The T20 is a high performance in-ear headphone featuring revolutionary DualCoil™ dynamic driver...

RHA T20

Average User Rating:
4.04/5,
Tags:
  • The T20 is a high performance in-ear headphone featuring revolutionary DualCoil™ dynamic driver technology capable of outperforming conventional drivers in levels of resolution, clarity and detail. The injection moulded stainless steel housings feature a tuning filter system to adjust the sound signature, while a comfortable, noise isolating fit is ensured by patent pending, mouldable over-ear hooks.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Nick Walters
    4.0/5,
    "Great Earphones, solid all rounder."
    Pros - amazing metal build, attractive, very good clarity of mids and treble, interchangable filters.
    Cons - cable can break very easily, cable frey in earhooks and jack. no detachable cable.
    I dont want to go on forever in this review, but these RHA T20's are some of the best IEMS i have ever used. But! there are always flaws that can be fixed.

    BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

    - stunning metal finish. The housing is made by a metal injection moulding process, which is done hand made at RHA. There is no competitor in build quality for the buds themselves.
    - very good fit in most ears. There is plenty of included eartips to fit almost any ear. In terms of a universal fit, i would give the T20's full marks.
    - colour coded eartips. i know its a minor detail, but it makes putting on the premium IEMS more seamless.
    - the over ear/hook design provides very good isolation. but they are not as isolated as some balanced armature IEMS that I have used.

    Cons:
    - Cable is very likely to get "wear and tear". The first day i recieved this, the spring near the jack broke off. This meant that there was freying on the cables end.
    - There is no detatchable cable!!!. This is a huge frown on RHA, for selling premium and durable IEMS, but the cable is the bottleneck to its lifespan. Would like this on future revisions please.
    - Would prefer a lower profile jack. Preferably the T jacks that run along the side of phones. This the elongated end of cable , makes it bulky and orkward to fit in my pocket.

    SOUND QUALITY

    Very good sound quality, especially for modern dynamic drivers. The mids and treble are very crisp, while also having good punch to the bass. The mids and treble can be refined with the interchangable filters. The bass filters didnt do as much as expected, as i was impressed by the instant change in detail with the other two filters.
    I cannot speak much of the sound quality now, as the T20's are in for repair.

    Overall, the T20's have some solid features. They arent the best professional earphones you can buy for the price, but it has many unique features most IEMS dont. I currently have just recieved the Audio Technica ATH-IM02, and am starting to miss RHA's unique sound signature, good looks and charm. The RHA T20's are amazing in ear, with great sound quality, and can suite any audiophiles tastes, with adjustments in bass, treble and mids.

    EDIT: Extra star, the customer support is really good. If the cable breaks or anything happens to the device, they will gladly replace the earphones for you, this is thanks to their flexible 3 year warranty.
  2. RaoulRutnam
    3.5/5,
    "Easily the best steal ever "
    Pros - Great quality highs and low range, Build quality is exceptional and ergonomic, comes with customisable treble and bass filters
    Cons - Ear rest is tedious, tad bit heavy (but it grows on you), no detachable cable.
    I was lucky enough to get a pair of the T20 from a friend for a low price (less than half the retail price). Even Though I managed to get it at such a low cost this wasn't taken into fact when writing this review, it comes with a lot of different sized ear tips including comply. The RHA also comes with filters for Bass and Treble for when you prefer some boost on either end. 
     
    I would say overall it is by far the best earphones I have got my hands on yet, I haven't used the filters so I am not able to comment on them. The memory ear rest is not the best build, it is very clumsy and doesn't seem to properly fit the ear, needs to be messed with to stop annoying (Keep in note I have OCD). The weight could be an issue but as mentioned above, you tend to get used to it after a day or two. It tends to get twisted after the Y split but can be avoided at times by zipping it. Other than that, I enjoy it day to day. Overall good buy !
     
    I would recommend this product to anyone who reallys wants to enjoy good quality audio for a price. 
     
    PS: I am not affiliated with any brands, just my honest opinion

    Raoul
  3. Cinder
    4.5/5,
    "Fun, Versatility, and Steel"
    Pros - Excellent bass, premium feeling, good strain relief, good filter system, good memory wire, detailed treble
    Cons - Some build "fit and finish" issues, no genuine Comply

    [​IMG]

    -Introduction-​

    RHA is an interesting company. It has forged its own place within the audiophile world, making a name for itself based on the industrial design language of its products and the generous duration of the warranty that accompanies them. Today I have the privilege of reviewing the T20, RHA’s former flagship IEM. While it’s no longer the pinnacle of what RHA has to offer, it’s certainly still worth taking a look at.
    You can find the T20 for sale on RHA’s official website here, for $240.
    Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer or distributor in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Marina and Caroline at RHA for sending me this review unit.
    Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
    My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
    Source: The T20 was powered like so:
    PC optical out-> HifiMe SPDIF 9018 DAC 3.5mm out-> earphones
    or
    AP100 3.5mm out -> earphones
    All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC.

    -Sound Signature-​

    Initial Impressions:
    Silver/Reference filter: Treble has a notable presence. It is transparent, but not biting, raw, or sharp. Mids aren’t too far back, and are rather dynamic within the mix. Bass is slightly boosted, giving the low end of the spectrum a nice weight to it.
    Gold/Treble filter: While the treble filter doesn’t actually decrease the amount of bass being produced, it does make it feel less forward by boosting emphasis to the treble and upper mids. This boost does make the T20 feel a little more precise, and opens up the sound a little bit more. It does not, however, make the treble sibilant or sharp. As a side effect, mids are also slightly pushed back.
    Black/Bass filter:
    The black filter adds a notable amount of sub-bass, with a slight boost to mid-bass. This makes drops deeper, drum kicks harder, and classical concerts more sonorous. While still not at bass-head levels of bass, the T20 does do a good job delivering in both quantity and quality of bass using the black filter, more so than many “warm” and “bassy” IEMs in this price bracket.
    [​IMG]

    RHA’s official frequency response graph for the T20.​

    Unless otherwise stated, the statements made in the following sections are made with regards to the neutral (silver) filter.
    Treble: Songs used: White FlagMidnight CityOutlands
    As I’d mentioned earlier, treble is quite nicely placed. It is very transparent and well-extended. Impressively enough, it is also very much not sibilant, sharp, or raw, instead adopting an bold, yet respectful presence. This manifests itself as a good level of retrieval and micro-detail placement in songs like White Flag. Treble layers well, and has it’s own dynamics and depth to it. Outlands fairs just as well, as the T20 does a very good job creating a sense of air, separating out the violins well from the rest of the song.
    Hi-hats decay well, and don’t smudge too much into the rest of the upper register.
    Mids: Songs used: Flagpole SittaJacked UpI Am The HighwayGood Life
    Evaluating the mid-range of an IEM is more often than not my favorite part of my reviews, and the T20 feeds my interest well. My songs really do come to life on the T20, as each instrument is distinct, with its own position and depth, which is likely due to the airy feeling the T20 gives to many songs. Interestingly enough, the T20 does not seem to have a large spike around the 1–2KHz range that many IEMs use to boost vocal resolution and clarity. While there is certainly a climb from 1–2KHz up to 5Khz or so, such a incline gently moves the vocals forwards, without making them too commanding of the song.
    Bass: Songs used: LightsGold Dust99 Problems (Hugo Cover)Leave Me
    Even with the reference filter, bass is not at “reference” levels of emphasis. Instead, RHA chose to give the T20 a small boost in mid and sub bass. While audio purists may disagree with that choice, I actually quite enjoy it. It allows songs like Lights to have a very satisfying level of depth and body, without causing songs like Gold Dust and Leave Me to become boomy and messy. In fact, the reference filter still manages to give said songs a meaty bass drop with some excellent sub bass extension.
    Clarity: Songs used: ThroneMap of The ProblimatiqueI’m Not Alright
    The T20 is developed using RHA’s proprietary “dual coil” dynamic drivers. While this may sound fancy (and likely is in practice), the theory behind it isn’t too complex. The “dual coil” refers to a 2-in-1 driver that’s split the transmission coil of the dynamic driver into two separate rings, allowing the driver to divide its workload among the two coils. Thusly, it functions as if it had two dynamic drivers inside, while maintaining a size close to that of single dynamic driver. This technology does show itself when the T20 is pushed quite hard, and it shows itself well. The T20 handled Throne without problem, as it did with I’m Not Alright. No distortion, no noticeable smudging. There was, however, a small amount of lost micro-detail, which is to be expected.
    Sound Stage
    Sound staging is precise. So precise, in fact, that I had what I’d consider to be my first true “3D” sound space experience with it during the intro of Soldier’s Poem by Muse. But further than that, as I’d mentioned earlier in my review, the T20 does a wonderful job creating an airy and spacious stage for the instruments of my songs to play on. Classical songs can take on a symphonic feeling, punk vocalists can scream their hearts out right next to you, and electronic bass drops can immerse you in the chaos that is the modern EDM scene.

