Earbud Review: RHA MA150

Close up of RHA MA150

Source
RHA MA150 and recyclable packaging
RHA MA150 and recyclable packaging | Source
Comparison photo of MA350 (left) with MA150 (right)
Comparison photo of MA350 (left) with MA150 (right) | Source

Several weeks ago, I reviewed a pair of earbuds from a small, Scottish audio company. RHA of Glasgow offers a short but interesting lineup of affordable audio equipment, including earbuds and headphones. I reviewed their mid-level earbuds, the model MA350, and I was impressed by the power of those little earbuds, with the rich bass and exciting detail they were capable of pulling out of whatever source material I ran through them. With a fairly full soundstage, they made music fun! Checking RHA's website, I noticed that they offer a similar model - the MA150 - with the same basic design and driver unit, but with some fundamental differences in construction that allow RHA to offer them at an even lower price point than the already reasonably-priced MA350. I ordered a set of MA150s for review and I've had some time now to give them a run for my money, so let's see what you get for half the price of their more expensive model.

First thing I noticed is that the packaging of the MA150s is similar to that of their big brother, packaged in a small, but nice recyclable cardboard box that is easy to open and good for the environment. It can even be re-used to store the earbuds in when not in use. Inside the box, I found the MA150s, with (as usual) three sizes of eartips - small, medium and large - with the medium size already fitted to the earbuds. Lacking was the rather nice little velour pouch that ships with the MA350s, but I suppose that's part of the cost difference. I also noticed that they seemed to feel a bit lighter than the MA350s - a fact that was confirmed when I checked the specs of both models - this was no doubt due to the difference in construction (all-plastic for the MA150 vs aluminum for the MA350). Other differences include an all-rubber cord and a 45 degree angled plug for the MA150, instead of the braided cord and straight plug of the more expensive model. Overall, the quality appeared solid, if a bit plain.

Trying them out, fit was good, as it was with the MA350. The rubber tips fit comfortably in my ears and the light weight made extended listening a joy. I did notice some thumping whenever the cord would bounce around and strike something as I moved, but it was not bad - just noticeable. Some have complained about the cord being thin and tangle-prone, but I did not experience these issues with my sample pair. The cord seemed of at least average thickness, if not particularly robust, and seemed to untangle easily, even after riding in my pocket for an afternoon of errands.

The sound signature of the MA150 was similar to their more expensive sibling, with the same full, solid bass with good extension, aided by the passive noise-cancelling design. Mid-range was comfortable and balanced, with vocals singing (pun intended) through the mix and highs clear, if not quite as sparkling as those of the MA350. Both models presented good instrument separation and a nice, broad soundstage, overall making for an incredibly fun, lively audio experience.

Specifications:

Drivers - 10mm Mylar

Frequency range - 16-22,000Hz

Impedance - 16ohms

Sensitivity - 103dB

Cable - 1.2m Rubber

Connections - 45 degree, gold plated, 3.5mm

Overall, I continue to be impressed with the quality and value of RHA's product line. Combining unique design with above average build quality and a very enjoyably listenable experience at a very competitive price point, RHA continues to be one of my top picks for earbuds.


© 2013 Daniel Petreikis

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Comments 2 comments

jabelufiroz profile image

jabelufiroz 3 years ago from India

Nice Earbud Review. Voted up.


EclecticHoosier profile image

EclecticHoosier 3 years ago from Chicago, IL Author

Thanks for the vote up!

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