RHA MA750 / MA750i Review


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 Author

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.


  1. I hope this threaв is not abandoned. I am comparing MA750i with Audio-Technica ATH-CKRS90iS Sound Reality (not on the list) which frequency range is much wider 5-42khz.
    MA750i start only with 16, I wonder how this earbuds got so high in the rating, and if will the ATH give more base and generally a better sound with this advantage. thanks

  2. Hey Joker, how are you doing? I’ve been using the Philips SHE 3580/3590/3595 over the past 3-4 years based off your recommendation, and they’re my favourite IEMs; I love how small and compact they are, and the V shaped signature is perfect for my music. Honestly, I can’t imagine how you could improve the sound.

    However, the problem is that they keep dying on me every couple of months (I’ve had 6-7 pairs by now) and by now I’ve gotten really annoyed by it. I decided to save up and get something better built this time, something which not only sounds better but will also last me longer – and so I ended up at the MA750. I love what I’ve read about their customer service and the 3 year warranty pushes it above all other competitors for me.

    The only thing I want to know before I pull the trigger is, do these sound similar enough to the Philips? I mainly listen to hip-hop, so I want something which is fun and energetic, with good bass and clear vocal presentation. From your review it seems like that is the case, but I’d still like to have a confirmation, since I won’t be able to return them once I get them. Looking forward to your reply!

    • I have had the MA750i for a while now. I wouldn’t recommend them for Hip hop though. The bass is lacking that solid punch. Male vocals can be recessed and can seem to be ‘behind’ the music sometimes.
      These would be more suited for orchestral and regular pop. The bass is not it’s strong point.

      It’s strengths are more clarity and sound stage,
      I personally love them, they’re very clear, detailed without sibilance, spacious, yes, the bass is good but not amazing.

      If you do decide to get them, I recommend a solid 100hrs burn in. When I first got mine I thought they sounded like crap, but after a week they showed their true power.

  3. Hey joker, may I know how does this pair compare to Vmoda Forza series? Your reply will definitely help me to buy a nice pair :). Any other pair would you recommend in this price range?

  4. Hello Joker.
    Tank you very much for that amazing job of yours.
    Got my MA750 (and a few other IEM, all acquisitions mainly based on your tests) a few years ago. They are my best and most expensive IEM yet, used mainly for gaming since audio immersion is essential for me. I love them.

    If i’d decide to update those, for the same purpose, what would you recommend under 200€?
    I guess I’m looking for deep but dynamic controlled bass, maybe a bit V-shaped or so, no harshness, big soundstage and 3D imaging, nice separation…
    I guess you see where i’m going here. (I must add that i hate covering my ears… So IEM is the name of the… game).

    All the best.

  5. Hi Joker – Long time reader. I purchased the MA750i 1.5 yrs ago based on your recommendation. I really enjoyed them even though I had periodic trouble getting a perfect seal. The cord has recently failed me in 2 places: (1) the metal shaft and spring protecting the plug became unglued and moved freely up and down the cord; (2) the rubberized part of the cord directly below the plastic “weights” that anchor the earphones has deteriorated on both sides.
    I’m now in search of something (1) durable, (2) with removable/replaceable, (3) offering great isolation, and (4) priced at $200 USD or below. I’ve auditioned the MEE Pinnacles recently and fell in love. Before I buy them, are there any others you recommend that I try out?
    They’d be used 75% with iPhone 6; 25% with Mac laptop, so I won’t have anything extra to drive them. Mostly podcasts, bass-heavy music (hip hop/rap), jazz, and phone calls.

    Thank you!!

  6. Hello Joker!

    I got these because of your recommendation and at first I was kinda disappointed, I grew to like them and after I switched to another DAP/AMP, they really had me impressed. Unfortunately, I seem to have damaged them somehow as the right IEM isn’t outputting nearly as much bass as the left one. The cables also deteriorate at the joints and the filters on the nozzle come off easily, so I have been left very unimpressed with the build quality, no matter how quality it feels.

    What would you recommend for someone who really liked the sound of the RHA MA750s? I can’t find them anywhere in my country at the moment so I’m kind of stuck. Have you had a chance to hear something from MaGaosi perhaps? From what I hear they’re Chinese IEMs often praised for the sound, and their MaGaosi K3 Pro is something that is in a similar price range as the RHA MA750 with a more custom IEM design with detachable cables (and replacement cables included), as well as filters and other such faux-premium stuff for a ~$100 IEM. How about the Yamaha EPH-100s? My biggest pursuits are bass and soundstage; both of which the MA750s did really well (though the biggest soundstage still has to go to the Momentum IEMs for me, that was insane). How about the 1MORE Triple Driver, just how much less bass impact is there compared to the MA750s?

    In case you read this, thanks in advance. I love your reviews and they really help me when buying IEMs.

    • EPH-100 is a great earphone and one of the few natural predators of the MA750, especially for electronic music, out of what I’ve heard. There’s a lot of crossover in the comments of this MA750 review mentioning the EPH-100, and in the EPH-100 review mentioning the MA750, all with good reason.

      The 1MORE Triple falls behind a bit on sheer visceral impact compared to these two. It’s still a good earphone but considering you liked the MA750’s bass and soundstage the 1MORE is kind of the wrong way to go, since those are not its strengths.

      Haven’t tried any Magaosi products. I have three or four custom-style Chinese IEMs from other brands and none of them have impressed me very much, but they’re popping up so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up.

      • Thanks for the reply. I just ordered some Musicmaker TK12 chinese IEMs, not sure if you’ve heard those before, but your reviews are pretty much spot on for the products I’ve owned, so if I like them a lot, I’ll be sure to give you a shout to check them out since there’s a good chance you’ll like them as well. Going by their description, I’m expecting something between the MA750 and the Sennheiser momentum in-ears in terms of signature, and hopefully a step up in sq for the price and hassle. Cheers!

          • RHA strikes again! They’ve agreed to replace my RHA MA750 pair with a new one, so I’ll be able to do some direct comparisons between this and the Musicmaker TK12 when they both arrive. The sound signature should be similar so I’m very interested what a quality single dynamic can do against a chinese 1DD 2BA setup. Musicmaker is one of those brands that haven’t made the transition into western markets nor mass appeal, they still ship products without boxes, only in small carrying cases with some bare minimum quality tips. Still, by the hype they’re getting from chinese IEM connoisseurs, I’m very curious to hear them.

  7. These headphones sound great but they are garbage.

    Do Not Buy.

    I bought mine in Oct 2016 and I have had to replace them twice via the warranty already. I really thought they were going to be different but they aren’t. The first pair I had, the gray sheathing started to pull loose at a few places. This continued until the ground wire was exposed. At that point I only had them a few months so I contacted their warranty replacement team. After giving them a photo of my receipt and the headphones, they sent me a new pair.

    This pair lasted about the same time period and the gray sheathing again started to pull away, but this time the stainless steel ear bud also popped apart…only held together by glue. The wire finally snapped and the bud was left unusable.

    Again I contact the warranty team and they replaced them again.

    I tried to request the next pair up to avoid these issues, instead they sent me a warranty snippet and said they would be happy to keep replacing them over the next 2.5 years. I would even paid for the upgrade.

  8. Just received these and I must say I am impressed with SQ. The reason I shifted from GR07B to these was the lows of GR07B, which disappointed me alot, The bass rumble of RHAs is full bodied and tight at the same time, mids are adequate and treble is very pleasing and makes the sound retrieval clear. Thanks joker for this precious list, bcz i blindly follow it when ever made an iem purchase.

