RHA T10i - Reviews
Pros: Robust build, Ergonomic, Filter Tuning System, Lots of goodies.
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!
 


 

 
 
 
 
Accessories:
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
 
20150730_194022.jpg
 
Build Quality:
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
 
20150902_133132.jpg
 
 
20150902_133110.jpg
20150902_131849.jpg
 
20150902_131829.jpg
 
20150902_132942.jpg
 
 
 
Comfort:
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
 
 
20150902_131628.jpg
20150902_131643.jpg
 
 
Isolation:
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
 
20150902_133110.jpg
 
20150902_133100.jpg
20150902_131456.jpg
 
 
 
Sound Quality:
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
 
20150902_133239.jpg
 
20150902_133226.jpg
 
 
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)
 
Last notes:
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.
 
Overall Rating: 40.5/50=81%
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!
whitemass
whitemass
I have too comment, it was foolish of you to think it was a bright idea to throw higher end IEMs into your pant pocket.
You've gotta be a little more thoughtful, and a lot less reckless.
Tom22
Tom22
@williamtdr you need to use those carrying cases that comes with the earphones! their expensive gear, gotta take of them!
WhatToChoose
WhatToChoose
I don't think this review is valid, unfortunately :/
 
Firstly, you are expecting warranty coverage after buying it off of ebay. I don't know of any manufacturer that honors their warranty through unauthorized sellers. If the person you bought it from on ebay said that it had a warranty, then you probably should ask them about it.
 
Secondly, most warranties don't cover mishandling by the user.
 
Also, I can personally vouch for RHA's customer support. I had an issue with mine which seems to have gone away, and they were very prompt with their replies and help. They would be a 5/5 for customer support in my book. In your case, you wouldn't really be a customer, since you did not buy it directly from them, even though it is their product.
 
I always keep my T10s in a case, even though they are built so well. Honestly, I am not sure if the standrdized 3.5mm jack itself can be reinforced.
 
Sorry this happened to you man, but I don't think the T10s deserve to be faulted due to the nature of the failure.
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.
 
Conclusion
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
 
Customer Service
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:
IMG_4354.jpg
 
I received the complementary filter by RHA: 
IMG_4402.jpg
 


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.
 
Isolation:
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.
 
Source: iBasso DX 90, Epiphany Acoustics O2/ODAC + Spotify Premium or 320kbps MP3
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.
Bass 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.
 
Treble Filter:
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.
 
Conclusion:
See above :wink:
Pros: Solidly built, lots of tips available
Cons: Very poor sound quality, the lows overpower everything
I bought these from the limited selection available at an Apple Store, as I was heading on a trip the next day and needed some new IEMs for the plane ride. I read some reviews and noticed a lot of people cited the bassy response, but with the treble filters and a little EQing they were good. I decided to give them a shot... and after 5 minutes of listening packed them up to return to the store. The treble filters barely improve things, and the "little" EQing turned out to be knocking nearly 10 dB off the low end, and boosting 8 dB on the high end to get things sounding somewhat clear. Without the EQ, well mixed music sounds very muddy. Music that was originally mixed very bright ends up sounding just okay, so that's fine if you're listening to the latest pop songs, but anything else just is unlistenable. Very disappointing overall. I didn't even bother trying out isolation or any other tips over the default tips, there's just no way the other tips would have the impact needed to get these neutral sounding. 
Rearwing
Rearwing
I have the T10's and found that they took a little while to acclimatise to, but once I sorted out the correct tips for my ear canals and the best way to fit them, they began to sing! I now use the reference filters and the foam tips and for my choice of music (mainly mid to late seventies bands) and they now have a wonderful rich timbre and musicality.
sanakimpro
sanakimpro
I think I can relate to your experience. Modern recorded songs seem to fare pretty well on the T10is, but classics seem to be a bit muddied, especially on the vocals region. Pretty sad tbh, because I really love the build quality of these. It's the reason I'm still keeping them.
Pros: Beyond epic power, beyond epic build in a drop dead gorgeous package.
Cons: All of the power, coldly aggressive hard bass. A true uber beast of an IEM
RHA T10 Quick Review
 
Thanks to RHA for the sample.
 
Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/760180/rha-t10-review-by-mark2410
 
Brief:  The best built IEM ever.
 
Price:  £140 OR in the US US$190
 
Specification:  Drivers Dynamic (model 770.1), Frequency range 16-22,000Hz, Impedance 16 ohm, Sensitivity 100db, Rated/max power 1/5mW, Weight 41g, Cable 1.35m, multicore OFC, Connections 3.5mm, gold plated
 
Accessories:  Tuning Filters with Holder, 6 pairs, dual density ear tips - S x2 / M x2 / L x2, 2 pairs, double flange ear tips - S x1 / M x1, 2 pairs, memory foam ear tips - universal fit, Stainless steel ear tip holder, Premium carry case, Clothing clip
 
Build Quality:  Beyond imagining for an IEM.  1300 degree injection moulded steel construction.
 
Isolation:  Rather good for a dynamic.  Though someone else has said it’s terrible.  For me it would be good for normal usage, maybe even the odd flight.  Easily enough to get yourself killed if you don’t use your eyes.
 
Comfort/Fit:  Physically they fit me excellently. Their physical comfort was superb too.
 
Aesthetics:  Oooooooh pretty!!!  They walk a magnificent line of looking amazing, attention grabbing and yet multiple shades of grey and steel which makes them look more refined.  I like them very much visually.
 
Sound:  All of the sound!!!!  Like a powerful wall of it coming at you and hitting you like the proverbial ton of bricks.  Except a ton of actual bricks would be more gentle.  It’s hard, unyielding, aggressive, potent, powerful and yet those words don’t quite capture the brutality it will hurl your way.  Its bass is cold and dark, aggressive with no hint of softening and just grows as it descends, like the darkness might falling into a glacial crevasse.   Mids are cold, dry and highly explicit.  Still that dark icy quality that feels like it might rise up and cut you.  Its highs are cold too, hard, oh so hard and contain a lower treble, near sibilant edge.  It’s like a freezing cold wind that stings.  It is all these things and that just with the bass filters!!!  The silver is more V shaped retaining that bass but exploding up top in the treble.  The gold diminishes the bass and gave me a wildly dynamic treble.  Treble junkies might love it but my treble sensitive ears were left reeling, near blinded by its dazzle.
 
The T10 is hard, coldly aggressive power cannon, it’s not to be taken lightly.  A truly epic beast of a thing.
 
Value:  Well it’s the best built thing ever and one of the best looking too.  Would make for an awesome looking gift.  I’d be more tempted by the MA750 though if for myself.
 
Pro’s:   Beyond epic power, beyond epic build in a drop dead gorgeous package.
 
Con’s:  All of the power, coldly aggressive hard bass.  A true uber beast of an IEM
HAMS
HAMS
I don't understand what your saying, too poetic LOL.
mark2410
mark2410
if there is an aspect you would like me to try and help clarify for you, message in the full review thread pointing out what aspect is of interest to you.
sanakimpro
sanakimpro
:wink: I can feel your enthusiasm. I almost chuck the T10is for sale, then try to get some 'fun' songs and then I keep the T10is again. It's for the moments when you want fun, V shaped, boomy bass, treble boost, rather than accurate reproduction, audiophile sound, IMO.
Pros: Build Quality, Cable, Remote, Attention to Detail, Customer Service
Cons: Unfortunately Sound is Bad
RHA is a relatively new company to audio and one that I am somewhat familiar with, having reviewed their previous flagship, the MA750 a while ago. They are an audio company in the UK and I have always been a fan of their IEM designs for the admittedly short period that I have been aware of them. Truth is that I hadn’t heard of RHA before the MA750, but they have certainly grown quite a bit in the Head-Fi community and have been getting much more notice than previously.
 
DSC_0138.jpg
 
 
Just to bring up the previous RHA product that I have reviewed, I found the MA750 to be a very competent IEM, offering deliciously bassy yet controlled sound at a very reasonable price. The build was also impeccable, the cable was thick and sturdy, but flexible, the housings beautifully smooth, but the MA750s weren’t those all-rounders that I could easily recommend to someone who listens to all genres. I was really hoping that the RHA T10i would be able to fill that gap and I was very hopeful with a few very cool accessories namely the changeable filters.
 
The RHA T10i is priced at $200 in the US and around $300 or maybe a little cheaper in Australia, so it is by no means a budget IEM, but doesn’t really reach that high end price tag yet. Would this be a giant killer that takes down the likes of the W40 or blend into the ever growing pool of IEMs in its price bracket? I must admit, the sound was not quite what I was accustomed to, but let’s go on to see how the T10i performed.
 
**Disclaimer** These were given to me in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
 
 
Unboxing & Accessories
From the get go, the packaging of the RHA T10i screams class and looks absolutely awesome. I remember that the MA750 was presented in a similar way and RHA really let buyers know and appreciate what they paid for. I particularly liked the back of the box, where they highlight all of the parts of the earphone, was quite interesting. On the side are the specifications, And the front of the box shows off that amazing three year warranty, nice to see that RHA really stand behind their products. Upon opening the magnetic flaps, the first thing that I saw was the frequency graph with the filter changes included. I wouldn’t really go by what the frequency graph shows though, I don’t think it sounds anything like the graph on the box. It gives you more info about the housing, filters and the driver. Sliding it out, the filters, tips and earphones are there, under which is the case, manual and cable clip. Overall, this is great.

 
DSC_0136.jpg
 
It certainly does not come with a shortage of tips, there are a tone of tips to choose from, nicely put on a plate which can be slipped into the RHA case. The cable clip is a nice inclusion, but not really necessary with over the ear wear. The case is very fancy, leather, but perhaps not the most practical: it is not the most protective and a little bulky, but it looks very good and screams class along with the rest of the package. Oh, and comply tips are included as well if you use complys. Oh, and I forgot the most impressive thing lol, the filters. There is a bass filter, a reference filter and a treble filter.
 
 
Design & Cable & Isolation
It is very hard to fault the T10i on design, whoever thought up of the physical design certainly did a superb job, it looks very well built and sturdy, but also sleek and looks wonderful. I would have no issues wearing these anywhere. The housing is made entirely of moulded stainless steel and there are no blemishes anywhere on mine, it is one of the best looking IEMS I have come across IMO. The right and left side also have red and blue highlights which is always a welcome addition. The shape of the earphones are also very ergonomically friendly and I had no comfort issue with them. One thing I did realise was that they don’t feel like they seal like normal earphones, but you should be able to tell from the sound whether you have a proper seal. Top marks for RHA here.

 
Zero issues with the RHA cable, it is one of the nicest stock cables I have used, but the one slight gripe I have with these is the fact that I find the memory wire to be just slightly too long and it is not as snug over my ears as I like, but that is just me and I don’t think anyone else has complained about this to take this with a grain of salt. The remote is also very sleek and metal with a  rubber coating on one side, with the pause button in the middle and volume up/down keys on the side. Strain relief is very effective, maybe a bit overkill, but at least it works lol. The jack feels very sturdy as well.
 
Isolation is nothing special, don’t be fooled into thinking they are isolation monsters just because of that Shure shaped housing because they are definitely not. They aren’t bad at all, but just not good either. Pretty average as far as IEMs go from my experience. These didn’t go nearly as far into my ears as my SE846 does.
 
