Home / Earphone Review / RHA MA750 / MA750i Review

RHA MA750 / MA750i Review

RHA MA750
Reviewed December 2014

Details: Flagship in-ear from Scotland-based RHA
MSRP: $119.95 (manufacturer’s page) ; $129.95 for MA750i w/mic & 3-button remote (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $120 from amazon.com for MA750; $130 from amazon.com for MA750i
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 100 dB | Freq: 16-22k Hz | Cable: 4.4′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) – Single-flange (6 pairs in 3 sizes) and double-flange (2 sizes) silicone tips, foam tips (2 pairs), shirt clip, stainless steel eartip caddy, and zippered leather carrying case
Build Quality (5/5) – As with RHA’s lower-end models, the construction is impeccable. The MA750 boasts machined stainless steel housings, metal nozzle filters, and thick, rubbery cables. At the earphone end there is a molded “earhook” section about 4” long. It’s not memory wire, but it’s a lot more comfortable than the earhooks I’ve come across in the past. The cable is thick and tangle-resistant, and all of the hardware is metal, including the 3.5mm I-plug with a long “spring” strain relief. The 3-year warranty is very impressive as well
Isolation (3.5/5) – The housings are narrow at the front, allowing a good insertion depth and good isolation
Microphonics (4.5/5) – The cable carries some noise but microphonics are generally not a problem due to mandatory over-the-ear fitment and the fact that the cord is thick and heavy, and doesn’t move around much
Comfort (4/5) – The earphone housings have a familiar flared shape a-la Dunu Trident and RHA’s lower-end models. The earpieces of the MA750 made of stainless steel, though, so they are a little heavier. The small diameter at the front nonetheless affords a surprisingly comfortable fit considering the weight

Sound (8.9/10) – The previous RHA earphones I’ve tried left me impressed with their bass power and clarity, but the new MA750 is a strong performer all around. Its signature is predicated on enhanced bass, but less so compared to the lower-end models. It has a strong emphasis on sub-bass, and a little less on mid-bass. The bass quantity is not at what I would consider “basshead” level – deep bass presence is good with the MA750 but there’s not too much mid-bass punch compared to some of its competitors. On the other hand it is a lot bassier than the HiFiMan RE-400, which sounds more controlled but appears deficient in subbass in comparison the RHA unit.

The MA750 is warm in tone, but not overly so. It has decent enough treble presence to balance out the bass, though it is certainly is not a neutral earphone. The midrange is rich and full-bodied, with very decent clarity considering the sound signature. Clarity is better than with many other stereotypically “warm” earphones, such as the Sony MH1C and Dunu Trident. The RE-400, on the other hand, is more mid-centric, but still sounds more neutral and is a little clearer through its midrange. The pricier Dunu DN-1000 hybrid, too, is clearer, making the MA750 sound veiled comparison.

The upper midrange of the MA750 is energetic but emphasis diminishes before getting into the regions that typically cause harshness and sibilance. The MA750 is brighter overall compared to the Sony MH1C and Dunu Trident and has a slight tendency to sound “tizzy”, especially at high volumes, thanks to the lower treble emphasis. It isn’t bothersome, however, and I definitely would not call the treble energy excessive. On the other end of the spectrum, the Dunu DN-1000 has treble that is brighter and more revealing of artifacts, making the MA750 sound quite smooth in comparison.

Presentation-wise, the MA750 performs well for the price. Its soundstage is larger than those of the MH1C and Trident, and separation is better as well. The Trident especially sounds more in-the-head and congested in comparison. Aside from the enhanced bass having the ability to throw a slight veil over minute details and take away from its imaging ability, there is not much to complain about with the MA750 here.

