Last updated on December 10th, 2017 at 06:45 am
With the growing number of phones ditching the 3.5mm port finding a good pair of Bluetooth earphones has become essential for anyone that appreciates good quality audio. From a personal perspective, Bluetooth devices are plagued by problems you don't get with wired options. Getting a comfortable fit is the biggest issue I find, a lot of earphones are too bulky and constantly drop out. Bluetooth also degrades the quality of the audio. Then there are issues with battery life.
The RHA MA750 earphones are quite different from many on the market; they buck the trend of being completely wireless like the Airpods or Bragi. Instead, they have gone the other direction and not only is there a cable running between the two earphones but it is a large flexible rubber neckband with the thin earphone cables popping out the end and then wrapping around your ears.
The earbud section itself is made out of a brushed aluminium, and the overall design on the earphones is excellent, giving off an ultra-premium feel. The main rubber housing has the battery section on the right-hand side, and these earphones are charged via USB-C which is a first for me with any headphone. The headphones are not aimed exclusively at fitness but they are Sweat and splashproof to IPX4. However the USB outside is completely exposed, unlike other Bluetooth headphones that use a rubber grommet to plug them up. I am not sure how much this will affect the waterproofing, but many IP rated phones also have exposed USB ports so maybe the USB-C interface is less prone to water ingress.
This design does make the MA750s very large and bulky compared to its counterparts, but dependant on your usage it is a far superior solution. The bulk of the weight including the battery is located in the rubber housing, this then leaves the earphone section to have the same weight as a typically wired headphone. You do have the music control dangling down from the right ear which does add some pull, but as it is just music controls with no battery, it is far less severe than other brands. Due to the way the earphones wrap around your ears a lot of weight is supported by your ear itself, and the result is a very comfortable set of earphones, which feel very much like a normal wired pair.
To add to the comfort levels, RHA has included an extensive set of ear tips. There are three pairs normal rubber tips in different sizes, then two double flanged tips and another two foam comply tips. If that was not enough, you also get duplicates of the normal rubber tips in a spare bag. In practice I found it quite difficult to get a good seal with my ear canal with most of the tips. Finally I ended up choosing the large comply tips. Everyone's ears are shaped differently, and by the number of options, I doubt this will be a huge issue for the majority of people.
One of the advantages of the large neckband is an impressive battery, which is rated for 12 hours. I haven't tested this fully, but they comfortably lasted a full day, going to the gym in the morning, then work and then the 45m cycle home. I didn't use them 100% during that time, but I would say over 5 hours, as I used Spotify and then also streamed some TV shows while I did some boring admin work.
Sound & Performance
The sound quality is probably going to get mixed opinions from most people. The immediate thing I noticed was the relatively mild bass. These do not have the deep but pleasant presence of the Bose SoundSport I primarily use, but instead more resemble the Brainwavs B200 I reviewed back in May. Getting a good fit does improve things quite a bit and once the earphones have been burned in for a while things are reasonably good, but if you are a big hip-hop or electronica fan these maybe lacking slightly.
They do excel in the mids and trebles with great clarity and no harshness. Vocals were always clear, and I experienced no distortion.
I should point out that initial user reviews over at Head-Fi are very favourable and the few users that have tried them say the bass is rich and well rounded. So clearly your mileage may vary and getting a good seal is essential for getting the most out of these.
During use I found the overall comfort to be exceptional, and I particularly like this for exercise, I have used them in the gym, a long bike ride and running. In all cases, I did have the occasional slippage with the earphone, but due to them hanging over your ears it is very simple to slip them back in. With other earphones, if you are running or cycling it can sometimes feel like you might lose them as the wire can just fly away, but the design of these means that should never be an issue. During running, you can feel some bounce around the neckband but it was not a major issue for me, and they were comfortable running for over an hour. I am still a bit concerned about the exposed USB-C port though, as I am a heavy sweater!
The design of these headphones is likely going to be a bit love it or hate it, I love them, they work well for me, and I find them comfortable to use for long periods of time. They are great to use for exercise, and I would say only the Bose SoundSports compete with them in this category.
They are not the bassiest of earphones, and you will need to get a good fit to get the most out of them, so I would recommend buying them from somewhere where you can return them easily if they do not suit you. However if the design and fit work with you then you should be rewarded with a fantastic sounding pair of earphones.
Priced at £149.99 on Amazon they are not the cheapest option out there, but they are far from being the most expensive option. They are priced the same as the Bose SoundSport which is a compelling alternative. However these have a comparatively poor battery life, and the earphones themselves are massive, so some users may have comfort issues.
RHA MA750 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones Review
Product Name: RHA MA750 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
- Build - 90%90%
- Fit - 95%95%
- Sound Quality - 80%80%
- Price - 80%80%