What HiFI 5 Star

The RHAs sing in a natural, unforced manner, and consequently remain an easy listen even through the entirety of a long haul flight.

Everything’s relative, of course, but the RHA MA-350 look pretty bulky. Fortunately, the big aluminium enclosures (shaped aerophonically, in the manner of a trumpet’s bell) are lightweight and a comfy fit.
And the MA-350s are a gratifyingly poised listen. The 10mm driver doesn’t place undue emphasis on any particular area of the frequency range, instead delivering an even, balanced sound – dynamism and punch are on the menu, certainly, but not at the expense of detail or subtlety.
The RHAs sing in a natural, unforced manner, and consequently remain an easy listen even through the entirety of a long-haul flight.

Read the full article at What Hi-Fi

Find out more about the MA350.


The amount of detail able to be drawn out by these headphones amazed me - I've never heard something on this side of the $50 mark quite so able to extract the subtleties of a song.


The MA350
The MA350 is an earbud produced by RHA, subsidiary of the UK firm Reid Heath Ltd., based in Glasgow. RHA currently manufacture only two models earbud, both of which use the same audio guts - one of them just has inline controls. The MA350's are the model without them. They retail for $40 (buy here). A small carrying pouch and three sets of eartips are included.

The Sound

For $40, the RHA MA350's produce sound that is - I would argue - far more comparable to headphones of the $80-100 range. My primary point of comparison, therefore, were my trusty old Etymotic Research hf2's (equivalent to the hf5, which are $100 street price, $150 MSRP).

Being dynamic driver headphones, as compared to the balance armature Etymotics, there were bound to be major differences in the sound - and there are. Now, to be fair, I am comparing one headphone to another with a suggested price three times as high. So keep that in mind. I didn't have a pair of crappy iPod or in-the-box smartphone earbuds to put them up against.

The MA350's claim to fame is RHA's "reverse trumpet"-shaped soundhole which the driver sends audio through to your ear. They claim this produces a more balanced output across the spectrum of sound, which I'm not sure I really buy - but I'm not an expert on earbuds acoustics (or, as RHA calls it - aerophonics, which frankly has far more to do with instruments that headphones).

The sound signature of the MA350's is interesting. Bass-heavy, to be sure, but not to the point of sounding unnatural. They sound like a solid, powerful dynamic driver earbud. Bass also isn't so extreme that it overwhelms the decidedly gentler mids, and is fairly tight, with little muddiness. The mids feel a little too subdued to my ears, resulting in a somewhat "compressed" sound at times (like your ears need to pop), especially on tracks lacking much in the way of low-end. These wouldn't make great jazz / classical earbuds - strings and keyboards just don't have the depth of a good balanced-armature IEM like the hf2's.

The treble end of the equation is a mixed win for the MA350's. The amount of detail able to be drawn out by these headphones amazed me - I've never heard something on this side of the $50 mark quite so able to extract the subtleties of a song. The little, imperceptibly quiet things that you just don't hear on a cheap set of headphones without maxing the volume (and, as a result, destroying your ears). The drawback is that the MA350's are also very bright - without a heap of bass to balance out the equation, songs heavy on cymbals, snare drums, and other sibilant percussion can become grating and harsh. The same goes for very high vocals, or particularly shrill guitar squeals.

I found the soundstage a little wider than I expected, but nothing to write home about - which is to say, still a million times better than Apple earbuds. Instrument separation was solid, though I found this was one area where my hf2's very noticeably bested the MA350's.

Overall, the MA350's produce great sound for the price, though I'd advise you to explore other options if you're into classical, jazz, or mellower / classic rock. The MA350's are tuned great for modern rock, pop, and are plenty suitable for hip-hop. Electronica listeners may demand yet more bass, though I'd argue the MA350's have plenty for anyone who does not actively endeavor to distort their music.

The Fit

I won't say the MA350's fit brilliantly - I lost seal at times - but they do fit very well. While walking, they didn't dislodge themselves. The only difficulty really stemmed from getting them in correctly in the first place, which I found was best achieved by lodging them unusually loosely into my ears, probably due to the interesting chopped-off-egg shape of the tips. Still, once they were in, they generally stayed in. The machined aluminum housing makes them feel rather durable, as well, and didn't cause my ears any discomfort (aside from the fact that they're icy-cold when you first put them on).

The cord is evil. It's a very light and narrow fabric-wrapped affair, and it gets tangled and knotted up like sewing string when left to move about in your pocket. That really annoyed me, but it's far from a dealbreaker. The cord also makes a fair bit of noise, though that's the tradeoff of fabric - you don't get the annoying reverberation when the cord strikes your body/clothing, but you do when it slides up against anything.

When it comes to earbuds, my judgment of fit is generally reduced to a binary result: good or bad. The MA350's fall squarely into the "good" category.


