An Introduction To... RHA's Aerophonic Design
RHA’s MA Series of in-ear headphones share a few notable features, the most evident being their unique shape: RHA’s Aerophonic design. The design came about during the development of RHA’s first IEM, the MA350, as the team in charge of product design and sound engineering came together to find a way to improve upon the industry standard in-ear headphone design.
Conventionally, IEM driver housings are comprised of two important pieces: the sound chamber and the sound pipe. The driver is positioned at the back of the sound chamber where it receives electrical signals and manipulates airflow to create sound waves. The sound waves travel from the driver through the sound chamber and into the sound pipe before finally entering the ear.
During the research process, the RHA team studied traditional cylindrical shaped sound chambers with sound pipes attached at the centre of the walled end of the cylinder opposite the driver. They found that the airflow from the driver carrying sound is not always channelled directly into the sound pipe, and that some of the sound waves can be reflected back towards the driver after colliding with the walled end of the sound chamber around the sound pipe. Reverberation within the sound chamber like this can lead to distortion and reduce the clarity of the sound.
RHA’s engineering team sought to redress this common design flaw, researching airflow optimisation and the airflow properties of musical instruments to find a way to channel air in a way that it could progress from the driver to the ear unobstructed. They found inspiration in the trumpet, specifically, the bell at the end of the instrument, which is designed to amplify sound. They inverted the model, in effect concentrating the sound in an organic, natural way, and creating the first prototypes of the RHA’s signature Aerophonic design.
The design combines the sound chamber and pipe into one single, funnel-shaped piece, meaning there are no barriers between the sound emanating from the driver and it entering the ear. Sound waves progress naturally from the driver, through the chamber and sound pipe and entering the ear with no opportunity for the sound to reverberate or become distorted.
This simple piece of engineering has significant benefits in terms of delivering true-to-life audio, with all products in RHA’s MA Series benefitting from the Aerophonic design’s ability to channel air and sound naturally to deliver high clarity audio.