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RHA T20

Rating:
4.05556/5,
Tags:
  1. Soham Sengupta
    A more balanced counterpart of their older sibling
    Written by Soham Sengupta
    Published Feb 23, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Well built, Great Sound, Good instrument separation
    Cons - Average Soundstage, No removable cable, Bass can be a bit harsh at high volumes, May take some time getting the fit right
    About Myself:
    I am just an average consumer who tries to listen to music just the way they are meant to be heard. I currently have a Sennheiser HD598SE, Fiio Q1 as an amp, and lz a4, rha t20i, rha ma390u and some other cheap in ears. My current favorite is the lz a4 and I will be writing a review for it shortly. Now onto the review.

    Preamble:

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

    Box Contents:

    Now, this I must say at first. The unboxing experience of these were just one of a kind for me. I never thought someone could showcase their iems like this! This makes for a very good first impression. These iems contain everything that a man needs to fit them in their ears (but the sad thing is, even with that, it was kind of itchy inside my ears). The box contains 6 pairs of single flange eartips (s,m,l), 2 pairs of double-flange eartips (s,l) and 2 pairs of Comply foam eartips. They also include a carrying case, a shirt clip, a manual and of course the three tuning filters for the bass, mids and treble.
    IMG_0328.JPG IMG_0329.JPG IMG_0330.JPG
    Build Quality:

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

    Filters:
    Now, I am making a separate section for the filters as it is one of the main features of the iem. Now, I have read in some forums that people are telling that the filters are a gimmick so let me clear this once and for all - they are not a gimmick, they really do change the sound signature a bit which can be felt by any listener. Now, about the filters, there are 3 types of them included. The black one is for bass, the white one is for reference and the gold one is for treble. Now all of them changes the sound signature subtly without changing the actual sound signature of the iems.
    IMG_0332.JPG IMG_0335.JPG

    Sound:

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

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

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

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

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

    Now, on to the pros and cons:

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

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

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

    images

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  2. Nick Walters
    Great Earphones, solid all rounder.
    Written by Nick Walters
    Published Oct 18, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - amazing metal build, attractive, very good clarity of mids and treble, interchangable filters.
    Cons - cable can break very easily, cable frey in earhooks and jack. no detachable cable.
    I dont want to go on forever in this review, but these RHA T20's are some of the best IEMS i have ever used. But! there are always flaws that can be fixed.

    BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:

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

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

    SOUND QUALITY

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

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

    EDIT: Extra star, the customer support is really good. If the cable breaks or anything happens to the device, they will gladly replace the earphones for you, this is thanks to their flexible 3 year warranty.
    1. voxie
      Thanks for sharing Nick. From personal experience RHA customer care is fantastic then again that is my opinion
      voxie, Oct 18, 2016
    2. pieman3141
      I agree. I had a pair of these, and went through two pairs. Fortunately, RHA's customer care was fantastic. I ended up selling my third (unopened) pair and buying the Mee P1, which had a removable cable and came with two!
      pieman3141, Oct 19, 2016
  3. RaoulRutnam
    Easily the best steal ever
    Written by RaoulRutnam
    Published Sep 28, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Great quality highs and low range, Build quality is exceptional and ergonomic, comes with customisable treble and bass filters
    Cons - Ear rest is tedious, tad bit heavy (but it grows on you), no detachable cable.
    I was lucky enough to get a pair of the T20 from a friend for a low price (less than half the retail price). Even Though I managed to get it at such a low cost this wasn't taken into fact when writing this review, it comes with a lot of different sized ear tips including comply. The RHA also comes with filters for Bass and Treble for when you prefer some boost on either end. 
     
    I would say overall it is by far the best earphones I have got my hands on yet, I haven't used the filters so I am not able to comment on them. The memory ear rest is not the best build, it is very clumsy and doesn't seem to properly fit the ear, needs to be messed with to stop annoying (Keep in note I have OCD). The weight could be an issue but as mentioned above, you tend to get used to it after a day or two. It tends to get twisted after the Y split but can be avoided at times by zipping it. Other than that, I enjoy it day to day. Overall good buy !
     
    I would recommend this product to anyone who reallys wants to enjoy good quality audio for a price. 
     
    PS: I am not affiliated with any brands, just my honest opinion

    Raoul
  4. keanex
    A beautiful IEM that doesn't sound as good as it looks.
    Written by keanex
    Published Jan 25, 2016
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality; great warranty; huge choice of tips; fit.
    Cons - Recessed mids; sibilance; overly bassy for a general purpose IEM.

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

    Reviewing Process

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

    Build & Fit

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

    Sound Quality

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

    Conclusion

    Overall the T20 is a v-shaped IEM that DT770 owners would want to consider for portable use. They offer 3 filters that change the presence of the higher frequencies for those that want a tweak to the sound without using software EQ. Build quality, a massive amount of tips, and comfort are the strong points here, all backed by a 3 year warranty.
  5. mark2410
    RHA T20 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Dec 4, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Construction is Magnificent. Looks magnificent. Sounds Magnificent
    Cons - Is somewhat unyielding. Can’t really do soft. Can be unforgiving.
    RHA T20 Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to RHA for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/790030/rha-t20-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  Timberal and tonal extraordinaire just got even better.
     
    Price:  £180 or about US$240 (plus about a tenner if you want the mic’ed version)
     
    Specifications:  Drivers DualCoil™ Dynamic, Frequency range 16-40,000Hz, Impedance 16 Ohm, Sensitivity 90dB, Rated/max power 2/5mW, Weight 39g, Cable 1.35m, multicore OFC, Connections 3.5mm, gold plated
     
    Accessories:  Tuning Filters with Holder, 6 pairs, dual density ear tips - S x2 / M x2 / L x2, 2 pairs, double flange ear tips - S x1 / L x1, 2 pairs, memory foam ear tips - universal fit, Stainless steel ear tip holder, Premium carry case, Clothing clip
     
    Isolation:  For a dynamic it’s actually really good.  Pushing towards BA levels, so it’s easily fine for on a bus or out and about.  Would do for flight or the Tube in a pinch.  Oh and easily sufficient to make you road kill if you don’t use your eyes when out.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  Despite the ear guides both were really good actually.  I’d probably have preferred without the guides but no problems, over and shove in to get the seated and then I was happy wearing all day.  Good stuff.  Oh and they must be worn up in case that’s an issue for you.
     
