By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
I've been a fan of RHA headphones since I made the RHA MA40i headphones my main in-hear headphones for a good part of a year. RHA's new s500i headphones brings premium quality and materials as well as noise isolation technology to the market.
I have used the RHA S500i for over a month, it was my iPhone 6S' main companion during a 10-day trip to Europe and has been my go-to headset for playing back music and videos on various devices.
I really like the design and materials used on the RHA S500i, most specially the ribbed aluminum plug which is sturdy and seems to connect tightly to most headphone-in jacks. The earbuds are similarly lightweight and quite comfortable out of the box (RHA does include 6 pairs of ear tips of various sizes).
The 3-button remote is a mix of hard rubber and aluminum. This houses the microphone for calls or for toggling Siri and while I found the buttons hard to press initially, I'm slowly getting used to the amount of pressure needed to work the volume.
The light and compact nature of the RHA S500i, the quality materials as well as the great noise cancelling feature and sound are what make me keep coming back to this pair of in-ear headphones when using my Mac or iOS devices.
Sound quality is superb with a focus on balance and sound distribution over loudness which suits me just fine. I listen to a variety of audio including podcasts and NPR radio shows for voice as well as a range of stored and streaming music from Apple Music and Spotify and the RHA S500i have been great for those.
I do have to take calls from time to time as well as join conference calls and have found the RHA S500i to be equally suitable for those purposes, specially when travelling.
The most surprising thing about the the RHA S500i is the $59.95 price at most Canadian Apple Stores. Here's a pair of headphones that sounds just as great or even better than many headphones costing upwards of $100 but which are heavier, use less premium materials, omit any noise-isolation features and don't fit as well.
In-ear headphones are pretty subjective because one size or style does not fit all but the RHA S500i seem to have all the key components and sound quality to satisfy more discriminating users and are a good investment for any iOS device user who wants to upgrade from their stock earbuds into something that looks and sounds much better.