RHA’s first truly wireless in-ear headphone offering excels in sound quality, build quality, battery life and fails to serve the purpose of this kind of IEMs by having poor wireless connectivity. Poor wireless performance negates whatever positivity its sound quality brings to the table.
Design, Build & Fit
RHA TrueConnect comes in a well-built case made of metal and plastic. Case is quite ergonomic and can be carried easily in pockets. Outer part of the case is made of aluminum and the body which holds the IEMs is made of plastic and is finished in soft touch matte black finish same as the IEMs themselves. The body swivels front to show the IEM compartment which also charges them through magnetic strips instead of wireless charging. The case has three LEDs on outside to indicate its charging levels. The IEMs are held together with nice magnetic force and won’t fall off even the opened case is turned upside down. IEMs come with buttons which need to be pressed rather than swiped. And those buttons are mushy and won’t exude confidence while using. Controls, like single press to pause/attend/disconnect, double press to increase volume and triple press to decrease are not that intuitive but can be get used to it. Microphones have been placed at the bottom of both the earpiece’s stems. Though it has excellent build quality, it is extremely smooth, slippery and catches grease and fingerprints quite easily. It has an average fit and isolation. For me, only the large size silicone tips and comply foam tips kept them from falling off my ears very often. Isolation too improved vastly with the provided Comply foam tips.
Sound quality out of 6 mm dynamic driver is very good. Has fun sound and is very enjoyable right out of the box. Bass gets prominence here, with good depth and slam. Bass is good and has nice slam whenever the song demands and in no way boomy or overpowering. Mids are sweet and clear. Resolution is good. Instrument separation and imaging are very good. Sound stage is spacious and big. It has got good width and depth. Treble is detailed, reserved and non-sibilant to a large extent, with certain spikes in upper treble region.
This is where this IEM falters big time. Wireless reliability is poor. Bluetooth range is mediocre and there are instances where I lost connection for a few seconds even if I am 5 meters away from my phone. I observed there are connectivity issues between the left and right earpieces too. Call quality is mediocre too, with both the caller and receiver sounding unnatural to each other. Being a true wireless IEM and failing in its main purpose is a disappointment.
RHA claims good figures in battery life section and I found my real time usage almost matching those figures. RHA claims 5-hour battery life for the earpieces and 20-hour battery life for the case. I got 3 hours and 30 minutes out of it when I continuously played music through it and good 5 hour 30 minutes with mixed usage. That mixed usage consists of 40-minutes of each videos, music and phone calls. Mileage may vary with your usage though.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+: Samsung's latest TWS IEM, Buds+ is a dual-driver IEM launched along with their latest flagship S20. It comes in an even smaller case than the TrueConnect and has a very pocket able design. Battery life is leaps and bounds better than the TrueConnect, with Buds+ surviving a handsome 11 hours on a single charge, whereas TrueConnect could only muster half of it in mixed usage and worse in continuous music playback. Sound-wise these sound balanced compared to the warm and fun tuned TrueConnect. Buds+ has got cleaner mids, slightly crispier treble than the TrueConnect. But TrueConnect pulls ahead in the bass section with its bass being more punchier than Buds+. Buds+ has less bass in quantity. Call quality and connectivity is definitely lot better in Buds+ as i could hear clear voices at the other end and connectivity is better with no latency whatsoever, whereas TrueConnect only managed to give me muffled voices during calls and pretty ordinary connectivity. At the end, choosing between these two just boil down to preferences. Buds+ is for those who are after balanced and clean sound signature, better call quality and connectivity and RHA TrueConnect is for those who prefer warm, fun sound, bass prominent and with good performance all over the spectrum. But it fails in the other prominent aspects of a TWS: calls and stable connectivity.
Even though I am very impressed with its very good sound quality and decent battery life, I cannot recommend this to any prospective buyer for the obvious glaring issues mentioned above. RHA lost a golden opportunity to score a winner. Can’t buy a true wireless IEM for just sound quality alone, it should also fare well where it’s needed.