Gadget review: RHA MA-450i in-ear headphones

RHA MA-450i in-ear headphones
RHA MA-450i in-ear headphones
Share this article
Have your say gives its verdict on Glasgow-based technology company RHA’s latest pair of in-ear headphones

RHA’s latest in-ear headphones, the MA450is, arrive with an arsenal of bells, whistles and trumpets. Yes, trumpets. On top of the trumpet-shaped earphone and braided cables (a useful feature should you, on pulling them from your pocket, find your earphones in knots that would make an old sailor cry) that come as standard with the Glasgow-based company’s ear and headphone range, the MA450is come with variably-sized soft-tip earbuds, and an in-built remote control/microphone assembly designed for a suite of Apple products such as the iPod and iPad. If used with Blackberries and other such smartphones, you should still be able to adjust the volume and facilitate phonecalls.

That said, the MA450is were hardly engineered to optimise the dulcet tones of Gary from Scottish Gas. What strikes most immediately about the MA450is is the depth of its bass response. Thanks to its dynamic speaker, it performs better than some high-end DJ monitoring headphones.

The treble is crisp and sharp, and to some ears may even sound rather harsh. This, however, should read less like a criticism than a warning: if you think that everyone on your daily commute deserves the pleasure of your Norwegian death metal compilation, then you’re probably playing it too loudly. Also handy on commutes - for everyone involved - are the noise-isolating earbuds, which come in seven different sizes.

Slight treble concerns aside, the RHA’s offer a smooth and well-balanced listen. Its keen retail price (£39.95) is also an attractive proposition, and for its high performance sound and practical design, it represents excellent value.


Drivers: 10mm Mylar

Frequency range: 16-22,000Hz

Impedance: 16ohms

Sensitivity: 103dB

Rated/max power: 3/10mW

Weight: 11g

Cable: 1.5m Fabric braided

Connections: 3.5mm Gold plated