A little-known brand a few years ago, RHA has quickly gained a small reputation in the market for intros earphones, despite fierce competition. A few weeks after the announcement of the RHA MA750 and RHA MA650 Wireless, the Scottish manufacturer presents us today the RHA MA650, an affordable wired declination Android compatible.
Next Article: Review: Beats Studio 3 Wireless
A serious finish and a very generous packaging
In terms of design, the RHA MA650 intros rely on a new dynamic transducer (380.1) inserted into a molded aluminum shell. The goal is to offer a compromise between a neat aesthetic, and on that side, it must also recognize the seductive character of the headphones, and lightness since the RHA MA650 show a relatively correct weight of 15 grams on the scale.
This choice ensures at the same time a good durability of the product, as we have been able to verify during the few days spent in their company, even if we are obviously far from the metal used on the models higher upmarket. The only real question comes rather, as often in this price range, the fineness of the cable, and by extension its resistance over time.
As we mentioned in the introduction, Android compatibility is the great feature of the RHA MA650. There is nothing exceptional in itself for a product of this type in 2017, it nonetheless remains that this little novelty is welcome, for a manufacturer who only offered until now MFi-certified headphones intended for Apple products.
The remote control is now fully functional on Android devices, three buttons are available to control his music, adjust the volume and manage calls. We find of course a microphone on the back of the capsule for use in a hands-free kit, and call Google Assistant if necessary via a long press on the central button.
In terms of accessories, Reid Heath Audio is always very generous. The headphones are delivered with no less than 9 pairs of silicone and foam tips, something to be greatly appreciated, and a small standard carrying pouch. Small nice touches, and quite rare for a pair of intros to ₹ 4,999.
A friendly but clean sound
Unlike other models such as the MA750 or T20, the MA650 are not necessarily intros designed to do in finesse. Which translates very concretely into a powerful and pleasantly impact bass, roundness rather marked on the low-midrange, but a beautiful amplitude sound. RHA clearly aims at an audience looking for a sound with marked coloring, without reaching certain extremes like the Beats.
A warm and welcoming character that is relatively pleasant and easy to live with on a daily basis on certain musical genres (Pop, electro music, RnB, Hip-Hop …), but a bias that inevitably affects styles that require more of clarity and refinement over the acute and mid frequency range. On some voices, a slight sibilance is also worth noting, it is not necessarily unpleasant, but it is a point to watch. However, it is very difficult to ask more for a pair of headphones intros less than ₹ 5,000.
With the GoPro Hero6 Black, the pioneer of the miniature camera has to prove itself again. Indeed the brand has been dispersed in recent years, it has rested on its laurels, while competition intensified, both from newcomers like Yi, who were almost as good for half the price, than historical brands like Sony, which did better for the same price.
However, and in the absence of interchangeable filters like the T10 / T20, the use of an external audio DAC can at least partially compensate for this double-edged facet. This is, for example, the case of the small Denon DA-10 I use personally for a few years now in junction with Hiby Music and Tidal applications.
Without counteracting the temperament of the MA650 (it is not the Court of Miracles either), it can advantageously gain in definition on the high-end spectrum, and some voices, and enhance the level of detail. This is obviously an example, I also have a small Fiio Andes E07K, but the results are much less convincing.
Finally, without doing better or worse than the competition, passive isolation is more than correct. Of course, there will be no hope for noisy urban environments or noise-canceling headphones will be much more comfortable, but the MA650A is doing the job right.
For less than ₹4,999, RHA MA650 provide most of what can be expected from a pair of intros for mobile use. An attractive design and a beautiful finish, a sound quality more than adequate and a wide choice of tips. Android compatibility was also expected for a long time, it remains only to hope that the manufacturer continues in this way.
Next Article: Review: RHA MA650 Wireless
Competition? Apart from the packaging and the quality of manufacture, two points on which RHA stands out from most models in this price range, the MA650 have to face the E3000 from Final Audio. The target audience is not quite the same, the mobility aspect having been totally set aside in the absence of fundamentals (remote control/handsfree), the sound signature is, however, more suitable to suit those who are more in search of a balanced sound.