Getting decent cans for your trip to and from work can be a nightmare thanks to a flooded market. But when you’re paying under $60 for a set that sounds good and has seven different sized earpieces, your gamble is likely to pay off.
That’s the gamble you will take with the RHA MA450i in-ear earphones. All in all, it’s a pretty decent gamble. If there is one thing we have learnt about reviewing earphones, it’s that everyone’s ears are different so there is little point putting too much emphasis on what we think is the inspired part audio wise of the earphones in question.
So when it comes to the RHA MA450i, we’ll just say this. The bass is decent but you may find it could be better if you like your music to thump. Sound is clear with crisp audio separating the different instruments and voices. Fit should be fine as there are so many different sizes of bud – but they can be quite tricky to pull on and off. The fabric Y-cable is a great thing and stops a fair few tangles, although you will inevitably have to untangle them from time to time after you leave them in your man-bag or pocket for too long. There is also a microphone and volume control on the cable.
In terms of practicality, the biggest issue we have with in-ear earphones is the sound the chord makes as you walk down the street. Often it can pull at the buds and interfere with the music. If you’ve paid handsomely for your earphones it is an extremely annoying issue. Thankfully the RHA’s keep this to a minimum. You would have to have your music on pretty soft to hear external interruptions. That also means you need to pay close attention when crossing the road!
At the end of the day they do what most earphones already can do to differing degrees of success. The real win here is the price. At $59.95 they are a bit of a steal for the quality. It’s a price that will allow you to throw them around and even break a pair every now and then without worrying too much and then curling up into a little ball of despair after you realise how much you spent on them.
Would we use them at home to listen to our favourite tunes in high quality? No. Would we recommend them for your travels? Yes, very much so.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.