  9. Hey joker, a happy new year to you! Recently my Yamaha EPH-100 broke and I’m looking for something with musical mids, good bass and a non-fatiguing sound sig. I guess I’m looking at a good place with the 750 but can I have your comparison between the bass impact, presentation and midrange between the two? Thanks a lot and I hope to continue reading your updates here for the next year ands well.

      • Unfortunately I no longer have my EPH-100 so I can’t do any additional spot comparisons – the comparisons I’ve provided in the comments below are pretty much as detailed as I can get at this point. There is a difference in balance – the M750 has a slightly more “v-shaped” signature with a more noticeable midrange dip and more lower treble energy, as well as a slightly wider soundstage. Even if that’s not ideal, coming from the EPH-100 I still don’t think you have a better option in this price range, other than another EPH-100.

  10. Hi,

    My vsonic gr07 be was broken so I want to new one. I want to buy another vsonic gr07 be but amazon cannot send to my country. Do you advice ma750 over vsonic ? l am listening electronic music (psychill,ambient,goa grance…)

    • If you think you would like more bass and “richness” in your sound in exchange for some of the VSonic’s clarity and resolution, the MA750 can be a good choice, especially for EDM, but I consider the GR07 to be the more Hi-Fi earphone and generally wouldn’t trade it for the MA750 as an all-rounder.

    • Hi, i have vsonic gr07BE. Just bought them last week, but after a week with them , i think they are too bass shy for my taste. Want to exchange or buy, tell me.

      • MA750 is definitely warmer and bassier, and has a much more “consumer” sound than the GR07 BE. It’s about the most bass you can get in the price range (alongside the Yamaha EPH-100) before you start getting into “compromising other aspects of the sound for bass quantity” territory.

  11. Hi joker! Big fan of all your reviews!

    I’ve been using the steelseries flux in ear model, NOT the BA pros, and i simply can’t stand thier microphonics any more. I can’t fully decide between the RHA MA750s, Shure SE215s, and the Sennheiser Momentum in ears.

    Considering what I’ve been listening to, i think these have a similar sound signature except for the 215s.

    The issues i have with these 3 are as follows:
    215s have an iffy MMCX connection according to A LOT of people, and that worries me because i cant probably get them replaced from here in Pakistan. Besides that, their bass is muddy according to most reviewers.

    The momentums have a strong V signature according to most reviews which can be harsh/tinny at times and i absolutely hate that in earphones.

    Finally the 750s are pricier than both the above models and look really heavy. I am satisfied with their sound though.

    What i want in a set of earphones is a slightly relaxed high end, nothing harsh or sibilant, adequate bass, nothing boomy that covers up the spectrum or muddies it, and preferably strong mids that emphasise vocals and maybe gives them a warmer overall feel. Soundstage isn’t a first priority but i absolutely adore wider soundstage, it takes the listening experience to a whole new level on specific tracks. Lastly a good build is a must for me.

    I understand that’s quite a handful of things i want packed into one headset, but this is just what I’d ideally want. Anything close would be very appreciated.

    Looking forward to a response from you!
    Best Regards

    • SE215 does not sound as good as the Flux IMO, so I’d be hesitant to make that jump. Momentum is a little better, but it sounds like you still won’t like the sound as much as the more balanced Flux. So the MA750 seems to be the natural choice here. More than adequate bass, definitely smoother than the Momentum, good soundstage, etc. It is pricier, but I really don’t think you will enjoy the other two sets.

      • Oh wow didnt realise the 215s were that bad, how come they’re so highly recommended everywhere?

        Are the MA750s worth the jump? Because technically my flux earphones work fine, its just the microphonics that bug me a lot.

        • 99.9% of Shure SE215 owners haven’t tried the Flux :).

          The SE215 ticks a lot of boxes for $100 – it’s well-built, comfortable, has a detachable cable, etc. It’s also relatively easy to get your hands on one, Shure earphones are available all over the world. And it sounds good, just not as good as the best sub-$100 IEMs.

          MA750 is a good buy and does some things better than the Flux – it’s not as grainy, for example, and the midrange is more rich and lush. Don’t expect it to sound two or three times better, but if the microphonics are really bothering you and you’re going to upgrade from the Flux anyway, I wouldn’t recommend getting an IEM below the sound quality level of the MA750.

  12. Hi I have been using apple quality ear bud for ages ad I am sick of the terrible quality and how easy they break, I was just wondering how durable these are for mainly everyday use?
    Also thanks for the review, the buyers guide is awesome and i will be using it in the future

    • More durable than most, but there’s still an expectation of using them like you would any other small electronic gadget that cost upwards of $100. Keep them in the included case and don’t stress the wires more than you have to and they’ll last the 3-year warranty term.

      Glad the site has been helpful!

  13. Hi ljokerl!
    After a few monthes with the MA750i I found out that they sound a lot better with my phone (Xiaomi mi4c) than my Fiio X1 (which sounds flat and boring with these).
    Unfortunately my phone has extreamly low storage space (not to mention the humilation of using my god damn phone as an audio player like some peasant!).

    Do you have a better match for the ma750i than the X1 at the budget of 100$-200$?

  14. Hello.

    A while ago I purchased the here reviewed MA750’s. I like almost everything about them except the bass. I mean, what is there is good but I need more of it. I find their bass to range from OK to quite bass-light.

    As far as I know you have experience with both Creative Aurvana Live! models (you have owned the originals and have reviewed the newer version). Is there any earphone that you can recommend that will have a similar sound signature at an affordable price, let’s say sub-150$ (of course cheaper would be better).
    I just find the CAL!’s to have a good balance between sub- and mid-bass with a good punch while maintaining a nice soft sound.

    I do also have the Brainwavz M3 which I find decent in the bass department but they lack a bit of highs and clarity.

    The RHA T20 do look (on paper) like they would provide some more bass like the one I need but I would need someone to confirm this and you seem like the right person.
    The T20 is significantly above my budget but if it really would be what I’m looking for, I guess I could start saving. 🙂
    However, I still hope there are cheaper alternatives. 🙂

    • Hi there, the bass filter is decent on the RHA T20 and definitely gives more bass than the M750. It’s got a hefty dose of quality (but occasionally boomy) sub bass. It’s more sub bass than mid bass which is still decent enough but def takes back seat to sub.

      Strangely enough the T20 with bass filter does sound quite like the CAL! when i compare the two together… the T20 obviously out performing it in quality though, which you’d expect given price difference and quality. T20 has better sub bass impact though and bass control. Both have great level of detail and both mids and treble sit very similar in the mix.

      It’s really whether you want to spend close to £200 for an IEM. I’ve returned both the Dunu DN 2000 and MEE Pinnacle 1 both which cost over £200 and even though they were stunning quality, as an upgrade they didn’t do enough for me when compared to my cheaper Dunu Dn 1000s (£120).

      The difference between the M750 and T20 (to my ears) is the T20 goes slightly lower with bass filter and DEFINITELY is clearer in the mids and highs, much better resolution all over. The mids aren’t veiled and they sit a bit more forward in the mix. They are less coloured than the M750 also. The only thing the M750 does better is in soundstage. width and especially depth. The 750s sound huge and holographic. Probably helped with their V shape, the T20 is a bit more balanced (but with sub woofer esque bass). Hope this helps.

      I am probably going to return the T20s though, they’re still not the sound I’m after but they are stunning quality and may be the sound you are after. I’m goin to try the Yamaha EPH 100s, maybe you should read the review on here for them?

      • Well, I would rather not spend over £200 on an IEM if I can avoid it. Salories aren’t exactly high where I live which is why I’m researching cheaper alternatives.
        I’m basically looking for nice bump in the 40 to 80-90 Hz range.

