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RHA T20

Rating:
4.05556/5,
Tags:
  1. nmatheis
    T20: RHA's new flagship and a worthy successor to the MA750
    Written by nmatheis
    Published Jul 3, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - High-quality customizable sound. Super-solid build. Good ergonomics. Quite attractive.
    Cons - Weighty shells. Thick, heavy cord. Y-splitter quite low. Over ear only. No mic or smartphone controls (if you care about those...)
     
    INTRODUCTION
    Being a fan of the RHA MA750 (RHA's first flagship IEM), I was quite excited to hear when RHA released the T10i.  The new stainless shells, novel "memory wire" implementation, and smartphone-friendly plug along with tune-able sound via interchangeable filters got me pretty excited, so I took part in a tour for the T10 at that time and spent a week using the T10 as my primary IEM.  While the new ergonomic shell and "memory wire" solved my biggest problem with my MA750 (comfortably staying in place), the sound wasn't what I was looking for in the MA750's successor as RHA's flagship.  It had a quite dark / warm sound signature that satisfied a lot of bass-heads but just wasn't for me.  But even back then, there were promises of more to come from RHA...
     
    So what is this new IEM RHA unleashed on us with the T20?  I got to spend a week with these as the first tour member in the U.S. / Canada tour and if you don't read any further, I want you to know that in my opinion the T20 is RHA's next-generation, all-new & improved flagship and a very worthy successor to the MA750.  In his recent review, @Koolpep@ called the T20 the love-child of the MA750 and the T10.  I agree with that statement but think the T20 are more than that, and I hope to convince you of that in this review.  Read on to find out why...
     
    t20-2.png t20-3.png
    (PHOTOS COURTESY OF RHA)

     
    RHA T20 PRODUCT PAGE
     
     
    RHA T20 TOUR
    When the T20 was announced on Head-Fi, I reached out to RHA to see if we could set up a U.S. / Canada review tour.  RHA obliged, and here we are.  Many thanks to RHA for sending a pair for the tour, and a special shout out to Iain at RHA for helping to coordinate the tour!
     
     
    ABOUT ME
    I'm a 43 year old music lover who listens to a wide variety of genres and artists (but mostly electronic, metal, and modern composition these days). As with a lot of people my age, I've got some hearing issues - some upper frequency loss and mild tinnitus. 
     
    My portable music journey started with the venerable Sony Cassette Walkman and then progressed to portable CD players, minidisc recorders, and finally on to DAPs like the Rio Karma, iRiver IHP-120, iPod, iPhone, and the newer crop of DAPs from Fiio and iBasso. 
     
    My headphone journey started with Sony MDR e888 and Eggos back in my minidisc days.  I moved on to full-size Beyerdynamic and Ultrasone cans and Shure E2 and E3 IEM. Those all served me well for quite some time.  Then I rediscovered Head-Fi, and my poor wallet...
     
     
    SPECS
    DriversDualCoil™ Dynamic
    Frequency range16-40,000Hz
    Impedance16 Ohm
    Sensitivity90dB
    Rated/max power2/5mW
    Weight39g
    Cable1.35m, multicore OFC
    Connections
    3.5mm, gold plated
    Warranty3 years


     
     
    PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES
    I'm not one to go on about packaging and accessories, so I'll keep this short and sweet.  The packaging and accessories are up to snuff for an IEM at this price point - several pairs of tips (single flange, double flange, and foamies) in a credit card style stainless steel tip holder, interchangeable tuning filters screwed into a small stainless steel plate, shirt clip, and nice zip-up case.  In fact, they're pretty much the same accessories that came with the MA750 with the exception of the filters.  And they are the same as those that came with the T10, so if you're familiar with either of those you'll know what to expect. 
     
    My only complaint was the shirt clip, which was too small to accommodate the T20's cable. It bent out of shape and showed signs of stress (whitening) when I attempted to insert the T20's clip just below the y-splitter. I informed RHA of this and hope it will be fixed before final release.  In the meantime, I affixed an aftermarket shirt clip to the tour T20. 
     
    IMG_2046.jpg
    IMG_2054.jpg
     

     
    BUILD & ERGONOMICS
     
    IMG_2050.jpg
     
    My first reaction after opening the box was, “Looks a lot like the T10i!”  In fact, they look pretty much identical to the T10i with the exception of the T20’s black cable.  When I removed them from the foam insert, I was reassured by the weight and super solid construction.  The injection molded stainless steel shells are very smooth and comfortable sitting in your ear with no exposed sharp bits.  I’ve found this can be a problem with a lot of shells. Whether metal or plastic, a lot of shells have one or two spots with an exposed seam of other sharp bit that irritates your ear after a while.  Not so with the T20!   
     
    The T20’s shells are fairly heavy, but once inserted I didn't find them overly heavy due to RHA’s novel memory wire implementation.  With other memory wire cables I’ve used, you bend the memory wire and it just stays in place with no give. RHA’s memory wire implementation is pretty springy.  After inserting the T20, I would gently press the memory wire in place, give it a gentle tug near the small weight below the memory wire, and the T20 would stay in place.  I wear glasses and the one nitpick I have with RHA’s memory wire implementation is that it is thicker than other memory wire I’ve used.  This means it will interfere more with the arms on your glasses.  Is it a deal breaker?  No.  Would it have been better for me as a gasses wearer if the memory wire were thinner?  Definitely.  That said, I don’t know if RHA can make their novel memory wire implementation any thinner.
     
    Speaking of thick vs. thin, the cable is another point where I think some improvement could be made.  As with the MA750 and T10i, the T20’s cable is quite thick.  It honestly seems more like a headphone cable than an IEM cable.  Luckily, it is pretty flexible and doesn’t have memory issues, so you can coil it up to store them away in the included case, pull them out, and they straighten out right quick.  The main improvement I could see here would be to thin down the cable both above and below the y-splitter.  If the main cable were the thickness of the two cables above the y-splitter, they’d still be plenty thick.  The other improvement I’d suggest is to have a better balance between the cable length above and below the y-splitter.  I’m 5’ 10”, and the y-splitter nearly reaches my belly button.  In my opinion, that’s too long.  I’d rather see it hit me mid-chest, so the shirt clip was in a more reasonable location.  I’ve never used an IEM where the y-splitter sat so low.  It again reminds me more of a headphone cable than an IEM cable. 
     
    So how’re the tips?  I know from previous experience that RHA’s double flange tips don’t fit me well, so I stuck with the stock medium single flange tips.  They fit well and sounded good, so I left those on for most of the review.  I only took them off to try a pair of medium foam-filled Sony Hybrids.  I enjoy those on my MA750.  They help keep them from popping out and add a bit more oomph to the bass.  With the T20’s memory wire, more ergonomic shells, and sound signature, I didn’t find the Sony Hybrids to be an improvement and took them off.  Are the stock tips perfect?  No, they’re not.  They still pop out after a while, but I have this problem with a lot of IEM and it wasn’t enough of a bother to warrant a change in my opinion.
     
    I once referred to the MA750 as a multi-use IEM.  You can listen to them, and they sound great.  If you’re short a tie-down, you could probably use the MA750’s cable in a pinch to help secure a load. And if you’re attacked, well… there are several ways I can envision using the MA750 for self-defense.  RHA has taken the same approach with the T20 but kicked it up notch, creating a really nice balance between ergonomics and durability.
     
     
    SOUND
    t20-frequency-graph.png (PHOTO COURTESY OF RHA)

    Frequency Response Curves
    Red = Treble Filter
    Gray = Reference Filter
    Black = Bass Filter
     

    I'm going to keep this section simple. I appreciate reviewers who wax eloquent, describing each peak and valley - but that's not my forte.
     
