RHA T10i Review

| Published Date
30 - Nov - 2015
| Last Updated
02 - Dec - 2015
 
14999
82
RHA T10i

    RHA T10i Price in India

  • 14999/-
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A bloody good gimmick this is.

RHA T10i Rating 82100100

Our Verdict

They are pair of beautiful sounding, well constructed, and very unique headphones. Whether they’re going to be part of your larger collection, or your primary listening device – you need to have them. Period.

PROS

  • Customisability
  • Great build quality
  • Great audio performance

CONS

  • Unlikely to really change filters too often
  • Could've been cheaper

RHA T10i: Detailed Review

The RHA T10i is one of the most unique headphones I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. The build quality is top notch and the housing is made of pure stainless steel, crafted to a truly ergonomic shape using metal injection moulding. The housing is the heaviest I've ever seen on any headphone, so much so that I was apprehensive about comfort being a problem due to prolonged use. But that wasn’t an issue at all. 

The RHA T10i just slips into the curves of your ear with ease. The build quality of the cable is also worth nothing. Being rubberised, there’s almost no chord harmonics (or cable noise as it’s called). Even so, they’s a shirt clip in the accessories bundle to eliminate the stray bump. There’s spring shielding at the bend near the 3.5 mm jack so that even bending the cord at the joint won’t cause any issues. 


What you get in the box

So why gimmicky? 

Well the RHA T10i is, for the lack of a better word, customisable. Highly customisable. It comes with three tuning filters that allow you to actually change the sound signature of these in-ears. There’s a neutral one which is meant to be true to source and along with it, are the bass and treble filters which alter the frequency response by a max of +3dB below 200Hz and +3dB above 1kHz respectively. With 10 sets of memory foam and silicon tips plus the three tuning filters, there's a hell of a lot of permutations and combinations you can achieve with the RHA T10s. For someone who likes to tinker this is like christmas coming early. 

When I started listening to them initially, there was a little mixed up with the filters. I wanted to start my listening experience with the neutral filter. What had happened was the box which I got had two pairs of black filters. So because I saw the black and copper ones on the holder, by elimination, I assumed I’m wearing the neutral ones in my ears. This got me worried because if the neutral ones were so bass heavy I shuddered to think what might happen when I put on the black (bass) ones.

Thankfully the confusion was quickly sorted when to my surprise I found I’d been listening to the repeated bass pair that had mistakenly crept into this box. Headphonezone quickly sent me the neutral filters and my review was underway once again. 


Metal injection moulding produces this unique housing

I tried the neutral (silver) filter with different sets of tips for tighter as well as a slightly airy fit, both produced distinctly different audio as compared to when having the bass filter plugged in with different tips. Obvious? Yes. But I'm talking about bass performance specifically here. In the first scenario (neutral filter + tight seal) the bass was perfect for me while with the bass-tuned filter even with the loose fitting tips the boom was a tad bit much. So do the filters work? Yes. That’s not the gimmick. The gimmick is the idea that you’ll go through the effort of switching filters for listening to different genres of music. You’ll most likely, like me, stick to the neutral filter and employ a DSP to add any colouration you want to the sound signature.

What good are the filters then? Oh they’re just super fun to play around with! I mean come on, how often can you physically change something in a pair of headphones to alter their sound signature? Break out a pair of these in a room full of audio enthusiasts and you are guaranteed to get major cred. The mere act of pulling out the tips, meticulously screwing on the different filters, replacing the tips and then going back to listening, is just so quintessentially geeky. The RHA T10i is a conversation starter. 

Anyway, I reserved my performance scoring to only the neutral filter. For drawing references I had with me my trusty old Bose QC20 along with the Cowon EH2 (which is priced similarly) and the higher end UE 900. The RHA T10i could easily hold its own in this exclusive company. Comfort, precision, was a shade above the EH2, while the build quality was significantly better. Thanks to the interchangeable tuning filters the RHA T10i raked up a few points in the features department as well.


For reference and drawing comparisons

What about other aspects of performance? Isolation is brilliant. I'm not so much a fan of memory foam tips so I don’t have much of a scale of reference there, but the silicon tips are high quality for sure. Whether I was driving them from my Xonar Essence STX or supplying flac files from my Nexus 5, the RHA T10i never missed a beat. 

So what’s the verdict?

They are pair of beautiful sounding, well constructed, and very unique headphones. Whether they’re going to be part of your larger collection, or your primary listening device – you need to have them. Period.

Specifications 

Frequency Response: 16Hz - 22000Hz
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Cable Type: 1.35m Reinforced OFC Cable
Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated Jack
Magnet: Neodymium
Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1 kHz
Weight: 41g

Note: An edited version of this review appeared in the September 2015 issue of digit magazine. 

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