 
Testing Gear
Scalability is always something I look for in any piece of gear and I make sure that I test the stuff I review on several sources because some pairings can sound quite bad. The RHA didn’t sound particularly bad with anything, but it did do a bit better with some amplification, but I was unfortunately not really able to squeeze any more detail out of these even with amping and a very detailed source. Amping these will result in a large soundstage and better imaging, but not really much else, these are quite versatile as far as sources go. I liked them the best with the DX90, but it wasn’t really much better than my phone or even the Clip+. Granted it is a bit flatter, but it wasn’t a huge improvement and if you have already got a RHA T10i and you are pondering whether to get a DAP, I would recommend that you just get a cheap player with a  decent amp, or a cheap portable amp like the NX1 or SAP-5.

 

 
 
Sound Quality
I guess it is the previous models of the RHA lineup, but I had already strongly suspected that the T10i was going to be a bass heavy IEM not unlike the MA750. To say the least, this was definitely right! Not to spoil the rest of the review, I must warn you that this review may seem just a tad harsh because I am not a huge fan of the sound signature and the tuning, but I also know many people who enjoy this, so make sure to read impressions from other reviewers as well to gain a broader picture of how these sound and whether these are for you.

 
DSC_0140.jpg
 
 
Bass
You could say that RHA is a basshead oriented company and from what I have read and the two RHA models I have demoed extensively, you’d be right, but the bass on the T10i was really not what I expected at all. With the MA750, the bass was hard, but relatively quick and wasn’t bloated and while I would love to say this is true for the RHA T10i as well, I just can’t. The bass is very boosted, to the point where it seems quite boomy and somewhat bloated. These impressions are with the “reference” filters, and the bass filters are definitely not any better. Detail is not great, bass lacks definition and depth. While sub-bass rumble is very strong and “satisfying”, I found it to often be over the top. The mid-bass would also often bleed into the midrange, which I found to be a real nuisance. Maybe if you are a complete basshead, or want something extremely bass heavy, these could be for you, but unfortunately I simply did not enjoy the bass.

 
DSC_0142.jpg
 
 
Midrange
As mentioned before, the bass bleeds into the midrange, which sometimes muffles it a little bit, but generally the midrange wasn’t too bad. It’s strengths shine through on tracks with little to no bass, when the bass doesn’t totally overpower the midrange. The mids are definitely warm, not dark, but warm and liquid. I did not experience any vocal sibilance on these, which is nice, but something I noticed was that I was turning the volume up more than I normally do to make the vocals clearer, but keep in mind that I am usually quite a soft listener and I listen nowhere near the levels I know some head-fiers at meets do. Instruments sound similarly warm and doesn’t have that natural timbre that I hear with other IEMs. TBH, I thought that they sounded perhaps just a bit muffled, like I was listening from behind a blanket. Although the midrange is not too bad, it is far from the best and does not stand out in its price range.

 
DSC_0139.jpg
 
 
Treble
I’m glad to say that the treble is the most pleasant part in this earphone and a section where I don’t really mind. It is not bad, and the treble doesn’t seem overly dark, but it is by no means emphasized whatsoever. Upon first listening to it, I thought that the treble was dark, but after a longer period, I felt like it was really just the midrange and powerful bass that was causing this, the treble is polite, but not dark IMO. Cymbals don’t quite have that sparkle that I like, but it doesn’t sound dull, but detail in the treble is really overshadowed by the significantly more prominent bass, which really annoyed me during my listening sessions. The resonation of the bass makes it one of the slowest bass responses I have heard and as a result, even impacts the treble. What is quite interesting is that the T10i responds quite well to EQ and sounds nice when EQed, so it has potential, it is just the tuning that is keeping it down.

 
DSC_0137.jpg
 
 
Soundstage & Imaging
Despite its shortcomings, I was expecting an expansive and large soundstage, but instead the stage is small and intimate. Obviously IEMs in general aren’t known for their huge soundstages, but the T10i does not have a large soundstage at all. Whether this is good or bad is for you to decide, many people prefer a larger soundstage, but many others like that intimate Grado presentation. Personally I’m more of a HD800 presentation guy, so the RHA wasn’t hugely impressive for me, but I know that some of you reading this will like the closed in presentation.

 
Imaging is just OK, not great, not bad. The small stage means that everything seems more packed together, which I found to have an adverse effect on the imaging. It is also quite hard to judge the imaging, because there is a lack of detail and coherence which is what I usually use as a template for imaging. When Eqed, the imaging got a bit better, so once again, it is the tuning which is limiting these.
 
DSC_0135.jpg
 
 
Separation, Detail & Clarity
I can say once again, that these are quite good when EQed in the separation area. I know that it is extremely repetitive, but the point that I am trying to get across is that these are really not bad at all with some EQ. In the stock form, the separation is not good to say the least. It sounds muffled, instruments are very blurry and it is hard to make out the nuances in the background that most $200 IEMs are capable of revealing. Disappointing, but there is an easy fix and by now I’m sure you know what it is
.
 
Detail is basically the same thing as the separation, but worse. It is terrible, it is hands down one of the least detailed earphones in the price bracket that I have heard. Decent detail is expected in a relatively expensive IEM such as this, but unfortunately it is not detailed whatsoever and IEMs such as the Titan 1 and Heaven IV easily beat it. Put on some EQ and they are good, not great, but better than most.
 
Clarity is perhaps the worst out of the three. I see clarity as how clear the music is, and the RHA T10i is simply not. I’m sorry if this is harsh, but the music sounds muffled and is not a pleasant experience, which is really what we are after when we purchase a premium product right? EQ them and…..
 
DSC_0134.jpg
 
 
Filters
The bass filter is worse, more muddy and darker than the reference.

 
The treble filter is not bad, a little better but still very dark. Filters will not be able to solve the tuning issues.
 
 
Customer Service
It is worth mentioning that RHA are one of the best companies out there when it comes to customer service. They are quick to answer questions and are always around on the forums responding to questions and helping others. Their warranty service is also unmatched by any company I have seen and the 3 year warranty is certainly very impressive and is certainly not a gimmick. I’ve even see people without a receipt get their IEMs serviced. Hats off to RHA here, every company should offer the professionalism that they do.

 
DSC_0133.jpg
 
 
Summary
So is the RHA T10i a terrible IEM? Definitely not, but is it tuned terribly? Certainly. While it’s not the worst tuned IEM I have heard, it does get into that area. However, they do have quite a bit of potential with EQ, and if you plan to use them with a phone, it will be very easy and there are many apps including most stock players that can do this. I personally recommend using Poweramp to reduce the bass by a lot and push up the upper mids and the treble. This way they sound quite nice and are worth the $200 price tag IMO, especially with the build and service.

 
Some advice for RHA, make sure that you guys tune your future IEMs to be more neutral, especially with something that has a “reference” filter. The bass and treble filters would be nice to change the sound to the users’ preference. Other than this, the RHA T10i is a good IEM, just tuned badly. 
  • Like
Reactions: Brooko and AmberOzL
Pros: Design, build quality, attention to detail
Cons: Lows overpower everything, thick and veiled sound sig, earguides are a bit too long.
I purchased the T10i for myself and spent about 50hrs listening to electronic music, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz and classical while sitting, sleeping or working out.
 
This is an emotional review for me as I was really excited to see such a well built and ergonomically designed IEM that didn't skimp on the lows but still (according to reviews) managed to maintain high resolution and clarity. I won't spend much time on the packaging and accessories. There are plenty of reviews and photos out there already covering these. Will focus on what matters the most to me - design, build quality, comfort and sound quality.
 
Design and build quality:
These things are gorgeous and seem bulletproof. They should be put in a museum for people to marvel at. For me $195 out of the $200 I paid for them are worth that amazing design and build. It's obvious a lot of thought has been put in the design not only from a "form" aspect but also from a "function" point of view. I love their form factor and the low profile they have when they sit in the ears.The patent pending earguides are a great idea but they are are bit too long and heavy so as a result their lower part wiggles around behind your ears when you move your head. Also when you want to store the IEMs you will either have to change their shape every time or use quite a big container. Moving down, the cable is phenomenal. It's soft and thick and I doubt there would be any microphonics even if these could be worn cable down. This is my first pair of IEMs where I don't worry the cable will snap every time I tug it too roughly and where I don't care the cables aren't detachable. The remote is nice and easy to use but it's a letdown that there is no Android option for it.The Y-split and the plug are both great, stainless steel and I love the metal spiral cable relief on the plug.
 
Comfort:
As one can expect they are above average in this aspect. The housings are small enough to fit in smaller years and the nozzles aren't too wide. Achieving proper seal was a bit hard for me for some reason. I resorted to my stock Dunu reinforced eartips for a better fit. Compared to my Vsonic VSD1's swiveling nozzles, the T10i's were a bit too angled for me. I would prefer ~60 degrees vs. the ~85degrees of the T10i. Still the T10i's are the most comfortable IEM's I've tried to date after only the Westone W30 and even sleeping with them on was a breeze.
 
Sound:
This is where it goes downhill for me...
I love plentiful bass. I even thought of myself to be borderline basshead. When I got them I expected very warm sound, lots of bass and not-that-detailed mids and highs. Because of the reviews I've read, when I opened the box I immediately switched to the "treble" filters even before playing anything. To my surprise the lows were still just annihilating any other part of the spectrum apart from some highs between 8 and 10kHz. Just out of curiosity I tried the "reference" filter and even those little highs disappeared. So for the purpose of this review I'm not gonna even bother with the "bass" and "reference" filters.
 
Lows - If the T10i aren't a basshead IEM, I don't know what is. The bass extension is great. There is a powerful subbass rumble that you can feel all the way in your mouth, which I love. The midbass is too strong for me though. I had to eq it down by 3-4dB. The speed is not great either - all my other IEM's fared better in this regard. On a positive note, the bass doesn't bleed too much into the mids and didn't cause any notable distortions
 
Mids - So laid back that they are virtually non-existent. Any vocals seem quiet and distant and in many cases I was struggling to hear them over the powerful bass. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of mid-forward IEMs but on these even I had to eq up the mids by 3-4dB just to bring them to acceptable levels. Even so they still sound muddy and unrefined. Great for dance and hiphop but a nightmare for rock, classical etc.
 
Highs - Treble is a hit or miss. There is some treble sparkle but still leaves more to be desired. For me there is a very significant dip in 6500Hz followed by a mild peak in 9kHz. With proper eq-ing the treble can actually become quite pleasant. The detail is still not quite on par with some of my other dynamic IEMs like the JVC FXT90 or even the bassy VSonic VSD1.
 
Soundstage - I didn't find the soundstage to be particularly wide but with so much bass it's really hard for me to judge.
 
Noise isolation - I have no idea why pretty much every review out there says the T10i isolate above average. For me they had he worse isolation out of any IEM I've ever owned. I could carry a normal conversation with the music off.
 
A note on tips - I spent several hours tip rolling both for fit and sound purposes. Interestingly I didn't notice any significant effect on the sound from changing tips.Wider bore tips like the Auvio and Dunu's reinforced stocks did improve the treble a little. The Sony hybrids and Comply foams improved comfort a bit vs the T10 stocks.
 
