Earphones is a necessary accessory today where most of the brands opt out of providing a pair inside the box. While the ones which usually come with the box are best left alone, I was on a hunt to buy a decent pair of wired earphones and came across this company called RHA. Based out of Scotland, RHA (Reid Heath Acoustics) is not a popular brand in India when it comes to consumer audio products. The RHA MA390u which costs at Rs 1,999 is the one I bought and this is my comprehensive review of the same.
What’s Inside the Box?
The RHA MA 390u comes with a decent packaging. Inside the box, you get a soft carrying case, two extra pairs of ear tips (small and large), a clip and some device literature along with the headsets of course. Most of the RHA products in India come with a 3-year warranty which is catered by the folks at Headphone Zone who happens to be the sole dealers of RHA products in India.
I will start with the design and gradually make my way to the Sound towards the end of this review. The RHA MA390u are built out of metal so they definitely feel premium. They are not that heavy as well, weighing at about 15 g. The wire is split into two parts, the part which connects to the two earbuds is made out of rubber while the part which connects the 3.5 mm port is covered with nylon fiber for better durability. The fiber coating also helps prevent the casual tangling which is a plus point everytime you pull off the earphones from your pocket or from a case. There is an inline mic with a single button remote fitted on the wire running down from the right earbud. A single tap on the button will Take/End calls or Play/Pause while a double tap will skip to next track and triple tap will go to previous track. There is no way you can control the volume from this remote.
Well, it is too early for me to comment on the durability as it had only been just over 2 weeks of me using these pair of earphones. However, going by how it took my occasional rough usage, these earphones are extremely durable. The fiber coating prevents the impact to get through to actual wiring. Further, given these are not prone to tangling is an added advantage for the durability aspect as well. Updated – The rubberized half of the wire does tend to tangle after some time.
The 3.5 mm port is not L-shaped but that didn’t pose any real challenges for me as there were not a lot of instances where I felt the wire is bending too much out of its comfort.
Given the headphones are not as heavy as any other regular metallic earphones generally are, it counts in for a really comfortable music listening experience. The earpiece sits comfortably in the ears and the small size ensures that it doesn’t hurt even if you use them while lying in bed. The earphones don’t come out easily, thanks to the high-quality dual density ear tips used. I couldn’t even feel them in my ears after some time.
We also have a video of the RHA MA 390u on YouTube. Check it out –
Ok then, let’s come to the point. The one main reason why all of us buy a pair of earphones/headphones is ‘Sound’ and I have to admit, the RHA MA 390u doesn’t disappoint in this aspect as well. To start with, the RHA MA 390u offers some exceptionally balanced output which not a lot of earphones offer at this price range offer. Most of the time, no aspect of sound is overpowering the other which is why I would recommend these earphones to anyone. Yet, there are some instances where you will feel that the highs are dominating a bit of mids while the bass is just fine. If you are a bass head and listen to a lot of bass heavy music, the RHA MA 390u is probably not the best choice at this price range. The bass on this one is punchy but not something that will blow your mind. And that’s ok, given how subjective sound can be. Apart from this, the soundstage on these earphones is pretty good as well. You can hear different layers of music which makes up for a rich listening experience.
However, there is one downside which is apparent in most of the situations. These earphones don’t get that loud. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me personally, but I know some people who love maxing out the volume everytime they plug in their headsets. Fortunately, this is where the noise isolation, which is perhaps the most compelling feature of these earphones, comes into the picture. Based on how the ear tips fit on to your ears, these earphones will almost completely disconnect you from the ambient noise and this holds true even when you are outdoors or traveling.
The inline mic managed to grasp the decent amount of sound when talking to a person over the phone while the remote worked just fine as well.
Update – The inline remote on the RHA MA390u is average at best. Although it will do the job in most of the situations, but there are times when the audio it takes in is a bit too muffled and low in volume for the person on the other side of the call to understand comfortably.
For the final verdict, the RHA MA390u is a win for me. These earphones offer some extremely good and clear sound, they are comfortable, they are durable and are just right in every department. I wish they had more controls on the mic but I can live with it. If you are looking for a pair of headsets under Rs 2,000, try these.
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