        What strikes me as interesing is that the Momentum In-Ear’s graph on InnerFidelity looks decently promising, however joker said that MA750 were bassier, which I suppose is subjective to some extent, but if the MA750 is indeed bassier, and I find it somewhat bass-light at times (depending on the track), than the Momentum’s are completely out of the question.

        I’ve reading a lot of praise about the XB90Ex being able to deliver orgasms through the ears so I might decide to try them…

        Blind decisions. It’s so hard and with so many models it’s quite overwhelming.

        • I’m not familiar with the XB90EX, sadly. Under $150, the only set that might be worth trying is the Yamaha EPH-100. Reason being, it does have a little more bass impact (esp. sub-bass slam) than the MA750 without sacrificing overall sound quality. It’s not hugely more bassy, but those in-ears I’ve tried in that price range that have even more bass don’t sound all that good overall.

          • And what about the T20? How do the Yamaha EPH-100 compare to the T20? Which one is closer to the sound signature of the Aurvana Live!.

            • T20 is more v-shaped, a little clearer, can be brighter. If anything it’s further away from the Aurvana Live! sound signature/tone, but it definitely can deliver more bass impact than the MA750 if you use the +bass setting.

              • Just dropping by for a quick update for anyone interested.

                Actually got the Sony MDR-XB90EX after more research and reviews.
                After listening to them for a bit I have come to the conclusion that these earphones take in an electric current and and successfully convert it to pure unadulterated love. I don’t know how but it’s right there. I put them in my ears and love just begins to pour in my mind and soul.

                Amazing deep, soft, well-balanced between punchy and boomy bass.
                Mids seem fine to me. Not recessed, and not too forward either.
                Highs lack some extension and sparkle but they are still there.

                Because of this they do lack a bit of detail compared to the MA750 but they keep the inoffensivenes and smootheness intact. There is no sibilance at all.

                I’m going to go slightly on a limb here and say that these do indeed seem to me to be the CAL!’s in an IEM form: solid and abundant bass with good everything else without any sharpness so I can simply lean back and enjoy my music with the enhanced bass.

  15. Ceyer Wakilpoor on

    Do you mind me asking a few words of comparison between the ma750 and the vsd3s in regards to overall clarity, mids, and sound stage? I was looking for a potential upgrade that would have smoother treble than the vsd3s’s, better mids, and a larger sound stage.
    Also, have you by any chance heard any of the nuforce hem line? as there is a deal on massdrop I was contemplating over a pair of ma750s.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • No experience with the Nuforce HEM earphones, only saw them a few days ago for the first time.

      MA750 has more of a consumer-friendly sound than the VSD3. VSD3 is clearer, brighter, arguably more balanced overall. The MA750 is bassier and the mids can end up a little less attention-grabbing compared to the VSD3. Don’t think the MA750 has much of an advantage in soundstage, either.

      • Ceyer Wakilpoor on

        Is there, by any chance a pair of iems that comes to mind as far as an upgrade to the vsd3s with smoother treble (the sibilance really gets me), better mids, and a larger soundstage, bass quantity is preferred to be around the vsd3s give or take. I was looking at the sm64, which seem perfect but, unfortunately, I will most likely be using these iems without an amp most of the time. I was looking to not spend more than 350, and of course value is important, so if I can get a better value at < 150 I'd rather go with that.

        • Ceyer Wakilpoor on

          Have considered the ue900, but the issues with the cable seem like too big of a risk, have considered the oriveti primacy and the ie 80 as well, but the latter doesn’t seem like a better value than the ma750 and the prior I’m not too confident about the soundstage.

          • UE900 a little too flat in the bass region if you want to maintain VSD3S levels of bass. IE80 is good, maybe a little too bassy. Soundstage is good on IE80, definitely not inferior to MA750. DUNU Titan 1 *might* be a reasonable sub-$150 option. It has a very different sound tuning from the VSD3S but it keeps up very well in the areas you want (bass quality/quantity, soundstaging, clarity) and has a brighter but less sibilant ( and much less mid-recessed) sound. The fit is very different from VSonics IEMs also. It’s definitely more of a gamble vs something like the SM64, but you can find them for around $100 and that’s a very hard price to beat assuming you end up liking the sound.

  16. i have rha ma 750. Do you think it’s good to pair it with x5 ? Now i have xduoo x3 dap, but i want better sound.

    • I’m not too familiar with the performance of those DAPs but the MA750 is not particularly source-sensitive. Improvements from changing sources are likely to be pretty small with it compared to something like a super-revealing BA set.

      • Yes it’s not source sensitive, but i can hear the difference when i play with LG g3 and xduoo x3. I like ma750 sounds characteristic, i want to make the bass not that boomy, treble at high it not harsh (sometimes), can i achieve it with x5? i prefer to not using equalizer.

        btw i have bayer dtx 501p and sr80i too. do you think x5 will show these full potential? Sorry to ask these headphones in these pages.

        • You’d really need to ask someone who is using an X5 with those particular headphones – no other way to get a good indication of how well it pairs with each. Usually people ask these sorts of things in either the DAP’s or the headphone’s thread on Head-Fi, whichever is more active. I haven’t used the X5 enough (don’t own one) to be able to say anything about these pairings.

  17. Hey Joker
    my Brainwavz M2 recently broke and I bought the MA750 to replace them. I like the wide soundstage and their clarity and I love the bass, but the vocals are way too recessed for my taste so I’m thinking about returning them.
    I know that the Yamaha EPH-100 would be better in this regard, but my ears are quite small so I don’t know if they would fit comfortably. Is there any other alternative in the same price range that maintains the qualities I like about the RHA (at least to some extent) while having much more forward vocals?

    • It’s tough if you want to maintain bass like the MA750 – one of the reasons the bass comes through nice and strong on these is that it’s pushed forward compared to the midrange.

      Your first option is to try and maintain the bass level pretty high. The RBH EP1/EP2 (which I compared to the MA750 in the review above) is one set that will do that. I don’t think they’re as good as the MA750 overall as they can be a touch harsh, but they definitely favor the midrange a lot more and still have plenty of bass. The Sony MH1C (or SBH80 in Bluetooth form) is another one that fits in this category. Ignore the low price, they’re definitely not a step down from the M2.

      Then there are a few IEMs that have more forward mids but also sound loads brighter than the MA750 and especially the M2 – the Ostry KC06, for example, and the DUNU Titan 1. These could be a good choice if you don’t mind a very different tonal character than you’re used to. As an added bonus, they tend to sound quite wide and spacious, and are very clear.

      You could also give up the bass enhancement for a more balanced overall sound. Something like a Brainwavz R3, for example – these have just a bit of added bass impact and much more balanced mids. Still not quite as neutral as something like a HiFiMan RE-400, but a good compromise for getting a touch more bass in there. Compared to the brighter sets above, the R3 is extremely smooth.

      • I finally got to try the DUNU, the vocals are clearer but they sound thin to me and the tremble is a bit too present. Their sound gets similar to what I’m looking for using an equalizer and raising the 250, 500 and 1k bars while taming the tremble a bit, getting them to sound fattier and warmer (I’m not familiar with sound related terms and I probably misled you with the “forward vocals” thing).
        I also tried the R3 and they were too uncomfortable, but the sound was a better match.
        Unfortunately, the RBH are not available in my country.

        I’m doubling my budget (200€ now). Looking forward for your suggestions! 🙂

        PS I read that the Shures are famous for their lush midrange, could the SE315 be good for what I’m looking for?

        • Hmm.. the only R3 alternative I can think of around that price is the Aurisonics Rockets. These are a good upgrade to the R3 and RE-400 sound-wise and also have a much better build and fit. Unfortunately they’ve been getting hard to find ever since Aursonics was bought out by Fender – not sure how good availability in Europe is at the moment.

