RHA MA-350 Headphones Review
Welcome to our RHA MA-350 Earphones Review. You’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about RHA Headphones in the near future. The British headphones company will soon be having their headphones featured in Apple stores all across North America. The upstart British company will definitely make a statement with the the MA-350’s, which are the best sounding earphones under $100 I’ve ever tried. In fact, they are featured as #1 on our round-up of the best headphones under $50.
Headphones’ Best Feature: 10mm Mylar Drivers
In high-end over-ear headphones, it’s not uncommon to find 40-50mm drivers to help drive the sound. But in the earphones world, the 10mm drivers here are a rarity. The result is that these earphones produce incredible detail and can handle both highs and lows effortlessly. I tried out some Beethoven mp3s on my old iPhone 3GS and it sounded amazing. But most importantly, I was able to crank it loud without losing any detail.
But it also handled Metallica just as well. The heavy bass drums of “Enter Sandman” hit nicely. These aren’t the most bass-heavy earbuds, but the bass is tight and impactful in a way that doesn’t detract from the rest of the music.
The best part is you don’t need any enhancements to enjoy the music. I usually play music through an equalizer amp to help correct the iPhone’s sub-standard sound. But with these I found I didn’t need it at all. I then hooked up my Fiio E6 Portable Amp to see how my iPad and iPhone sounded with a little boost. While it was a bit louder, it definitely wasn’t necessary for you to enjoy the music.
Out of curiosity I tried out the MA-350’s with my home computer, which has substantially better sound output than portable devices. I tried the same Beethoven tracks, but this time I played lossless FLAC files. I had to tilt my head down, since the small 4ft. cable wasn’t designed to be used on a home computer.
But the result was awesome. The earphones were able to bring out an astonishing amount of detail: the separation of instruments, the musicians breathing, and I could even hear the air pressure in the room they were recording in!
Those aren’t the kind of details you should be able to hear in sub-$50 headphones. That’s the $300 and up range of sound reproduction.
RHA MA-350 Specs:
The soft silicone tips were a welcome change from earphones in this price range: usually they use some kind of hard rubber that makes your ear canal hurt after an hour or two. These tips conform to your unique ear shape and form a seal quite effortlessly. RHA also includes 3 different sized tips for those unique shaped ears. But they fit in mine no problem.
The braided cloth cable is a nice touch that will add months (if not years) of durability to the earphones. During my week with the earphones I have ran my office chair over them, dropped a dumbbell on them (by accident) and there aren’t any worse for wear. The headphone jack itself is a standard 3.5mm gold-plated jack. It’s hard to simulate months worth of wear and tear in a week, but so far these earphones don’t look like they’re going anywhere.
The one complaint I have is a result of this braided cable. There is some interference when the fabric cord rubs against your clothing. The Y-cable has a plastic nub that can help reduce it. I worse it underneath my shirt to prevent interference while I was at the gym. It’s a common problem with all IEM’s, but if it bothers you then you might want to get a shirt clip.
There’s something special about earphones that are at home with both Metallica and Beethoven. I’ll say this once: there’s no better set of headphones you can get for under $50. If you have a wide variety of musical tastes and don’t want to buy separate earphones for each, this will do. It elevates the iPhone and iPad’s sound output beyond what it deserves.
The interference is an issue, but it will be for any earbuds. If you want good workout headphones and you can’t stand cable interference, then you may want to consider getting some bluetooth headphones.
If you’re mainly a bass head and want some good quality bassy headphones for about the same price, then I recommend the Sennheiser CX300 MKII earbuds. They will give you the boom that you crave.