    Aesthetics:  They look outstanding.  Arguably the best looking earphones available at present.
     
    Sound:  All of the sound.  They are pretty damn awesome at everything.  You can nudge things about by using the filters that they come with but I’m sure you’ll play with them for the first day.  Then you’ll pick your favourite and never swap them again.  For me that was the Bass filter, though I came extremely close to going with the Reference filter.  I’m pretty treble sensitive and the Bass one mutes a bit so it won.  Not that I couldn’t have lived with the Reference if that had been the only option.  It’s labelled Reference but it’s still kinda slanted towards the bass over strictly neutral but it feels a very natural balance.  The Bass bumps the bass up by dialling the treble down, the Treble opens things up which dials down the bass.  The bass is lightning fast and it loves to punch, no, more like slap with you with a marble hand.  There is such rigidity and power yet it lacks any brutality.  Its marble like solidity yet so beautifully sculpted.  Its mids are wonderful too, a little cool perhaps but so well-articulated and tonally masterful.  Highs are cleanly metallic edged and can shimmer like nobody’s business with superb extension. 
     
    In short, the thing is excellent in every way, in tone, agility, potency are all impeccable.
     
    Value:  Well they aren’t cheap, but nothing at this audio quality level is.  With their insane build and warranty you arguably get a superb bargain, if you want top end earphones that is.
     
    Pro’s:  Construction is Magnificent.  Looks magnificent.  Sounds Magnificent
     
    Con’s:  Is somewhat unyielding.  Can’t really do soft.  Can be unforgiving.

  6. doublea71
    Something for (almost) everybody: The RHA T20 IEM
    Written by doublea71
    Published Sep 10, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Enjoyable sound with tuning options, superb build quality, high-quality accessories
    Cons - Tuning options may not suit everybody, cable is too long/not removeable, sound leans more towards the consumer-friendly market rather than audiophiles
     

    The RHA T20: Something for (almost) everybody
    IMG_1860.jpg

    Note: I was a participant on a tour organised by RHA on head-fi, and received zero compensation in return for providing this review.

     ​
    First, some information about the T20 from RHA:
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    Lots of goodies included, all bearing the RHA logo, which is quite fetching imo.
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    A nice, aluminum tip holder - very cool design imo.
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    IMG_1875.jpg

    The sexy black leather case - very nice!

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    The FR graph from RHA's website.
     

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

     
    Design
     
    I think they tick most of the boxes here for me. The quality of the cable, plug, strain reliefs, and Y-split are all excellent. They are also consistent in terms of style, which is clearly important to the folks at RHA - they are on a branding mission with their earphones and I think they're succeeding in this regard. I really like the strain relief used where the cable meets the straight 3.5mm plug:
     
    IMG_1847.jpg

    It's just a beauty, isn't it? The only problem I had with the cable was its length - much too long for me when my DAP is in either my chest pocket or pants pocket. It was a bit annoying, but they do include a cable clip to help manage this. The cable doesn't tangle easily, so that is another in the win column. The quality and attention to detail is apparent, and the finish is very, very nice. The Y-split gets the same level of treatment:
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    IMG_1846.jpg
     
    I don't use sliders with IEMs, but this one seemed to do a reasonably good job.
     
    The earpieces are pretty well-known by now, so there's nothing really new for me to add - they are excellent, even worthy of a much more expensive flagship with the exception of the cables being non-replaceable. They are a bit heavy (and I wonder if the thickness of the shells can be reduced), but comfort is as good as anything I've ever tried, largely due to the absence of corners and edges - everything is smooth and nicely rounded. They're pretty small, too, so they should fit everybody. Isolation is average. The memory wire which loops over the ears is a nice touch - it's a bit different than what I'm used to as you can certainly bend them to your liking, but they retain a bit of spring, too. They are reasonably thin (certainly thinner than the ear guides that come with my VSonics), so it was never a bother even when wearing eyeglasses. Top notch!
     
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    The Sound
     
    I can't talk about the sound without mentioning the swappable, color-coded tuning filters. They do work and they come with a very cool storage system - you simply screw them on the aluminum holder when not in use:
     
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    IMG_1871.jpg
     
    These also use what RHA calls "DualCoil" Dynamic drivers. I am not able to provide an explanation of what that means to the average consumer, but I suppose it looks cool on product literature. I will leave it to those with a stronger background in this field of technology to comment on the implications of these particular drivers - all I can offer are impressions from the perspective of a fairly middle-of-the-road head-fi nincompoop.
     
    When I received them, they had the bass filters in, and I didn't really care for the sound. I'm not a bass head - I like tight, controlled, but accurate bass. This sounded too boomy to me, especially with sub-bass, but I did give it a few days to see if brain burn-in changed my opinion. Nope. I then went to the reference filters and still felt that there was too much bass emphasis for me - it was a better sound, but still not my cup of tea. On to the treble filters. This had the right amount of bass for me (though quality was not the best I've heard), but then the treble was too fatiguing for me to enjoy them for extended periods of time. Herein lies the potential problem: the changes made by the filters may not give you "just right". You may have to, as I did, choose the one that least displeases your ears rather than what sounds perfect. I went back to the reference filters after trying all three and stuck with these for the remainder of the time I had them.
     
    Bass: Overtime I came to appreciate the bass a bit more than I expected - it sounds a bit thick which a touch of boominess, but it does give the overall sound more body and richness than what I normally prefer, and I was really enjoying it by the time I had to send them on to the next participant in the tour. I felt like I could live with this compromise, though it's still not as well-rendered as the GR07 in this department. However, I wouldn't characterize it as being uncontrolled. They may have nudged my tastes towards the world of bass a little bit, to be honest. As I read about the Noble K10 and other IEMs that offer a complete bass experience, I find myself thinking that I need a bit more of it in my life after the T20.
     
