Top positive review
Almost perfect depending on what you are looking for!
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2018
If you are in a hurry:
These are not for people that like (fake) bass heavy phones, these are natural sounding and has almost neutral sound signature, no fancy app control or sound engineering (DSP), just pure, honest and true reproduction of sound.
Sound (Overall): 8/10
Sound stage: 4/10
Stereo Imaging: 8/10
Build Quality: 8/10
Battery Life: 8/10
Wireless Range: 9/10
- Static noise when not playing
- Doesn't charge via USB C - USB C cable
If you got the time:
I am just another victim of losing the 3.5mm headphone jack with my latest phone upgrade, rendering all my beloved and endearing headphones/earphones collection useless, then, I began my inevitable quest to find a decent sounding, comfortable and reliable wireless pair. It was really hard than I thought, It should have been much easier considering the numerous wireless earphones that have flooded the market during recent times, just within a couple of attempts I realized two things... 1. Bluetooth technology may not be ready for prime time to produce open natural sound yet and 2. All headphone makers, even the reputed ones are now behind increasingly popular, more "V" shaped commercial sound signature. It almost became a very frustrating experience trying on too many headphones/earphones shelling out couple of 100s of dollars only to be sorely disappointed and send them back.
Now let's talk about RHA MA 650 wireless earphones, despite of encouraging reviews from serious audio review sites that I have come to trust, I think it's a bold move from RHA's part to publish the frequency response curve right on the product page and that got my attention and I decided to give it a shot, anyways I was desperate at this point.
Apparently, sound is what earphones are made for, this one is really a gem, may be literally a gem at first, right out of the box, they sounded bright like a sparkly gem with sibilant and harsh sounding highs, but, after being broken in for 40+ hours and finding the right bud (which was little tricky, more on it later) these earphones turned out to be all I hoped for and even more.
These earphones excel in this frequency range, if you feel that these lack bass then either you are not getting the correct seal with the bud you are using or you are expecting fake, loose and rough bass, because, these ones produces a well-rounded, clean, smooth, punchy and solid bass that does not shy away to the back seat, it is powerful, forward and comes right at you, it is phenomenal for an earphone with such small driver, lower lows (bass extension) especially is deep and super smooth and also I could hear no distortion even on bass heavy tracks at unbearably high volumes (these ones gets really loud) the mid bass is really punchy and fast and the upper lows blend seamlessly with the lower mids.
This is another area these pair shines, the vocals come to life and there is a lot of headroom which make the mids sounds super open with a lot of air, this is very unusual for a Bluetooth headphones/earphones, RHA sure must have spent a lot of time tuning the mids, it feels so natural that the voices feel very real, my only gripe with the mids is that, there is a slight bump with higher mids that makes the voice sound little too forward to my liking, though it helps with the openness of the voices and it is only a very slight bump, it is there and noticeable, this is not a deal breaker by any means but this is what prevents the earphones from having almost perfect mid sound signature.
Highs are not the strength of these pair, the presentation is very detailed and has almost unbelievable depth to its imaging, the sound stage is rather short, its not too wide extending as much as the length of the shoulders and that is OK considering the closed back design of these earphones but the real set back is with the nature of the highs, these pair might sometimes sound sibilant all across the highs with some tracks, making the 'S' sound little 'Sshh' and it's only very little and not to the point of disturbing the whole presentation, the highs are very detailed but it could have been little softer and smoother.
The second important thing with any earphone/headphone is how much they let you enjoy the sound they produce, it is useless if the earphones are uncomfortable even if they were the best sounding pair, fortunately, these are very comfortable to wear, weighing just around an ounce and with flexible silicone neck band that contours to the shape of your shoulders, you hardly feel them.
Finding the correct fitting bud was a challenge to me, despite the generous range of tips that come with the package, I couldn't manage to get a good seal, finally the comply foam tips were the ones that did the trick, I ordered additional tips from comply (size 400) to get the perfect fit and that totally had a very positive impact on the sound, as with every earphones, good seal is the real deal.
These are well built pair of earphones, the aluminum casing for the earphones make them feel premium and the built-in magnets prevent the earphones from dangling around when you are not using them, the aluminum casing on the in-line remote and on the tips of the band are a nice touch, the silicon also doesn't feel flimsy and can take some beating.
RHA promises 12 hours of battery life with these earphones, I managed to get 10+ hours on average when listening to them on moderate volume, I think the battery life is also impressive considering how light these earphones really are.
Controls and Wireless Range:
Fortunately the controls are pretty straight forward on these pair, there is a power button on the band and volume +/next, play/pause/answer/reject and volume -/prev button on the traditional looking, in-line mic remote, like what we are used to on a wired pair, making it convenient compared to fiddling with and figuring out controls on the neck band. These pair feature NFC for easy pairing as added bonus.
The range is very good, it never dropped connection or skipped at me at all even at 30+ feet.
These earphones are great for phone calls too, they sound great and the other person had no complaints hearing me.
Everything is not perfect with these pair though, there is a slight hissing static noise with these when there is no music playing, this is not audible when the earphone is playing music but, at this price point this kind of feels cheap and the earphones weirdly does not charge from a USB C to C cable, you will need a USB A to C cable to charge them, even though RHA provides a short cable in the box, it is inconvenient to carry around additional cable since you can't charge with your phone's USB C charger.
RHA has done an incredibly job with these pair hitting all the right chords (for the most part), the build quality is great and it feels and sounds lot better than the ones that are priced more than twice as much as these, also these pair is almost perfect overall for except the minor quirks that I mentioned about, I'm glad that my quest is finally over.