Conclusion:
The reason I mentioned this review was very emotional for me was because I think there is a lot of wasted potential here and that drives me bananas. I think such an extraordinarily well made product should come with a sound quality to match. If the "reference" filters leaned towards a flatter signature, the other two would have really been valuable, but in this case the T10i sound really really consumer-oriented, belonging right next to Beats in the Apple store. I really wanted to love the T10 but I did end up returning them. I really hope RHA makes a revision with a more refined sound ,maybe even a hybrid. I would gladly pay $100 extra for a dual BA in addition to the dynamic driver. Now that would be the ultimate universal fit IEM for me...
chupacabra314
chupacabra314
Yes, they are very dark with the "reference" and "bass" filters. The "treble" filter adds a little treble. 
gerardrosales
gerardrosales
It seems like every reviewer of the T10's take note of their overpowering low end performance. Would you rather choose the previous RHA flagship over these? I'm coming from a Harman Kardon AE which has a particularly sweet treble extension that's missing on the 750's when I auditioned them. Don't get me started about the treble rolloff. For a cheaper price point, I was surprised the 750's have a wider soundstage, better instrument separation, and better bass response.
theUKMrT
theUKMrT
Aren't the HK AE's notoriously bassy?... If you like them you might prefer the T10's, but to me the 750's are much better - being way more balanced despite still having some substantial bass heft. The T10's seem overpriced, where the 750's are a total bargain for their performance.
Pros: Superior build quality, great bass extension, complete accessories, fully featured
Cons: Treble roll off, dark sounding almost veiled
First, I need to give a shout out to SGS for including me on the tour. Due to the nature of most reviews here, I'm going to focus on the Reference filters, and give only brief impressions of the other two filters.
 
Set-ups used... Cowon J3 > Arrow 4G > T10i. Nexus 5 > T10i. Sansa Clip Zip (Rockboxed) > T10i. 
 
Accessories: Now because of the nature of my receiving these, I did not receive the entirety of the accessories. However, from pictures, and what I did receive I can safely say that no expense was spared. From the wide array of tips (I only received the 3 main silicon tips) to the different filters to the carrying case. This had the accessories of some much higher end IEMs. The biggest complaint I have about the accessories is actually with the carrying case. As one who tends to keep their IEMs in their pocket I find the case too bulky and cumbersome. I would have liked to see that style of clamshell-esque case come with a pouch as well so that they could be more easily carried with the few accessories that are needed.
 
Build Quality: This is one aspect where I'm simply floored. Aside from the filters which are obviously going to be a weak point (forcing the filters on could damage threading and thus damage the phones themselves). The actual build I'd rank up almost as high as the Aurisonics Rockets, higher even in some respects. Specifically cable reliefs, which the Rockets lack entirely. That said everything else is just prime. The casing is gorgeous stainless steel and tough. The cables themselves are thick and rubbery, perhaps slightly unwieldy, but not in a bad way (unless you count the length, which is the one downside, as it has too much length for my ears to pocket, and I'm a fairly tall guy). Possibly the best part is the strain relief at the plug which uses a spring, which in my experience has the most consistent track record of being fashionable and functional without adding bulk. Even among 90 degree and 45 degree cable types it seems, in my limited experience, that spring supported strain relief actually last better than others. Everything about the build and design are great. The ear guides are some of the best I've seen. They don't use a memory wire, but something else entirely which seems to work well. Though I'm not sure it was necessary considering the cable was very pliable and probably would have stayed in place regardless. I'd say they are a bit heavy for my tastes, but that can be forgiven, and I'm sure given enough time, I'd get used to the weight. 
 
Sound: (I will post impressions of the other filters as an appendix of sound)
 
Bass: Easily the deepest and most powerful sounding bass I've ever heard from an IEM. It is truly quite magnificent. Normally with this sort of bass response you would expect veiling of the rest of the spectrum but I did not find that. Instead I found a masterful progression. Overall the bass was very linear and transitioned into the midrange nicely. To put this into perspective, when I did my comparison to my ASG-2s it was almost like the bass, midrange and treble were all separated. This imparts the illusion of clarity, but can mess with how everything sounds organically. The T10i took a different approach and made the spectrum roll. The midrange didn't seem veiled to my ears, but it was definitely darker skewed. For bass intense music this was fine, but for anything else it could seem almost veiled. The biggest issue is when I listened to music with fast bass, like metal. This is what showed the greatest weakness of the T10i... The bass is painfully slow. I take note to not listen to fast metal music or anything with similar bass speed on my M100s because I know it isn't exceedingly fast, these I'd have to do the same. 
 
Midrange: This is where it gets interesting. These are technically what I would consider "midrange forward" but in comparison to the bass they are pulled back a bit. The mids aren't recessed at all, but they can sometimes seem it if you are listening to a bass heavy song. It took the likes of female vocal jazz to really shine that light on it. The midrange is detailed, but significantly colored. It however cannot hold a candle to the Rockets, or ASG series in terms of sheer realism or weight. In fact, I'd say these aren't very 'real' sounding at all. It, like the bass, didn't have enough bite or speed for my liking. Piano and guitar sometimes felt lacking in the midrange frequencies. Again, while not veiled, it wasn't sharp. I don't feel the bass negatively impacted the midrange because of the warmth, but rather the tuning and speed of the driver just didn't allow notes to have the sort of decay needed for realism. 
 
Treble: This is where it gets sticky.There is definitely roll off, and if anything this is where realism lacks the most. With the reference filter I fail to see how it is reference. The treble is very subdued and isn't very reference like. The only thing I can think of is that the reference filter has the most linear response across the spectrum and that is why it is "reference." The clarity and detail were there despite the warm nature. I didn't miss many details that I would normally have with my Rockets or ASG-2s. Though I would class all three of my main IEMs to be more detail retrieving than the T10is (Rockets ASG-2 and RE400) these were no slouch. I'm actually surprised because I didn't expect such a warm headphone to have such detail. In retrospect, I think these would be a better version of the ASG1.3. Which I technically rated higher, but in retrospect I would lower that one by two stars because it was lacking in detail. Keep in mind these aren't the most detailed I've heard. But they are sufficiently detailed in my opinion. They can't hold a light to BA IEMs or Microdriver IEMs, but they are no slouch. They are more detailed that the Sennheiser IE6 and Shure SE215 by a long shot. I'd say they have some of the best detail of a warm headphone I've heard. The biggest complaint is because of the warm nature of these headphones though the dynamic range for piano is there, there is not enough bite or sharpness. You hear the notes but the notes lack the realism you would expect. While I hear the notes, and details, they do not sound right or accurate to my ears. 
 
Notes about Treble and Bass filter: The bass filter is pretty much unusable to me. All my notes about clarity and detail essentially go out the window. It is almost like turning up the dial on the ASG-2s What was once somewhat controlled bass becomes overbearing and encompassing of the entire spectrum. I'm sure there are people and genres that this would work for. But for the few songs I listed to with these filters on, I found them unlistenable. 

The treble filter on the other hand was quite nice. It made the T10is more balanced overall. They were still warm, but the issues surrounding them became less prevalent. Details seemed clearer, and the 'veil' was lifted to a pretty significant degree. The treble became peakier and more reminiscent of the M-100s.  This would honestly be my preferable filter overall. 
 
Conclusion: As time progressed I've become less interested in bassy headphones. This may be due to the fact that I fell in love with the RE400s and the Rockets which are a warmer tone of neutral, and that seems to work best for me. However I still find it beneficial to having bassy headphones. This would honestly be the ones for me. Though my review sounded rather negative, that is because the reference filter subdued a lot of the positives that I would have normally stated because the highs and midrange were more subdued from the reference filter. Again, everything felt more linear, but the balance was more skewed to warm. The treble filter was less linear but more balanced. I overall enjoyed my time with the T10i, and would consider owning them as a cheaper repleacement for my current bassy IEMs the ASG-2s and make the ASG-2s into ASG-1 Plus. I could use the SE215 for that purpose and just take the plunge, but the SE215 are less detailed and honestly less bassy for a "bassy" headphone. If I could get these for a similar price as the MA750is I'd do so in a heartbeat and take the plunge. These are a great sub-300 bassy headphone and if that is the sound you are looking for then look no further, just keep in mind that these are not the most accurate or realistic sounding IEMs, but they do have powerful visceral bass.
  • Like
Reactions: WNBC and iDesire
WNBC
WNBC
I agree with most if not everything said here.  In a world of limitless money I could see owning these.  For now, I'm interested in what RHA puts out next for the less bass-craving crowd. 
Pros: Craftsmanship, bass quality
Cons: Dark signature, lack of transparency, bass quantity
INTRODUCTION.  It can be a daunting process selecting an earphone among the hundreds that are available.  I was in need of an affordably priced in-ear headphone for work.  The Read Health Audio (RHA) T10i aesthetics appealed to me and their other earphones have been well received by the community.  A special thanks goes to Head-fier shotgunshane for setting up the T10i loaner program.  I took a full week to get acquainted with the T10i before sending it off to the next reviewer.  That was a sufficient length of time for them to make an impression on me.  My main regret was that I neglected to take pictures the last day.  I was in a rush and did not want to delay the shipment of the earphones.  However, there are plenty of pictures of these gorgeous earphones on the web. 
 
If there are no mechanical issues then I believe there is not a best or worst sounding earphone.  There are flavors of earphones that are best for individuals at a given price range.  If a potential buyer reads through this review and finds that he or she shares similar values in audio then the review will play some small part in the informed decision process.
 
PREFERENCES.  Probably a good idea to reveal my biases up front.  I lean towards a flat frequency response or even a slightly bright presentation with gobs of detail.  However, if you look at my profile or know my past earphones/headphones you will understand that I have no problem straying from a balanced type of sound.  There is room for many flavors of headphones in my arsenal.  My favorite headphone to date is the HD800.  For earphones, I really enjoyed the Heir Audio 4Ai and Aurisonics Rockets a lot.  With that said, I have owned guilty pleasures such as the ASG2 & 2.5, LCD-2, PS-500, TH-600, and RE-262.  The ASG2.5 has been my favorite earphone to date and I may return to it after further exploration.  I can appreciate tight bass and a warm sound signature.  I do not have much experience with bassy earphones.  A U-shape frequency response is fine with me though it would not serve as my only earphone or headphone.  Dare I say I prefer tube amps?  I do, especially with the HD800.  Therefore, I am not a complete audiophile neutral robot.  I primarily listen to small jazz trios but I have my phases when I will reach for reggae, folk, classic rock, electronica, and music from the Middle & Far East.     
 
RANKED IMPORTANCE OF SOUND CHARACTERISTICS:    
Detail > Air > Transparency > Slightly Forward Mids > Timbre > Texture > Attack > Articulation > Layering > Musicality > Soundstage > Impact
 
PLAYLIST: 
The Hilliard Ensemble Bach Morimor “Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV”
Youn Sun Nah “Lament”
Pierre Bensusan “Chant De Nuit”
Grateful Dead “Ripple”
Dire Straits “Sultans of Swing”
Coheed and Cambria “2113”
Groundation “Suffer the Right”
Helge Lien Trio “Sceadu”
Avishai Cohen “Etude”
Foo Fighters “Everlong (Acoustic Version)”
Massive Attack “Future Proof”
Jerry Garcia and David Grisman “Arabia”
 
SOURCES:  iPhone 6 Plus and iFi iDSD Micro.  I do not know how the T10i sounds with other smartphones or a separate portable amp, but the iPhone 6 drove it with authority.  The iPhone 6 is a fairly good sounding, balanced music player.  I do not want to bulk up my portable listening rig at work.  This earphone did not sound significantly better or worse with the well-regarded iFi iDSD Micro.  Meaning, the overall warm character of the T10i cannot be significantly changed by a lean amp.   The iDSD Micro’s amp section is known for being on the lean side with maybe only a smidge of extra warmth added to the signal.  Using the internal amp, the iDSD pairs well with bass-tilted headphones like the TH-600 or warm headphones like the PS-500.
 
