Separate names with a comma.
Universal Fit item created by nightmancometh, Sep 23, 2013
Pros - built well, 3 year warranty, very comfortable, bassy, crisp treble, fun sounding
Cons - not for those looking for neutral sound, driver flex present, mids recessed(albeit decently clear)
The RHA MA600i is a fantastic addition to everyone’s earphone collection, because they just spice up your listening experience. In addition, it’s also equipped with a comfortable housing, and last but not least it boasts a 3 year warranty (almost unheard of in the earphone world, especially one in this price range).
I want to thank RHA for their patience and for sending this earphone out for review.
See my video review for a more condensed summary:
So without further ado, let’s get on with the review!
Accessories: This earphone comes a lot of goodies:
with a zippered hard shell carrying case with pouch inside to hold and protect the earphones as well as the eartips
8 pairs of eartips with different sizes and shapes to fit almost anyone and everyone (mostly hybrid designs (with a harder, stiffer inner core) with a softer silicone on the outside on the outside) which makes them sound bassier
The eartips are neatly displayed on a metal plate. (which makes for a very nice presentation)
Overall: 8/10 I think the accessories are nicely made and thought out and presented. Great job!
Features: The IOS remote has great tactile feedback with the centre button being depressed in level, with enough room for your fingers. The microphonic call quality is good and the placement of the remote allows me to speak freely without shouting or holding the remote next to mouth.
Overall: 8.5/10 ( I wish the volume buttons (+/-) were raised just to make it even more obvious and easier to feel with gloves on in the winter.)
Design: I think it has a small, subtle and unique housing. It’s reminiscent of a funnel or a large megaphone. It’s different, low key, and but very practical and ergonomic. (See the following sections).
Overall: 7.5/10 (not the most eye catching, but the aluminum finish is quite nice)
The earpieces (and nozzle) of these earphones are made of lightweight aircraft grade aluminum, so it definitely feels more reassuring than the traditional plastic, you won’t have to worry about these breaking any time soon. The cable is supple and appears well built and can survive good hard tugs as well, boding well for its longevity. The remote is made of a combination of rubberized plastic (for the buttons) and aluminum. The cable ends in a fairly low profile L shaped jack, with enough clearance to get through thick smartphone cases. Also, lets not forget about the 3 year warranty as well, a huge bonus making them a great option for those hard on their equipment.
Overall: 9/10 (the 3 year warranty really puts them over the top)
Comfort: This very comfortable with the small housing, with a narrow nozzle, gradually widening out, with nicely rounded off edges. When worn using the “around my ear” fit, I was able to comfortably sleep on my side with these earphones because they sat comfortably in my ears with a close to negative profile fit.
They isolate fairly well, I would say above average. Easy for daily usage, enough to get you through your subway commute with little distraction. However, use caution when using these especially in busy areas.
Cable noise: Its mild when worn cable down, and non existent when worn cable up
Other notes: These have moderate driver flex, I don’t suspect it would be a real issue because it is a vented design, but something to note.
Sound: I will say during my time with these earphones, I have to say they are just a lot of fun! In terms of sound signature, it’s the perfect example of a “v shaped” sound signature, (meaning that the bass and the treble here is particularly emphasized). It gives an extra jolt of adrenaline for more modern, pop, electronic based music.
Bass: The bass is here is chesty, emphasized and reaches very deep. It has a lot of weight in the bass; especially the midbass I would say its basshead level in quantity. It’s a very warm, very meaty with a some bloat. The control is fairly good considering the amount of bass these guys put out, avoiding them from sounding swampy or an overly thick. However, for more quieter passages or genres, the bass come through more than it should.
Midrange- there is a scoop in the midrange; the midrange is definitely recessed with a bit a veiling. So this doesn’t make the MA600i the most natural sounding earphone out there but it does a good job. I feel male vocals, takes a step back compared to female vocals. Female vocals here are more emphasized, they just “pop” and stands out, is a great plus for me since I love my female vocals. As a whole, it performs fairly well throughout the midrange for V shaped sound signature.
Treble: The lower treble in particular is more emphasized; making instruments such as cymbals, tambourines, and triangles, have more energy and liveliness. However, this earphone is not for those treble sensitive, but for those they are/become acclimated; they are rewarded with a treble that is crisp and exciting to listen to.
If I had to make an analogy for the sound of the MA600i, it would be the “rocker“ or the “life of the party”. It’s the edgy, loud, and exciting. Essentially it’s the friend that’s just full of energy and a lot fun to be around, someone whose’ energy is contagious. However, in respects to the treble, similar to a long night of partying, you do eventually get tired or fatigued and in need of a break.
Overall: 8.5/10 If I’m ever looking for a little extra energy in my music, I definitely find myself reaching for the RHA MA600i almost every time. The MA600i has definitely solidified a spot in my collection.
