Cons - sound was a the most disappointing aspect, unnatural
About a year back RHA unveiled what would be their flagship earphone the T10/ T10i, with a retail price of about $189-199. The overall design and the material that went in manufacturing these earphones certainly made headlines in the audio world. (Injection molded stainless steel housing)
A year later RHA has released a successor to the T10 in the form of the T20 as their latest flagship, both of which I reviewed in the following link (both in video and written form) below
Lets see how the T10 fairs after the hype and the attention has settled down.
Disclaimer: As with every review, price is always in consideration when rating and commenting about the gear I am reviewing. Also, I want to thank @ThickT for lending me his personal pair of RHA T10i for this review and the following subsequent comparisons.
Below is my Full video review over on youtube of the T10i and my T20 review for reference. (i have also included my comparison video of the T20 vs T10i as well). Enjoy!
The T10s come with an abundance of accessories, and for good reason considering, it’s a premium product commanding almost a $300 price tag. It comes with:
3 interchangeable filters (bass- black, reference-silver, treble-gold)
A Metal Platelet to display the above mentioned filters
6 sets of single flange (of the hybrid variety, in various sizes)
2 sets of biflanges (2 sizes)
2 sets of foam tips
An elegant metal frame to hold the included eartips
A large zipper carrying case (to store the earphones and all the eartips)
A clothing clip
An Exceptionally Long standing 3 year warranty.
Summing up, theres not much more you can really ask for in terms of accessories, the T10s have certainly impressed me with the amount of goodies it comes with. Overall: 10/10
The T10i is absolutely rock solid, the earpiece housing is made of injected molded stainless steel, and they feel like very sturdy, like it can survive the full brunt of a hammer strike. Continuing to impress is the cables, now I’ve experienced these cables before in my review of the Brainwavz R3, where I claimed that I would be able to play a game of tug of war with my friends and walk away listening to my R3s on my way home, I feel the exact same way with the T10is! The T10is have a cable that is almost rope-like, and its very thick with a heavy duty rubber sheathing that resistance towards tangling. However, there are a few downsides to this robust cable 1) the extra weight it carries can easily be felt when moving around 2) the cable is unusually long (I’m not tall by any means, 5’7 but the y split sits just slightly under my belly button), which in addition with the weight of the cable is very noticeable when especially when doing intensive activities, without the use of the cable cinch. Overall: 10/10
Despite the plentiful use of premium steel and various other metals used, the T10is are quite comfortable. The housing has a very organic and rounded, stubby earpiece that may not work for everyone but in my ears they slip in perfectly. The added weight of the earpieces caused no irritation from the housing on my outer and inner ear. Overall, nicely done on RHA in terms of ergonomics.
*note I would have preferred the nozzle being angled 45- 60 degrees to help improve the comfort and relieve some pressure from the outer ear. Overall: 8/10
I would say they are slightly above average. They are a vented design, however, so if your seeking complete silence, look elsewhere. Otherwise, I think the T10 will work well for a large majority of the population. Overall: 7.5/10
This is the quick skinny on the overall sound signature of the T10i (combining my findings on all the filters). The T10i, was intended for the newer generation listening to electronic, dubstep, hip hop and various other contemporary bassy music. It doesn’t try to be subtle in the least, with a very substantial and aggressive bass boost.
After listening to the T10i for an extended period of time, I think I would change my ranking scale slightly. I would give the edge to the Treble filters, due to the extra extension and it’s ability to wring out just a bit more detail. However, as stated back in my first impression video, the treble can be a bit much (which wouldn’t make the T10i as my recommendation for a “sit down and listen for hours on end” kind of earphone. I personally feel that most head-fiers, would probably prefer the reference filter, a bit more due to “slightly less brash” treble.
The following review is based on my findings with the treble filter, I will include my thoughts on the other filters in the following section.
Bass: Let’s get this out of the way, the T10i is a very bassy earphone. This is true no matter what filters you equip them with. I would say, if you’re a basshead with a large budget, the T10i should be on your short list of earphones to try.
For me however, I found the bass too much. It has a substantial in the midbass hump, which makes the T10i somewhat bloated, in conjunction with the slower nature of the bass, would make the basshead say “Dat bass”. The extension in the bass is largely shadowed by the very large midbass hump, but I was able to hear it reach low as well. For me, I felt the bass was somewhat poorly intergrated, and just felt like they turned up the bass dial a bit more then they should have.
Midrange: The midrange is quite recessed, and takes quite a nose dive, especially in the upper midrange, which causes a sort of veiling for causing females to lose their presence and body, making rather thin sounding and unnatural sounding. Also, the midbass hump did bleed into the lower mids, causing some blurring to male vocals to help give way for more bass impact and thickness.
Treble: With the treble filters, obviously this part of the sound is definitely dialed up a notch (+3db precisely, where in the frequency response, RHA did not indicate). To my ears I feel like the treble filters bumped up somewhere between the lower to mid treble. This emphasizes the sort of “metallic” texture of the T10i, which can definitely make an “electronic mixes” more energetic. However, I felt that this treble boost is poorly implemented as it made the dip in the upper midrange even more apparent. Due to the overall proportion of the bass, midrange, and treble, this made the T10s somewhat brash or fatiguing (I would image this would apply to a lot of people as I have a slightly higher tolerance to sibilance than others).