    -Packaging / Unboxing-​

    My apologies for the slightly rotated pictures, as the rock I was taking pictures on was not flat.
     
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    -Build-​

    Construction Quality
    RHA did a very good job making the T20 feel sturdy and premium. The polished stainless-steel driver housings look like little metallic jewels, and have a satisfying clack when bounced against one another. The driver housings look to be comprised of two metal parts, joined at a seam roughly in the middle of the housing. While it’s an impressive feat, there seems to have been a slight misstep along the way when my particular unit was manufactured. The seam of my left driver housing is wider than the one on the right driver housing. My suggestion to RHA is to try an make the seam less noticeable, as it would greatly enhance the premium look and feel of the T20.
    However, for those of you who are nervous, fear not. RHA has great customer service and a heft 3 year warranty on their IEMs, so they’ve got you covered.
     
    [​IMG]

    Look at the difference in the width of the seams!​

     
    IMG_1123.jpg
     ​
    The cable is made from the typical RHA rubber, but is actually less finicky than the one used on the MA750i, which is a big plus for me. However, it is still quite bodied, and as such, is hard to coil up neatly. Luckily, the included carrying case is large enough to account for the cable’s bad manners.
     ​
    [​IMG]

     


    The T20’s cable terminates in a gold-plated 3.5mm jack, and is protected by a spring. This gives the T20 (and most other IEMs made by RHA) an industrial, but still premium, feeling. It’s not just a fancy gimmick either. The spring, as well as all the other stress relief systems on the T20, do a very good job protecting the cable from day-to-day mechanical stress.
     
    [​IMG]
     ​
    Controls
    While my unit does not have inline controls, RHA sells a version that does for $10 more called the T20i.
    [​IMG]

    Comfort
    Comfort is highly subjective. Everyone has a different bar that an IEM must reach in order to be deemed “comfortable”. Therefore, all I can say is that this section may not be representative of your experiences with this product.
    I find the T20 to be quite comfortable. The insertion depth of the nozzle is farther than the MA750i, and is a little longer than most IEMs I own in general. This lets me get a pretty good seal, even with the stock silicone. The shape of the T20’s driver housings is quite ergonomic, and doesn’t even feel like it’s there most of the time. The cable’s memory wire is also quite good, having an almost perfect balance between pliability and stability. It’s far superior to the implementation of memory wire on the MA750i.
    The memory foam eartips were, however, not very usable for me. It appears as if RHA chose to use generic memory foam instead of genuine Comply eartips. I had a hard time achieving any reasonable insertion depth with them, and found them generally uncomfortable.

    -Accessories-​

    In typical RHA fashion, the T20 comes with a plethora of eartips all placed neatly on a stainless-steel plate. A variety of nine extra sets are included, which encompass standard silicone, double flange, and memory foam eartips.
    I am confused as to why RHA chose to include these particular memory foam eartips, which are not genuine Comply, when lower tier IEMs in RHA’s product line, such as the MA750i, include eartips that are either genuine Comply, or very convincing generic versions. It’s pretty disappointment for me, as I absolutely love memory foam eartips.
    [​IMG]

    I mentioned earlier that the T20’s case is large enough to fit the unruly rubber cable permanently attached to the T20’s driver housings in it with no issues. Furthermore, there is plenty of space to throw in some extra eartips or the metal filter holder. As an added bonus, the case is a perfect fit for the Hidizs AP100, my current mobile workhorse.
    [​IMG]

    -Summary-​

    The T20 is a versatile, premium IEM. While fit and finish could use a little work, the T20’s sonic prowess is notable for its price. Listeners looking for a stylish, durable, and comfortable IEM with a small amount of bass emphasis should find great solace in the T20’s warm aural embrace.
    Rewkie, B9Scrambler and Light - Man like this.
  4. Currawong
    4.0/5,
    "RHA's T20 are a robust and entertaining pair of IEMs. "
    Pros - Very sturdily made. No micro-phonics. Excellent packaging. Switchable nozzles with different tuning. Good sound with fantastic bass.
    Cons - Plug sticks out quite far. Cable is very chunky. Getting a good seal can be troublesome. Not the most refined or detailed sound.
    [​IMG]
     
    At the 2015 Spring Tokyo Fujiya Avic Headphone Festival I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey from Reid Heath Acoustics and talking to her about their new T20i IEMs. Lindsey was insistent that I try the new models and I almost forgot with the overwhelming number of products I was busy trying and photographing. On a Sunday afternoon at the end of the show is the hardest time to impress me after all that has been seen and heard, but the T20is didn’t disappoint, with some very punchy bass that I felt needed further investigation, so I agree with Lindsey to review a pair.
     
    The T20 use a very interesting and unique driver. Where a normal dynamic driver has one voice coil, the driver in the T20i has two, the inner coil producing the bass and lower mid-range and the outer coil producing the upper-mid-range and treble encased inside injection-moulded steel. The small casing is contrasted by the chunky rubber cable.
     
    RHA has also taken pains to ensure that the cable does not transfer noise to the earphones themselves. While thicker than regular IEM cables, it feels more robust and I didn’t find it uncomfortable, even with glasses on. The last 4 or so inches of cable is pre-shaped for comfort, and a choker is attached to the cable allowing it to be held comfortably in place under the chin. Topping it off is a shirt clip and a neat carrying case with space for spare tips and straps for the cable. The plug has a metal spring strain relief, making it stick out quite far when used with portable gear, something some people may not like. 
     
    The well-designed package includes not only a good selection of tips, including foam and two sizes of double-flange tips, in an aluminium plate no less!. Additional “Treble” and “Bass” filters are included, which allow a degree of custom sound tuning, each respectively boosting their ends of the spectrum slightly. A quick examination of these reveals that the "treble" filters is a pass-through, and the "reference" and "bass" filters have different foam in them. 
     
    Initially sounding a bit harsh out of the box, after a few dozen hours of use, vocals and instruments by themselves are wonderfully presented through the mid-range and the treble. Initially when I put mid-sized tips on them, I didn't get a proper seal, nor any significant bass response. The small steel casing for the T20s ensures that they should fit easily in most ears, though the "pill and nozzle" design doesn't work for everyone if deep insertion is required, and that is possibly what was happening with me. Putting large, or double-flange tips on them solved the issue, with the bass kicking in a serious way, sometimes too much.
     
    The default “Reference” tips give a presentation still with a considerable amount of bass and the highs slightly, but not excessively rolled off. The treble filter brings out the frequencies noticeably in the 5-10 kHz range, very often the upper notes of acoustic instruments. That sometimes leaves the mid range a little bit behind, along the lines of full-sized headphones such as the Foxtex TH600s and TH900s. Once I'd settled in on using the "reference" nozzles, I had a go using my favourite SpinFit tips, however the mid-range was pushed back a bit. Having a go with some Comply foam tips that I had handy, the treble ended up reduced too much for my liking. Handily, JVC's Spiraldot tips fit perfectly, their unique design improving things all around, which I felt gave the best results. 
     
    Detail retrieval doesn't appear to be the T20's strong point, and they still have something of what I call an "IEM sound" with treble that isn't as good as more expensive offerings. Given the accessories and the price, they give a solid and enjoyable performance. The bass punch of the dual-coil dynamic driver is simply a lot of fun. 
     

    For under US$300 (£179.95) is a quality product from this company from Scotland which is sure to gain a lot of fans with the quality presentation and excellent, if somewhat warm-of-neutral sound.
     
    The T20 was provided by RHA for this review. 
    Traveller, HiFiChris and SteveOliver like this.
  5. keanex
    3.0/5,
    "A beautiful IEM that doesn't sound as good as it looks."
    Pros - Excellent build quality; great warranty; huge choice of tips; fit.
    Cons - Recessed mids; sibilance; overly bassy for a general purpose IEM.