In conclusion, I think this earphone is perfect for the person on a budget, especially for students who are going to definitely be rough with their earphones and will be able to utilize the long warranty. My only quibbles are the moderate driver flex, and I wish the mids was just a bit forward.
While not the most natural sounding, you’re getting a great value. It combines a fun sound with convenience for your IOS device (3 Button IOS remote for the i-version) a fantastic warranty and great comfort even while sleeping. The MA 600idefinitely gets my ballot if someone is looking for a fun sounding earphone while on a budget.
Overall: 65.5/80= 81.8%
Please see below for more pictures:
Pros - Rich and deep bass, spacious sound, easy on the ears, good fit, good build quality, 3 year warranty, nice packaging
Cons - There is the potential for mid-bass bleed, treble is a bit laid back and unrefined, provided tips didn't fit my ears
First of all I’d like to thank RHA for providing me with this sample unit. This is actually the first time I heard of this company and wasn’t expecting too much to be honest. But I have to admit I am quite surprised at how good this IEM sounds for its price point (around $90.00 I think?). It sounds very good for this price bracket.
Anyways, the MA600 is RHAs second flagship IEM with the MA750 being their top offering. I’m currently listening to these IEMs out of my Triad L3 with Firestone PSU and DACport LX (Silver LOD to RCA). My impressions may differ from others based on the gear we are using to make such comparisons (So keep that in mind). I do not find these IEMs to be V-shaped per se. My definition of V-shaped is where the treble and bass are clearly emphasized with the mids taking a back seat (FX700, TF10, Denon 5000). They are bassy for sure. But I do find the overall signature to be reasonably balanced. The bass stands out the most followed by the mids to my ears. I’d say these IEMs remind me somewhat of the Sennheiser IE7s I use to have. But they are a bit more bassy overall, have less mid-emphasis and have a smaller sound staging. It’s still rather large regardless (typical dynamic characteristic).
The packaging looks quite professional and would seem to reflect a more pricey item (dare I say that ). For some reason the packing gives off that AKG3003-esque vibe if you will . The packaging comes with an assortment of silicone tip (none worked for me), a carrying case, a product manual, silica, and of course the MA600is.
The MA600 looks to be well built. I mean I don't feel it will break soon as long as the IEMs are well taken care of. The housing is partially made of metal & some sort of wood (unless its plastic)? The wiring is covered in material (such as cotton) and plastic/rubber sheathing. Even the 3.5 jack looks to be pretty durable. Again at it's asking price this is rather impressive.
Generally Dynamic drivers rule in this department vs BA drivers. The MA600 definitely showcases bass more so than the mids and treble. It hits hard and it goes deep. There is a good balance between sub bass and mid bass. Depending on the song though the mid bass can bleed over into the mids. This doesn’t happen often from all the songs I’ve been listening to. It more so will happen on a song that is particularly mid-bass heavy to begin with. The bass these IEMs delivery is approaching bass head levels. Not to say it isn’t well controlled because it is in most cases. But I see no need for bass boost . Due to the bass these IEMs do have a warm tonality to them. It’s more of an IEM to enjoy music rather than analyze details.
I’m finding the mids presentation really depends upon the mastering of the recording. For example on some of the R&B & rap songs I was listening to the mids were quite forward. Yet on songs such as Lithium (Nirvana) the vocals do sound a bit distant. To be honest I do find this to be a good quality. The IEM is being true to the source. I consider the mids to be on the cool side and rather smooth. There isn’t an excessive amount of upper mid presence yet it does have a little bite to it to keep things interesting. I don’t consider these sibilant at all. Detailing levels are acceptable. Now compared to my other IEMs it’s not really fair. But considering the price point it hits above its asking price IMO.
The treble has a decent amount of extension and detailing. It is a bit laid back IMO (compared to the bass and midrange). Not in a bad way either. It is relatively easy on the ears. It is a tad unrefined but I am nitpicking here. Overall clarity does lack a bit compared to other BA IEMs. Even compared to the Flat 4 Sui. On a plus note due to this these IEMs are easy to listen to for extended periods of time (although I could see the bass causing potential fatigue for some).
Generally Dynamic drivers excel in sound staging and these also do quite well in that regards (head staging is more the appropriate term though). The overall sound is rather spacious. Separation is pretty good. I did mention some bass bleed earlier depending on the track. But for the most part I don’t have issues with that at all. The overall sound is quite cohesive. The presentation is well integrated.
