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RHA MA-600i Review

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

RHA MA-600i Review

 

Thanks to RHA for the sample.

 

 

 

First Impressions:  Box looks nice. Just like the MA-750 one with its magnetic flap.  Opening them up though is a bit of a mixed bag.  The case inside I rather like, more so than the 750 one but the lovely metal tip holder lacks something.  It doesn’t have those foamie tips that I rather like with the 750.  that’s a shame as they were going to be my tip of choice.  Hmm, the 750 came with 2 pairs so maybe I’ll steal the other set!  The buds are rather visually more like those of the MA-350, the same inverse trumpet shape.  The jack though is a 90 degree one and I rather prefer those to the straight one on the 750.

 

Having a listen and immediately I’m reminded of the acoustic signature of the 350 than that of the 750.  It’s got a rather pronounced V shaped, bombastic sound.  The bass especially seems plenty powerful.  God it’s got a real kick to it.  Overall though I’m really liking the timbre here, it was very good on the 750 too.  Could it be due to the super tough and non resonant machined metal enclosures?

 

 

 

Source:  Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., FireyeDA, Galaxy Nexus.

 

Lows:  What I said before about the bass, that.  These are really rather V shaped acoustically and the bass is of epic proportions.   Its visceral bass.  Now if you like that sort of thing yey for you but for me it pushing right up there at the limits of what I can stand.  This is a bit of bass monster.  acoustically its very reminiscent of the MA-350 I tried some time ago.  The quality as you would expect has jumped up a fair level and that extra quality translates as being so much more capable when it come to agility and punch.  These will punch you upside the head with their low end response.  There is some serious power here!  For me when you get to this quantity I’d much rather the bass was a little softer and more relaxed, let the bass bloom and envelop you.  Here the bass is vast and feels at times like its beating the sides of your skull in if you really let it go wild with some very bassy tracks.  Subtle and reserved it is not.

 

The quality is good for its size and cost but its epic and brutal power is too much for me.  Its depth likewise I’d be happier to see it trail away but no, it keeps on battering and roaring right on down to the extend I’m turning the volume ever lower.  If you’re desirous of a savage bass monster to blast and thrill you this could be one for you.

 

 

 

Mids:  Timbrally they are very nice.  They have a beautiful tone going on and are reasonably clear.  They are however in a bit a bass / treble valley.  Acoustically they do especially well with more breathy and airy vocals from the like of Imbruglia.  They did a fine job really with everything I threw at it.  Still this isn’t the IEM you’re picking for mid fans. 

 

 

 

Highs:  For me they are for too abundant but for the price they are rather good.  They and their machined metal enclosures allow them to really have a crisp and metallic twang up top.  Highs impact with that metallic edge they ought to and have a bitingly crisp decay and shimmer.  It’s really quite skilful and really lends itself to letting you hear everything that’s going on.  Every note and every impact is presented in the clearest and crispest possible manner.  For some that will be a grand boon but I found it tired my ears if I used for too long.  The highs here really stand out very very clearly and while they do poses a certain amount of talent, I’m rather treble sensitive.  This is huge V shaped wow you on first impressions, scintillating and attention grabbing treble.

 

Talented it is though, just a little too much of it perhaps.

 

 

 

Soundstage:  As a dynamic it’s pretty big.  They have a very good sense of space and have clearly oodles of power to scale with.  They worked interesting with orchestral things too, lots of space and reasonable instrument placement.

 

Fit:  Great, slapped in ears and that was that really.  Fit me fine worn up or down.

 

Comfort:  I mostly wore up and they were fine.  Down they pulled a bit on the ear as they aren’t the lightest and the mic as with most mic’s would catch on a collar and that irritates.  Worn up was great though.

 

Cable:  Not anything like as pretty or as tactile as its sibling, the MA750, but this cable works very well in practical terms.  It would appear to be a woven like that on the 350 but with a plastic sheath over it.  It’s attractive but more importantly it lacks the ridges of a woven and it should last a good long while.  The Y splitter and jack too look quality.

 

 

 

Build:  Excellent.  The buds are machined metal, the cable looks good, the jack looks sturdy too etc etc.  In addition you get a 3 year warranty so that a clear commitment to these being able to hold up well to life.

 

Microphonics:  While they weren’t terrible worn down I’d still suggest wear them up.

 

Phone Use:  Okay, a bit of a surprise here as the mic worked.  I have no idea why the 600i worked with the Nexus 4 and the 570 didn’t as I would have assumed they have the exact same jack configuration.  I do not know why, maybe I didn’t have them plugged in right?  I don’t know as it just makes no sense.  The play / pause button worked fine, the volume controls did not.  I’m sure they would with an Iphone as that’s what they are made in mind of.

 

 

 

Amped/Unamped:  Arguably the worst amp I ever use in that in the Nexus 4, it’s the weakest probably yet with the 600 that played as a strength in my ears.  The 600 is a blatant beast of an IEM and the phone just couldn’t eak out all that’s there in the highs or the lows.  The result of course is both boing rather tamed to more favourable levels.  It does occur to me that the 600 may very well be made with such things in mind, most buyers in the real word won’t be using more powerful DAP’s.  Throwing more power though resulted in much harder bass and more dazzling treble.

