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RHA T20

Rating:
4.05556/5,
Tags:
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. rasmushorn
    Some pictures and a few words about the RHA T20
    Written by rasmushorn
    Published Jul 7, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Well thought, durable design. Great sound.
    Cons - Not much to complain about
    Out-of-box experience.....Accessories and packaging
     
    Receiving and unboxing the RHA T20 gives the impression that this product is not just "some" product. Everything signals quality and thought. Right from the beginning it is a pleasure to use the T20.
     
    19301686080_09bc6d98be_h.jpg
     
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    19463189186_55c30c3678_h.jpg
     
    19301687440_2f266cfb53_h.jpg
     
    All the accessories with the T20 is more than one could wish for. It contains tips for most sizes and preferences. The interchangeable filters are sturdy and easy to handle and change. It does not require a separate tool or anything to change them. The packaging is very nice. When opening the front there is even a little magnet holding it closed. All in all the packaging gives an impression that this is a finished product. RHA surely have thought of everything. The T20 is placed perfectly and it is easy to remove. I only found it a bit difficult to remove the little plate with the filters. It was glued securely to the foam holder. Maybe I am not supposed to remove it but I wanted to bring the filters with me in the hope I could find time to change them during my day at the office.
     
    19493599281_ea0153369d_h.jpg
     
    19463188926_5a5f1fab06_h.jpg
     
    Build quality, Comfort and the cable
    I have tried a few other universal IEMs that did not fit my ears. My ears are small so I cannot wear large IEMs, like the Ultrasone iQ for instance, for longer than 10 minutes. They quickly start to fall out and constantly irritate my outer ear. The T20 does not have that problem at all. In fact they are pretty small. Even smaller than my current reference IEM’s the Tzar 350. The T20 fits perfectly in my ear. They totally disappear and I don’t even feel they are there. The memory wire does not rattle or make noise against my glasses like the memory wire from my Tzar 350 does. Only small movements of my face, ears and jaw will make my glasses touch the Tzar-wire and make microphonic cable noise. The T20 cable is completely silent and even though they touch my glasses I cannot hear anything from that. I love that and regarding the memory wire, I have always preferred not to have it, and just let the cable bend naturally over the ear. But the memory wire of the T20 is made with a perfect balance between being too stiff and to wiggly.
     
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    19489261685_0bdb2dbbde_h.jpg
     
    Right from touching the T20 for the first time, to wearing them over most of a work day at the office, I love everything about the T20. The plug is sturdy and the start of the plug is made thin so it can be used with my iPhone even with its cover on. There is a spring around the cable to distribute the pulling force not to wear out the cable by the plug. Very nicely designed and cleverly done. I can imagine some people carrying their phones in the jeans pocket would have loved to have an angled plug instead of the straight one though. I can also understand why. It is not very practical with a straight plug for that and it can destroy the headphone out in the cellphone. The T20 cable and plug is too sturdy and will never suffer any damage with just a little bending.
     
    19482941082_b022a1b022_h.jpg
     
    Isolation
    I am working at an office with 4 people right next to a hardware test center, where we have a lot of people walking around. Phone calls and machines with ventilators making a constant noise floor. When wearing T20 with the silicone single flange tips I can barely hear people talking next to me. When listening to music surrounding noise disappear and people will have to get my visual attention to talk to me. If I use the comply foam tips the isolation gets a little bit better. They do not block out 100% of all sounds like wearing a pair of ear plugs but it gets very close. It definitely is not an issue when listening to music.
     
     
    Sound and filter choice
    First a little bit about my sound preferences. I have been a former Etymotic ER-4S user for some years, After that my current reference IEM is the Tzar 350, which is also a bright earphone. My preferred signature in full size headphones are the likes of Beyerdynamic T5p and T70. Both are by a lot of head-fiers deemed as bass light and too thin sounding. I do prefer airy sound and high resolution. I never listen at high volume so it is very seldom that I find bright headphones ear piercing. While I do not need the bass to be have a lot of impact it certainly has to be fast and clean before I am satisfied. 
     