BUILD QUALITY:  The T10i’s drivers sit inside beautifully constructed stainless steel housings.  I find the T10i aesthetics very appealing.  One does not feel RHA spared any expense in the quality of materials.  The cable is relatively heavy compared to any earphone I own but it was not too troublesome.  The over-the-ear design was well thought out and worked well.  My main suggestion to RHA would be to go with a lighter cable or detachable cable so one can opt for a lightweight aftermarket cable.  I am not one that worries about microphonics because I use earphones while sitting at my work desk.  When walking around with the T10i in my ear I was not distracted by microphonics.
 
COMFORT:  I could listen for a stretch of 2 hours before I needed to pull the relatively large T10i out and give my ears a quick stretch.   This is the case for most earphones and my ears.  The isolation was pretty good and I had no complaints.  I used the stock tips.        
 
INITIAL IMPRESSION:  The reference filter was already installed and my first response was “This is the reference filter?”  My definition of reference is one of a near flat frequency response and these were far from that with this filter.   However, “reference” in this case could be in reference to the house RHA sound, which is something I am not familiar with.  My first impression was that the T10i is a dark sounding earphone and this may be what people call a basshead earphone.   Probably the darkest signature I have experienced.  The T10i was not harsh sounding, but in fact fairly smooth and very warm.  What I may consider a very warm signature others might call a slightly to moderately warm signature.               Depending on which camp you fall into, the prominent bass is the strength or weakness of this earphone.  The soundstage and imaging were adequate for the genres of music I listen to.  I had no problem with these characteristics of the T10i.  The noticeable warmth and bass of the T10i told me what RHA was going for with this earphone.  My initial impressions have not always been my final impression and I continued to listen to the T10i. 
 
FILTERS:  The majority of this review will be focused on the T10i with the treble filter.  I felt the treble filter did the most to tame the bass and allow the other characteristics of the T10i to come through without distraction.  Plus, there was still plenty of bass response with the treble filter.  Application of the bass filter did not result in out-of-control bass, but rather more bass than was necessary or realistic.  Fun for a short while?  Yes, but not something I would leave on the T10i for general listening.  Details in the upper bass and lower midrange were prominent with all filters, but especially with the bass filter.  A jazz musician tapping his foot on the ground or a slight bump of the mic on a podcast show was a bit too elevated for my tastes.  For male vocals the sound was a bit heavy or chesty with the reference or bass filters.  The treble filter did allow me to enjoy male and female vocals more so than with the other two filters.  The treble filter was more aligned with my sonic preferences.
 
DETAIL:  I felt that the T10i was fairly good in this regard, especially with the treble filter.  I am partial to a more etched sound, but the T10i had plenty of details in the midrange and lower frequencies.  Detail was there in the upper frequencies, albeit somewhat subdued.  Overall, it is a smooth sounding earphone that does not sacrifice too much detail when the treble filter is at work.  There probably is not a loss of detail with the other filters, but the bass stands out and can easily draw away your attention away from the rest of the spectrum.
 
MIDRANGE:  Mids are slightly forward which is what I like.  Recessed mids would be an instant killer for me.  I did feel like the leading edge of notes was rounded and when combined with the warmth and lack of air gave me an impression of a slight veil or congestion.  The attack is not as quick or as biting as I might prefer for guitar performances.  The plucking of guitar strings was lacking the texture one might get from more detailed or revealing earphones.  However, those earphones do not deliver the bass and fuller sound of the T10i nor are they under $200.  In the world of IEMs, one does not get the cake and eat it too for less than $400.  You have to spend much more in order to get an IEM that can do many things (bass, treble, midrange) cleanly.
 
The coloration of the T10i presents the midrange with a tonality that is far from natural.  Some people will like the coloration, others will not.  I typically want to get as close to live or natural reproduction as possible.  The midrange is not missing or distant, it is just presented against a backdrop of warmth that does not appeal to me.   The coloration is one of warmth, thickness, and heaviness.  Others may call it a lush sound.  Especially for jazz, the T10i coloration is not working for me.  My ideal is one of crystalline clarity or ultimate transparency and that is not what I get from the T10i.  The realism was not coming through.
 
TREBLE:  With the treble filter in place I did feel there was an increased extension in the treble that was less apparent with the bass and reference filters.  The treble was still clearly not an equal partner with the midrange and bass.  The treble lacked a delicateness and openness that I would like for cymbals, chimes, and other instruments that can reach into that 2-10 kHz range.  As someone who has enjoyed the LCD-2 and HE-500 I do not need the treble to be overemphasized.  However, with such warmth coming out of the T10i the treble is bound to suffer as it is going to stray from neutrality.  With that said, I am glad RHA included the treble filter as that was my favorite and the sound with this filter would be the closest to winning me over.
 
BASS:  For many, the main attraction of the T10i will be its extended and visceral bass responseThere is plenty of weight, punch, and impact here.  One man’s overly abundant bass is another man’s ideal bass quantity.  The decay and quality of the bass was very good.  It did not sound bloated or like one-note bass.  The bass quantity was too much for my tastes with the reference filter.  I could probably live with the delivered bass coming through the treble filter.  I will not deny that it was fun at times to listen to the sub-bass response with the bass filter.
 
CONCLUSIONS:  I think if you have similar likes-dislikes and an average, healthy middle-aged ear such as me then you might come away with the same feelings about the T10i.  Overall, the T10i did not fit my preference profile for earphones as I am likely to gravitate towards a more balanced, airy, and revealing sound.  However, there will definitely be an audience for the T10i.  For me, I would say the T10i was 75-80% of what I might want in a general-use earphone.  If I was in the market for a warm, bass-heavy earphone then I would consider the T10i to be a top candidate in the under $200 price club.    
 
Could I grow to like the T10i given more time?   Possibly, with the notion that the T10i was not going to be my everyday earphone.  I did not spend a lot of time trying to EQ the sound.  I played around a little with the EQ in the Can Opener app on my iPhone.  I also applied the flat response EQ profile in Amarra.  EQ tweaks did not significantly change my opinion as the dark signature was still there.  I do prefer that my earphone purchases sound closer to my preference right off the bat as I am not one to tweak.  The excessive warmth was the main negative for me.  I listen to a lot of music with acoustic guitar, piano, and double bass.  For these instruments, I do not like the extra warmth provided by the T10i.  A little warmth is ok, but the T10i leans far to the left.  For me, instruments should be reproduced to sound crisp and natural.  The bass of the T10i was inappropriate or less than natural with the reference and bass filters.   With the treble filter the bass less overwhelmed me.
 
The T10i is just not my cup of tea.  If the opportunity came along to buy one of these used at say half off MSRP I would do it.  Why?  Every once in a while I want a lot of bass as it can be fun for short periods of time with the right genre like reggae.  I am not familiar with bassy earphones and among this group the T10i may be top of the food chain at this price range. 
 
I do not think the opinions about the sonic character of the T10i have been very different.  However, I do believe that the T10i coloration will be very polarizing.  But, what piece of audio equipment does not have dissenters as well as proponents?  Maybe with the T10i there will be fewer people in the middle.
 
I do look forward to other offerings from RHA, as they do seem to be a company that listens to its potential customers.  Likely they will roll out an earphone with a flatter baseline frequency response.  Throwing in the bass, reference, and treble filters would then be icing on the cake.  Maybe even a user tunable bass port.  I would be one of the first in line to hear such an earphone with or without a loaner program in place.  The build quality, accessories, and fair pricing are enough to keep me intrigued by this company.  I am truly excited to see what they do next. 
  • Like
Reactions: Carlsan
Pros: Build quality, packaging, accessories, sound filters, bass response, overall value.
Cons: Might be too warm for some, need amplification.
 
 
Is being a Jack of all trades and Master of none really a bad thing?
 
 
 
 
 
Firstly thank you to RHA and Lin0003 for organizing the tour of the T10i as this was one IEM I was anticipating hotly after owning the MA750 and loving its sound. RHA has been impressive so far so the T10i carries a huge burden on its steel shoulders. So without much ado lets get into the review.
 
Packaging: Great as always with RHA and reminiscent of the MA750. Nice big box with plenty of tips and the three filters that lead me to the days when a Discman/Minidisc/Phone used to come with a plethora of accessories and it was an occasion to unwrap those unlike the Apples/Samsungs of today with just the phone,battery and a usb cable. A solid 10/10 for the packaging.
 

 

 
 
Build quality: RHA is known for its build quality and suffice to say the T10 carries on the tradition faithfully with its steel enclosures for the drivers , strain relief on the earphones and similar on the plug. All the bits exude solidity including the mic/volume buttons and I guess they fully justify the cost of these IEMs. The cable is pretty strong too and works with the reliefs to keep these ticking on.The soft case provided is a nice touch too with very soft materials and a classy finish.
 

 

 
 
Sound: Now onto the meat of the matter as all of the above attributes would be wasted if they didn't sound great. So how do they sound?
 
Well lets break it down then:
 
Treble: The treble on the T10 is very controlled and has plenty of sparkle without pushing into tinnitus territory. The IEMs have a warm signature so the treble doesn't dominate the scene and comes into action when called upon. Cymbals crash and decay decently fast and top end sparkle is under control at all times. Even after experimenting with the treble filter, the treble was always smooth and pleasant and a joy to listen to.
 
Midrange: This section of the T10 is something that changes very heavily with the type of filter used and with the bass filter there was a bit of bleed into the mids, nothing unpleasant but it does show how quickly the T10 can change character and turn on a dime.The standard filter brings things into perspective and the mids clear up with a nice smooth presentation and female vocals sounding fantastic without the typical sssssss sound that a lot of IEMs exhibit in female vocals.The treble filter however gave the best presentation as now the mids came into full play and seemed to have a slightly 3D characteristic to them. Great to listen to for any and all vocals.
 
Bass: The T10 does a Mr Hyde here and unleashes its evil (and highly likeable) side. The bass is fantastic and possesses a very nice rumble or punch depending on the kind of music being played.
Listening to bass heavy music with the treble filter kept the bass in check with a nice smooth punch and the standard filter turned up the bass a bit more.Putting on the bass filter suddenly unleashes the inner beast and when paired with a good amp the bass can be monstrous and oh so satisfying. The punch is hard and fast, no doubt aided by the dynamic driver and the rigid steel enclosure and when there's a rumble while watching a movie, the T10 bring a smile on your face again as the drivers digs deep and brings it all without missing a beat.
 
 
 
The two major factors besides the filters that can affect the T10s sound is tips and amplification as running it off a phone resulted in pretty average performance while putting an amp in the equation tightened up everything and gave it a sense of coherency and balance. The Arrow 4G and the Cayin C5 definitely met its needs very well while the Note 4 gave an average presentation simply because it couldn't power them properly.The tips also make a huge difference as bigger tips seem to clear these up a bit while smaller tips again messed with the sound. The tip sizes are in relation to my ears so YMMV.
 