Select Comparisons

RHA MA350 ($40)

RHA’s $40 MA350 is one of my favorite budget-friendly sets for enhanced bass, but while the flagship model does command a healthy price premium, it also offers up a significantly more refined sound. The MA350 has strong, domineering bass, but the MA750 manages to sound rich and full-bodied while maintaining lower overall bass quantity and better bass control. It’s more balanced, as well as smoother and more refined. The treble of the MA350 is a little grainy in comparison, and more prone to harshness. The MA750 sounds more natural and enjoys a larger presentation with better depth and separation, making the MA350 appear congested in comparison.

Onkyo IE-HF300 ($129)

The IE-HF300 couldn’t be more different from the RHA MA750 in design, but sonically both earphones tend towards a warm, enhanced-bass sound. The RHA unit boasts bass that is both more extended and more powerful overall. The HF300, meanwhile, has less bass quantity with a focus on mid-bass. This results in mids that are a little more veiled compared to the MA750. The MA750 sounds clearer and more crisp, though it is a little more laid-back at the top end compared to the Onkyos. Both earphones boast above-average soundstages, with the HF300 being a little more open-sounding.

RBH EP1 ($149)

Yet another enhanced-bass, consumer-friendly earphone in the sub-$150 range, the EP1 nonetheless offers a sizable contrast to the MA750. Both earphones have a strong emphasis on bass but the MA750 is a little more powerful here, which gives it a warmer and more full-bodied sound. The RBH earphones place more emphasis on the midrange and sound a little clearer as a result. The MA750, on the other hand, has a thicker midrange presentation and a smoother and more forgiving sound. The RHA also boasts a slightly wider presentation and tonal character that, to me, is more natural overall.

VSonic GR07 Bass Edition ($179)

This earphone’s “Bass Edition” moniker is only true insofar as it is more bass-heavy than the regular GR07. Next to the MA750, however, the GR07BE sounds rather balanced. The RHA unit has more bass and a warmer tonal character while the GR07 is closer to neutral. The bass of the MA750 is boomier and results in more veiling of the midrange. The GR07BE lacks some of the full-bodied character of the RHA, but remains clearer, especially in the midrange. Up top, the MA750 is a little smoother where it counts while the GR07 is more sibilance-prone.

THL Recommended Badge 2014Value (9/10) – The RHA MA750 has a lot going for it – a warm and lush sound, spacious presentation, and good bass presence. No less important is the construction quality, which features stainless steel housings and thick cabling. The earphones are comfortable, too, thanks in large part to the over-the-ear fit and molded earhooks, and isolate surprisingly well. Most impressively, the MA750 is not at all exorbitantly-priced – it’s extremely comfortable just north of $100. Early last year I found myself impressed with the entry-level MA350 and hoped to see more great things from RHA, and this year starts off with another hit from the Scottish manufacturer.

Pros: Extremely solid build quality; 3 year warranty; warm sound with excellent bass presence
Cons: Housings a bit on the heavy side

About ljokerl

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

63 comments

  1. Hi, first of all i wanted to thank you for all your hard work !!
    i want to get a good par of in earphones, the thing is i don’t live in America, i’ll have to import them and i can’t apply any garante if they broke, so i’m looking for a sollid earphones.
    i really like these but i’m not sure if it is better to get these or get something like the Shure 215 with a detachable cable that can be more durable.

    I’ll use them mostly on the streets, i can be really carefull with them, but i’ll use them all the time, so i don’t if it is bettet to get the shures or the RHAs or even get some cheaper ones like the UE600. (also i listen mustly groups like Daft Punk, Red Hot chilli Peppers, Strokes)

    Sorry if u can’t understand me, English is not my native language

    Thank you again for everything ! :D

    • It’s hard to say whether these or the SE215 will be more durable in the long run, but if you have to import everything the replaceable cables of the SE215 might not be viable for you since replacements can end up being expensive.

      If you’re worried about spending a lot you can definitely get a good earphone that’s less expensive, but don’t get the UE600 – it’s just not designed for durability. You can get a very good earphone for under $50 these days – the Xiaomi Piston 2, for example. It won’t be as impressive in terms of sound as the RHA or even UE600, but it’s not miles behind and will be much cheaper to replace when it breaks since you can’t take advantage of warranties.

