The RHA SA950i headphones are designed to deliver professional audio in a compact and lightweight form factor. Featuring 40mm titanium-coated mylar drivers, a detachable 1.5 meter fabric braided cable, adjustable chrome sliders for a better fit, and gold plated connections, it certainly seems like a lot of thought went into the design of this headset. And since RHA offers a three year warranty – a lot longer than is standard in the industry – it’s obvious that RHA believes in its product and is willing to stand behind it.
But is it right for you?
First, let’s talk specs: the frequency range is 16-22,000Hz, the impedance 32ohms, the rated maximum power is 300/100mW, and sensitivity 113dB. If you’re anything like me, these numbers don’t actually mean much. So let’s talk about my everyday experience with these headphones.
Arguably the most important question to ask when considering any headset is, “How does it sound?” While I’m not really an audiophile, these do sound great. I’ve been using them for several weeks now, and am continually impressed by the quality I’m hearing out of such a lightweight and inexpensive pair of headphones. It doesn’t really matter what I’m listening to, either – from podcasts to classical to Macklemore’s “Thift Shop,” it all sounds great. Bass is deep, high notes sound nice and crisp, and you can really crank these up without getting the distortion that some cheaper sets might give you. I’m told the great sound is due to the titanium-coated mylar drivers, but again, I’m not very technical when it comes to headphones, so I’ll just believe that.
It is worth noting that these aren’t as effective at noise cancellation as, say, my Jabra REVO wireless bluetooth headphones that Paul happened to review. However, at the same time, these are lighter and less bulky. I don’t think they’re really designed to be that effective at noise cancellation, so I’m not going to fault RHA on this.
It’s also worth pointing out that the detachable cable is the same type as the RHA MA450i earphones that I reviewed last month. In case you missed it, the fabric braided cable basically makes the headset a thousand times more valuable to me than other higher-priced earbuds. It doesn’t actually feel like a headset cable at all, but rather a very thin shoelace, or something similar. What this means for practical everyday use is that the cable really doesn’t get tangled up very much, and when it does, it’s extremely quick and easy to untangle. It straightens up quickly, even after several days of being wrapped around the headphones. Put simply, this feature alone is enough to make this headset really stand out from the competition, and I’m surprised to see that most other headphone manufacturers have not adopted this yet.
The included microphone hangs at just the right height, making this a great compliment to both my phone and my Chromebook, especially when I talk on Google Hangouts. It includes some basic multi-click controls for calls, music, and volume functions – these are designed by RHA to work with all iOS products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Since I live my life in the Google ecosystem, not all of these functions worked for me, but again, I don’t fault RHA for that. As long as I can answer calls and pause what I’m listening to, I’m set – and that works great on my HTC EVO 4G LTE.
I’ve also got a big head, but these have no trouble fitting comfortably. That’s worth mentioning, because those of us with big heads often do have trouble finding headphones that we can comfortably wear over long periods of time. These stretch out and extend down far enough to fit me just right. They’re also extremely light weight, coming in at just 105 grams, which is less than a quarter of a pound. The cushions around the ear pieces are just icing on the cake – these were definitely designed with comfort in mind.
I should also say that so far I enjoy wearing these a bit more so far during the warmer times of the year, as they don’t make me feel as hot as some other, bulkier, heavier headphones. If you live in Antarctica, or you insist on keeping your air conditioning set to sub-zero temperatures, this might not be a big deal to you.
Overall, I’m impressed at the quality, design, sound reproduction, and even the warranty that’s provided for the RHA SA950i headphones. And at the price they’re sold for, they are a downright steal. If you don’t believe me, just read the Amazon reviews for yourself.