 
 
 
To conclude, the RHA T10i definitely has a tilt towards the warmer side but with diligent usage of filters you can change its nature to suit your music so no matter if you listen to classical or techno, the T10 will perform admirably in all situations with just a switch of its filters. I tried it with a fixed set of tracks I use to gain a proper perspective and the T10 rarely if ever was found lacking in a particular area and considering its overall package such as the build, accessories,filters and RHAs customer service it is definitely something to consider in its price range and
a great deal at its current price.
  • Like
Reactions: iDesire
tusing
tusing
I disagree with this review. I had to return the T10i. Even if you use the mid and treble filters, the bass and lows are simply too strong, and the treble and much of the mids seem far too recessed. 
8lias
8lias
Agreed with both @irablumberg and @tusing.  I wish this wasn't the case because it a very well built and attractive pair but the overly empower bass makes them less enjoyable.  I like bass but not when they dominate the rest of the spectrum.  
unkle
unkle
Agree with the review. Simply perfect :wink:.
Pros: Build, fit, comfort, accessories, design, sonic capability (after EQ), customisable filter system, warranty
Cons: Default signature (extremely warm/dark/bassy), mic + icontrols too low on cable, cinch effectiveness

For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

INTRODUCTION

The first I heard about RHA (or Reid Heath Acoustics) was a thread on Head-Fi calling for applicants for 3 reviewers to test their newest earphone - the RHA T10i. Some of the initial press was extremely encouraging, and the images being circulated looked downright gorgeous, so I quickly applied and waited to hear. Unfortunately I wasn’t among those chosen – but RHA arranged with David (lin0003 on Head-Fi) to stage an Australasian tour with another set. So here I sit, with the T10i in my ears, ready to give you my take on this IEM.

Reid Heath Acoustics (RHA) is a Scottish based headphone company. Their core values (from their website) are described as follows:
“We stand for true-to-life audio reproduction and lasting quality. With these values at our core, we work to deliver the most accurate, comfortable and unobtrusive listening experience possible. Every RHA product combines high quality materials, precision engineering and our fundamental commitment to design.”

Their current product catalogues ranges from the budget oriented MA350 (~ USD 40) to the current flagship T10i (~ USD 200) which I have the pleasure of reviewing today.

In the last 4 days I have tried to spend as much time as possible assessing the RHA T10i. In that time I have also listened to my Fidue A83, A81, Altone200 and DN-1000 so that I can reference differences, but the T10i has taken most of my listening time – and it has been a very different experience, as the T10i’s default tuning is not my preferred signature type. This T10i’s default signature disappointed me from first listen – but over the course of the week, and with some EQ applied, it has become an enjoyable IEM. I have some comments at the bottom of the review – and I do hope RHA taken them on board – as they have the potential for an absolute winner here.
I’d estimate that so far I’ve logged around 20-25 hours with the RHA T10i to date.

DISCLAIMER

I was provided the RHA T10i (as part of a tour) from RHA and lin0003. I am in no way affiliated with RHA - and this review is my subjective opinion of the T10i.

PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)

I'm a 47 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP). I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5 > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83 and A81, Dunu DN-1000 and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent. I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).

I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 47, my hearing is less than perfect.

For the purposes of this review - I used the RHA T10i straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, and also from the Beyer A200p when at work. I did not further amp them, as IMO they do not benefit from additional amplification. In the time I have spent with the T10i, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (burn-in), but am aware that I am becoming more used to the signature of the T10i as I use them more often (brain burn-in).

This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

THE REVIEW

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

The RHA T10i arrived in a reasonably large, but attractive black retail box (with orange highlights). The front flap is hinged to reveal the inner compartment - which really does look very spectacular, with a full window view of the IEMs, accessories and tuning filters.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

RHA T10i - front of retail box

RHA T10i - rear of retail box

The outer box holds a wealth of information including a frequency graph, information on the drivers, and also the moulding if the housing.

The initial feeling I got on opening the flap – was “wow – this is a premium item”.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

RHA T10i - side of retail box

RHA T10i - inside retail box front cover

Opening the retail case reveals an open inner box with foam inset which holds the T10i (cable nicely wrapped around the foam), filters and tips.

Lifting the foam inset out further reveals a lower plastic compartment housing the carry case, manual and a shirt clip. There are few companies to include this many accessories, and virtually none (I know of anyway) to present them in such a premium manner.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Foam insert - holding the T10i, tips, and filters

All of the accessories

The user guide is a mini multi-lingual booklet and is superbly designed, and informative, including a response graph, and full information on everything you may need to know about the T10i – from cleaning to getting the proper fit. A lot of thought obviously went into this. Kudos RHA.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Well designed manual

Carry case - with tip tray

The carry case is a large soft zippered case measuring approximately 125mm x 80mm x 30mm (at its deepest point) – so it’s not pants pocket friendly. It is well padded though, with generous inner pockets and a very soft outer covering which feels like soft Lamb Nappa leather – not sure if it is synthetic or not. The case is large enough to hold the tips in their steel display tray.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

RHA carry case compared to Brainwavz case

Inside the carry case

The tip selection is generous, and includes 2 pairs of dual flange silicone, 6 pairs of single flange silicone, and 2 pairs of foam tips. The mounting tray is stainless steel, and once again gives a feel of something upmarket.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Extremely good tip selection

Tip selection in profile

Lastly there is another stainless steel plate which houses the metal filters. Like everything else, it is both functional and stylish – and clearly states (treble, reference, bass) which filter is which.
Impression so far – 10/10.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Filter system and holder

Filter system and holder

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

(From RHA)
Type
Dynamic Driver Inner Ear Monitor
Drivers
770.1 Dynamic
Frequency Range
16 Hz – 22 Khz
Impedance
16 ohm
Sensitivity
100 dB
Rated / Max Power
1/5 mW
Plug
3.5mm gold plated
Cables
1.35m reinforced OFC
Weight
41g
IEM Shell
Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) stainless steel shell

FREQUENCY GRAPH

At the time of writing, I’ve been unable to find a frequency response graph for the T10i – apart from the one included in the manual. The problem with the one in the manual is that the step are in 20 dB increments – so it’s really not much use. It portays things as flatter than they actually are. For the record – what I’m hearing with the reference filter is a very large bump in both the sub-bass, but especially mid-bass, a reasonably flat mid-range, and quite a steep drop-off in treble. If/when a graph is published (eg from Innerfidelity), I’ll try and include it.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN

The RHA T10i has a two piece injection moulded stainless steel body which is one of the smoothest, and well designed IEM shells I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. The shell is a shade under 20mm in length, 19mm in height, and 11 mm in depth (18mm if counting the nozzle length). So it is comparatively small. The nozzle features a threaded cavity to house the screw in filters for personal tuning. On the exterior of the IEM body, next to the “RHA” engraving is a small mesh covered port – I’m assuming this is to vent the dynamic driver.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Steel T10i body - marvelously crafted

Smooth edges a feature - for very good comfort

The ear guides attach to the housing with excellent strain relief (blue for left, red for right). The ear guides themselves have been patented by RHA, and are formable, and appear to be spring steel with a soft and malleable protective outer sheath. I’m not sure what materials are involved, but they are the best example of formable ear guides I’ve encountered – and for me, are very comfortable. In case you haven’t noticed, the T10i are designed to be worn over the ear only (my preferred method).

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Formable ear guides

Formable ear guides - bend to any shape

The formable guides end with a strange 20mm plastic/rubber section which joins to the cable proper. I’m not 100% sure what the reason for these is – but sadly, they do detract visually from the overall look.

On the right side of the cable approx 260 mm from the body of the IEM is an integrated iDevice 3 button control and microphone. I’m pleased to say that this works brilliantly with my iPhone and controls volume as well as play, pause, next, back. The strange thing with the T10i is the placement of the controls/mic as it sits about 60mm below my chin when worn (most other IEMs have the controls considerably higher. The issue with the T10i configuration, is that I can’t use the cinch all the way to my chin to tighten the cables.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

icontrols (mic is on other side)

Mic (icontrols are on other side)

Well below the microphone (another 240mm from the bottom of the control unit) sits a small Y split – with excellent cable relief, and an integrated cinch. The weird thing is that the apex of the Y-split sits just above my belly button (I’m 6 foot tall) which is really far too low. And of course the cinch doesn’t work 100% because of the mic/control. So some things for RHA to consider when they eventually design the successor to this IEM.

The cable is relatively thick and sturdy, well sheathed, and best of all does not display any memory or kinking. It is virtually microphonic free below the Y-split, but there are some microphonics above. Of course use of the shirt clip, and keeping the cable underneath clothing relieves most of this.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Y split and cinch

4 pole plug - extremely good quality - note rubber protector

The cable terminates in a straight 3.5mm stainless steel 4 pole plug – with once again excellent strain relief. One thing I did notice is that there is slight rubberised ring between the plug body and tip of the plug. Yet another example of RHA thinking outside the box. I can only assume this has two uses – to protect your device (and the plug) from metal on metal scratching, and also to accommodate plugging into your average smartphone (with case attached). Anyway – it works incredibly well with my iPhone 5S.

So apart from a few design “misses”, the build quality and attention to detail is incredible.

FILTER SYSTEM

For tuning, RHA includes a 3 filter system on the T10i – bass (black), reference (white/silver) and treble (amber/gold). It is a very similar system to that used on Rock Jaw’s Alfa Genus IEM. The filters are very easy to swap in and out – utilising a simple screw in thread. They have a rubber washer to ensure a secure fit. The bass filter is supposed to bump the lower frequency response by 3db above reference, and the treble filter is supposed to bump the frequency above 1 kHz by 3dB. The reference filter is for their default or reference tuning. Looking inside each filter, both the reference and bass filters appear to have acoustic foam or dampening material. The treble filter has none.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Filters (L-R) Treble, Reference and Bass

Acoustic foam inside the reference filter

I’ll leave the sonic effects for the sound section.

FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. I initially tried the included large silicone tips, and whilst they fit OK, I was unable to maintain a constant seal. I didn’t try their included foam tips, but opted instead for the large dual-flange tips, and they fit perfectly with a brilliant seal, and great comfort. The angle of the nozzle and design of the housing create the perfect angle for my ears, and I could (and have) used these for hours at a time. Despite their weight, I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of trying a more ergonomically well designed housing – including the Shure SE series which I loved – or my current Fidues (A81 comes close though). I even put the small tips on, and asked my 11yo daughter to try them. Despite not being an IEM wearer, she also thought they were “pretty comfortable”.

[size=12.8000001907349px][/size]

Ergonmically designed shells .......

........ are a perfect fit for both big and small ears

Isolation with the T10i is better than average for me (not quite near Shure’s almost perfect isolation – but very effective), and I think they’d be good enough for long distance air travel (despite the vent). They do isolate better than my Fidue A83, and are probably on-par with my A81. Because of their flat profile (when worn they do not extend past my ear), I have had no issues at all relaxing or sleeping with the T10i. They would rank up there as the most comfortable IEM I’ve worn to date.

There is no driver flex present.

So what does the T10i sound like?

SOUND QUALITY

The following is what I hear from the RHA T10i. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my iPhone 5S, or PC > A200p as source.

Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and most can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

Thoughts on Default Signature

I need to state this one early, so I can then concentrate on the positives. I really do think that RHA missed the mark completely when tuning these IEMs. If I was to describe the default signature in a few words – I’d choose the words “dark”, “bassy” and “fatiguing”. Their problem is simply that there is too much bass, it overpowers everything, and for me it simply becomes too fatiguing. Please remember though, that I usually prefer a neutral signature, or often a shade brighter than neutral.

My issue with them is that I expect a reference signature to be reference – for the most part balanced, but clear. For example, I know my Fidue A83 are reasonably balanced but brightish. The Sony XBA4 I used to own were also reasonably balanced, but also very smooth – and if aiming for a smooth, and slightly bassy sound, this is the sort of reference sound I’d expect. My Fidue A81 are dark, and warm IEMs (quite bassy in fact), but even they do not have default bass, bass, bass emphasis that the T10i exhibit.

Once I’d got the initial shock out of the way (from first listen), I immediately changed the filters – trying the bass filter (it was even worse), and then switching to the treble filter. The treble filter was better, but still had too much bass present.

Dilemma – how do I review these, when I very much dislike the default signature, and listening for any length of time just brought on fatigue?

Answer – Get used to the signature a little more, and then EQ the bass down.

Over the next few hours I tried to spend as much time as I could with the T10i – but it was a very difficult experience. Bass heads might love these – but I really struggled. As I started to brain-burn into their default signature, I did start to notice quite a nice mid-range coming through – so there were encouraging signs that these drivers had potential.

Using my iPhone 5S, I switched in the bass reducer preset EQ (and before anyone throws their toys out of the cot, the bass reducer does precisely that – reduces a lot of bass, and is one of the few useful presets included with the iP5). After the bass assault, it was almost too much (by then I’d acclimatised a little), so I gave myself 20 minutes to adjust, and then took more stock of what I was hearing. The first thing I did was switch back to the reference filter …… and …… OMG this is so much better, and it sounds “reference”. Bass is still slightly north of neutral, but rather than overpowering everything, it’s just providing good impact. Best of all, the vocals and mid-range are now crystal clear, slightly warm, very smooth. Treble is still a little subdued overall, but very enjoyable. These now remind me a lot of the XBA4’s default sound – and I really like the change.

For others with a modern iDevice, if you have Accudio Pro – try the Sennheiser CX300 preset with flavour set to reference. It’ll give the T10i a big cut in the mid-bass, and is another way of applying simple EQ to reveal what this IEM is really capable of.

From this point on – I’ve used my iPhone 5S with bass reducer. So all below comments should be taken with this in mind.

Overall Detail / Clarity

For this I always use both Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.

The T10i’s detail retrieval is now good on both tracks. With Gaucho, the sax intro is quite natural sounding and very smooth – and now the bass guitar is where it should be. I can definitely hear the bass guitar, and occasional thump of the kick drum coming through, but it’s not overpowering things now.

Switching to Sultans of Swing, and it’s a really dynamic and fun listen. The constant background sound is the bass guitar, but it’s contrasted nicely with the bite of Knopfler’s guitar and the polite splash of cymbals. The bass is still very good overall, with a slight bloom but generally pretty tight. Vocals are really clear now – but Knopfler’s vocals definitely sit very slightly behind the bass guitar and his own lead guitar. Detail is mostly all there – but the subtle hits of snare and cymbal are quite subdued still. Separation of instruments is good, and there is no evidence of smearing.

Sound-stage & Imaging

For this I use Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”. I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.

It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor. The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space. The T10i has an intimate stage with this track, and with the bass reduced the imaging is OK (directional cues are there), but the sense of space is not expansive.

I also used Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the EQ’d RHA T10i gave a nicely smooth and cultured performance. The tonality of the T10i is still just a little darker than I am used to – but the vocal presentation is very clear, and although the stage I intimate, the overall cohesion / tonality works. In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd. With the T10i, I was surprisingly getting some immersion – so this is better than expected.

Genre Specific Notes

Rock / Alt-Rock – The EQ’d T10i handles this genre well with good balance between vocals and bass line. Male vocals in particular are very good – and I found myself really enjoying most artists. Standouts among the artists tested were 3 Doors Down, Seether and Pearl Jam. It’s amazing how well this driver performs on vocals when it’s given a chance to shine. The only detraction was that some higher level details (cymbals) are very underwhelming still. Porcupine Tree’s “Trains” had good dynamics with the bass, but sadly for me Wilson’s vocals were just a little too subdued. Pink Floyds “Money” was a lot better though, with nice overall balance – but still losing that extra detail in the high end.

Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – Portico Quartet’s “Ruins” is always a first stop for me when testing a new IEM with Jazz, and the T10i expresses most of the dynamics well – but again the cymbals are just a little too underwhelming, and the sax is too smooth (no bite). Switching to female vocal jazz, and Norah Jones is actually really good – smooth, silky, husky – enjoyable (track was “Don’t Know Why”).
Switching to Blues, and Joe Bonamassa’s “India/Mountain Time” was pleasant, but once again missing something. The normal “bite” from Joe’s guitar was the casualty this time. It was still enjoyable – but just seemed to be missing something. Vocals were really good though, and once again this EQ’d cut in the native bass I’m using is allowing male vocals to really shine.

Rap / EDM / Pop – Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is really good with the T10i – with bass hitting low and hard – and the vocals clear. I can see bassheads really enjoying this. Time to switch to some pop and this time Adele’s “Turning Tables”. The piano on this track was brilliant, and a really good portrayal of Adele’s vocals, smooth and enveloping. On to some electronic music, and here the T10i is shining really well – especially with artists like The Flashbulb. Great bass line – and although the overall presentation is different from what I’m used to, it is enjoyable enough to continue listening. I tried briefly some Little Dragon and Lindsey Stirling – but in both cases, even with the bass EQ’d down, I still found it quite boomy. Vocals good with the Little Dragon tracks – but still just too dark for my tastes.

Classical / Opera – Kempffs Beethoven Sonatas were quite enjoyable, but anything else I tried just didn’t gel at all. And the attempt at opera (Netrebko/Garanca) was simply flat – no dynamics, no magic. Avoid.

Indie / Female Vocals – Although this covers a couple of different genres, they make up a lot of my current listening, so it made sense for me to concentrate on these to see how the adjusted T10i handled things. I started with Agnes Obel’s Aventine, and although the T10i got close, the vocals sounded a little hollow. Switching to Angus & Julia Stone, and this was a lot better – probably due to the fact that the vocals are the main focus for much of the track (“For You”). Next up was Lianne La Havas – and once again impressed with how this driver can do vocals. This is really pleasant – very smooth, nice tonality – I could chill out to this with no problems. I briefly tried London Grammar, and while the presentation was OK, Hannah’s voice deserves an IEM with a little more upper end emphasis. I finished with Wildlight and Band of Horses. Both Indie groups were very good. Again darker than I’m used to – but different rather than better or worse. All in all, some hits, some misses.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

The T10i is easily powered straight out of the portable devices I have, and I haven’t experienced any issues with the iPhone 5S, or from my A200p (at work). With typical pop/rock songs on the iP5S I’m usually at a volume level of around 40%. So far I’ve had no issues with hiss.

RHA T10i - SUMMARY

When I first saw the T10i, I was immediately attracted to its build and simple good looks and design. Wearing the T10i continues the initial impression – these are superbly comfortable.

However – that’s where the attraction for me ends.

I have never come across an IEM (especially at this price point) which is as dark, bassy, and disappointing sonically. I’m also very surprised at all of the positive reviews around the net – especially the ones that call the T10i balanced. Thankfully the drivers used do have a very capable mid-range that can be unlocked / accessed simply by EQing down the sub and mid-bass. Doing so reveals the potential for an absolute winner for RHA. Sadly, with its current tuning – it simply misses the mark, and unfortunately the filters remain largely unusable – simply because the 3dB adjustments they make are lost in the continual bass.

If you don’t mind tinkering with EQ or are a huge basshead, you might find some value in the T10i. Otherwise, I’d suggest there are much better options out there – especially with some very good triple hybrids now being priced around the USD 200 mark.

I really struggled grading these for this review – because the build, fit, accessories, and design would all get very high marks. Sadly the sonics let it down – and the only reason these get a 3.5 stars from me is their potential if EQ’d. If you take the EQ out, they’d be much lower.

Once again thanks to RHA and David for including me as part of the tour.



RECOMMENDATIONS TO RHA


  • Cut the bass – by a lot. Reference should be reference, and your drivers actually handle vocals really well when they are allowed the freedom to do so.
  • Move the icontrol/mic further up the cable – this will also fix the cinch issue.
  • Consider moving the Y split higher.

NOTE TO RHA

I really don’t like giving overly critical reviews, and I do hope you take my comments on-board. You have incredible potential with this IEM, and if you could get the tuning right, I’d definitely line-up to buy one.
Brooko
Brooko
I'll be interested to read your comments once you've had a chance to try them . And I really do hope that RHA do release a retuned model as everything else about the T10i is first class - except the current sonics.
nmatheis
nmatheis
In refererence to @getclikinagas - an improvement on MA750 was what a lot of us were hoping for. Instead, a lot of MA750 owners who "upgraded" to T10i on the T10i thread are returning them. Unfortunately, MA750 seems to be the neutrali-ish anomaly from RHA. At least they stick to their guns, right!

@Brooko - The rubber ring on the headphone jack is a step-down to allow it to plug into your iPhone without removing your case. With the MA750 there is no ring, and you have to remove your iPhone case just to plug in the darn earphones. I (and I'm sure many others) brought this to RHA's attention, and I'm glad they responded by making T10i more iPhone-friendly than its predecessors. Now, they just need to bring out MA750's real successor.
Brooko
Brooko
@nmatheis - good to hear they were listening to their audience with the step-down. The funny thing is that I loved everything about the build and design of the T10i - just not the sonics. If they could release the next version with better tuning, I'd be all over them.
Pros: Very fun sound signature, excellent build quality
Cons: Bass heavy sound isn't for everyone, no detachable cables
First of all, here's my video review of the T10i:

I'm quite happy with the way that the T10i performs, and I think it's in a good position to take the spotlight from the MA750i... the sound is far from reference or flat, and is instead almost an L shaped signature. The bass is always very present (and makes itself known right away), but it never really leaks into the mids much.
 
They are extremely comfortable to wear (I almost fell asleep with them in, oops), and the metal injection molding process makes them look amazing. The ear hooks help to make them fit even better, though the plastic lump where they attach to the main cable seems out of place. Also, no detachable cable.
 
As for isolation, they do a fairly good job (it depends on which of the many included tips you choose from), but some sound does leak in... not perfect.
 
I think the bass focused sound and excellent build quality are going to attract a lot of people (Apple stores on the 18th... perhaps a Beats competitor?). I do want to point out though, these are so bass heavy that you have to be an extreme basshead to enjoy them fully. Just saying. Other than that, I only have minor complaints (isolation, cable) and I'm excited to see where the T10i goes from here.
 
