updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu December 6, 2012
Aims for high-quality audio at mid-range price
Recently MacNN had a chance to test the RHA MA450i, a pair of earbuds aimed at owners of Apple iOS devices. The difference is an inline remote, which can be used to take calls, change tracks or volume, and issue Siri commands. In general, this works just as you'd expect. The remote is located near the right earbud, which might be awkward for some, but is relatively easy to get used to. It can also be used to answer calls and play/pause music on other smartphones, including Android devices, but people wanting real control over a non-Apple device should probably look elsewhere. The remote's position seems to be good for ensuring clear voice reception from the mic.
RHA promises "high definition sound with full bass," and it's hard to dispute that claim for the most part, since in testing the MA450i's audio was quite clear. Calling it "full" bass is an exaggeration, but the earbuds perform reasonably well when listening to beat-heavy music like Photek. The supplied silicone tips also manage to do a decent job at balancing comfort and noise isolation; there are even six extra pairs, in case the pre-attached ones don't match your ears. That's more tips than you'd normally get with a set of earbuds.
Another nice perk comes from the 450i's cord, which measures almost four feet from end to end and is wrapped in braided fabric. Time will tell, but it seems like the cord should be more resistant to tangling and tearing.
In short, the MA450i is fairly easy to recommend. It won't set the world on fire, but it actually feels like it might be worth the $50 RHA is asking.