The RHA T20i in-ear monitors with microphone: for Apple.
A review by James T Ormiston (MacJim)
Some weeks ago I managed to launder my Shure SE315 earphones by leaving them in my jacket. While it wasn’t the best idea at the time, it gave me a reason to finally purchase a new pair of earphones I’d been lusting over, ever since I’d bought my Bluetooth RHA MA390 earphones.
It was the sound quality of the MA390’s that had made me want to buy the T20i wired earphones, but because I had a perfectly good pair of earphones in the form of the Shure SE315’s, I knew I couldn’t justify spending the money until that moment. You can imagine my horror when I realised what I’d just done after pressing the power button to begin the wash cycle – but there was nothing I could do but wait until it had finished. Fifteen minutes later, the beep, beep, beep rang out, and that was my cue to open the door, recover the earphones and leave them aside to dry out in the hope that they would still be working after their ordeal.
Well, a day or so later, I plugged them into my iPhone and pressed play to see if it was my lucky day… it was not. The left earphone was completely dead in the water, or so it seemed: but hold on to that thought.
So with the diagnosis “confirmed”, I went back to the RHA website to see if those beautiful T20i earphones were still available, and yes, they were and as luck had it they were being discounted due to the COVID-19 pandemic to help boost sales.
With a new account made, I managed to get a discount code which, when added to the already decent discount brought the price down from the £149.95 they should have been, to a really sweet £79.96.
So what makes the T20i earphones so lustful I hear you say? Please read on… The RHA T20i earphones are beautifully crafted earphones which match any other high-quality earphone out there and easily match my SE315’s. The gold plated jack plug is housed in a milled black anodised aluminium housing, this then has the just long enough (the SE315 cable is generously long, if not overly long even) oxygen-free copper cable, finished in a durable outer layer, which carries on to the next finely finished aluminium milled housing, again black anodised, from which the left and right earphone cables split. The right cable is dissected by a finely fashioned inline remote which contains the microphone and manual controls for convenient control over calls, music tracks and volume, and is compatible with Siri too.
Both cables end with fully mouldable cabling to allow a customisable fit, and the left and right ergonomic driver housings constructed using a metal injection moulding process. Inside of those is housed the Dualcoil™ dynamic driver which is engineered to offer high-resolution sound reproduction. This Dualcoil™ technology features two independent voice coils, each responsible for producing part of the frequency range for refined, high-resolution audio reproduction.
A feature of these earphones is the ability to customise the sound quality to suit your listening needs via three pairs of tuning filters, which can be screwed in and out of the body of the housing. The out of the box setting is for a balanced and rounded sound quality, but those can be substituted with either the bass version, that suits rock, hip-hop and EDM, or for the treble set suitable for acoustic, classics or vocal tracks.
So what do we find in the box:
- Included with the earphones is the set of filters placed in a stainless steel filter holder.
- A range of tips to suit your ears made from either a dual-density silicone, double-flanged silicone or Comply™ Foam Comfort tips all held in a metal plate.
- A zipped carry case
- A clothing clip for securing the cable to a shirt or jacket, something that’s rarely included these days with other brands of earphones.
For the price, even if you have not been lucky to get them at the discounted price like I was able too, these are worth placing high on your options list for when you decided to replace or renew, whichever make and model of earphones you are currently using.
The sound quality, although a subjective thing, is very good indeed and with the three sets of filters provided, should allow you to find the best sound quality for your needs.
There’s only one that I have come across in use and that is with these earphones being fitted with a jack plug, and not a Lightning connector for use with an iPad or iPhone, but this is easily dealt with via a dongle. One I recommend highly comes from UGreen (available from Amazon). The UGreen headphone adapter is an MFi certified product, finished in a silver/grey plastic, with a reinforced Lightning connector at one end and a female jack pin coupling separated by a durable braided jacketed cable.
Oh, yes, you’ll be wanting the answer to the ‘hold that thought’. Well, a week or so after I laundered them, just before the T20i earphones arrived, I was using the SE315’s as a mono monitor (using the previously working earphone) while I was recording the Essential Apple podcast, and happened to notice that the left earphone had suddenly decided to work again, and showed no ill effect from the washing they had received. So the moral of the story is to be patient and give it some time before pressing the ‘buy button’, to see if your handiwork has indeed resulted in destroying the washed device. Doing so might save you extra cost…
Do I regret not waiting? Not in the slightest; I only needed an excuse…