Reid Heath Audio is somewhat of a new comer to the world of audio. Their main branch, Reid Heath Ltd. is still not very big. However, their company represenatives were homley and their web page yells humble. They are ambitious in getting the word out about their company from the looks of it. I recently spotted their company at an Apple store. Amazing isn’t it, what people with a dream can achieve. I would like to thank RHA for arranging the review samples and Warren for the recommendation.Now let’s take a look at their earphone.
-Utilitarian, light but well structured-
The MA-350 boasts of its use of Machined Aluminum and it should. The driver housing, from the looks of it, is comprised completely of this material. Many companies obviously use Aluminum. But few use it in such a way that RHA did. Many will add designs, and plastics, and other things to the housings aluminum faceplate or body. This weighs the unit housing down. RHA goes utilitarian and gives you a light weight housing for the driver. It is very light, but isn’t exactly weak. I wouldn’t and haven’t actually tried to step on them but they seem to hold up well. Scratching the black faceplate wasn’t really an issue but I can see it happening.
The cable however is really like many of the braided cables out there at this price point. Skinny, light, and flexible. However, this adds microphonics and feels a bit too weak. From the cable to the headphone jack feels a bit underwhelming. The cable does also get kinks in it. It is still hard enough at sections to scrunch up. It is basically an ordinary cable at this range of headphones.
Microphonics is the annoying sound made by cables due to a variety of factors.
Yes (and the masses go wild!). This earphone has a problem with microphonics. I hinted at it with the cable part. But just like many ordinary cables at this range, it also has the problem that hits many other earphones. The dreaded microphonics syndrome plagues it. It is quite bad. I’ve had to awkwardly wear the cable over ear in most situations to escape it. I can usually not do this while at the desk for most earphones that have this. But the mere touch of the cable to my clothing would give me the plague. Sorry.
Ahh yisssssss. Sibilance is another dreaded thing that we hate. It is the audible sound of s’s and many others. It is a demon of many heads. Thankfully, RHA had slain the dragon with the MA-350’s. There are some times when it may arise. But those are mainly due to some sonic qualities of this unit (more later) and the track itself. For now, you may rejoice.
Don’t want to hear Harley’s while you listen to music? Don’t want to let your friends know that you actually am sick with Bieber fever? Well then knave, carry on reading. In terms of blocking out outside noise, the RHA’s do perform below average. Keep in mind that average is already quite good. At a ‘decent’ volume, some annoying vehicles and etc could still be heard. It may be due to the thin aluminum. As for personal isolation, these keep your secret nice and safe. As long as the buds are in properly that is. Pop them out, and they do have enough sound coming out of them when you are jamming that anyone will ‘know’. I mean who doesn’t know “BABY! BABY BABY! OOOOO!!”
I will admit that I do not prefer using these for the sole purpose of microphonics. Wearing these over ear gives a weird cable loop that extends a bit too far. Besides that, there is nothing extra ordinary to note.
iPod/pmp is fine. Very easy to drive these things. It’s impedance is low so watch out.
Sound Quality introduction:
These RHA MA-350 go for $39.95. But how do they sound? Well, quite above average. You were expecting another one of my famous out bursts huh? I would say it is quite a lollipop.
-holds well, not too fatiguing, done well-
The high frequency response of these held out quite admirably. Most earphones at this price range make the mistake of giving a consumer highs and doing it wrong. Most don’t even bother giving you a high frequency range anymore. This means very sharp highs that want to make your ears bleed or none at all. I attribute this to the problem of teens today. The RHA’s however do give you a good high. Not perfect but good. It hits high and holds. It wouldn’t be a silky smooth high frequency response but is quite admirable. There are a few times when the highs doe escape their path and lead to some bright moments though. It is a good addition to the MA350 but I do wish for a smoother high frequency next time.
-right in the middle, sweet, fatiguing after a while, dynamic-
So first we start with the vocals. I would not say that the vocals are forward or laid back. Background instruments are a bit louder than the vocals so you can say that they are. But they aren’t pulled back enough for me to say that they are really a backup. The energy is still enough that you can still enjoy it. The vocals are very dynamic. They cover a variety of roles and don’t become like flat soda. There is a bit of a spike in the upper mids that do cause fatigue though. These are some bursts of this spectrum that adds to the fatigue sadly.
The mid range instrumental spectrum is done well. Smooth and dynamic are the words I would give it. They do become a bit louder than the vocals on general (unless the track differentiates and makes it differently). So they do become a show stealer many times. Instruments have above average separation and clarity. They are good sounding. But the problem with the vocals comes back. That little spike in the upper mids that just gives a knock on fatigue lane.
-punchy but without orthodox impact-
For earphones at this range, a bassier earphone is always welcome. The MA 350’s give you the bass of many other earphones but with a noticeable less amount of impact. It is still there but much more subtle. You are getting the bass response but without the actual ear drum thumping signal, or most of it that is. This is a feature more often found in higher tier IEM’s. Glad that it is there.
The sub bass and mid bass also share qualities that the bass response gives. They are there is very good proportions. It isn’t extended too deeply, not too little, and not too much.
The MA-350’s do get a bit fatiguing after a while, but it has a nice sweet dynamic sound. It isn’t as musical(long term enjoyment) as many earphones though. There really wasn’t a set genre that I could jam too without comparing the MA-350 to other IEM’s that give you a very fun sound. However, this right here is another feature of higher end IEM’s. It’s just that the MA-350’s neither fall on the musical side, nor a good replica of higher end sound.
Freq Range: 16Hz to 22KHz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Rated max power: 3/10mW
Carry case soft
Good Dynamic sound
A bit too light for some
Where do I buy these?:
RHA Official Website Earbud page:
Unit Quality: 8/10
Sound Quality: 8.5/10
Edited by bowei006 - 2/4/13 at 11:36am