     
    Pros: Excellent build quality; great warranty; huge choice of tips; fit.
    Cons: Recessed mids; sibilance; overly bassy for a general purpose IEM.
    Tonal Balance: Bass heavy with recessed midrange, treble amount varies.
    Style: Over-Ear IEM
    Listening Set-Up: Clip Zlip (FLAC), Musicbee (FLAC) -> Matrix HPA-3U
    Cost at Time of Review: $240
     

    Reviewing Process

    I’ve had the T20 for at least a month and during this process I’ve used them for light exercise as well as home listening. I have spent enough time with them to feel comfortable sharing my opinion, but my experiences may differ from yours. It’s always best to demo a headphone before purchasing, but if you’re unable to I recommend at least reading other views in conjunction with this review.
     
    Thanks to RHA for the review sample.
     

    Build & Fit

    Build
    The RHA are wonderfully crafted in-ear monitors from top to bottom, coloring me impressed from the moment that they left the beautiful packaging. The housings are made of stainless steel with a barely visible line that joins the two halves. The nozzle is removable and unscrews easily by hand and is reattached smoothly in the same fashion. Each cable leaving the housing is clearly designated either blue or red for left or right, respectively, at the base of the memory wire. The cable itself is a tad bulky, but inspires confidence in the durability of it. Stress relief is adequate at the end of the durable looking straight plug, relieved by a metal spring rather than a rubber sheath. All of this is backed by a 3 year warranty, not too shabby.
     
    Fit
    I find the T20 to be very easy to arrange around the ear as well as with inserting the nozzle into a secure position. The IEM sits at a moderate depth, but manages to block out a good amount of noise passively, more than enough to use in crowded college hallways. Comfort-wise these are a notch above every deep insertion IEM that I’ve used, as well as much less picky about positioning to obtain optimal sound. I have these inserted and positioned in my ears in a few seconds per ear, with comfort and stability that allows me to wear these with no issues for the 2 hours at a time that I tend to wear them. The large variety of tips should ensure a secure and comfortable fit for most users.
     

    Sound Quality

    Overall
    Regardless of which filter was used sibilance is apparent, the midrange is recessed, and the bass is overly prominent. Sibilance varies with filter tips and despite the bass being prominent the low-end leans tight and controlled. The filters only affect the upper-midrange and treble, thus leaving the bass to have a heavy presence without EQ. The driver is relatively free of distortion and the bass carries quite a thump with an overall sound signature being decidedly V-shaped with the exception of the bass filter. Overall soundstage presentation lacks width and depth, but has good left/right panning and positional accuracy.
     
    Reference Filters
    I was excited to see the word “reference” as I have been looking for a neutral IEM to accompany my HD600. Unfortunately reference filters don’t equate to a reference sound. Outside of the common characteristics of the overall sound, the reference tips offer the largest amount of sibilance and a moderate upper-midrange boost that gives the reference filters a moderate v-shaped sound signature. The sibilance was so much that I found Glory Box from Portishead and I Can’t Feel My Face from The Weeknd to be completely unlistenable.
     
    I don’t think that RHA intended reference to mean “reference quality sound,” rather reference in regards to the variety of filters.
     
    Treble Filter
    I had reservations after listening to the reference filters. I was scared that these would be even more sibilant. Somehow that’s not the case, despite the treble being raised. This filter adds further presence in the upper ranges, further increasing the v-shape to a rather heavy v-shape. Sibilance is still present though and there’s a bit of grain added compared to the reference tips. Nothing else has changed, only the uppermids/treble are affected with the filter change so it’s not a shock.
     
    Bass Filter
    The bass filter offers the most linear midrange to treble balance of all of the tips while providing a large amount of bass. There is a slight veil due to the prominence of the low-end, but the driver controlls the low-end rather well. Sibilance is reserved, there seems to be some brightness inherent in the drive but I don’t find myself wincing on snare hits as I did with the reference tips. I find this filter to be the most enjoyable of the three, especially with hip-hop, due to the relaxed upper frequencies and powerful bass. Despite me enjoying this filter the most, it’s nowhere near an all purpose tuning. This tuning reminds me a bit of the HyperX Cloud and DT770 Pro 80ohm.

    Conclusion

    Overall the T20 is a v-shaped IEM that DT770 owners would want to consider for portable use. They offer 3 filters that change the presence of the higher frequencies for those that want a tweak to the sound without using software EQ. Build quality, a massive amount of tips, and comfort are the strong points here, all backed by a 3 year warranty.
  6. mark2410
    5.0/5,
    "RHA T20 Quick Review by mark2410"
    Pros - Construction is Magnificent. Looks magnificent. Sounds Magnificent
    Cons - Is somewhat unyielding. Can’t really do soft. Can be unforgiving.
    RHA T20 Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to RHA for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/790030/rha-t20-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  Timberal and tonal extraordinaire just got even better.
     
    Price:  £180 or about US$240 (plus about a tenner if you want the mic’ed version)
     
    Specifications:  Drivers DualCoil™ Dynamic, Frequency range 16-40,000Hz, Impedance 16 Ohm, Sensitivity 90dB, Rated/max power 2/5mW, Weight 39g, 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 / L x1, 2 pairs, memory foam ear tips - universal fit, Stainless steel ear tip holder, Premium carry case, Clothing clip
     
    Isolation:  For a dynamic it’s actually really good.  Pushing towards BA levels, so it’s easily fine for on a bus or out and about.  Would do for flight or the Tube in a pinch.  Oh and easily sufficient to make you road kill if you don’t use your eyes when out.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  Despite the ear guides both were really good actually.  I’d probably have preferred without the guides but no problems, over and shove in to get the seated and then I was happy wearing all day.  Good stuff.  Oh and they must be worn up in case that’s an issue for you.
     
    Aesthetics:  They look outstanding.  Arguably the best looking earphones available at present.
     
    Sound:  All of the sound.  They are pretty damn awesome at everything.  You can nudge things about by using the filters that they come with but I’m sure you’ll play with them for the first day.  Then you’ll pick your favourite and never swap them again.  For me that was the Bass filter, though I came extremely close to going with the Reference filter.  I’m pretty treble sensitive and the Bass one mutes a bit so it won.  Not that I couldn’t have lived with the Reference if that had been the only option.  It’s labelled Reference but it’s still kinda slanted towards the bass over strictly neutral but it feels a very natural balance.  The Bass bumps the bass up by dialling the treble down, the Treble opens things up which dials down the bass.  The bass is lightning fast and it loves to punch, no, more like slap with you with a marble hand.  There is such rigidity and power yet it lacks any brutality.  Its marble like solidity yet so beautifully sculpted.  Its mids are wonderful too, a little cool perhaps but so well-articulated and tonally masterful.  Highs are cleanly metallic edged and can shimmer like nobody’s business with superb extension. 
     
    In short, the thing is excellent in every way, in tone, agility, potency are all impeccable.
     
    Value:  Well they aren’t cheap, but nothing at this audio quality level is.  With their insane build and warranty you arguably get a superb bargain, if you want top end earphones that is.
     
    Pro’s:  Construction is Magnificent.  Looks magnificent.  Sounds Magnificent
     
    Con’s:  Is somewhat unyielding.  Can’t really do soft.  Can be unforgiving.

  7. RedTwilight
    4.0/5,
    "Solid IEM (literally) for a solid price"
    Pros - Nicely bodied sound, tuning filters, extremely tough steel shell, excellent build quality, ergonomic shape, great accessories package, memory wire
    Cons - Slightly lacking transparency, a little costly, memory wire

    Preamble:

    Hi guys, I'm a budding audio-appreciator since starting on this journey about a year and a half ago. I just have average ears that like to listen to slightly above average music and so don't consider myself an 'audiophile' by any stretch. Please forgive any wrong use of terminology and lack of vocabulary yea. (I seriously cannot tell how 'extension' and 'warmth' are supposed to sound like..) [​IMG]
     
    Disclaimer: The T20 I received is the demo unit for the Asia arm of the T20 tour. I did not receive any benefits, monetary or otherwise from RHA, and I am in no way affiliated to to them. I wasn't aware of this tour initially but many thanks to RHA for conducting this demo tour and @Tobias89 for the invitation and heads up!
     
    Prior to this tour, I've not had any experience with iems from RHA (or Reid Heath Acoustics for long) so I'm unfortunately unable to compare the T20s to their previous offerings. I can however, try to give a fresh perspective from what experience I have so far.
     

