RHA MA600i and MA750i: Scottish Lowlanders

This is what I wrote to the good people of RHA because Valentin would do the review. My point of view was just for them, but why not post it here as well. Be aware that Valentin had a lot more time with the units than I did. This is just a little extra and a second view on these units but I do think that Valentin was extra harsh on the 600.

MA600i

In short, I think the price quality ratio is correct (70€), it isn’t the best iem I’ve ever heard but in its price class it’s ok. It has a very dark background and sound stage isn’t the biggest, it’s a more compressed sound and that’s understandable. At the same time you get a more inside your head, centered sound but with good left/right separation. I’d say the detail retrieval is normal for this price. Big focus of the unit is on the bass. Bass isn’t always tight and can be boomy taking over part of the mids. To me the 600 is clearly made for the day to day popular music, R&B, etc where bass is important and detail and extension isn’t the biggest concern. However it does that pretty good. Overall pace and attack of the 600 isn’t the best making it a bit slow to listen to with fast rock and metal (but as I said, it’s more of a big crowd iem for popular music). It’s a fun iem to listen to while commuting with a big toe tapping factor and great isolation.

MA600i_packaging

MA750i

Clearly the 750 (at 106€) is a big step up from the 600. Sound stage is a lot bigger and more up to the level I’m used to (but I’m spoiled). Detail retrieval is good and the inside your head sound is gone, it has a lot of space between instruments and a more 3 dimensional sound. The750 is a lot more linear as well, the focus on bass is gone and treble is further extended. You get a very clear, pleasant and faster sound suitable for all musical genres. Bass here isn’t as punchy and doesn’t have as much body as in the 600, but it’s more detailed, faster and tighter: Way better. It’s still a darker sounding iem but with good clarity. It has a nice balance between musicality and technicality. A great price/quality ratio and my favorite unit by far.

MA750i-packaging

Looks & comfort

They both look great, especially the 750 and for the price you get a lot of tips and accessories. The 750 pouch is hard to close but I’m nitpicking here. I’m a big fan of over the ear iems, so clearly the 750 wins in this category too. I like both cables, clearly the 750 cable is better but it’s also heavier and the control unit doesn’t help in that regard. The plug with the spring is an excellent idea and I can appreciate it although most people who use iems on the go prefer 90° or 45° angled plugs (less space needed). Personally I could do without the remote, bringing me to my next points: comfort/fit & weight. Both iems are on the heavier side, especially the 750 and the cable with control ads to the total weight. I personally had a lot of problems to get and keep a good fit, and without good fit the sound quality of course drops huge. My ears aren’t the easiest for using tips and I hardly find any that fit me, that’s why I’m a fan of custom monitors. Sitting down and listening to music is ok, but walking around didn’t work for me. I tried a lot of the tips (even the foam ones) but couldn’t get a good lasting seal. The 750 being over the ear is more comfortable as the over ear system keeps it from moving a bit. So maybe it’s just my weird ears (following Valentin’s comment, I should have ear surgery)

What to remember?

It’s clear the 750 is the more audiophile unit and it’s a great sounding iem for that matter, I like it, especially at this price. It’s one I can and will fully recommend.

 

Thank you RHA for sending us the samples. As Valentin sad you can buy them from their website, the Apple stores or their dealer network. We hope to see great even higher level products of RHA in the future.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Valentin is a mid-20’s multi-tasker. Played a lot of instruments from the age of 5-6 and onward. Grew his hair, experimented with 4x12” Mesa Boogies whilst growling in front of a mic. Cut his hair and DJ’d electro beats at clubs. Grew a moustache and people started calling him Dr. Hogea. Has ravaged through all genres you could imagine. A playlist with Warren Zevon, Dissection and Dead Prez is the daily diet. Preferably in a transportable manner. Life is too short for a desk.

    32 Comments

    • Reply November 20, 2013

      Toni Alvarez Fdez

      In this price range, the Hifiman RE-400 are unbeatable!!

      • Reply November 20, 2013

        L.

        Maybe, maybe not. Like Valentin said, we won’t compare it to other iems. We’re just reviewing these units. I hope the comments won’t all be like this or I will be hitting the delete button a lot 😀

        • Reply November 20, 2013

          Toni Alvarez Fdez

          Ok, I hit it for u, no problem! But imho it is impossible to know how good are headphones without comparing them to others in the same price range.

    • Reply November 20, 2013

      George Lai

      Like Lieven, I just can’t use stock tips. Round ones, Klipsch oval ones, single/double/triple flanges, foam ones, Comply tips, Westone ridged ones etc. Time to explore custom IEMs. Right, Lieven?

      • Reply November 20, 2013

        L.

        Exactly!

    • Reply November 24, 2013

      MassiveTurboLag

      Valentin, are you Romanian?

      • Reply November 25, 2013

        Valentin

        MTL, you could say that yes, my parents are romanian. However, I wouldn’t consider myself romanian, other than speaking the language fluently, haven’t lived there for many many years. /V

        • Reply November 25, 2013

          MassiveTurboLag

          Damn my spidey sense is sharp.

        • Reply November 26, 2013

          stan zorin

          A person’s identity comes from his or her ethnic origin and not from a piece of paper that is driver licence or passport. If your parents were Romanian then you are also Romanian. Good for you, you know who you are, you know who your ancestors are. You are not a rootless and confused man like for instance many Americans are; one quarter Irish and one eight both Chinese and Italian and one half ‘chocolate’ colour citizen.

