RHA T20

kmmbd

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Class-leading build quality
- Extended bass response with adequate sub-bass rumble and a controlled mid-bass that doesn't overshadow the midrange
- Detailed mid-range with good vocal rendition and without any harsh peaks/sibilance
- Non-fatiguing treble with good upper-treble reach and micro-detail rendition
Cons: Fixed cable with memory wire (ugh!), and it's 15cm too long
- V-shaped tuning with recessed lower-mids and "colored" tonality
- Treble timbre has a metallic sheen to it
RHA T20i Review: Old Guard

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Very few companies can tout that they make their drivers “in-house”.

RHA is one of them.

They originally piqued my interest back in 2013 with their MA750i earphones, which had a very comprehensive packaging and a rather fun tuning for something not priced at the upper echelon of the market. Surprisingly, those are still being sold by RHA, and while there are better IEMs at that price nowadays — they don’t completely fall apart against the competition unlike some of their contemporaries *cough* Shure SE215 *cough*.

RHA T20i was released back in 2015, and are still being sold as RHA’s mid-range offering. Their predecessor, T10i, has been phased out, while their initial successor, the CL1, has been buried six-feet-deep (now that’s what you call a spectacular failure). The asking price has gone down considerably from their original $250 MSRP, but given the abundance of chi-fi IEMs at this range, many don’t even consider the T20i as a viable option.

So, how do they stack up against the current competition, 5 years later? Read on.

Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. Definitely the expectations from a $15 IEM won’t be the same as a $150 one, and that’s the approach taken while assigning scores. I bought the IEMs with my own funds. Disclaimer)

Sources used: Questyle QP1R, LG G7, Cayin N6 II, Yulong Canary

Price, while reviewed: ~$140. Can be bought from RHA’s official website, or look for deals and discounts on Amazon.

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Build: I’ll just cut to the chase: the RHA T20i is exceptionally well-built. The whole outer shell is made out of stainless steel via a rather complicated process called Metal Injection Moulding. This leads to a sense of density and solidity that very few IEMs in this range can match.
The overall design is rather utilitarian and industrial, with smooth curves, minimal lines and a compact, pebble-like shape. The exterior finish is immaculate, as even the joints can’t be felt as you brush your fingernails across them.
There is a rather sizable driver-vent on the back (beside the RHA logo), while the inner-side has the channel-markings. The nozzle itself is removable. You can choose between three filters — Reference, Bass, and Treble (more on these later). The pattern of the grille on the nozzle is also quite unique.
The cable itself is non-removable, and that’s a shame. Not that the cable is poorly built — it’s more solid than most third-party cables and can withstand severe amounts of abuse. It’s just that the memory-wire is a royal pain to deal with, and at 1.35m the cable itself is quite long for carrying while commuting (mine got stuck in precarious places more than once, smh). The earhooks used to be frail and broke apart over time on the earlier models, but RHA has fixed that now by replacing the material. Apart from these niggles, there really is nothing else to complain about. There are more than enough strain-reliefs with the 3.5mm jack having a spring-assisted one (cool!). The chin-slider works, and the remote with mic and play/pause control is quite convenient.
5/5

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Accessories: RHA usually has a rather comprehensive packaging, and the T20i is no exception to that. You get their signature tip-holder, and 10 pair of eartips of various types — Comply foams and regular Silicone tips (both single and dual-flange). You also get a sizable carry case and a shirt clip. The biggest attraction of the packaging though is the metal tuning-filter holder. You just unscrew the existing filter on the IEMs (Reference filter by default) and replace with one of the supplied filters.
Now, I personally had to use Final E-type tips to get a good fit, as the supplied tips didn’t work for me, but there are plenty of people who find them just fine so I won’t hold it against RHA.
4.5/5

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Comfort: Being on the heavier side of things, the T20i doesn’t just disappear into your ears like some other IEMs. The memory wires also need a bit of getting used to, but after a week or so it doesn’t bother you much. With the right tips, they will be fairly comfortable for long listening sessions.
The smooth sides fit snugly in the ears and you can actually lie down with them in ears (though I wouldn’t recommend falling asleep with any earphones). I can’t see them being suitable for workouts though, the cable is too long and the IEMs too heavy for such activities.
4/5

Now, onto the sound.

This is a fairly novel driver setup that’s proprietary to RHA as far as I’m concerned. They used two voice coils of differing diameters instead of two separate drivers, and places them in front of the same magnet. The inner voice coil is tasked with the frequencies from the midrange (2.2KHz) to the sub-bass (16Hz), while the outer voice coil takes care of the remaining upper frequencies. There is a crossover circuit that divides the frequencies accordingly, but since this is a single driver assembly in the traditional sense you don’t have to deal with phase or coherency issues. You can read about it more here.
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Do note that all sound impressions are made with the default Reference filters. I’ve tried both the bass and treble filters, but they tend to shove the mid-range six-feet-under and boost the bass and treble respectively. The Reference filter offers the best tonal balance and showcases the T20i at its best IMO, so that’s what I’m going to base the impressions upon. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Lows: Perhaps the stand-out feature of these IEMs would be their overall bass presentation and extension. The sub-bass digs deep and you can feel the rumble even around 18Hz, and they take the center stage with around 4dB of boost over the rest of the bass frequencies.
Mid-bass has rich texture but it’s not as prominent as the sub-bass, and overall bass speed is on the faster side (for a dynamic driver that is). There’s some bass-bleed into the lower-mids, but that adds warmth to the overall signature rather than congestion. This bass response suits particularly well to Pop/Rock genres, e.g. John Mayer’s Clarity has a rhythmic bass-line that’s wonderfully reproduced on the T20i.
With the bass filter on — this can become a true basshead IEM. My only gripe with the bass response is its tendency to distort at unsafely high listening levels. I myself would never listen to such volume but if you are one of those loud listeners — take note.
4.5/5

Mids:
Being a V-shaped sounding IEM, the T20i has recessed mid-range. However, V-shaped tuning doesn’t mean that the mid-range is poor, rather a tastefully done V-shape signature can be quite enjoyable on modern Pop/Rock songs — just as it is on the T20i.
The upper-bass to lower-mid transition is smooth without any jarring peaks, but it is dipped a couple dB below the rest of the mid-range which results in distant-sounding male vocals, as evident in Colin Hay’s I Just Don’t Think I’ll Get Over You. Fortunately the lower mids aren’t thin sounding by any means, so this rendition isn’t offensive in my book.
From the lower-mids, it gradually rises for about 2/3dBs into the upper-mids, and in the archetypal v-shape fashion female vocals have more emphasis than male vocals.
Mid-range timbre is on the warm side, and has a euphonic signature overall (for the lack of a better word) that gives string instruments a colored yet appealing tonality. This particular mid-range rendition can get addictive and definitely adds to the overall fun-factor of the IEMs. Mid-range resolution is very good overall and only bested by certain multi-BA/hybrid assemblies or DD IEMs solely focusing on detail retrieval (e.g. Shuor Tape). I personally didn’t encounter any shoutiness or sibilance in the vocals, and apart from the lower-mid recession (a couple dB of boost would’ve been fantastic) I have no complaints.
4/5

Treble:
Upon first listen, there’s a good chance that you’ll find T20i’s treble rather… odd. Firstly, there’s that metallic “shine” to the whole treble region (it’s characteristic of RHA’s house sound in a sense) that adds some grit to metal tracks but sounds odd on more mellow songs. Secondly, the peak around 5KHz gives an unusual crispness to acoustic guitars and other string instruments, while violins and such high-pitched instruments are not so up front as the region from 6–8KHz is dialed down by at least 5/6dB. Usually this would mean very blunt cymbal hits and crashes, but thanks to the peak around 10KHz and then another upper-treble peak between 13–14KHz allows the cymbals to have their natural decay without sounding overly blunt. They are still behind the mix in most tracks (e.g. in Filter’s Take that Knife out of My Back, Tool’s Chocolate Chip Trip) so if you need hard-hitting cymbals — these won’t deliver on that.
As for detail retrieval, there’s fairly good amount of resolved treble detailed, though the recessed 7–9KHz region will probably not satisfy those who are pursuing the utmost treble detail.
4/5

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Soundstage: The soundstage on the T20i is very well-rounded with similar height, width and depth. It’s not as exaggerated as some multi-BA IEMs, rather it’s more of a natural expansion where the instruments are slightly out of your head without being too distant. This was really enjoyable especially while watching movies so there’s that.
4/5

Imaging:
Imaging is precise and even manages to get the “cardinal” (i.e. top-left/top-right etc.) positioning of instruments right. My test track for imaging in this case was Yosi Horikawa’s Crossing and it sounded nearly as good as on Philips SHP9500 (though the SHP obviously had an upper hand in the end). Precise instrumentation and spatial cues are definitely a strong point of these IEMs and something RHA has executed admirably.
4.5/5

Bang-for-buck:
There are numerous other IEMs under $200 nowadays and many of them are really good. However, few does the v-shape tuning as well as RHA managed to do here. Those who do it well usually don’t come with the 3-year official warranty that RHA provides, and it’s something RHA honors all the time. Their customer service and RMA process has been fantastic for me personally, and this is something one should definitely take into account while purchasing.
4/5

Source and Amping:
While the sensitivity figures of this IEM (90dB/mW) will lead you to believe that they’ll need some serious juice, reality is quite different as they sound loud enough out of almost everything. That being said, I’d suggest pairing it with a low output impedance and noise-floor source as it’s quite sensitive to hiss and power-supply hum.

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Select Comparisons

vs
Shuoer Tape (~$130): The Shuoer Tape has been one of the most hyped IEMs in this price range, and shall make for a good comparison against the “old” T20i. While the Tapes are marketed as “electrostatic” IEMs, they are in fact “magnetostatic” and dynamic driver hybrid made which is supplied by a specific OEM.
First up — the build quality and accessories aka the entree. I’m personally not a big fan of the Tape’s design, and considering the frankly awful Quality Control of that IEM — this round goes squarely to the T20i.
Next up, sound quality aka the mains. Both IEMs have very elevated bass response, but the Tape focuses on mid-bass a bit more than the T20i. Mid-range is where the T20i pulls ahead as the mid-range tuning is more coherent and less shouty on the RHAs. Shuoer Tape applies a wide-band upper-mid boost that makes certain female vocals very shouty and tiring. Overall mid-range resolution is also better on the RHA with more nuanced placement of micro-details instead of them trying to shove everything down your ear-canal via FR fudgery. The one area where the Tapes clearly have an upper hand is the treble response where it simply has more extension in the upper treble and a more prominent lower treble tuning than the T20i. It can get fatiguing during long listening sessions, however, in case you are treble sensitive, so there’s that.
As for the other aspects: Tape is more comfortable. The soundstage is wider on the Tape while both having similar soundstage depth. Imaging is also similar on both — as in great.
If you have to pick between one of them and don’t care much for absolute upper-treble reach — take the T20i. If you need that upper-treble (and a frankly different presentation of tracks, which may or may not be a good thing) — go ahead with the Tapes, though be wary of their questionable QC.

vs Campfire Comet (~$200): Campfire’s “budget” IEM hasn’t had much hype lately, but they are one of the best built and uniquely designed IEMs in this price bracket. Build quality is exemplary on both, though some may find more peace of mind with the Comet’s replaceable cable (I am skeptical of mmcx, however). Accessories are also fleshed out and Campfire also has good customer service.
About the sound, the Comet sounds like a polite purr compared to the visceral growl of the T20i. Really, they have such a starkly different presentation that it can feel jarring while A/B-ing them. While the Comet is one of the bassier single-BA IEMs around, they pale in comparison to the T20i’s gut-punching bass lines. Then comes the mids where the lower-treble sounds almost blunt, resulting in a bland presentation of string instruments. The upper-mid peak does put the female vocals forward enough to enjoy them, and is perhaps the only similarity they share with the T20i. Treble is where the T20i simply has more energy and details, though some may prefer the smooth and fatigue-free treble presentation of the Comet.
Soundstage depth and imaging both are inferior on the Comets, while soundstage width is a tad better on them than the RHAs.
In short, I’d suggest the T20i over the Comet if you prefer a more energetic signature and overall superior detail retrieval and technicalities. The Comet is more laid back and soothing, making it fit for relaxing listening sessions.

vs Mee Pinnacle P1 (~$150): The Mee Pinnacle P1 has been Mee Audio’s flagship IEM for over three years or so. They have a more neutral presentation overall compared to the RHAs. Bass response is not as pronounced and extended on the P1s compared to the RHA T20i. The mid-range tonality, however, is more neutral on the P1, along with the overall timbre. Detail retrieval is about on par for both, though the P1 doesn’t focus on the micro-details as much as the T20i. Those details are there, they are just not pushed forward. Then comes the treble response where cymbals are more forward on the P1 and upper-mid to lower-treble transition is far more even handed compared to the abrupt “peak around 5KHz then just fall off the cliff” tuning of the T20i. Soundstage is definitely better on the P1, while imaging is about on par for both.
The biggest issue of the P1 is their build quality as their mmcx connector tend to loosen up over time. There’s also the matter of impedance matching as they are 50Ohm IEMs and you’ll probably need a decent source to make the most out of them.
It’s difficult for me to choose one in this comparison, the best would be to try them both and pick one (though that applies to almost any IEM comparison).