          Failing that, you could try something very traditional like a Sennheiser IE80 – these are much more of a classic warm-and-smooth sound. Not a huge upgrade from the MA750 because the mids are still a half-step behind the bass, but theyr’re quite rich and full-sounding and quite smooth. I’d recommend giving these a listen first, though – they’re quite different from the R3. You could also try the SE315 if there’s one available to you but I don’t think you’ll like it – it’s on the thin-sounding side and lacks warmth.

            • Hi, I’m in a similar boat to you. I’ve always had the dunu dn 1000 as my everyday IEM, but I got the RHA M750 used at a very good price, cos box was damaged. I love their BIG sound and the richness of the mids and tamed treble. I’m now looking for similar sound but with a higher resolution in the mids, more of an upgrade sound.

              I paid £145 for the Aurisonic Rocket and hated them. They are nothing like the M750s, they are VERY bright. Bass wise the M750s is maybe a tad bigger but boomier (which i like), the Rocket’s bass is more realistic with better resolution still their main selling point. The mids are definitely clearer than the M750s but quite thin and mids/highs still take second fiddle to the bass and they sound very detached to the bass. It’s a unique signature. Very marmite. Getting a fit is so hard, they are easily the most uncomfortable IEMs I’ve worn. The cable is quite tight and hard to bend. the housing also sticks out, photos make it look more settled than they are.

              I’m going to try the RHA T20, I’ll see how they compare.

          • I meant to say, you should try Spinfit tips with the M750. The deeper fit helps bring out bit more clarity in the MIDS more than any other tips i used. It’s a huge difference. It also gives the BASS bit more resolution and takes away a little of the boom without sacrificing depth. They also help bring out bit more punch in MID BASS.

            It’s funny, I used the Spinfits originally on my Titan 1 and hated them as they made them more bright and shrieky and I felt bass suffered. But I’ve since used them with my Dunu Dn 1000s which took away a bit of sibilance. On my Xiaomi Pistons 3 they are a joy to listen to, nice and clear with that punchy bass they are great at.

  18. Hi Joker
    Could I ask you re these MA750s …. I prefer balanced to bright sound, my favourites are Brainwavz B2, Ety HF5. My ‘fun-listening’ (bassy) IEMs are Titan 1 and GR07classic …. Fidue A71 I have but they sound bloated to me… (saying that, if I want heavy bass I sometimes come back to them).
    I have the chance to pick up the 750s for half price … to maybe upgrade my ‘bass’ IEM Fidue 71 ….. Do you know how these compare to the 71? Will I find the 750 too bloaty too?

    Jazz, acustic, female voice, classic are 90% of my music….

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Yeah, balanced to bright does not describe the MA750. Compared to the Titan 1 and GR07 classic the bass on them is definitely more enhanced and a little bloated. Not sure about the A71 but if you get them they’ll definitely become your bassy/fun set over the VSonics/DUNUs.

      • Thanks!
        Since posting this one I realised that you reviewed the Titan 1 with reference to 750 and gr07 … gave enough info to wait …. the A71 are likely pretty similar….
        Thanks again for all your excellent reviews!

        • Honestly that’s the best way to use my reviews as the comparisons are probably the least subjective and most straightforward part. And I try to do as many relevant ones as I can.

          Glad you were able to get a feel for the MA750!

  19. Hello LJOKERL I am in the market for some new iems. I just finished reading through your massive multi-iem review list. The RHA MA750. definitely caught my eye. I’m not sure if I will like the sound signature. I am going to try them regardless. but i’d thought i’d voice my question just in case. I am new to the audiophile world. I currently own the Philips SHE8000, so this will be a massive upgrade. but besides them My over ear drivers are the AKG K612 and i absolutely adore the sound I get from them. so will The RHA MA750 somewhat resemble the K612 or will this be a whole different ball park. I listen to everything from Heavy Metal to electronica. but one of the main features that really appeals to me about the MA750 without hearing them is the build quality. especially after reading about many qc issues with other appealing iems that you reviewed. Any Advice? thanks.

    • Sorry, I don’t have a K612 so I can’t really say how the MA750 compares. It is a really good starting point for higher-end IEMs in my opinion, though – the sound, the design, the build – one of its strongest assets is that it doesn’t really have any weaknesses. Plus, the tuning is quite versatile and while it may not be the ideal IEM for everyone, it’ll be positively received by the vast majority of critical listeners.

      • No worries ljokerl. I picked them up today. I haven’t been able to take them out of my ears. These IEMs are amazing. Very similar to the K612. Ears didn’t need to adjust to the sound signature at all. RHA will have my business for years to come. Thank you for doing such an awesome job on the review for these. found them thanks to you man. Have a good life and happy listening XD.

  20. Hi ljokerl!
    Im obviously read your updated Buyer’s Guide and i’m aware of the fact the these pair are still the most recomended in their price range for warm and smooth sound .
    But unfortunately both the MA750 and their long time nemesis eph-100 are kind of hard to get around here.
    Considering the fact these two don’t get any younger, are there any alternatives threatening their throne in this price range? And perhaps from a worldwide shipping store (lendmeurears, mp4nation etc.)?
    Thakn’s, I’m a big fan of your work!

    • I haven’t come across anything that would make for a nice addition specifically to the “warm and smooth” category except at much higher price points, so you might have to bite the bullet and get something more in the “v-shaped” category. This will get you the closest to the performance tier of the Yamaha and RHA – for instance a JVC FXT90 or Alpha & Delta AD01, both of which ship internationally (the former from ebay and the latter from lendmeurears).

  21. Hi Joker,
    I would like to upgrade my IEMs and was thinking about these. Currently I use VSonic GR02 Bass of which I’m pretty satisfied but I would like more clarity and maybe a little bit of better bass.
    In the past I owned Id America Spark which for me sounded better that GR02 and also Wooduo2 which I didn’t like.

    Could you tell me if MA750i would be a great improvement over GR02 ? Are they worth the money ?
    I mostly listen to music like AVICII, HansZimmer, Tiesto and sometime Rap.
    Do MA750i work on Android (I mean mic + start/stop button)?

    Thanks ,

    • The MA750 is a great IEM with a very versatile sound signature – it’s relatively balanced, but also a little warm in tone and slightly v-shaped in frequency response.

      As for it being a great improvement over the GR02, I’m not so sure. It ticks your clarity requirement and has slightly better quality bass than the GR02. However, If you’re looking for more quantity the RHA is not really a step up – it’s still a relatively balanced IEM. The Spark was certainly more impactful. To get the really deep bass in there you want the MA750’s natural competitor – the Yamaha EPH-100. But that has a different form factor and no remote, so it might not be a viable option.

      The middle button on the MA750i’s remote will work on modern Android phones.

  22. First off-thank you for everything you do!

    I just received a pair of RHA750’s for the holiday, and my first impression is far from great– they just sound, well, weird to me. I’m not sure if it’s just not the right sound signature for me or if I happened to get a wonky pair. The sound seems a little muddy to me, and I don’t really perceive much of a soundstage. I don’t think it’s the seal–it took a bit of experimenting with the earpieces but I think I have a good seal now with the large silicone tips.

    In the past I’ve had a SoundMagic E30, a VSonic GR06 (my favorite set), and currently a Sony MDR-V6. I’ve had reliability issues with VSonic though, which is why I haven’t tried the GR07.

    Do you think I should try to do a warranty swap or just try a different model?

    • I can’t be sure what you’re hearing so it’s a little hard to say, but the IEMs you’ve had have all been thinner-sounding sets with brighter highs. That means it is possible that the warmer MA750 just sounds off to you and there’s nothing wrong with the unit. That might improve as you get used to the sound signature, but if you have the ability to return it and try something else that seems like the safe route at this point.

