For several years now, RHA has proved to be a force that anyone who enjoys vintage music can rely on. This British audio equipment manufacturer seems to pay detailed attention not only to sound signature but the overall ergonomics and durability of its sound units.
Most of RHA’s products have received great applause and continue to win numerous awards. This is obviously because they stand out from the rest not only in terms of performance but their level of comfort, functionality, and durability.
In 2014, their premium T10 and T10i series brought a whole new revolution in the music market. These 2 units introduced an era of solid metal earpiece construction and an easily moldable part of the cable to act as an ear hoop. That’s not all. They also brought the convenience of balancing treble and bass to your preference by replacing physical filters.
RHA later went ahead to introduce their T20i, RHA-S500, and RHA-MA750i series. These sound units have won several awards including the prestigious L’Observeur du Design award and VGP Summer 2016 Awards for Audio Innovation.
So, if you’re on the fence about to purchase either of them, brace yourself for an impressive sound quality.
Before that, here’s a review of the 3 in-ear headphones. A comparison also comes at the end to pinpoint some similarities and differences between the 3 units.
The T20i is a truly killer pair which has been precisely tuned and feature-loaded to meet all your needs. Before taking out some of its impeccable features and for the sake of preventing future frustrations and surprises, do know that this unit commands a wallet-wrecking price tag over the 200-dollar mark.
However, it’s available in 2 models. The only difference is that one lacks an in-line remote and microphone. It’s also a few bucks cheaper.
Note: we reviewed the model with the remote control and microphone kit.
- Design and performance
This unit’s driver housing is machined from high-grade stainless steel. According to the manufacturer, this metal has been heat-treated for close to 10 hours at about 13000c to attain its density and an ergonomic shape that is ideal for your ear.
This casing houses DualCoil Driver Technology which, presumably, gives these headphones their punchy performance.
For clarity purposes, do know that most in-ear headphones only have a single driver due to their tininess. This driver is meant to handle all highs, mids, and lows. But that’s not the case with T20i. This one features dual-core drivers coiled around a magnet. One of them handles the highs and higher mids while the second one is for low mids and lows.
Needless to say, compared to other single-driver units, T20i comes out as the only man in a group of boys.
This goodness is then accentuated by the ability to fine-tune the sound’s clarity through a filtering system in the molded housing. This is a handy addition especially for those who like getting all the bass guitar, snare drums, piano, and vocals sounds. This also makes it a stellar and an ultra-efficient performer in almost all music genres.
- Noise cancellation and comfort
The hallmark of an earpiece is its ability to deliver high-resolution audio without screwing off the auditory canal. RHA seems to have left no stone unturned in ensuring this.
It all begins with the snugly-fitting earpieces. As noted before, they feature a superior ergonomic design meant to inject the music into the ear without causing any discomforts.
You need not worry about the ear tips at all. The package comes laden with 6 sets of dual-density ear tips. They are meant to offer the comfortable fit and optimum noise isolation.
The ear tips are then held in position by over-ear steel spring hooks. These hooks create a secure fit which again contributes to effective noise isolation.
- Made for the iPhone
RHA T20i headphone model is specially designed for iPhone. It brings along an in-line microphone and 3-button remote control. These 2 offer great convenience in receiving and ending calls as well as managing the volume and selecting the tracks.
- Included accessories
This package also brings several accessories to make its usage easier. They include an ear tips holder, a deluxe storage case, clothing clip, tuning filter holder, and a clothing clip.
RHA T20i’s strength is in its clarity. The freedom to fine-tune the sounds to your preference and the accessories that come with the package make these headphones worth their premium price. However, though a great concept, you’ll not always find it practical to fish out a filter for a replacement while on the road.
It’s not always easy to find an item with a heavenly perfect balance between all features, especially when it comes to sound gears. Surprisingly, MA750i seems to be amongst a few with this capability. Again, it does this without being overly expensive like the T20i model.
So, let’s see what RHA MA750i has.
- Construction and Design
This version borrows some of its features from T20i. For instance, it’s made for iPhone thanks to its 3-button remote control and onboard microphone. No need to mention, these 2 allow you to take calls and also alter the volume without touching the phone.
This model may also be compatible with some Android versions.
The cable is also worth noting. It’s 1.35 meters (which is, in my opinion, a bit longer) and features OFC copper cores.
- Sound and performance
The plug, housing, and Y-split in this MA750i headphone are all made of 303F stainless steel grade. The casing features the RHA aeroponic shape borrowed from the trumpet’s bell design. This shape gives it a well-balanced and great depth soundstage with extreme accuracy and detail. Notably, the bass has the best take on this model’s design. You’ll certainly like the way it goes all the way down to the lowest levels- a feature with high-end units only.
- Excellent noise isolation
Unbelievably, MA750i comes with a set of 10 ear tips (8 silicone, dual flange, 2 memory foam). These ear tips come in different sizes and aim at ensuring a perfect fit and efficient noise isolation without compromising on your comfort. The over-ear hook that holds the ear piece in place makes this unit a tad better.
- Our view
If you’re looking for a durable in-ear headphone below 150 dollars, MA750i proves reliable. Its stainless reinforcement is a guarantee that you’ll be experiencing some real music for quite some time. It also has decent noise isolation and is comfortable. Moreover, the package has 10 earpieces all for your comfort’s sake.
RHA S500 is the most inexpensive unit of the 3. So, if you’re after a pair of in-ear headphone below 50 bucks, turn here. However, as you know you get what you pay for. This means that you may not get the richly detailed and articulated sound reproduction with the other models.
Anyway, let’s take a tour.
- Design and performance
S500 is the lightest of the 3. Its housing is crafted from incredibly lightweight yet durable aluminum alloy. In the housing, you get a single dynamic driver. This driver still delivers premium sounds for its price. It has a noticeable amount of bass that will, at least, ensure that you don’t get flat hits.
This model’s cable has a tangle-resistant construction design. The lower part has fabric braiding while the top is TPE-finished.
- Noise isolation
Like the previous models, S500 also brings with it a set of ear tips in 2 designs and several sizes for a customizable fit and noise isolation.
- Other accessories
This package also brings 6 sets of dual density ear tips and 1 pair of bi-flange ear tips.
You also get a unique tip holder, a carry pouch, and a cloth clip.
Comparing the RHA T20i, MA750i, and S500
All these headphones are covered by RHA’s comprehensive 3-year warranty.
Of these 3 in-ears, T20i is the priciest at over $200. It’s, however, worth every buck given its high-resolution audio. T20i is also the only model amongst the 3 with DualCoil Driver Technology. Consequently, its highs, mids, and lows are always on point.
MA750i comes next budget-wise. Though it lacks in DualCoil Technology, its housing’s aeroponic shape has excellent compensation for that. Though its sounds are not as refined as those of T20i, it still boasts a great depth of backstage.
Lastly, S500 is a great option if you’re on a budget. It still offers vibrant sounds for its price. However, this is not yours if you’re looking for something durable.
MA750i strikes a balance between affordability and great performance. It’s durable, has an excellent sound signature, and also brings a load of accessories for your comfort.