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Conclusion

While RHA has been struggling for a while with their flagship IEMs (the CL1 was a massacre, while the CL2 has had mixed receptions), they still have a very capable mid-range offering in the T20i.

The biggest issue with the T20i would be the first week or so. You’ll have to fight with the memory wire, perhaps try a few different eartips and finally learn how to deal with the extra-long cable. Once you get past that and the “north-of-neutral” sound signature — there’s a very fun sounding IEM here.

The T20i is V-shape done beyond well. Well-extended and enhanced Bass? Check. Not too recessed mids that focus more on instruments than vocals? Check. Detailed top-end that’s not fatiguing? Check. Great soundstage and imaging? Check, check.

If it’s V-shaped signature that you want, the T20i will deliver. It might be “old” and not as hyped anymore, but it is plenty capable of standing on its own, and that’s that.

#Recommended

Test tracks (as Tidal playlist): https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/04350ebe-1582-4785-9984-ff050d80d2b7

Test tracks (as YouTube playlist, often updated):

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLetb5RqtcrlXdSG4tSCjCJpvoszUb4OjG
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A
Abir
In depth review as always...
I know it may sound a little bit odd considering the price point...but how does Campfire honeydew compares to Rha t20i in terms of bass, soundstage & imaging ??
kmmbd
kmmbd
@Abir Honeydew has a lot more midbass whereas T20 is more subbass focused. Mids are more analog sounding on the T20 and treble is also more extended.

I personally prefer the T20i between them.
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A
Abir
Thanks for your suggestion.

McSchnauze

New Head-Fier
Pros: Warm yet detailed. Lively/Energetic. Lush & Natural… almost analog-like.
Cons: Bass can be too prominent. On most tracks, just above-average soundstage.
This is an encouraging tale of disappointment and an anecdote of the merits of patience -- an unveiling of sound that’s rich, lush and beguiling!

RHA T20 by McSchnauze .jpg


I quite recently purchased the RHA T20, as I was curious about the tuning filters (Bass, Reference, Treble) and the proprietary Dual Coil dynamic driver. I’ve heard a lot of good things about their MA750 (and mixed thoughts about their overly bass-focused T10). When I first put on the T20 at the store right after purchase and played some test tracks, I had the compulsion to immediately return the item. But after mustering some courage (and faith), I decided to keep them and let them run their course. So after about a week of (brain or gear) burn in, I’ve come to enjoy these sexy & robustly built IEMs (with a bit of tip-rolling).

For this review, I won’t go over the packaging, build and accessories (as others have done a wonderful job with that already), but will focus on the RHA T20’s sonic qualities.

***PREAMBLE***

I’m a 41 year old lover of all things sonic, with some classical voice training. I compose cinematic-inspired pieces & make choral arrangements in my spare time. I enjoy listening to a wide spectrum of genres, such as classical & cinematic scores, choral music, jazz, folk, world / new age, musicals/theater, pop, rock & alternative. I prefer a relatively flat signature, with some bass enhancement (but not bass-head levels), or presentations with a mild “u” signature (not an exaggerated “v”). I don’t consider myself as an “audiophile” but I am a self-professed music lover. Despite being new to this hobby, I believe I can discern tonal & pitch variances quite accurately. Nope, I am not getting monetary compensation from RHA for this review – this is simply an exercise of sharing my auditory experience regarding RHA’s in-ear monitor, the T20, with the hope that you may find it helpful (if not, at least entertaining). Just remember – my ears, gears & sensibilities. Your tastes and perceptions would most likely vary.

Btw, do check out some notes at the end of this review for my thoughts on burn in (gear/brain), suggested product improvements, as well as RHA’s superb after-sales service.

***GEARS & MUSIC TRACKS***

For this assessment, I used my Cayin N3 (warmish neutral tonality), gain set on medium for most tracks, volume primarily at 50%. The T20’s stock “reference” tuning filter was used. EQ was left untouched. Aside from at least 100 hours burn in (brain or gear), most importantly, I also used some spare wide bore / shallow tips I had lying around. Using these tips, instead of the stock tips, the sound opened up and the bass was tamed yet still commanding, while maintaining body of the mids, as well as the treble energy. I tried the “treble” filters, but found the overall signature became too “v-shaped” for my tastes, and the “bass” filter was just too bassy for an already warm default signature. No external amp was used.

Below are the primary tracks (FLAC) used to evaluate sonic qualities & presentation, and the T20’s delivery of certain genres, instruments & vocal ranges:

Jupiter: The Bringer of Jollity (Gustav Holst)
Chasing Pavements -- Live at The Royal Albert Hall (Adele)
Marche Royale (Igor Stravinsky)
There’s A Small Hotel (Jane Monheit – soprano range)
Anch'il mar par che sommerga -- Bajazet (Cecilia Bartoli -- mezzo soprano range)
Breathe Again (Toni Braxton – alto range)
Even Flow (Pearl Jam – baritone/high-baritone range)
Believe Me Natalie (The Killers – high-baritone/tenor range)
If Ever I Would Leave You (Robert Goulet – low baritone / bass range).
Kadu Buva (Kenny Wollesen, Jonathon Haffner & Dalius Naujo)
Young Hearts Run Free (Kym Mazelle)
Tundra (Amber Rubarth)
Sweet Georgia Brown (Monty Alexander)
Pretty Piece of Flesh (One Inch Punch)

…and some other music tracks, across different genres.


***THE MEAT***

So here are my thoughts about the previous flagship offering from Reid Heath Acoustics – the T20…

TONALITY & SIGNATURE

INITIAL LISTEN:

Bloom. Boom. Dark. Veiled. Aggressive. Congested.

The lows were overly dominant, as if one was swimming in sub-bass. Vocals and mids sounded curtained off. Treble sounded muffled. Gasping for air.

AFTER BRAIN/GEAR BURN IN:

Detailed. Energetic. Warm. Rich. Expansive.

The T20 follows RHA’s V-shaped house/signature sound with a stout low-end and pronounced highs, best paired with a neutral or slightly bright/cold DAP/DAC, in my opinion. I think my initial dismay was due to the fact that I’ve been using the Fiio EX1 2nd Generation on most days prior to acquiring the T20. The Fiio EX1ii is an IEM that is generally bright and somewhat balanced, with enhanced but controlled lows, superb soundstage / airiness / imaging, and with mids & treble that I enjoy. Also, I believe that my Cayin N3 (unfortunately) adds to that already warm & bass-heavy presentation of the T20 (the N3 is slightly warm to neutral).
So yes, the sound did take some getting used to (or the drivers have finally flexed their muscles).
Now the T20 is more enjoyable, offering a full-bodied, richer and impactful presentation.
The T20 is not the most revealing, but in lieu of this, it enhances the sound making even some bad recordings/mixes sound quite enjoyable. The T20 is not ideal for reference/mixing but it is definitely crafted for music enjoyment, assuming you’ve taken a liking to its type of presentation.

LOWS
Sub-bass emphasis, with decent rumble & extension – a good backdrop to the rest of the higher frequencies. Emphasized but rendered like a sonic wall at the back of the stage.
Mid-bass is punchy and quite fast, and surprisingly doesn’t intrude much on the lower mids.
I would have loved the lows, if they were at least 2db lower. The bass can be a little too much for my tastes, thus, I had to tip roll as I don’t like touching the EQ on my DAP. The stock narrow-bore / low silicone tips further emphasize the bass, which may suit those who want heftier lows. I chose to use my spare wide bore / short silicone tips to lessen the funnel effect and tone down the bass – the sound becoming more balanced and enjoyable!

MIDS
Male Vocals are natural and full-bodied, though very slightly recessed and can get quite drowned out on busier tracks (especially baritone/bass voices). Eddie Vedder’s vocals in “Even Flow” was well rendered with ample grit but a little less so compared to how the Audiofly AF56 or iBasso IT03 does it. Still, alternative rock/grunge sounds great on the T20! Robert Goulet’s rendition of “If Ever I Would Leave You” was simply sublime, with sufficient body, emotion and warmth!
Lower Female Vocals are more forward, slightly dry yet natural sounding – Tony Braxton’s vocals in “Breathe Again” had an enticing warmth & heft to it! Higher Female vocals have better imaging and ample airiness, and carries over some warmth of the lower registers, resulting in vocals that sound fuller despite the higher pitch.
Good transience and micro-detail retrieval for instruments such as trumpets, horns, guitars – as long as the track does not get too busy.

TREBLE
Lower treble is prominent with decent clarity & detail retrieval, giving it energy & character. Violins are energetic, forward and detailed enough yet sound ever so slightly smoothed over. I actually find this treble rendition as one of the T20’s charms – energetic yet not grating! Btw, I could handle pronounced treble, so YMMV.
Upper treble extends quite well. Cymbals and high hats have good shimmer without becoming splashy, though sound slightly fuller than they should. Sibilant-prone tracks are not as sibilant, due to the overall darker / warmer character of the T20.

SOUNDSTAGE, IMAGING, TRANSPARENCY
Quite intimate compared to the superbly staged Fiio EX1ii and the iBasso IT03, but still above average. However, I occasionally get surprised with the T20’s soundstage rendition – it can sound expansive, depending on the track (resolution, mix/mastering, etc.). The T20 has ample width, closely followed by height, and some depth. It has enough air, but is not as airy as the offerings from Fiio and iBasso. However, the T20 can still deliver exceptional directional queues, positioning & holographic effects despite its more intimate soundstage. Things can get quite claustrophobic on very busy tracks, due to the overall warmth – however, it barely shows distortion even in louder volume settings (an interesting finding!).

DRIVABILITY & SENSITIVITY
The T20 is quite easy to drive (16 Ohm impedance with 90dB sensitivity) on my Cayin N3 with volume averaging at 50% on medium gain. Its frequency range of 16-40,000Hz does hint at the impactful presence of lows & highs. It has an almost black background and an unnoticeable driver reflex (if any).

BRIEF COMPARISONS
As of now, I don’t have other gear in the same price range to directly compare with the RHA T20 (purchased at approximately US$200).

So I’ll just make comparisons with some of my other IEMs:
Vsonic GR07 Classic Edition (approx. US$100)
iBasso IT03 (approx. US$300)
Audiofly AF56 (approx. US$100)

Hopefully these comparisons will help you get a better idea of the sound virtues (and cons) across the budget/entry/mid-level price ranges. Just note that the aforementioned prices were as of time & location of purchase.
Comparison Guide:
> is defined as “more but just by a little compared to…”
>> is defined as “very perceptible variance; obvious difference”
= is defined as “equal to; same as”

*By the way, even if a certain IEM is positioned at the last rung, it doesn’t mean that that particular quality is absent or lacking, as it can still be average / above average. I will call it out if the model really suffers/shines immensely in a particular aspect.

So here are the gears stacked against each other, exemplifying certain qualities, from the most to the least:

Neutrality = GR07 > IT03 > AF56 > T20
Timber/Naturalness = T20 > IT03 = AF56 > GR07 (upon further listening, I realized that the GR07 is the least natural sounding among this roster. However, the GR07 still has good timbre and doesn’t sound too digital / artificial / metallic, albeit sounding ever so slightly nasal in certain vocal renditions, compared to the other three)
Detail/Resolution = IT03 >> AF56 = T20 > GR07
Airiness & Clarity = IT03 > GR07 = AF56 > T20
Imaging & Positioning = GR07 = IT03 > AF56 > T20
Soundstage = IT03 = AF56 > GR07 > T20
Dynamics = GR07 = AF56 > IT03 > T20
Transience = IT03 > AF56 > T20 = GR07
Bass Quantity = T20 > AF56 = IT03 > GR07
Bass Quality = T20 = AF56 > IT03 > GR07
Mids Quantity = GR07 = IT03 > T20 > AF56
Mids Quality = T20 = AF56 = IT03 > GR07
Treble Quantity = T20 = IT03 > AF56 > GR07
Treble Quality = IT03 > T20 = AF56 > GR07
Amount of Sibilance = GR07 = AF56 > IT03 > T20 (based on first listen, but all have tapered down after ample burn in, and clearly, the T20 wins here!)
Comfort = T20 > GR07 >> IT03 > AF56
Apparent Build / Durability = T20 >> IT03 > GR07 > AF56
Immersion / Engagement = T20 = AF56 = IT03 >> GR07 (the GR07 is the most neutral of the four but still manages to be engaging. But the other three models have the upper hand with their own unique form of immersive presentation.)