    After some initial changing of the filters I quickly chose the treble-filter as my preferred one. The bass-filter was just too much to my taste. The reference filter sounded great but the treble filter was right in the sweet spot for me. There is still more bass with the treble filter than I am used to but I am slowly getting adjusted to it and do not notice it that much anymore. 
     
    19301770720_d8d4618a25_h.jpg
     
     
    While listening to T20, most of the time I am using either the headphone out of my iPhone 6+ or PC --> ODAC RevB --> Meier Quickstep to drive the T20. The T20 sounds very good directly from the iPhone but it does scale well when used with an amplifier. The dual-coil driver definitely has potential to open up a bit when given some more force. 
     
    All my impressions are when using the treble filter only. 
     
    I find that the bass is puncy and tight. It does not have any unnatural impact when listening to jazz or classical. Acoustic bass sounds full and comes out nicely in every way. Snares, cymbals and percussion sounds lifelike. I find that with classical recordings containing the full orchestra, the T20 does a great job to play the bass instruments like they are supposed to. It feels like the bass has its own room to play freely in and the T20 still sounds coherent. Nothing is too forward sounding and nothing is too drawn backwards. There are great dynamics in the bass area for an IEM in this price range. I also think the room acoustics comes through very well on the good recordings. T20 sounds very good and truly offers listening pleasure for me with jazz and classical.
     
    The treble has great resolution. As does the mids. I never think they are ear piercing even with the treble filter. 
     
    One thing that stands out for me with the T20 is how natural acoustic guitars sound. They sound kind of dry but in a very balanced way. The T20 does not play with a plethora of micro details like some balanced armature in-ears but it comes very close in a super natural and pleasing way. The resolution is very good and probably the best I have ever heard from a dynamic driver in-ear. T20 never sounds boring or flat nor does it over exaggerate anything. Classical and jazz feels lifelike, vocals are portrayed naturally. Specially male vocals are spot on but female vocals tend to be drawn just a little backwards on some recordings. The following two recordings have been given new life for me with the T20. Both are acoustic guitar and male vocals. This is where T20 reigns for me:
     
    VI21014.jpg
     
    Bookers-Guitar.jpg
     
    Listening to metal is the only genre where the T20 kind of lack something. I cannot really pinpoint what it is they do wrong here. Maybe I have not found the best metal recordings? But where for instance the Beyerdynamic T51p sounds brutal and really in-your-face the T20 can sometimes be a bit too polite. With Beyerdynamic T51p there is a solid wall of sound but still it is possible to see through the music. With the T20 the sound lacks a little transparency. This is only with metal and this is the only weak spot I have been able to find with the T20. 
     
    Conclusion
    All in all it is hard to find areas in the sound I do not like. I am enjoying listening to music with these earphones. They do a wide variety of genres really well. I was looking at Beyerdynamic DX 160 as my new everyday portable in-ear. I am definitely going for the T20 instead and the extra price is totally worth it. They are easy to use, have great wearing comfort and since they are rougher than the average in-ear they can take a few hits along the way. This is just a good product in every way and I recommend everyone to consider the T20 if you are looking for a great overall in-ear.
      jant71 and Klonatans like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. pieman3141
      What kind of 3.5mm jack is this? Is it a regular one or a case-compatible one?
      pieman3141, Jul 7, 2015
    3. pieman3141
      Looks like a case-compatible one from the pictures, actually.
      pieman3141, Jul 7, 2015
    4. rasmushorn
      @pieman3141 - The jack is case-compatible. With my original Apple cover it can be plugged. The very end towards the plug has a thin plastic part and if the cover is not very thick it should fit into the headphone out. 
       
      @Nicst3n - Thanks! :) Unfortunately I havn't heard the DUNU so I cannot answer that. 
      rasmushorn, Jul 8, 2015
  4. 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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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
  5. Cotnijoe
    RHA T20: A Contuation of RHA's Fun Sound with A Slightly More Reference Approach
    Written by Cotnijoe
    Published Jul 5, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Solid Build Quality, Musical Sound with Decent Detail
    Cons - Cable Design, Lacking a Little in Overall Refinement
    Introduction:
    RHA is a fairly new audio company that has made quite a splash recently with their MA750 and T10 IEMs. RHA has recently announced their new T20 IEM which is due to be released sometime during the summer of 2015. Before its release, RHA has opened a few spots for people to demo and review the new IEM as part of a tour. I was one of the few lucky people that got the opportunity to give the T20 a listen before release.
     
