Review: RHA MA450i Headphones

I’m spending more and more time with headphones in my ears these days, whether it’s because I’m editing Mikes on Mics (or the members-only Mike Techniques podcast) or because I’m spending time outdoors getting my run on. A good set of headphones can actually really help your productivity – especially if you like to listen to music while you work or you do a lot audio work as part of your daily workflow.

My headphones have generally been the earbuds that came along with my iPhone 4S. Now they’re not bad, but they’re not great, either. Back when I was working in campus radio, I was using some pretty serious AKG headphones. Now I haven’t gone out and invested in cans like that in years, so when the folks at RHA asked if I’d be willing to give a set of their MA450i headphones a try I decided to take them up on their offer.1

I’m glad I did.

These headphones are of the in-ear variety, and they come with 7 interchangeable tips so that you can figure out what ones will work best for you. This is crucial if you’re going to be running while wearing them, as the wrong fit will surely result in the buds falling out more often than not. The controls on the headphones function in a similar way as the Apple earbuds, but are easier to use and even feel more responsive to me.

The cable is one of the things that made me take notice almost right away. It is braided with a fabric, and RHA has said that there is a reduction in tangling because of that. When compared to other earbuds I have (my Apple ones and a pair of older Sennheisers that I still have kicking around), that claim is proven to be accurate. I also just love the feel of the cable because of the design, and the gold-lated connection adds a preimum touch as well.

The sound quality of the RHA MA450i headphones is top-notch for its price point — which is around $50. The tips for the earbuds (when fitted properly) allow for noise isolation – which is great when I’m trying to edit a podcast or conduct an interview. The headphones effectively block out background noise and allow for superior sound to flow into my ears without bleed from elsewhere. These headphones are definitely going to be my travelling pair – and for good reason.2 Beyond the noise isolation, the sound quality is very rich. Deep bass pours in and the sounds are balanced and detailed. The craftsmanship that has gone into the RHA MA450i headphones is commendable – and my other earbuds are put to shame by them.

If you’re looking for a solid pair of in-ear headphones that won’t break your bank and sound great, I highly recommend the RHA MA450i headphones. They’ve become my headphones of choice – both at work and at play.

1 Full disclosure: The headphones were offered in exchange for a review.2 They even come with a handy carry case.