CLASSICAL/LIVE = IT03 > AF56 = GR07 = T20 (the enhanced lows of the T20 and AF56 balance the typical treble-centered classical genre, while the GR07 allows most, if not all, the voices & instruments to clearly assert themselves)
ALTERNATIVE/ROCK= T20 > AF56 = IT03 > GR07 (the T20 really shines here, though the IT03 & AF56 are not very far behind!)
R&B/JAZZ = T20 > AF56 > IT03 = GR07
POP/EDM = IT03 = T20 > AF56 > GR07


***OVERALL***

The RHA T20 is a commendable all-rounder and a good day-to-day music companion, excelling in studio-produced tracks (alternative, rock, EDM, pop), and genres that call for more pronounced lows. It’s satisfying enough for live or concert hall recordings that demand impeccable imaging, clarity and soundstage, while giving an entertaining and exceptional low-end balance to treble-focused genres such as classical/orchestral. The T20 is a looker with a luscious pebble-like solid steel injection-molded housing. It feels robust, with RHA’s standard three-year warranty adding to that confidence. Although the T20 can improve on staging, it delivers a cohesive sound with its Dual Coil dynamic driver. If you’re used to cold / neutral / flattish IEMs and are seeking an exciting yet warm signature, natural (almost analog-like) timbre and a robust bass, the T20 is certainly a viable option. What began as a dark & lackluster experience transitioned into a tale of delight, with Reid Heath Acoustics’ T20 eventually unveiling its charms – an immersive, lush and full-bodied life-like sound for sheer musical enjoyment! :)

***NOTES***

1) WARRANTY
Aside from the sexy & robust metal housing, and lively sound, I purchased the T20 due to the generous 3-Year RHA warranty. When my cable had some problem (it happens to the best of us) and the local retailer was less than engaged with my problem, I emailed RHA directly and they responded and acted fast, sending a replacement unit immediately. Thus, it’s easy for me to recommend the T20, and RHA as a company – buy with confidence!

2) BURN IN
I’m still on the fence regarding burn in. Do small transducers, particularly Dynamic Drivers, really change their sonic renditions in time, or is it just my brain becoming accustomed to the sound and/or has become selective to the presentation and frequencies to create a more enjoyable listen? Frankly, there’s not much change in my other IEMs after ample burn in, but with the RHA T20, it’s quite a "night & day" difference! So whether the T20’s dual-coil dynamic driver really flexed itself to sound better through use, or my brain and ears simply adjusted, I would still recommend these IEMs for that lush and natural sound (albeit sometimes too powerful bass).

3) RECOMMENDATIONS to RHA
I think RHA has something nice going on with the T10 and T20, particularly with the tuning filters. The T20 is simply bass-abundant, so whichever filter you use, the lows would still assert their undeniable presence. It would be nice if RHA could create some tuning filters that really enhance the mids (making them more forward) or one that truly tones down the bass. The over-ear hooks' sheathing could be improved, too, as they have started to crinkle a tiny bit. Length of the wire/cord could also be reduced for more manageability. But, please, do keep using that sexy injection molded stainless steel construction (which is surprisingly light!) to maintain the robust and premium feel of your products, as most plastic/resin housings can feel quite, well, inexpensive. Replaceable wires/cords would also be a nice touch, to lengthen use and enjoyment of RHA IEMs.
McSchnauze
McSchnauze
@svk7 The more I listen to the T20s, I noticed that the bass is not as overwhelming, the treble has become more articulate, the mids still amply bodied with much less veil. I think that there was less of a discrepancy/transformation of sound with the replacement unit as my subconscious had perhaps retained the signature (from the original unit), (taking my cue from @HeartOfSky ) -- a case of timing & sonic relativity (or memory, if you'd like).
McSchnauze
McSchnauze
@svk7 After the burn in of the replacement unit, I'd say there is still a perceptible difference (bass quantity, clarity, treble quantity, etc.) but less glaringly so. But if you're asking me if it's true mechanical flexing or simply ear/brain adjustment, I am still bewildered (perhaps you're right -- 99% brain, 1% mechanical). I'm just happy that I get to immensely enjoy the T20s now, as a good complementary piece to my other IEMs (I've been using it daily, as of late).
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DoctaCosmos
DoctaCosmos
Oops I did mean ma750. The hooks don’t help. It’s the just the shape of the housing itself is horrible imo.

Soham Sengupta

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Well built, Great Sound, Good instrument separation
Cons: Average Soundstage, No removable cable, Bass can be a bit harsh at high volumes, May take some time getting the fit right
About Myself:
I am just an average consumer who tries to listen to music just the way they are meant to be heard. I currently have a Sennheiser HD598SE, Fiio Q1 as an amp, and lz a4, rha t20i, rha ma390u and some other cheap in ears. My current favorite is the lz a4 and I will be writing a review for it shortly. Now onto the review.

Preamble:

I have the RHA T20i for about 4 months and I have burned it with my mixed tracks of pink and white noise for about 100hrs. In short they are quite good for their price and their filter system is just an icing on top of their cake.

Box Contents:

Now, this I must say at first. The unboxing experience of these were just one of a kind for me. I never thought someone could showcase their iems like this! This makes for a very good first impression. These iems contain everything that a man needs to fit them in their ears (but the sad thing is, even with that, it was kind of itchy inside my ears). The box contains 6 pairs of single flange eartips (s,m,l), 2 pairs of double-flange eartips (s,l) and 2 pairs of Comply foam eartips. They also include a carrying case, a shirt clip, a manual and of course the three tuning filters for the bass, mids and treble.
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Build Quality:

These pair of iems have an outstanding build quality. They are built like a tank and are built to last. I think that there are hardly any iem manufacturer who uses injection moulded steel for their iems as it is a long and tedious process and also not much cost-effective. But these iems do not come with detachable cables which is quite a letdown considering the price of the iem. Should anything happen to the cable, you have to send it to RHA for RMA! But still, all jokes aside, this really is a major omission from such an expensive pair of iems. The cable is made of OFC and the outer covering is made of silicon.Also the cable feels rubbery and sticky to the touch which I don’t like much. But the cable is quite sturdy and should survive quite a while if handled properly. Also, I have never seen such a highly protected y-split and headphone jack. RHA has really taken it to the next level in the headphone jack department; the strain relief on the jack is the best i have seen and it feels really durable and premium.
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Comfort:
Now this is one of those areas where YMMV. For me even after trying out all the tips including the foam tips, i could not find something that is both comfortable and isolating. The only one that at least was the least irritating to my ears were the small double-flange tips. They maintained a good seal but it still was uncomfortable for me. Also the shell of the iem often made contact with my inner ear and it was painful. But eventually, I adjusted with it and now, they don't bug me no more.

Filters:
Now, I am making a separate section for the filters as it is one of the main features of the iem. Now, I have read in some forums that people are telling that the filters are a gimmick so let me clear this once and for all - they are not a gimmick, they really do change the sound signature a bit which can be felt by any listener. Now, about the filters, there are 3 types of them included. The black one is for bass, the white one is for reference and the gold one is for treble. Now all of them changes the sound signature subtly without changing the actual sound signature of the iems.
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Sound:

I am going to be using the bass filter for this sound review as I mostly listen to edm, rap, and also some acoustic songs. The sound signature on these iems is slightly v-shaped which means that there is more emphasis on the bass and the treble than the mids. The audio is going to be flac and they will be output from my pc via fiio q1.

(i) Bass:
Now obviously with the bass filter, the bass really pops out in most of the songs. At moderate volumes, the bass is quite punchy and enjoyable and most people will enjoy it. The bass is really tight and dynamic and it never bleeds into the lower mids. The sub-bass digs really deep and the the mid-bass is quite present in them. There is a bit of a peak near the 100Hz which gives it that "thump". All the edm and pop songs sound really nice with the bass filter on. But at times, it becomes a little harsh at higher volumes, But that's about the only con I could find at the bass department.

(ii) Mids:
The mids are clear and forward on these iem. Both male vocalists and female vocalists sound good on these earphones. Idina Menzel's 'Let It Go' sounds really good on them. Also vocals sound natural and intimate (That means that it seems as if they are singing just to you due to a narrow sound stage). You should give it a try!

(iii) Treble:
The treble is quite strong on this iem and you can literally feel the strings if the guitar in Stairway to Heaven. There is a slight peak at the 1 kHz range which provides a nice bite to guitars and other string instruments. Also the treble is not harsh at high volumes which is nice.

(iv) Sound stage:
Now, the sound stage is not that wide on this iem. It has depth but not width. Also, the instrument separation and detail is extremely good. The amount of detail this iem can replicate is simply amazing. You can listen to some of the tracks you hear almost on a daily basis and you can find something that you have never heard of in your songs!

Now, on to the pros and cons:

Pros:
(i) Well built
(ii) Great Sound
(iii) Good Instrument Separation

Cons:
(i) No removable cable
(ii) Bass can be a bit harsh at high volumes
(iii) May take some time getting the fit right
(iv) Average soundstage

Conclusion: These are a great pair of iem but they do come at a cost of $200 which is not inexpensive for an iem, but still if anyone who has a budget of $200 for an iem, I would highly recommend them to at least give these iem a try, they won't disappoint you.

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Nick Walters

New Head-Fier
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.
voxie
voxie
Thanks for sharing Nick. From personal experience RHA customer care is fantastic then again that is my opinion
pieman3141
pieman3141
I agree. I had a pair of these, and went through two pairs. Fortunately, RHA's customer care was fantastic. I ended up selling my third (unopened) pair and buying the Mee P1, which had a removable cable and came with two!

RaoulRutnam

New Head-Fier
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

Cinder

Formerly known as Res-Reviews
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
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-Introduction-​
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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.

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

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-Packaging / Unboxing-​
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My apologies for the slightly rotated pictures, as the rock I was taking pictures on was not flat.
 
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-Build-​
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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.
 
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Look at the difference in the width of the seams!​
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]​
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
 
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]While my unit does not have inline controls, RHA sells a version that does for $10 more called the T20i.[/color]
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]Comfort[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]

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-Accessories-​
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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 [/color][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]perfect [/color][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]fit for the Hidizs AP100, my current mobile workhorse.[/color][/color]
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-Summary-​
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]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.[/color]
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.
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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. 
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.
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.

RedTwilight

1000+ Head-Fier
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..) 
tongue.gif

 
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.
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earfonia

Headphoneus Supremus
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. 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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. 


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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.

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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:


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Rearwing
Rearwing
Some fantastic photo's and a very well written critique, thank you for taking the time and effort. I agree with quite a lot of your points, especially about their use in listening to slow to medium music; I find with aftermarket tips they are superb for low volume listening to very intimate recordings, the new Shawn Colvin album Uncovered really suits them for my ears, especially on the track "Gimme a little sign". 
earfonia
earfonia
@Rearwing Thanks for your compliment!
I had mixed impressions with T20 when I had it. Sometime T20 does sound enjoyable, but sometime I felt it didn't perform very well. I guess once our brain adapted to its signature, T20 is quite enjoyable. But I found myself didn't have the desire to use it as compared to my other IEMs.

Tobias89

Previously known as ojy89.
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.
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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!
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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
earfonia
IMHO, comparing to my impression of the sound quality of T20, this review is the most accurate so far.
ofern321
ofern321
Nice review! How does it compare with your Shure 846?
meringo
meringo
I 100% agree with this review. Thanks!

lin0003

Headphoneus Supremus
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.
 