    Mids: I thought these were good and I couldn't hear anything seriously wrong with them. They aren't as clear and airy as they are on my Rockets, but they are a bit richer-sounding which has its own appeal. Yes, some may find them a bit congested in comparison to other earphones, but I would be surprised if anybody felt like they were not at least decent-sounding. Voices sound natural with good clarity, but using either the bass or treble filter may give them the impression of being veiled or recessed. Pretty good in this department with the reference filters imo.
     
    Treble: Very good level of detail and toes the line by not being sibilant with the reference filters. Not flagship-level treble, but pretty good for its price point. Those who are less prone to sibilance may find the treble filters to be pretty engrossing, but that wasn't the case for me - they sound great at first, but fatigue set in pretty quickly and I knew these weren't the filters for me. Reference filters were more than acceptable for me, though. They sound better than the VSonic GR07s, which are notoriously sibilant. Perhaps the level of detail isn't quite on par with the VSonics, but these are seemingly without any significant spikes in the highs and are better for long-term enjoyment.
     
    Final thoughts and a couple of recommendations
     
    Perhaps the best thing I can say about the sound of the T20 is that once my brain burned in, I found myself paying more attention to the music than the IEMs themselves. People talk about earphones that are fun and enjoyable, and these most definitely are. Critical listening does reveal shortcomings, such as the bass presentation. With the reference filters, it wasn't distracting and I've since come to appreciate a fuller bass presentation then I did before I tried these. Combined with the level of comfort and build-quality, I have to say these are going to please a lot of people, but I fear that serious audiophiles may pass on them. Ultimately, I think they are going after people who are new to the hobby and are more accustomed to a typical consumer-friendly sound. These seem to be trying to rope in both segments, but I'm afraid serious enthusiasts looking for a true reference IEM may be left wanting. Their branding campaign, while very eye-catching and well-implemented, is evidence to me that they are more concerned with attracting the mass market than the much smaller niche of audiophile obsessives on head-fi; from a dollars and cents perspective, it is the obvious move and it seems to be working - their products have made it into the Apple Store. My hope is that they develop another product in the future that is clearly aimed at the headphoneus supremus rather than everybody.
     
    If I were to offer any recommendations to RHA, I would suggest that they:
     
    1. shorten the cable and consider a user-replaceable model (balanced?)
    2. target the serious audiophile niche market with no compromises (a big ask, I know)
     
    There aren't many things on my list, so I think this is going to be a fairly successful product on the whole. Thanks again to RHA for setting up the tour and their willingness to interact with head-fi members.
    1. Takeanidea
      Excellent analysis , well presented , photos were great too. I agree with your thoughts on the bass, it did have a richness to itand was the strongest point in relation to these IEMs for me. I found , as I think you did, that in the audiophile areas surrounding air space sound stage micro detail and treble fatigue the T20s may not appeal to all of us.
      Takeanidea, Sep 10, 2015
    2. meringo
      I agree 100% with this review. I'm one of the ones who ultimately couldn't deal with the treble fatigue and returned them. Great headphones for the masses, but maybe priced a bit too high and not quite audiophile. I can't wait to see what they produce in the future, though. Definitely RHA's best effort to date. 
      meringo, Sep 10, 2015
    3. gerardrosales
      Have you heard the MA750's? It would be really great for you to hear them and give comparisons. I demoe'd the T10 and it was sibilant on my device and a completely different signiture from my 750's. However it seems like the same shortcomings from the 750's are carried over to the T20's: slightly consumer friendly bass, recessed mids, and peak in the lower treble.
      gerardrosales, Sep 12, 2015
  7. Wyd4
    Built Like a tank - Fits in your Ears
    Written by Wyd4
    Published Jul 29, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Amazing Build, Bass impact, Overall tuning is very enjoyable and non fatigueing
    Cons - Ear Pieces are heavy, Lack of refinement throughout, Price(Subjective)
    First things first:
     
    I would like to thank Lin and RHA for the opportunity to test these IEMs and provide my honest opinion of them in return.  It really is great that this community allows this kind of interaction with manufacturers.
     
    Secondly:
     
    We all hear things differently, one of the curses and beauties of this hobby.  There is so much variation in gear, hearing, preference that it truly is a dynamic hobby.  I refer to this again throughout this review but please make sure if you are looking to buy these, that you read as many reviews as you can.
     
    I am 31 years old and I am a noob when it comes to audiophilism.  I love music, I know what sound I like and I spend hours and hours every day listening.  I am not a reviewer, I am not an “Audiophile”, I have just loved music since I was 5 years old, sitting in front of my fathers Stereo listening to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Johnny Rivers on vinyl for hours on end.
     
    Now for the poorly written slab of dribble that is my attempted review.
     
    Build Quality:
     
    These things are built like a brick … House.  They are rock solid.  They feel as though they are punched from a solid piece of billet and slapped on a pair of chains.  I was expecting good things in the build department and I was not disappointed.
    They are heavy, bold and cold to touch.  All of which I love! 
    While the weight seems a little odd initially, once you get used to the ‘lil billets nestling into the old cauliflowers they soon enough fade away, only occasionally to be reminded by the occasional tug on the cable.
    The cable is thick and heavy in its own right, which I personally do not usually like in a portable unit.  That being said, the ergonomics are quite good, and given it is not detachable, it is comfortingly sturdy.  I had no real issues with microphonics or other such interference to my musical enjoyment.
     
    Accessories:
     
    Why I am glad you asked, because we have a treat for you!! Oh, you didn’t ask, well let me tell you anyway.
    We have the pair of iems in all of their glory.  Spread out like some majestic phoenix for all to see.
    We have the 6 filters (2 installed, 4 in their aluminium containment device).
    We have regular silicon tips in all number of sizes, we have bi-Flange, Tri-Flange and foams.  All neatly laid out within their aluminium card designed to seemingly both display proudly and functionally detail more tips than anyone will ever carry.  Handy none the less.
     
    In addition to above we also have a nifty faux? Leather carry case.  This is a good size and allows you to store the iems without having to crush them in order to fit them.  This is a nice change in comparison to the hard case that comes with the Aurisonics AS2.5 for example, which one might think from a glance is the better option give its hardshell nature, however it is actually too small and causes many a headache in aligning the IEMs so as not to damage them when closing the vessel.
     
