(This article was written by Hasan Kamal & originally published on Mid Day here)
It’s never easy to decide on which headphones to buy, is it? No matter how flimsy it may seem, there are always too many variables to consider wire quality, style, packaging, bundled accessories, device compatibility, price and most importantly, sound.
Ever since the new RHA T10i in-ear headphones arrived from Headphonezone.in, a new online store that sells high-end audio product, we have to admit we became a fan of the specialist British headphone maker, RHA. Despite its steep pricing (`14,999), the sheer number of accessories in the package overwhelmed us.
It comes with nine extra pairs of ear buds, a synthetic leather case to carry it around, and three tuning filters to help you select the right sound output. Made for Apple products, the most striking feature of the T10i is its stainless steel earpiece, which fits snugly into your ears irrespective of its size. Unfortunately, the stainless steel body adds to the weight, making the headphones more prone to falls, but it’s classy, nonetheless.
One may call it a show-off, but RHA matches looks with performance. The earpiece features handmade drivers with a frequency range of 16Hz to 22kHz and come with three pairs of interchangeable filters offering pure natural (white), enhanced treble (copper) and heavy bass (black) sounds depending on your choice. The sound quality of RHA is one of the best we have heard in premium headphones.
Though slightly tilted towards bass, it manages to bring out even the tiniest of the elements in a soundtrack. The difference can be most notably heard with lossless music. The silicon and flange tips, despite being slightly oversized for our tiny ears, mix well with the earpiece setup to offer complete background noise-cancellation, even in loud environments like a running train.
Attached to earpieces are moldable ear hooks with metal and plastic layering that can be placed behind ears to offer the extra grip. The in-ear headphones also come with a stylish 3-button remote and microphone, though, supported only in certain Apple devices. Another striking feature of the T10i is its multi-core, reinforced cable with gold-plated 3.5mm connection. The cable seems strong, and the connecting points are protected with a stylish stainless steel joint.
We were also glad to find out that the T10i didn’t come with uncomfortable cable noise a common problem in most tight-in-ear headphones when used with portable devices (we tested it on an iPod touch). However, the RHA T10i is not free of its shortcomings. Firstly, the cable noise becomes a nuisance when used with laptops. Also, the flange tips had a tear by the end of week one, thus making us doubt its quality.
Finally, both the flange and the silicon tips were uncomfortable for usage. The extra weight of the earpieces added to the problem. Despite these blimps, RHA T10i is an amazing product for any audiophile; most importantly for iPhone owners, for it’s nearly close to natural sound quality and has a strong build. The unique styling is an added feature. If 15K is not such a big deal, it can stake claim to be one of the best in-ear headphones on offer.