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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.
earfonia
earfonia
Though I disagree on the sound quality assessment, I do admire your pictures in this review. Really nice and well taken! Well done!
meringo
meringo
ugh... reviews like this are making me want to re-order. I bought, and returned, being incredibly disappointed in the sound quality. Bloated bass, and edgy highs. From nearly everyone I've talked to about this, they mention that burning in is a requirement.
senorx12562
senorx12562
Nice review, thanks. I bought a pair of the t10s, and could only get on with the treble filters, but found they didn't improve with more time, so they ended up being just a little v-shaped for me. Gave 'em to my edm/rap listening son (with the bass filter already installed of course). He loves them. Good to hear that they have improved on them for old guys who have lost a little HF hearing. They sure look good, too.

Tom22

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Plethora of Accessories, Robust build, Ergonomic, Bassy, warm sound, good detail, Filters Tuning System
Cons: very long cable, nozzle could be angled slightly towards 45 degrees, on the pricier side
What do you think of when you hear: injection moulded stainless steel housing, dual coil drivers, interchangeable tuning filters, and a 3 year warranty.
The RHA T20 is the probably the only earphone with this mix of characteristics.   At first glance, the T20 appear awfully similar to its sibling the T10.  I thought the same way when I finally saw pictures of them, there seems to be very little differences, aesthetically anyway.
 
However, it seems that RHA had been listening to the feedback  they received from the T10 and upped the ante with the T20, by implementing a “dual coil dynamic driver” (aimed to better separate the bass, mids and treble), in addition to all the goodies that was already present on the T10.
Despite the beautiful craftsmanship and accessories of the T10, the sound of the T10 had generated mixed responses from many users on head-fi and beyond, especially being premium, luxury product at the price of ~$199.
Lets find out, if its strike 2 for RHA or have they hit homerun with the T20s.
 
Disclaimer: As with every review, price is always in consideration when rating and commenting about the gear I am reviewing. I want to thank RHA and nmathesis as well as all my other peers on head-fi for making this T20 tour possible. I’m very glad to be a part of the North American Tour for the T20.
 
Below is my Full video review over on youtube of the T20 and my T10i review for reference. (i have also included my comparison video of the T20 vs T10i as well). Enjoy!
 
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Accessories:
The T20s 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.
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Summing up, theres not much more you can really ask for in terms of accessories, the T20s have certainly impressed me with the amount of goodies it comes with.
Overall: 10/10
 
Build quality:
The T20s are built simply superb. The injection moulded stainless steel earpieces have a very robust quality to them, they are quite heavy, on display is beautiful craftsmanship and a luxurious feel.  Moving down toward the cables, the T20s have a black, medium-stiffness memory wire, to help prevent the cable from flopping around, especially since the cables are on the chunkier and thicker side. The cables impress and provide assurance that the T20s will last for a long time, even under the most active and rigorous conditions (I honestly think they can be a used a rope to harness your bikes to your car on road trips). The drawback of this thick cable is the additional weight that comes with, making a bit cumbersome and noticeable when turning your head quickly.  
The headphone jack terminates in a straight angle jack with a long spring acting as as a strain relief. Personally, I would have liked to see a small, compact L shape/90 angle plug with a shorter strain relief section to help assist in portable listening environments.
Overall: 10/10
 
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Comfort:
The way the T20s were designed and with the addition of memory wires, signal that the T20s were intended to worn cable up, helping to to minimize cable noise.  I found the comfort to be above average, despite the slightly larger, “tubbier” housing. This is mostly due to the very smooth housing, that convey a sort of “organic” shape.  I found sleeping with them quite comfortable, I was able to lie on my side in bed with them, and because their so solidly built, I’m wasn’t afraid of waking up to broken earphones, considering I toss around in bed quite a bit.
 In retrospect, my outer ear did get a bit sore after 2-3 hour session; I suspect that may have more to do with the angle of the nozzle then anything else. I would prefer a nozzle that is angled about 45-60 degrees as with its competitors. Overall, in terms of ergonomics, I felt RHA has done a fine job.
Overall: 8/10
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Isolation:
In my short time with them, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use really put the T20 to the test on public transit and the like. However, in my general use, (around the house and around the neighborhood and mall), I found the isolation to be above average, despite the vent/mesh on the face of the earpieces.
Overall: 7.5/10
 
Sound (In general terms)
The RHA T20, is an essentially a re-tuned, and I consider “better tuned T10”.  In my opinion, I felt T20’s sound is what the T10 should’ve been. But in my conversation with nmathesis, we agreed that the T20 came to fruition only because of the feedback from the community and consumers alike from the T10s. Well, if that’s the case, I’m happy camper.
So, lets get down it!
The T20’s general sound signature stays true to their house sound, a textbook “V shape sound signature”, that’s warm, and bassy with a crisp treble that works well with today’s modern music.
 
Filter system:
**In my conversations with RHA, I was able to confirm that the T20s have the same tuning system as the T10i.**
 
I will summarize the sound signature of the T20 below, the filters do alter the sound (but it’s more of a tweak, rather than 3 completely separate earphones).
 
Bass- The bass is impactful albeit a bit on the slower side, but attention grabbing, quite satisfying bass. It impress you with the amount of bass those dual coil drivers can generate, more so then the detail and the texture. The bass has more emphasis in the midbass, with a bit of bloat, but is compensates with great definition down into the sub bass as well. This makes the T20, fun but not an overwhelming bassy experience. I think this bass boost if very appropriate if your using them during your commute to help cut through the rumbling and shuffling in loud noisy environments. (If this doesn’t sound like its enough bass for you, skip down to the bass filter section).
 
Midrange- The midrange does take a small dip, but is quite competent, clear. While a doing good job sounding  clean, and natural, (good detail in conveying the texture and characteristics of voices). However, obviously it wasn’t tuned with classical or acoustic pieces in mind, instead it chooses to excel in genres such as pop, and electronic music. That said for as bassy earphone, I’m very happy with the midrange performance of the T20. The Reference filter helps accentuate conveys the most “natural” sound of the bunch. (skip to the reference filter section below).
 
Treble- The slight dip in the midrange climbs up in the upper midrange to the lower treble, giving more life and energy, giving tambourines, and chimes a “clean” sort of metallic/shimmery texture.  The top end extension is good, but I feel its missing that extra little bit of “air” needed to really take the T20s onto another level. (If you want more treble extension and sparkle see the Treble filter section below).
 
 
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Favorite Filters Ranking:
 
#1 Treble filter sound
They open up the RHA house sound, which makes the sound leaner, which I think is a good addition considering I find the T20s can get a bit congested at times with the other filters (the Treble filter is stark contrast compared to the Bass filters). The treble gets a bit more shimmer and extension, and allows female vocals to gain more energy, but at times I can see that it can be interpreted as maybe a bit thin or brash. I think it could use a bit of tightening up here (maybe a bit of dampening), however it’s the liveliest sounding of the 3 filters. The treble filter just edges out the reference filter as my favorite filter.
 
#2 Reference filter
I quite like the tuning with the reference filter; the tonality is spot on for a bassy earphone. I could use a bit less bass however, as I felt that it can get a bit too thick in the mid to upper bass, causing a bit of smearing. The reference filter is probably the filter with the widest appeal (don’t let the word “reference” fool you, they’re anything but flat or neutral sounding).  The reference filter is probably the most natural sounding of the bunch and that’s why I slotted them at a firm #2.
 
#3 Bass filter
This is where bassheads unite! The bass filter on the T20 I find is more likeable than the T10i with the same filter. The bass here does reach basshead levels and its very chunky and very chesty, and it does dominate the sound signature as expected.  This filter is a great option for the average consumer who wants big bass punch with a rolled off treble.  For me however, I found the Bass filter to be my least favorite of the bunch, it felt too bloated to my ears, and due to the rolled off treble, caused it to sound dull and overly dark.  
 
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Comparing the Brainwavz S5 with RHA T20 (with Treble filter)
The T20s have a more refined sound overall, the bass more even (less midbass bloat), and hits lower. The treble is cleaner, refined as well, it also has less veiling in the upper midrange. Soundstage-wise, it’s more well rounded, where as the S5s are wider in terms of left and right then height.
 
Comparing to the Yamaha EPH 100 with the RHA T20 (with Reference Filter)
The tuning here is more similar, with more bass punch on the T20s, whereas the EPH 100 has more defined and extended treble, revealing the finer details.  The biggest difference between the T20s and the EPH 100 lies in terms of their physical build. Where the EPH 100, sorely disappoints with a thin, fragile cable, with long but flimsy strain reliefs. Whereas the T20s, look like they can withstand the heavy abuse squashed under a backpack full of heavy textbooks.
 
RHA T20 Bass Filter with RHA T10i with Bass Filter
This is a direct comparison between the current and former flagship from RHA, with the same filters. Listening to songs like  “Let’s Go by Calvin Harris Feat Ne-Yo”, and “ Party Rock Anthem by LMAO, the T10i will give that boomy, chesty bass bump, but I felt the bass suffered from some smearing and can sound one-note.  In terms of the bass, I found the T20 to be tighter, with the edge in terms of scaling. Also, the T20 trades off some of that bass found in the T10is for a bit more upper midrange-lower treble, giving those synths more liveliness. Both earphones are polite, and dark sounding, so they good choices for the treble-sensitive bassheads out there.
 
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Overall: 8.5/10
 
 
In conclusion, while the price tag of $249 is not what many attribute as being a “budget” product. The T20 is not really targeted toward that demographic. For a mid-high tier product, the T20 packs a lot of desirable features (robust steel housing, ergonomics, and sound) in a relatively compact package.  Personally, I would be more comfortable seeing the T20 in the $170-200 price range, but it’s an earphone I can very comfortably recommend if you have the extra cash to splurge.
 
Overall Rating: 44/50= 88%
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HiFiChris

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: mids resolution, overall resolution, bass quality, soundstage, sound tuning filters, build quality, ergonomics, design
Cons: some edginess in middle treble, filters don't have much effect on bass quantity (too much bass with "Reference" filters), low y-split
Preamble:

Before I start with my review, I want to thank RHA for providing me with a sample of their T20 in exchange for my honest opinion. Please note that I am not affiliated with RHA in any way.

RHA is a manufacturer of In-Ears with dynamic transducers and based in the UK. Their latest In-Ear flagship, the T20 that retails for about $240 in the US, has got (like its predecessor) three different interchangeable tuning filters for individual sound customisation.

An interesting novelty is its DualCoil™ driver, a new coaxial-like construction with two independent voice coils that are attached to the single diaphragm that reproduces lows in its centre and high frequencies on the outside. One can see an explanation of the DualCoil transducer’s working principle along with a nice exploded drawing on the packaging.
In my review, I will also include comparisons to the Sennheiser IE 80, as I see it as a direct competitor in this price range.

Just as the other RHA products, the T20 is covered by a three year warranty.


Technical 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
 

Delivery Content:

The T20 comes in a beautifully designed packaging which has got a magnetic flap that covers a see-through plastic window on the front side, allowing you to take a look at the In-Ears, filters and eartips. On the flap’s inside is a nicely labelled exploded diagram that also explains the DualCoil driver’s operation principle.
Opening the packing, one will find ten pairs of eartips (one is already preinstalled), the tuning filters, a pleather carrying case (that looks and feels just like the one that came with the former Bose earbuds, but has got an additional pocket on the inside), a shirt clip and last but not least an illustrated multilingual instruction manual.
 


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Aesthetics, Build Quality:

The premium In-Ears’ bodies are made of stainless steel, seem very sturdy and well-made and feature engraved company and model names on the front and the back. Conveniently, both non-removable cables have got colour-coded strain reliefs close to the IEMs’ bodies to simplify identification of the correct side.
The y-split is also made of stainless steel, has got a nice overall design and features “Designed by Lewis Heath” lettering on it, whereby “Lewis Heath” is illustrated calligraphically.
The 3.5 mm headphone jack is also made of stainless steel, with the same design as the Y-split, but has got a silver-coloured spring as strain relief – that’s an inconvenient, but very effective way to prevent lead fracture and makes the In-Ears differ from other companies’ models.

Just as the In-Ears, the holders for the eartips and tuning filters are made of stainless steel, too. The latter has even got threads, but they could have been better cut, as some of the filters don’t screw in smoothly. The filters’ and IEMs’ threads however are very well cut and screw in smoothly.
By the way, the interchangeable tuning filter tubes have got spongy damping material inside, just as the Shure SE846’s tuning filters.

The cable is pretty long and appears to be very sturdy.
 