I really like the MA350's. These are the sort of headphones I'd recommend to my friends who aren't particularly interested in sound, but who suffer through overpriced products like Apple's god-awful earbuds (even the new ones sound pretty terrible), or whatever marked-up Skullcandy crap Best Buy puts in the smartphone aisle. For $40, you're getting an experience, I would say, that matches or exceeds many earbuds at twice that price.

I reviewed the MA350's because I find that many of our readers tend to think spending anything more than $50 on headphones is just excessive, so I wanted to showcase something a little more economical. While I still disagree vehemently and absolutely with the notion that something like the eargasmic $400 UE 900's simply "aren't worth it," I can understand wanting the most bang for your buck - who doesn't?

In that sense, I think the MA350's are an absolutely stellar headphone. I'd argue that, compared to numerous earbuds around the $100 mark that I've tried, you're getting 90% (or more) of the performance at around 50% of the price. That's serious value.

Read the full article at Android Police

Find out more about the MA350.

Modaco Logo

They're wonderfully designed and made (they feel like they will last!), understated and most importantly, sound fantastic.

I've heard nothing but good things about RHA's MA-350 earphones from people who really do know what they're talking about when it comes to such things. But they're £29.95. Can they really be that good? I've gone ears on to find out!

I don't claim to be an 'audiophile' at all... my credentials as far as a reviewer go are that i've owned and used a lot of earphones and always try different ones whenever I can (including the frequently bundled in box junk)! My earphones of choice are currently a pair of Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi 10s which replaced a broken set of Ultimate Ears Super-Fi 5 Pros. The Triple-Fis are truly excellent - I love them to bits - but at over £200 for a pair you'd kind of hope so!

In the box
In the box you get the earphones, small, medium and large 'noise isolating' silicone tips, a small faux-velvet carry bag and a user's guide. Yes, a user's guide! It's not really though, basically it just says 'don't turn them up to loud or you'll break your ears'.

Design / construction
The MA-350s are machined from solid aluminium with an 'aerophonic shape inspired by a trumpet's bell' design. The back of the earphones are black with a prominent RHA logo and a rubber 'stalk' (embossed with L or R respectively) trails off the fabric woven cable. Cables for both ears are the same length with a sliding toggle to take up the slack. The cable length for each ear is such that you can wear the cable around the back of your neck fine. The cable terminates in a gold plated 3.5mm tip.

The quality feels very good indeed, having metal construction at this price point is pretty great. In impressive attention to detail, even the little grille is made of metal too. The design is pretty understated, which I think is a good thing. The cable is black, the headphones are black, only the tasteful 'RHA' logo tipping off onlookers to the fact that you do actually know your earphones! White cable / red cable / form over function fashionistas need not apply.

The braided cable is designed to reduce cable tangling and prolong cable life. I quite like braided cables, so it's a thumbs up from me.

The MA-350s ship with 3 different sizes of silicone tips to help you find a comfortable fit. The 'medium' size worked best for me, which is inline with my experience with other earphones. I obviously have average size ears. On the inside at least.

The earphones are very comfortable to wear, the back of them is pretty thin meaning non strange pressures on your ears when wearing them. The flipside is they are a little bit susceptible to movement if you're chosen tip is a little on the small side. Provided you've chosen the right tip, the noise isolation is good.

So, to the real money question? What do they sound like? To decide, I ran them through a selection of different tunes, some with thumping bass, some with delicate trebles and lots with a full and complex midrange.

The verdict? Really rather good... certainly better than anything i've listened to up to now at this price point. Plugged into my phone they sounded good, plugged into something with a half decent amp of course they sounded fantastic. Generally speaking on cheaper earphones there are some tracks which can really expose their limitations. An example is how a lot of budget offerings (and my horrible iBeats) balk at Example's 'Changed the way you kiss me' when the bass kicks in, but i'm pleased to report no such issues with the MA-350s... the bass reproduction is excellent.

When listened to directly alongside my SuperFi 10s a tiny bit of excessive crispness on the highest trebles at the expense of some detail is evident, but not so much for me to consider it a negative in any way... it's more a reflection of the formers exceptional performance than any deficiency in the MA-350s. The comparison does really emphasise the overall quality of the sound - if I told you there was a £170 price difference you'd call me a liar.

Pricing and availability
The RHA MA-350s are priced at £29.95 at Amazon. An extra £10 buys you a set of MA450is, which include a remote and microphone for use with your phone. They also include 7 tips rather than three and are available in black and, yes, white for the Apple set.

At sub £30, the MA-350s are a steal. They're wonderfully designed and made (they feel like they will last!), understated and most importantly, sound fantastic. If you're looking for a great value replacement for those crappy in-box buds, these are what you need.

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