As a follow up from our little listen at the RHA booth we’ve got a pair of the ‘budget-fi’ MA750i’s which did impress in the far less than ideal listening environment that was a great hall in Munich. As a company RHA is a British audio outfit who “…stand for true-to-life audio reproduction and lasting quality.” They believe the sound experience they are targeting is an accurate, comfortable and unobtrusive one. Just take a quick look on their website and you will see all their earphones look stunning, this is part of their philosophy too, with high quality materials, solid build and great design all taking high priorities. It’s refreshing to have a company pay this much attention to its design, but obviously is has to sound good as well and at £89.95 this would be impressive.
The MA750 is a single dynamic driver IEM with full stainless steel housing, jack and Y split. We have an in line microphone and volume control which is compatible with IOS devices, unfortunately not Android, however I am able to pause music on my HTC using the middle button. The earphones are to be worn over the ear, RHA make that clear with the fixed loops, I like this though as it reduces microphonics and its really quite comfortable which is certainly not always the case.
We have a claimed Frequency range of 16-40,000Hz, impedance of 16 Ohm and 100dB sensitivity. The earphones only weigh 35g despite the steel construction so they are not fatiguing from weight to me. A standard 1.35m OFC cable, but it’s a pretty nice cable I have to say, good flexibility and doesn’t tangle.
Tips, Tips and More Tips
To get 9 pairs of tips is pretty good, especially when it consists of dual flange, foam and a selection of silicone. It is necessary though as tip selection has a massive effect on sound and comfort on these earphones, more so than I had been expecting. The best bit though is the aluminium ‘tray’ that all your tips fit onto perfectly. I absolutely love this detail and it helps give the product a really premium touch.
You get a shirt clip too which quickly takes the premium edge away, oh and by the way, the clip is completely unusable due to the thickness of the cable. You also get a semi hard carrying wallet which is plenty big enough for your earphones and some tips, I reckon you could get an AK Jr in there too if you really wanted. It’s a fake leather case that is very soft and very light but it does feel pretty cheap to be honest but let’s not forget you are getting all of this for £90 quid! There is nothing ‘cheap’ about the build of the earphones though, believe me…
They look fantastic let’s be honest, the stainless steel housing is a brilliant piece of engineering and at £90 I haven’t seen anything better. I think the cable looks good too, with the gun metal grey finish and a very durable feel. Y split looks solid and the jack follows the same trend. Simple things like the material consistency between y split, jack and housing is really nice and gives the impression of a really polished, well thought out product. There is a spring type strain relief on the jack as you will see in the picture which is very effective in preventing unwanted bending but I actually quite like the look too.
Build quality is one of the highlights of the product. Its brilliant attention to detail really makes the difference in giving you the confidence in the quality of the product. The cable is thick enough to be durable but not become uncomfortable or intrusive and as I mentioned, the stainless steel elements really do go that extra mile for durability. If I’m looking for something not so great, the carry pouch doesn’t have the same level of quality as the product itself, it feels like it’s reinforced with cardboard actually.
While on the subject of build, it’s worth mentioning the very impressive 3 year warranty that is especially attractive for an earphone that costs this much. Having worked in the electronic industry I know how frustrating it is when products break and there is no warranty to cover the fault, 3 years is an exceptional length of time, not to be underrated.
They Even Fit my Tiny Ears!
Without a doubt one of the more comfortable universal IEM’s I have tried however, this does take a little bit of patience with tip rolling to find a scenario where you get both deep enough insertion and comfort. I personally find the dual flange tips to work brilliantly for my ears and the foam tips are good too. Unusually for me the single flange silicone tips just don’t do it, I don’t get a proper seal and insertion isn’t deep enough. A little experimenting is needed for sure.
Isolation isn’t poor but it’s not outstanding by any means I certainly am not completely isolated from the world around me. This is in part down to the fact there is a tiny port that dynamic drivers tend to incorporate to allow a bit more air movement. Experimenting to find the right fit for you is key and could take a little bit of time with the 750’s, but when you get there, everything is sweet.
It is a bass tilted earphone and it has enough of an emphasis on sub bass to keep them sounding totally unbablanced, in terms of consistency especially. The good extension and decent control (bearing in mind the price tag) set it apart from lots of the bloomy bass craved others around the more accessible price range that this is. Another distinguishing factor is the fact that the treble is quite prominent without being sibilant or harsh. It might not have extension that makes its mark but in the lower and upper treble there is a little spike which I genuinely quite like. Mids are set back slightly which some people prefer; they can also sound a little restrained at times.
Soundstage is actually pretty good with enough width and depth for you to feel involved in the music but by no means enormous. The imagery is also a little vague for my liking but seriously for the price I can’t complain. I’m just trying to convey that they aren’t a ‘giant killer’ or worth three times the price, people use those phrases too often with good lower cost earphones for my liking.
I have spoken about the importance of tips with these earphones and one area it makes a massive difference is in the bass. Initially I found bass to be quite empty and lacking any power or texture. With considerable burn in and some tip rolling I found a much more bodied sound from dual flange tips and even more so from the foam ones. It really does make a difference. Everything fills out and becomes a more impactful experience. Bearing in mind the price I think these have better controlled bass than you will expect as decay is quicker than lots of earphones with a similar signature. For example, both the Kennerton Algiz and Aursisonics ASG2.5 have more powerful but less precise bass to me, and both cost considerably more.
The mid band takes a lot of influence from tips too; foam gives a much warmer tone to vocals and softens the upper mid/lower treble spike. The stock tips gave a colder, thinner rendition of the same vocal for me so it’s all about finding what you want, as with everything in this industry! I do prefer a more forward vocal presentation though and these are just a little recessed for me, I also find them a little uninteresting and a bit dull actually! But hey, for £90 they are pretty inoffensive and offer enough detail and clarity to be acceptable and never show any sign of sibilance or becoming uncomfortable while maintaining some texture and body.
Treble is rolled off at the top of the register despite the claimed 16-40000hz frequency response (although perhaps the information is there but teh 10kHz boost steals the limelight), but where there is treble I quite like it. It’s refreshing to see a good lower treble presence on a bassier earphone, normally either too bright, like it can be on the Algiz or too relaxed and dull sounding. The lower treble spike does a good job of lightening up the sound somewhat and the 10kHz peak offer sparkle. It is a separate entity to both the mids and bass which prevents the 750i from sounding congested and bland, it gives a lively flare to the music that wouldn’t be there otherwise and it makes for an enjoyable listen I have to say!
RHA’s Priorities Make Sense
The MA750i is a very good all round product. It combines good sound quality that can keep most satisfied whether self-confessed critical listeners or people just getting into the hobby or simply with a smaller budget. The amazing build and a 3 year warranty make it an attractive prospect for people on the go too, it’s a really nice product and for £90 I think it does a great job, especially if you want a good thump of bass without over doing things and without sacrificing any clarity or treble presence. Once you get the right fit, which can take some time, you will be rewarded.
There you have it, well priced, good sound and stunning build.
RHA have done a good job and I look forward to taking our next part of the journey, a closer look at the T20 to see if they can succeed in that area of the market too.