On a side note, I'd love to hear feedback on the video, as I had a lot of fun making it!
Introduction – Read Heath Audio (or RHA for short) are soon to release their latest and greatest earphone, the T10i.  Much like the rest of RHA’s products, the T10i’s were designed to offer premium portable listening for consumers and audio enthusiasts. Their new models features an all new handmade dynamic driver (model 770.1 compared to the previous 560.1 model in the MA750i) and interchangeable custom tuning filters not found in any other mid-tier IEM except the $300 Astrotec AX-60. Such a system is typically only found in top-tier universals costing nearly five times that of the T10i putting them in the likes of the Shure SE846 and AKG K3003i with that feature alone. It would be easy, then, to think RHA have tuned the T10i’s for a typical “audiophile” sound signature, but that wouldn’t entirely be true as  you’ll discover later. The T10i’s look very promising, then, but the question is, are they any good? Read on and find out. 

 
Disclaimer – These are demo units provided to me for the purpose of this review. I am not paid by or affiliated with RHA in any way. Big thanks to Iain Smith and the entire RHA Team for letting me be one of only three people to review your product before its release, I am deeply humbled by the opportunity. All images belong to me.
 
 
_DSC4024.jpg _DSC4009.jpg
 
Specifications:
- Dynamic Driver (model 770.1)
- Frequency range: 16-22000Hz
- Impedance: 16 ohm
- Sensitivity: 100db
- Rated/ Max power: 1/5mW
- Weight: 41g
- Cable: Multicore OFC, iOS compatible remote, 1.35 meters/4.4 ft.
- Warranty: 3 years

 
Packaging & Accessories – In these past few years RHA have been busy working up the best solution for their higher-end IEMs (i.e. the MA750i and T10i) since both share the same assortment of high quality accessories. Inside are 10 pairs of ear tips in 3 varieties: 6 pairs “dual density” tips (S/M/L x2), 2 pairs double-flange tips (S/M), and 2 pairs of memory foam tips (universal) all held together in a solid stainless steel tray. Also included are a shirt clip, a heavy stainless steel tuning filter holder with indicators, and a soft leather carrying case with two straps inside that holds the tip tray securely in place.
 
_DSC4020.jpg_DSC4017.jpg_DSC4063.jpg
 
All of this is packaged within a relatively small box that’s covered in information about the earphone in both English and French and four other languages on the back. Opening the magnetized front flap displays the earphones, its cable, ear tips, tuning filters, and even more information underneath. As a whole, the packaging and accessories RHA have included is quite impressive. I can confidently announce that all the R&D RHA put into the T10i has definitely paid off.
 
_DSC4065.jpg_DSC4069.jpg_DSC4099.jpg
 
Build & Design – The stainless steel housings for the T10i were made using a metal injection molding (MIM) process that requires the housings be heated at 1300°C for “up to ten hours to ensure the steel is the correct shape and density”. The result is of this complex process is a housing that is stiff enough to withstand years of heavy use yet comfortable enough for long hours of wear. The design of the T10i’s, from the housings down to the 3.5mm jack, is durable and luxurious at the same time. Little details like the writing on the Y-split and 3.5mm jack are reminders of the attention the detail RHA put into the design and it ensures exceptional quality. The long, springy strain relief on the jack feels solid and bendable if a little long. The cable itself is very soft, never retains kinks and is just as well built as the earphones themselves. Overall, the firm, tank-like feel of the housings and their sleek, elegant design make the T10i’s a joy to use and admire. (You also wouldn’t bother being too careful with that 3 year warranty either).

 
_DSC4109.jpg_DSC4106.jpg_DSC4104.jpg
  
Comfort & Fit – With their over-ear design and Westone-like body, the T10i’s are incredibly comfortable to wear. The housings are a little on the large side in terms of width but won’t become a problem for most wearers. And though they are weighty, due to stainless steel comprising the entire housing, they never become fatiguing even for long periods of use. This combined with their narrow nozzles and large selection of ear tips means they should be easy for people with small ear canals. The ear-hooks are a little difficult to use, however, as they tend to do the opposite of what was originally intended. Because they retain their shape so well they also fall out of place when sitting down or when they haven’t been adjusted exactly for your ears. This means removing or storing them away will sometimes require you to adjust them all over again, which might become a problem for some.
 
That is not to say they’re uncomfortable, because they’re not. This has been the only earphone I can comfortably wear to sleep. And despite the relatively large size and density of the housings they virtually disappear in the ear. With smooth, rounded edges they are always easy to insert and remove as well. However, the cable cinch is another issue with this particular model (i.e. the “i” model) as it only rises up to the point of the iOS remote and is just a little too low for me and doesn’t provide enough tension for a very secure hold. That said, the T10i has proven to be the most comfortable earphone I’ve used to date and is likely to afford anyone else the same ease of use.
 
Isolation & Microphonics – The T10i’s provide surprisingly good isolation despite having a large vent for the dynamic driver. Users shouldn’t expect high levels of attenuation, just enough to keep background noises where they should be - in the background. Outdoor environments never become distracting and generally remain quiet when listening to music. I did notice, however, that low frequency noises like thumps, bangs, and even cars on the street were fairly noticeable. This may be an issue for those who want absolute silence but those looking for a safe commute should have no worries.  
 
As far as cable noise in concerned, the T10i’s have as little cable noise as one could desire, that is, very little. The cable avoids sounding rough when rubbed and bouncy when moving or walking. This, along with their useful isolation adds to the desired portability RHA had in mind for the T10i’s.
 

  ----------
Sound----------​

 
Equipment & Background – For the sound portion of this review I will be using an Audinst HUD-MX1 amp/DAC combo as my primary “reference” source, a Topping NX-1 portable amplifier, and a Sansa Fuze as a portable source. All my impressions are done indoors with an over-ear headphone for added isolation resulting in almost silent listening with no audible distractions. My library consists of FLAC and high bit-rate MP3 files. The T10i’s have also received over 200hrs of burn-in before review.
The following impressions were done using the neutral/“reference” filter. Comparisons with the bass and treble filters will be directly below.
 
Bass – One word that can easily describe the T10i’s bass is POWER. The T10i utilizes a generally bass heavy, L-shaped sound signature overall and it becomes obvious upon first listen. It’s a heavy, full bass that acts as the primary driving force behind its sound and can dominate over the remaining midrange and treble. And while it never actually bleeds into the mids, it makes its presence known more than anything else. However, that is not to say the bass is low quality because it’s not. Lows are well-rounded with more mid-bass than sub-bass, impact is punchy and hard-hitting, decay is strong and reverberant, extension is limitless, and yet the T10i never sounds sloppy or excessively rich. There is a touch of boom at times but it depends entirely on genre and the bass heaviness of a song. This is likely due to the mid-bass lift that keeps lows from sounding consistent from top-to-bottom. But the impact it generates does balance well with the slow decay that follows powerful bass notes. The lows of the T10i are a crucial part of its signature since they’ll be the reason some users will be turned-off by their sheer weight and fullness while others will be drawn to them for their fun, engaging nature. (Some people might even become full-on bass-heads after they hear ‘em too). 

 
Midrange – The mids, unlike the bass, are much more relaxed and slightly recessed when compared directly next to each other. As I said before, there is no bass bleed into the midrange but the lower-mids do exhibit a thickness that follows the upper-bass quite well. Unlike some earphones that are slightly thin in this area (especially many neutral sets) the T10i’s mids are warm and smooth throughout. They don’t display any sign of harshness or edginess and stay relatively consistent and laid-back overall. Upper-mids are a little bit forward, however, which is a welcome coloration for such a warm signature. This (mild) boost in the upper-mids works hand-in-hand with the thicker lower-midrange making the T10i suitable for vocalists of all sorts. However, it should be said that female vocals are lacking in clarity (partly due to laid-back treble) and male vocals are lacking in detail (partly due to slightly chesty lower-mids). This isn’t a negative as much as it is a result of the general character of the T10i’s themselves, but it’s worth mentioning as some will appreciate (or at least accept) this coloration more than others. For what it is, the midrange is a very impressive part of the T10i’s frequency range as it is very engaging despite the bass being the main attention grabber.    
 
Treble – The T10i’s treble shares a lot with the midrange, in that it shares more of the relaxed qualities that make the mids so easygoing. While it isn’t as present as frequencies below it (especially the bass), treble is equally rewarding in its ability to swathe the listener in smoothness. But because of this, the T10i loses out in detail and extension making it slightly dull at times. Sparkle and decay are not its strong suit, either, and this is especially apparent with rock and metal genres where cymbals are in need of a little more life. The upside to this is that highs never become splashy or harsh (ditto the mids). This may be taken as a negative for treble lovers, whom I do not recommend the T10i, but it will be satisfying enough for those who typically prefer softer, less dynamic treble and those who are overly sensitive to it. Now, it’s easy to get the impression that the highs on the T10i are boring or mediocre but that isn’t the case. Instead, they’re perfectly balanced with the midrange and simply present themselves in a more delicate than manner than most IEMs, especially V-shaped IEMs. So while they certainly won’t suit a classical/orchestral music lover they should be more than satisfying for anyone else.
 
Presentation – This is definitely a strength of the T10i’s for a couple of reasons. Imaging, for a start, is very well executed and makes for easy  localization of sounds within music that never get too out of place. This is helped, in part, by the soundstage capabilities of the T10i. While not extraordinarily large, the soundstage is well rounded and consistent in both width and depth. Spatial cues are not thrown far outside the head but are kept relatively proportioned to depth and a good distance away from the listener, but again, not too far either. The result is an average sized soundstage with good imaging and decent layering to boot.
 
As I mentioned earlier, however, detail and clarity are not particularly special areas of the T10i’s presentation. When coming from clearer, more linear IEMs the T10i can sound congested and a little uncontrolled at times. This isn’t much of a surprise considering this is a bass heavy headphone but the thickness of the mids and limited extension of the treble masks detail and dulls transparency. Therefore, those looking for a revealing headphone should definitely look elsewhere, but that’s to be expected with this particular sound signature.
 
Bass & Treble Filters – This is a crucial area for the T10i’s because it’s a major selling point for the earphone and a statement for the brand. What I hear with the bass and treble filters compared to the reference filter is quite different than I first imagined - not bad, just unexpected. The frequency graph for the T10i is (conveniently) on the inside of the box and states that the filters only increase bass and treble frequencies by 3dBs each, starting below 200Hz for bass and above 1kHz for treble. My impressions proved that this is partially correct but doesn’t tell the whole story.
 
With the grey bass filter on it’s difficult to tell the difference between them and the reference filters as they sound fairly indistinguishable at first. However, when listening more intently it becomes obvious that the bass has even more weight, thickness, and fullness than before, especially in the sub-bass region where decay and extension are limitless. The reference filter, on the other hand, focuses more on mid-bass than anything else and feels punchier as a result. That’s not to say that it’s as powerful as the bass filter, however, because it’s not. Instead, the bass filter simply outputs as much bass as the T10i can hurl at you without any EQ. But at the same time it loses out in detail and control which are handled better with the reference filter.  
 
The yellow treble filter is completely different in terms of changing and adjusting the T10i’s sound. Instead of reducing detail (like the bass filter does) the treble filter adds extension, clarity, and sparkle up top as well as adding more presence overall. Cymbals become more lively, female vocals are clearer (something the bass and reference filters were lacking), and highs are more pleasant as a result. And this happens without sacrificing too much the smooth nature of the highs as well. Even down below, bass is just a touch cleaner and more controlled than the reference. This configuration is the most rewarding of all the filters as it brings out the best of the T10i’s as a whole, not just a mere 3dBs of treble presence.  
 
