RHA Audio - MA 650 Wireless Review--Two thumbs up!

staggerlee41

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Sep 25, 2017
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For context, I upgraded my iPhone to an 8+ and have been thoroughly enjoying the device, iOS 11 aside. I had upgraded from a 6s so my favorite earbuds had to be replaced thanks to Apple's courage to remove the 3.5mm jack.

My use case is for said earbuds is for air travel (noise isolation), general listening when I want to immerse myself in music and when outside doing yard work. Sweat proof, bluetooth, around the neck style and good connectivity with iPhone were all priorities. I used an older version of Jay Buds once and while the sound was pretty good, especially with Comply foam tips, the connection was pretty lousy. They constantly dropped connection so while I've heard many great things about them, I wasn't compelled to give the current versions another go.

Best Buy had a sale on BeatsX and I opted to try those for the seamless integration with Apple products. I had a business trip coming up and wanted to have SOMETHING to use whilst on the plane to drown out the noise from the engines and the passenger noise. I paid $109 for the BeatsX - they're not bad for the price, but they're not great either. I wasn't happy with the sound initially on them and in a thread I'd read about AirPods I saw a suggestion to change the EQ to "Late Nite". This significantly improved the sound quality and adding Comply foam added a great seal. They were very serviceable, given the price, but I still felt the mid range was completely missing from the experience. Bass was overpowering and treble was too much to suit me. Simply put, the quality I was looking for just wasn't there. These will go back. Had I been able to listen to them while in the store, I'm not sure I'd have purchased them. Best Buy would not let me do this.

I am not sure I consider myself an audiophile because I'm not a musician, I don't know all the technical terminology and my comprehension of the things to adjust or look for simply comes down to appreciating a good clean, clear, crisp and well rounded listening experience from the treble to bass. I know what sounds good to me and that's what I was looking for.

So onto the RHA MA650 Wireless review.

https://www.rha-audio.com/us/products/earphones/ma650-wireless

I had participated in a thread where a forum member was asking for a good recommendation on Bluetooth Earbuds, a member suggested looking at RHA Audio. As I looked into them, I quickly fell in love with the design and features I observed whilst reviewing the product description on the RHA website. What I liked about the BeatsX were the magnets in the earbuds, the good connectivity of the W1 chip, noise isolation, the fit of the earbuds and the lightning charging connector. The MA 650 Wireless has all of those features, except there is no W1 Chip and no lightning connector for charging. They do feature USB-C so that works for me.

The attention to detail of the design of the RHA product is absolutely top notch. These are premium earbuds in appearance and sound quality. Picking them up in hand, the comparison is absolutely night and day between the RHA offering and BeatsX. The earpieces are crafted of magnetized aluminum so when you pop out the earbuds, they form a loop around your neck securing them to your body. I referenced this before about the BeatsX as being a feature I liked--the magnets. You get inline controls, 12 hours of battery life, sweat and splash proof with IPX4 rating, noise isolation a multitude of tips and a nice storage bag to keep them in. Packaging and presentation was extremely high quality as well.

InMotion allowed me to listen to the 650's and I hoped to compare them to the MA 750 Wireless while there, but unfortunately the MA 750 Wireless were not in stock. The 750's have a feature a steel housing vs. the aluminum of the 650's and a better driver. They also have very thin ear hooks so they go over the ear vs. the 650's which fit in ear. Price difference is about $70 USD, 650's being the cheaper model.

I listened to the 650's for 2+ hours on the plane using both the native music app of iOS and using a music player with EQ by Radsone. WOW JUST WOW! The clarity is simply amazing, you can really hear the instruments. Each instrument. The soundstage is very full and incredibly clean. The build quality of the RHA product combined with the wonderful listening experience was beyond my expectations. Nothing is overpowering, nothing is underwhelming it's just a very crisp, CLEAN and detailed listening experience. I do think they're missing a little bit of the richness I was hoping to find, but by no means are they lean when it comes to providing a tremendously enjoyable listening experience. I'd guess if I knew a little bit more about manual EQ settings I may be able to improve this. I'm sort of splitting hairs, as it's really a challenge to find anything to complain about with the 650's. These are night and day above the quality of the BeatsX and probably many other earbuds you can buy at a big box retailer.

I used the standard silicone tips--I wasn't going to mess around with different tips in an Airport (where I purchased them) and found them to be adequate. I've since switched to foam tips and they're even better. Connectivity with iPhone was pretty comparable to the BeatsX, without the pop up screen saying they're connected and a MUCH easier to find power button. You can actually feel the raised shape of the power button and the power symbol, it's that easy to find. That was a gripe I had about the BeatsX, the button was so close to the height of the rest of the battery pod, it was hard to find and difficult to power on and off. They're also a better design by my standards because the cable is rounded vs. the ribbon of the BeatsX which I always found to get twisted. The silicone cable is very comfortable to wear around the neck--also an appeal to me of the BeatsX.