    Another nice feature of this case is there are elastic straps within which allow you to nest the Tip card within the case.  While this is nice, to be honest, once I find a pair of tips that work with a pair of IEM’s I tend to only use the one and MAYBE keep a spare pair on hand.  I would have much preferred to see the ability to store the filters in the case, as I am more likely to roll these pending my mood.
     
    Sound:
     
    Regarding the sound I will give a brief overview of my thoughts, then break it down into various sections to try elaborate.
     
    First things first, I wasn’t a huge fan of these IEM’s from a sound perspective.  Which was quite a disappointment given how excited I was upon opening them and seeing them in all their bling glory.  I found that the overall signature lacked a little finesse or refinement.  Just seemed a little rough around the edges.  I found that the details seemed a little glossed over, and while the overall sound was smooth, somehow it gave me the feeling of harshness.  This was something I couldn’t work out, but something I was definitely hearing.  Now I may have been being overly critical of this IEM, as I was comparing it to my Ref1too and ASG2.5, so it may not be a fair comparison, however I my overall comments here are relative to an IEM in its pricepoint.  I have owned many IEMs and headphones from varying price points and my rating and comments will hopefully reflect that of a $300 IEM. 
     
    One last thing before I dive into the sound breakdown, I am an unashamed basshead.   OK, so now that I have come clean, lets move on.
     
    I tried all 3 filters and obviously my go to was the Bass filter first. 
    I felt that this filter’s perceived effect on bass come at the cost of too much detail and refinement loss from the rest of the signature.  I truly thought I would pop this filter in and be done, but sadly no.
     
    The Treble filter while adding more perceived detail up top I found to be a little too bright for my tastes.  However this is the point of this filter so I will not say whether this is a good thing or bad.
     
    The reference filter I found to be the best match for me.  While I still maintain my above comments regarding the overall signature, this was my favourite tuning.  When needing more bass I used the bass boost feature on the Cayin C5D, however in most cases I just left it off.
     
    Ok so onto that sound breakdown I promised.
     
    BASS:
     
    This little IEM is packing heat.  Is it a basshead iem, I am not sure.  When compared to my Ref1 and ASG2.5, it almost sounds bass light with regard to impact.  However I think this is due to it having less bass emphasis while being tuned and having a driver capable of big bass impact on demand, because on tracks like “Georgio” on Daft Punks RAM album, WOW there is some bass.  In fact I found the bass on these IEM’s to react quite well to Electronic bass, giving big impact and moving quite a lot of air, however on kick drums on say Monuments – Horcrux, the impact just wasn’t there.  Bass extension is overall pretty good too, with soundtracks like Man of Steel maintaining that super low bassline.  Nothing tectonic, but certainly better than many IEM’s I have tried.
    The good news is, on the T20, the bass is certainly far more controlled than its younger sibling.  So if that was an issue for you, these are certainly headed in the right direction.
     
    MIDS: 
     
    I think this is where my main issue with this IEM resides.  To me the mids, while sitting pretty much in line with the rest of the spectrum, seem to be glossed/smoothed over.  This to me made things like guitar (both electric and acoustic), vocals and even to an extent some upper basslines to sound congested and to be honest a mess.  While I liked overall where the mids sat in the mix as in they were neither too far forward or back, I think this is where I got the impression of harshness.  Yes the sound is smooth, but it sounds as though the guitars, vocals and all other instruments residing in the midrange were all fighting for their spot and things just get messy.
    Others have reported fantastic midrange separation, so this could have been an issue with the C5d/T20 combination, which I used exclusively, or that I simply prefer a different tuning.  People have reported taking issue with the Midrange of the Tralucent ref1, which I loved personally, so as always, make sure you read all reviews before making your decision if you are looking to buy these J
     
    TREBLE:
     
    The highs are smooth.  Much like the mids, but I think they are a little better executed.  I don’t get the sense of congestion or harshness from the highs.  There is enough data presented for the sound to be enjoyable and inoffensive, but these are not a detail monster.  If not for the midrange I think I could listen to these for days on end with zero fatigue.  While I prefer a little more detail in the upper registers, I do like the way they were presented.  I would say they are slightly shelved down from the rest of the presentation, but only slightly.
     
    SOUNDSTAGE/SEPARATION:
    :
    The soundstage while not huge, does portray decent width and depth for an IEM.  I think the dynamic drive assists in this to an extent.  However the above average soundstage at this price point is let down by the congested signature.  On very basic passages where the drivers were able to keep up, I was rewarded with a very realistic soundscape and able to pinpoint instruments throughout, however even on a song like Damien Rice – Cannonball, I did not get beyond the intro before things started to get messy.
     
    OVERALL IMPRESSION:
     
    I think that there are a lot of positives with the t20’s.  Especially coming from the t10 to the t20.  The bass is much better controlled and refined.  I think the overall sound is quite pleasant with a slightly emphasized bass, balanced midrange and slightly less emphasized top end.  I just wish they were a bit more coherent through the midrange to avoid that congestion, or in technical terms “SHMOOSHING” of sound.
     
    Would I buy them.  No.  I think they are just a little bit overpriced for the sound quality.  If I were paying for build quality and included accessories then yes, they have it in spades, but ultimately, I am not buying them as a fashion item.  I think if they were around the $200 aud mark I would definitely snap them up.
     
    While this is probably an overall negative review, one point I would like to make is these are a definite step in the right direction for RHA and if I were me, I would be keeping a keen eye on the t30 IEM, because if they come forward as far as they have from the T10 to the T20, then the T30 will be a keeper!!!!
     
    I am currently on the train tethered to my phone trying to jump in pending reception.  I will upload pics, apply formatting and generally tidy this up when I am home.
  8. Takeanidea
    Scottish Steel
    Written by Takeanidea
    Published Jul 25, 2015
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Design Comfort Accessories Value Full sound bass extension
    Cons - Treble may not appeal
    Introduction
    I am part of the RHA T20 Tour and received my IEMs on Monday.
     
    I have listened to them a WHOLE lot since then and here are my discoveries.
     
    The listening took place sat down, on the move, on the run and any way I could think of to put these Scottish Gems through their paces.
     
    They were plugged into my DX100 shown above as well as my Note II, Macbook Pro, Colorfly C3 and Cambridge Audio Dacmagic Plus. I have other kit but this felt like a good cross section.
     