    I am no affiliated with RHA but I would like to give them a shout out and big thank you for making this tour happen!
     
    Packaging and Accessories:
    To me, the T20 has a very commercial design with their packaging – and that’s a good thing. It reminds me a lot of the popular consumer headphone packaging (ex. Monster, Beats etc.), where you’re presented with a nice box that opens and you get to see a teaser of what’s inside the box. Overall, the design and presentation of the product is fashionable and beautiful.
     
    The T20 comes with some very nice and quality accessories. There is a large variety of eartips to choose from of all sizes. There are also sets of dual flange and comply tips provided, which was a nice touch. I honestly think that the eartips RHA provided are of very good quality. They are very soft and comfortable while being very durable and retain their shapes well. Kudos to RHA for both the number of tips they provide and the quality of the eartips.
     
    With the packaging also includes the filters that change the signature of the T20 as well as a square pleather carrying case and a shirt clip. The overall presentation of the T20 is very attractive and the accessories provided also feel very nice.
     
    IMG_0095.jpg
     Packaging and Accessories That Come with the T20
     
    Build Quality, Design, and Comfort:
    The RHA T20, like the T10, is a beautifully built and sturdy IEM. The housing is made completely out of metal, making it slightly heavy compared to your average IEM. Despite that, the T20 felt lighter than I expected when I put them in my ears and they basically disappeared after a while. The housing is very comfortable and I wore it for over 3 hours straight without and comfort issues. The housing also has red/blue and R/L colors and engravings on the housing to help those that need help distinguishing left and right for whatever reason. The T20’s housing also has vents that most likely help give the bass more body. I’m also quite interested in the design of the new dual coil driver. I know they mentioned that the T20 has two independent voice coils that collaborate and act on the same diaphragm to produce sound. I wish there was some sort of diagram showing that.
     
    Because the T20 does have vents, it doesn't have the best sound isolation. In addition, I also found that the T20 generally doesn't sit too deep in the ear. Because of those reasons, I find the T20's isolation to be average at best. It's still more than enough to isolate noise while you're out and about though.
     
    Perhaps what’s most interesting about the design of the housing is the nozzle that also act as filters. Three filters (treble, reference, and bass) are provided and each can alter the sound to give the user some flexibility in choosing what their favorite sound is.
     
    Moving onto the cable also marks the departure of my enthusiasm for the T20. Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but I’m not the biggest fan of the cable. The 3.5mm jack as well as the Y-split are both made of metal and very solid feeling. The 3.5mm jack has a spring attached to it to lower the strain that may be put on the cable there, increasing the sturdiness of the longevity of the cable at the cost of some aesthetics in my opinion. Overall I think it’s a smart design and I would gladly take it knowing its one less place that my earphone has a chance of failing at. On the other hand, while the Y-split is solidly built and nice looking, it’s placed in a bizarre spot. Standing up, the Y-split reaches almost down to my belly button. I guess it doesn’t really affect the comfort but it does look a little wonky.
     
    On the cable is also the ear guide. I’m personally not the biggest fan of ear guides in general, but there have been some that I feel are fine or even good. Unfortunately, I find the ear guide of the T20 to be a bit long. To add to that, the extra bulk at the end of it makes it pretty clunky overall. It’s not my favorite thing but doesn’t really take away from the comfort of the earphone all that much either so I don’t mind too much.
     
    The cable is made of a rubbery material that is fairly tangle-free, but is on the thicker end of the spectrum. Because of its thickness (and its metal Y-split), the cable is on the heavier side. It doesn’t make the cable uncomfortable, but it also doesn’t disappear like other cables can. In addition, like most rubbery cables I’ve had experienced with in the past, the rubbery cable also tends to carry more cable noise. It’s not a big issue for me, but I feel that amount of noise transferred by the cable has room for improvement.
     
    Overall, the T20 is a very sturdy IEM that is made with very solid materials, but I do feel that the cable could be improved upon.
     