    Tech Specs:

    First up, the T20 boasts steel shells made by a metal injection molding process and incorporates RHA's proprietary DualCoil technology whereby the inner and outer edges of the driver are separately driven, generating an effect that sounds something like having 1.5 drivers while avoid the phasing issues.
     
    Drivers: DualCoil
    Frequency Range: 16Hz - 40kHz
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 90dB
    Cable: 1.35m Multicore OFC
    Jack: Gold plated 3.5mm
     

    Package:

    T20 in-ear headphone
    Tuning filters with steel storage plate
    Hybrid (different core material) ear tips - S, M, L x2 pairs each
    Double flange silicon ear tips - S, L x1 pair each
    Memory foam ear tips - x2 pairs each
    Stainless steel ear tip storage plate
    Zipper carry case
    Clothing clip
     
    DSC_0838.jpg
     
     

    Build Quality: 4.5/5

    Right off the bat I was blown away by the sheer quality of build.
    DSC_0832.jpg
     
    The driver shells are beautiful (how the heck do you even injection mold stainless steel anyway) and cable is beefy, smooth and untangly.
     
    DSC_0837.jpg
     
    There’s also an insane spring strain relief on the plug.
    The Y- split is a heavy duty metal cylinder about the same diameter but slightly shorter than the headphone jack. Strain reliefs aren't very long but in combination with the beefy cable, they look like they'll last a long time.
    It’s my first time using an iem with memory cable, the cable is quite pleasant, pliable but still holds its shape.
    There’s some minor microphonics from the slightly stiff cable, but managed to mitigate it by using the chin slider to touch the cable to my neck.
     

    Accessories: 5/5

     
    DSC_0835.jpg
     
    3x the filters, 3x the sound, 3x the review, ⅓ the buyer’s remorse though.
    The filters are solidly engineered, the knurled bit makes it easy to grip and twist, while the o ring ensures that it won't dislodge so easily.
    It was fairly difficult to get the eartips off and on to swap filters so I believe that they'll be quite secure.
    Also included is quite an impressive assortment of tips.
    I feel that the included pouch, while nice, has a small design flaw : as the iems and eartip holder are made of stainless steel, carrying them together in the pouch will cause them to scratch each other in the long run
     

    Comfort: 3.5/5

    Iem sits very comfortably in my ears, even though it's steel, I can't feel it there
    They  to worked their way out of my ears initially, but didn’t any more after some use.
    The issue disappeared entirely with spinfits, so I will be doing more of the latter part of the review using the spinfits to get a better feel of the sound.
    After using the T20 for a while, the memory cable has a tendency to make my ear a little sore at the place where it hangs over.
     

    Isolation: 4/5

    Isolation is above average, in spite of the rather large vent facing the outside.
     
    I did the listening via the Fiio X3 direct using high gain.
    Songs are mainly FLAC and MP3, with the occasional YouTube rip (lol).
     
    The T20s are fairly easy to drive, a volume level of 25/120 was enough, on the loud side even. In contrast, my Havi B3 requires 38/120 to reach decent volume.
     

    Test Songs:

    DragonForce - Through the Fire and the Flames (Bass speed)
    Chiaki Ishikawa - Ruisen (Soundstage)
    Nana Mizuki - Gimmick Game (Vocals)
    Wagakki Band - Nijiiro Chouchou (Imaging and attack)
    Wagakki Band - Akatsuki no Ito (Soundstage and imaging)
     

     

    Filter system

    This is probably the main selling point of the T20.
     

    Neutral filter

     
    Soundstage
    A little narrower than I’m used to, coming from the Havi B3, so about average width but above average depth.
     
    Imaging
    Imaging is pretty good, Wagakki Band has a lot of acoustic instruments and the instrument placement is fairly defined, though a little close together due to the relative narrowness of the soundstage.
     
    Treble
    Attack of plucked strings is fast, crisp, and had nice texture. Generally however, the treble is quite smooth and a little veiled sounding. However because of this it's not fatiguing. Female vocals can go up pretty high without becoming piercing.
    Not sure if it’s to do with the treble response or the DAP, but i feel that the sound is just a little lacking in transparency, as if there was a curtain behind the band playing, or in between the band and me..
     
    Mids
    Female vocals are sweet and articulate, fairly intimate.
    T20 is wonderful for acoustic tracks and live performances.
    Soundstage is of more than average depth and width, more than height
    Separation is above average, though slightly closer in for the left and right side as a result.
    T20 handles strings exceedingly well
    With spinfits on, it seems to even out the treble and bass, taming resulting in a very pleasant and balanced sound.
     
    Bass
    Bass is fast and punchy, can feel the thump in my ears, and I can differentiate between the taiko and bass guitar too. Quantity-wise, it strikes me as being more than natural, but not excessive. Decay is still fairly natural however, never felt like I was getting the short end of the ‘boom’
    Man the T20 is FAST! Even on Through the Fire and the Flames, the T20 easily kept up with the rapid guitar shredding and double pedal drum kicks. Seems like RHA’s DualCoil technology really does have substance. Is this really a dynamic driver??! (Comparing it amped and unamped though, the bass, while fast, does lose abit of punch at that speed, so it does take a bit more power to maintain the punch after all.)
    The bass does go down pretty low though, quite a lot of sub bass.
    Quantity of bass is rather more than I'm used to, even for the neutral filter but it doesn't bleed into the mids
     
    I did discover some subtle drums that I hadn’t noticed in tracks before though.
    Using Spiral dots, bass extension seems to increase, and I get that head-vibrating sub bass again, and the mids seem to recess abit. Wide-bore tips seem to open up the treble and soundstage width more as well. Of note is that the nozzle sits halfway up the bore of the Spiral Dots due to the thickness of the retaining ring.
     
     

    Treble filter

     
    All of a sudden the sound becomes airy and more transparent
    The soundstage widens
    The sound becomes considerably brighter and a little thinner
    Female vocals become more intimate as do stringed instruments, male vocals become slightly veiled.
    There's still plenty of punchy sub bass; just that it doesn't thump as hard.
    Never thought I'd say this, treble sensitive as I am, but I rather like this filter. Don't think I could listen to it for too long a stretch though, it's more fatiguing.
    With spinfits, the combination is quite nice, taming the treble slightly and boosting the bass a little by virtue of the better seal
    After putting some hours on it, I feel that for all its clarity and crispness, it lacks a bit of body (to me) as compared to the reference filters. Ear fatigue also begins to set in, but I must say that I'm a little treble sensitive. (I find the Noble 4 too hot up top so go figure )
     

    Bass filter

     
    When I first heard about the bass filter, the first thing that crossed my head was that it wasn’t going to be my thing. I do get bass induced headaches from boomy phones. After putting them on with the spinfits however.. They’re not all that bad actually. It’s like a subtle filling in of the lowest end of the spectrum, giving that extra ‘oomph’. The overall tonality of the sound becomes darker and warmer. The added boominess doesn’t affect the layering and there is impressively NO bleed into the mids whatsoever. The speed and punch is definitely still there, just with more power.
    Listening to Through the Fire and the Flames actually made me want to headbang in office.
    Treble is accordingly reduced, though I can still hear the occasional distant cymbals and triangles.
    Male vocals stand out a bit more.
    Transparency is reduced however, and to me it sounds a little closed in.
    Strangely enough, the sound of the bass filters with spinfits reminds me of the reference filters with the stock tips
     
    Some notes after extended burn in:
    I was 2nd in line to demo the T20 and at that time, it was probably not fully burnt in yet, hence leading to to feeling that while this is a nice iem, the sound was abit rough around the edges and didn’t sound particularly impressive. IMO, not exactly worth it’s price tag.
     
    After going full circle though, it arrived back in Singapore and I gave it a listen again (using balanced filters and stock tips) to see if there had been any changes to the sound. Interestingly enough it felt like the soundstage had opened up considerably, going from average to slightly above. The rough wooly wall defining the edges of the soundstage had become a silk curtain. The bass also seemed to have tightened up abit and didn’t pound my brain into a dull ache anymore (or maybe I had just gotten used to bassier iems than the Havi). The most marked improvement IMO however would be the transparency, that veil in between band and listener being lifted. So is it worth it’s price now? Hm.. I’ll say that the worth has increased significantly. It’s now a solid mid range performer in my book.
    earfonia likes this.
  8. earfonia
    3.5/5,
    "Fun and comfortable IEM with excellent build quality"
    Pros - Excellent build quality and comfort; Very good noise isolation; Tune-able; No driver flex.
    Cons - Bass a bit loose and less textured; Stereo Imaging lacks some spaciousness; 1.5 meters cable can be too long for portable use.
    Many thanks to RHA for RHA T20 Tour Program!
    The T20 unit in this review is demo unit from the RHA T20 Tour Program:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/770875/rha-t20-tour-program-reviewers-wanted

    Product webpage:
    http://www.rha-audio.com/us/t20.html


    01P1080589.jpg

     

    Usually I need at least a month to properly review an earphone, this time I only had more than a week to review it, so not going to be a detailed review, but I'll do my best. I was the 3rd in the sequence, and the other 2 reviewers before me already burnt-in the T20 for a total of approximately 4 days. I did another 2 days of burn-in, and I don't hear any difference before and after the 2 days burn-in. So just a small note, that I have no experience of how T20 sounds before burn-in.