We all listen to different genres of music and prefer different listening experiences, so what we seek out will be different for all of us. I really believe you'd be hard pressed to find a better option to go with if you're looking for an around the neck, bluetooth, premium listening experience. I'd still like to try the 750's for comparison. One thing I really learned through this experience is that if you have the option to listen before buying, do that. It will save you the trouble of returns like I'll be doing. If you're in the market for a set of earbuds under $100 that provide a high quality listening experience for a variety of music, these should be on your short list folks. Like many things, a quality music listening experience is subjective so my opinions may not directly align with your preferences and I encourage you to listen before you buy if at all possible.

I will note that I have not at the time of writing, taken calls with these, so I'm not sure of the mic's quality. As I figure that out, I'll report back.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading and apologies for the long backstory and review.
 
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dfnj123

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Jun 29, 2007
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I think I may have been the one to recommend the RHA brand in the previous thread you said you saw. I’m glad the 650 Wireless has worked well for you!

I haven’t tried any of RHA’s wireless earbuds yet myself, but I’ve owned a wired 750 for a couple years, and I’ve always been impressed with their sound quality given their price point. My understanding is the wireless 750’s earbuds are exactly the same as the wired 750’s earbuds, so they should sound very similar. Only difference is the 3.5mm connector vs Bluetooth.

It’s hard to make the same comparison for the 650 wireless because a wired version did not previously exist.

I’m not in the market for new wireless earbuds at the moment, but the 750 wireless are definitely on my radar if my situation changes in the near future.
 
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staggerlee41

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[doublepost=1508296101][/doublepost]
I think I may have been the one to recommend the RHA brand in the previous thread you said you saw. I’m glad the 650 Wireless has worked well for you!

I haven’t tried any of RHA’s wireless earbuds yet myself, but I’ve owned a wired 750 for a couple years, and I’ve always been impressed with their sound quality given their price point. My understanding is the wireless 750’s earbuds are exactly the same as the wired 750’s earbuds, so they should sound very similar. Only difference is the 3.5mm connector vs Bluetooth.

It’s hard to make the same comparison for the 650 wireless because a wired version did not previously exist.

I’m not in the market for new wireless earbuds at the moment, but the 750 wireless are definitely on my radar if my situation changes in the near future.
Yes! You were in fact one who recommended them to another user and that was the post that spawned my interest in the 650's. Thank you for the recommendation, they have been a pleasure to use so far.

I uploaded a few shots at the request of @AppleZombie.
 
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wcroadie

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Dec 20, 2013
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Philly PA
Nice! I have a paired of their wired earbuds, I forget the model number, they sound awesome, but no matter what size earpiece I put on, they just don't fit right in my ears and fall out if I move my head. But when at work or laying on the couch, I use them and they sound great.
 
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staggerlee41

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Nice! I have a paired of their wired earbuds, I forget the model number, they sound awesome, but no matter what size earpiece I put on, they just don't fit right in my ears and fall out if I move my head. But when at work or laying on the couch, I use them and they sound great.
Interesting situation you have with the wired earbuds. Have you tried using Comply foam tips by chance? There are some that seem to fit in the ear canal.
 

ice29

macrumors member
Dec 9, 2016
33
6
Switzerland
Hi there, since I have an iphone 7 now, I got pissed about Apple removing the 3.5mm jack very fast (the adapter is a joke)... So BT headphones for the rescue. I can't wear normal earpods, they fall out of my ears instantly, so something else needs to be bought. I almost bought BeatsX since I want to use the headphones with iphone, ipad and macbook, and the apple chip should allow this, but I couldn't try them in the shop and reviews are not that positive...
Now I see these should sound much better, but have you tried switching between various devices? can you pair these with more BT senders? this would be a killer for me... thanks!
 

staggerlee41

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So I hadn't actually tested this until I saw your post and thought I'd give it a shot and report back. I was able to keep 2 connections going at once, but I don't believe it allowed me to connect more than 3. Not sure if something was wonky on my end or not. You might reach out to RHA Audio and see what they say.

https://www.rha-audio.com/us/product-support

I agree that the W1 Chip for your use case may make the most sense. If you go the BeatsX route, make sure you get some Comply Foam tips, it greatly improves the sound coupled with playing with your EQ settings.

http://www.complyfoam.com

I didn't experience any quality issues with them as some have reported, but much prefer the RHA 650's in terms of build quality, performance and sound quality.