  2. Anthony Maddison

    Hi Joker, excellent review as ever.

    I wanted to ask about a three way comparison really if I may. I currently have a set of Shure SE425’s but I wanted another earphone with a Mic so it could double it for conference calls with work, so after spending a lot of time on your site went for the MA750i. I couldn’t be happier with them in general and I really like the sound signature I get from them, everything is more upbeat and I’ve found myself really liking music I was a little tired of previously hearing using them over the SE425’s, and my problem is that my SE425’s sound a little dull in comparison….

    So began the search for something to replace the Shures. There are a lot of review sites on the net all advocating different models as the best and I can’t help but think that a lot of them are sponsored by manufactures, apart from yours. I’ve been reading back through a lot of your older reviews and have asked a few questions on your facebook page (sorry if I’m getting annoying by the way!) and various models stood out, Custom Art Music One/two, UE 900, or the DUNU DN-2000.

    Of the three (or any others you’d recommend) what would be your recommendation? I’m not exactly flush with money but I’d happily spend $300-$400 on a set due to the amount of use I’d get out of them, with a preference towards V-shaped or warm balance.

    Many Thanks
    Anth

    • You know, that was one of the reasons my reviews on Head-Fi and here are organized the way they are. Even without conscious bias it’s very easy to be excited about every new thing, especially on a forum – wanting to be part of the discussion and all that. Having to put some numbers on the performance (that can be at least to a degree verified/questioned by others running the same comparisons with other sets) is a good way to keep everything balanced.

      I guess the question to ask would be, what are you looking for in terms of sound signature in comparison to the MA750s, which is both warm and somewhat v-shaped? I.e. what’s the MA750 not doing for you?

      The three sets you are considering right now are fairly different – the Music One is balanced with a slightly warm tilt due to the (marginally) relaxed treble (akin to a HiFiMan RE-400) while the UE900 is balanced with a brighter tilt. The DN-2000 is more v-shaped than both of these, with more bass. In terms of bass (especially subbass) presence it’s closer to the MA750 than to the UE900 or Custom Art Music One.

      • Anthony Maddison

        Hi thanks for the reply, I should have probably clarified one or two things in my initial post reading it back.

        It’s not so much that there’s anything the MA750i isn’t doing, I really like them and if anything I much prefer them over my more expensive Shures, it’s more the fact that I like to have two separate sets. One I use for work when on calls (hence the mic was needed) and listening to music in between, the other will be for when I’m at home, out running, at the gym, on holiday… I very much like the warm and V-shaped signatures as it tends to fit better with my preferred music taste, upbeat rock. It sounds like the DN-2000 is probably going to be the best match for me from your reply (unless there’s anything other with the same signature that may be a better unit overall for the price) which matches from my initial thought as well so thanks for that. Perhaps in the past I’ve approached it wrong and gone for the best set overall I could get for the money rather than getting the best set for my preferred listening tastes (in truth, until your post about the buyer guide on signature I’d never even considered that at all).

        If you have a UK affiliate link to get hold of a set then please feel free to post up, if I can give a little back the site I’m more than happy to do so, it’s been a massive help to myself and no doubt lots of others. I’ll also need some comply tips for DN-2000 and the MA750’s so again any affiliate links you have I’ll use.

        Regarding your initial comment, totally agree. I’d never had put myself in the category of being an audiophile, but I guess I’m turning into one and I’ve been watching your blog posts with mounting interest for a while and using the Head-Fi page for a couple of years. I must have spent hours on that site reviewing and re-reviewing posts and comparing them to others in different price bands (it was only last week I realised you had a facebook site though!) before settling on a set. There’s some great work in there and I’ve been using it as my point of reference for a while, easily the best comparison/review site of its kind on the net anywhere.

        Thanks for the help.

