Testing | Sound, Comfort, and Style.
For me, the three most important metrics for headphones are sound, comfort, and style, in that order. Let me be frank and offer an early conclusion for those who want it up front: The RHA MA 350s sound great, are very comfortable, and have a modest, professional styling. So, thats the review in a nutshell. Lets crack into the details for those that want a little more.
The sound is on par with significantly more expensive earphones that I have tested. Now, that's not to say that these are necessary equal to the top-tier, multi-driver models, but the RHA MA350 definitely stands out in its class (at a mere $40) for sound. The frequency response is excellent, with what seems to be a little bias in the upper midrange. The advertised response takes the MA 350 down to 16Hz, and that is the only arguable (albiet not very significant) sticking point in the specs. I'm uncertain what magnitude must be achieved in the response in order to include it in the advertised range, but I think 20Hz would probably be a better stat that isn't necessarily going to steer anybody away. The balance is excellent. The best earphones will have you forget that the sound is being piped into the sides of your heads and feel more or less like the sound originates in the center of your head, and the MA 350 certainly has the effect. In that same vein, the sound isolation is above average for the price range as well. The aforementioned bias in the upper-midrange becomes more apparent at higher volumes, and can get a little rough if you're the type to max out the volume level on your music player ( I certainly am when working out). This was easily countered with an EQ. For nominal volumes I found that no EQ was necessary, as the default colorization lends itself nicely to many different genres and styles.
Comfort and Styling
The collective comfort and style of these earphones is perfect for me. I tested them in a multitude of settings, from sitting at my desk, to lifting weights/running. The RHA MA350s keep a relatively low profile when sitting in my ears, so they aren't negatively affected much by bouncing/stepping. I especially like the simplistic, professional design of the housing. It's a functional, no frills design that allows RHA to put more of their money into the drivers and the housing than fancy aesthetics. If you're the type that enjoys the social statement involved with a pair of hot pink, skull branded earphones, these may not be for you. But, if you buy headphones strictly on the basis of appearance, you probably aren't reading this article. As with the sound, the comfort and style are above average.