    02P1080521.jpg

     
     

    Summary
    As usual, I prefer to start my review with summary before going into detail.
    I would give 5 stars for the design, build quality, and the precision craftsmanship of the RHA T20. The stainless steel shell looks really nice and seems to be very durable. Cable and headphone jack were of good quality too. Comfort and fit were perfect for me, very comfortable for long period of use. Besides that, noise isolation is very good and effective, better than many other IEMs.

    Sound quality wise, in my opinion RHA T20 is more of a fun sounding IEM with excellent build quality and comfort for daily easy listening, and not for those who are looking for accurate sounding IEM for critical listening. T20 is quite enjoyable especially for slow to medium pace of music, but doesn't perform very well on fast pace music and complex orchestra. The tonality is mildly V shape with Reference filter and stock silicone eartips, but tune-able and can be improved to a certain degree by the combination of tuning filters and other eartips. I will describe the tonality in detail later. What I feel a little lacking is dynamic, tightness and control, mainly on the bass. Bass has good volume and body but lacking tightness, control, and texture. I also expect a more spacious and holographic type of stereo imaging, but probably it is not the T20 forte. Stereo imaging is more towards intimate presentation, not very spacious and lacking a bit of depth, but overall not congested and still acceptable. Overall sound quality is pretty good, big bass, fun and enjoyable for some music; just don't expect a giant killer IEM. Pop, EDM, and other modern genres with closed miking recording techniques are recommended for T20. But I don't recommend classical, binaural, and other natural, distant miking recordings. I honestly never been highly impressed by T20 and expect better sound quality from a flagship model, especially in this price category. It doesn’t mean that T20 sounds bad, because it is not. It is just that I expect more of it. Well, we all have different personal preferences, the fun and tune-able tonality of T20 could probably be someone else cup of tea, so YMMV. 


    03P1080604.jpg  


    Pros:
    1. Excellent build quality.
    2. Excellent comfort and fit.
    3. Very good noise isolation.
    4. 3 Sound filters for tonality tuning.
    5. No driver flex.
    6. Very nice pouch and generous accessories.


    Cons:
    1. Bass tightness, resolution, and stereo imaging spaciousness are not great for the price category.
    2. 1.5 meters (measured) cable could be too long for portable use.


    Suggestions for improvements:
    1. Dynamic, resolution, and stereo imaging.
    2. To include SpinFit and Triple flange eartips as part of stock eartips.




    Build Quality & Comfort
    Build quality of RHA T20 is really impressive. The stainless steel shell, Y splitter, and headphone jack looks really nice, solid with precision craftsmanship. The shell feels so solid that it should be able to withstand daily usage with ease. Not only solid and excellent craftsmanship, T20 fit and comfort are excellent. I could use it for hours comfortably. It flushes nicely in the ear, so that it can be used on sleeping position. It fits really well on my ears that it always stay nicely in position even when doing a lot of physical activities or exercising. Practically T20 can be used for any activities. T20 is really one of the most comfortable IEM I ever tried. 


    04P1080543.jpg  

    The cable also feels good, with the right thickness, it feels very durable. The cable jacket is the rubbery type, but it is not coiling at all. At approximately 1.5 meter, I feel the cable is a little too long for on the go, but just nice for desktop use. When using T20 for walking or jogging, I do hear mild microphonics (cable mechanical noise that transmitted to earphones when cable in contact / friction with shirt or other object), but pretty mild, below annoying level. Near the earphone housing there is memory wire for over the ear wearing style. The memory wire is quite soft, with just the right amount of stiffness to keep the shape. In general I prefer soft memory wire (or without memory wire), than the stiffer one.

    RHA T20 build quality and comfort are top notch! I would give 5 stars for build quality and comfort.


    05P1080544.jpg  



    Tuning Filters
    Beside the generous eartips, sound tuning filters are probably the most interesting accessories of the T20. The tuning filters are replaceable nozzles with different density of foam damping inside the nozzle.
    Treble Filter: No foam damping.
    Reference Filter: Medium density foam damping.
    Bass Filter: High density foam damping.


    06P1080552.jpg  
    07P1080563.jpg  
    08P1080569.jpg  

    Reference and Bass filters are generally my preferred filters. Treble filter has too much treble and treble sounds glaring to me. Performance of each filter will be elaborated in sound quality section.




    Sound Quality
    With only around 9 days of evaluation period, I couldn't do extensive listening for every filter and test it with various players and eartips. 7 days (9 days minus 2 days burn-in) is practically too short for me to do proper sound quality analysis, so please read it with a pinch of salt.


    09P1140077.jpg  

    In my philosophy for sound analysis, I'm quite relaxed with various flavours of tonality, as long as it doesn't deviate too much from what I perceived as natural sound. I don't restrict myself to like only a particular tonality. I experienced that bright, bassy, warm, or neutral sounds signature can be musical and enjoyable in their own way, as long as it doesn't go too extreme, and the perceived frequency response is still perceive-ably a smooth curve or close to linear. What I hate most are annoying peaks and dips in the frequency response. If I detect any annoying peaks or dips in the frequency response, I will rate it below 4 stars. Beside the frequency response, there are other very important parameters such as: Perceived level of details, transparency and clarity, instrument separation, spaciousness (holographic imaging), and dynamic. Those parameters are very important and set apart great performers from the average ones. For those parameters, I have less tolerance and expect the best.

    In general T20 sounds better on slightly louder volume, as the dynamic improves slightly. Though I don't recommend listening music with loud volume (over 85 dB). With many combinations of sound filters and eartips, RHA T20 provides a wide gamut of sound signatures. It will take weeks to really get familiar to each combination. I've tested it with all the sound filters, the provided eartips, plus some other eartips of mine: SpinFit, triple flange, & Comply T500. Some combination sounds good, but unfortunately from what I've tried so far, I couldn't find any combination that I found highly impressive. Some combinations are quite enjoyable, but not at the level that in my opinion sounds really great. So from my limited experience with T20, honestly I have to say, T20 is not really my cup of tea. It doesn't mean it sounds bad, because it is actually pretty good and enjoyable, and I did enjoy some of my collections with T20, but I have other IEMs that I enjoy more.


    10P1140087.jpg  

    Beside the various tonality it offers, the following are the general T20 performance for other parameters:
    Perceived level of detail & resolution are decent and not lacking, but I would say it is about average in this price range. T20 is not detail monster, and not for those who are looking to hear micro details. There are other IEMs in this price category that offer higher level of details, for example DUNU DN-2000. Please take note that some users might prefer smoother presentation without too much perceived detail for less fatiguing listening experience. So YMMV.
    Instrument separation and holographic imaging are ok, around average performance, and improved slightly when using better eartips such as SpinFit and triple flange. Instrument separation of T20 is not sharply focus and defined like what we hear from a good BA or Hybrid IEMs, but I would say pretty decent. Stereo imaging is a little narrow to my liking, but quite decent for a single dynamic driver IEM.
    Transparency and clarity are pretty good. Clarity is actually pretty high, but sometime doesn't sound very natural due to mild treble peak around lower treble area at 3 kHz - 5 kHz, but the upper treble extension that creates the sense of transparency and airiness is rolled off a bit too early, and slightly lacking. Treble filter unfortunately doesn't really help, only increase the lower treble peak that makes it sound less natural.
    Bass dynamic and texture is a bit lacking. Especially when using the stock silicone eartips, bass is lacking texture and sometime may sounds lazy, cannot cope fast pace bass. But it improves a little with other eartips such as SpinFit.

    The dual voice coils dynamic drivers seem need more improvement and tweaking to shine. At least on T20, I don't really hear the advantage of the dual voice coils over regular single coil dynamic. 