      • The seller was able to process a return. I’d still like to use the money from the gift return to upgrade my current set. Switching over to the balanced section of your 2015 holiday guide, do you think the Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 is more in line with what I’ve enjoyed in the past? If not is there another headphone besides the GR07 that’d you recommend I try?

        • The IM02 is about as far as you can get from the MA750’s sound tuning. Much more focus on the midrange, pretty much no bass enhancement, and smoother upper mids and treble. I guess from what you’ve tried it’s most similar to the E30, but with an even more balanced sound signature, superior detailing, etc. Should be a good one if you’re paying less than $250 or so for it.

  23. I want to upgrade my rha ma750.I have fiio x5 + e12a.Im looking for bassier iems.Im loving rha s v shape sound.I listen mostly edm,hip hop,rock sometimes metal music. Clarity, resolution and bass upgrade ım looking for.I found some good iems ;
    Westone um pro 30
    Rha t20
    Dunu dn2000
    Which one is good for me ?

    • Only the T20 fits your requirement of the potential for more powerful bass compared to the MA750 + a v-shaped overall sound. The DN-2000 has deep bass but it lacks mid-bass impact compared to the MA750/T10/T20 while the UM PRO 30 is a different type of sound entirely – more on the warm and smooth side, and with more intimate mids.

  24. Thank you for your review. I bought the Sony XBA-H1 after reading the wire cutter review. The sound was one dimensional and boring. Just got these and I love them. I have also owned the GR-06’s from VSONIC however their build quality is so-so.

    • Awesome, glad the MA750s turned out to be an improvement! Haven’t tried the XBA-H1 myself but I’ve disagreed with a few Wirecutter recommendations in the past.

  25. Nice review. I’m really considering these earphones. Would you be so kind to make a quick comparison with the Brainwavz M3, as those are the ones I have at the moment but I find them a bit light on the bass? Thank you!

    • The M3 is pretty well-balanced so you don’t get much bass enhancement with those. The MA750 has enhanced bass (a nice step up from the M3 without going overboard) and a slightly more v-shaped overall sound signature (the bass and upper midrange have some lift). This makes for an overall more colored and “fun” sound than the more neutral M3.

      • Thank your the reply.

        It sounds indeed like it would be a good upgrade in my case. However, i’m still considering the Sennheiser Momentum as well. I’m leaning towards the MA750 though, as I’m assuming its sound signature is closer the the M3’s sound signature (but with more/better lows and highs).
        Please correct me if I’m mistaken, as while I do like me some V-shaped sound, I don’t want to overdo things.

        Source is currently a Sansa ClipZip. Future might hold a FiiO DAP if they get their **** together and add ReplayGain support.
        I’m also assuming that both the current and potential future DAPs are enough to drive the MA750 and Momentum.

        • The Momentum should also have plenty of bass coming from the M3. The biggest difference will be in how the midrange is handled – while both are slightly “v-shaped” in response, the Momentum is thinner in the midrange and sounds more recessed, while the MA750 maintains a nice and rich sound throughout. The MA750’s approach sounds more natural to me.

          The MA750 is a tiny bit more power-hungry but both work great with a quality everyday source such as an iPhone. I don’t see why a FiiO DAP wouldn’t have the same or marginally better results.

  26. Hey joker ;

    First of all let me tell you that i am big fan of the work and effort you put in here . About a year ago i bought my xiaomi piston 2 thanks to your excellent review . İt was my first step into the quality iem market and i love the sound of my Pistons . Now i want to step higher , considering the sound signature of piston 2 would you think that RHA MA750 is an worthy upgrade ?

    • Yes, the MA750 is typically my recommended upgrade from the Piston 2 for those who liked the overall balance of the Piston2. Keep in mind that as with all things audio it won’t be 5 times better despite being 5 times the price, but the differences add up to a better listening experience.

  27. Wondering which set of earphones would be best for Hip-Hop. I previously have had the sennheiser cx300 and soundmagic e10s. I feel like I enjoyed the sound signature of the cx300’s more but the e10s were technically better. The cx300’s just had better sounding bass to me. The E10s were perhaps too bright sounding… I’m not the most familiar with audiophile language though. The E10s were just too bright and thin. I guess they were lacking in the lower area for me. I’m now debating on either getting the RHA MA750’s or the EPH100s. Wondering how they compare to the earphones I mentioned I’ve had in the past? Which would you recommend me?

    • Both the EPH-100 and MA750 will take you from the E10 sound tuning back in the direction of the CX300, which seems to be the way you want to go. Think strong technical performance like the E10 but with warmer, thicker sound and more powerful bass a-la CX300.

      I tend to prefer the EPH-100 to the MA750 for hip-hop – its vocals are a little less veiled – but really either one would be a good choice.

      • When you say veiled, would you say the vocals on the CX300 are quite veiled and that they’re much more prominent on the E10? I don’t know if you could help me out with comparing the MA750 and EPH-100 for sound? As for build quality, the MA750 seem much better so that might be the deciding factor for me.

        Also, thanks a lot for that reply… was very informative while being concise. I find choosing earphones (especially when expensive) to be one of the hardest things on planet earth haha.

  28. Ive been reading on this site for a while and purchased some of these recently.
    I think these sound great and are very comfortable. I immediately liked them. I havent managed to get a perfect seal with the included tips Ive tried yet and the foam tips do not really compress/expand like I expected.

    I am a little disappointed at the case as its not really functional other than to store the tips.

    • The foam tips included with the MA750 are not genuine Complys and behave differently when compressed. I’m not a fan of these foam tips either – there are better ones out there.

      The case is useable in my opinion, but nothing beats the portability of my small Fidue case (http://ebay.to/1UXnijG). Whatever IEM I’m carrying with me usually ends up in that.

  29. Just wanted to say thank you for your time reviewing all of the products. It allows us consumers to have a better idea of sound and build quality. I purchased the RHA 750i mostly because of all the positives views on your website and amazon. This is my first over the ear headphone and was surprised by the comfortablity. The sound is probably a solid 8 out of 10 for the money.

    IEM I’ve had in the past: Klipsch Image S4, B&W C5, Monster Pro Turbine (GOLD), Many different models of Sennheiser (CX 200, CX 300 ii)

    I personally like the monster pro’s the best but at the price I paid for them years back was around the $250 mark, these RHA seem like a better value.

  30. I bought these last year because of your review, and I’ve absolutely loved the way they sound. Unfortunately, I’ve had 3 pairs die in less than a year.

    I also have a pair of Sony XBA-H3’s that I really like, but the form factor of those is a bit cumbersome to use every day when I’m out and about.

    I have the Shure SE215 as well, but I’m not a huge fan of them, find the bass a bit muddy and the treble weak. And the Sennheiser Momentum In Ear, I find the sound overall a bit empty/thin.

    Are there any other IEMs with similar sound to either the RHA 750i or Sony XBA-H3 by other manufacturers you’d recommend?

    • Yes, there’s a couple of good options for enhanced-bass, smooth-sounding IEMs that don’t have dull and rolled-off treble like the SE215 or thin, recessed mids like the Momentum. First one that comes to mind is the Yamaha EPH-100, which is a good XBA-H3 alternative, but there’s also the Sennheiser IE8 / IE80 and the various JVC FX-series wooden earphones, such as the FX700 (there’s also newer versions of these I haven’t tried).

      And then at the high end there’s the EarSonics Velvet. I compared it to the Sony XBA-Z5 in my review: https://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/earsonics-velvet-in-ear-earphone-review/ . The Z5 reminds me of a slightly bassier H3.