    With that disclaimer out of the way, how do they sound?  Does this new DualCoil™ technology perform? Based on the performance of the T20 vs. MA750 and T10i, I’m going to say that the answer is a definitive yes!
     
    After receiving the T20, I used them with the Reference filter and stock medium single flange tips for several days to accustom myself to their sound signature.  For those of you who are "burn-in believers”, I left them playing overnight at a moderate volume with my music collection on shuffle for the first three nights I had them in addition to listening for a few hours each day.  After that, I tried out the Bass and Treble filters and compared them to my Dunu DN-1000 and T-PEOS Altone200.  I listened to a wide variety of music but stuck with albums I know well.  A lot of my listening was done with Bjork’s most recent albums (Biophlia and Vulicura), as they have a wide range of musical elements.  The RHA delivered very nicely! 

    The Bass filter imparts a more intimate soundstage and treble roll off.  This is the “relaxed listening session” filter and reminds me a bit of the T10i with the Reference Filter.  However, it didn’t suit my taste.   With bass-heavy music, the bass emphasis was just too much for me becoming more one-dimensional, slower and more ponderous instead of quick and responsive.  I know the bassheads out there will really like it, but it wasn't my cup of tea.  Instead of using it for electronic music as suggested, I could actually see using this filter for acoustic / instrumental music to add depth / warmth.

    The Reference filter strikes a good balance between warmth, clarity, and soundstage - nice! The bass was quick and responsive with good attack, decay, and texture.  Mids were well-balanced with the rest of the spectrum, and vocals came through clearly without getting shouty.  Upper mids and treble were crisp and clean with nice detail.  There was some discussion about these being aggressive in the upper mids and treble region with the Reference filters, but I didn’t think so.  It was certainly vivid and added nice shimmer / sparkle, but it seemed natural and lifelike to me - definitely not over the top like some BA IEM can get.  For those of you with younger ears, your mileage may vary.  These attributes plus the expansive soundstage kept my ears quite happy for my week with the T20.  This is your all-rounder filter.  For those of you with the T10, the T20 with this filter reminded me most of the T10 with the Treble filter on but with more controlled bass, crisper highs and larger soundstage.  

    The Treble filter is for those you who like to live on the edge.  Compared with the Reference filter, the bass is a bit less prominent and upper mids and treble take a leap forward.  I found it was a bit shouty and aggressive.  I thought I'd hear a larger soundstage with this filter but was happy that I think I heard a wee bit larger soundstage with the Reference filter.

    I'm sure all three filters will have their advocates.  Devoted bassheads will screw on the black Bass filter and never look back, if Ety fans were to pick this up they’d head right for the Treble filter, but most people will be more than happy with the Reference filter.  This makes me really happy as after hearing the T10i, I was a strong advocate for the Treble filter being the most balanced.  After owning the MA50 and auditioning the T10i, I’m really glad RHA had the T20 up their sleeve.  Good job making an IEM for the rest of us, RHA!
     
     
    ISOLATION & MICROPHONICS
    Not much to say here.  Everything is fine.  Isolation is on par with my other dynamic and hybrid IEM, and the over ear fit plus thick, rubbery cable control microphonics very nicely.
     
     
    LISTENING NOTES VS OTHER IEM
    IMG_2052.jpg
    IMG_2049.jpg  

    Unless otherwise specified all comments apply to T20.
     
    vs. MA750 (with foam-filled Sony Hybrids)
    - more engaging
    - more holographic soundstage
    - better instrumental separation
    - increased clarity
    - more well-rounded, impactful, less one-dimensional bass
    - same cable but in black
    - same y-splitter
    - plug now fits into phone cases
    - more ergonomic shells
    - memory wire works better than MA750 ear hooks
    - clear sonic upgrade for those looking for more impactful bass response, more mid presence, and increased clarity, soundstage, and instrumental separation
    - MA750 would be more like T20 bass filter mids, upper end, clarity, and soundstage + treble filter bass
    - clear ergonomic upgrade
    - comparable durability
     
    vs. DN1K (with red ring + clear tips)
    - more of a fair fight but T20 are again more engaging
    - slightly more spacious
    - slightly better instrument separation 
    - slightly increased clarity
    - similar bass weight but with faster attack and less one-dimensional character - less bloated
    - T20 has more ergonomic shell and more durable but less ergonomic cable
    - sonic upgrade
    - toss-up in ergonomics
    - upgrade in durability
     
    vs. A200 (with foam-filled Sony Hybrids)
    - again more of a fair fight but T20 are again more slightly more engaging
    - slightly more spacious
    - slightly more instrument separation 
    - slightly increased clarity
    - warmer mids
    - similar bass weight, impact, and decay but more well-rounded
    - sonic upgrade
    - toss-up in ergonomics
    - upgrade in durability

     
    My preference: T20 > A200 > DN1K > MA750

     
     
    SUMMARY
    The T20 are an attractive, well-built pair of IEM with filters that work to very clearly customize the sound signature.  With the Reference filter, the sound is quite engaging - a clear upgrade from the MA750 and T10i.  They’re also very competitive with the triple driver hybrids I own.  It’s obvious that RHA not only pays attention to sound but also ergonomics and durability.  My only nitpick with the T20 is the headphone-like cable which could be thinned down a bit for IEM without compromising durability, but that's certainly not a deal breaker.  RHA's best IEM yet!
     
    Thanks again to RHA for the opportunity to give these a listen!



      Currawong, twister6, Anjolie and 8 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. twister6
      Wish they would offer a model with removable cable!  That would solve a few problems :wink:
      twister6, Jul 3, 2015
    3. Nicst3n
      Du you can compare the Dunu DN 2000 with the T20?
      Nicst3n, Jul 4, 2015
    4. Koolpep
      Great review!! Enjoyed reading it a lot. It combines the best of the 750 with the best of the T10 and then some, you are right. Might be even more than a love child :)
      Koolpep, Jul 4, 2015
  2. Koolpep
    Does Dual Coil technology work - the new flagship from RHA, will the T20 deliver?
    Written by Koolpep
    Published Jun 14, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - love-child of MA-750 and T10, crazy good bass, interchangeable filters, soundstage and sound quality, build quality.
    Cons - weight, needs proper seal, no detachable cable
    RHA T20 Review
     
    Introduction
    RHA just launched the T20 in the UAE where I live. It was a great event in a brand new beautiful hotel, the TAJ Dubai, perfect choice, RHA :wink:
     
    I was lucky enough to attend this event and got the chance to listen to the T20 and also listen to a review sample for the following days.
    The way RHA is supporting the local distributor and the audiophile community is really exemplary and a shining example for other manufacturers in the region. Thanks as well to gadgitechme.com for their support. All pictures in this review can be viewed at full resolution. Just click on them.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    IMG_0720.jpg
    one earpiece without tip of T20 in front, T10 in back
     
    About RHA:
     
    RHA is short for Reid Heath Audio - a Scottish headphone company that is still quite young but churning out better and better earphones with amazing quality and generous warranty.
     
    From release to release RHA managed to up the quality and production value of their earphones. It seems that every detail they learned was implemented in the subsequent product - and they listen closely to what the community and customers have to say. A very interesting approach to start with the lower cost headphones and work your way up step by step. It's not the easiest way to establish a brand but I like it.
     
    RHA produces their own drivers and uses metal housings for their headphones which makes them stand out from the competition.
     
