Details: First in-ear earphone from Scotland-based Reid & Heath Audio
MSRP: $39.95 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $40 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 103 dB | Freq: 16-22k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges, Sony Hybrid
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear
Accessories (2.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes) and drawstring carrying pouch
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The MA350 boasts solid-feeling machined aluminum housings, metal nozzle filters, and fabric cables with flexible strain reliefs. The cable is a little tangle-prone but the overall feel is one of a higher-end product. The 3-year warranty is very impressive as well
Isolation (3.5/5) – The housings are narrow at the front, allowing relatively deep insertion with good isolation
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Moderate in the cloth-sheathed cable; can be greatly reduced with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (4/5) – The earphone housings have a familiar flared shape a-la Dunu Trident but are compact and light. The small diameter at the front affords a comfortable, unobtrusive fit
Sound (6.8/10) – The MA350 pursues a consumer-friendly sound and delivers on its promise of “a deep, full bass response” in spades, pumping out plenty of powerful sub-bass. It delivers more low bass than either the Brainwavz M5 or Dunu Trident, two solid and bass-heavy sub-$50 in-ears. Though the sub-bass is not very informative, the low end of the MA350 genuinely impresses with its depth and rumble. The response stays strong well into the mid-bass region, resulting in a warm—but not overly so—tone.
The powerful bass of the MA350 makes the mids sound slightly overshadowed and at times a touch muddy. This is far from uncommon for bass-heavy entry-level earphones – there are a few that manage better overall clarity (e.g. VSonic GR02 BE) and many more that can’t compete with the MA350. Note thickness is good and the overall sound is rich and full.
The treble is in balance with the midrange and generally smooth. At reasonable volumes the top end is very inoffensive. The MA350 is smoother overall than the popular VSonic GR02 BE and doesn’t introduce sibilance to a track. A little grain can become apparent at higher volumes—the Dunu Trident behaves better here even though it is not as crisp and extended as the MA350. Top-end roll-off is present, but gradual. No surprises for an entry-level set.
In terms of presentation, the MA350 is again par for the course. It is not the most spacious earphone and, like most budget sets, generally has an intimate, in-the-head presentation. It can get a touch congested but is more than acceptable for the asking price—better, for example, than the more closed-in sounding Dunu Trident.
Value (9/10) – RHA’s first in-ear earphone is a solid entry-level offering. There is quite a lot to like here but ultimately the RHA MA350 stands out in two ways – excellent build quality and deep, subwoofer-like bass. This is definitely the one earphone to show those claiming that in-ears can’t deliver adequate bass across the spectrum and, hopefully, is just the first of many in-ear products from RHA.
Pros: Solid build quality; 3 year warranty; powerful subbass
Cons: Cable noise can be bothersome unless worn cord-up