August 08, 2015

Vaibhav Pisal

Audiophile | Avid Gamer | Head-Fier

Vaibhav Pisal, Delhiite, tells us what he thinks of the RHA T20.

Design & Build

Packaging and accessories:
Packaging of the IEM is very high quality. It showcases included accessories very well and makes a great first impression. Literature printed on it is interesting and shows cut out view of the earphones which is cool. Accessories include everything you might want. A large semi hard carry case is including that holds them comfortably. Tons of tips are included and chances are you will get a good fit. I found my personal tips to be a little difficult to use as they come out easily. Included tips have good grip and do not come out as easily. Apart from these, tuning filters, bass, treble and reference which screw on earpiece nozzle are included. I will talk about these in sound section.

This is highlight of these headphones. Beautiful steel housing looks as good in real life as in photos. Left and right earpieces has small red and blue plastic inserts, tuning filters have beautiful patterns engraved, cable is rubbery and thick. Strain relief on headphone jack is a long spring which is very effective. Overall its a luxuriously build IEM and is its one of best aspects. Comfort and isolation: These are meant to be used over ear and come with ear guides. I found it a bit hard to use my personal tips as they tend to come out easily. None the less, included tips are plenty and you will probably find a good seal. Once I got used to them, comfort was above average. Isolation was average, not too good but acceptable.

Sound & Performance
These come with 3 filters to tune sound to your liking. With reference filters, sound is a bit warm, lacking a little treble. Bass is not very tight or detailed but impact is adequate. I did not enjoyed it much on reference filter. So I switched to bass filter. Here it keeps everything same, only bass becomes more present, detailed and a bit more extended. Not bass head by any means, but clearly bass improves a lot in quality. With my FiiO X5 player, bass sounded textured but it was a bit slower sounding apparently cause of additional warmth. I preferred this filter with my brighter amp, but still treble was a bit rolled off for my liking. Upon switching to treble filter, it was much better. It keeps rest of sound same as reference filter, just gives a bit energy up top. This filter I found to be best to my liking. To improve it further I changed tips to my personal double flanged rubber that resulted in even better treble extension. So my point is, it offers tons of options to do system matching, which is a good thing as you can use it with virtually any amp and get a good synergy by little mixing and matching. So for listening I settled down of Audinst HUD mini, treble filter, and double flanged rubber tips. So I made it as treble happy as was possible with my equipment, as its quantity was less than what I prefer. With this setup, sound was smooth, easy to listen to. Still did not had too much shine or shimmer. Bass is also a bit rolled off in deepest regions. Mids were a little warm. Vocals and mids were engaging and enjoyable. It tends to blend instruments a little than crisp separation and sounds coherent.

Accessories & Complementary Gear

I own following gear Sources: Fiio X5 Classic, Audinst Hud Mini Headphones: Sennheiser HD700, Sennheiser HD518, AKG K550 Hifiman RE400.

Final Verdict
Comparing to Hifiman RE400, I found these to be a little better. But RE400 are under $80. So sound quality to value ratio is not the best out there. I do think sound wise, you can do better with a bit cheaper options. However if you value build quality, attention to detail, accessories and overall package, then its a more level playing field. These are hands down best made IEMs I have ever used.

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If you liked this article, you may also like:  "Is it the best price/performance value out there in this price range? Yes it probably is." says Shreyas Muralidharan about the RHA T20.



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