Headphones have always been about compromise. You sacrificed quality for privacy back in the day when you plug headphones into your hi-fi, then quality for portability with the advent of the Walkman. When Bluetooth technology became commonplace, you sacrificed quality for going wireless, size and weight for battery life. That’s the way it’s always been, but in recent years, that sacrifice has become less and less. RHA recently sent us a set of their £150 MA750 wireless Bluetooth headphones to play with. So have they redressed the balance?
Ok, to call these headphones “wireless” is technically a bit misleading to be fair. There are wires, but they are a decent length and are connected to a neckband which houses all the electronic wizardry and batteries. Unlike the usual solid neckbands, this is one entirely flexible and coated with a sort of silicone feeling rubber which makes it supremely comfortable to wear around your neck. The headphones themselves are quite stylish and the whole thing feels very solidly constructed. They feature loops in the cable so the headphones loop over your ears, keeping them securely in place. When out for a walk, the 750’s were comfortable enough to forget they were there and, if you were of a mind to do so, I can’t imagine wearing them whilst running would be a problem.
There is a small 3 button in-line control connected to the right earpiece and the power button is on the neckband itself. There is a (very) small led indicator and some dulcet-toned female voice to tell you when you are connected or if your battery is low. This is in pleasant contrast to the harsh bark you usually get in Bluetooth devices.
In the box you’ll find a USB charging cable for the unit which promises 12 hours of continuous playback and whilst I did not attempt to see if that particular claim was true, suffice to say, I have used them quite a lot and the batter does seem to last a heck of a long time. There’s also a little pouch for the headphones which looks entirely too small for that purpose, but thanks to the super flexible neckband, they fit just fine. You’ll also find some extra tips for the earpieces. A LOT of extra pieces. RHA have gone above and beyond to try to ensure that everyone will find a size and shape that fits. That’s a really nice touch. Good job RHA.
The sound quality is really very good. It has a very crisp sound profile which definitely improved after burning in. The 750’s favour the mids and highs with the bass present when it’s needed but not overly prevalent. It’s not a tinny sound by any means, it’s perhaps just not quite as dynamic as some other headphones available at this price. I found them great for listening to podcasts.
As I mentioned before, the 750’s are very comfortable to wear and I wore them under a fleece jacket with the collar turned up and there was no interference or discomfort whatsoever and the earpieces stayed nicely in place. When you don’t have the earpieces in, they are held together by little magnets which keeps them neatly tangle free, right where you expect them to be so there is no fumbling about trying to find each piece when you’re out and about. Really the only thing I wasn’t overly happy with was the controls. The 3 buttons on the in-line remote are very small and indistinct, so I found them a little fiddly to manipulate, occasionally pausing music rather than turning it up or down. The power button is similarly discretely tucked away. Pretty minor niggles really, but worth noting.
So is there a compromise in these headphones? Yes, of course, there is. You’re going to have to pay an awful lot more to tick every box. And that’s the compromise that I didn’t mention at the start – price. You always sacrifice money for quality. The trick is trying to find the best bang for your buck. At £150 (current Amazon price) the RHA MA750 wireless headphones aren’t exactly cheap, but for the quality of both build and sound, the features, battery life and the comfort, I would say that they are good value.