RHA a division of Reid Heath, have released a successor to the MA-350 Earphones, dubbed the RHA MA-450i Earphones. We loved the MA-350 Earphones, they had an excellent build coupled with accomplished audio performance but the lack of a remote and microphone prevented them from gaining a full five stars. This time around a remote and microphone have been included, so what do we think, keep on reading.
After first removing the earphones from the retail packaging, it was very apparent that the build is still top notch. The strong trumpet bell shaped silver lightweight and small aluminium buds look identical but are no longer matte in finish, instead are now glossy. Each buds flat rear back can come in two colours, black or white, also glossy in finish. The 1.5m braided cable doesn't just look better than it's plastic counterparts, it performs better too, because the cable is harder to tangle and is also generally more durable and hard wearing. They're a very smart looking pair of earphones and the design should still be applauded.
Seven sets of interchangeable tips are neatly found in a small box within the retail packaging. Removing and applying tips takes around a minute for each bud, some are a little harder than others to remove and apply. I found the default tips offered me the most comfort coupled with compactness. But the sheer choice of tips in different sizes and styles, really shows how much RHA want you to have the best possible listening experience. Also included within the box is a travel pouch.
If a pair of earphones or earbuds doesn't have a built in remote these days, I'm not going use them as my everyday pair. Possibly sounds a little unfair but I need that functionality, even if it's a cheap and cheerful implementation. So when I first read that the MA-450i's had a remote for Apple devices to take advantage of, I was very excited. After using these earphones for two weeks, I can safely say that the remote is one of the best I've ever seen or tried. It's brilliantly contoured to hold between your index finger and thumb. The buttons are all separate and very responsive when clicked. Offering adjustment of volume, pausing/ resuming music and answering calls. Also a single microphone is located on the rear of the remote and is adequate for phone calls but is a little sensitive to the wind.
Noise isolation is very good. You can't hear the exterior audio from the earphones when in public and loud noises from surroundings doesn't creep into your music either. The exceptional noise isolation is due to the aluminium used on the buds.
Down to what really matters, audio quality. Here is where the really noticeable differences from the MA-350's show. The on paper specs are as follows, 10mm drivers, a frequency range of 16-22,000HZ, Max Power of 3/10mW and the impedance of 16ohms. The audio generated from these specs has striking depth, dazzling distinction of individual elements, accurate treble, exceptional acoustics, deep but not harsh bass and the volume can be cranked all the way, with zero distortion. We tested these across many genres of music and they performed magnificently, audio is rich and detailed, it makes listening to music a pleasure.
The RHA MA-450i Earphones are brilliantly built and designed, deliver exceptional audio quality and have a fantastic supplied remote control. At an RRP of £49.95 and available to purchase for just £39.95 on Amazon, I can't point to a better option in the price range. We look forward to seeing what this Scottish company has in stall for us in the future.