RHA stands for Reid and Heath Acoustics, which is a division of the Reid and Health Group, a specialist British headphone company that strives for the best possible audio quality with a unique and durable design to match. The RHA MA350 are no different, with their unusual funnel shape and sound that even headphones that are three times as expensive wouldn’t have to be ashamed of.
Design and build quality
Most earbuds are shaped like those handheld voice amplifiers, but the MA350 are different. Their reverse horn shape is inspired by the design of a trumpet’s bell, giving them very favorable acoustic properties.
RHA certainly didn’t cut any corners when it comes to the construction. The entire body is made from solid aircraft grade machined aluminum, which is then sandblasted and partially anodized in matte black. The combination of the exposed silver part of the housing with the black anodizing makes the headphones look premium and very attractive. The only other design elements are the whitish logo on the back and a small, almost invisible black marking, which tells you which headphone belongs to which ear. You have to look under the right light to see, but when you find it for the first time, you won’t have a problem to find it again in the future.
The overall high build quality is apparent even in such small details as is the driver grille, which is made entirely out of metal. Many other manufacturers use plastic or paper filters that often get all crooked or become jammed with earwax. When you try to take them out and clean, you find yourself unable to do so due to their fragile nature.
Another advantage of the reverse horn shape is the comfort that the RHA MA350 offer. That’s because the headphones are narrowest where they actually meet your ear and thickest on the opposite side. This anatomically logical shape also results in an excellent sound isolation, but more on that later.
The RHA MA-350 earphones come with a 1.2m fabric-covered cable. When compared to more common plastic cables, it’s easy to how the fabric reduces tangling and friction, making the headphones comfortable against your skin. We think that 1.2m is just about the perfect cable length for any earbuds, as it allows you to move freely without any snagging.
The 3.5mm audio jack is gold plated for better audio quality and housed inside a small plastic housing, which should work flawlessly with all modern smartphones and portable audio players. The cable is split into two separate cables using a small plastic tie. Using this tie, you can adjust the slack in the wire, making the earbuds either more secure or more comfortable.
Surprisingly, the MA350 can also be worn over-ear. The fabric-covered cable willingly comforts to the shape of your ears, reducing microphonics to nearly nothing. What else can we say? The RHA MA350 are a very versatile pair of affordable headphones that can be recommended to fitness enthusiasts and commuters alike.
The RHA MA350 sport a pretty impressive set of 10mm drivers that were designed from the ground up to deliver booming bass and overall sound accuracy. This alone wouldn’t make the earbuds too special, though. It’s their remarkable likability that will make you swear by RHA’s ability to engineer a sound signature with almost universal appeal.
The sound is warm, rich, entertaining, non-fatiguing, and alive with detail. Some headphones fail to find the sweet spot between too much detail and too much fun, but these certainly don’t have the same problem. No matter what kind of music you listen to, the MA350 won’t leave you disappointed.
Bass is well-rounded and goes as deep as you push it. Play boomy EDM and the headphones will reward you with a memorable experience that will make your head bob to the rhythm and your feet tap on the floor. Does the bass make the mids muddy and unappealing? Not at all. They remain clean, responsive, and utmost accurate.
Highs don’t have that harsh peak that, while sometimes desirable, inevitably leads to listening fatigue. Similarly, sibilance is nowhere to be found, and we can’t say that we miss it. All of this goes to show that excellent sound quality can be obtained even from headphones as affordable as the RHA MA350. It just takes a team of experienced audio engineers who know what they are doing.
Your iPod or smartphone should be able to drive the headphones without any problems, so you can leave your headphone amplifier at home. Using it anyway won’t lead to any noticeable improvements in the sound quality – the headphones already sound great as they are – but it will slightly raise the maximum volume level. But given how load the MA350 already are, we advise you to protect your ears and keep the volume down.
We’ve already hinted at the impressive noise-cancellation ability of the MA350 in an earlier section of this review, but we would like to stress again just how effective they are at blocking all unwanted noise. The provided rubber tips form a good seal, and the completely closed housing keeps all air inside.
What’s in the box?
The packaging includes a handy drawstring soft case to protect the earbuds from damage, 3 pairs of replaceable eartips, and earbuds themselves.