The MA600 is a rather good IEM IMO. Especially at this price point. I find it hard to really fault it. I enjoy the sound these produce. Now if you are a detail freak and would rather analyze every single note then I recommend something else. These are more so for enjoying music. Not taking things to the extreme . The MA600s are a bassy IEM for sure. But the bass is generally well controlled and makes for a fun sound. The mids are generally more emphasized as well to my ears, with the treble being slightly less emphasized. The head staging is rather spacious and typical for a Dynamic IEM. Well then again compared to say the RE262 the staging is quite a bit bigger to be fair. The presentation as a whole is well integrated and the warm tonality is a plus. Detail levels across the board are quite good. These are not detail monsters as I stated above but they aren't overly smooth either. I’d like to thank RHA for giving me an opportunity to hear these IEMs. I genuinely think they have good products and for the price it’s hard to complain . I hope this review was somewhat helpful to you folks.
Pros - Good fun sound, good build quality, well priced, nice tonality, good detailing in the mids
Cons - lack of strain relief, to much bass if you're not a bass head, bass leeches into lower mids
Many thanks to RHA Audio for providing this free review sample.
The MA600 is tuned as a V shape. For those who don't know what that means, a V shaped tuning means the treble and bass have been tuned to sound more forward and aggressive then the mids. End result, the mids tend to sound more laid back in comparison to the rest of the sound signature. Some good examples of gear, both earphones and headphones that have been tuned in a V would be the Ultimate Ears Tri-Fi 10, JVC FX700, Dunu Trident, Sony XB700 and Fostex TH900. If you've heard any of these ear/headphones then you've heard a V shaped signature. Sometimes, and I must emphasize the word sometimes, when a V signature is done right sound stage can sometimes be quite good due to good extension on the bottom and top end and instrument positioning within the sound stage itself can be very good. If done very good, although the mids may sound recessed in comparison to the highs/lows detail retrieval can range from acceptable to quite good. Something to keep in mind when purchasing a V shaped piece of gear is a V shape isn't tuned for reference monitor purposes but instead is tuned more for a fun sounding big bass and high kind of sound. A V shaped signature seems to especially be popular amongst the bass head crowd as well as being popular amongst the hip hop, dance, trance and drum n bass crowd.
The MA600 is a very nice looking piece of kit. Its lines are very crisp and clean and the IEM housing seems to have been quite well, ergonomically speaking, designed to insure a comfortable fit. Throughout my review time with the MA600 I chose to wear the IEM over ear. When worn down cable noise was very minimal but I'm quite touchy about microphonics and have never been a fan of using a shirt clip. If you're also touchy about microphonics be warned that the MA600's cabling will exhibit some mild microphonics when walking around. The good news, when worn over ear or with the provided shirt clip microphonics is nonexistent. As far as the cables themselves are concerned, I generally like the look and feel of the cabling. When I first saw the IEM's cabling my first thought was the cable looked a bit on the thin side but after a few days of use and handling them I'm quite confident in stating the MA600's cables seem quite sturdy and I'm guessing should provide a good life span for the IEM. The Y splitter and neck slider, as well as the right angle jack, are very well constructed and aid in making the IEM look very aesthetically pleasing. I would have liked to have seen a better implementation of strain relief’s or lack thereof on the housings and plug though. If there's a weak spot in how this IEM was constructed I'm guessing the minimalist approach RHA Audio chose to take by not implementing some beefier strain reliefs would be it. Whether this will be an issue for the end consumer only time will tell of course.
The IEM housing itself is comprised of machined aluminium and hard plastic. The black plastic backing on the housing, with its white RHA logo, gives the IEM a nice low profile, not overly flashy look, when its inserted into the consumers ear. Accessory wise you get a shirt clip, nice sized semi hard carry case and 6 pairs of ear tips , S x2 / M x2 / L x2, along with 2 pairs of double flange ear tips - S x1 / M x1. The extra tips are neatly housed in a thin metal tip holder. Overall, I have to say for the money spent the MA600 delivers above its price point as far as form factor and accessories are concerned.
As mentioned before the MA600 is a V shaped signature meaning the highs and the lows are the star of the show.
The bass hits hard and deep on the MA600 and lives in the realm of bass head territory. Speed is good for the kind of bass that is present although I wouldn't ever say they can keep up in agility to some of the more neutral and linear bass I’ve heard on other gear. Although not the fastest I've ever heard it does have some of the hardest hitting bass punch I've ever heard on par and probably surpassing my Monster Pro Coppers. To my ears the mid bass is where a lot of the low end power is coming from. Because of it the low end can really boom out at the listener and bass drums slam with authority. Because the bass is so powerful there is some noticeable leeching into the lower mids.
I was quite surprised with the MA600 mids. Because the IEM sounded so bass heavy I expected them to be quite thick and warm. They’re far from overly warm though and are quite dry and lean (think neutral with a touch of warmth) for the way the signature was tuned. End result, although nowhere near detail monster levels detailing in the mids, I would have to say, is quite respectable for this tier of IEM. Also, although dry the mids do seem to tie in quite cohesively with the upper and lower end and avoids sounding disjointed. The upper mid, for the most part, sounded quite smooth and transitioned quite well into the lower highs. Upper octaves of the vocals sounded very nice and sibilance was respectable for this tier of IEM. Although I would rate the MA600 mids as acceptable in speed of note decay I did notice some smearing when listening to some Megadeth songs and Decode by Paramore. Mind you, the last 30 seconds of Decode and Megadeth tunes are known for being quite demanding in speed. The major strength going for the MA600 mids, in my opinion, was overall tonality, tonality on the MA600 is excellent, and vocals, guitars, horns etc sounded quite natural.