    Listening Impressions:
    Listening was done using my iBasso D14 “Bushmaster” with my laptop running Foobar as my source. Music of all genres and of varying quality (with the exception of DSD) was used for my listening impressions. In addition, for consistency, the majority of the listening impressions were done with the reference filter. The other two filters are included in their own sections.
     
    IMG_0099.jpg
     T20 and the Filters (Note: Treble Filter Being Used in Pic)
     
    With the reference filter, the T20 presents a warm and V-shaped signature that I personally wouldn’t categorize as being reference. The sound is tuned to be quite musical and fun, but not to a point where the sound is overly colored either.
     
    Bass
    Even with a “reference” filter, the bass of the T20 is a whole lot of fun. The bass is pleasantly boosted with good punch and with very good extension – reaching 30 Hz and beyond without too much trouble.
     
    While the bass isn’t bloated in any way, I do have some issues with it. First off, I find the bass boosted to a point where it’s not bloated, but distracting and somewhat inaccurate. Instruments that resonate in the lower register tend to be brought out more, and not necessarily when they should. Listening to Jason Mraz often sounds a little odd as the bass (guitar) seems to overpower the acoustic guitar while the kick drum lets out kicks that, while juicy, just seem out of place. Listening to Regina Spektor’s “The Calculation” also gives a similar feeling, with the bass (guitar) rumble dominating the track. I feel that the T20 works much better with music that does make sense with a more filled out bottom end. Rock music, for instance, feel much more at home on the T20.
     
    I also feel that the bass can be cleaner. While possessing good thump, the bass isn’t particularly tight or well-focused. It also tends to have more of a bloom to it and can be on the slower side. Sub bass texture is still generally much better than what’s offered by balanced armature IEMs at the same price range, but I feel that the bass of overall a bit smoothed out and lacks a bit of detail.
     
    While I don’t feel that the bass performance of the T20 is its strong suite, I can’t help but admit that I quite enjoy it. It’s been a while since I’ve listening to anything that brings some really nice big thumping bass that while keeping the midrange and treble fairly clean. The bass isn’t boosted to a basshead level, but I do feel that those who enjoy bass, or are borderline bassheads will enjoy these.
     
    Midrange
    While the T20’s bass can pack some serious punch, the midrange remains clean and generally free of any sort of bleed from the bass, which I found to be quite impressive. The midrange balance seems a bit wonky and inconsistent to me. I generally feel that the midrange is just a tad recessed, given the bigger bass and sparkly treble, but remain fairly well-balanced, but there are tracks where it may seem even a little forward. However, vocals tend to be more relaxed and laid back but remain engaging, than being forward. Instruments generally remain clean but I do find that separation can take a hit on more complex tracks. I also find that there are moments when I feel that the some instruments sound a little metallic, but not to a point where I find it particularly unnatural or harsh in any way. The midrange generally feels clean, smooth, and just a tad recessed.
     
    Treble
    Treble has good detail, good extension, as well as good sparkle without ever sounding harsh to me. Treble decay is a little longer, which on some tracks can sound quite beautiful and natural, but translate to being a bit splashy on more demanding tracks. However, the treble of the T20 is perhaps the most articulate part of the T20, having good energy, bite, and texture in comparison to the rest of its frequency range. I found that it had a good balance between being sparkly and energetic while remaining fairly smooth.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The soundstage of the T20 is fantastic, and one of the largest I’ve heard in an IEM at this price point, while beating out a lot of balanced armature IEMs that’s much pricier than it. The T20 can expand fairly well in both its width and height, while being just a bit flatter in terms of depth. The imaging and separation of the T20 is also pretty good, but I don’t think it rivals the precision that balanced armature IEMs around the same price can offer, despite generally having a significantly smaller soundstage.
     
    Comparison
     
    T20 with Bass Filter
    I think the filter system of the T20 is actually really well done. The T20 with bass filter is nowhere near as bassy as I thought it would be, and the rest of the frequency wasn’t affected by the slight boost in bass all too much. Sub bass is lifted just a tad bit as well as just a little more punch in the bass. It’s still not basshead level, but will be good to have those that enjoy just a bit more punch or thickness in their sound.
     