      • Thanks for the recommendations! The EPH-100 look intriguing, I just wish they had a version with iPhone controls. RHA’s customer service is stellar and they are sending me another replacement set, so I’ll probably just roll the dice with those for now. I do love the way the MA750i sounds.

        • Unfortunately even in 2015 headset functionality is often still the most limiting factor in finding the right IEM. Glad RHA is standing by their product, though.

  31. Hi joker,

    awesome review, yet i still need your input before i decide to buy or not..

    i listen mostly to metalcore/rock (if you want to listen, “not your ordinary metalcore band” please google “broken promises” by august burns red, its awesome)

    i love the sound of double pedal with good speed, tight bass not bloated, yet still giving good impact that makes you want to bang your head ;p

    i dont like treble that too high and harsh, i prefer a bit balanced sound + warm that still giving good detail, especially instrument separation, like the clarity of drum cymbal sound when the double pedal is on full speed.

    right now im using hifiman re400, and overall its almost perfect, it just need a little bit more bass for the double pedal.
    and after reading through the comment ive narrowed it to rha ma750 or your choice vsonic gr07 BE

    so which one is better? is it better for me to upgrade or not? or maybe adding some amp? right now my DAP is xduoo x2

    i just need a little bit more bass from re400 for head banging 🙂

    • VSonic GR07 would be better in the sense that you won’t be giving up any of the crispness you’re used to with the RE-400. The MA750 is a warmer, bassier sort of earphone and does give up some of that accuracy in return. GR07 BE is also perfect for giving somewhat more bass impact than an RE-400, but not so much as to be bloated or slow.

      What you will lose is the smoothness of the RE-400. The MA750 is already not as smooth as the HiFiMan, and the GR07 BE even less so, especially when it comes to sibilance. Just a sacrifice that has to be made in this case – if you had an earphone with the bass of an MA750 and the treble of the RE-400 it would sound very biased towards the low end and would probably be too dull and warm to be enjoyable.

      • well noted joker,

        what about comparison in between the gr07 variance? which one will suit me best?
        trying to save some buck due to difference pricing on each var 🙂

        right now if im not mistaken they are 3 variance

        gr 07 classic
        gr07 mk 2 pro
        gr 07 be

        • The bass edition is the safest choice here. It’s not hugely bassier than the Classic and MKII, but it is punchier which will likely be a positive in this case.

  32. Hi there,
    Listened with Fiio X3 mk1. – before few hours tried with my wifes Clip + —-> faster , fuller body . Whatta hell? Joker?

    • Beats me. Faster and fuller body are not usually things that go hand in hand, and these are single dynamic driver in-ears so they tend to be pretty stable across sources. Maybe one of the DAPs has an EQ preset or something? I have a Clip but no X3 so I can’t verify.

      • Always forget Mr. Ivor : “Tiefenbrun also battled the thinking, since Edgar Villchur, that the loudspeakers were the most important, instead asserting primacy of “the front end”, saying that the quality of sound of the source was key”. So I was just heard the Clips sound signature (no EQ). Simply the 750s plays better with it. My capability of describe the SQ isn’t enough to say what I heard – after few beers definitely zero. Peace out!

        • After a few beers we are level in that regard 🙂

          Maybe someone else can try the MA750 with a Fiio DAP and something else and share the results.

  33. Hello ljokerl

    Kudos for excellent review! Many times in comments I’ve seen you recommend EPH-100 over MA-750i because of its sound signature. I listen to mainly classical music or acoustic tracks with vocals a little bit pop. I wonder which of these two be better for me for my taste? Will I be missing out on treble details in EPH-100? Will male vocals sound too subdued on 750’s? Can you help me out please? Also, can you please suggest if there is any other earphone under ~250$ that would be drastically better than either of these for my tastes?(DN-1000/2000?) ( I will consider increasing my budget if something would be significantly better than 750 or EPH-100). I listen to songs in metro on my iPhone so good isolation is must.

    • Ultimately it depends on which sound signature works best for your ears and tastes, less so for the genres you listen to. The answers to your questions about the detail and vocals are yes and yes. Both are a compromise in one way or another, but depending on the listener one compromise should be preferable, which is how I try to arrive at my recommendations.

      The DN-1000 would be a step up in things like midrange clarity and resolution, but a slight compromise in smoothness (especially compared to the EPH-100) and warmth/fullness. I tend to not value those as much as other things when it comes to your genres so I’d consider it a good upgrade. The DN-2000 is even better, but by a small amount that you may or may not appreciate without trying the DN-1000 first. If you can get a DN-2000 for $250 I’d say go for it, but if it’s $100 more than the DN-1000 it might be best to just take the middle option in this case.

      • Thanks for your reply! After a long thought choosing between EPH-100 and DUNU-1000, I decided to buy DUNU DN-1000 for $179+9.99 (Protection plan). They should arrive by late tomorrow. This will be an upgrade from Audio Technica CKS-77x which I find quiet engaging but instantly very fatiguing, often very muddy and sometimes too bright. I will post my first impressions about DUNUs when they arrive. Thanks a lot for your help..

        • All of those things can apply to the DN-1000 depending on what you’re comparing it to. But hopefully it’s an all-around upgrade to the CKS-77x (which I haven’t tried) 🙂

          • So, My DN-1000’s are here. I listened to them twice on Metro on my iPhone and liked them a lot. Listened to them on Macbook and LOVED ’em. Mids are fabulous, treble is good. Bass could be better but nothing unsatisfactory. I have been listening to them for a while now and they are not at all fatiguing. Thanks a lot for your recommendation!!

  34. Trying to upgrade from s4i. Can’t decide between rha ma750i or shure se215. Liked the sound of the s4i but always more

    • I generally prefer the MA750 to the SE215 in pretty much every way (barring the sound signature differences that may make the SE215 more suitable in certain situations). The SE215 is also going to be more different from your S4i in overall tuning.

  35. Bayonetwork on

    Joker, Ive owned these (MA750i) for a while now and am looking to upgrade to the next tier. Some IEMs that have caught my eye are the ATH CKR10, JVC FX850 in the $200 range or possibly the DUNU DN2000J or IE800 in the $300 range if they offer that much better performance for the price.
    I listen to a lot of metal (Insomnium, Dark Tranquility, Metallica) and rock/classic rock (Pearl Jam, DMB, Mumford & Sons) and absolutely have to have deep, punchy, fast bass and prefer something not too hot in the treble (which worries me about the DN2000J). Im also not a fan of IEMs that require deep insertion or need foam tips to sound their best. Oh and easy to drive from an iPhone is a plus. Any thoughts?

    • I don’t have any experience with the CKR10 or FX850.

      As for other options, the most important consideration is exactly what you mean by better performance. You can find earphones that are clearer and have tighter bass, but lack the warmth and body of the MA750. Or you can find ones with more bass, but that won’t necessarily bump you up in clarity or resolution. If smoothness is a priority, I’d pass on the DUNUs and probably on the IE800 as well.

      The DN-2000 is just plain brighter than the MA750 (in fact, enhanced-bass sets that are also as smooth/forgiving as the MA750 are few and far between). The IE800 is specifically designed as an easy-to-fit (read: shallow fit), easy-to-drive IEM, but the treble is not always smooth. They actually use a special tuning mechanism to try and smooth out the treble, but it is not 100% effective in my experience. I tend to find them a little splashy on the whole, though not as bright as the DN-2000. Other than that, they are great if you can get them for $300.

      The smoothest enhanced-bass IEM I’ve tried in the $300 range is probably the Sony XBA-H3, but as expected it give up some clarity in comparison to a DN-2000 or IE800 in exchange for that mix of warmth and smoothness. Nothing you can do about that – it’s normal. Again, it really comes down to what you’re finding unsatisfactory with the MA750 and would like to see improved.

