Roughly a year a go I penned a Hi-Fi+ web exclusive review of a very fine and surprisingly affordable earphone called the MA750i from the Scottish firm RHA. (http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/rha-ma750i-earphones/) If you read that review then you already know that we felt the MA750i offered exceptionally good build quality for its modest (£89.95) price. We were also ‘favourably impressed’ by that earphone’s almost self-effacingly neutral voicing, which offered pleasing and unforced qualities of natural warmth and wonderfully even-handed and uncoloured tonal balance – a desirable quality that many earphone makers have found difficult to achieve.
Now, let’s jump forward a year to the present time to ask a simple rhetorical question: What has RHA has done for us lately? The answer, in simple terms, is that the firm has just created a new upscale, yet still quite reasonably priced, high performance earphone that goes even further than the MA750i did in terms of both sound and build quality. The new earphone is called the T10i (£149.95) and it has a number of distinguishing features that set it apart from the MA750i. Among these features are:
An all-new handmade dynamic driver (internally known as the RHA 770.1 driver) that is said to “reproduce all genres of music with high levels of accuracy and detail. An included set of colour-coded, metal, screw-in type voicing filters to fine-tune the T10i’s voicing for a “Reference” (neutrally balanced), “Treble” (slightly treble-enhanced), or “Bass” (subtly bass enhanced) presentation.
Impressive-looking, ultra-comfortable, and very durable earpiece housings made of Metal Injection Moulded stainless steel (not an easy material to use in moulding processes, so that the construction of the earpieces involves heating the housings to “1300° C for up to ten hours to ensure the steel is the correct shape and density for outstanding comfort and durability”).
Distinctive, patent-pending, over-the-ear ear-hooks that are relatively flexible and easy to shape, yet that hold their shapes quite well once properly adjusted.
A multicore, 1.35mm signal cable with oxygen free copper conductors and an Apple-certified three-button in line remote/microphone module.
An elaborate accessories pack, including a premium carry case, single and dual-flange silicone ear tips and memory foam ear tips, plus a detachable garment hook.