 
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Comfort, Isolation:

Just as most In-Ears in the premium segment (except for few models), the RHA is designed to be worn with the cables over the ears, which improves fit, comfort and reduces microphonics.
Although the T20’s weight is comparatively high, it sits very comfy in my ears and I don’t even notice that it is heavier than most In-Ears, which is also achieved by the excellent and ergonomic shape of the IEMs’ bodies, which is (with a slightly different angle of the sound tubes) also used by Westone and Shure.
The mouldable ear hooks that are used by RHA are patent pending and very flexible (although they stay in place nicely) and not stiff like most other IEMs’ ear hooks that are generally made of steel wires.
Nevertheless, there are few, but not bothering microphonics that can be eliminated completely by using the included shirt clip.

Noise isolation is just marginally better than average, but noticeably higher than the Sennheiser IE 80’s.


Sound:

T20’s sound quality was mainly evaluated with my iBasso DX90 playing CD rips and Hi-Res files; listening tests were made with the large single-flange silicone tips. The In-Ears were burnt in for at least 50 hours before I started critical listening.

The T20 offers three different pairs of sound tuning filters for individual sound customisation to one’s personal likes. This idea isn’t new and was used in some other In-Ears in the past; nevertheless it is a nice way of altering certain frequency bands to one’s personal preference without having to buy several IEMs (a few companies offer various versions of the same IEM that only differ in tonality).

Tonality:

The difference between the various tuning filters isn’t huge, but noticeable.

“Reference” filter:

With these filters that come installed as standard, T20’s overall tonality could be described as bassy-dark and consumer-oriented.
Bass is quite prominent and starts quite early with about 10 dB in upper bass, but luckily only slightly more level in midbass. Subbass rolls off a bit, but is still audibly emphasised.
Lower ground-tone area is also emphasised, but clearly less than the bass, wherefore sound isn’t warm, which is also because the ground-tone and lows in general don’t bleed into the mids which are present, but neither recessed nor emphasised.
In my ears, voices are moderately on the brighter side, but sound still natural.
Except for a rather broad-banded peak at 4.75 kHz (I used a sine generator to locate its exact position) highs are gently recessed, while upper highs are more in the background than the rest.

“Treble” filter:

With the copper-coloured treble tuning filters which are completely empty and undamped, bass loses some of its presence, just as the ground-tone area that starts to sound leaner.
Mids and voices are still rather on the brighter side.
Middle treble gains some level and the peak minimally shifts to 5 kHz; upper treble is less recessed, but still audibly in the background.

“Bass” filter:

Perceived, bass maintains the same level as with the “Reference” filter, but ground-tone area gains some and therefore sounds warmer.
Interestingly, the “Bass” filters are the only ones out of the three that in my ears alter mids’ tonality. The black filter tubes that have got the most foam/sponge material inside make voices appear tonally correct and lose their slightly bright character.
As expected, highs are pushed back further and the peak in the middle highs loses edginess.

---

T20’s tonality compared to the Sennheiser IE 80:

The RHA has got definitely less ground-tone that also starts extending lower than the Sennheiser, which sounds much warmer and has got dark voices due to its utterly emphasised ground-tone area. RHA’s voices are clearly superior.
The Sennheiser has got a bit more midbass.
While the Sennheiser’s lower and middle treble are recessed with a following peak in the lower ranges of the upper treble, the RHA (with the “Reference” and “Treble” filters) slightly emphasises the middle treble and has got an audibly recessed upper treble. It’s up to one’s personal matter of taste which of the two styles of treble emphasis is the better one.

Resolution:

For an In-Ear with dynamic transducers, T20’s resolution is on a very good level and all in all comparable to the IE 80’s level of details and even excels it in some areas.
What the T20 does really well are voices: they are well-contoured, very clean, differentiated and precise – something where the Sennheiser somehow fails in comparison in my opinion.
Although T20’s treble is quite high resolving, the Sennheiser briefly wins in this category, as highs have got a slightly too hard attack on the RHA’s side and also seem marginally uneven in the middle treble.
Something that really surprised me in a positive way was the RHA’s bass which is very dry, hard hitting, controlled and punchy for a dynamic transducer and clearly excels the IE 80’s rather muddy lows, although it could have a bit less upper bass for my tastes.
Regarding bass quality, the difference between the three tuning filters isn’t huge, although the “Treble” filter offers the fastest bass out of the three, whereas the “Bass” filter has a somewhat slower decay, but without losing crispness or sounding slow. The “Reference” filter is somewhere in between, but closer to the “Treble” filter.

Soundstage:

Typically for vented dynamic In-Ears, T20’s soundstage has got a good expansion to the sides, but without sounding unnatural or exaggerated. Spatial depth is also present, but of lesser amount, though clearly present.
Instruments are very cleanly and precisely separated from each other and layering is also pretty decent.

Although the Sennheiser IE 80 has got the bigger soundstage (both in terms of width and depth) and therefore is able to achieve the better instrument placement, the RHA T20 has definitely got the sharper instrument separation and offers the better and more precise layering.


Conclusion:

With its current flagship, the T20, RHA has developed a very interesting In-Ear that is on a high technical level and features a new coaxial-like dynamic driver unit, called DualCoil™.
Build quality with mostly stainless steel elements is flawless and the ergonomic In-Ears sit very comfy and securely in my ears, additionally their bassy sound is highly resolving with very well differentiated mids and voices, dry and fast lows, adjustable treble through the included tuning filters and a good soundstage reproduction that provides a very precise instrument separation.
Demo3
Demo3
I am looking forward to giving these a listen at the RMAF.  Thanks for the preview.
tmarshl
tmarshl
I have a pair of T20s, and I agree with your review.  Thanks for providing your evaluation.  I appreciated the selection of foam and rubber tips, but I didn't find the tuning filters particularly useful.  After trying them all, I went to the Reference filters and didn't give it another thought.
HiFiChris
HiFiChris
@tmarshl

Thank you for the feedback. Going back and forth, I also found myself prefering the Reference filter.

doublea71

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Enjoyable sound with tuning options, superb build quality, high-quality accessories
Cons: Tuning options may not suit everybody, cable is too long/not removeable, sound leans more towards the consumer-friendly market rather than audiophiles
 

The RHA T20: Something for (almost) everybody
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Note: I was a participant on a tour organised by RHA on head-fi, and received zero compensation in return for providing this review.

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First, some information about the T20 from RHA:
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Lots of goodies included, all bearing the RHA logo, which is quite fetching imo.
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A nice, aluminum tip holder - very cool design imo.
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The sexy black leather case - very nice!

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The FR graph from RHA's website.
 

 
How I Went About Things
 
I used these for a couple of weeks as I do on an everyday basis - I didn't do anything special other than a bit of subjective A/Bing with other earphones in its range that I own (VSonic GR07, Aurisonic Rockets) through my Cowon J3 with no amping. I listened to 16/44 flac and wav files from a variety of genres, and mostly from recordings that are considered to be well-mastered. I used them on my commute, at a local coffee shop, at work, and at home - pretty unscientific, but this is what I came away with.....

 
Design
 
I think they tick most of the boxes here for me. The quality of the cable, plug, strain reliefs, and Y-split are all excellent. They are also consistent in terms of style, which is clearly important to the folks at RHA - they are on a branding mission with their earphones and I think they're succeeding in this regard. I really like the strain relief used where the cable meets the straight 3.5mm plug:
 
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It's just a beauty, isn't it? The only problem I had with the cable was its length - much too long for me when my DAP is in either my chest pocket or pants pocket. It was a bit annoying, but they do include a cable clip to help manage this. The cable doesn't tangle easily, so that is another in the win column. The quality and attention to detail is apparent, and the finish is very, very nice. The Y-split gets the same level of treatment:
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I don't use sliders with IEMs, but this one seemed to do a reasonably good job.
 
The earpieces are pretty well-known by now, so there's nothing really new for me to add - they are excellent, even worthy of a much more expensive flagship with the exception of the cables being non-replaceable. They are a bit heavy (and I wonder if the thickness of the shells can be reduced), but comfort is as good as anything I've ever tried, largely due to the absence of corners and edges - everything is smooth and nicely rounded. They're pretty small, too, so they should fit everybody. Isolation is average. The memory wire which loops over the ears is a nice touch - it's a bit different than what I'm used to as you can certainly bend them to your liking, but they retain a bit of spring, too. They are reasonably thin (certainly thinner than the ear guides that come with my VSonics), so it was never a bother even when wearing eyeglasses. Top notch!
 
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The Sound
 
I can't talk about the sound without mentioning the swappable, color-coded tuning filters. They do work and they come with a very cool storage system - you simply screw them on the aluminum holder when not in use:
 
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These also use what RHA calls "DualCoil" Dynamic drivers. I am not able to provide an explanation of what that means to the average consumer, but I suppose it looks cool on product literature. I will leave it to those with a stronger background in this field of technology to comment on the implications of these particular drivers - all I can offer are impressions from the perspective of a fairly middle-of-the-road head-fi nincompoop.
 
When I received them, they had the bass filters in, and I didn't really care for the sound. I'm not a bass head - I like tight, controlled, but accurate bass. This sounded too boomy to me, especially with sub-bass, but I did give it a few days to see if brain burn-in changed my opinion. Nope. I then went to the reference filters and still felt that there was too much bass emphasis for me - it was a better sound, but still not my cup of tea. On to the treble filters. This had the right amount of bass for me (though quality was not the best I've heard), but then the treble was too fatiguing for me to enjoy them for extended periods of time. Herein lies the potential problem: the changes made by the filters may not give you "just right". You may have to, as I did, choose the one that least displeases your ears rather than what sounds perfect. I went back to the reference filters after trying all three and stuck with these for the remainder of the time I had them.
 
Bass: Overtime I came to appreciate the bass a bit more than I expected - it sounds a bit thick which a touch of boominess, but it does give the overall sound more body and richness than what I normally prefer, and I was really enjoying it by the time I had to send them on to the next participant in the tour. I felt like I could live with this compromise, though it's still not as well-rendered as the GR07 in this department. However, I wouldn't characterize it as being uncontrolled. They may have nudged my tastes towards the world of bass a little bit, to be honest. As I read about the Noble K10 and other IEMs that offer a complete bass experience, I find myself thinking that I need a bit more of it in my life after the T20.
 
Mids: I thought these were good and I couldn't hear anything seriously wrong with them. They aren't as clear and airy as they are on my Rockets, but they are a bit richer-sounding which has its own appeal. Yes, some may find them a bit congested in comparison to other earphones, but I would be surprised if anybody felt like they were not at least decent-sounding. Voices sound natural with good clarity, but using either the bass or treble filter may give them the impression of being veiled or recessed. Pretty good in this department with the reference filters imo.
 
Treble: Very good level of detail and toes the line by not being sibilant with the reference filters. Not flagship-level treble, but pretty good for its price point. Those who are less prone to sibilance may find the treble filters to be pretty engrossing, but that wasn't the case for me - they sound great at first, but fatigue set in pretty quickly and I knew these weren't the filters for me. Reference filters were more than acceptable for me, though. They sound better than the VSonic GR07s, which are notoriously sibilant. Perhaps the level of detail isn't quite on par with the VSonics, but these are seemingly without any significant spikes in the highs and are better for long-term enjoyment.
 
Final thoughts and a couple of recommendations
 
Perhaps the best thing I can say about the sound of the T20 is that once my brain burned in, I found myself paying more attention to the music than the IEMs themselves. People talk about earphones that are fun and enjoyable, and these most definitely are. Critical listening does reveal shortcomings, such as the bass presentation. With the reference filters, it wasn't distracting and I've since come to appreciate a fuller bass presentation then I did before I tried these. Combined with the level of comfort and build-quality, I have to say these are going to please a lot of people, but I fear that serious audiophiles may pass on them. Ultimately, I think they are going after people who are new to the hobby and are more accustomed to a typical consumer-friendly sound. These seem to be trying to rope in both segments, but I'm afraid serious enthusiasts looking for a true reference IEM may be left wanting. Their branding campaign, while very eye-catching and well-implemented, is evidence to me that they are more concerned with attracting the mass market than the much smaller niche of audiophile obsessives on head-fi; from a dollars and cents perspective, it is the obvious move and it seems to be working - their products have made it into the Apple Store. My hope is that they develop another product in the future that is clearly aimed at the headphoneus supremus rather than everybody.
 