      • Bayonetwork on

        I should have mentioned as a point of reference that I previously owned the DN1000 which had nice sub-bass but it felt disconnected from the rest of the soundstage and way too slow. I actually liked the mids and treble of the DN1k but the slow bass killed faster rock music for me.
        As far as an upgrade to the MA750, I would like deeper, faster (non-bloated), textured bass; more treble extension (the MA750 is a bit metallic to my ears and not well extended/detailed); better midrange separation (MA750 can feel a bit cramped with complex music). I can deal with more treble than the MA750 as long as its not sibilant and provides greater extension/sparkle.
        Aside from a focus on percussion (deep, fast bass) I really just prefer something thats “musical” with that PRaT factor where its easy to just get lost in the music.

        Ive seen some good deals on the IE800 but worry about the cable length and quality. Ive also considered splurging on something like a Westone or Earsonics Velvet if they really offer a significant upgrade in quality past the $300 range.

        • With the DN-1000 you ran into a problem called “coherency”, which exists in pretty much every hybrid. The dynamic and armature drivers always differ from each other in attack/decay and other subtle ways. Most people don’t hear it or aren’t bothered by it, but if coherency is important to you it’s best to stay away from most hybrids. The DN-2000 is better in this regard than the DN-1000 because the bass is tighter and more level, but ultimately it’s just more of the same. It might be enough of an improvement, but it might not be.

          The IE 800 fits the bill as far as bass quality and midrange resolution goes, but the treble could go either way. Sennheiser developed a proprietary dampening system for this earphone that’s meant to provide a smooth treble response in the ear with a shallow fit. The trouble is, the IE 800 only takes the stock eartips, and for some people (like me) the stock eartips don’t seal shallowly enough to let the system do its job. So, I never got the smooth treble you’re supposed to get out of the IE 800 and it’s always sounded a little tizzy to me. On this more than anything else YMMV. I don’t find the IE 800 to be particularly musical, just bassy and v-shaped but not in a bad way. I typically only recommend it when someone wants a bass-heavy high end earphone, because ones that have lots of bass AND don’t sound bloated are few and far between.

  36. I own the RHA MA 750i and ATH M50X and listen to them on a Fiio X5 2nd gen. M50s sound fantastic with the X5 but the RHA sounds flat! The bass response is flat. When I use them on my phone, bass sounds full and the right amount(the way I like them). I tried EQing on X5 but that didn’t help either. Is there anything I can do to improve the sound of MA750i using X5?

    • I’m not familiar with the X5 but I can’t imagine what would cause this. The MA750 is not a BA earphone and doesn’t react to source as much as like a Shure or Westone multi-BA, so I don’t know what the problem is.

  37. Hey Joker. I was hoping you could help me out with something. I recently had my RHA-ma750’s stolen, and I’m having a hard time deciding on a suitable replacement. I’ve considered a lot of the good V shaped and balanced headphones, including the Ety HF5’s, DUNU-DN1000’s, and the JVC HA-FXT90’s. I’m a bit nervous about switching from a smooth dynamic to an analytical dynamic, so I’ve also considered the EPH-100’s.
    I’m somewhat wary of re-buying the ma750’s. I loved the way they sounded, but I’m interested in hearing a different “sonic perspective”. A pair that I am curious about, but did not find listed, are RHA’s newer models, the T10’s and T20’s. Have you had a chance to listen to those and compare them to the ma750’s at all?
    Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.

    • Yeah, that’s quite a wide gamut of earphones you’re considering. Definitely recommend taking your time with deciding which direction to go next.

      Can’t say anything about the new T20 but I’m not really a fan of the T10 in comparison to the more balanced MA750. It could be an upgrade if you specifically want more bass than the MA750 can provide, but otherwise not so much. Lots of other options out there that I’d rather have, including all the ones you listed.

  38. Hi joker, I love your reviews! I was hoping you could help me pick an iem that would best fit my taste. I’m looking for an iem with decent build quality and would work well mainly for electronic music. I’m looking for punchy fast bass, wide soundstage, detail, and good vocals. These two songs have everything I’m looking for.

    Cyberbird GITS OST:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lBfYXE098bA

    And Skrux Being Human:

    So far I’ve considered the rha m750, yamaha eph100, and the jvc fxt100. Looking forward to your thoughts.

    • Not sure about the FXT100 but the MA750, EPH-100, and FXT90 would all be good choices. I tend to prefer the EPH-100 for its slightly more forward lower midrange and smoother upper mids, but the MA750 has a wider presentation and the FXT90 has arguably quicker bass. I would still go EPH-100 for electronic music, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

      • I ended up with a pair of EPH 100s. Couldn’t be happier. Excellent bass impact and a fun v shape sound signature work really well for my electronica. However I purchased a pair of $12 Koss KSC 75s and they are my go to choice for anything not bass heavy like classical and acoustic. I find that the EPH 100s have a certain flavor to them which really doesn’t work well for those genres. Ex. when I’m listening to a classical piece it sounds very unnatural and in some cases congested. With the KSC 75s they have a more airy, “sincere”, lifelike sound to them which I greatly prefer for those genres and are a whole lot more comfortable as well. Interesting how something as cheap as this can compare to a pair of earphones ten times the price.

        Are there any on ears/in ears that are a significant upgrade from the KSC 75s that you know of? Ideally < $150?

        • Also just a note, but I don’t agree with the 4/5 build quality on the EPH 100s. 3.5/5 is more like it, microphonics are an issue, cord is fairly thin and the stress relief isn’t that great either. I feel that if I accidentally yank these the wires would come out and I’d have to to open it up and resolder them. The aluminium housing is quite solid however and that is really their only redeeming trait to me.

        • Yeah something like a Philips Fidelio S2 or VSonic GR07 would be better for classical. There are less warm and bassy, more clear and accurate-sounding in-ears. Even something like the inexpensive Ostry KC06 would give you a more clear and airy sound than the EPH-100. But it won’t sound that great with electronic music.

          As for on-ears, not sure which of the current crop would be best – I’m behind on this year’s releases and most of the new ones I’ve tried have a more colored sound (there are over-ears that are better, though). The on-ear headphone market is huge so I’m sure there are many suitable options that I just haven’t had a chance to hear.

  39. Hello,

    A word about me, I’m a recent “convert” to digital audio, I’ve always loved music but kind of left ship in the decade of mp3 music. I had several models of the iPod and never used them for more than a couple of weeks – without knowing why in technical terms, only that it sounded terrible. Ignorance kept me out of digital audio for many years. Not until I made the effort to understand while it sounded like crap, from file format to chips to headphones, and began to rip my CDs in FLAC, and looking into gear, did my perspective on digital music begin to change. Gear-wise, I’ve been going one prudent step at a time, as my wife doesn’t quite share some of my obsessions, and truth be told, we have other priorities with two young children. When the time came to replace my phone, I was delighted to see that manufacturers are beginning to pay attention to audio performance, and got an Xperia Z3c which serves as my everyday player. Even though a beginner, I’m not going to preface with “Disclaimer: not an audiophile” as anyone with functioning ears and an appreciation for music can tell the difference between good and bad quality sound – and I believe I have pretty good ears.

    To get to the ma750s, I recently got a pair of those headphones, but regrettably made a moronic mistake in the “burn-in” process and ruined them after a few days. The pink noise track I was using had been recorded very loud and instead of using my ears to set the volume at the recommended medium level, I physically set the slider halfway at medium level. Four hours was all it took to ruin the poor headphones. I’m sharing that embarrassing story as a cautionary tale for others.