    I will go into the music I listened to in more depth as I go along, the tracks ranged from Full Orchestra to angry men playing guitars extremely loud.
     
    Box.jpg
     
    The Package
     
    RHA has some wonderful eye candy for the Headfier to enjoy and I unwrapped this with anticipation.
     
    Unpacking.jpg
     
    Opening up further the usual touches RHA owners will be familiar with, and the filters shown clearly. A diagram on the inside sleeve explaining new dual voice coil technology innovation in the drivers.
     
    BoxClipManual.jpg
     
     
     
    Case.jpg
     
    Tips.jpg
     
    TuningFilters.jpg
     
    The accessories are what we have come to expect from RHA and now even more. A manual with everything you thought you needed to know about the T20 complete with graphs safety info i.e don't turn them up too loud!
     
    A cable clip which is really tight on the cable so needs to be fitted in the right place to start with and can't easily be slid up and down cable of this thickness. If you're out walking or running this clip will definitely be needed because there's a significant length to the multicore copper cable and it'll swing everywhere or use up a pocket with the excess being stuffed in there.
     
    10 sets of tips in silicone or memory foam should ensure a good fit for most ears. The mouldable ear hooks and smoothness of the driver housings should get most ears sorted after a few tries.
     
    The carry case will house the T20, it's ear tips and clip and filters when not in use and is the same as my 750 case which has lasted well and slides in and out of my pockets really well as well as looking black and stylish.
     
    For even more customising RHA has introduced a 3 filter option for their flagship model. Bass will boost the lower frequency range , neutral will keep bass and treble under control and the treble filter will boost the upper end of the spectrum. The filters screw into the drivers and are a doddle to fit , so you can interchange according to mood , music or for the sake of change.
     
    The build
     
     
    ReinforcedJack.jpg
     
    SteelBarrel.jpg
     
    T20.jpg
     
     
     
    The build as you can see has been looked at with great care . Every stress point on the cable is reinforced in steel or tough plastic. The cable is thicker than most IEMs I have come across on the market. The design is now all in black which is a cosmetic improvement over the previous grey and black. The design of the driver housing , in the same way as the T10 , means that more material is going into the ear than previously on the 750. The T20 is a far better fit in my ears than the 750 which occasionally can slip out slightly but noticeably. The T20s, under normal use, are a solid fit for hours as they power through track after track. Anyone having any doubts about the build of these should be made aware that RHA are offering a 3 year warranty, not every manufacturer is doing that .....
     
     
     
    The Comfort
    These are heavy! Made of metal injection moulded stainless steel there's nothing flimsy here, and I had a sense of foreboding when I went to put them on for the first time , being aware of the fit issues I have with my Sennheiser IE800s which are half this weight. Thankfully the memory wire hooks with the around the ear design hold most all of the weight away from the ear lobe. I experienced the tiniest of aches in my right ear on the fit and I could certainly tell there was quite some weight in my ear but I was able to wear these for 6 hours at a time and soon forgot they were in.
     
    Walking needed careful placement of the cable clip , the cable produced no noise and there was the odd noise caused by the ear hook part of the cable bouncing up and down very slightly.
     
    Running needed a tightening of the chin strap to minimise the bouncing vibration caused by more pronounced bouncing of the ear hooks.
     
    A comparison between 2 similar priced IEms I own; the Klipsch X10is are a thinner design and have to be inserted deeper into the ear canal, they are far less comfortable to wear , they can't be worn over the ear, they have lots of cable noise and don't isolate well enough to even consider running. When it's windy outside it's no place for the Klipsch.
     
    The Sony XBA4ips have just as large a housing as the T20s but have a much shorter fit and are designed to be worn down from the ear. They are difficult to wear even walking , they stick a long way out of the ear lobe and have to be squashed in pretty tight to get a good seal and need constant readjusting when walking. Running is out for these and I can't wear them for as long as I could wear the T20s.
     
    The Sound
     
    My first listening was through my Note II headphone out. Most people will buy these for their Phone , Iphone or Ipod I reckoned.
     
    Neutral Filter, All Around the World Oasis, Played through Note II:
     
    9 minutes of Oasis at their overblown best. The bass on these IEMs was in evidence straight away, they gave a low end oomph beneath the track , the chorus of this song has a lot thrown in there and the mids and upper range sounded slightly harsh. There was a full feeling to the sound.
     
    The Sony XBA4ips did not have the low end oomph but the instruments were easier to pick out and there was more width to the sound and Oasis sounded more natural , if not quite as exciting.....
     
    The Klipsch X10is sounded significantly thinner than the T20s although there was oomph there it was not as much . The mids and treble were less strained than the T20s
     
    Spring The Four Seasons Revisited Vivaldi recomposed by Max Richter, Played through Note II

    This time I put the T20s through their paces with a Chamber Orchestra and synth with Daniel Hope the principal soloist on violin.
    There shouldn't be much low end on this piece and it builds to a flurry of violins complementing each other and spacing themselves between the left and right channels.

    The T20s sounded nice and full through this track and found some low end from seemingly nowhere as the piece built; there was just a little strain in the sounds of the violins and there was a hint of congestion in the busy part of the section.

    The Klipsch in comparison sounded thin and as good as they are could not really keep with the T20s unitil the busier part of Spring came fto the fore.

    The XBA4s sounded natural and were controlled through the busier part of the track.

    Hotel California The Eagles HDTracks, Played through Ibasso DX100

    Less treble problems with this track , the bass sounds great once again ; if I had to be ultra critical the opening of the song with the guitar sounds like it's slightly too pronounced.

    The Sonys in comparison sounded more natural , the bass could be followed more accurately and there was more space between the instruments.

    Carnival De Paris Dario G, Played through Macbook Pro connected to Cambridge Audio Dacmagic Plus

    Had to put this one in because of the bagpipe solo! Not what I normally listen to but a track many will be familiar with. Dance tracks seem to work extremely well with the T20s. Again , the bagpipe in all it's naked glory was slightly too shrill for my tastes. On balance I think the T20s were the more enjoyable listen for this track compared to the XBA4ips. The Klipsch by this stage has been relegated from the comparison because in my opinion I don't think they sounded as good as the T20s.

