March 27, 2017

Numerous people are confused about the best earphone that they can get in the under Rs. 4000 price bracket. RHA, the premium Scottish brand has never ceased to amaze us with it a consistent presentation of stunning in-ears. Well-known for offering a 3-year warranty, the brands in-ears are engineered to last. Coming to MEE-Audio, the USA based brand has grown in length. From merely testing waters, the brand has gone on to build a strong reputation among budget restrained audio enthusiast. 

Today, we have two offerings that come from these two brands. The S500 from RHA and the M6 Pro from MEE Audio. The in-ears come with their own share of flaws and strengths. 

Here is a detailed comparison between the two in-ears. 


CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The RHA S500i are sturdily constructed in-ears that sound brilliantly good. An entry level earphone from the premium Scotish brand, the plethora of accesries make this pair a great value for money. 

The MEE Audio M6 Pro have an impressive design. With great tonal accuracy, they also offer a super low frequency responce. 

-Raghav Somani

RHA S500i


Headphone-Zone-rha-s500i
RHA SOUND SIGNATURE WITH A STURDY METAL BUILD
SOUNDMAGIC E80C


Headphone Zone-SoundMAGIC-E80C
TRANSCULENT EAR PIECES WITH DETACHABLE CABLES

 


DESIGN: RHA S500 vs MEE Audio M6 Pro

Headphone-Zone-RHA-S500i
Headphone-Zone-SoundMAGIC-E80C

It goes without saying, the RHA S500i are the most well built and sophisticated looking in-ears that we have come across in this price bracket. Although devoid from RHA's aerophonic design, these classy in-ears have a neat and clean looking body. Like most RHA earphones, the S500i is elegantly styled in brushed metallic aluminium design. The all aluminium enclosure feels sturdy and is constructed to last!

Unlike most earphones in this price range, the S500i comes with an unconventional cable that is employed in premium earphones. Taking a unique approach, RHA has wrapped a part of the cord in quality clothed fabric, while a high-quality TPE polymer material runs from the other half, up to the enclosure. In all honesty, this is the finest cable in this price segment.

The overall presentation of the earphone by RHA is striking and we are very impressed. The brand, like always, aims perfection with these in-ears. 

When it comes to warranty, the RHA S500i comes with a 3-year warranty, testimony to the trust RHA as in its products.
S500I'S HIGH-QUALITY AND SOPHISTICATED RHA DESIGN OR M6 PRO'S DETACHABLE CABLES?

SoundMAGIC, the Chinese audio company has been winning the approval of headphone enthusiasts the world over. Not just for great sounding in-ears, but for bringing much more in a budget. The newly launched SoundMAGIC E80C is an evolutionary in-ear that rides on the success of the brand's award-winning in-ears. 

The E80C is small and light with an understated design. Meticulously engineered, these in-ears are build to last. Its distinctive look is easily distinguishable from the endless crowd of in-earphones in this price range. The E10C does not stray away too far away from its siblings in terms of physical appearance. With little tweaks here and there, SoundMAGIC has perfected E10C's design. 

The all metal construction is a rarity at this price point. A small rubber material takes up the entire end of the earbuds, lends it more durability. SoundMAGIC has never failed to impress with the packaging and presentation of their products, and more importantly with the sheer number of bundled accessories.

Although thin, the cable is coated in braid textured material and is robust. This also helps the cable from getting entangled or twisted. The braided cable along with the aluminium housing is truly quality.


Coming to the warranty offered with the E80C, unlike RHA SoundMagic offers a basic 1-year warranty. 


USABILITY: RHA S500 vs MEE Audio M6 Pro

Headphone-Zone-rha-s500i
Headphone-Zone-SoundMAGIC-E80C

The RHA S500i comes in a heavy duty metal construction and we did expect these to be heavy on the ear canal. However, you will be surprised that the aluminium body has no influence on the weight of these earphones. It has an ultra-lightweight structure and can you can jam with for hours, without feeling strain or fatigue. The fit is excellent and it truly as if RHA has scanned your ear canals to design an earphones that just slide in.

Perhaps the best part of the RHA S500i is that it comes packed with various pairs of ear tips further aids in achieving a perfect fit and good noise isolation. The in-line three-button mic and remote lets you answer calls and control your music volume. You might want to consider its non-mic version, the RHA-S500, only if you do not need a mic and remote.

ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT STRUCTURE VS AN OVER THE EAR DESIGN ? 

SoundMAGIC has ensured that the E80C renders a good comfortable wearing experience. The fit is extremely snug while achieving a tight seal, thereby leading to a superior noise isolation.  This is further elevated with the 7 pair of silicone tips and a bunch of Comply Foam tips that come packed with the earphones. Obtaining the perfect fit is only a matter of trial and error. 

The best part is, you can wear them for hours without straining your ears. Owing to their thoughtful design and a relatively small form factor, the E80C’ are extremely comfortable even for continuous hours. The braided cables are designed to keep cable noise to a bare minimum, and it works.

Just like the RHA S500i, the E10C too comes with a 3-button mic and remote that lets you 

Moreover, unlike its predecessors, the SoundMAGIC E10C is compatible will all smartphones. 


SOUND: RHA S500 vs SoundMAGIC E80C

Headphone-Zone-rha-S500
Headphone-Zone-SoundMAGIC-E80C

The S500i's sound signature can be described as very fun and bright sounding.

The bass is robust and forward, being prominent at even very high volumes. Despite the bass being powerful, it doesn't overwhelm the other frequencies. Mostly because the highs are another shining aspect of the S500i. The S500i sculpts the higher frequencies quite a bit, so there's a decent sense of balance between the lows and highs.

However, the mids aren't as refined and detailed as we would like. And overall, it is not as accurate as the latter. The sound signature is a bit warm and slightly tilted towards pop, but is still well suited to rock and melodic tracks.

Having said that, these are probably the best in their class for casual listeners and music enthusiasts.
BEST IN CASUAL LISTENING VS FLAT AUDIO RESPONSE?

The E80C’ are a pinnacle of balanced tonality. Extremely clear, everything comes out loud and crisp. The edgy detail has the ability to keep you hooked on for hours. 

The soundstage is very wide and the fine details are reproduced with the overall audio being delightful to the ears. The notes and the instruments come out well defined. 

The focus on extracting detail is evident, but at times extreme highs might sound a tad sibilant. The E10C also lacks power and brightness with certain genres. The bass is best driven and beautifully resonates with full life. Perfectly enjoyable, we love the flow in which this piece delivers music.

To maximise output quality, it is recommended to use a high-quality audio output device and lossless audio files.


Summary


RHA S500i

  • Sturdy Metal Build 
  • Sculpted & Bright Highs
  • 3-Button Inline Mic + Remote
  • Plethora of Accessories 
  • 3 Years Warranty
SoundMAGIC E10C

  • SoundMAGIC Unique Design
  • Open and Clean Audio Presentation
  • 3-Button Inline Remote & Mic
  • 7 Pairs of Silicone Ear-tips annd 3 Pairs Comply Foam tips
  • 1 Year Warranty

Conclusion


RHA S500 is known for its design and the vast range of accessories that it comes along with, makes these a true winner. The 3-year warranty is the cherry on the cake.

The SoundMAGIC E10C delivers edgy and airy audio, but we would appreciate a brighter punch with more energy.

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 What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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