(*Remember this is with the treble filter)). The treble appears to roll off quite quickly shortly after, making the T10 still somewhat dark sounding and rather congested.
Soundstage and Separation- I would say average, it has solid width, lacking in depth but separation is very impressive, despite the bass boost.
Reference Filter- While I rated the reference filters slightly behind the Treble, I believe, the reference filter would have the widest appeal at least as far as head-fiers are considered. The tonality is more natural, dialing back the treble to making female a bit less peaky, making the overall sound smoother but not as “overly” smooth as the bass filter.
Bass Filter- I found the bass filter to be my least favorite, because I felt while the bass satisfied my “inner basshead” and then some. I found the treble to even rolled off. The overall sound signature is quite dark, making it more congested sounding, which made string instruments lack the realism or “bite” you get from cymbals. On a positive note, the bass filter help mask the thinner treble that’s more apparent with the other filters. Overall: 5/10
In conclusion, I feel the T10i was really a “hit and miss” for the most part. They are certainly on the right track in terms of build, comfort, isolation and accessories.
However in terms of the tuning, I think the T10i missed the mark here. However, I think the T10i was a stepping stone to the what become of its successor the T20,
(I had also reviewed RHA T20, which was just recently released, here is the link to the T20 review (both video and written)
I personally couldn’t see myself using the T10i on a daily basis, and I would be hesitant to pay the full retail for them. I think if you’re a basshead, a possible better and more afforable alternative is the JVC FXD80, and Brainwavz S5. For an idea of the sound signature, at a cheaper budget, you can try the RHA MA600i, which takes on a similar sort of extreme V shape signature.
Pros - Great overall build quality, long cable, stress relief on plug, large sound stage
Cons - Plug breaking after four days of use, poor support/warranty, ear plugs get uncomfortable with long periods of use
Bought a pair of these this last week from an eBay seller - new in box, several available, for USD $175 with no tax and free shipping. Not bad!
My M-100s were in for repair (needed some screws replaced). I was temporarily using my old HDJ-1500s, but was appalled at how bad the sound stage was, and wanted something similar to the sound of my M-100s was, preferably more portable. So I settles on the T10is, which my first pair of high-end IEMs. The sound is awesome for their size, although in some songs the mid come across a bit too strongly. If you want an in-depth look over of the sound quality, I suggest reading one of the other reviews who are much more qualified than I am to judge. However, coming from my M-100s, with the bass filters on I was really pleased with how similar they sounded.
Four days into having these, I took them out of my pocket from the drive to work to find that the headphone plug was broken in half at about a 45 degree angle, at the halfway point with the barrel exposed. I have since been able to bend them back into about a 10 degree angle or so, and they still sound fine. But now I have to worry about these breaking off in the jacks of my devices, and I can't keep them in my pocket anymore if the plug will break completely - thus negating the purpose of being a more portable quality set for me.
Furthermore, RHA refuses to help with the problem since it wasn't purchased through an authorized retailer. I work for a company that makes a lot of devices, and when something like this happens we'd want to do everything we could to both help the user and then figure out what went wrong so we could improve the design for our future products. Disappointed with how they dropped the ball on this one.
So, left with two broken pairs of headphones at the end of the week. One which will be fixed, one which I'll probably be stuck slapping an extender on the already very long plug for the rest of its life. If you're thinking of picking up a pair of these, be very careful with the plug!
Pros - Fun sound, very solid build, excellent customer service from RHA
Cons - Not superbly detailed, lacking separation, some sound leakage.
RHA T10i Review
I got mine second hand, so no pretty pictures, unfortunately. I am writing this review based on my experience with these and I am not related to RHA or any audio company for that matter. Basically, I’m a music enthusiast.
I’m here to write a short newbie review. So, please excuse the informality.
In my experience, many reviews are TL;DR, so I post the conclusion first as it seems like a good preface as well.
IMO, the engineers behind the T10i were trying to offer the consumers an excellent build quality IEM, with the sound signature that most consumers are used to. I think they bet of people using Spotify and listening to modern recorded music, which I heard, are brightly recorded, so the T10i complements these nicely.
Other audiophiles who are looking for clarity, flat response, etc. might be disappointed, but hey, let’s give credit where it’s due. RHA managed to create a classy IEM which also feels high class when held, with customizable filters, etc, which I think is superb!
Why I keep these:
1. Excellent customer support
2. Can sleep in these as they fit in my ear pinna
3. Superb build quality & durability for frequently moving people like me
4. Great sound for genres I like (EDM, rock, metal)
Why I might sell them:
Times when I prefer:
1. More detail and clarity
2. Flatter response
3. Need for extreme noise isolation
What urged me to write this review is the exemplary customer service I received from RHA.
I am extremely impressed with their superior customer service. I bought my pair second hand from Ebay a few weeks ago and was happy with the T10i. It was fitted with the bass filter when it arrived, so I assumed the seller was using that filter. I proceeded to try the treble filter and was shocked to hear the difference (read below).
