Review: RHA’s newest headphones are affordable, competent earbuds for the gymrats among us


Glasgow-based headphone model RHA, a staple of the UK audio scene, simply launched a white version of its popular MA650 earbuds. These conventional-looking headphones join over Bluetooth, cost over USB-C, and supply a stable listening expertise for the palatable value of £99 (or $99.95 within the US).

RHA despatched us a pair for overview, and we didn’t hesitate in placing it via its paces.


The MA650 is a good-looking piece of tech — particularly clad in white. As somebody fed up with invariably drab, normally black audio panorama, however with no want to stump up for the garishly-bright (and obscenely overpriced) Beats gear, I discovered it to be refreshing.

The overview unit got here with medium eartips put in, which snugly match into my ear canal. The enclosure of the earbud is a shiny metallic, which feels premium and appears effortlessly fashionable. These additionally conceal magnets, permitting you to attach the earbuds if you’re not listening to them — making it much less probably you’ll lose your newly-bought headphones.

Additional down the cable, you’ll come throughout the distant. This allows you to skip and pause tracks, and entry your telephone’s voice assistant. I used it with Siri and Google Assistant alike, and it labored very well. The built-in microphone provided equally acceptable voice high quality when inserting telephone calls.

The MA650 comes with two giant cylinders containing the battery and USB-C charging port. These are linked by a thick, pliable strip of rubber, which feels powerful. Sadly, this doesn’t proceed to the cables connecting them with the earbuds, which is skinny and feels considerably fragile.

Talking of which, can I simply word how welcome USB-C charging is? That is nonetheless sadly a little bit of a rarity within the headphone world, with many units coming with MicroUSB ports. Given most telephone producers have moved on and embraced the brand new USB-C customary, it’s good to solely have to hold one charging cable.

It’s additionally value noting that the MA650 meets the IPV4 customary, which makes it “sweatproof.” Whilst you in all probability shouldn’t take these into the bathe, you’ll be capable to put on them in your exercise with out the worry of damaging them irreperably.


Though these headphones don’t ship with lively noise cancelling — not like the slightly cheaper Xiaomi Mi Noise Cancelling Earphones — they nonetheless had been in a position to block out most exterior noise. I used to be in a position to take heed to podcasts and songs whereas strolling my canine, with out the annoyance of visitors noises penetrating my bubble.

When it comes to efficiency, I used to be prettty impressed. The MA650 exceeded the expectations I had for headphones of its value vary.

The bass on these headphones is very pronounced. That’s about proper for one thing that’ll inevitably be used within the health club. In the event you’re pounding laps on the treadmill, you’ll need the momentum of Skrillex and Lil Pump to hold you ahead.

Issues go a bit of bit downhill in terms of trebles and mids, however not markedly so. Falsetto voices didn’t sound strained, and I used to be fairly glad with the way it reproduced softer people tracks from the likes of William Fitzsimmons, Julien Baker, and The Staves.

Bluetooth high quality generally is a little hit-and-miss, however I used to be glad with the MA650. In my three weeks with the buds, I’ve but to expertise a cut-out. This compares favorably to my different each day driver — the Plantronics Backbeat PRO 2 — that are vastly extra temperamental.

I used to be additionally actually impressed with the longevity of the battery, which endured hours upon hours of listening. RHA reckons you will get 12 hours playback life from a single cost, and in my expertise, that’s about proper.

Who’re the RHA MA650 White for?

The bass-heavy audio efficiency, mixed with the IPV4 sweatproof ranking, and the strong construct high quality implies that these are perfect for anybody who considers themself to be a little bit of a health club rat. This class of particular person would possibly discover the absence of any noise cancellation to be a deal-breaker, however I used to be impressed with how these unhealthy boys overcame their exterior environments.

The sub-$100 market is a reasonably crowded one, and in case you’re not satisfied by these, there are different earphones value contemplating. On the backside finish of the market is Anker’s Soundbuds Life, which I’ve used beforehand, and have been fairly impressed with.

In case your telephone boasts USB-C, you could possibly additionally check out Xiaomi’s ANC earbuds, which my colleague Abhimanyu reviewed earlier this yr. Suffice to say, he’s a fan.

And if cables aren’t your factor, you could possibly additionally have a look at the current flood of Airpod-inspired “me too” units. Anker’s Zolo Liberty wireless earpods price the identical because the MA650. Though they’re a bit extra temperamental than RHA’s dependable earbuds, they’re a compelling various.

If you wish to give RHA’s earbuds a attempt, you possibly can seize a pair for £99.95 on its website, or for $99.95 on Amazon US.

This submit will not be sponsored, nevertheless it consists of affiliate hyperlinks to merchandise that you could purchase on-line. If you buy them via our hyperlinks, we get a small reduce of the income.

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