Pros: Deep sub-bass extension. Natural timbre, Impressive mid range attack, 3 year warranty, Sensible pricing.
Cons: Slight mid bass bloat, some vocal sibilance with certain DAPs, Fit might be bothersome for some.
Recently on Head-fi forums I was approached by another member to contribute in a competition RHA Team were holding to review their new MA750 dynamic based IEM. I knew very little about the company from Glasgow UK or any of their offerings in the past, I didn't even know how much MA750 was worth on receiving them which I think we can look at in a positive way, going in fresh! I'd like to thank RHA Team for the review sample as it's been a pleasant surprise indeed. Please make note the version I have is MA750 which does not come with the mic/controls.
• 303F grade stainless steel housings
• Handmade 560.1 dynamic driver
• Precise, balanced and articulate sound
• Reinforced, 1.35m, oxygen-free copper cable
• Signature aerophonic™ design
• Premium carry case & tip selection
• Three year warranty
• MSRP: $119.95
• Available 28th August - USA
• Available now - UK & Europe
Packaging and Accessories:
RHA spared nothing on the packaging of this earphone offering a first class experience, I can say that having purchased IEM's in the $300-$400 bracket. You'll be greeted with a wonderful box containing enough information to fill an encyclopedia, enough for you to sit there absorbing your fresh purchase for hours, mentally preparing for that big moment. Features, like the hand made 560.1 dynamic driver, stainless steel housing construction, and lets not forget that wonderful and lengthly 3 year warranty. Having a warranty of such time shows RHA are confident in their product. I think that's an incredible thought on their behalf and in all honestly when scanning the construction of MA750 I really do think durability is far above what the price would suggest already, especially the strain reliefs and sturdy cable thickness. You'll even be greeted with a frequency response chart, that admirable curve for those who like looking at them.
Lets take a look at that great assortment of tips provided and carry case. There's enough tips to suit almost everyone I imagine, everyone except for me unfortunately who has used IEM's for so long now daily I've literally stretched my ear canals? even the largest of silicon tips RHA provided would'nt keep seal for me. I find this rather frustrating as I'm left with limited tip choices, however I wouldn't let this concern everyday consumers. What RHA provided is more than sufficient offering a ton of options, including single flange, double flange and foam tips options. I will make note the tips are of decent silicon quality, possibly a little thin on the walls, I prefer something thicker, however light and comfortable.
There's also one stylish carry case provided which has more than enough room for your new earphones. If there's something I can't stand when a company makes a carry case assuming you're going to compress your earphones and spend 10 minutes carefully shoving them inside only to need them out again in half an hour. What RHA did is make the case to open like a book for easy and quick access. (has a real business mans approach). The case also doubles as a tip holder using some elastic inside the case. Mighty nice design and overly functional. It's a little large to place inside a jeans pocket but shouldn't cause concern in a jacket or track suit pants.
(Including the sound) MA750 becomes very hard to ignore here, that includes sensible pricing. Remembering what I said above in my introduction I knew nothing about the $119 amazon price tag of MA750, on opening the box immediately assumed I was looking at something in the $200 - $300 price bracket. The build is excellent with strong sturdy strain reliefs both on the jack and earphones, a cable thick enough for Tarzan to swing from and superiority polished stainless steel housings. I need to stress here I've shown people MA750 without telling them the price, most easily doubled their retail value. The build is without a doubt solid, durable, stylish and leaks a passion for design. What RHA have done makes you wonder what the hell some other company are thinking.
I do however (although love the look) have some concerns for the jack strain relief where a flexible spring has been used, I see two problems. The first being it actually makes the jack a lot longer then required, this may cause a concern for people using smartphones wanting to place in their pocket and secondly, if the spring flexes to much over time in one direction is it going to lose shape and stay kinked in a 'bent' direction? Time will tell, but for aesthetics plugging the jack into my home DAPs I love it, looks great. The cable is also quite thicker than your standard found on IEM's not sure why RHA went for such a thickness, but the durability will be increased by about double. You can see the cable beside a standard offering by Dunu in one of the pics below.
Comfort / Isolation / Fit:
Remembering what I said about my large ear canals, I did have some problems acquiring a fit with MA750, there were times I need to readjust the housings to keep seal, this was only sitting still or simply moving my head, I really don't think it will be a concern for others however, I cannot say they stayed completely sealed with my alternative tip selection. When fitted correctly they're however rather comfortable, possibly the hoops could use a little more flex as they tend to try springing back into their original shape due to the thickness. When MA750 is sealed they do isolate fairly well, nothing extreme and I will rate it above average. Keep in mind tip selection is a vital part of isolation and will vary person to person. I must note there is a ever slight amount of driver flex present on both sides if I push terribly hard on insertion, lifting the ear prevents this.