        Cheers
        Anth

        • The only thing with the DN-2000 is that it’s not very warm. There’s just not enough mid-bass to have the kind of warmth you get with the MA750 or Yamaha EPH-100. The focus with the Dunus is mostly on deep bass, and of course they have pretty bright treble (brighter than MA750) as well. If I were you I’d consider saving $100 and going with the cheaper DN-1000 instead. It’s not as clear or spacious as the DN-2000, but it’s got a warmer sound that’s more conventionally v-shaped, and it is still a great earphone that provides a strong contrast to the MA750.

          We do have Amazon UK affiliates but the earphone selection on there is not good. Mp4nation ships globally and has a better selection for Asian brands. See here for all affiliate links: http://theheadphonelist.com/about/support-headphone-list/

          And thanks – glad the reviews have been helpful so far! There’s so much more I want to do with this site – just got to find the resources, especially time.

  3. Hi ljokerl. Would the 750 make a good upgrade to the Soundmagic E30? I really like the E30′s sound signature, but am considering upgrading to something better. You mention in the comments the 750 has a slight V shape. Is that relative to other warm/smooth IEMs or is it on the boundary of being classified differently? If the 750 isn’t suitable, could you make a recommendation please. I assume the EPH100 or a GR07 variant would be next on the list?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Pablo.

    • It’s not a great signature match for the E30 – just not similarly balanced. The MA750 and EPH-100 are both much bassier, though the mids of the EPH-100 are more in line with those of the E30 while the MA750 is a little less forward in the midrange. The GR07 is better, but still less has less midrange emphasis and more treble energy than the E30. I would maybe even say the HiFiMan RE-400 or TDK BA200 would be a better match, though the RE-400 is a little lighter at the low end than the E30.

      • Cool, thank you for the response. The RE400 and BA200 weren’t even on my radar until now. It was the work of you and ClieOS on Head-Fi that enabled me to pick the E30 several years ago. Thanks again, and I hope the good work continues!

        : )

  4. There is a MAJOR problem with the MA750i. The where the cord comes out of the volume control/mic unit it has ZERO give, and after a few accidental tugs, it broke, rendering one side silent. I’d recommend the MA750 without the mic, unless you are an extremely careful user. They sound pretty good, but Im going back to the Yamaha EPH-100, which I returned for these, I think they sound better.

    On an unrelated note, Joker, you are a hero, your list of IEMS is one of the best things on the internet, thank you.

    • Just out of curiosity, why did you return the EPH-100? I prefer its sound to the MA750 as well so I’m just curious.

      And thanks, glad the website/list has been helpful :)

  5. I think that sibilance is huge problem with these. At high volumes for many recordings it’s almost unbearable. The bass is okay but I have trouble getting a good seal (despite the many size choices) and some recordings need to be turned up loud for good bass. And at that point the sibilance starts to hurt. With material that has solid bass and low sibilance the ma750 sounds excellent but I can’t recommend.

    • Increased sibilance and decreased bass presence are both symptoms of an imperfect seal. I think both of your issues could actually be the same fit problem.

      • I thought about going through the different sizes again but I spent over an hour trying all the sizes in the beginning and settled on the one that provided the best bass response. I’ll try again later today but unfortunately I feel like I’ve given these a chance and want to exchange before my 30 days is passed. Thanks for the reply.

        • Okay you are correct. I didn’t realize sibilance was affected by a poor seal. I pushed the tips deep and moved them around to find the “sweet spot”. Sibilance gone. Bass excellent. You can delete my first comment. The real problem I have is getting a good seal. I’ll have to go home and experiment with different tips again. Thanks for the review.

          • Glad to hear it. Yeah, their odd shape is not ideal, but it’s still just a matter of finding the right eartips and insertion angle.

            I’ll leave your comment up in case someone else runs into a similar issue, if you don’t mind.

      • Can you recommend some different tips for these? I looked at some on Amazon but I’m not sure what to look for. The large single flange that comes with the MA750 provides the best sound but is still not a good fit for me. I’ve never had a problem with getting a good fit/seal with other earphones so I’m surprised that none of these that came with the MA750 fits.