    • Reply November 25, 2013

      James

      How do these compare to the unobtainable in the U.S. CKM55’s?

      • Reply November 25, 2013

        L.

        I have no clue, I doubt Valentin does either

      • Reply November 25, 2013

        Mike

        The CKM55s are a fun bass consumer IEM. The RHA is a more proper audiophile IEM.

      • Reply February 24, 2014

        ohm image

        Mike is right. I can add that even with Ocharaku’s mod, the CKM55 doesn’t really get over its mid-bass hump. The sound is fun, but next to the RHA, it is nothing great. These earphones are excellent.

    • Reply December 5, 2013

      Joël Bühler

      Hey there,
      Are the Phonax audéo PFE 012 similar to these IEM?
      Thanks

      • Reply December 5, 2013

        Mike

        Nah, the Phonak sound is unique to their own brand I think.

    • Reply August 5, 2014

      Marius Lievense

      Today I received the MA750i and I really like the sound straight out of my iPhone 5s. No need for EQ and no quality loss. They sound a bit on the dark side, but I like this sound (at home I play with HD650 + Little Dot MKIII with Mullard M8161 tubes). For 99 euro including Apple mic and remote een great deal. You only need Comply foam tips for a good seal.

      • Reply August 5, 2014

        dalethorn

        I had a very favorable impression of the MA750.

      • Reply August 5, 2014

        L.

        M750 is a nice iem. But to me still mid fi.

    • Reply August 15, 2014

      Ste

      Hi Guys, quick question.. would it be possible to use the rha 750i in the gym? or do you perhaps think the metal shell would be too weighty and fall out? was gonna buy a pair for my workouts.. Thanks

      • Reply August 16, 2014

        L.

        No they wouldn’t be any good for that

        • Reply August 16, 2014

          Ste

          ah well,bought them now anyway..other people told me they are very secure in the ear with the ear hooks..im sure they will be fine

          • Reply August 16, 2014

            L.

            Good luck. they already fell out my ears just sitting down 🙂

            • Reply August 16, 2014

              Ste

              Ha,maybe you have weird ears or are using a poor tip 😛

    • Reply August 30, 2014

      BitHacker

      “If you’re on the analytical side and listen to acoustic, classical, jazz etc. I would consider something else.”
      Can you please recommend something? I’m looking for audiophile IEMs, that can be used with iPhone.

      • Reply August 30, 2014

        Fakeer

        I will also be interested in this answer 🙂

      • Reply August 30, 2014

        L.

        Budget?

        • Reply August 30, 2014

          BitHacker

          $200 to $300 max.

      • Reply August 31, 2014

        dalethorn

        I liked the B&O H3 a lot. People I know say that some of the Final Audio IEM’s are really good, like the Heaven IV. But there are other good brands like some of the Westones, Shure, Senn IE80 etc.

      • Reply August 31, 2014

        ohm image

        You are looking for an analytical or semi-analytical IEM in the 200-300$ range? There are several awesome choices out there, but the two earphones I personally stand by are ones I split between utility/strength, and comfort/ease of insertion.

        1: Audio Technica CK10. I’ve had mine since 2008. It is like an ER4 for people that found the ER4 too harsh and lacking bass. It uses dual small drivers in TWFK format. They kick out great detail from mids to upper mids, while put decent contrast in the bass. Highs are not scratchy, but are accurate and fast. Great for pretty much everything if you don’t mind that bass power isn’t huge.

        extra plusses: Extremely strong (you can step on them), best cable in the business, tiny, and good isolation.

        2: Grado GR8: This earphone looks inexpensive but costs about 200$. It uses a single moving armature, and therefore has lovely, nuanced bass and mids. Bass isn’t too strong though. But detail from mids to bass are very good. Highs are less nuanced but extend well. This is one I’d choose if the CK10 was too analytical. It’s an analytical earphone with training wheels. Great for tapping your feet and still hearing everything.

        Other derivatives of the Grado are ortofon e-Q5 and e-Q7 (great earphones). There are some good dynamic driver earphones out there, but you really need to have the right materials to make dynamics not only put out the same level of ‘detail’ but also to elude the sometimes awful plastic sound that can echo into the ear.

        Good dynamics are often quite expensive – if you are looking for an accurate/articulate sound.

        • Reply October 28, 2014

          Fakeer

          Anything near 750i’s price?

    • Reply November 13, 2014

      NinjaQuick

      dunu dn1000

    • Reply November 13, 2014

      NinjaQuick

      I’ve had these for two months now.

      They have a very big sound. They’re deep, fast. Very deep. They aren’t boomy, especially when you have more sounds, and the dynamic driver is given more work. If all that is going through is bass, then they can be characterized as being overly bassy. I listen to lots of classical music, and it really comes alive with the 750s.

      They have loads of energy, timbre, clarity. That said, they do have an upper limit, they distort a little as you get close to high volumes, but this happens just as you reach the threshold of pain, so really, listening anywhere near their max should be something you never, ever, do.

      Basically, if you got here, to this review, after already becoming curious about these, then I highly recommend you buy them. They are exactly what you are looking for.

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