    Since the tonality differs by the combination of tuning filters and eartips, The following is the tonality observation based on some combination of tuning filters and eartips.


    11P1080623.jpg  


    Treble Filter (Cooper color)
    Treble filter has no damping material in it, so basically just nozzle with no filter. It is the least favorable among the 3 filters. I couldn't find any favorable sound signature with the treble filter. As mentioned before, treble filter doesn't really help to make the treble sounds more linear, but increasing lower treble peak that to me is a bit annoying.



    Reference Filter (Silver color)
    With the right eartips, reference filter gives the most balanced tonality. Mildly V shape with some emphasize on bass and lower treble region. Bass level is good, mildly bassy with decent low bass extension. Bass is a little boomy and not very tight, as mentioned earlier. T20 is quite eartips dependent, therefore sound quality varies between eartips. The following is the list of some of the eartips I tried with the Reference filter, from the most favourable to the least, top down.

    Triple Flange Eartips (from Brainwavz S5)
    Best tonal balance, no annoying peaks and dips, smooth sounding, with pretty good dynamic. Slightly better than the stock foam eartips.
    Triple flange does magic again. I noticed triple flange eartips often give great improvement to the sound quality on some IEMs (tested on Brainwavz S5, DUNU Titan 1, and now RHAT20). But there is one problem, not many people find it comfortable to use triple flange. So practically it may not be a good option for some people.

    SpinFit
    SpinFit is my preferred eartips after triple flange. It mildly improves the treble in a nice way. Overall tonality is quite balance and mildly brighter in comparison to the triple flange eartips. I found SpinFit to be a better alternative over the stock silicone eartips. In comparison with stock silicone eartips, SpinFit moves the treble emphasize higher to probably around 7-9 kHz, improving transparency and reducing treble glares.

    Stock Foam Eartips
    RHA foam eatips is denser and a harder than Comply T500. Comply T500 doesn't sound as good as the stock foam eartips on T20, bass is leaner and overall tonality sounds thinner. Dynamic using Comply T500 is also not as good as stock foam eartip. The stock foam eartips has slightly better performance than the stock grey silicone eartips. Tonality is less V shape, more linear, slightly brighter, bass is more balance and less boomy, and the spaciousness improves slightly. Stock foam eartips is the better choice among other stock eartips.

    Stock Double Flange Silicone Eartips
    Pretty close to the stock silicone eartips with grey bore, only some minor differences, overall about the same performance, with a tad less sibilant.

    Stock Silicone Eartips (grey bore)
    IMHO the stock silicone eartips are not the most optimum eartips for T20. Mild V shape tonality, bass sounds full but a little boomy, not tight and lacking texture. Treble is emphasizes more on lower treble area and then started to rolls off at upper treble extension. Transparency is less than SpinFit, about the same as the stock double flange eartips. Treble may sounds a little glaring on some recording, and mild sibilant occurs on some vocal recordings.


    12P1080639.jpg  


    Bass filter (Black color)
    Bass filter has the thickest damping material and reduce some of the treble energy. It improves the bass extension a little, and reducing the treble and the treble peaks, resulting a dark, smooth, and bassy tonality. Overall tonality with bass filter is smoother, less peaky around the treble area than other filters. For those who are allergic to treble peak would probably prefer the bass filter. I found the reference filter and bass filter are the 2 useful filters that I would recommend to use. The following is the list of some of the eartips I tried with the Bass filter, from the most favourable to the least, top down.

    SpinFit
    I like this combination of bass filter with SpinFit, creating a smooth, slightly darker and bassier tonality. SpinFit improves the clarity to the otherwise rather veiled and muffled signature when using the stock silicone eartips. And the bass filter improves the sub bass extension a little. A pretty good filter for those who prefer smooth and dark signature.

    Stock Foam Eartips
    About as good as SpinFit, the stock foam eartips is a good match for bass filter. Tonality is smooth, pleasing, and less bassy as other eartips.

    Stock Silicone Eartips (grey bore)
    Very smooth tonality, but also lacking some transparency and sounds rather veiled. Pretty good for bright recordings, but generally lacking in clarity.


    13P1080613.jpg  



    Comparison with my reference IEMs
    Currently my reference IEMs are 1964 Ears V3 and DUNU DN-2000. Not really a fair comparison due to different technology and design, but those are my reference for evaluating other IEMs. T20 has more bass than those 2 IEMs, and that might be an important consideration for bass lover. But despite the differences in tonality, both 1964 Ears V3 and DUNU DN-2000 are generally less coloured with smoother, more open sounding, and more natural in tonality. Perceived detail and resolution, instrument separation, transparency, holographic imaging, bass texture and tightness, are better on both V3 and DN-2000. At slightly lower price than DN-2000, T20 is still performing quite well, but the technicalities are not yet at the level of DN-2000. 


    14P1140097.jpg  



    T20 is best described as fun and comfortable IEM with excellent build quality. I hope the next flagship from RHA would maintain the excellent comfort and build quality of T20, with improved sound quality. It is probably the time for RHA to start exploring other design and technology such as dual dynamic drivers and hybrid design. Single dynamic driver without crossover technically is still one of the best approach, but it has its own limitation. Probably push-pull, one way dual dynamic drivers approach such as ATH-CKR series would be one of the better approach for crossover-less design. Whatever the design approach RHA will take, I'm looking forward to hear improvements on RHA future IEMs.

    15P1080519.jpg  
    16P1080611.jpg  



    Specifications:
    Drivers: DualCoil™ Dynamic
    Frequency range: 16-40,000Hz
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Sensitivity: 90dB
    Rated/max powe: 2/5mW
    Weight: 39g
    Cable: 1.35m, multicore OFC
    Connections: 3.5mm, gold plated


    Equipment used in this review:

    IEMs:
    1964 Ears V3
    DUNU DN-2000

    DACs, DAPs & Headphone Amplifiers:
    Fiio X3 2nd gen
    Fiio E12DIY (Op-Amp OPA827 + Buffer LME49600)
    iBasso DX90
    ifi micro iDSD (firmware 4.06)



    Some recordings used in this review:


    Jeff Y likes this.
  9. Tobias89
    3.5/5,
    "RHA's latest evolution, but not quite there yet. Keep it up!"
    Pros - Robust build, excellent choices of accessories, tuning system.
    Cons - Bass can be bloomy more than it is punchy, and treble can be harsh at times. “Only” above average detail retrieval and separation.
    Firstly, a big thank you to RHA & Iain for organising this tour of the T20, and for having the confidence and patience to allow me to take part in this, and for giving me the time to write this review at a slower pace than what others are taking, as this is the very first review that I’ll be writing (it won’t be the last though).
     
    As the T20 is still with me, I will still be using it, and updating this review with any new thoughts that I may have, if any.
     
    About Me
    I stumbled into the head-fi world when my itchy fingers picked up a Shure SE846 back in January’14. Coming from a Klipsch S4i, it was certainly a huge leap upwards in price! I did my research, did multiple auditions before splashing the cash on the 846s, finally entering the world of head-fi. It has been a long journey, and I’m only just starting. There are still so many things in the world of head fi I’ve yet to explore!
     
    As I slowly explore various IEMs and portable set-ups, my knowledge of the entire audio world is slowly expanding. This allows me to learn to appreciate good sounding gears at various price points.
     
    I decided to start writing reviews to contribute in my tiny way back to this community. It’s definitely an awesome community, although it has led to my wallet often disagreeing with me! Being new to writing reviews (this is my first), please take it easy if I'm not as descriptive or accurate as other members. I’m still looking to slowly develop a more consistent writing style as well. I’ll appreciate any feedback anyone has on any areas I could improve on!
     
    As with all reviews, this review is purely subjective, based on my own experience, gear and preference! So YMMV.
     
    For a list of my gears, past and present, I’ve linked my head-fi profile here.
     
    Disclaimer
    The RHA T20 here is a review unit on its Asia Tour. I am not affiliated to RHA in any way. This review was done as part of a demo tour done with the Head-Fi community. For the purpose of this review, I will only compare the T20 with my M750i, which I have in my possession.
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Specifications
     
    Drivers
    DualCoil™ Dynamic
    Frequency range
    16-40,000Hz
    Impedance
    16 Ohm
    Sensitivity
    90dB
    Rated/max power
    2/5mW
    Weight
    39g
    Cable
    1.35m, multicore OFC
    Connections
    3.5mm, gold plated

     
    About the RHA T20
    The T20 is RHA’s latest flagship IEM offering, featuring what RHA calls a DualCoil™ dynamic driver technology, a tuning filter system similar to the T10 to adjust the sound signature, a patent pending mouldable over-ear hook and their signature injection moulded stainless steel housing.
     
