When presented with the opportunity to review the RHA MA450i headphones I responded, “Hell, if they’ll stay in my ears, I’ll give them a good review.” (I apparently have weird ear canals, and most of the in-ear headphones I’ve tried have had the tendency to fall out of my ears easily.) Now after using the MA450i’s for awhile, it’s time for the review, and I have to admit, I’m giving them a passing grade. But the fact they stay in my ears wound up last on the list of things I like about them.
The MA450i headphones are of the in-ear “bud” variety, and include 7 different sized ear tips, 1 set pre-installed on the headphones, the other 6 pairs in a handy, little carrying case. The package also includes a pouch to store the headphones in between uses.
As I mentioned before, I have problems with earphones staying in my ears, but it must’ve been my lucky day when I took the MA450i’s out of the box as the pre-installed set fit perfectly.
The tubes in the ear tips are a solid silicone material, surrounded by the soft rubber-like material that completes the seal in your ear. The tubes were nice and solid, earning points for construction, but they do make the ear tips a little tougher to get onto the headphone when changing tips.
The ear tips make a good seal in the ear, passively canceling out outside noise. While writing this review, I am wearing the MA450i’s and I cannot hear my keyboard clacking, nor hear the television in the next room.
The headphones are made from Aircraft Grade Aluminum, coated with a scratch-resistant material, and then outfitted with 10mm drivers.
While I am not an audiophile by any means, (my listening tastes run to classic country, and 70s and 80s hits), I found the MA450i’s did an excellent job of reproducing the sounds of the sources I tried them with. I used the headphones to listen to iTunes tracks on my iPhone, both those that resided on my iPhone, and those from the cloud via iTunes Match. I also used them to listen to iTunes Radio, and in all cases the sound was excellent. Good bass response, and the higher sounds also came through without being tinny.
In addition to music, I am also an avid listener of podcasts, and I found all the podcasts I listened to came through clearly, and all voices came through understandable and clear.
I appreciated the inline controls to operate the iPhone’s audio controls. They worked well. I did find the controls a little “plump” for my tastes, but one I got used to them, they were perfectly acceptable. I used the headphones during numerous phone calls and found that I was able to hear the other party clearly, and they also could hear me quite well.
The 1.5m cabling of the headphones is cloth covered, to prevent tangling. I must say I didn’t experience the tangling problems that I have with other headphones in the past, so good job there.
The RHA MA450i headphones are an excellent value. Priced in most cases at right around $50, they provide good sound and comfort for an excellent price. These headphones are definitely staying in my ears for a good long time after this review. I have tried numerous types of headphones, both cheaper, and more expensive than the MA450i’s, and these perform better, and wear more comfortably than any other headphones I’ve tried.
If you’re looking for a set of comfortable, well engineered, and well performing earphones, I would highly suggest you check out a set of RHA MA450i headphones. You just might find they’re what you’re looking for.
Price: $49.95 MSRP – Available at Amazon.com.
- Great sound, excellent reproduction for a headphone in this price range.
- They stay in my ears. +1 there!
- They work well for music, podcasts or phone calls. Good performance all around.
- ‘Made for iPhone’, so they work perfectly with iOS devices.
- 3-year warranty.
- The ear tips are a little tough to get onto the headphones, but once there, they stay.
- The inline controls are a bit bulky for my tastes.