Xuelin IHIFI 760
Hisound Rocco BA
Hisound Studio V
Tralucent T1 amp
IPod Touch 4G.
All files were 16/44 FLAC files. (50 hours burn in was given before review)
The low end of MA750 is indeed a touch emphasised, the sub-bass extension using my IHIFI player is some of the deepest fulfilling sub-bass impact I've heard from an IEM in this price range, it also has great texture and depth which will easily please the beats crowd, It's possibly some of the most satisfying bass I've heard from a dynamic driver with the Xuelin DAP. I tried some other sources in which it wasn't quite as prominent but still very upfront in the presentation., you'll absorb solid impact and a feeling of satisfaction. There's a slight mid-bass hump which can haunt the mids a touch at times but really it's very controlled for the price, has good speed and remains refined. When you consider MA750 price the low end punches well above that, and a preference role will be played whether it suits the individual in quantity.. For me personally it could become a little overbearing at times and extended listening, but if I wanted to bass out for an hour with some dubstep I was pleased.
When looking into buying MA750 you will find they sound a touch warm,, dark /thick in the mid range but never fear because detail pushes through overly well, again for the price there's a whooping amount of detail, even pushing near (or to me slightly above) the famous Vsonic GR07 MK2 detail extension. There's also a wonderful natural timbre that has great depth when listening to piano or acoustic instruments, it's kind of unheard of for the $119 price tag and that's why when hearing MA750 the first time I assumed they were worth a lot more. It's kind of bizarre what RHA have accomplished and I wonder if they didn't charge enough? Another thing you'll find in the mid range is good attack of instruments, very switched 'on' quickly pushing instruments out at you, A lot of this also comes down to the speed of their dynamic driver.
Overall the mid range is rather smooth and exhibits a nice atmosphere at lower volumes, but when listening at louder levels comes to the party with class. I must note there are a few of my recordings that showed some sibilance, there's a certain frequency which doesn't agree with MA750. The vocal sibilance I experienced with Xuelin DAP was rather harsh however, I think it may be a source problem because although still present didn't display as severe with the little Colorfly C3 or Rocco BA.
The high end is something I think could use some improvement, if I'm going to be critical. Slightly rolled off to my ears and lacks a little extension, although safe way to approach an IEM it needs a touch more sparkle which 'can' easily be fixed with EQ. There's sufficient detailing levels but comes off a little tinny or harsh with some tracks to me, by no means a lacking or muted treble but it just needs a little more shrill, refinement and a little less 'tinky' sound, I think extension would improve the high end. What you end up with is a slightly darker sound over all due to the emphasised low end and warmer mid range while the treble rolls off a touch early.
Soundstage / Sepertation / imaging:
RHA have done it again, offering a soundstage far above what the price would suggest, it's has expansive width and a pleasing depth to it. you'll certainly hear guitars imaging from the left and right nicely picking out instruments in most directions, it can be a touch congested at times due to the mid bass creeping through however a nicely done job. Instrument separation is also some of the best I've heard in this price range, even to my ears bettering the more expensive GR07 MK2. You really get a sense or slight metronome effect listening to the instruments playing in time which each other, a real clockwork experience as every sample and instrument forms the presentation, It's not the best separation I have if we're going to talk about $650+ hybrids but better than many IEM's I've heard around the $250 price range. So a very well done job in the technicality of MA750.
MA750 handled all genres with style, especially EDM, acoustic, it also handled orchestra well., It's because of that natural timbre and attack speed in the mid range it really gives depth to a song and makes the MA750 incredibly adapted to most genre's. If anything it didn't do the best I've heard for my Metallica tracks, the speed was there but it lacks a little in guitar crunch, though really I am comparing to IEM's double the price such as T-Peos H-200 Hybrid.
I think what RHA have provided for the price is exceptional value, it's not hard to do a quick google search and find some other reviews of this product, you'll see most of us are in total agreement that the value to price ratio is almost off the scale. I've read several reviewers mention the sound quality and build could compete with IEM's in the $200 - $250 bracket so it's not only me I've read it several times. I think next time if they could increase the detail even further and lessen the mid bass a fraction also get some further extension on the treble would be a nice thing to try, but really for this price the value and sound quality is kind of unheard of and I'd recommend this IEM without any problem to buyers looking in the $119-$200 price area. It really is one neat package that shouldn't be ignored, and you can take that opinion from seasoned reviewers like Headfonia and some of our Head-fi members.
Jolly good show RHA, jolly good show, indeed!