to what you get on spectacles tips. The earphones comes with only two pairs of ear tips, which is a bit limited as compared to other earphone offerings. It is standard size though so you can switch them out to your own.
Overall, I found that they are pretty comfortable to wear. When compared to another pair of bluetooth ear phones, the Nokia BH-505, which has a band at the back, the Roman S530 is only connected by a flat USB cable. This allows me the flexibility to lie down on my bed to watch a show, listen to music, without the earphones getting in the way. Also, since all the electronics are housed in the ear piece area, there’s no dangling bits on the cords, like e.g. the controls or charging connector, which tend to bounce when you are running, so this doesn’t have the problem.
Audio Quality wasn’t what I was expecting
Unfortunately, the earphones look better than they sound. The bass is weak, almost non-existent. Highs are a little on the high side, which drowns out the mids and makes for rather harsh listening especially since I am more into heavier music genres like metal or rock. I did test it on a variety of songs though, from artistes like ArchEnemy to Damien Rice to GDragon. More soothing songs generally fared better on the S530 but it’s barely average at best. The Roman S530 is stereo, which is indeed an issue with previous low cost cheap bluetooth earphones. Someone was asking about audiobook listening on this earphones, which might be one of the better applications for it. Personally, I find high treble rather tiring for prolonged listening, and coupled with the poor bass, means that overall sound quality is lacking. There are some improvements after I switched the ear tips to my personal pair from another earphones. That provided a better seal which improves the bass response, and I also installed an equaliser app on my phone to try to compensate the various frequencies.
As mentioned earlier, the Roman S530 allows operation as single ear piece unit, so you can use it as a standard car handsfree set. Microphone on the unit picks up my voice well, and the other party had no problems hearing me. The internal battery is rated to last over 6 hours on music playback and thanks to Bluetooth 4.0, has a long standby time of 240 hours.
Overall, the Roman S530 has a nice design, decent build quality, offers ability to switch from mono-earpiece to stereo, and holds well in the ear during sports. But to me, earphones are for music listening. That’s the primary objective and unfortunately, the sound quality for the S530 just doesn’t cut it for me. That being said, at this price point, I can’t think of a good sounding pair of bluetooth earphones that is also suited for sports. If you are only looking for the bluetooth convenience, then perhaps, these pair of earphones might be worth considering for the above factors.