    IMG_0737.jpg

    T20 with another newby - Fiio X5ii
     
    TL;DR
    Does the T20 deliver: Yes. Clearly the new flagship in the RHA stable. Their best in-ear yet. 
     
    About myself:
     
    As a benchmark: I am 42, my headphone inventory can be found in my profile. The test was conducted mostly with the Fiio X5ii, the CEntrance DACmini CX with 1 Ohm mod, the AK100, an iPhone 6 and lastly an iFi iDSD micro. I listen to an eclectic choice of music from industrial to classic, mostly FLAC and ALAC but also some MP3 320kbps and AAC 256 kbps thrown in.
     
    I own the MA350, MA 750 and T10, none of the earphones I have from RHA have a microphone, the respective i-versions of these in-ears do have an iOS compatible remote and mic. The mic does work with most Android phones as well….
     
    IMG_0729.jpg
     
     
    IMG_0731.jpg
     
    IMG_0734.jpg
     
     
     Manufacture’s Specifications
    1. Type: in-ear
    2. Drivers Size: ??
    3. Drivers Type: Dynamic with Dual Coil(TM)
    4. Frequency Response: 16Hz to 40KHz
    5. Sensitivity: 90dB @1mW
    6. Impedance:  16 Ω
    7. Microphone sensitivity: 
    8. Maximum Input:  2/5mW
    9. Cable: multicore OFC, 1.35mm thick
    10. Weight with cable: 39g  
    11. Connector: 3.5mm single ended
    12. MSRP:  $279
     
    Design
     
    The T20 is constructed with injection molded, stainless steel components. It has a thick and sturdy cable that is not replaceable. The design is identical to the T10 and T10i with the exception that the cable is now black instead of grey. Everything feels top quality and the 3 years warranty is certainly something you can believe in. The in-ear comes with replaceable metal tuning filters that alter the sound to a certain extend. RHA calls the driver technology “revolutionary” - well, we'll see about that later. Let me explain what is special on these drivers.
     
    IMG_0713.jpg

    T10 and T20 next to each other. T20 has the black cable
     
    Dual Coil Dynamic Driver:
    This driver supposedly outperforms conventional drivers in resolution, clarity and detail with the use of two voice coils for one diaphragm. The way it works is that there is a voice coil on the outer edge of the diaphragm and one in the “normal” place in the middle of the diaphragm. The coils are operating independent from each other, the outer one (ring shaped) is responsible for the highs and the inner one for the lows. While we recently saw quite a few hybrid designs with in-ears using one or more balanced armature drivers and a dynamic driver, or dual drivers opposing or in line, etc, this is indeed a different approach. 

    IMG_5088.jpg

     
    Style

     
    The metal body feels extremely well made and sturdy. Like the T10 before them, they are worn over the ear with a patent pending ear hook system. I don’t know what exactly is patent pending on it though, forgot to ask.

    IMG_0716.jpg

     
    Build quality

    Solid and reliable. Everything I mentioned in the review of the 750 is valid here too. They seem to be rock solid and should outlast man other headphones. And if not: they come with a 3 year warranty that should help with the peace of mind.
     
    For a projected price slightly below $300 I would have loved to see a detachable cable. 
     

    IMG_0723.jpg

     
    Comfort

    They slip into my ears like customs, I sound like a fanboy because if it comes to the fit with the T20 (or T10, MA750) I really am a fanboy. I have funny ear canals, right and left are different so finding something that is easy to insert and provides a great seal without filling around is really making me very happy. Others might not be as lucky but as the T10 these just fit perfect in my ears, comfortable for many hours, they “disappear” - they sit deep enough in your ears so you don’t feel their weight (39g).

    Supplied accessories

    Standard RHA fare. Nothing new from the MA750 or T10. A nice and soft carrying case (zip-up wallet style) made of soft touch plastic with compartments for all supplied accessories, including the metal tip holder. Great selection or ear tips: 6 pairs of silicone tips, two pairs of double flange tips and two pairs of memory foam tips (10 pairs in total).  A clothing clip is also provided. Like the T10 the additional 2 pairs of tuning filters come screwed into a nice carrying plate made of brushed metal with a color coding on them to distinguish between the filters.
     
    IMG_0726.jpg
    Carry case filled with accessories
     
    IMG_0728.jpg
    Size comparison carry case
     
    IMG_0733.jpg
    Supplied accessories
     
    IMG_5079.jpg
    Sound tuning filters in their metal plate holder (screw in)
     
    Sound
    Ok, so the preliminary price of the T20 is $279 so around $80 more than the T10 and double the price of the MA750… So how does it stack up soundwise? I really liked the T10’s sound - however I found it a bit too thick on the bass, even though I consider myself a semi-basshead, but I like it well delivered and not bloated or overly emphasized. I am happy to say this has been fixed. The T20s indeed deliver everything the T10 did well and fixed most of the shortcomings. It's probably the most neutral in-ear from RHA so far.
     
    t20-frequency-graph-2x.png
    Frequency response curve - red-treble filter, black bass filter, grey reference...
     
    IMPORTANT NOTICE: 
    I have done the whole review with the reference filters. I will update this review when I have spend more time listening to the Treble and Bass filters.
     
    REFERENCE FILTER IMPRESSIONS:

    Bass

    Punchy, fast and dry - lovely. This is the bass you want, not too overpowering like the T10 but so THERE if you need it. Hard to describe but the bass is extremely impactful when needed but has a bit of distance in it, so it hits you in front of your head - like with speakers or at a concert. In short - the bass is amazing and it hits hard when it needs to and is absent when it’s absent in the music. Not an easy feat. Way enhanced towards the T10 - Exactly the way I like it. The only criticism I might have is that really low sub bass quality could be a tad better. But then, this is complaining on a very high level. 

    Mid-range

    More forward than the T10, giving this headphone a lovely fun signature. Female vocals sound great and full, male vocals are clean and engaging.
     
    Treble

    Haahhh, so much detail. While it’s not a multi balanced armature in-ear it does deliver a lot of detail and clarity indeed. Definitively increased from the T10, they do sound like BA drivers. Not sure how (well probably the dual coil) they did this but the range and detail of available on tap is amazing. With the reference filter the experience is amazing - such an extension from the T10. No wonder these in ears got the HiRes certification from the Japan Audio Society.

    IMG_5154.jpg

    Since people asked: left T10 filters with screw up, right T20 filters. They are identical.
     
     
    IMG_5169.jpg
     
    Filter sets are identical between the T10 and T20.
     
    TREBLE FILTER IMPRESSIONS:

    coming soon

    BASS FILTER IMPRESSIONS:

    vs. T10 with Reference Filter: Putting the bass filters on the T20 is elevating the bass back into basshead levels. Still articulate but it's a LOT of bass. I swapped back and forth with the T10 with Reference filter and must say, the bass is now on T10 level. However you still hear the slightly recessed mids from the T10 that come apparent in that A/B test. Testing the different filters shows, that the T10 is not a bad in ear at all.

    vs. T10 with Bass Filter: Geeez, T10 whips the ass of the T20 in bass quantity - that's basshead calibre. The T10 is getting into bloated territory with the bass filters. It can be fun for some songs, but it's too much for me. But I can see the appeal for bass lovers with this filter.

    Vs. T10 with treble filter: Still lots of bass on the T10 - however the treble can flow freely into your ears, makes the T10 more V-shaped and enjoyable for me. It's the same amount of bass as with the Reference filter but thanks to the less rolled off highs, you can listen to lower volume and here have a more balanced sound. For the T10 - these are my favorite filters.