Then, I put on the reference filter and noticed that something was fishy, that somehow there was volume imbalance. When I rechecked the filters, I noticed that one of the filters had not been cut! Nervous, I wrote RHA an email and they promptly replied, offering a free replacement by Royal Mail First Class. I was over the moon! Impressive!
Just in case you are curious what happened:
I received the complementary filter by RHA:
Build Quality & Accessories:
I have nothing but respect for the MIM (metal injection moulding) process used to make the shell of these IEMs; they feel premium and solid in my hands. I absolutely love the finish!
There are also ear hooks which retain their shape after you take them off. I find them useful as I can easily distinguish the left and right drivers immediately.
Not to mention the red and blue colour coding beneath the drivers; but for times in the dark, when I am are fiddling with the T10i and going to sleep with them, the ear hooks help . Yes, these were moulded in such a way that I can sleep on the side of my pillow and not feel them poking at my ear canals; another plus!
Other accessories such as bi-flange, foam tips, etc are very useful but I find myself using bi-flange + foam tips.
Owning a pair of ER4S for the times when I prefer a more analytical sound, I find the isolation of the T10i not close to the ER4S. It does isolate well and I usually cannot external sounds when I listen to music, but when music is off, I can tell that the ER4S isolates way, way better.
Sound based on “Reference Filter”
Firstly, as this is my first review, I am not sure how good my reference is to other reviewers. I tend to own both bright and warm headphones for different listening moods. These are what I’d consider warm (or dark?)
I got here last because I think that the above points were more salient features of the T10i. In terms of SQ, I’d say that the T10i is for those who love warm, thick sound, it tends to cover the stage with macro details beautifully and leave those details you heard with analytical phones like the HD 600 or my ER4S missing.
For me, that means that for the days when I want to hear music, and rock my head to the bass lines, or to the drums and toms, then I’d grab the T10is. I find that I use them for modern pop, EDM, rock, etc and they fit the bill nicely. I’m now listening to Avenged Sevenfold while typing this and the bass remind me of the DT 770 and Custom One Pro by Beyerdynamic.
What I notice is that for rock or metal, the vocals seem a bit more pushed back, but still I can discern the lyrics. The lead singer seems to stand pretty close to the band, giving the perspective that I am further away from the stage. To me, I think this means that the lower midrange seems suppressed due to the lifted highs and lows.
Male vocals come out pretty nicely because the added bass gives more masculine, baritone sound, which I prefer when listening to Rammstein. It gives a feeling of aggression, grave dark voice which I think is the best part of Rammstein, although I don’t speak German. Ich Will and Sonne are best heard with the T10i. These song comes out a bit hazy in the midrange, with emphasis on the vocals, on the bass, which is great in this genre, IMO.
For electronica, I am now listening to House Music by Benny Bernassi and the initial intro bass beats are so punch, while the treble tilt means that I still can enjoy the highs. I also used the T10i and kept rocking on to Skrillex; very satisfied.
One comment I have is on female vocalists, even on modern pop like Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift. Due to the enhanced bass, I must admit that I find that the vocals come out a bit meaty and unnatural for female vocalists. If I just want a good beat to sing to, then it is fine and I love the beats in their tracks with the T10i, as I said, the T10i seems to be engineered for modern pop tracks. But for the moments when the audio critic emerges, I can clearly say that the bass emphasis removes some of the sparkliness I love from these singers.
Soundstage is above average, instrumental separation is fine for IEMs of this price, I guess. I used to love headphones and IEMs have not impressed me with their sound stage and instrumental separation, even the JH Layla. Again, all these are IMO.
I think as a result of the lifted bass and treble, the midrange seems pushed back, and meant that sometimes instruments seemed mashed / blended together. It’s not noticeable in tracks with a few instruments but when you have metal with many instruments, then it might be as I described.
To end the section on reference sound, I want to say this, if you are looking for IEMs with great DROP, DROP DROP, T10is are awesome! Geez, makes you want to replay the DROP again and again. Awesome, man!
Filters (relative to “reference”):
Why I put “reference” is because I expected reference to be flat response, but apparently, the tuning of the reference is RHA’s reference. Which is quite enjoyable, but not flat response, per se.
These filters do alter the sound at certain corner frequencies, but the general signature is quite similar to the “reference” filter.
These have some black material behind the filter. Even more than the reference filter, as I can see. Mid-bass hump is very obvious, IMO relative to the reference. I think there is some loss in highs extension, but the resultant sound becomes boomy due to the elevated mid-bass hump.
Initially when I was waiting for the replacement filters, I thought the treble filter gave a pretty good sonic balance to the T10i because of the reduced bass response, but after I received the reference filters, I stuck to them. There was so shrillness or harshness since the treble wasn’t too screamy in the first place. The treble filter reduced the bass further, but the bass was still very present, and I didn’t perceive any benefit from the treble filter, IMO. However, the treble became too enhanced and sometimes too piercing for my liking. So, I stuck to the treble filters.