    The 3 Filters

    I tried the neutral filter for the first 5 days of my review period thinking that this would be the obvious choice for my listening tastes. I am not a basshead although I like a full sound and I listen to rock music primarily. I am not keen on sacrificing treble for the sake of more bass or sacrificing anything to boost mids or treble.

    However given that I was finding the mids and trebles a bit glarey I tried the bass filter. The results surprised me. The bass was huge of course, but there seemed to be a toning down of the treble , whether that was because of the bass creeping into the mids I'm not sure , but there was a noticeable improvement in the treble.

    The treble filter was not my preference, it knocked some of the bass response off and made the treble even more prominent. The presentation became too congested and loud.

    Comparisons

    Westone UM2 with ACS Custom Sleeves

    The addition of the custom sleeves make this a price match. Performance of the UM2 is superior at low listening levels with better isolation - Classical Music would be the obvious example here. For rock and pop; the UM2 has more harshness in the upper range and less warmth in the lower ranges.
    For comfort either pair fare well.

    Klipsch X10i / X11i

    Both IEMs have the same driver the difference is in the cabling and reinforcements of the X11i. The sound quality in the treble of the Klipsch is less harsh, but the thinness of the sound overrall means the T20s beat them convincingly for me.

    MA750

    Significantly less in price. Part of the RHA stable so therefore worthy of a listen side by side. These IEMs did not disgrace themselves against the T20 and had less noticeable treble boost. The bass was not in the same league. The fit of the 750 was much more problematic compared to the much larger driver housings of the T20.

    Sony XBA4ip

    The Sonys had a leaner signature with a wider sound stage and a natural sounding frequency response. It did not isolate anywhere near as well and was nothing like as comfortable as the T20.

    Conclusion

    The T20 is a solid built IEM capable of some good sound whether on the move or at home. The musical presentation overall is an exciting one , with tons of bass ; useful for masking the sounds of commuting on a train or the thud from running or walking.
    I have decided to update this review in the light of so many competitors coming onto the market recently at a similar price level which do not have the treble fatigue that these IEMs suffer from. The treble on the RHA T20 is simply too harsh for extended listening and once over the honeymoon period of the deep bass and warmth of that and the lower mids I suspect some will struggle with these. There are other more subtle presentations available for similar money but each has their individual drawbacks and careful consideration is needed before you make the jump.
    If your choice sways towards the T20- enjoy!
     
    [Mod Edit: Improved the formatting.]
    1. Currawong
      I've fixed the formatting for you. Did you burn them in first? I found that they sounded harsh out of the box, but this went away after some use.
      Currawong, Jun 17, 2016
    2. Takeanidea
      Thank you for the formatting fix @Currawong. I shouldn't have needed to burn them in , because I wasn't the first person to have them on the Tour. I played them for hours and hours upon end , how I found the time I really don't know! 
      Takeanidea, Nov 16, 2016
  9. LFC_SL
    RHA T20 DualCoil In-Ear Headphones: Worthy Flagship at a competitive price
    Written by LFC_SL
    Published Jul 6, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Price to performance ratio represents value for money. Assured sound. Comfortable.
    Cons - Non-removable cable?
     
    RHA T20 Review Tour
     
    Many thanks to RHA and forum member Rearwing for arranging the tour and the generosity of a 10-day listening period (my suspicion though is to pass some thanks to reviewer no.2 for postponing posting out the unit to him or her). There has been no discussion or attempt to preview my review. Just instructions on forwarding on the review unit. For completeness, no freebies or discounts has been offered for my time [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    This is my first personal experience of RHA. Quite looking forward to it as have been aware if the buzz for some time and being a British company to boot. 
     
    Testing

    Samsung Note 4, iPad mini Retina,  clas -dB and Pico Power stack and Sansa Clip+ (rockbox). All music 320kbps ripped from original CD. Everything from Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Iron Maiden to modern pop hits like Daft Punk. From rock to jazz to manufactured K-pop. BBC iPlayer R1 Live Lounge and Glastonbury shows thrown in also as we live in the Internet music video / streaming age.
     
    Photo Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/steven2509/sets/72157655409582136
     
    18810957043_bc4b9231c7.jpg
     
    Packaging and Presentation
     
    In ten-years owning many different IEM and headphones this presentation ranks highly. Many an IEM manufacturer in particular remain content with providing tips in a little plastic bag and being done with it. The selection of tips and filters stored within stainless steel plates will likely be that key initial visual interaction with the consumer when this hits store shelves. Removing the upper foam layer reveals a branded black zip "premium" case (material unclear), a shirt-clip and paper manufacturer text printed in several languages. The only items seemingly missing perhaps a 6.3mm adaptor and an airplane plug.
     
    Some may have preferred a hard case or drybox but that is no deal breaker in my view. Perhaps something like the black Shure case that comes with the SE846 is a good compromise. Pelican or Otterbox would seem overkill and increase costs.
     
    Design
     
    The theme continues with the main attraction of the earphones. RHA has adopted a 'Designed in UK, assembled in China' leader line. Metal injection stainless steel constructed earpieces enhances the first impressions; this looks and feels like a premium product. The marketing blurb indicates there are sonic benefits though nevertheless RHA did not strictly have to use metal. Even many times more expensive monitors will use moulded plastic. Not knowing what effect there are on costs versus plastic, am still prepared to give out credit. The use of stainless steel spreads out to the Y-splitter and plug, which are nice touches.
     
    The​ more you handle the item the more you encounter little design flourishes that delight. A lip built into the 3.5mm plug to make it case friendly. A genius coil spring at the plug connector end to provide strain relief. An elegant solution for the modern consumer pulling their portable device in all directions. The same "coil" is utilised to a more subtle, softer extent for the over-ear hooks or guides. As a glasses wearer the ear guides were quite fine. Am super pleased RHA did not adopt the industry standard transparent plastic sheath ear-guides - a design that really needs to be consigned to history. They are horrid as they may or may not penalise glasses wearers, but worse still they tend to pull the earpiece away from the ear. Plastic ear guides were fine 10-to-15 years ago, not in 2015. RHA are evidently also proud as the T20 ear hooks are labelled "patent pending".
     
