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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value Earphones from RHA., 2 July 2012
This review is from: RHA MA450i Noise Isolating In Ear Earphones with Remote and Microphone - Black (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I purchased these recently as I received an email from RHA letting me know they were available. I've never actually bought an RHA product before, but I did get in touch with them a while ago to ask about their over-ear headphones (CA-200). Luckily for them, one of the earbuds on my Sennheiser CX300s decided it had had enough of entertaining me and committed headphone suicide last week after a couple of months of usage (no noise from the left bud at all).

I decided to take a punt on the new RHA earbuds - the reviews for their other products, especially the in-ear earphones - make them seem almost too-good-to-be-true, but after a couple of days of usage, I'm a convert. The MA450i's are really, really good.

RHA do two kinds of earbud, based on my quick Amazon research, the 350 and these 450i's whose name features the ubiquitous lower-case `i' signifying their Apple Compatibility. I actually don't have an iPhone or iPod but I thought the extra £10 for better sound and the promise that the inline remote would work with my Samsung Galaxy S3 was a decent enough exchange. You also get LOTS of extra earbud tips compared to the 350, but more on that later.

I can't comment on the sound quality of the MA350's, though plenty of others have on their product page, but if they're anywhere near as good as the 450i's and you don't care about using the earphones with your phone, they're a massive bargain, as the 450i's, at £40, represent very good value.

The sound is incredibly clean and natural, bassy tracks sound bassy without seeming forced, vocals are clear and crisp and treble has just the right amount of lightness. The level of detail in music listened through the MA450is vs the Sennheisers is remarkable, everything just seems much better balanced and each element of tracks is defined and noticeable in a natural way.

I tried the 450i's with a good number of different styles of music, and whilst the headphones didn't seem to suit one style over another, neither was any style worse off than any other, so bassy rap tracks were just as impressive sounding as classical pieces which were in turn just as good sounding as guitar-heavy indie/rock songs.

I might be gushing about the sound quality, but I was genuinely, and delightedly surprised with the sound from these buds. Whether it's the `aerophonic' design they chat about on the side of the box or just decent components and build, RHA have got it right with the MA450i.

The build quality is good, and the two-tone tips with hints of orange look really smart when they're not in the ear. The aluminium buds have a high-gloss finish which I wasn't sure about at first, but am growing to like. The cable is fabric-wrapped, rather than the normal rubber, which I had in a pair of Aircoustic buds a few years ago. I don't know whether it's really `tangle-proof' but I prefer the texture and it seems a bit more robust than the normal flimsy rubber cable.

The remote and mic work well with the Galaxy S3, though I'm yet to test these aspects thoroughly, I'll come back to update once I have. I was pleasantly surprised to find they worked with my MacBook and iTunes/Skype for volume/track/call answering. Handy.

The buds come with a little velour bag, (tiny velour bags for everything!) and a little box with six additional pairs of tips. I tried out one of the larger pairs because I wasn't too sure about the fit on the pair which comes equipped and they're much better for my apparently slightly large ears. The other extra pairs will probably come in pretty handy when I lose one of the tips (unavoidable), though the fit of the tips on the bud is very snug.

In summary, I'm very pleased with this purchase. Having tested them at the gym and at work, I would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for a decent set of headphones for a decent price. The MA450i cover so many different bases and do them all very, very well for a £40 set of headphones.

Definitely give them a try if you're looking for quality and don't want to be dishing out mad money.
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