RHA T20 In Ear Headphone Review
Earlier in the year, esteemed maker RHA gave us a rather well built and very attractive in-ear, the T10, which is reminiscent of T2. The film, that is. Luckily the RHA T20 earphones aren’t on assassination missions; however they are starring in their own sequel which has just as many thrills and spills – even if the bodycount is non-existent.
- Well built
- Tuneable with filters
- Good selection of eartips
- Non-removeable cable
- Some may find them heavy; they’re fine when worn
Design and appearance
Like its forerunner, the T20 has a very attractive pebble-like look and feel. The part of the cable which sits behind the ear (with wire to retain its shape) is coloured black as opposed to the silver of the T10. The driver capsules, yoke and jack housing are all of a stainless steel with a knurled effect on the jack housing and yoke.
Durability and Build Quality
It all gives a very good impression of build quality and durability. RHA’s 3 year warranty period on its products pays testament to this, and the T20 should stand up to a decent amount of abuse. The cable is coated in a soft rubber material which is a little bit grabby but by no means inconvenient to use. Strain reliefs on each end of the cable a excellent, although the yoke in the middle could do with a little bit more by way of strain relief.
All I can think of which may be a problem is the effect of those driver capsules when the earphones are donned on a cold day, although they’ll warm up before long. Other than that, the T20 is very comfortable. This design cannot be worn with the cable hanging straight down from the ear so may not be to everyone’s taste.
Isolation is as good as any earphone of this design. With music playing, most exterior sound is banished leaving the listener alone with their chosen sounds. Be sure to experiment with the multitude of tips which are included, for the purposes of getting the best isolation and also the best seal with the ear, which vital for a decent sound from earphones.
The RHA T20 includes 3 different filters which can be swapped for emphasised bass, emphasised treble or a reference tuning. For this review the reference filters were used. To check for any differences, a T20 was attached to a Chord Hugo along with a T10 at the same time and one placed in each ear. The same filter type was of course fitted to both models. The T10 has a much greater bass presence, but the new T20 trades that for much better control and definition. Midrange has more presence on the T20.
The T20 still puts out a decent amount of bass for a good ‘heavy foot’ under kick drums and synths. It goes down low, with a decent amount of width. There’s a buttery smoothness to it which makes for a comfortable and musical experience but it’s tight, leaving a little more room for midrange.
Midrange is slightly more prominent on the T20 (compared to the T10) although bass and treble still has a slight emphasis. Like the bass, it has a gentle musical quality and makes for a good feel of space. Reverbs are clear and relaxed, with features like vocal and harmonics very enjoyable indeed.
Treble is smooth which makes for a relatively warm sound overall; however the T20 is still there to pick up the details. Some may prefer a more top-heavy presentation, so the treble filter may well be worth a try.
Soundstage and Separation
There’s a good amount of width and depth here. The improved midrange makes for an excellent sense of space, which is further enhanced by superb separation and imaging. I’ve managed to pick out new instruments which are hard panned and relatively low in the mix in tracks I know well – not bad at all.
Music genres good for and why
The T20 was tried with a varied range of genres and does well with them all. They are as good with dance as they are with rock music with a good balance between bass presence and midrange action. Soundstage and separation prowess also lets genres such as jazz and classical shine, although perhaps use of the treble filter may be more appropriate for fans of these genres.
If you fancy a glint in your ear as well as your eye, the T20 from Glasgow-based RHA has a lot to offer. Both the build quality and the sound are solid, with superb separation abilities. The T20 is a worthy successor to the T10, with several sonic improvements.