If I were to offer any recommendations to RHA, I would suggest that they:
 
  1. shorten the cable and consider a user-replaceable model (balanced?)
  2. target the serious audiophile niche market with no compromises (a big ask, I know)
 
There aren't many things on my list, so I think this is going to be a fairly successful product on the whole. Thanks again to RHA for setting up the tour and their willingness to interact with head-fi members.
Takeanidea
Takeanidea
Excellent analysis , well presented , photos were great too. I agree with your thoughts on the bass, it did have a richness to itand was the strongest point in relation to these IEMs for me. I found , as I think you did, that in the audiophile areas surrounding air space sound stage micro detail and treble fatigue the T20s may not appeal to all of us.
meringo
meringo
I agree 100% with this review. I'm one of the ones who ultimately couldn't deal with the treble fatigue and returned them. Great headphones for the masses, but maybe priced a bit too high and not quite audiophile. I can't wait to see what they produce in the future, though. Definitely RHA's best effort to date. 
gerardrosales
gerardrosales
Have you heard the MA750's? It would be really great for you to hear them and give comparisons. I demoe'd the T10 and it was sibilant on my device and a completely different signiture from my 750's. However it seems like the same shortcomings from the 750's are carried over to the T20's: slightly consumer friendly bass, recessed mids, and peak in the lower treble.
Pros: Build, fit, comfort, accessories, design, tunable, warranty, robust bass, detailed but fun signature
Cons: Deep Y split too low on cable, cable bulk, filters only tune mids/treble, bass still north of neutral
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For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

INTRODUCTION

I was first introduced to RHA (or Reid Heath Acoustics) during a review tour for the RHA T10i arranged by David (lin0003 on Head-Fi), and t would be fair to say that although the build and fit were impressive, the sonic signatures (even with filters) left me feeling disappointed - too bassy / warm. This time RHA have retuned the default signature to give some more top end and modified the bass so that it doesn't quite overshadow the mid-range. David again organised a tour with the new T20, and my thanks to him (and RHA) for giving me the opportunity to partake in it.

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 T20 (~ USD 240) which I have the pleasure of reviewing today.

In the last couple of weeks I have spent as much time as possible listening to the RHA T20. Sadly I don't have a chance to directly compare to the original T10, but toward the end of the review I have compared the T20 to some other IEMs in similar price brackets.

In the time I've spent with the T20, I’d estimate that I’ve logged around 20-25 hours actual listening time.

DISCLAIMER

I was provided the RHA T20 (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 T20. The tour unit was returned at completion of the review.

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

I'm a 48 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 portables (Fiio X5ii, X3ii, LP5 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5ii/X3ii > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1, Sennheiser HD600, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and at the moment it has mainly been with the Dunu DN-2000J, Trinity Delta, and Dunu Titan. 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 to be 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 48, my hearing is less than perfect.

For the purposes of this review - I used the RHA T20 mostly straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, and also from my Fiio X5ii. Whilst I have tested the T20 with portable amplifiers (E11K & E17K), IMO they do not benefit sonically from additional amplification. In the time I have spent with the T20, 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 T20 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 T20 arrived in a reasonably large, but attractive black retail box (in a very similar style to the original T10i). 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.

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T20 retail box

Rear of box

Inside cover

The inside flap of the box displays the make-up of the new driver, a little about the dual coil technology, some specification details, and a frequency graph. The rear of the box lists some more information on creating the custom injection moulding for the housing. It’s great to see so much information readily available – good job RHA.

Opening the T20 retail box gave me a feeling that this is indeed a premium product - it really does leave you with a little "wow" factor. Inside the retail case is an open inner box with foam inset which holds the T20 (cable nicely wrapped around the foam), filters and tips.

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Windowed section displaying T20 and accessories

Foam tray with T20 and accessories

T20 accessory package


Lifting the foam inset out further reveals a lower plastic compartment housing the carry case, manual, yet more tips, and a shirt clip.

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.

The carry case is a large soft zippered case measuring approximately 127mm x 77mm x 25mm (at its deepest point) – so while it’s not pants pocket friendly, it does pocket very well inside a light jacket.. It is well padded, 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.

The tip selection is generous, and the tray includes 2 pairs of dual flange silicone, 5 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. The 3 bags inside the box contained a further 9 pairs of tips!

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Quality case

Copious tip selection

T20 and included filters


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, like the T10i, 10/10.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

(From RHA)
Type
Dynamic Driver Inner Ear Monitor
Drivers
Dual Coil Dynamic
Frequency Range
16 Hz – 40 Khz
Impedance
16 ohm
Sensitivity
90 dB
Rated / Max Power
2/5 mW
Plug
3.5mm gold plated
Cables
1.35m multicore OFC
Weight
39g
IEM Shell
Metal Injection Moulded (MIM) stainless steel shell


FREQUENCY GRAPH

The graph below is generated by a new measuring system I’m trialling – using the Vibro Veritas and ARTA software. I don’t have the calibration 100% correct yet – but the graphs I am getting are relatively close to Innerfidelity’s raw data (on other earphones), and I think are “close enough” to get a reasonable idea of the frequency response for the RHA T20. Over the coming months I’ll be adjusting a pre-set compensation curve so that I can get the graphs more consistent with Tyll’s curves.

T20graph.png


What I’m hearing though (reference filter):

  1. Bass that hits reasonably low and is a little above neutral in quantity
  2. Very cohesive and quick mid-range with good transition between upper and lower mid-range. Clean and clear vocals with a little more emphasis on upper mid-range.
  3. Reasonably extended upper end which falls short of sibilance, but has enough extension to nicely cover cymbals.

BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN

The RHA T20 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 little under 20mm in length, 19mm in height, and 11 mm in depth (18mm if counting the nozzle length). 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.

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Inner shell of T20

Outer shell of T20 (note the vent)

T20 with filters intact


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 very formable, with a soft and malleable protective outer sheath. I’m not sure what materials are involved, but they are one of the best example of formable ear guides I’ve encountered – and for me, are very comfortable. The T20 are designed to be worn over the ear only (my preferred method). The formable guides end with a strange 20mm plastic/rubber section which joins to the cable proper. I’m assuming this is simply to accommodate the join between the formable guides and the cable – but it does look a little strange and ungainly.

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. At times I wish that the cable wasn't quite as bulky as it is - a little thinner would make it a lot better.

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Y slit and cable cinch

3.5mm straight jack

T20 with Sony Isolation tips fitted


The Y split has excellent cable relief, and an integrated cinch. The cinch works really well, and definitely helps remove any remaining microphonics. Like the T10i though, the apex of the Y-split sits just above my belly button (I’m 6 foot tall) which is really still far too low. The Y split is stainless steel, engraved with “designed by” and the signature of Lewis Heath (RHA’s Product Director) – a nice touch.

The cable terminates in a straight 3.5mm gold plated jack – with once again excellent strain relief. There is also the slight rubberised ring between the plug body and tip of the plug – which protects your device (and the plug) from metal on metal scratching, and also accommodates plugging into your average smartphone (with case attached). It works very well with my iPhone 5S.

So apart from the Y split length, the build quality and attention to detail is excellent.

FILTER SYSTEM

For tuning, RHA includes a 3 filter system on the T20 – bass (black), reference (white/silver) and treble (amber/gold). 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.

RHA3filters.png

In a departure from the original T10i I previously reviewed, this time the filters change the frequencies primarily between 2.5 – 10.0 kHz. So instead of changing the bass (which actually remains pretty constant throughout), they raise or lower the mid-range and lower treble (see graph).

This actually works pretty well – far better than the original T10i – but the one thing I’ve found with the T20 is that they have stuck to RHA’s “signature” with a more robust bottom end. As a result, their reference filter is once again a little too warm for strictly reference sound (IMO) but I do find it a lot more palatable than the T10i. My preference would be the treble filter (as the most neutral of the three).

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Looking inside each filter, both the reference and bass filters appear to have acoustic foam or dampening material. The treble filter has none.

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 did try the T20 with a variety of aftermarket tips including the Ostry tuning tips, Spinfits, Spiraldots and Comply S series sports foams. All fit brilliantly – but for the review I stuck to my tried and true (Sony Isolation tips). 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, they remain one of the most ergonomically well designed housings I’ve used. I’ve included a photo of my daughter wearing the T10i from last review – the shells have the same dimensions – and she thought they were “pretty comfortable”.

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T20 with Spin-fits and Ostry tuning tips

Spriral dots and Comply S foam tips

Emma showing how comfortable the fit is.


Isolation with the T20 is better than average for me (not quite near Shure’s or Alclair’s almost perfect isolation – but very effective), and they would be good enough for public transport (despite the vent). Because of their flat profile (when worn they do not extend past my ear), I would have no issues at all relaxing or sleeping with the T20.

There is no driver flex present.

SOUND QUALITY

The following is what I hear from the RHA T20. 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 Fiio X5ii.

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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
When I first reviewed the T10i, I found them bassy and fatiguing, and at the time asked RHA for a more reference sounding IEM. They’ve definitely listened – and the T20 (whilst still having RHA’s signature warmth and thump) this time has a clear and detailed top end.

It’s still probably a little bassy for my tastes, and is quite V shaped in signature, but it’s a sonic combination which lends itself well to a variety of genres, and for those who struggled with the T10i, you may find the T20 to be a very pleasant change.

For the review – I’ve stuck with the reference filter.

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 T20’s detail retrieval is very good on both tracks. The sax intro on Gaucho has enough tone to be both natural sounding and pretty smooth. The bass guitar might be slightly more emphasised than I’d personally like, but it’s not overpowering everything, and there is plenty of detail coming through with cymbal and hi-hat.

Sultans of Swing is more of the same, dynamic and fast. The bass guitar is there but not overblown, and more importantly there is some excellent detail coming through with cymbals and the click of drum sticks. Knopfler’s guitar has good edge, and his vocals have good contrasting tonality.

Sound-stage & Imaging
Next up is Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”. 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 T20 has an intimate stage with this track – maybe just at the perimeter of my head. Imaging is very good and very consistent though. I have a very clear idea of where everything sits.

Switching to “Dante’s Prayer” and the T20 again was very good. It captured Loreena’s vocals really well – and the whole performance was intimate but enjoyable. 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 T20, I was getting some immersion – so a nice display of width and depth.

Last was Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” – and this track is a good one because it has a naturally holographic feel about it, and can convey an amazing sense of space with the right headphones. That holographic quality shone through with the T20 (it really is good with female vocals)!

Bass Quantity and Quality
Muddy Waters is a track I use to evaluate bass quality. This blues rock track is quite dark and brooding anyway, and usually exposes any muddiness or bass bleed. The T20 was really good with this track – visceral impact in the lower bass, and also conveys the timbre and gravel of Mark’s voice with aplomb. I was expecting a little bass bleed with the slightly enhanced base quality – but I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the bass is with this track.

Next to see how low the bass would go – so I switched to Lorde’s “Royals” – and once again the T20 delivered right from the opening notes. When the bass guitar kicked in, the low bass was copious, and this time there was a little excessive bloom into the mid-range. Ella’s vocals remained crystal clear though – and I can see this signature being quite popular with anyone liking a little more oomph. For me though – it’s a bit too much.

As this is an IEM that does have a bass emphasis, I wanted to try it with a little trance – so I switched to some AVB, and this time it hit the spot. Plenty of impact, and once again, a really nice vocal presence. I think any fan of this genre (or EDM) is going to quite like the T20.

Female Vocals
A lot of my music revolves around female vocals – jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera. I’m an unabashed fan. For me personally, the sign of a good IEM (for my personal tastes) is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. My early litmus test is usually queuing Agnes Obel – as some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right. The T20 is not perfect with this track, displaying just a little hollowness in the beginning, but it got better as the track progressed,a nd the presentation of the cello was excellent.

So I ran through my usual medley of other tracks from artists including London Grammar, Angus & Julia Stone, Christina Perri, Gabriella Cilmi, Feist, Florence and the Machine, Lianne La Havas and Norah Jones. For the most part, the T20 was excellent, and my biggest complaint (for my tastes) was when the bass very occasionally had a little too much thump – but I know I could fix that simply by a little EQ.

Anything with true thump (Feist / FaTM) was definitely very dynamic – and actually pretty enjoyable in small sessions. All in all, the T20 handles female vocals pretty well.

Male Vocals
Switching to Male vocalists meant delving into my rock and grunge genres. I kicked off with 3 Doors Down, and then moved onto some Alter Bridge, Eagles and even a bit of Seether (accoustic). The T20 does seem to nail rock really well. The first noticeable thing is the combo of guitar and drum – the T20 brings great dynamics to play with rock tracks. The second noticeable thing is the improved clarity, and what it brings to guitar crunch and cymbals in particular. Male vocals have good texture and tone – and whilst not as full as something like the DN2000 – very enjoyable.