 

Isolation:  Pretty good.  Like their siblings they are relatively sealed it seems and so isolated well for a dynamic.  More than sufficient for on a bus or out and about but not really up to long flight or daily Tube use.  As always its quite sufficient to get you run over too.

 

 

 

Accessories:  8 pairs of tips that very sadly doesn’t include any of the foamies RHA supply with the 750.  Still it’s a good selection and they all seem of quality construction as does the sheet of metal that acts as a tip holder.  Of course the best bit of the accessories is the case, it seems as nicely constructed as everything else and it’s a great size.  Oh and a shirt clip in there somewhere.

 

Value:  Hmm, well the 600 is £50 and the 600i is £60.  Normally I’d say yeah go for them if you want this sort of sound signature, its massively, massively V shaped so probably a “mainstream” winning sound and they have a huge warranty and they are really solidly built.  But…given how awesome the 750 is I’d personally sooner save a bit more and get them but hey I realise I’m not the average consumer who wants massive thumping bass.  For that segment the build and huge warranty have got to appeal to those who are hard on things. 

 

 

 

Conclusion:  I don’t think it’s a huge secret that these I have not loved.  The bass here is cracking, skull cracking in fact.  The treble too is wildly exuberant and voracious in its willingness to explode all over the place.  The combination makes for a bombastic thrill machine that likes to slap you in the face with the highs then punch you in the guts with that bass.  I don’t doubt my sister would love this or a few friends too but it’s not a sound that fits me so much.  I like things a bit more sedate, I like sumptuous and flowing mids, the mids here are credible if a tad dry but engulfed by the bass and treble.  The quality of everything here is good but the quantities are what make it not for me.

 

Speaking of quality, the build on RHA stuff is rather excellent.  The metal construction of the buds and the backup of that warranty, is there anyone else still offering 3 year warranties out there?  Even Shure, Westone and the former kings of warranty, Etymotic only offer 2 years.  I can see that being a big appeal to those who churn through a pair of cheap IEM’s every 6 months.

 

Acoustically the M600 wants to party all day long.  It’s all about massive potent bass pounding out a bass line and highs crashing and exploding through it all.  I don’t doubt there are many out there who will love it in spades.  And why not?  The quality of each component is actually very good, for the price and when well driven the bass given its vast size is tremendously punchy and agile.  Likewise the treble is of great quality for the money and quantity.  You just primarily need to be sure you want the quantities involved.  It’s not one for the timid or faint hearted.


Edited by mark2410 - 11/3/13 at 8:46am
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

RHA MA-600i Quick Review

 

Thanks to RHA for the sample.

 

Brief:  More potent teeny tiny invers trumpets.

 

Price:  £60 for the i version £50 for no mic.

 

Specification:  Drivers 320.1 Dynamic, Frequency range 16-22,000Hz, Impedance 16ohms, Sensitivity 100dB, Rated/max power        1/5mW, Weight 20g, Cable 1.35m, dual insulated, OFC, Connections 3.5mm, 90°, gold plated

 

Accessories:  6 pairs, dual density ear tips - S x2 / M x2 / L x2, 2 pairs, double flange ear tips - S x1 / M x1, Stainless steel ear tip holder, Hard carry case, Clothing clip

 

Build Quality:  Great.  Very solid and have a massive warranty.

 

Isolation:  For a dynamic its rather on the good side.  Easily enough for typical usage but perhaps not for a long flight or daily Tube commutes.  Would be fine for bus or walking out and about use and as ever, quite sufficient to make you road kill if you don’t look where your going.

 

Comfort/Fit:  Very good.  Happy to be worn up or down too but up is always better.  Really a case of getting the right tip then just shove in ears and that it done.  The buds are a bit heavy but worn up its no issue at all.

 

Aesthetics:  I personally would rather they didn’t have the black back on them and where all metal but it’s hardly a damning comment.  They look fine, rather discrete which is rather opposed to how they sound.

 

Sound:  V. These have a sound just like that of their sibling, the MA350, it’s a great big huge V shaped sound signature.  So that means lot and lots of bass and lots and lots of treble.  The differentiator between the two being that of quality.  The 600 is greatly stepped up quality wise but has the same quantities.  The bass there for is vast and now has colossal and punchy impact going on.  The treble too shines and dazzles brightly and aggressively up top.  The mids are decent, a bit dry, a bit cool to enable them to cut a path through and be clearly audible as you want for pop.  For slower acoustic stuff they just sit between those two mountains and these just aren’t so well suited.  For party time, vibrant, powerful and lively stuff these are epically scaled and I know many will love that in bucket loads.  I like things a bit more sedate and these don’t do that so well.  Oddly the orchestral stuff, strings in particular sound great, great timbre on them.  Otherwise these are wild party time IEM’s.

 

Value:  Good.  Great quality bass and treble for the money with a great construction and a truly huge warranty length.  Potentially a “mainstream consumers” dream IEM.

 

Pro’s:   BASS!!!! TREBLE!!! Build and warranty.

 

Con’s:  Subtle acoustically like a brick to the face then punch in the guts.


