RHA MA750i in-ear headphones – Unbelievable sound, build quality and comfort for relatively low cost [Review]

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RHA, the Glasgow-based company is back with its latest hit, the MA750i earphones. I’ve been impressed by the company’s headphones in the past. Regardless of price point, each pair of earphones I’ve used has been incredible. Sound quality for the money has left me stunned. I was expecting more of the same with the MA750i.

At $129.99 (£89) they’re easily the most expensive set in the range, but they’re still incredibly good value for money. Build quality is simply stunning. The headset’s gold plated headset jack is surrounded by a solid steel casing which feels very sturdy. As does the inline microphone and the earphones themselves. Not only does the choice of steel make the headset feel sturdy and well-made, it gives it an awesome industrial look. I fell in love as soon as I saw them.

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The earphones themselves are shaped like a trumpet bell. A shape the company has deliberately gone with – not only to make them look distinct – but for its acoustic properties. With steel casings adding a little weight to the earphones, RHA decided to make it as comfortable as possible to wear by using a contoured over-ear cable to help distribute the weight, and stop gravity from pulling the earbuds away from your ears. These are undoubtedly the most comfortable in-ear headphones I’ve ever worn and that’s not just down to the over-ear cable. It also comes with a small plastic clip to attach it to your collar, and ships with 10 sets of interchangeable ear tips. Most of them are dual density silicone, but my personal favorites are the memory foam tips.

My problem with in-ear solutions in the past is that the silicone tips always feel like they’re squeezing the air out of my ears, creating pressure that’s unbearable. Not only that, they completely block out any ambient noise. You might think that’s a good thing, but it’s not when your primary use of earphones is walking near a busy road. It can be handy to hear oncoming traffic.

Because the memory foam tips expand to fit perfectly, they feel fantastic in ear, they don’t move around and they don’t block out all external noise. At times, I’ve almost forgot I’m wearing them. I’ve happily worn them for 60mins at a time without my ears getting sore. That is a first for any in-ear audio products. It almost feels like you’re not wearing them at all, and yet you have the pleasure of having well-balanced sound in your head. If memory foam isn’t your bag. That’s fine. You should still be able to find pair of tips included in the package that fit your ears comfortably. If you can’t,  you may as well give up looking for earphones.

Another nice touch was the inclusion of a neat carry case. It has a small net pouch for carrying your headphones, and a stainless steel card-shaped holder for all your spare tips. All-in-all it’s very much an all-inclusive package.

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With it looking and feeling so great, I was almost tempted to think that they’d scrimp on the sound. They didn’t. Not at all. And it’s all down to the built-in 560.1 drivers. RHA states on its site that: “The RHA 560 series of drivers has been designed to deliver a clear and natural sound. With high levels of spatial separation and distance, they are capable of reproducing audio with exceptional power and precision.” And it’s no word of a lie.

If you’re really in to a deep, thumpy bass, these are not the earphones for you. But, I’m yet to find any earphones that come close to this level of sound quality at this price point. Sound is clear and very well balanced. Trebles aren’t ear-piercing like they can be sometimes with smaller sets, and bass isn’t muddy and doesn’t drown out the rest of the range like it normally does with cheap(er) earphones. In fact, it’s probably the only thing some people might class as a negative. Sound is so pure, so clinical in its balance that it lacks a little punch. Maybe you want to groove along to some Level 42 slap-bass. (I openly admit to that – I do.) In those instances, I was urging the set to show me some groove, give me some dirty, grinding, funky bass. I didn’t get any. Thankfully – for my sanity – that rarely happens.

As with every other pair of RHA earphones, I’m left marveling at an audio product that could easily cost more and still not under-deliver. If you’re an audiophile with a tight budget, you should seriously buy (or at least try) a pair of MA750i’s before spending double on another brand. They’re sturdy, look amazing, sound fantastic and feel stupidly comfortable.

For $129 (£89) you get the MA750i which comes with the inline mic, if you don’t want that, you can save yourself some cash and buy the MA750 for $119 (£79). They also come with a 3-year guarantee, just in case you’re worried your investment might not last as long as you’d like.

Product Link UK: http://www.rha-audio.com/uk/headphones/ma750i.html
Product Link US: http://www.rha-audio.com/us/headphones/ma750i.html

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