    BoxFront.jpg      BoxBack.jpg
     
     
     
    Accessories
    The amount of accessories provided is simply mind-blowing! This seems to be the norm for RHA, based on the accessories provided with my M750i.
     
    Included in the box in addition to the T20 (Reference filters) were 6 pairs of dual density ear tips (2 pairs each of S, M, L), 2 pairs of double flange ear tips (S, L), 2 pairs of memory foam ear tips (universal fit), 1 Stainless steel ear tip holder, 2 Additional Tuning Filters (Bass, Treble) with Holder, 1 Premium carry case and 1 Clothing clip!
    [​IMG]
    IMG_7124.jpg
     
     
    Build
    The T20 is built like a tank, with the main housing built from injection moulded stainless steel. But really, it’s nothing new from RHA as all their products that I seen (mainly the M750/750i, T10 and T20 now), are extremely well built.
     
    Holding it, it’s definitely heavy! However, when wearing it, it is comfortable enough that I did not feel the weight of the T20. The built in ear hooks, while being long, are very comfortable as well, never interfering with my glasses. The cable feels well-made and strong, and microphonics is a non-issue as well. The strain relief of the T20 is excellent to, with its spring based design that gives much more confidence in its durability. In short, everything about the T20 is well made and feels that they were built to last, which is par the course for the MA750 that I have as well, so nothing surprising to me here.
     
    My only gripe with the build of the T20 would be a cable that is too long (for me) and the Y-split’s location, which is located too far down the cable to be of any practical use.
     
    Sound
     
    The rig used for this review are; PC (Foobar-ASIO) / Samsung Note 3 > Chord Hugo > T20 (Reference Filter)
     
    Bass
    The bass on the T20 is obviously boosted. While not to the point of being bloated, it does feel inaccurate due to the boost, and tracks on which I did not notice much bass previously felt bassy with the T20. However, it is still rather well controlled; with little bleed into the mids, but I still feel that it could have been tighter.
     
    Sub bass is present with good extension, but feels too smooth and lacks details. Mid bass is where most of the bass emphasis is, and it doesn’t disappoint, being fast and punchy. It has a slightly slow decay, and with the boosted bass, this results in a slightly bloomy effect while listening to complicated or bass heavy tracks, which left me feeling slightly overwhelmed at times.
     
    Generally, I’d say that the bass on the T20 is fun and enjoyable with excellent punch without messing up the midrange, with the slight lack of details being its downside.
     
    Mids
    Mids on the RHA T20 while lush and clear are slightly recessed, giving it its U shaped signature. Vocals feel laid back and relaxed, but its lushness allows it to remain engaging.
     
    It’s still pretty clean despite its slightly thick presentation, as the bass doesn’t bleed much into the midrange. Clarity is good but instrument separation on complex tracks isn’t as good as expected. The mids is not my favourite part of its sound signature, but it’s due to me being more used to more linear or forward mids on my IEMs, so YMMV.
     
    Treble
    Treble on the T20 is the best in the RHA series so far, with good extension and detail. As with the bass, the treble decay tends to be slightly on the slower side. It rarely feels harsh to me, although it is certainly splashy and peaky at times.
     
    This is especially so with the silicon tips, which may cause the treble to border on being sibilant. Foam tips do takes the edge of the treble, and might be preferred by some. However I still prefer the silicon tips or my spinfit tips, as luckily it was just slightly below my threshold for sibilance. J
     
    Soundstage
    Soundstage of the T20 is decently wide and airy. Soundstage depth is just average, and while imaging and separation are good, but not outstanding, sounding slightly congested on complicated tracks.
     
    Bass Filter
    The Bass filter gave a more intimate soundstage, and rolled off the treble the most of the 3 filters. Mids ended up more recessed and veiled, while the overall sound became much warmer. It does live up to its name though, significantly boosting the bass quantity, This comes with a trade off, with the bass quality decreasing slightly.
     
    Treble Filter
    Bass becomes a bit less prominent, while upper mids and treble becomes more prominent. Overall sound became brighter, and might be too bright for some (me included).
     
    Brief Comparison VS MA750i
    Bass is more enhanced and prominent on the T20, with the bass on the T20 extending deeper as well. Mids are slightly more forward, richer and clearer, although still very similar in tonality. Treble is brighter and has better extension on the T20 in comparison, with much more details and clarity compared to the MA750i.
     
    The RHA T20 is very similar to the RHA MA750i, with a very similar signature, albeit with a warmer take, yet improving on the MA750i. Generally, the T20 is a much improved and refined older brother to the MA750i in all aspects, so anyone looking to upgrade from the MA750i yet still retaining the MA750i sonic characteristic should give the T20 a shot.
     
    T20MA750i.jpg
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    The T20 has the typical RHA house sound and further improves on it, being a step up from the MA750, combining a U-shaped sound signature (boosted bass, slightly recessed mids, and well-extended treble) that is more forgiving, if one is not sensitive to treble.
     
    With its boosted bass and bright treble, the T20 is not for those who are looking for neutral sound or those who are sensitive to treble. However, I have to add that the treble is improved with burn-in and further tuned down when foam tips are used. The T20 also does benefit from some tip rolling! Sound quality does improve when using better sources, showing that it does scale pretty well. Despite this, I’d have to add that the T20 is somewhat thick sounding, perhaps due to the way its bass and midrange is presented.
     
    So, if you’re looking for a detailed yet fun U-shaped sound signature with pretty good clarity and imaging, this deserves more than a look at. The build quality and accessories provided are an added bonus as well! The T20 is definitely worthy of being RHA’s new flagship, and is RHA’s most neutral sounding IEM yet!
     
     
    Ending Notes
    As a matter of personal preference, while my initial impression of the T20 was ok, I didn’t really like it that much. It took me quite some time before I got used to its signature. I have to say again that despite that, it’s still the best RHA I’ve had the luxury of trying, and I do prefer T20 over the MA750i. Still, I’d prefer if the bass could be tighter and the treble could be more refined to eliminate or at least tone down the splashy treble.
     
    As the competition in this price bracket is heats up with good entries from other companies as well, I hope that RHA will look to further improve on its tuning as it has done so with the T20 (in comparison to RHA’s previous offerings) while maintaining its awesome build quality and plethora of accessories.
    earfonia, Brooko and RedTwilight like this.
  10. lin0003
    4.5/5,
    "True Flagship Quality"
    Pros - Design, Sound, Filters
    Cons - Isolation
    First of all I’d like to thank RHA for sending out a unit of the T20 for us to do an Australasian tour. RHA is a company that I am quite familiar with now, having tried their other two previous flagship IEMs. The MA750 was the first RHA product I tried and I was very impressed by the build and the sound that it put out. However, their last entry into the mid-range market, the T10 left me wanting a lot more as far as sound went. It was overly bass heavy and I noted that they needed a more “reference” reference filter.  
     
    T20-image.jpg
     
    The T20 is the successor and the new RHA flagship and is supposed to incorporate the suggestions that came from the T10 and pick up from its mistakes. I had very high hopes for the T20, and I loved the design aspect of the T10, so was happy when I discovered that the T20 would have the same design as the T10. RHA is known for the build and meticulous attention to detail of their IEMs and the T20 certainly continues that trend.
     
    The T20 is priced at $240 in the US and this slots perfectly into the mid-range of IEMs. This is a price bracket which I feel has the best money to sound ratio and going into the high end market will cost considerably more with little return. The competition over here is very stiff and I was curious as to see whether it would knock off the DN-2000.
     
    **Disclaimer** These were provided by RHA for a tour in return for an unbiased review.
     
     

    Unboxing & Accessories

    The packaging is classic RHA again and it certainly looks very well presented. The box shows off the many features that it has and it showcases the red dot design award that it received. It tells you on the front of the box that it comes with a three year warranty, compared to the one or two that most other competitors offer. Opening the flap will reveal a graph with all three of the tuning filters and there is a clear plastic window where you can see the T20 along with the tips and filters. Good presentation and the packaging survived the tour rather well, so it seems unlikely that it would get damaged in transit.
     