Please report back with what you decide. By the way, Switzerland is a beautiful country!
 
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ice29

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Dec 9, 2016
33
6
Switzerland
Thanks a lot for the test! I have ordered the RHAs, if it works with 2 devices I am okay with that (iphone and macbook), the splashproofness of them is also an important point to me and I use a new macbook pro, so plenty of USB-C chargers/cables around. They are also cheaper than the Beats and hopefully the sound quality is good enough for demanding non-audiophile :)

Thanks for the compliment, I am not Swiss but like the country so much that I moved here.. The first ski-resorts open tomorrow (we got some snow in the last 2 weeks), so the dull autumn time without sun&fun is finally over :)
 
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ice29

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Dec 9, 2016
33
6
Switzerland
So got the headphones today - the sound quality is brilliant, I am no audiophile but these sound much better then the standard apple earbuds, or my chinese Symphonized and Xiaomi headphones (which are not that bad for 20$). All the controls work, pairing is fine with macbook and iphone (both active at the same time, this is totally enough for me).
I was surprised that Macbook Pro uses aptX codec with these (seems iphone can't use it, only some androids). Supplied Comply Foam tips were a nice surprise.
What annoys me a little (or a little more..) is that the headphones can't be charged with standard USB-C chargers/cables :( (I have a few macbook chargers, also a monitor with usb-c power) - only the supplied cable works. Even connecting Macbook and Headphones with back-to-back USB-C doesn't work, they simply won't charge... A pity, now I have to carry another cable with them...
 
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staggerlee41

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Good to hear you're happy with sound quality and the overall build.

I have exactly one device that uses USB-C, the RHA 650 headphones. What exactly is different about a standard cable vs the one supplied? This looks like a standard cable to me? My MacBook is a 2012, so I may not be as current as you are.
 

ice29

macrumors member
Dec 9, 2016
33
6
Switzerland
I tried it a bit more yesterday and it's not the cable itself, the USB-C implementation on the headphones is "wrong" (not standard) - apparently normal USB-C chargers wait for a signal from the attached device to start charging (with the amount of energy required by the device), otherwise they don't supply anything. But normal USB3 ports supply some current anyway - and this is what these headphones require, since they don't signalize anything, they just wait for the power. And if you use the supplied USB-A to USB-C, the USB-A (USB2/3) port will provide the power (it also works with 3rd party USB-A to USB-C cable, so the one supplied is standard one).
Apparently some USB-C mobile phones have a similar problem...

It is described also here
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/721qi2/charging_rha_ma750_or_ma650_wireless/

I will write to RHA and ask them why it is like this, maybe they should improve it in the next generation :)
 
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staggerlee41

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Ahhh, now it makes sense. Thanks for the explanation and the link to the comments on them. I did not realize this and it kind of sucks, but not a deal breaker for me. I hope you're enjoying your new earbuds!
 

eyeseeyou

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Feb 4, 2011
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Are you still considering other earbuds?

Based on what I see on amazon I kind of feel like there are A LOT of similar earbuds at a much lower price with plenty of good ratings.

What exactly made you choose these over others?
 

staggerlee41

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I'm using two sets of earbuds at this point. RHA Audio and AirPods. AirPods are used for calls and see more day to date use. Particularly when I travel or when situational awareness is important to me. RHA 650's get used when I want to immerse myself in a wonderful listening experience. I am not considering anything else at this point, I've got exactly what I need.

Look, there are always going to be cheaper alternatives to products out there. That's great for everyone because as a consumer there are lower cost alternatives as well as the fact that it forces companies to improve products to enable sales. I chose these because I wanted a premium product that wouldn't break the bank and I'm pleased to report that I got exactly what I was hoping for.
 

staggerlee41

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FYI,

I received an email this morning RHA is now offering these amazing earbuds in white. I've had several months of use with them now and can confirm they are money well spent.
 

cyberone

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2005
283
38
Arghhh...
Arghhh... just missed the sale.

Any clue whether the T20i model will be updated anytime soon? Seems a classic, so why wait, but is already some three years in the market.

Prices have come down a bit, so not sure a successor is about to be launched.

Anyone?
 

staggerlee41

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Just thought I'd bump this thread as RHA has the 650's and 750's on sale for 25% off. 650's look to be discounted in only white. 750's in black. After 1 year of use these, these have been fantastic.
 

staggerlee41

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So I had wanted to try the MA 750's ever since I bought the MA 650's and took advantage of the Black Friday Sale. Got them today and they're fantastic. Sound is more rich than the 650's and that's saying something because I absolutely love the MA 650's.

If you're looking for bluetooth earbuds to gift this Holiday season, you really should check out the offerings from RHA.