Edited by mark2410 - 11/3/13 at 8:45am
post #3 of 27

Thanks, Mark.  Another good one!

post #4 of 27

Mark,

 

what kind of music did you test this with ?

 

Thanks

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tattoou2 View Post
 

Thanks, Mark.  Another good one!

thank you

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post
 

Mark,

 

what kind of music did you test this with ?

 

Thanks

 

well rather a lot. im not huge on electonic stuff or hard rock but otherwise a good spread.  is there something in particular you wanted to know? 

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post

thank you


well rather a lot. im not huge on electonic stuff or hard rock but otherwise a good spread.  is there something in particular you wanted to know? 
I'm classic rock only person. Would like to have your views on this genre and the presentation by the 600.
Thanks
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

it should be good, rather dramatically scaled certainly.  the exuberance in the treble for me might be a bit much but as classic rock tends to be older and less dynamically compressed than newer stuff the treble should be refined enough to not be overly aggressive.  the bass will of course be very big and for me i think the vocals might be a bit far back but the cooler nature of them should allow rock vocals to cut though particularly well.  still i'd find the bass a bit overshadowing as its really rather large.

 

mostly it will boil down to this, do you like a big V shaped. powerful and aggressive sounding IEM.  its drama i would think lend itself well to classic rock and to those ears who particularly like it.

post #8 of 27

Thank you. While I'm no bashed, I do like an extended lower range and funnily enough I prefer more bass in an IEM. My over the ears headphones range from more neutral (relatively speaking) to an aggressive V-shaped sound. So, yeah, I would not mind the sound signature I think. Thanks again and I think I'll order this. I have no previous experience in "good" IEMs.

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

glad to be of help, do come back and say what you make of them.

post #10 of 27

Nice review Mark, I'm about three quarters through my own review and, for the most part, I agree with your findings. I'm more tolerant of aggressive highs so for me the aggressive upper end isn't a concern. On the odd song I'm not liking the upper midsection though and there's some songs I wouldn't use these with due to sibilance concerns. With most of my electronica stuff I really like these IEM's but I'm finding some of my rock stuff isn't shining through. I'm especially finding most Godsmack music to be an ill fit with these IEM's. Godsmack is known for having a rather lively bass line and when any of their music is played on these I'm being annoyed by the fact the lower mids seem overshadowed ddue th the 600's crazy big bass sound. In your opinion, how would you rate speed with these IEM's? With the song Decode by Paramore I'm finding a lack of note separation in the last 20 seconds or so of the song to the point guitars and bass begin to sound smeared. Have you noticed the same thing with any of your music?

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

speed i felt was pretty good,  given the size of the bass it was rather agile and quick.  as you say though its very big bass and it does overshadow the mids, there is just so much bass and in comparison the mids are pushed back.  songs that have big bass themselves tend to push the mids back too so in some songs it just compounds things.  gargantuan bass and tiny mids.  i dont blame earphones though for what i consider stupid mastering mistakes.

 

i cant say i really noticed any smearing but i could see how things in the mids could get a bit lost to the ear.  i dont now how fast the guitar your talking about is though so if its fast enough, the 600 isnt a high priced product and of course hasnt the speed and clarity of things that sit much higher up the scale.  as with all things it  the balance of getting what you pay for :bigsmile_face:

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post
 

speed i felt was pretty good,  given the size of the bass it was rather agile and quick.  as you say though its very big bass and it does overshadow the mids, there is just so much bass and in comparison the mids are pushed back.  songs that have big bass themselves tend to push the mids back too so in some songs it just compounds things.  gargantuan bass and tiny mids.  i dont blame earphones though for what i consider stupid mastering mistakes.

 

i cant say i really noticed any smearing but i could see how things in the mids could get a bit lost to the ear.  i dont now how fast the guitar your talking about is though so if its fast enough, the 600 isnt a high priced product and of course hasnt the speed and clarity of things that sit much higher up the scale.  as with all things it  the balance of getting what you pay for :bigsmile_face:


True, thanks for your take on it. As for the smearing, try listening to some Megadeth tunes and you'll see what I mean by smearing in the mids. Time to get busy with my final impressions.

Thanks again for starting this thread and great job on your final analysis

:beerchug:

post #13 of 27

Hope nobody minds me posting this unboxing video of my MA600

 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

hmmm Megadeath, not sure ive ever heard of them before and i suspect, just suspect it may not be my sort of music.

 

might they have a track or two that you think i might not totally hate and that i can look out?

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2410 View Post
 

hmmm Megadeath, not sure ive ever heard of them before and i suspect, just suspect it may not be my sort of music.

 

might they have a track or two that you think i might not totally hate and that i can look out?


Hi Mark, you might be right in that Megadeth won't be to your liking, they're a metal band. The founder, Dave Mustaine, used to be part of Metallica way back in the day before the band became a meag band. Song you might like, The Mechanix is a generally pretty good song for gauging gear. A Tout Le Mond is a rather nice song, more so for musical enjoyment then grading gear.

 

 


My final YouTube impressions are now live

 


Edited by DigitalFreak - 12/17/13 at 8:18pm
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