The highs have generally good extension and air and seem to sound like they have a slow gradual roll off. They sound grain free and have a decent amount of sparkle although I would never say they display the amount of energy that a treble head would crave. Over energetic splashiness is thankfully avoided and although they seem to have some edge here and there, overall, highs seem to sound acceptably smooth. Also, overly metallic tone that some overly aggressive treble happy tuned gear is known for is non existent in the MA600. A little warning, even though I wouldn’t rate the MA600 as overly aggressive for my taste people who are touchy concerning highs and find themselves being easily fatigued might want to look elsewhere.
The RHA Audio MA600 isn’t a giant killer and it isn’t what can be termed an audiophile reference monitor, nor does it try to be. What it is instead is a very well done fun sounding IEM that punches it out quite well with similarly priced IEM’s in its tier. For the price I have no problem recommending it to the budget conscious consumer looking for great bassy sound and build quality at an affordable price. As such, I’ve now added my MA600 to my stable of IEM’s and will be using it exclusively for when working out or for when working around the house. Overall, I’d have to say the MA600 is a good sounding and well priced mainstream consumer piece of gear.
Pros - Build quality, aesthetics, sound quality when EQ'd
Cons - NEEDS equalization to sound good
RHA MA-600 Review
I was given a sample of the RHA MA600 (Thank you RHA!) to review. They arrived on Monday of Thanksgiving week with the request that I get some impressions up by Thanksgiving…so here are my initial impressions.
I received the MA600…not the iPhone version, but the standard version without iPhone controls. Price from various online retailers is $79 ($89 for the iPhone control version)
They arrived well packaged and undamaged. The packaging is very nicely done and well thought out…
Included is a hard leather(ette) travel case and a large selection of nibs in various densities, shapes and sizes. As it turns out, the ones that came installed on the IEM’s were an ideal comfortable fit for me, but those with larger or smaller ear canals should have no fear…they have a nib for you!
The build quality is excellent, the cable is sturdy and attractive, the metal bodies are solid without feeling heavy. There is an overall feeling of quality.
There is no 1/8 to 1/4 adaptor, so most of my listening is directly from the iPhone or iPad with some additional time spent running them through the ibasso DB2/PB2 combination.
Before listening, I ran them in at medium to high volume for 5 hours.
RHA bills these as a bassier alternative to their more neutral MA750’s and I have read other comments that suggest it is a very ‘V’ shaped sound signature. While I found there to be plenty of bass, I wouldn’t necessarily call it V-shaped. There appeared to be a major trough in the vocal range that extended upward into the lower treble such that voices and snare drums were not just recessed, but suppressed. Further, the sub-bass wasn’t as well represented as I would have liked. I’m spending most of my time with the LCD-X’s recently, so I have an expectation of outstanding bottom end that wasn’t being met. Out of the box and un-equalized, I couldn’t recommend these.
That said, I thought I had a feel for what was missing, so I picked up a free EQ app for the i-devices and started playing. Within 10 minutes, I had them sounding pretty damn good! The vocals and drums were back as was the sub-bass. The highs were tamed a little and I found my feet tapping again. Here's a graph of the custom EQ I applied:
You can see that they required some pretty aggressive equalization, but it worked well.
The remaining impressions are all made with the EQ in place…
Classical…the Yo Yo Ma interpretation of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B was well rendered. The warmth of the cello came through and the imaging was solid, tho not holographic. There was decent soundstage depth, though not as much height or width.
Rock…Radiohead’s Lotus Flower features loads of bass that can overwhelm even the best headphones. The MA600’s handled it all and deftly. The vocals were solid and well placed. The treble sounded crisp without being too fatiguing. These are still a bit bright even after the EQ, but not piercing by any stretch.
Jazz…Miles Davis’ So What is a track I’ve heard a thousand times and on the very best equipment. The MA600’s did the track justice. Miles’ horn had good texture and timbre.
In conclusion, If you are using a source that doesn’t afford you the chance to EQ them, I would not recommend them, however if you are willing to EQ these, you have the opportunity to get sound worthy of 2-3x the asking price.
I will give these a proper 40 hour break in and revisit them...and I'll update this review accordingly.
Pros - BASS!!!! TREBLE!!! Build and warranty
Cons - Subtle acoustically like a brick to the face then punch in the guts.
RHA MA-600i Quick Review
Full Review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/688636/rha-ma-600i-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.