RHA Audio makes earbuds in the same way that Jaguar makes cars. That is, they’re terrifically solid, are awesome on the road, and are sure to make your friends make all manner of silly noises of appreciation. That’s not nothing.
If you wander over to the Apple Store, you can find all manner of over-built RHA ear-bud replacements and upgrades, including the lovely and kick-ass T-10i. Yes, the Apple Store. Because RHA is every bit that cool. Were you thrown by the whole “it’s the Jaguar of ear-buds” thing? Sorry, wasn’t kidding there.
What’s new and cool from RHA is T20, an upgrade on their wildly successful T10 and Apple-ized (it has a microphone) T10i ($199). The T10, and now the T20 ($239), both are sonically customizable in that they both have some detachable filters to help you tilt the treble response either up, down, or right down the middle, depending on your particular sonic preferences. Me? I like it “natural”.
Based on my limited intelligence, the main upgrade that I was able to parse out of the launch is that the T20 features an all-new driver with an all-new voice coil:
The new driver technology features two independently powered voice coils situated in concentric formation around an annular magnet. The voice coils collaborate to manipulate a specially engineered diaphragm, with the outer coil responsible for generating upper midtone and treble frequencies, while the inner coil creates lower mids and bass tones. The result is an ultra-efficient performance driver capable of delivering refined, high-resolution audio.
I’m looking forward to getting a pair asap. Availability is “this summer”.
Also new in the booth — the new RHA headphone amplifier! The literature was a little thin, but from a display I learned that the upcoming unit is a portable (duh) featuring dual ESS 9018K2M DAC chips. The look and feel is quite robust, with well-protected knobs and dials that looks extremely friendly to pockets. Assuming they keep the price reasonable (and as this is RHA, I think that’s a given), this looks like a fabulous addition to the segment.