    18809020794_4cbbe39b19.jpg
     
    The cable is non-removable. This can be a positive or a negative. No weak point versus cable failures tend to be one of the culprits if your earphones sadly fail. This reviewer will not be able to comment on long-term durability and build quality. The cable is a touch thicker than preferred but it is somewhat nit-picking as it feels well built ​ and did not tangle during use.The Y-splitter point is though oddly set quite low. Standing tall it will be located around the belly button area give or take your individual height. It is a strange reflection of human anatomy! Perhaps RHA intended the extra length to allow sharing one earpiece with a neighbour.  In practice it does not matter. The cable has a rubbery feel so the slider does not move position unless you decide to move the slider.
     
    Finally and not that anyone would be concerned, for thoroughness the recent - brief - UK heatwave (by local standards​, everyone else would just call it 'summer'​​) peaking at 31.5* Celsius had no apparent effect upon the earphones.
     
    19405424146_46b05510d2.jpg
     
    Fit and Isolation
     
    The earpieces are physically compact and so likely to fit most ears. My Shure SE846 are a touch 'fatter'. The Cypher Labs C6iem are considerably bigger than both. For the purposes of the review a disposable pack of silicone single-flange tips was enclosed. As such it was not possible to try the double-flange or foam tips. Isolation was reasonably good. The T20 was shallow-fitting in my ears, with the entire body snugly covering the ear canal. Your experience may vary. To permit speculation, longer tips may have given deeper fit, leading to greater isolation (and better fit normally enhances bass response). My suggestion to RHA would be to research the viability of longer length single-flange tips a la the Westone tips mentioned in the next paragraph. Double-flange tips are taller but then may be too fat width for some ears.
     
    Before touching upon isolation the T20 has a small "vent" located on each earpiece. Travelling on the London underground the roar of the train hurtling through the tunnel was largely minimised. Interestingly (and usefully) it was still possible to make out tannoy announcements. With my SE846 plus the benefit of Westone star / tru-fit tips, tannoy announcements would be too muffled to listen out for. For routine public commutes and even walking alongside main roads the main thrust of unwanted engine or vehicular noise was kept out. It was not possible to hear human conversation at street level. ​One occurrence which was noticeable was wind noise. Not to a defeating level, but not something that affects my other IEM. My suspicion is maybe a side-effect of the vents.
     
    19243969190_fac5a9b035.jpg
     
    Filters: Reference, Treble and Bass
     
    As a current SE846 owner and ex-Phonak PFE-232 owner, RHA impress highly in design implementation. A simple screw-cap system completed by hand. That is it. No changing tool or fiddly parts.
     
    As to the difference to the sound there is indeed an audible effect but a mixed bag. The Bass filter increases mid-bass quantity versus the Reference filter, however taking something away from the mids. The Treble filter would never get used if I became a T20 owner. The Reference filter is where it is at. Balanced yet punchy. Plenty enough bass to my ears and so the Bass filter does not feel necessary, though that is personal taste. Best mids and vocal presentation of all three. Treble nicely rounding things off.
     
    The Treble filter is not to my taste. It hollows out the overall signature. The upper registers adopt this wispy thin effect and also thins out vocals. ​Given the loss of body and integrity the Treble filter was only used very briefly by the writer. In comparison the SE846 White filter is more technically proficient as it does what it says on the tin.
     
    19244082938_d0c5bf2f1a.jpg
     
    The Sound
     
    To get it out of the way from the outset: the RHA T20 earphones sound great. Particularly with popular music of your pop or hip-hop variety. My initial impression, one which remained sustained, is that the overall tonal balance is tuned very well. No honky vocals or out of place notes. No peaks or troughs. You would be surprised how many earphones out there make instruments sound digital or mess around with the timbre whereby instruments either sound off or the same. For example The A Team by Ed Sheeran has two guitars and a piano and the T20 renders them all correctly. One is indeed able to pick out the individual components.
     
    The second observation is that there is a cohesiveness and nice marriage of the overall sound signature. Even the Bass filter that increases the bass quantity a notch in honesty also leans towards being 'balanced'. The T20 seemingly copes with mid-range focused pop, delicate live female vocals or fast-flowing jazz. It is a chameleon.
     
    The third main observation is that all the meanwhile the T20 has this clear sound and clarity that cuts through. It is clean sounding but in a positive way. With the balanced Reference filter bass notes hit with suitable quantity and slam, such that the additional tonic of the Bass filter does not feel required. A lot of modern radio music ​is​ peppered liberally with bass beats. The T20 delivers that fun bassy quality ​desired​. There is however not so much sub-bass extension or rumble. The mid-bass that is present though is not bloaty and neither does it intrude upon the rest of the sound spectrum.
     
    18809068894_526e42ebb0.jpg
     
    The midrange is the star of the show. Vocals have an airiness and intimate quality. Sweeping musical notes have a nice full presence. I mentioned the bass does not interfere with the rest of the sound despite being fat and very much present. In fact the midrange stands up confidently. This would be assisted by the wide-ish soundstage spreading out the music on a flat horizontal plain ear to ear. There is not much by way of height of depth, but the horizontal width helps to avoid congestion. My personal opinion is that the Treble filter thins out the upper midrange too much and just no good for music, not least the vocals.
     
    The treble is pleasantly surprising. Sweet, controlled and extended. There is a nice energy listening to Hiromi and the T20 can indeed cope with fast interchange. T​rebl​e is pitched just right. Not forward or subdued. Perhaps ​erring on the safe side. That is to say there is no risk even the most sensitive will encounter glare, grating notes or loose splashy-cymbals. The T20 does lack the sparkly extension that higher price points deliver but that is perhaps understandable. Bass is easy to focus upon but the real test of mettle is how an earphone renders the upper registers. The T20 achieves a pass.
     
    Detail retrieval scores highly. If it was captured on the CD then individual elements are discernible. Mercifully there is no exaggeration. It is all merged seamlessly into the overall sound that you will take it for granted. The T20 absolutely does not zone into random ​information. Detailed and accurate but not overdone.
     