    The T20 certainly comes with a ton of accessories. It has a lot of tips including foam ones so everybody should be able to find a comfortable fit easily. The tips are all on a metal plate, just like the other RHA IEMs and this is a really nice design IMO. There are 3 tuning filters, which is one of the selling points. The change is not all that large between each of them, but it’s not exactly subtle either. The case is also the standard RHA leather case and it serves its job very well, but it would maybe be nice to see something that it more protective. There is also a cable clip and a manual. Overall, this area is good just like all of their other IEMs.
     
    t20-7.png
     

    Design & Isolation

    The physical presentation of the T20 is amazing, it is the same as the T10 except it has a vent on the face. The brushed metal looks excellent and it is very well built. The build is also very impressive, all the seams are very tight and the earpieces just feel very well built. They do scratch quite easily though, so be careful with them. The entire housing is made of brushed stainless steel and is very well finished. The left and right side are colour coordinated, which is a nice touch. The shape also fits very well in my ear and it is shaped like Shure or Westone IEMs. Seal was a little hard to get with these with the stock tips, but I think that might just be my ears and not the T20.
     
    The cable is awesome just like the T10. There is no remote on the T20, but I’ve heard that RHA are going to come out with a T20i, which is the version of the T20 with a remote and mic. The memory wire, just like the T10, is ever so slightly too long and it goes a little past my ears. The cable feels very solid and is just the right thickness and still remains flexible. The jack has a good strain relief, but it’s is really long and it is probably just a little too intrusive. It would be nice to see a more low profile strain relief.
     
    Isolation is probably a little under average for these, the vent really doesn’t help isolation too much. In relatively quiet areas, the T20 has no issues, but in noisier public places the T20 may not do a sufficient job at blocking out sound. It’s not bad, it’s just not that great. Listening to this while I am typing this review, I can hear my mechanical keyboard quite clearly.
     
    Master-T20-postcard-image-RC.jpg
     

    Testing Gear

    I tried the T20 with a range of sources and I discovered that it actually scales quite a lot, more than the price would suggest. The best pairing I found was the iBasso stack that I have been pairing with the 1plus2. I used it with the D14 as a DAC and the P5 as the amp. I felt like this really brought out the dynamic sound of the T20, and made it sound more alive than from other sources I tried. The DX90 was quite a good pairing, but it didn’t drive the dynamic driver with the same authority that the P5 had. I tried with the iPhone 6 and the Xperia Z2 and they sounded really poor, lifeless and quite dull, I would really recommend pairing these with a high end source, because they really need something good to shine. I also decided to use the treble filter for the review, because I found that it was the more natural sounding filter out of all the three options.  
     
    t20-rha.jpg
     

    Sound

    Just a word of warning, these require burning. RHA sent them to me first and out of the box I was really disappointed. Upon hearing them, I felt like RHA still hadn’t addressed the issues that plagued the T10 – bloated bass, overly warm sound that lacked clarity. However, after it did the rounds around Australia and New Zealand, I was actually really impressed with the sound and was shocked just how much it had changed. So when you just get them, don’t judge them straight away. I’m not sure how many hours the T20 had gone on the tour, but I’d say to burin them in for around 200 hours before judging them.
     
     

    Filters

    Like I mentioned before, I used the treble filter to assess the T20 and I’ll give a short comparison of what the other filters sound like. The reference wound is bass heavy and is a little less treble happy compared to the treble filter. However, with the treble filters, the bass also seemed to decrease. I’m not sure if this was actually the case, or whether the increase in treble gave the impression of reduced bass. The bass filter was not great IMO, it increased the bass from the reference filter, which was already a little too heavy to start off with, so unless you are a basshead, I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near the bass filter.
     
    T20-ear-image.jpg
     

    Bass

    The bass was pretty much what I expected TBH. I knew that RHA are a somewhat bass heavy company and all of their IEMs that I have tried are all somewhat bass heavy. The T10 was overly so, but the T20 certainly takes a good step back and it is nowhere near as bass heavy as the T10. The bass is strong, but feels rather controlled and is not bloated whatsoever. There is a little bit of boominess, but it is not to the point where it bleeds into the midrange and it is actually rather pleasant. I find myself reaching for the T20 over my other IEMs when I am looking for a bit more of a bass response. Detail is quite good, speed is obviously not great, but this is the trade-off for a bass heavy IEM. Extension is quite good, but not the best I have heard in the price range. There seems to be a bit of sub-bass roll off and the bass hump sounds like it is in the mid-bass. Bassheads will love this.
     
     

    Midrange

    The midrange was probably the area that came as the largest shock of all. It is very clean and crisp, not warm or tinny at all like the T10. The midrange actually sounds like it some from a BA driver and not a dynamic driver. The clarity that is has is excellent, on par with the DN-2000, and I’m very surprised that it manages to do all of this with a single dynamic driver. It is probably one of the cleanest sounding midranges from a single dynamic driver IEM. I felt like the tonality of these with the treble filter were perhaps just a tad bright, but they are by no means cold at all. With the treble filter, it is a little recessed, but not overly so, they are just a little laid back. Instruments have a natural timbre to them. Vocals are excellent, they sound very natural and they sound very clear due to the tuning.
     
     

    Treble

    With the treble filter, obviously the treble is more boosted than the reference filter, but it sits right in my sweet spot – it is almost perfect for my preference. I like treble to be slightly elevated and the T20 with the treble filter is exactly that. With the reference filter the treble was quite neutral. The upper registers have slight roll off, even with the treble filters, but it doesn’t really affect the sound much. Cymbals are excellent and they have a very natural tone and sparkle to them. There wasn’t any sibilance, but I’m not very treble sensitive so I guess this can change from person to person. Detail is excellent, not quite as good as the dual TWFK of the DN-200, but it holds its own well. The treble sounds excellent with the treble filter, it really showcases the ability of the T20.
     
    HRA.jpg
     

    Soundstage & Imaging

    The soundstage on these is rather large, both wide and tall. It certainly challenges the DN-2000 and perhaps even betters it in this regard. The soundstage seems much more expansive than the T10, which is nice. The width especially was impressive, it was considerably wider than the DN-2000, but obviously doesn’t reach the levels of the 1plus2. Height is good too, it gives the entire presentation a concert hall sound. However, something that could perhaps be improved on is the depth, it wasn’t quite able to keep up with the DN-2000 and as a result, the DN-2000 had a more 3D soundstage. The T20 is very impressive in this areas.
     
    The imaging is on par with the soundstage, they are both very impressive. While it isn’t as pinpoint as the TWFK hybrids that I have heard, it does superbly for its price point and its single dynamic driver produces a very accurate and clear stage. It doesn’t do layering quite as good as the DN-2000, but it is still very good. It is very easy to tell where instruments are even when the stage gets quite crowded. Overall, the T20 is very proficient in this area and passes with flying colours.
     
    t20-filters.jpg
     

    Separation, Detail & Clarity

    The T20 is also very goods in separation despite its single dynamic driver. It fares well on congested tracks and background instruments are not masked by the main ones even in complex passages. It doesn’t quite do as well as the dual TWFK in the DN-2000, but it holds its own well. It is certainly a huge upgrade over the T10. The T20 is up there with the best in this area, but it doesn’t quite match the DN-2000.
     
    With the treble filters, the T20 is actually a really detailed IEM. I wasn’t expecting the T20 to be as detailed as it was, having heard their past 2 flagships. They were both warm and that blurred out details. However, this is not the case with the T20, and it is a very detailed IEM, but falls short of the best of the BA IEMs. TWFKs simply are more detailed, but for a dynamic in this price bracket, the T20 is excellent.
     
    While the T20 isn’t as cool as the DN-2000, it is about as clear as the Dunu. The bass response is boosted, but this doesn’t really affect the clarity. Everything sounds sharp and clear without seeming artificial. The decay is very realistic and natural, the timbre is just right. Both vocals and instruments are all very well balanced. The T20 is superb here, it manages to have great clarity while still sounding natural.
     
    t20-3.png
     

    Conclusion

    The T20 with the reference is the perfect IEM for a moderate basshead, who likes their bass, but also looks for clean mids and treble. The reference filter is great for people who just was a more V shaped sound. The T20 is a very versatile and the filters allow people to select the tuning which they prefer the most. It is an excellent choice and stands alongside the DN-2000 as an IEM between $200 and $300 that I would happily recommend to others. The T20 really does stand out from the crowd with its design and energetic sound signature.
    Jeff Y likes this.

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