The T20 has everything really good rock needs – very good speed, clarity and timbre, good bass impact (again sometimes just a little on the heavy side), and the ability to contrast really well. Acoustic rock is also a standout (Lofgrens’ “Keith Don’t Go” and Eagle’s “Hotel California” were both phenomenal).

Time again for my usual litmus test – Pearl Jam. Vedder’s voice is good with the T20 – nice timbre and tonality. Not noticeably thin. Cymbals in particular are rendered very well, as is the snare. It’s not the best I’ve heard – but it is up there. I could happily listen to the T20 for ages with PJ.

Other Genre Specific Notes
Rather than go into details on genre, I’ll simply cover each with a few sentences.

I’ve already covered Rock and derivatives. Alt-Rock (Floyd and Porcupine Tree) was very good on detail. Sometimes the bass guitar tended to dominate – but a touch of EQ would easily tame this.

Jazz, Blues and Bluegrass were all very good with the T20. The added detail really helps, especially with both cymbals and also brass. Stringed instruments also benefit from the added clarity. The bass is very good with double bass – good timbre and tone.

Rap, EDM and Pop are very dynamic and I have little doubt that bass lovers will enjoy the T20. It’s not over the top – but is very present. For my own tastes, I once again find the mid and low bass sometimes just a little too present – but once again easy to EQ.

Classical and Opera were also surprisingly good, and I guess this once again where the extra top-end really helps. Because a lot of this music is not bass dominant, the overall presentation is really enjoyable – particularly string quartets, solo violin. Cello is also very well presented, and Zoe Keating’s recordings are sublime with the T20.

I also own a lot of Indie music and the T20 was really good with this. Bass was a little too much for me with Wildlight, but Band of Horses was just brilliant. Add the presentation of female vocalists as well, and the T20 was really hitting the right spots.

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

The T20 is easily powered straight out of the portable devices I have, and I haven’t experienced any issues with the iPhone 5S, or from any of the Fiio’s. With typical pop/rock songs on the iP5S I’m usually at a volume level of around 30-40% (depending on the dynamics of the track). I did try amplifying the T20 with the E11K and E17K (and even the iDSD), but noticed no major improvements outside added volume. So far I’ve had no issues with hiss.

EQUALISATION

I only used this sparingly, and it was mainly because the filters change the upper end rather than the lower end. For me it just involved a cut in bass from around 125 Hz down. This just had the bass behaving a little more for my own tastes, and really did “complete” the T20. They respond to EQ well.

COMPARISONS

I’ll make these very quick. I compared the T20 side by side with some of the other IEMs I have in similar price brackets. With the comparisons, I first volume matched with a 1 kHz test tone and SPL meter. I had a fast switch set-up in place with a splitter and volume attenuator for the volume matching. This section is very subjective, as it is sighted, the change between IEMs took about 5-10 seconds, and I knew exactly which one I was listening to. But it is my honest thoughts on where the T20 sits for my own personal tastes.

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Frequency graph

DN2K, Altone 200 and RHA T20

RHA T20 vs Altone 200
Build quality goes to the T20, although both are built exceptionally well. Fit and comfort are pretty even – different styles, but I find both very comfortable. I prefer the Altone’s thinner cable. Sonically the Altone is a little thinner and a little brighter through the mid-range. They both sound similar though with a definite V shape. T20 has more bass impact. My preference = T20

RHA T20 vs DUNU DN2K
Again although both are built exceptionally well, the T20 gets the nod on overall build. This time the T20 is definitely the more comfortable fit, and once again I prefer DUNUs cable to RHA’s. Sonically these are very different with the DUNU being more balanced overall, a lot warmer, and a lot thicker in note tone. The RHA is a little more pronounced in vocals (particularly female). To me the T20 has more overall bass dynamic impact, but the DUNU has more comparative quantity. My preference = T20

t20v2kjvdelta.pngt2027.jpg

Frequency graph

Trinity Delta, DN2KJ and RHA T20


RHA T20 vs Trinity Delta
Interesting match up. Build quality is fairly even – but the T20 would be more robust. The Delta has the far better cable (it’s not close), and the filters on the Delta I think are better tuned in the changes they bring (over whole frequency range). Both are extremely comfortable to wear long term – but the Delta is slightly easier to fit, and the T20 slightly more comfortable. Sonically the two are similar but the Delta is a little smoother and more balanced while the T20 is a little more V shaped. The T20 has a little more edge in upper mid-range. Both have plenty of thump down low. If anything I quite like the T20’s low bass emphasis over the Delta’s more mid-bass slant. If I switch to the bass filter on the Delta it actually comes pretty close the to the T20 signature. My preference = Delta

RHA T20 vs DUNU DN2KJ
Both are built exceptionally well, but once again the T20 gets the nod on overall build. The T20 is also the more comfortable fit, but once again I prefer DUNUs cable to RHA’s. Sonically these are quite different with the DUNU being a lot more balanced, a touch weightier through the vocal range, and also a little brighter. The T20 has a lot more bass, but the DUNU has more quality of bass presentation. My preference = DN2KJ

RHA T20 - SUMMARY

I was rather a vocal critic of the original T10i, and one of the things I (and others) asked of RHA was a more balanced IEM with similar build but more emphasis on clarity, and a little less on bass. RHA have responded with a pretty well tuned IEM, and I think a lot of people will like these.

Like its predecessor, the T20 has phenomenal build, a nicely ergonomic shell (great comfort for me personally), and comes with an exceptional accessory pack. The filter system on the T20 this time nets some changes in the upper mid-range, and lower treble – but sadly don’t change the bass very much, which is a pity as that is the one area I would love to shave a few dB from.

Like the T10i, the T20 does carry quite a bit of bass – but this is less warm, more controlled, and does not dominate like its sibling.

The T20 will appeal to lovers of a V shaped signature, and particularly those who like a nice thump with their music. Personally it’s still not tuned to my overall preferences, but I am very impressed with how far they have come.

At around $240 on Amazon, the T20 represents good value – especially when you combine sonics, build and accessories. I would recommend them as long as potential owners are aware of their bass output.

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

RECOMMENDATIONS TO RHA

Firstly, thanks for allowing us the chance to sample your products. I really appreciate it. I think the cable needs some work. Just a little more flexibility (and a little less bulk) would really help. And I’d really like to see a filter system that allows tuning of the bass. Bravo on the improvements so far though.


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frustin
frustin
good review. thanks for writing it.
JVK1
JVK1
@Brooko Hello,
First thanks for the review.
I'm about to buy new earphones. I hoped that maybe you could help and that would be highly appreciated.
My previous ones were beyerdynamics dx 160. I would like to buy new ones since i'm through a second pair of 160's due to cable issues...  Im thinking between the RHA t20's and Shure 425's.
I listen 80% of my music with iPhone 6 plus using Spotify. Haven't thought of having an amp.
I listen to all kinds of music from James Brown to Cro-mags and from Brian Eno to Jethro Tull.
I like that there is bass present. on dx 160's the bass kick is nice but it's quite muddy and empowering. So what i'm after is nice sharp bass that doesn't cover everything under it.  
I don't have the chance to test Shure's and RHA's back to back since we don't have reseller that stocks both.
Which would you prefer as first "proper" IEM? I have tried the RHA's and since in wearing glasses the cord was bit chunky but I could live that.
My biggest concern is the bass in both of the models does it have enough kick for my taste. And also I wonder the Shures build quality against the RHA (plastic vs. metal). Also what 1-2 two songs would you recommend to test these products? Thank you very much in advance. 
Best, 
Jan
Brooko
Brooko
Hi Jan
Don't worry about the build on the Shures - it is very good.  The Shures are more neutral or balanced overall, where the T20 is more of a V shape -(enhanced bass and lower treble), so it really depends on your preferences.  Another too look at - which i think would suit you pretty well (and is about the same price) is the Alclair Curve.  It is a wonderful IEM.  I still listen to mine regularly - despite having much more expensive options at my disposal.

vaibhavp

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Stunning build quality, attention to detail, tuning filters for easy system matching
Cons: if you only value sound quality, there are cheaper options that sound as good
Disclaimer
 
I would like to thank www.headphonezone.in for review sample. I got to listen to it for just under a week, free of charge. I will try my best to give as unbiased review as possible.
 
Packaging and accessories:
 
Packaging if iem is very high quality. It showcases included accessories very well and makes a great first impression. Literature printed on it is interesting and shows cut out view of iems which is cool. Accessories include everything you might want. A large semi hard carry case is including that holds iems comfortably. Tons of tips are included and chances are you will get a good fit. I found my personal tips to be a little difficult to use as they come out easily. Included tips have good grip on iem nozzles and dont come out as easily. Apart from these, tuning filters, bass, treble and reference which screw on earpiece nozzle are included. I will talk about these in sound section.
 
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Build:
 
This is highlight of this iem. Beautiful steel housing looks as good in real life as in photos. Left and right earpieces has small red and blue plastic inserts, tuning filters have beautiful patterns engraved, cable is rubbery and thick. Strain relief on headphone jack is a long spring which is very effective. 
 
Overall its a luxuriously build IEM and is its one of best aspects.
 
 
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Sound:
 
These come with 3 filters to tune sound to your liking. With reference filters, sound is a bit warm, lacking a little treble. Bass is not very tight or detailed but impact is adequate. I did not enjoyed it much on reference filter. So I switched to bass filter. Here it keeps everything same, only bass becomes more present, detailed and a bit more extended. Not bass head by any means, but clearly bass improves a lot in quality. With my fiio x5 classic, bass sounded textured but it was a bit slower sounding apparently cause of additional warmth. I preferred this filter with my brighter amp, but still treble was a bit rolled off for my liking. Upon switching to treble filter, it was much better. It keeps rest of sound same as reference filter, just gives a bit energy up top. This filter I found to be best to my liking. To improve it further I changed tips to my personal double flanged rubber that resulted in even better treble extension.
 
So my point is, it offers tons of options to do system matching, which is a good thing as you can use it with virtually any amp and get a good synergy by little mixing and matching.
 
So for listening I settled down of Audinst HUD mini, treble filter, and double flanged rubber tips. So I made it as treble happy as was possible with my equipment, as its quantity was less than what I prefer. With this setup, sound was smooth, easy to listen to. Still did not had too much shine or shimmer. Bass is also a bit rolled off in deepest regions. Mids were a little warm. Vocals and mids were engaging and enjoyable. It tends to blend instruments a little than crisp separation and sounds coherent.
 
Comfort and isolation:
 
These are meant to be used over ear and come with ear guides. I found it a bit hard to use my personal tips as they tend to come out easily. None the less, included tips are plenty and you will probably find a good seal. Once I got used to them, comfort was above average. Isolation was average, not too good but acceptable. 
 
Comparing to Hifiman RE400, I found these to be a little better. But they are under $80. So sound quality to value ratio is not the best out there. I do think sound wise, you can do better with a bit cheaper options. However if you value build quality, attention to detail, accessories and overall package, then its a more level playing field. These are hands down best made iems i have used.
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ShreyasMax
ShreyasMax
Hi Vaibhav, good review; your preferences on the sound, quite in contrast to mine, probably indicate how important the inclusion of the sound filters is in the whole RHA package, as it can potentially cater to a wider audience than would be possible with a single sound tuning. IMO.
getclikinagas
getclikinagas
Nice review Vaibhav
vaibhavp
vaibhavp
Thanks

dweaver

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Wonderfully made IEM that is comfortable and built like a tank. Well balanced signature that addresses the audiophile concerns of it's predecessor.
Cons: For those that loved the T10 bass the T20 will feel a bit bass lite. There is a peak in the lower treble that makes this IEM slightly fatiguing for me
First off I want to apologize for taking so long to get this review put together. Circumstances and family responsibility have conspired against me this year in regards to being able put together a review when I wanted to. But I wanted to make sure I gave the T20 the proper effort as it is a worthy IEM that deserves that. I would also like to thank RHA for sending me their latest flagship IEM.
 
OK enough fluff and excuses lets get to it
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Last year when I wrote my T10 review I suggested that RHA had created the perfect Pizza but that it wasn't my flavor. At the end of my review I asked them to make a new flavor. Now, I have no illusions that the T20 was because of my request because I think that RHA was already thinking past the T10 but I think my and all of the other reviews and comments from Head-fi members gave RHA the feedback they needed to start working on the T20 because this IEM is CERTAINLY A DIFFERENT FLAVOR! If the T10 was an all meat then the T20 is a Deluxe Pizza. Unfortunately for me I ate to much meat Pizza last year so find this new pizza to be slightly to spicy for my tastes and slightly lacking the meat department. The good news is I think I will be in the minority in this regard
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Starting with build quality as I compare the T10i and the T20 RHA has slightly tweaked and refined their already solid design. The memory wire has been slightly stiffened to help hit retain it's shape a but better but without sacrificing the original T10's comfort. The cable also appears to be very slightly thinner and the sleeve feels a bit less rubbery. The changes are very small but is nice to see that RHA is continuing to improve upon their physical design.
 