    Summary: The T20 with bass filter are close to the T10 with treble and reference filter in bass quantity. Quality remains better with the T20 though. They should please bass lovers with this filter... The bass is lovely elevated and still has lots of texture. Not my favorite filter for the T20 but clearly a fun thing to use with certain genres.

    IMG_5153.jpg

     

    Sound Stage and instruments separations

     
    The way you want it. Expansive but not overly expansive (or artificially large) but enough and I find it deeper than what you usually get in this price range. Pretty exciting balance. It reminds me of my Hifiman HE-560 which envelopes you in the music. The T20 can do that too. Precise and defined placement of instruments. Perfect. I thought long and hard what could be better, and I am not sure I could find something I was missing.
     
    IMG_0719.jpg

    ​Plug of the T20 (left) and T10 (right) - reads: 303F - 522 for T20 and 303F - 448 for T10
     
    Comparisons:
     
    vs. T10:
    - less bass bloat - bass still there and slightly boosted but never bloated or overbearing, impactful and dry
    - midrange not as recessed, more forward, overall more pleasant
    - a lot more treble extension, lots of details in the treble you might not find in the T10
     
    EDIT: will add other comparisons later once I have made some head2head comparisons...
     
     
    Pros & Cons

    Pros:

    1. sound quality 
    2. comfort
    3. soundstage
    4. crazy versatile bass (with no bloat)
    5. high build quality, feels like it can withstand lots of abuse
    6. 3 years warranty and great customer service
    7. evolutionary step up from the MA750 and T10
    Cons:

    1. a bit heavier due to metal build (didn’t bother me at all but just want to mention it)
    2. no microphone i-version available yet
    3. needs some burn-in time to sound best (or brain burn-in)
    4. requires a good seal
    5. no detachable cable
     
     Rating
    1. Comfort                       9/10
    2. Sound Quality             10/10
    3. Design                        9/10
    4. Durability                    9/10
    5. Value for Money         8/10
     
    Based on a price of $279 retail. 
     
    Conclusion
     
    Quick recap of the 750 and T10: great build quality, 3 years warranty, great sounding, comfortable, great accessories from a great company. 
     
    The new flagship of the RHA line up delivers in spades. What I wrote in the 750 review still holds true, constant improvement and evolution is the name of the game. RHA took the best of the 750 and T10 and combined it with the T20. There is indeed more clarity and detail and the slightly flawed bass heavy T10 was tamed. Though a bit more sub bass (quality not quantity) would have been nice. The detail and clarity of this headphone is really astonishing. The treble is extended compared to the T10. Without being harsh, these are indeed better.
     
    In a direct shoot out between the T10 and the T20 I found the T20 to be more involving, more enveloping, with a lot more detail and clarity in the treble. They are also louder and easier to drive than the T10 however the better the amp, the nicer they sound (not referring to power). This is still not a neutral earphone but way more neutral than the T10. As Warrenpchi put it: "the most balanced RHA unit I've heard this far, by a wide margin." That's exactly what I heard as well.
     
    IMG_5077.jpg
    ​Used the T20 also for some X5 vs X5ii shoot out. T20 quickly became my favorite in-ear
     
    IMG_5649.jpg
    Since some of you asked - sound level with T10 (volume matched via iPhone decibel meter app)
     
    IMG_5650copy.jpg
    ...and here the same volume with the T20, enlarge to see the small lines I added, yellow T20, red T10. 
     
     
    Why no i version?
    That question was brought up a lot. RHA obviously thinks that people who buy a headphone like the T20 use it with a DAP and so don’t need a mic. I am not so sure. Personally I prefer not to have a microphone but I sure am in the minority. I guess an i version is in the works or at least seriously considered.   
     
    So…..: Yes, they are now my favorite in-ears under $300, maybe even above that price. As far as dynamic in-ears go, this could very well be the new benchmark. I used to use the 750 and T10 as well as the JVC HA-FX850, RE-400 and UE900s a lot before... but now… not so much. The T20, even after wearing off the new-toy-syndrome, is a hit. Properly driven this in-ears delivers. Well done, RHA, very well done. 
     
    IMG_0717.jpg
    T10 white/grey cable, T20 black cable
     
     
    Update 21st June 2015:
    Comparison to MA750:

    In the right corner, the contender, with a fighting weight of 39g, the T20, in the left corner the reigning champion, with a fighting weight of 35g, the MaaaaaaaAAAAA SevenFiftyyyyyyyyyy.
    The referee today is the Audioengine D3 24 bit DAC. 
    IMG_5181.jpg MA750 vs T20 - FIGHT!

     
    Observations from this comparison:
     
    Fundamentally the T20 with the reference filter share the same signature as the 750. They are clearly coming from the same producer, they share the "house sound" of RHA you could say.
    But to throw in a Spinal Tap reference: The T20 go to 11.
     
    This is what the T20 delivers above the 750:
    - more immediate sound with a wider soundstage ( bit of an oxymoron here, the sound is closer to you but the soundstage is wider, if that makes any sense)
    - more treble detail without being harsh
    - hits harder and goes deeper in the bass and sub bass
     
    A fuller, warmer sound with the T20s without loosing treble detail. The T20 with reference filter is an upgrade for any 750 owner. I can hands down recommend this, if it's in your budget. It's not 2 times better than the MA750 but you will have improvements in every area...it's a clear upgrade path for owners of the 750.
     
     
     
    Disclaimer: RHA provided a T20 for review following their launch event in Dubai. I own the MA350, 750 and T10.
     
      Sssss, H T T, SpiderNhan and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Yan Ovtchinikov
      Soooooo,... i went to the apple store and had a listen to the RHA T20's, really liked them, the new limited edition black model looks awesome, with the neutral/reference filter on. Bass was nice and punchy, mids with vocals nice and upfront, just how I like it, BUT as soon as i turned it up little bit more, thats where the sibilance came in with multiple different tracks playing, started sounding slightly too harsh for my taste. I know sibilance can be caused by many factors. Being a sound guy, I know it when i hear it. Sounds like a V curve for sure. The upper high frequency range was boosted, as if someone reached for the high frequency knob and turned if up a dew dB, hence the sibilance coming into effect here[my opinion]. I found a few companies in London where I can demo the ue900s, will see how they sound. For some reason I am getting the feeling that I will really like them. Plus they have 4 BA drivers so they must be dealing with each band much easier and generally sound more stable.
      Yan Ovtchinikov, Apr 2, 2016
    3. Yan Ovtchinikov
      [UPDATE] Okey, so i demo'd both ue900s and RHA T20, im happy with everything, but as mentioned, the only issue with RHA T20 is sibilance [when you go louder], with ue900's there simply isn't any, same track, same player, same day, same place.
       
      Yes as mentioned by everyone, ue900s sound more layed back throughout the frequency range and makes you think they sound not as good, but thats what a MONITOR should sound like in fact, well thats how i want my monitor to sound like.
       
