Chances are, you've never heard of Aurisonics, so here's a little backstory: it's a company based in Nashville, Tenn., founded in 2011 by audio engineer and audio products designer Dale Lott.
Frankly, I'd never been all that impressed with Aurisonic's other headphones, so I had low expectations for the Rockets. But when I first tried them on I was floored; the sound was incredibly pure and clear, far beyond any other in-ear headphone I've heard for the price -- $249 for Rockets sans mic or phone controls, $299 with the mic and controls.
Oh, and the last time I checked, most in-ear headphones come with one- or two-year warranties; the Rockets have a five-year warranty. They're made in Nashville and are the most affordable made-in-the-US in-ear headphone I've tested.
The Rockets feature smaller than average 5.1mm drivers, but not to worry, I never felt the sound was lacking in bass or dynamics. Rockets can be worn in either drop-down or over-ear style.
The Rockets' small and lightweight machined titanium earpieces can definitely be credited with the uber comfortable fit, and Aurisonic claims the Rockets are waterproof, so you can exercise or walk in the rain with them.
You don't have to be an experienced audiophile to appreciate the Rockets' allure, just listen to any decently recorded music. Man, the headphones' clarity is off-the-charts awesome, on par with much more expensive in-ears, nearly matching the $450I just recently tested.
For comparison's sake I popped on myin-ear headphone, which is no slouch in the transparency department. The C5 S2's larger size made for a less comfortable fit; I was much more aware of having them in my ears, whereas the Rockets disappeared more.
Soundwise, I still found a lot to like about the C5 S2: the clarity is addicting, but it's not as spacious and open-sounding as the Rockets. That headphone has a brighter, more revealing treble. The C5 S2 is hardly lacking in detail, but it's definitely less bright than the Rockets. I would usually prefer less bright headphones, but with the Rockets I could hear "deeper" into densely mixed Radiohead recordings. The Rockets sound is not laid back, and it won't do anything to hide the crud of poor-sounding MP3s. On the lower end of the spectrum, A Tribe Called Quest's "The Low-End Theory" had bass oomph that sounded impressively deep over both headphones, but the Rockets' tighter bass definition is noteworthy.
My takeaway about the Rockets' sound is that there's uber resolution without the emphasis that inevitably leads to ear fatigue over time. I love these headphones!