Hands on ... RHA MA350 Headphones
What is it? Budget in-ear headphones How will it change my life? I reviewed Glasgow-based RHA’s T10i not so long ago and was hugely impressed by their value for money. When I heard that their original MA350 was still doing a roaring trade three years on and had undergone a refresh, I had to give them a blast.
I like to think I’ve perfected the art of dissecting audio equipment to its bones. I view it as being akin to the 12 Trials of Hercules. Anyone who has bought an expensive MP3 player or phone will know that the default headphones that arrive with them are a serious chink in the armour which should be disposed of immediately and replaced with something of the standard of the MA350.
Vocals can be useful but only for pitch and unless your MP3 player is dominated by Nina Simone then you’ll want to delve a bit deeper into the earphones’ capabilities. The ultimate challenge, the MA350’s Cerberus and one that invariably downs most contenders, is Orion by Metallica: delicate transitions of heavy bass, drums and guitar that this set of headphones handles with ease. Good points? Quality sound is something RHA is synonymous with and the MA350 is no exception, combining crystal clear harmonics with robust materials that won’t fail after a few months. Noise isolation is a term banded about by most audio output companies but you only get a sense of what this actually means when you try lower-end products first.
To derive the same effect from poorly manufactured equipment you need to ramp up the volume which degrades the quality. The MA350 achieves this at reduced sound levels meaning those around you are not subjected to your musical tastes. Bad points? Not a lot. Best for ... Achieving a sound to rival headphones that cost four times as much. Avoid if ... You are looking for bling. Score: 9/10, an ideal gift to gain brownie points or simply treat your ears to rock bliss.