      So i went one step further, got out a graphic EQ, and introduced a V curve, GUESS WHAT,....the ue900s, suddenly sounded SOOOOOOO much better, waayyyyy better and more balanced then the RHA T20, same bass thump and punch as T20, I could hear things in the mids on the ue900s that i hardly noticed in the T20 because of all the bass. Absolutely amazing, I didn't expect them to sound like that with a V curve, I thought things would get covered and muffled. Well i guess thats what 4 BA drivers allow you to do when you have them all 4 seperated.
      Yan Ovtchinikov, Apr 4, 2016
    4. BuckyOH
      Bought these after owning a pair of Fender FXA2. I was very content with the sound of them. They broke and went out of comission. Ordered a pair of beyerdynamic IDX200 first but really didn't like those. Too muddy and too little bass. Ordered a pair of RHA t20i after that and I must say after some fiddling with EQ and the filters that I'm starting to get used to them and liking them. I have to EQ as I'm listening to mp3s on my phone. Desperately need to upgrade in that department.
      BuckyOH, May 28, 2019
  3. Hisoundfi
    A tough guy and an entertainer. The RHA T20 in-ear monitor with adjustable tuning filters.
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Jul 20, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Super sturdy build, Three year warranty, Phenomenal midrange separation, Full bodied and entertaining sound
    Cons - Slightly bulky for an IEM, Memory wire can be tedious
    At the time of the review, the RHA T20 has not yet been released in the United States. This review was done as part of a demo tour done with the Head-Fi community. The MSRP at launch is expected to be $239 UDS. Here is a link to the RHA site
     
    http://www.rha-audio.com/us/
     
    Introduction
    RHA has developed a following on Head-Fi with successful releases like the MA-750 and T10. They are known for their solid build quality and dynamic tuning. If there have been any knocks against them in the past it is usually by audiophiles who prefer a more linear tuning stating that the RHA models have too much bass for their own good. RHA is addressing this issue for those critics and introducing a new technology in the T20, using their unique “dual coil technology” which they claim will increase resolution. While I haven’t heard the other previous offerings from RHA, to this point many impressions are that the T20 has improved in terms of balancing the sound and offering a higher resolution earphone with better controlled bass response.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to sample their product as part of a tour in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with RHA.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    The T20 comes in a black box with a nice size picture of the T20 on the front and some side notes and drawings displaying the key features of their product. The back of the box displays a diagram with explanations of its features in several different languages.
     
    DSC04683.jpg
    DSC04685.jpg
     
     
    There is a flap on the front of the box that opens to more information about their new DualCoil driver technology and schematics of their design. There is a nice frequency graph showing the difference in sound between each filter. The right of the display when opening the flaps shows a beautiful display of the product, filters, and eartips. The packaging and display is really well done.
     
    DSC04686.jpg
     
     

    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


     

    Included

    1. T20 in-ear headphone
    2. Tuning Filters with Holder
    3. 6 pairs, dual density ear tips - S x2 / M x2 / L x2
    4. 2 pairs, double flange ear tips - S x1 / L x1
    5. 2 pairs, memory foam ear tips - universal fit
    6. Stainless steel ear tip holder
    7. Premium carry case
    8. Clothing clip

     
    There are plenty of tips for just about everyone to get a secure fit and seal.
     
    Housings
    The housings of the T20 are made of stainless steel. They are built like a tank. They are slightly heavy for an IEM, but not ridiculously heavy that it’s going to impair your ability to get a fit. RHA molded them into a pretty nicely rounded shape so they fit in the ear nicely and are very comfortable. The housing is designed for over the ear fit.
    DSC04691.jpg
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    The T20 cable is a thick and robust design that looks like it's made to withstand the test of time. The cable has very little memory and enough spring to keep itself from getting tangled. It is a very high quality material that most will appreciate. The first three to four inches from the housing sports a rubber material memory wire. Some will like it, but like almost all memory wires I didn’t necessarily care for it and would have opted for no memory wire and the provided chin slider. Your mileage may vary.
     
    The Y-split is made of a combination of a stainless steel jacket and rubber strain relief. It is VERY low on the cable. It’s saving grace is a very useful chin slider that will keep there from what would be two separated cables running down to most people’s naval.
     
    The Cable jack is a stainless steel straight 3.5 mm gold plated plug. Strain relief at the cable is a metal spring.
     
    All in all, I find the cable to be just a bit too long for portable use (I am over six feet tall and still find it to be long). The amount of slack from the Y-split to the housing is excessive. On a brighter note, everything about the cable is top notch in terms of materials used.
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    Ergonomics are nice in terms of housing shape. They fit nicely, but the memory wire did require me to do a little extra messing with the wire to get a comfortable and balanced fit with them. Finding a tip that fit well was easy, as RHA provides a ton of silicone tips and comply foams in a couple different sizes. I doubt there will be anyone who can't find a stock tip that fits.
    DSC04694.jpg
     
    I find the cable to be a bit long. Between that and the weight of the product, it is bordering on bulky. The chin slider is great in terms of solving these issues because it can be used to snug everything into place. Once I achieved a good fit, I didn’t have to readjust them very often. Getting a good fit took a little bit of extra work, but once I got it they weren’t going anywhere and were very comfortable.
     
    When I used these for walking or running I didn’t get any microphonics because of the over the ear design, but I did get a cable noise from the weight of the cable tugging and vibrating with each step. I found that snugging things up with the chin slider more than normal helped remedy this. With smart use of the chin slider I recommend them for use when being active.
     
    Isolation is slightly below average, however the robust yet controlled bass that the T20 presents makes them work great for commuting. When wearing them with no music playing, I can definitely tell that they are a vented design.

     
    Sound Review & Materials
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Sound Signature
    The RHA sounds as tough and awesome as it looks. They are a beast of an IEM offering  a powerful and rich presentation that maintains a great level of separation. I heard a slight V signature that is customizable with different filters to tweak the sound and optimize listening pleasure. The filters didn’t change the sound too much, and offered minor adjustments while maintaining the RHA signature tuning for the most part. There was enough difference with each filter to know that anyone who tries these will have a preferred set, but not different enough that the general consensus will find any of the sets to be useless.
     
    The T20 plays every genre well with its somewhat consumer friendly tuning that will appeal to both audiophiles and the music enthusiast picking up their first higher end earphones. What I fell in love with when listening to these is how well they play rock music and metal. Simply put, they ROCK with these genres. To this point, I don’t think I’ve heard any other in-ear monitor that makes these genres so enjoyable.
     
    The T20 comes with 3 sets of tuning filters that screw onto the housing. Each filter could be screwed on to the housings and had a rubber gasket to ensure a seal of the filter when attached.
     
    With the bass filter there was a more forward bass presence and a reduction in highs. Separation and detail was still there, but it was a little too much bass for my preference, as it seems to intrude in resolution of the lower midrange.
     
    The treble filter was a close second to the reference filter for me. They provided the most linear sound with a more controlled bass response than the other two, yet still enough bass that it wasn’t lacking in any way. Treble was the most crisp of all three filters and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, I could imagine some people not caring for how forward the treble is, especially those who listen to their music at higher volumes.
     
    The reference filter was my personal favorite and rendered a slight v-signature that was pretty balanced and had a nice bass slam and higher frequencies that were spot on. Bass with the reference filter was sometimes bordering on too much with some tracks and would slightly impact the resolution of the lower midrange. Still, there is a level of separation of sound that you have to hear to appreciate.  All in all this was my favorite filter and what I will base my review on moving forward.  
     
    Bass
    Bass on the T20 is bold, forward, fast and with enough punch and rumble to say that is is very well rounded and not lacking. There is a very nice balance when running sweeps from sub to mid bass tones. If there is anything I could fault about the bass response, it’s that the midrange and treble have such nice separation and air between sounds that the bass could sometimes seem wooly in comparison. I really don’t think it’s that the T20 bass is bad at all, because honestly it’s excellent.
     