    Comparisons
     
    Avoided instant switching to and fro as that tends to exaggerate differences. Giving the brain a period of adjustment does bridge perceived differences. Please note these are relative comparisons. If IEM-1 is described as having more A than IEM-2, that does not then mean IEM-2 lacks A, unless that is what is explicitly stated, thank you.
     
    18809974474_71ac542cd8.jpg
     
    Comparison with Cypher Labs C6iem
     
    As far as packaging goes there is no contest. CL simply wrap everything in a felt bag containing the IEM's and tips selection, then squeezed into a compact minimalist box. No wow factor. No unboxing experience. Does not strictly matter as it is all in the sound although there is nothing wrong with being indulged either.
     
    Turning to the sound the C6iem bass hits even bigger and harder than Bass filter T20. It is stressed the T20 are not at all bass light by any stretch of the imagination. Still if you have some hyper bass thirst to quench on a budget then perhaps the C6iem fits the bill. In truth the T20 is overall better balanced. The T20 has a noticeably wider soundstage. Perhaps a trick of the smaller field but the C6iem is more fuller sounding in a comparison. Perhaps it is the weighty bottom end propping up the sound that gives the C6iem a thicker signature. Between ​my experience of ​CL and JHA that would appear to be representative of the taste of th​e​ American consumer market. Upgrading the source Dac/amp does make the T20 have a richer and fuller sound whilst retaining that desirable clarity​. The likely consumer of the T20 will be rocking smartphones, which should be absolutely fine unless your phone has an atrocious headphone out.
     
    18811297263_54d3ed887b.jpg
     
    Comparison with Shure SE846 (stock cable, white filter)
     
    Presentation is a score-draw. The outer Shure box hints at luxury. Two cables, an extensive accessories selection and a lovely black carry case are very welcome. Western markets also get an oversized Shure-branded drybox. Nevertheless the open-like-a-book reveal adopted by RHA and the entire package proudly standing on display wins kudos points.
     
    White SE846 filter is used because for me that is the true reference Shure filter. For your mon£y you instantly notice the greater soundstage and 3-dimensionality. The improved separation and layering really add extra involvement to the music. That SE846 bass really brings it. Tighter and bigger impact. Sub-bass extension and rumble is now present.
     
    The extra bass and ​imaging capabilities brings a presence to [live] rock records that the T20 lacks.  It is something that cannot be unheard once experienced. For example Iron Maiden Rock in Rio and Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys demands that extra gusto to fully lose yourself in the energy of the performance. The vocals and mid-range with Shure has always been assured, although the SE846 loses the romantic warmth of the SE535. Speaking from memory-only, having owned the SE535 for over two-years, the T20 is better than the SE535 treble.
     
    The T20 then is no giant killer. Yet having spent the majority of the last nine/ten-days rocking the T20 as my main earphones, I did not miss the SE846 despite knowing it is on an altogether different level. RHA though do not feel too far away. Have heard a rumour - or this is starting one - that RHA are researching a higher-tier. These could be exciting times ahead.
     
    18809009654_1def521fb9.jpg
     
    Summary
     
    For a great deal of the population spending more than £20 on earphones is a risk and/or investment. People will readily spend more on clothing, electronics or on a meal out. Then again one would argue non-stock earphones are a discretionary purchase, albeit desirable. RHA has thoughtfully sculpted a product that seeks to reward and reassure that the customer has invested wisely. Who else offers a three-year manufacturer warranty out there that RHA stand behind the T20 with. Earphones are susceptible due to their usage environment. Without any knowledge of the long-term track record, such a statement inspires confidence. For £180 you get big sound. I have no hesitation in recommending the RHA T20​.
    1. Koolpep
      Very nice review. Great description of the sound. I agree with the SE846 comparison.
      Koolpep, Jul 7, 2015
  10. RedTwilight
    Solid IEM (literally) for a solid price
    Written by RedTwilight
    Published Oct 6, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Nicely bodied sound, tuning filters, extremely tough steel shell, excellent build quality, ergonomic shape, great accessories package, memory wire
    Cons - Slightly lacking transparency, a little costly, memory wire

    Preamble:

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

    Tech Specs:

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

    Package:

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

    Build Quality: 4.5/5

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

    Accessories: 5/5

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

    Comfort: 3.5/5

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

    Isolation: 4/5

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

    Test Songs:

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

     

    Filter system

    This is probably the main selling point of the T20.
     

    Neutral filter

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

    Treble filter

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

    Bass filter

     
    When I first heard about the bass filter, the first thing that crossed my head was that it wasn’t going to be my thing. I do get bass induced headaches from boomy phones. After putting them on with the spinfits however.. They’re not all that bad actually. It’s like a subtle filling in of the lowest end of the spectrum, giving that extra ‘oomph’. The overall tonality of the sound becomes darker and warmer. The added boominess doesn’t affect the layering and there is impressively NO bleed into the mids whatsoever. The speed and punch is definitely still there, just with more power.
    Listening to Through the Fire and the Flames actually made me want to headbang in office.
    Treble is accordingly reduced, though I can still hear the occasional distant cymbals and triangles.
    Male vocals stand out a bit more.
    Transparency is reduced however, and to me it sounds a little closed in.
    Strangely enough, the sound of the bass filters with spinfits reminds me of the reference filters with the stock tips
     
    Some notes after extended burn in:
    I was 2nd in line to demo the T20 and at that time, it was probably not fully burnt in yet, hence leading to to feeling that while this is a nice iem, the sound was abit rough around the edges and didn’t sound particularly impressive. IMO, not exactly worth it’s price tag.
     
    After going full circle though, it arrived back in Singapore and I gave it a listen again (using balanced filters and stock tips) to see if there had been any changes to the sound. Interestingly enough it felt like the soundstage had opened up considerably, going from average to slightly above. The rough wooly wall defining the edges of the soundstage had become a silk curtain. The bass also seemed to have tightened up abit and didn’t pound my brain into a dull ache anymore (or maybe I had just gotten used to bassier iems than the Havi). The most marked improvement IMO however would be the transparency, that veil in between band and listener being lifted. So is it worth it’s price now? Hm.. I’ll say that the worth has increased significantly. It’s now a solid mid range performer in my book.
      earfonia likes this.