        • You can try the L-sized Sony Hybrids. They’re a little softer and more flexible than the stock tips so they might seal better, especially if your ear canals are flattened and not circular.

          • The Large Sony Hybrid tips are indeed MUCH better. In the future I may want to try something that inserts a little deeper but these Sony tips are an excellent fit for me.

  6. Wonderful review! Could you compare the RHA MA750 with the Shure SE215? Also, are there any channel imbalance issues with the MA750i version with inline controls?

    • It’s got a little more bass and slightly less prominent mids than the SE215, with a bump in the lower treble to give it a little more energy and better treble extension overall. Overall I would say it’s a similar signature, just warmer and a little more v-shaped.

      No imbalance issues because the volume control is digital and not analog.

  7. Hi, could you please give your opinion on how these headphones compare to the musical fidelity eb 33 and the beyerdynamic mmx102. I listen to mainly classic rock and alternative music. Thanks very much!

    • I haven’t tried the EB33 but the MMX102 is a little muddy and lacking in treble presence and overall balance compared to these. Not that the MA750 is very balanced, but given the same price I’d pick it over the Beyerdynamics.

      • Ahh, thanks. A lot of other sites talked about how the sound of the 102 was superior to the RHAs but I had my doubts. Also the superior build quality of the RHAs helped sway my decision to them! Thank you.

      • And also, for some bizarre reason, both the RHA 750 and the MMX 102 are priced at £79.99 over here in the U.K. I felt the RHA was more worth the money.

  8. Which is more natural between RHA MA750, Etymotic HF3 and Martin Logan Mikros 70? I need something very natural for classical music.. I have Sony MH1C, Shure SE215 but they seems too boomy and dark for classica.. my headphones Martin Logan Mikros 90 seems perfect, but I need an IEM like them! Can you help me?

    • I haven’t tried the Martin Logan earphones or headphones but if you want clarity and balance, then definitely the Etymotics over the RHAs.

  9. First of all : thanks a lot for another great review.

    I’m looking for a new (balanced) earphone and am very impressed by the quality of the RHA MA750. Can you please compare them to the TDK BA200? My hearing preference is rock music (alternative, classic, hard), blues, house/acid jazz and classic. The other earphones I looked at were the HiFiMan RE-400, Yamaha EPH-100 and the Monster Gratitude.

    • Compared to the BA200 the MA750 is very bass-heavy and somewhat mid-recessed. If you’re looking for a balanced-sounding in-ear the BA200 is the one to get. It’s like an RE-400, but a little bit warmer and bassier, with an extra bit of energy in the upper treble. The EPH-100 is not a balanced-sounding earphone and I haven’t tried the Gratitude.

      • Thanks. After reading your reviews that is no real surprise. But I liked the design and packaging of the MA750 so much that I hoped for another answer ;-)

        Great work, will be continuing reading and testing the BA200.

  10. Could you please compare RHA MA750 with Vsonic VSD1s? Clarity, hights?
    Thanks, Joker!

    • The MA750 is bassier and a result not any clearer than the VSD1S but its low end does extend deeper. Tonally it is warmer and the top end is smoother vs the brighter and more energetic VSonics. The VSD1S is on the whole more neutral.

  11. Hey Joker, have you heard the DN 900 yet? If so then how does it compare to the MA750? If not then are you planning to review it? Thanks as always for your reviews.

    • I have, and I don’t find it to be as good as the MA750. Its bass is good (deep, but not too enhanced) but the mids are a little more veiled than I would like and the treble can be unrefined at times. The MA750 is better IMO.

  12. Joker, please give me advice.
    I can’t decide between RHA MA750 and VSonic GR07 BE.
    I like my TF10, but want more impactful bass and sub-bass, but same or better control and overall sound quality. The treble could be smoother too.