    Midrange
    Midrange is lush, textured, and separation is superb. I really enjoyed listening to complex music passages, picking out particular midrange instruments and vocals and listening to them play without the sounds blending with other instruments. The T20 dissects the music and plays it beautifully without any midrange distortion. Although I do get a slight sense of these having a V-signature, It is a very slight V, and midrange frequencies are not necessarily lacking and don’t seem distant like other monitors with this type of tuning. I think the biggest accomplishment is the ability of its midrange to have a slightly thicker note presentation and still retain awesome separation and resolution. Well done RHA!
     
    There is a forwardness and resolution in the upper mids that I really enjoy and you probably will as well. This aspect makes the midrange pop and balances things with the robust bass presence, giving it a very entertaining sense while still being pretty natural sounding.
     
    Treble
    Treble was spot on, with a tuning that many could appreciate. The pronunciation of the letter S never got harsh to my ears. It has very nice extension, better than average detail and a crisp feel that will get your toes tapping. It was only during some of the most complex treble passages that I would get sense of cymbals getting slightly splashy or grainy, but even then it didn’t necessarily take away from the overall presentation. Do I think the treble could be a little more resolving? The answer is sometimes, but I’m not going to deduct points because overall the treble response of the T20 is fantastic.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The extended bass and treble along with the nicely separation in the midrange give me good sense of space, but for whatever reason the louder you play them the larger the soundstage gets. At lower volumes they don’t yield the same soundstage to my ears. I’m not sure if it’s because the bass presence or what, it just seems that way and I can’t put my finger on it. This applies to imaging as well. turning things up to around the ½ to ⅔ mark yielded better imaging that at ⅓ volume. I suppose isolation and venting play a part in this as well.
     
    Source Selection
    The T20 will sound fine with something as simple as a cell phone but I did notice that a more powerful and higher resolution source gave me better result. For the most part the better the source, the better these sound.
     
    Comparisons
     
    Fidue A73 ($130 to $150 USD on many sites)
     
    A73 is like that dessert you can't stop eating. The mids are like a perfect consistency cream filling that you can't have just one bite of. You keep coming back for more. While it's not linear or flat or whatever you want to call it, it's this perfect amount of warmth and resolution that never gets tiring. The bass response is forward-ish and present, and displays extension and can be authorative when called upon. Midrange sounds (and vocals) really pop and sound lovely. The top end is layed back in upper mids and still high resolution, and finishes with a nice bite at the top end that is crisp without being fatiguing. Bass through midrange and treble, it is probably the most grain free sounding IEMs I've ever heard. I love the way the a73 fits. The housings are lightweight and there isn't any memory wires to fart around with. Some people prefer memory wire so take my fitment preference with a grain of salt.
     
    A73:Better fit for me, Better midrange, Completely grain free sound that is smoother and less fatiguing than t20, yet still entertaining, tuning works fantastic for vocals, Symphony, and EDM. Almost $100 cheaper.
     
    The t20 is a beast, period. It's built like a tank. It has a slight V-signature without making the mids sound distant in any way. Their tuning is customizable, which will better allow users to tweak the sound beyond tip rolling. To my ears there's more separation and air between sounds. The t20 really sounds like a multi driver setup to me. They have similar bass forwardness with a little more bass spilling into the midrange but is still minimal (a73 has forward midbass but less spillage). The upper mids are more forward and aggressive on the t20, but very high resolution (I prefer the t20 upper mids as they are more entertaining). The accessories package is phenomenal. There's enough tips for anyone to get a fit, and their accessories package destroys the a73's offering. I am not a fan of memory wire and caught myself farting around with the housings and wires to get a good seal more often than I would like. The t20 is truly end game caliber in terms of build and sound. They will impress everyone who hears them. They are a tough guy and an entertainer at the same time. Their world class separation of sounds is legendary.
     
    T20: Sturdier build, better separation of sounds, more accessories, customizable tuning, V-signature better for rock and modern genres, three year warranty is phenomenal

     
    T-Peos Altone 250 ($199 USD on CTC Audio)
    I had high hopes for the Altone 250 because I really enjoyed the Altone 200, and am partial to single dynamic and single armature hybrid earphones for the most part. However they messed up the tuning of the Altone 250 with tons of mid bass that drowns out the user’s ability to enjoy the rest of what they have to offer.
     
    Even with the bass filter of the T20 (which was my least favorable) the T20 destroys the Altone 250 in just about every auditory aspect with the only exception being that maybe the the Altone 250 has a slightly better treble response due to its armature driver being a hair more resolving and able to handle complex passages. Other than this the T20 is leaps and bounds better in sound quality. It also offers a better tip selection and case. The Altone 250 offers two detachable cables (one with a mic and remote, and one without) but their cables are stiff and springy and much more of a PITA to handle than the RHA model.
     
    Is there anything that would make me choose the Atone 250 over the RHA T20? NOPE! After using both of them, I would pay an extra hundred, let alone the small forty dollar difference between these two.
     
    Conclusion
    The T20 rocks. It’s built like a tank, sounds phenomenal, and comes with a three year warranty. The only thing that would prevent me from recommending them to someone is if they said they were looking for something lightweight and with a linear tuning. Other than the fact that they don’t check these two boxes, there is nothing about them I could say is a glaring fault. I already expressed interest to RHA that I want to buy a set. I’m sad that I have to ship them off to the next lucky guy who gets to review them. I know my rock music collection won’t sound as good without them.

    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. interpolate
      I've been curious about these. Maybe I'll give them a go when the cash flows a bit better.
      interpolate, Jul 27, 2015
    3. xoxiax
      Great review, really useful. How would you compare the rha's with the trinity Delta´s? Strictly in terms of sonic capabilities, even forgiving the price difference if you want. 
      xoxiax, Sep 5, 2015
    4. harry501501
      Thanks for such a useful playlist, especially breaking down each song's function
      harry501501, Jul 24, 2016
  4. Brooko
    RHA T20 - Evolution & Progress For RHA
    Written by Brooko
    Published Sep 8, 2015
    4.0/5,
    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
    t2029.jpg
    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.

    t2004.jpg t2005.jpg t2006.jpg

    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.

    t2007.jpg t2008.jpg t2009.jpg

    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!

    t2011.jpg t2012.jpg t2013.jpg

    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.

    t2016.jpg t2017.jpg t2018.jpg

    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.

    t2019.jpg
    t2020.jpg t2021.jpg

    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).

    t2014.jpg

    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”.

    t2023.jpg t2024.jpg

    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.

    t2026.jpg


    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.

    t20vd2kvatone.png t2028.jpg

    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.png t2027.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.


    t2025.jpg
      McSchnauze, 7keys, Tobias89 and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. frustin
      good review. thanks for writing it.
      frustin, Apr 18, 2016
    3. 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
      JVK1, Feb 22, 2017
    4. 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.
      Brooko, Feb 26, 2017
  5. dweaver
    Take 2 on an impeccably designed IEM with a decidely more audiophile tuned sound and technically improved driver
    Written by dweaver
    Published Aug 3, 2015
    4.5/5,
    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 [​IMG].
     
    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 [​IMG].
     