The second bigger change RHA has made is their driver technology. The T10 had a single dynamic driver while the T20 has a DualCoilTM Dynamic driver. The difference in this technology has allowed RHA to create a more technically proficient driver that offers a richer more detailed listening experience.
 
The accessory kit of the T20 is exaclty the same as the T10 model. Which is to say, VERY COMPLETE. RHA is one of the best manufactures out there when it comes to ensuring a person has everything they need to enjoy their products. The vast collection of tips are managed with a great easy to use organizer and the soft case houses everything a person needs easily. They also come with a good quality shirt clip. Overall I would rate the accessory kit of the T20 as a 5/5.
 
Isolation is pretty much exactly the same as the T10, it 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.
 
Finally the T20 comes with the same filtering system as the T10. This allows a person to customize their sound to their preference at will. The even better news is the filter system seems to suite the T20 a bit better than the T10 as the T20 more balanced signature allows each filter to work as designed. For myself I found the neutral filter to work best as it allowed most of the bass and treble through without impacting the mid-range their is a slight V shape but it is very slight. The bass filter removes quite a bit of the midrange making the signature decidely V shaped. The treble filter removes quite a bit of the bass and lower mid-range giving an upper mid-range / treble oriented signature. For many the treble filter will be considered the most neutral especially if they come from IEM's like Etymotic or classic full size headphones like the AKG K/Q7xx line. For my testing I have settled on using the neutral filter as it suites my tastes best.
 
When it comes to sound, like last year I need to say again... TO HECK WITH WHAT I LIKE! I say this because I was introduced to a darker less upper mid-range and treble oriented sound with the T10 and continued to search for an IEM that reflected that type of signature which lead me me down a different path to meet my personal requirements. So when I got the T20 I had already become used to this new signature. But the T20 is pretty much exactly what I envisioned RHA making when I initially reviewed the T10. So I do believe the T20 will be enjoyed by a large segment of audiophile oriented music lovers.
 
In regards to which group that should avoid this IEM I would say if you really like a bass oriented experience the T20 will come up a bit short for you. Similarly if you struggle with any glare in the upper registers and ear fatigue you might find the T20 a bit to much for you as well. If you happen to like bass AND are treble sensitive you will find yourself turning up the volume to try and satisfy your bass love which then makes the treble even more problematic.
 
Bass - I found the bass of the T20 to be much less than the T10 verging on being a bit to polite for my tastes. Having said that the bass is tight and detailed. It seems to have slightly less sub bass which is the one area I miss the most. I rate the bass as a 3.5 for bass lovers, 4.5 for balanced signature lovers, and 4 for treble lovers. But this is one area where the filters can make more of a difference especially the treble filter which will make the bass more in line with an Etymotic type of sound for the treble lovers.
 
Mid-range - The midrange is more forward than the T10 with lots of wonderful detail and is decidedly less warm sounding. It is also more aggressive and edgy as compared to the T10. For most audiophile listeners the T20 offers the type of sound they want. Personally I wish is had a bit more warmth while maintaining the level of detail it has. I rate the mid-range as a solid 4 for my tastes and a 4.5 for balanced and treble lovers.
 
Treble - The treble of the T20 is a massive step up from the T10. Where the T10 erred so far on the side of caution as to be considered muddy by many Head-fi members the T20 is clear, detailed, edgy, and ever so slightly hot. Personally I find the slight peak in the lower treble a bit to much for my ears causing slight fatigue especially if turn up the volume.. But for most audiophile listeners I think this won't be an issue. In regards to sibilance I only noticed what was naturally occurring in an album and then it was never really harsh or annoying. I rate the treble as a 4 for my tastes, 4.5 for balanced lovers, and 5 for treble lovers.
 
My overall score based on my own preferences would be a 4, for balanced lovers and treble lovers 4.25 - 4.5
pc27618349
pc27618349
I've been keeping up with reviews for the T20 and am really interested - but the reviews for its isolation are mixed at best. Your review is the first one that rates it very high on isolation - can you elaborate more on how the isolation is? What noises can it attenuate when music is playing or no music is playing?
Takeanidea
Takeanidea
I think the isolation is top notch . My demo pair blocked out almost all outside noise and they didn't need to be turned up very loud at all.
This is another great review . Thanks!

ShreyasMax

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Clear Detailed Sound, Good Build, Sound Tuning Filters for adjustable sound signature
Cons: Non-removable cable
The joys of reviewing a favorite product have eluded yours truly, until the T20 from RHA (Reid & Heath Acoustics) came along, supplied for review by my good friends at Headphone Zone (headphonezone.in), a specialist headphone and portable audio products retailer. ​

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I'm not professionally affiliated with them in any way, and this is my honest opinion on the product. Add to this the fact that this is my first review, sure does make things interesting. So do read on, for some impressions on the new flagship IEM from RHA, ol-rite!  ​

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Background > ​

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Terribly sorry for the hastily attempted Scottish accent above, I say; let me get a move on now, what. Right, I'm a 30 year old music lover hailing from the state of Kerala, India, also known as 'God's own country'. The state, or for that matter, the country itself, doesn't seem to attract high end headphones that much though, mainly due to the lack of awareness among the general public of their very existence in the first place, I would say. Only recently have a few retailers and even fewer specialist e-tailers opened up here catering to this segment of the headphone and portable audio market, and a few handful brands have been able to gain loyal followings among the audio quality loving music enthusiasts around.  ​

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My own personal encounter with good sounding headphones has been fairly recent; 2008 onwards, to be precise. A very good friend of mine (who also likes his music to sound as good as possible, and introduced yours truly to the world of digitally created music which i dabbled with briefly while at college, to no avail though, as expected) told me one fine day, "Hey, you've just got to listen to this headphone. There's this German brand called Sennheiser..". The headphone in question happened to be the humble MX-170 earbud, which, isn't a great sounding earphone by any means as per today's standards. But the shift from my previous Creative ear buds to this earbud from Sennheiser was so dramatic at the time that there was just no way I couldn't get more of this German specialist headphone brand. The rest of the journey, of course, is probably true for many young chaps today as well. A few IEMs and headphones (closed and open, on and around the ear) later, here I am with my hands (and ears) on the flagship IEM from a specialist Scottish company within its first month of release. Life is good, I say.  ​

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Gear Used > ​

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For this review, I've used my own gear as the music source, and considering that an IEM would be mainly used as a portable or semi portable solution, my source setup has been the FiiO X3 (1st Gen.) connected to the FiiO E12A through line out using the FiiO L16 interconnect.​
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Build and Fit > ​

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The build and fit of the T20 will be familiar to those who own the T10/ T10i, RHA's previous flagship models, as the build is exactly the same; all the changes have happened internally, barring the one obvious change of color of the over ear hooks which are now black, as opposed to grey / silver on the T10/ T10i.  ​
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The build quality, in one word, is excellent in my opinion. The housings, connector, y-split are all made of stainless steel, and there's good strain relief on the jack. The over ear hooks on the cable are a patent pending mouldable design, which is very good indeed. The included range of tips, silicone or foam, ensure that you get a good fit and seal off the outside noise very effectively. My minor gripe would be on the fit, especially related to the over ear parts, which seem to need moulding every time you put on the headphones, or else they seem loose on top of the ears. YMMV though. And apart from this, I'd give full marks to the build and fit of the T20, not least because of the 3 year warranty (yes, 3 years). That's just brilliant IMO.  ​

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Accessories - Tuning Filters > ​

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The retail box comes with a soft touch carry case, a whole range of ear tips fit nicely into a stainless steel holder, and the USP, sound tuning filters in their own stainless steel holder, with space for two pairs on the holder, to ensure one pair is always installed onto the earphones. These filters are for bass, treble and neutral (called 'reference') respectively.  ​

They are to be screwed onto the nozzles by hand. Very nice.  ​

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The tip holder is a nice touch, although nowadays this has come to be expected as budget Chinese brands are even offering foam cut little boxes just for holding ear tips; Vsonic, for example.  ​

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The carry case looks premium indeed, and I personally prefer this slightly larger case to a more compact case, like the one for my Havi B3 Pro for example, mainly because I just prefer it's look better. Your opinion could vary on that though.  ​

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Sound > 

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Alright then, lets move on to the most important part; the sounnnnnd! Sorry, the sound. Do please forgive my excitement.  ​

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Most of my listening has been done using the Reference filter, and as with any new headphone, a burn in time was required to get familiarized to the sound signature. I do not have much of an idea about burning in for the drivers, and this being a review unit, has been used for a good duration of time before it reached yours truly.  ​

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Once I got used to the sound though, it was good. Very good. With a Capital G. It instantly outclassed my current gear, except for my HD558 open full-sized headphones, which I've been using at home for the past 3 years.  ​

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I am not an expert at describing sound technically, but from whatever I've heard so far, I believe the soundstage is wide, which I prefer. I have not yet learned to distinguish good soundstage depth, and so I shan't venture there. In comparison to my Havi B3 Pro1, which are no mugs themselves, I felt that a blanket had been lifted off the Havis when I put on the T20. The detail retrieval and instrument separation are very good. They are highly efficient earphones, and a turn to about 1/3rd of the volume knob on my E12A was enough to deliver powerful clear sound to my hungry ears. Since I do not have experience with top of the line universal fit IEMs or custom fit IEMs, I would not be able to do that comparison here. I sure wish I could, though, especially with the top end dynamic driver models like the highly regarded AKG K3003, or the IE800 etc.  ​

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Anyway, suffice to say that clear, detailed, rich and highly resolving were the terms that came to mind upon getting used to the sound signature of the T20. I did feel though that the midrange was ever so slightly recessed, but maybe that's just my impression because I've not been able to fathom till now what true, neutral sound actually sounds like. So, it could be that my 'ideal' midrange level was slightly more forward than that offered by the T20. Ymmv again.  ​

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Treble Filter > ​

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A brief listen using the treble filter was enough to judge that it wasn't my ideal preference because my main genre preferences are rock, folk, acoustic, progressive etc. But those who do prefer their treble to be slightly enhanced, without becoming harsh, would definitely prefer this one on. I guess electronic and classical music lovers might like this filter more. I'm not sure though, as I very rarely listen to these genres. ​

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Bass Filter > ​

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The bass filter would be instantly appealing to tracks which rely on heavy basslines, drums, percussion and I guess electronic, hip hop, and heavy metal music in general.  ​

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I used the bass filters for some tracks which benefitted with a bigger bass impact, especially tracks like Hatesong by Porcupine Tree, which is a mid tempo bass line and kick drums driven track, with the bass guitar prominently used throughout the song.  ​

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On the other hand, when the bass filter was used for tracks which didn't require bass enhancement or didn't improve the sound using enhanced bass, the overall output felt a little muddied. The tightness of the bass response while using the reference filters was traded off for a more enhanced but less refined one when listening to folk, rock, acoustic and even some metal tracks.
 
Overall, the reference filter was the preferred pair, for my tastes at least.
 
Summary >
 
RHA have ventured up the price ladder with their new flagship, and I feel they're on the right track. I haven't been able to listen to their first flagship, the MA750, which I was looking to purchase at one point, but settled for the Havi B3Pro1 instead, and the MA750 was the model that got RHA the fame they deserve, in my opinion.
 
Now would the T20 be recommended by myself? Whole heartedly. Is it the best price/ performance value out there in this price range? Yes it probably is. The sound tuning filters sure add a whole lot to this department as it can cater to a whole range of consumers, be it the big bass loving, or the slightly treble inclined individuals, there's a filter for that. The sound signature, apart from being 'rich' and not dry at all, is fairly uncolored in my opinion.
 
So that's it, folks, thanks for reading through this hastily written first timer's review. Would appreciate your thoughts, suggestions et al.
 
So while I reluctantly prepare to bid farewell to the review unit, here's wishing you fine folks some happy listening!
 
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Thanks & Cheers
raghavsomani
raghavsomani
This is such a fantastic review! A pleasure to read...
ShreyasMax
ShreyasMax
Thanks, Raghav! Glad you liked it.
getclikinagas
getclikinagas
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