RHA MA750 in-ear headphones – review

I’ve owned a fair number of in-ear headphones over the years from various different companies. Sennheiser, Shure, Klipsch, I’ve tried them all.

RHA MA750 in-ear headphones

None of them come even close to the sound that the MA750 from British headphone company RHA produce. The difference is quite simply astonishing – it’s as if I’d been listening to music through a doorway, with a curtain pulled across.

Put these earbuds in and the curtain comes back and suddenly you’re in the room with the musicians. The sound stage expands. Instruments and voices take on a new level of clarity and you realise you’ve been listening to music through a fog all these years.

I’ve found myself digging through my music collection looking for favourite tracks to give another listen. There’s a new edge to the sound where previously things were lost on other headphones. Bass notes in particular are picked up well (and the frequency response goes down to 16Hz, something unusual for in-ear headphones in my experience), but these headphones perform brilliantly across the range, with a lovely clean, clear response from the lows to the highs. I’ve been hearing new things in my music collection, things I didn’t even realise I was missing.

The build quality is superb too – the headphones are made from stainless steel and feel lovely and solid in your hand, yet not heavy in your ears. As the review on HuffPost Tech said, they

…feel like something you’ve pulled off the side of a space shuttle when no one was looking.

The cord goes up and over your ear, which I’ve always preferred – this cuts out the cable noise you get when in-ear headphones trail the wire straight down. The curved wires on the MA750s have a reinforced plastic to keep the curve in place and protect the cable, a feature which I really liked.

RHA MA750 in-ear headphones  3.5mm audio jack

They just smack of quality, from the industrial metal joins where the left/right cables meet, to the spring at the headphone jack end to protect the cable. And the cable itself feels heavy-duty and robust too – steel reinforced and oxygen-free, according to the RHA website. These are no lightweights.

Sound isolation is also great – plug them in and it’s just you and the music. Fellow commuters annoying you with the tinny beat of their iDevice earbuds? No longer a problem. Just be careful crossing roads!
They come with a load of extra ear tips – single and double-flanged as well as memory foam ones loaded into a nice stainless steel holder and a carry case.

I was fortunate enough to receive a pair to review. But, should the worst happen and I lose these headphones? I’d buy another pair without a second’s hesitation.

And they’re backed up with a three year warranty.

A seriously nice bit of audio kit and worth every penny. They look and feel like they should cost twice the price.

Don’t put up with crappy earphones you got with your mp3 player or phone. Do your ears a favour and buy a pair of these.

Sugru

I was sent a pack of sugru to review the other day. It’s pretty funky stuff – out of the packet it’s soft & pliable and feels a bit like blu-tack. You’ve got about 30 minutes to use it out of the pack and it cures in 24 hours, bonds to pretty much anything and turns into a flexible silicone rubber which is waterproof, heatproof (from -50°C to + 180°C) and really very strong.

The pack I got contained 8 mini foil packs of black sugru – according to the instructions it’ll last for six months at room temperature, longer if you keep it in the fridge). Cost via the website: £11 + shipping, or £1.37 per pack. You can get it in smaller packs too. The sugru store is here: http://sugru.com/buy

I decided to make some custom-fit earbuds, using my very cheap Philips earbuds – they were less than a tenner and a replacement for my beloved Shure SE115s until I can afford a decent replacement set. The Philips ones sound ok, but let outside noise in really badly (unlike the Shure buds).

The fix was pretty easy to do – roll back the outer rubber bit of the earbud, pop a bit of sugru behind, fold the rubber bit back over then stick the earbuds in your ear. Give it a wiggle to get a good fit, take the earbuds out and leave the sugru to set.

There’s a video on the Sugru website:

Tried them this morning, and whilst it’s not a perfect fit, it cuts out a significant amount of background noise, giving a much clearer sound. I might have another go and use a bit more sugru – I was a bit sparing with it, but the little individual packs hold a decent amount. 5g of sugru goes a long way!

I had some left over from the earbud fix, so decided to see what else I could use it for.

The locking ring on my Opinel pocketknife is metal, and can be pretty slippery if you’re trying to open the blade in the wet. I put a small band of sugru around the metal collar and used the back of a key to give it some ridges for extra grip.

Opinel penknife plus Sugru hack

Bonus is there’s now an extra grippy bit when you’re using the knife!

And one final hack using the last bit of the pack (and remember, this is all from one 5g packet), I added a little lump of sugru to the volume dial on my desktop PC speakers. The dial is black, with a tiny black dot indicating the volume you’ve got it set at. Pretty hard to tell how loud you’ve got it set.

Now it’s got a lump where the dot is (should have taken a photo really!) so I can see at a glance how loud the kids have turned up the speakers!
So, all in all, it’s pretty versatile stuff. I’m already looking at other things I can use it for around the house and garden, and the sugru site has some great hacks which I’ll be checking out.