    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
    1. 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?
      pc27618349, Aug 4, 2015
    2. 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!
      Takeanidea, Sep 10, 2015
  6. McSchnauze
    RHA T20 – Sonic Lushness Unveiled
    Written by McSchnauze
    Published May 24, 2018
    4.5/5,
    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.
      Wrathbringer27, voxie and DoctaCosmos like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. 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, May 27, 2018
    3. 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).
      McSchnauze, May 27, 2018
      svk7 likes this.
    4. DoctaCosmos
      Oops I did mean ma750. The hooks don’t help. It’s the just the shape of the housing itself is horrible imo.
      DoctaCosmos, May 27, 2018
  7. Cinder
    Fun, Versatility, and Steel
    Written by Cinder
    Published Sep 27, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent bass, premium feeling, good strain relief, good filter system, good memory wire, detailed treble
    Cons - Some build "fit and finish" issues, no genuine Comply

    [​IMG]

    -Introduction-​

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

    -Sound Signature-​

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

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

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

    -Packaging / Unboxing-​

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


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    -Build-​

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

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

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

     


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

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

    -Accessories-​

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

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

    -Summary-​

    The T20 is a versatile, premium IEM. While fit and finish could use a little work, the T20’s sonic prowess is notable for its price. Listeners looking for a stylish, durable, and comfortable IEM with a small amount of bass emphasis should find great solace in the T20’s warm aural embrace.
      Rewkie, B9Scrambler and Light - Man like this.
  8. Currawong
    RHA's T20 are a robust and entertaining pair of IEMs.
    Written by Currawong
    Published Jun 21, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Very sturdily made. No micro-phonics. Excellent packaging. Switchable nozzles with different tuning. Good sound with fantastic bass.
    Cons - Plug sticks out quite far. Cable is very chunky. Getting a good seal can be troublesome. Not the most refined or detailed sound.
    [​IMG]
     
    At the 2015 Spring Tokyo Fujiya Avic Headphone Festival I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsey from Reid Heath Acoustics and talking to her about their new T20i IEMs. Lindsey was insistent that I try the new models and I almost forgot with the overwhelming number of products I was busy trying and photographing. On a Sunday afternoon at the end of the show is the hardest time to impress me after all that has been seen and heard, but the T20is didn’t disappoint, with some very punchy bass that I felt needed further investigation, so I agree with Lindsey to review a pair.
     
    The T20 use a very interesting and unique driver. Where a normal dynamic driver has one voice coil, the driver in the T20i has two, the inner coil producing the bass and lower mid-range and the outer coil producing the upper-mid-range and treble encased inside injection-moulded steel. The small casing is contrasted by the chunky rubber cable.
     
    RHA has also taken pains to ensure that the cable does not transfer noise to the earphones themselves. While thicker than regular IEM cables, it feels more robust and I didn’t find it uncomfortable, even with glasses on. The last 4 or so inches of cable is pre-shaped for comfort, and a choker is attached to the cable allowing it to be held comfortably in place under the chin. Topping it off is a shirt clip and a neat carrying case with space for spare tips and straps for the cable. The plug has a metal spring strain relief, making it stick out quite far when used with portable gear, something some people may not like. 
     
    The well-designed package includes not only a good selection of tips, including foam and two sizes of double-flange tips, in an aluminium plate no less!. Additional “Treble” and “Bass” filters are included, which allow a degree of custom sound tuning, each respectively boosting their ends of the spectrum slightly. A quick examination of these reveals that the "treble" filters is a pass-through, and the "reference" and "bass" filters have different foam in them. 
     
    Initially sounding a bit harsh out of the box, after a few dozen hours of use, vocals and instruments by themselves are wonderfully presented through the mid-range and the treble. Initially when I put mid-sized tips on them, I didn't get a proper seal, nor any significant bass response. The small steel casing for the T20s ensures that they should fit easily in most ears, though the "pill and nozzle" design doesn't work for everyone if deep insertion is required, and that is possibly what was happening with me. Putting large, or double-flange tips on them solved the issue, with the bass kicking in a serious way, sometimes too much.
     
    The default “Reference” tips give a presentation still with a considerable amount of bass and the highs slightly, but not excessively rolled off. The treble filter brings out the frequencies noticeably in the 5-10 kHz range, very often the upper notes of acoustic instruments. That sometimes leaves the mid range a little bit behind, along the lines of full-sized headphones such as the Foxtex TH600s and TH900s. Once I'd settled in on using the "reference" nozzles, I had a go using my favourite SpinFit tips, however the mid-range was pushed back a bit. Having a go with some Comply foam tips that I had handy, the treble ended up reduced too much for my liking. Handily, JVC's Spiraldot tips fit perfectly, their unique design improving things all around, which I felt gave the best results. 
     
    Detail retrieval doesn't appear to be the T20's strong point, and they still have something of what I call an "IEM sound" with treble that isn't as good as more expensive offerings. Given the accessories and the price, they give a solid and enjoyable performance. The bass punch of the dual-coil dynamic driver is simply a lot of fun. 
     

    For under US$300 (£179.95) is a quality product from this company from Scotland which is sure to gain a lot of fans with the quality presentation and excellent, if somewhat warm-of-neutral sound.
     
    The T20 was provided by RHA for this review. 
      Traveller, HiFiChris and SteveOliver like this.
  9. Tobias89
    RHA's latest evolution, but not quite there yet. Keep it up!
    Written by Tobias89
    Published Sep 22, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Robust build, excellent choices of accessories, tuning system.
    Cons - Bass can be bloomy more than it is punchy, and treble can be harsh at times. “Only” above average detail retrieval and separation.
    Firstly, a big thank you to RHA & Iain for organising this tour of the T20, and for having the confidence and patience to allow me to take part in this, and for giving me the time to write this review at a slower pace than what others are taking, as this is the very first review that I’ll be writing (it won’t be the last though).
     
    As the T20 is still with me, I will still be using it, and updating this review with any new thoughts that I may have, if any.
     
    About Me
    I stumbled into the head-fi world when my itchy fingers picked up a Shure SE846 back in January’14. Coming from a Klipsch S4i, it was certainly a huge leap upwards in price! I did my research, did multiple auditions before splashing the cash on the 846s, finally entering the world of head-fi. It has been a long journey, and I’m only just starting. There are still so many things in the world of head fi I’ve yet to explore!
     
    As I slowly explore various IEMs and portable set-ups, my knowledge of the entire audio world is slowly expanding. This allows me to learn to appreciate good sounding gears at various price points.
     
    I decided to start writing reviews to contribute in my tiny way back to this community. It’s definitely an awesome community, although it has led to my wallet often disagreeing with me! Being new to writing reviews (this is my first), please take it easy if I'm not as descriptive or accurate as other members. I’m still looking to slowly develop a more consistent writing style as well. I’ll appreciate any feedback anyone has on any areas I could improve on!
     
    As with all reviews, this review is purely subjective, based on my own experience, gear and preference! So YMMV.
     
    For a list of my gears, past and present, I’ve linked my head-fi profile here.
     
    Disclaimer
    The RHA T20 here is a review unit on its Asia Tour. I am not affiliated to RHA in any way. This review was done as part of a demo tour done with the Head-Fi community. For the purpose of this review, I will only compare the T20 with my M750i, which I have in my possession.
    [​IMG]
     
     
    Specifications
     
    Drivers
    DualCoil™ Dynamic
    Frequency range
    16-40,000Hz
    Impedance
    16 Ohm
    Sensitivity
    90dB
    Rated/max power
    2/5mW
    Weight
    39g
    Cable
    1.35m, multicore OFC
    Connections
    3.5mm, gold plated

     
    About the RHA T20
    The T20 is RHA’s latest flagship IEM offering, featuring what RHA calls a DualCoil™ dynamic driver technology, a tuning filter system similar to the T10 to adjust the sound signature, a patent pending mouldable over-ear hook and their signature injection moulded stainless steel housing.
     
    BoxFront.jpg      BoxBack.jpg
     
     
     
    Accessories
    The amount of accessories provided is simply mind-blowing! This seems to be the norm for RHA, based on the accessories provided with my M750i.
     