    T20 with Treble Filter
    I personally feel that this is actually the most “reference” sound of the three filter the T20 offers, and is what I prefer the most personally. Treble is generally faster, more detailed, and more textured, but does have the tendency to be sharper, venturing into the realm where people will consider a bit harsh. I tend to favor a brighter treble so it wasn’t an issue for me personally. The treble filter also has more air that, to me, gives the soundstage a more expansive and natural feel.
     
    Like the bass filter, the treble filter doesn’t affect the rest of the frequency too much. You still get a nice thumping bass in the music.
     
    CustomArt Ei.3 and RHA T20
    In my opinion, both IEMs are very good and have their own strengths in different areas. To me, comparing the two is a classic scenario comparing dynamic and balanced armature drivers.
    Typical of a dynamic driver, the T20’s bass extends a good deal deeper than the Ei.3’s bass, and also has much more authority and rumble. Overall bass of the T20 is a bit more accentuated with a little more midbass bloom in comparison, but really not by much. The T20 is by no means a bass monster. While lacking the authority that the T20’s bass has, the Ei.3 bass has tighter impact that causes the bass of the T20 to feel like it lacks a bit of focus in its impact. Despite that, I do feel that the bass department of the T20 is superior to that of the Ei.3 as its more textured and realistic.
    In the midrange is where the balanced armature drivers of the Ei.3 really flex their muscles though. Vocals are presented beautifully on the Ei.3 with crystal clarity and good detail. Instruments are also well textured and clean. Compared to the clarity and naturalness of the Ei.3 midrange, the T20 has a slightly veiled tonality. While the midrange of the T20 is good, it doesn’t quite have the detail, texture, and articulation that the Ei.3 can output.
    Treble between the two I find to be fairly close. The T20 has slightly more treble energy and overall extension while having slightly less treble texture and a longer decay. The Ei.3 bring more realism to the instrument and can pick up more micro-details and nuances than the T20.
    Soundstage on the T20 is noticeably larger, especially in terms of width. However, the imaging of the Ei.3 is much cleaner and accurate. Instrument separation is also better thanks to its fantastic clarity.
    Priced at 240 dollars, I think the T20 is a very good sounding IEM. Being around 100 dollars more than the T20 (300 + 50 for ear molds), it would only make sense that the Ei.3 is an upgrade to the T20 – and it is. Bringing better clarity and realism to the music, I do find the Ei.3 to be an upgrade in sound over the T20. However both IEMs deserve praise for what they’ve accomplished at their respective price points.
     
    IMG_00971.jpg
    T20, Supra 2, and Demo Ei.3 with iBasso D14 "Bushmaster
     
    Ending Thoughts:
    The T20 is a fun sounding IEM that has an attractive sound despite not being the strongest in terms of its sonic capabilities. For some reason I was under the impression that the T20 were priced at 280 dollars, but the RHA website has them listed at around 240 dollars. At 240 dollars, I think the T20 is a good IEM to pick up that will give you a fun and relatively detailed sound when you’re out and about. I think at 280 dollars its perhaps pushing the price a bit.
     
    I feel that the T20 does a lot well, sounding fun while giving a respectable amount of detail, but has the tendency to sound just a bit out of place and confused. On acoustic or soft rock, the snare drum decay can sound wonderfully natural, but the bass is strangely rumbly. On the other hand, listening to some hard rock gives some fantastically satisfying bass that dig deep, but the T20 can struggle a little to keep up and remain crystal clear and clean.
     
    As a whole, I think the T20 is a fun experience that is certainly worth the attention of those looking for a quality set of IEMs with good build quality, comfort, and a fun sound. While retaining a fun sound signature, the T20 does have the most "reference" sound and quality in RHA's line and certainly deserves its status of RHA's flagship. Despite its sound signature deviating from what I generally enjoy, I would be lying to say I didn’t enjoy the sound of the T20.
      Koolpep likes this.
    1. Koolpep
      Great review, thanks! Especially because you listen to a lot of genres I don't listen to regularly. 
      Koolpep, Jul 6, 2015
  6. 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
  7. 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