Despite their names (and corresponding purpose) the filter setup of the T10i’s perform slightly different than RHA may have intended but it definitely works. Put simply, the reference filter achieves a sound closer to the bass filter but with less bass bloat and more control while the treble filter is the clearest, most balanced, and the most engaging from top-to-bottom. And since it’s possible to view the internals of the filters under bright light, there is proof as to why this is the case. Inside the two reference and bass filters is a soft dampening material that is present mostly in the bass filter, a little less in the reference, and missing completely in the treble filter. This explains why the first two are so similar and the last is so different, or at least, this is my theory. But despite these details, the T10i’s do have enough flexibility to please any user who desires to adjust the behavior (not the signature) of their earphone while not sacrificing quality. This is a testament to RHA’s efforts and development and a very good first attempt at such a design.
 
Sensitivity & Source Performance –  RHA market the T10i’s as portable friendly and they’re right. Any source can power it well, be it a phone (don’t forget the remote), a dedicated amplifier, or DAP. There is little variation in sound quality between sources as well, which demonstrates their usability and general user friendliness. While the 16 Ohm impedance helps with sensitivity it doesn’t prevent hiss with noisier sources so be wary of high-output devices.
 
Value – RHA have made an earphone like nothing else in the mid-tier category with their concept and design. The T10i is a very appealing earphone with beautiful housings, custom tuning filters, and good sound quality but isn’t without it faults. The ear hooks can become frustrating at times and its bass tilted signature will limit its audience. However, it makes up for this with outstanding build quality, an incredible 3 year warranty, a comfortable and luxurious design, an imperfect but still very useful tuning system, and a smooth sound that can put you to sleep or make you jam out to anything. All of this in a well thought out, beautiful package makes the RHA T10i’s a great competitor in today’s rough market and for that they get my full recommendation.  
 
_DSC4102.jpg
RHA T10i
 
I hope this review will be useful to those who read it. Please leave any suggestions or advice you may have in the comments below.  Everyone’s input will help me improve my reviews and make it easier to adapt my reviews for as wide an audience as possible. Thanks for reading and happy listening! 

 
juliojlo
juliojlo
hello guys, just peace.
I am very happy to read the comments posted on the basis of comments'm thinking of buying a handset. more what? RHA T10I or Shure SE425 or kef M200?
note: durability, ensuring technical support, sound quality - Which is better?
Thank you for space
sanakimpro
sanakimpro
@juliojlo did you consider the ma 750i? I have both at the moment and I'd say the 750 would suit a wide genre of music while being very good for me in EDM, rock, metal, pop, etc. :wink:
I'd pass on the t10i and probably consider t20is.
juliojlo
juliojlo
T10i or SE535 cl, which of the two is better?
Pros: solidly made, extrememly comfortable to wear, extremely cohesive well thought out bass oriented sound signature, customizable sound through filters
Cons: The initial sound signature is decidedly bass oriented and warm sounding. Those who dislike strong bass or require strong treble will be unsatisfied.
First off I want to thank RHA for selecting me as one of their 3 reviewers here on Head-fi. I really appreciate being selected out of so many quality reviewers that replied in the reviewers wanted thread. I also would like to thank the people who posted their recommendation for me. I was touched by those posts more than you realize, as the process of writing reviews can at times feel like I am talking to myself. It was wonderful to see such positive feedback about my writing, making all the effort worth while.
 
OK so enough fluff, lets get down to the brass tacks!
 
RHA has created what I think is the best pizza I have had the pleasure of trying in quite a long time! Unfortunately it's not my flavour... But like a great pizza, this IEM is so well made it has made me stop and sample the flavor being offered and DARNED IF I DON'T LIKE IT IN SPITE OF MYSELF!
 
So what makes this IEM so special?
 
For starters BUILD QUALITY. The IEM body is beautifully made from stainless steel in a process that shows RHA's dedication to quality and willingness to go the extra distance to ensure their product is robust while esthetically pleasing to the eye. They then have used a slightly thicker than average cable that is subtle and not so big as to be considered overly bulky and have couple it with an excellent mic/controller. The microphone is good enough I was able to have a quality conversation with my wife for 15 minutes while walking on a busy street in downtown Calgary during lunch time! The cable also has an above average spring based strain relief at the I shaped jack. The Coup de gras of this IEM though is it's memory wire system, the spring coil wire is simply one of the most comfortable well thought out designs I have ever used!
 
Build quality receives a 5.5 ot of 5! You heard that right, I'm cheating here because its that good :wink:.
 
Then we have the accessory kit. This IEM offers a good enough selection of quality tips to satisfy any buyers needs. The tips seal well on the IEM and offer excellent fit (at least for my ears which are at times kind of fussy), as well as a nice system to display and hold all the extra tips. Then there is a decent soft square case for holding the IEM's. one might want a hard shell case but I think this IEM is robust enough it doesn't need one. Finally there is the filter system, but I think they deserve a paragraph all to themselves.
 
Other companies have made filter systems in the past so RHA isn't necessarily breaking new ground here. But I have not seen filters as well designed and easily switched as these. From their aesthetic beauty, their details to little things like using a rubber seal, and most importantly their sonic changing abilities RHA has done this better than anyone to date. The bass filter takes an already bass oriented IEM and raises the bass stake significantly. The balanced filter offers a nice in between level of performance, while the treble filter increases the upper midrange and treble as advertised.
 
Accessories score 5 out of 5. Some might think a triple flange is needed to achieve a 5 but this IEM is designed for comfort so I feel the dual flanges are enough to cover isolation and seal for those needing something other than a single flange tip.
 
Speaking of isolation. This IEM is not quite on the scale of an Etymotic or Shure IEM for passive isolation but it is close. So I give it a score of 4.5 in this area. While I am on the subject of sound (outside of the music) I think the micro phonics of this IEM are also above average and again deserve a score of 4.5 ot of 5.
 
Now let talk about how they sound. This is where it gets tricky.
 
OK, let start of by establishing my position... TO HECK WITH WHAT I LIKE! So you might be wondering why I have taken such a stand. It simple really, this review needs to transcend my personal sonic likes and dislikes to do the T10i justice.
 
So what are my sonic preferences? I like good solid bass but never at the expense of the midrange, I like neutral to slightly bright mids, and treble that has lots of detail without coming across as splashy or harsh. My personal headphone/IEM's I have enjoyed the most are Pioneer DJE1500 (an IEM with solid bass that never compromises the midrange, neutral mids, treble that highlights cymbals and highs with decent detail while never being harsh or sibilant), UE900 (solid bass that has the typical BA qualities, mids that are definitely peaked towards the upper midrange possibly a bit to much so, treble that is very detailed but again without being harsh or sibilant), AKG K712 Pro (bass that is very present but more on the punchy side that the heavy side, super detail midrange that is slightly tipped towards the upper midrange, detailed sharp treble that can be harsh if the original recording has sharpness to it). So there you have it, I am a mid/treble oriented head-fi'er who likes to indulge in bass. In this regard the T10i falls short and to be honest, based on my own posts, if someone else had written them and I was reading to decide if I would want the T10i based solely on my own preferences, I would end up taking a pass. But based on my actual listening experience I know this would be to my own detriment.
 
So is there any group that should probably avoid this IEM? The answer is yes, there are two groups. If you find any bass heavy signature distasteful or if you live and die by sharp precise detailed treble you will want to likely take a pass on this IEM.
 
For everyone else, depending on where you sit these will be either a must have IEM or one that might be an excellent alternate option for your stable or a possible number 1 choice based off all the reasons above PLUS a signature that is more enjoyable than it's signature placement might lead you to believe.
 
I would rate this IEM as a 5 out of 5 for bass lovers and a 4 out of 5 for balanced signature lovers and a 3.5 out of 5 for treble lovers. But honestly think the bass signature is done well enough that it might skew those rating by half a point in the positive for both balanced and treble lovers. It can be even better if your willing to use an equalizer to help shape the sound. For my LG G3 I simply turn on the treble enhancement setting to satisfy my treble love. For anyone coming from stock ear buds that come with their DAP or lower entry level IEM's found in most retail stores the T10i will be all the upgrade they will likely want and without having to do all the head-fi tricks most of us on head-fi are used to such as resorting to tip rolling.
 
Bass - The bass of the T10i is easily it's most defining aspect and one that will either win you over or possibly have you running away. The bass also seems to become stronger with most of the amps I have tried it with so does not seem to be improved by added current. On the flip side I have enjoyed the bass straight from every device I have tried which includes an iPad, LG G3, Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, Lenovo Windows 8 touch screen laptop, so it really is designed for portable use requiring just a DAP. The bass is deep, slightly slow and thick with a great sense of fullness and completion. Out of the box it will feel to strong but does settle down after 20-30hrs of use. The bass affects the midrange but only slightly giving the lower midrange more warmth.
 
Midrange - As mentioned the midrange is on the warm side leaning towards rich and luxurious. It is not recessed but errs on the side of relaxed rather than detailed and is lacking in urgency as compared to IEM's such as the GR07 or the DJE1500 in my collection. But while the midrange is on the relaxed side it also has an enjoyable aspect to it that is down right addictive for some genres such as early vocal jazz and to some degree even some rock genres or bands you would not think it would work with such as Led Zeppelin and Rush where it brings so enjoyable warmth to some of their songs.
 
Treble - The treble of the T10i is probably it's most obvious Achilles heel based solely on an audiophile scale as it is very rolled off and laid back. This is great for people who are allergic to sharp treble but will be missed by anyone who is a lover of cymbals and intricate treble detail. This is not to say it doesn't have the detail it is just that it is to much in the back ground.
 
I will close this review with two pleas.
 
To those that know this will not be in your wheel house, if you can try a pair at a local Head-fi meet or work a temporary trade/borrow session with another head-fi member. Give this IEM a try as it might surprise the heck out of you.
 
To RHA, please take your exquisite IEM design and simply build another flavour of driver. Since I am making the plea I would like an ALL DRESSED please! For me that would be one with slightly less bass presence that has more punch in the sub-bass and a bit less mid-bass with a bit more speed and texture. If the bass is fixed it should by design then leave the midrange untouched removing some of the warmth and make the midrange more dynamic and alive. For the treble if you could add more detail especially for cymbals allowing them to have more crash with decent decay. All of the above give better imaging and instrument separation to go along with the sound stage offered by your IEM shell design.
 
Here are some pics I have placed in various posts already.
 
  
  
 
    
juliojlo
juliojlo
Very good your analysis of the phone, congratulations.
I wonder if Mr. indicates the purchase of Shure SE425 or T10i or RHA B & W C5 or Kef M200.
I do not know which is best for purchase, in case I will use on day of service to home and home to work.
What is the best?
sanakimpro
sanakimpro
I got my pair today. Reference filter was not properly cut I think, I have emailed the Customer Care for that. I certainly prefer my MA 750i though. Bass was kinda overwhelming everything else in my genre (pop, rock), with reference filters and bass filters.
With the treble filter, it took out the warmth too much. Couldn't find a nice balance unlike the 750s. I am considering returning the t10i's them now, unfortunately. 
sanakimpro
sanakimpro
update: kept the T10i instead. Loved the bass filter + EDM. Geez. Once I got used to it, it reminded me of my DT 770's. Very happy with it for bassy demanding genres. 
With tracks which appreciate sparkly treble, I'm still left wanting. Looking out for a complementary phone for portability. Suggestions? :)
(Waiting for T20 as well!)
Top