    Another pair is on its way and in the meantime I wanted to submit a few comments and questions. Out of the box, the sound of those headphones was amazing, but they were definitely lacking in bass. Not in extension and quality, which were beautiful, but in volume. At home it was ok, but it became a problem on the commute. Kind of frustrating, because hearing full bass extension was heaven on jazz recordings, I never realized how much information I was missing. It really changes the appreciation, enjoyment and intelligibility of the music itself, I need to emphasize that. There is absolutely no way jazz can be properly appreciated in mp3 format. Hearing jazz with anemic or distorted bass doesn’t make any kind of sense. In the real band context, other musicians can’t do what they do if they don’t get the full information from the bass, and get it musically. Jazz doesn’t make any sense in the mp3 format and the same holds true of any quality music regardless of genre. So the ma750s gave me that to a degree, but I need them to perform while on the go, as those are my best opportunities to really listen to music.

    I don’t think I was using the wrong tips, as the only ones that fitted were the single flange medium ones that come by default on the phones. Many reviewers seemed to be enraptured by the selection of tips coming with the phones, but I wasn’t, as the foams are supplied only in large, and the double flanges only in small and large, so that leaves only one choice only for medium ear canals, which I would think are the most common. Some reviewers have also stated only foam tips really should be used to get good bass, but in that case why is RHA supplying all the other ones? Also, I will need to investigate further but it’s possible that my size is in fact “medium-large” and I didn’t get a perfect “airtight” seal with the mediums. I find Comply’s price policy to be a bit silly, and might go the DIY route, customizing some standard ear plugs.

    So I’m giving the RA750s another chance because they’re available in my country at a ridiculous $85, and some reports (such as the whatifi review) that they really come into their own, including in the bass department, after a long burn-in. Whatifi say it wasn’t the tips as they had tried all of them. They ended up burning in the ma750s for a whole week, which is a lot of time, but may be ultimately worth it. Sorry about the long-winded post, take care,

    • Hello, an update on my experience with the ma750s since I received the new pair yesterday.

      I almost got the Sony MDR-EX650 instead as they have good reviews, seemed more user-friendly and were discounted at $50 on the same site, but went on to order the RHAs anyway.

      First thing I did was trying some of the other tips provided. Last time I had quickly determined the default silicone medium ones were my size, and the L ones did not fit anyway; and honestly the Ms do seem to fit perfectly, even though they clearly do not provide a perfect seal.

      This time around I first tried the L double flanges and immediately noticed a better bass response, but they were very uncomfortable; I then noticed in the manual indicates the foams are an M size. I had not bothered to try them on the phones as visually they looked like Ls, much larger than the silicone Ms, and felt very stiff and difficult to insert on their own, not even mounted on the phones. The foams provided a further improvement in sound.

      So, the verdict? I’m really happy now with the ma750s, even with no run in period. They do sound like they need to settle a bit, but the experience has been brilliant so far, with everything present across the full spectrum. I nearly fell into a dream trance listening to “Return to Paradise” by Shirley Horn, “Question And Answer” by Pat Metheny (featuring the amazing Dave Holland and Roy Haynes) and “Waltz for Nicky” by Richard Galliano. It’s been a fabulous listening experience and I just can’t take the damn things off. My source is a Sony Xperia Z3C phone.

      I still think that RHA, and other manufacturers can do a better job of explaining the importance of a good seal. RHA might consider providing foam tips in all sizes. There is no objective reason IMO for some of the very negative reviews those headphones have been getting, even though such reviews are a tiny minority. But some appeared on major sites like What Hifi, and a prominent French digital tech site. There also needs to be more options besides Complys, which are too expensive. Foam tips are still a bit uncomfortable to me, and I plan to try the following hack – I wonder if you ever tried it?

      All the best,

      • Glad you’re enjoying the MA750!

        Yes, a poor seal is probably the most common reason any in-ear earphones get poor feedback on their sound. This is also why I don’t really trust Amazon and other mainstream sites when I see reviews of in-ears complaining about sound quality, especially bass.

        DIY custom tips are something I haven’t tried. As for foam tips, you can import various kinds from China via ebay, but I don’t think we will see any mainstream brand providing an alternative to Comply any time soon due to patents.

        Foam and silicone tips from different manufacturers can differ quite a bit in comfort and seal quality so ultimately it’s just a matter of coming across one that works for you. I tend like tougher/firmer silicone tips like those from Meelectronics, for example, but some like softer silicone tips such as Sony Hybrids.

        • I think I’m going to try the sugru thing. I feel manufacturers should do better with tips, especially with sizes. A trivial reason why I almost bought the Sony EX650 (I might still buy them in fact) was that they come with 4 different tip sizes rather than 3; 5 sizes would have been even better.

          As to the MA750, believe it or not, but I’m now noticing a bothersome issue with the midrange, where on some tracks the piano comping (Ella sings Cole Porter) or certain guitar parts (Lucinda Williams’s Car Wheels album) are really recessed far back, leaving very little charm to those tracks. Damn. I will abstain from any further comments on the MA750s though until they’ve have a good many more hours of use.

          • Well, problem solved! Found back those missing mids.it occurred because I had pushed the tip too far back on the shaft. The sound now is fantastic. Thank you for bearing with me!

          • Yes and hopefully other will understand that my problems had nothing to do with the quality of those IEMs and everything to do with this user’s incompetence… I learned my lesson – the importance of a proper fitting for IEMs cannot be overemphasized ; careful with pink noise – played too loud it will wreck your phones.

            I frankly have my doubts now about the two supposedly professional reviews I mentioned. I can now safely say that those are great IEMs out of the box, and I’m not even sure they need to be burned in over a very long period of time as What Hifi wrote in order to be appreciated. They’re excellent as they are, well done RHA. And thank you joker again for your patience and the great work that you do.

          • One positive thing that came out of What HiFi mentioning burn-in is that you didn’t make up your mind about them out of the box but ended up experimenting some more to find a better configuration. While an unintended result, that’s a positive in my book and why I never really advise against “burn-in” when asked about it.

            Happy listening!

  40. Hey joker, first of all: Thank you! Your reviews are awesome! I have used Etymotic mc3s for 3 years and i liked them alot until they finally broke. Now i am looking for new IEMs and i think some more bass would be great (but i am no basshead). Comfortable fit (would be great if you can lay down with them) and nice build quality woukd be great too. I thought about sure se215, vsonic gr07 bass and rha ma750. i dont know if the bass of the re400 is enough. But im open to other IEMs too if you think they woukd fit me better. I listen to Linkin Park and some EDM (etc.) and my budget is up to 150€.
    Greetings from germany, picky 🙂

    • The RE-400 isn’t much bassier than the MC3, but on the other hand the MA750 might be too enhanced in the bass department. It’s much bassier than the MC3. Good if you want a sizable change from your MC3, but if you liked the Etys and just want something a little different, the MA750 is quite an extreme jump in sound signature.

      The GR07 BE is a nice mid-point. It’s smaller than the MA750, too, so you’re more likely to be able to lay down with it. The only limitation of the GR07 BE is that it can be mildly sibilant. Usually it’s not an issue but some people can be more sensitive to it. There is an alternative with similar sound quality and slightly less sibilance – the Philips Fidelio S2 – but you won’t be able to lay down with it.

      • Thanks for the really fast reply! I think you are right saying that the ma750 might be to bassy. I heard that the isolation of the fidelio s2 is not that good. What do the sure se215sound like compared to the etys? I am looking for something with a more punchy base than the mc3s rather than a bassy sound, you know what i mean? Thank you for your help, picky

        • Shures are closer to the MA750, just have more relaxed treble which makes them even more different from your Etys. And yes, I figured you wanted something that’s not too bassy coming from the Etys, which makes the MA750 a “maybe” – it’s a good IEM, but definitely bassy.

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