    Included in the box in addition to the T20 (Reference filters) were 6 pairs of dual density ear tips (2 pairs each of S, M, L), 2 pairs of double flange ear tips (S, L), 2 pairs of memory foam ear tips (universal fit), 1 Stainless steel ear tip holder, 2 Additional Tuning Filters (Bass, Treble) with Holder, 1 Premium carry case and 1 Clothing clip!
    [​IMG]
    IMG_7124.jpg
     
     
    Build
    The T20 is built like a tank, with the main housing built from injection moulded stainless steel. But really, it’s nothing new from RHA as all their products that I seen (mainly the M750/750i, T10 and T20 now), are extremely well built.
     
    Holding it, it’s definitely heavy! However, when wearing it, it is comfortable enough that I did not feel the weight of the T20. The built in ear hooks, while being long, are very comfortable as well, never interfering with my glasses. The cable feels well-made and strong, and microphonics is a non-issue as well. The strain relief of the T20 is excellent to, with its spring based design that gives much more confidence in its durability. In short, everything about the T20 is well made and feels that they were built to last, which is par the course for the MA750 that I have as well, so nothing surprising to me here.
     
    My only gripe with the build of the T20 would be a cable that is too long (for me) and the Y-split’s location, which is located too far down the cable to be of any practical use.
     
    Sound
     
    The rig used for this review are; PC (Foobar-ASIO) / Samsung Note 3 > Chord Hugo > T20 (Reference Filter)
     
    Bass
    The bass on the T20 is obviously boosted. While not to the point of being bloated, it does feel inaccurate due to the boost, and tracks on which I did not notice much bass previously felt bassy with the T20. However, it is still rather well controlled; with little bleed into the mids, but I still feel that it could have been tighter.
     
    Sub bass is present with good extension, but feels too smooth and lacks details. Mid bass is where most of the bass emphasis is, and it doesn’t disappoint, being fast and punchy. It has a slightly slow decay, and with the boosted bass, this results in a slightly bloomy effect while listening to complicated or bass heavy tracks, which left me feeling slightly overwhelmed at times.
     
    Generally, I’d say that the bass on the T20 is fun and enjoyable with excellent punch without messing up the midrange, with the slight lack of details being its downside.
     
    Mids
    Mids on the RHA T20 while lush and clear are slightly recessed, giving it its U shaped signature. Vocals feel laid back and relaxed, but its lushness allows it to remain engaging.
     
    It’s still pretty clean despite its slightly thick presentation, as the bass doesn’t bleed much into the midrange. Clarity is good but instrument separation on complex tracks isn’t as good as expected. The mids is not my favourite part of its sound signature, but it’s due to me being more used to more linear or forward mids on my IEMs, so YMMV.
     
    Treble
    Treble on the T20 is the best in the RHA series so far, with good extension and detail. As with the bass, the treble decay tends to be slightly on the slower side. It rarely feels harsh to me, although it is certainly splashy and peaky at times.
     
    This is especially so with the silicon tips, which may cause the treble to border on being sibilant. Foam tips do takes the edge of the treble, and might be preferred by some. However I still prefer the silicon tips or my spinfit tips, as luckily it was just slightly below my threshold for sibilance. J
     
    Soundstage
    Soundstage of the T20 is decently wide and airy. Soundstage depth is just average, and while imaging and separation are good, but not outstanding, sounding slightly congested on complicated tracks.
     
    Bass Filter
    The Bass filter gave a more intimate soundstage, and rolled off the treble the most of the 3 filters. Mids ended up more recessed and veiled, while the overall sound became much warmer. It does live up to its name though, significantly boosting the bass quantity, This comes with a trade off, with the bass quality decreasing slightly.
     
    Treble Filter
    Bass becomes a bit less prominent, while upper mids and treble becomes more prominent. Overall sound became brighter, and might be too bright for some (me included).
     
    Brief Comparison VS MA750i
    Bass is more enhanced and prominent on the T20, with the bass on the T20 extending deeper as well. Mids are slightly more forward, richer and clearer, although still very similar in tonality. Treble is brighter and has better extension on the T20 in comparison, with much more details and clarity compared to the MA750i.
     
    The RHA T20 is very similar to the RHA MA750i, with a very similar signature, albeit with a warmer take, yet improving on the MA750i. Generally, the T20 is a much improved and refined older brother to the MA750i in all aspects, so anyone looking to upgrade from the MA750i yet still retaining the MA750i sonic characteristic should give the T20 a shot.
     
    T20MA750i.jpg
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    The T20 has the typical RHA house sound and further improves on it, being a step up from the MA750, combining a U-shaped sound signature (boosted bass, slightly recessed mids, and well-extended treble) that is more forgiving, if one is not sensitive to treble.
     
    With its boosted bass and bright treble, the T20 is not for those who are looking for neutral sound or those who are sensitive to treble. However, I have to add that the treble is improved with burn-in and further tuned down when foam tips are used. The T20 also does benefit from some tip rolling! Sound quality does improve when using better sources, showing that it does scale pretty well. Despite this, I’d have to add that the T20 is somewhat thick sounding, perhaps due to the way its bass and midrange is presented.
     
    So, if you’re looking for a detailed yet fun U-shaped sound signature with pretty good clarity and imaging, this deserves more than a look at. The build quality and accessories provided are an added bonus as well! The T20 is definitely worthy of being RHA’s new flagship, and is RHA’s most neutral sounding IEM yet!
     
     
    Ending Notes
    As a matter of personal preference, while my initial impression of the T20 was ok, I didn’t really like it that much. It took me quite some time before I got used to its signature. I have to say again that despite that, it’s still the best RHA I’ve had the luxury of trying, and I do prefer T20 over the MA750i. Still, I’d prefer if the bass could be tighter and the treble could be more refined to eliminate or at least tone down the splashy treble.
     
    As the competition in this price bracket is heats up with good entries from other companies as well, I hope that RHA will look to further improve on its tuning as it has done so with the T20 (in comparison to RHA’s previous offerings) while maintaining its awesome build quality and plethora of accessories.
      earfonia, Brooko and RedTwilight like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. earfonia
      IMHO, comparing to my impression of the sound quality of T20, this review is the most accurate so far.
      earfonia, Sep 23, 2015
    3. ofern321
      Nice review! How does it compare with your Shure 846?
      ofern321, Nov 7, 2015
    4. meringo
      I 100% agree with this review. Thanks!
      meringo, Dec 8, 2015
  10. ShreyasMax
    Brilliant. Other flagships beware.
    Written by ShreyasMax
    Published Aug 2, 2015
    4.5/5,
    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. ​


     ​


    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!  ​


     ​


    Background > ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    Gear Used > ​


     ​


    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.​

     ​

    WP_20150705_014.jpg

     
     ​


     ​


    Build and Fit > ​


     ​


    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.  ​

     ​

    WP_20150728_001.jpg WP_20150728_002.jpg

     
     ​

     

     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    Accessories - Tuning Filters > ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    Sound > 


     ​


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


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    Treble Filter > ​


     ​


    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. ​


     ​


    Bass Filter > ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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.  ​


     ​


    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!
     
    WP_20150802_001.jpg
     
     
    Thanks & Cheers
    1. View previous replies...
    2. raghavsomani
      This is such a fantastic review! A pleasure to read...
      raghavsomani, Aug 8, 2015
    3. ShreyasMax
      Thanks, Raghav! Glad you liked it.
      ShreyasMax, Aug 8, 2015
    4. getclikinagas
      getclikinagas, Aug 12, 2015