    • For significantly more bass impact and especially depth you’ll want the MA750. However, you’ll be sacrificing a bit of clarity compared to the TF10/GR07. This works in the context of the warmer MA750 signature but something to be aware of nonetheless.

  13. Joker, you forgot to give the “recommended” badge, like for the DN-1000? :)

    By the way I bought this (based on your recommendation) after the GR07 and I like this more, I think its not perfect, but a really great package for the money. I am happy with my purchase!

    • Haha the DN-1000 got the first badge ever. I didn’t go back and retroactively add it to sets I had reviewed previously, though I might when I have time.

      Glad you’re enjoying these!

      • :)) You are right, sorry!
        I just tried the DUNU (and read the review about the DN-1000) before these and I thought you wrote this review after the DUNU, I see that I was wrong..
        By the way I like these more than the DN-1000, EPH-100, GR07BE (because of the smoother and not weird highs), so I had to buy and try quite many to arrive here, but at least I obtained some knowledge about the topic :)

  14. Are the RHA’s worth the extra scratch over the Philips Fidelio S2 at a little over a 100 bucks and the JVC HA-FXd80-Z at 79 bucks? I listen to a little bit of everything from rap to heavy metal to classic rock to some EDM music and even country. I’d appreciate help, thanks in advance.

    • Oh and also if it’s not asking too much a short comparison would be great too.

    • Different sound signatures – the FXD80 is good if you like a v-shaped sound with a cooler/brighter tone. The MA750 if you want a slightly v-shaped but overall much bassier and warmer-sounding earphone, and the Fidelio is the most neutral of the three. I did compare the S2 to the MA750 and thought it was more neutral, clearer, and more transparent, but also a little harsher in the treble region. The MA750 is warmer and bassier, and sounds thicker overall.

  15. Very goo review. Could you compare RHA MA750 with UE TF10?

    • Yeah, sure – the MA750 a lot bassier – they both have good bass extension but the MA750 is a lot more impactful. It also has a warmer tone. The TF10 is more neutral in tone and its mids are more in-line with bass. Because of its lesser bass quantity it can appear a touch clearer on bass-heavy songs than the MA750 but most of the time their clarity is similar. They have similar treble energy but the TF10 sounds a bit more refined to me there. Both have good soundstage size but the TF10 images a little better.

  16. Hi! Thank you for your precious work. The sound signature of these IEM seems similar to that of Klipsch x10i (I’ve just bought that and love them almost completely). Can you give a quick comparison of these two models. Thank you very much, Marco (Italy)

    • In terms of general sound signature they do have a lot of similarities, especially in the bass and midrange. Both have good midrange clarity and enhanced bass with an emphasis on deep bass. The RHA MA750 has a “fuller” bass presentation but the X10 is no slouch, especially for a BA earphone. The biggest difference would be in the upper midrange and treble, where the MA750 has more energy and better extension, respectively. Lack of treble energy was probably my biggest complaint with the X10, but not with the MA750.

      • Thank you. I’m replacing my set of two under 50€ IEM with two 100€ IEM of somewhat different sound signature, and I think the second one (with the Klipsch x10) could be the RE-400!

  17. I feel that a comparison to EPH-100 should have been included in the review itself.

  18. Hello Joker,

    thanks for the excellent review! Could you compare RHA MA750 with Yamaha EPH-100? I have a pair of Sony MH1C earphones and liked the sound quite a lot. I am considering getting a new pair of IEMs just because I feel like trying something new (and better of course :-) ).

    • The EPH-100 is bassier overall but also has a little more midrange presence to me whereas the MA750 tends to sound a bit more veiled. MA750 is brighter though and has more lower treble energy. Really comes down to what you want – the EPH-100 is a better signature match for the MH1C while the MA750 is a bit more of a contrast.

    • Ive had both and prefer the EPH-100s, they sound so much deeper and wider. The MA750s are good but ultimately I felt like I was missing out compared to the EPH100s.

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