Review: RHA’s new wireless earbuds deliver impressive audio performance for just $70

Scottish audio manufacturer RHA today announced its latest headphones: the RHA MA390 Wireless.

These Bluetooth buds are the cheapest in RHA’s wireless lineup, retailing at £59.99 (€69.95, $69.95 in Europe and the US respectively), and are derived from the existing (and excellent) wired RHA MA390 headphones.

RHA seeded TNW with a pair last week, and we’re pretty impressed. The MA390 Wireless represent great value for money, with solid performance for the price point. Oh, and they look quite nice too.

Design

The MA390 Wireless follows the same tried-and-tested design cues left by its pricier older sibling, the MA650 Wireless.

As a general rule, RHA doesn’t do flashy, and the MA390 is a testament to that basic design philosophy. It’s delightfully and stylishly understated.

The buds themselves have a somewhat austere aesthetic, and consist of a soft translucent tip that’s connected to a magnetic enclosure.

This is a pretty practical design consideration, as it allows you to attach both ends while not in use, making it less likely you’ll misplace your brand new headphones.

Connecting both left and right earphones is a long rubber neckband. This feels reassuringly sturdy, and (in my experience) can take a lot of punishment. It can easily be contorted and thrown into a bag.

The MA390 Wireless has the usual audio volume remote, which also houses its microphone, and along the neckband you’ll find two plastic-coated tubes. These contain the device’s battery, as well as its USB-C charging port.

As I mentioned in my review of the MA650 Wireless, it’s always a delight to see USB-C on headphones. Anecdotally, it seems as though the audio world is a MicroUSB holdout, while everyone else has largely moved on. RHA bucks that trend, however.

Performance

Having used the MA390 Wireless for over a week, I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that RHA’s produced an excellent pair of gym-going headphones.

The buds are IPV4 certified, which essentially means that they’re “sweatproof,” and should be able to survive even the most intense of workout sessions.

In terms of battery, RHA reckons you can get eight hours of life out of a single charge. This felt about right, but I couldn’t help but feel this limited the practicality of the buds for me, especially as someone who frequently takes long-distance flights.

London to New York is about eight hours. That puts you right at the limit of the MA390’s endurance. London to San Francisco is about twelve hours, meaning that for four hours, you’ll be bored and twiddling your thumbs.

Alright, so enough about that. Let’s talk about audio performance.

As much as I enjoyed its predecessor, I know the MA390 Wireless targets the cheaper end of the audio market. It’s based on wired buds that presently retail on Amazon for under $30. So, my expectations were in check from the very beginning.

I wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering, and indeed, the MA390 didn’t offer anything earth-shattering.