Design | RHA MA450i Earphones
Our favorite feature when handling the MA450i earphones, like the MA 350s, is the machines aluminum driver housing. The matte black portion of the housing is also aluminum, though anodized and finished and the parts fit together seamlessly and they have a very premium feel to them. The braided cable is much less prone to frustrating tangles and knots and also leads to greater durability since it doesn't crease and bears tension when pulled (as opposed to the copper wires bearing the weight of your dropped phone). The sound port also has a fine mesh cover to prevent dirt, debris, and earwax from making its way into the housing. The cable and chord are very firmly attached to the driver housing, and we think these should hold up well to the rigors of everyday usage (which includes dropped phones / MP3 players). We see the gold-plated 3.5mm connector, which is fast becoming a standard for headphones, ensuring a solid, low-noise connection and helping to prevent oxidation.
The overall design is very simple, yet functional. No fancy curves or bends, these are meant to fit a wide range of ears with a straight design. The flange is carefully shaped to create the sound RHA wanted their MA450is to have with a very typical "horn" shape to it to port sound into the ear canal. Simple, yet functional without compromising comfort. They look "simple," which shouldn't be confused with "cheap." We've grown used to many of the higher end earphones having an angled stem, to fit into the ear differently, but these go straight in and fit snugly the cartilage of your outer ear.
The inline remote control is capable of answering calls (center button), increasing/decresing volume (outer buttons), and play/pause on Android and other smartphone platforms. Some of the Android smartphones we tried it on only had the play/pause functionality and there was no response to volume inputs. However, on Apple devices (iPod, iPhone, iPad), the remote is capable of controlling the music library by seeking songs with multi-click commands, which is a nice feature to have if you're sporting an iDevice.
The connector and the split junction are reinforced with flexible plastic, something we're seeing more and more of as the junction is often a failur point during the lift of an earbud. RHA has neatly branded the connector and the backside of the housing face as well. A small sliding rubber knob can be used to tighten up the cable during exercise to keep the cables from bouncing too much.